Wednesday, August 19, 2009

MS Pedal to the Point: Day 2

I woke up that morning like most before a race or athletic event, always ten mintues prior to my alarm buzzing. 5:10 a.m. and I could not wait to get up and begin the ride that awaited.

I failed to mention that three of high school friends with whom I ran cross country and track all four years decided to come out and ride in this event. Now, they aren't eclectic cyclists or know much about the sport of cycling but they did the training and completed the ride in especially hot weather. Needless to say, they were not exactly jumping out of bed with joy this past Sunday morning. Eventually we all proceeded to get ready for the ride ahead and caught the shuttle back to Sandusky HS from where we loaded up our luggage and soon began the est. 75miles back to Polaris Career Center in Berea, OH.

At the start I immedently saw another cyclist from the HCR Manor Care Team, Jack who was waiting for Andy, our team captain. After a little bit of waiting, we both just assumed that Andy had tried to get a head start on his competition. I began slow and steady through Sandusky but soon saw those wonderful cornfields in the distance and along came the heat.
Around this time was when I began riding with John from Team Tired and another cyclist sporting an Orrville team kit. Our paceline quickly sped upwards of 20mph. When I asked John if he wanted to do a paceline alternating with Jack and I. He didn't exactly see me as a strong cyclist. By the lunch stop we dropped Orrville and John, Jack and I continued our steady cadence. We were within the first 20 riders in and me being apparantly the 3rd female in to the lunch stop. Our 75mi day shortly turned into 90mi with two interesting wrong turns makeing our way back to Berea, OH. At first we began to take the day 1 route out of lunch going towards Sandusky for an extra 6mi total.
While riding from Sandusky HS to Berea, I learned that John was from Team Tired. strong group of cyclists that truly enjoys the sport and knows that entertainment on this ride is sometimes hard to come by. He started a different type of trend, tagging. John would tag certain items not with spray paint but his team logo sticker along the ride. What makes this worth mentioning? John's team name is "tired" as in a tire track. Along the road if there was any "fresh meat," he would put a sticker on the roadkill. Believe me, it starts quite the conversation...
The continued and we were within 5miles from the finish. We turned right and started to ride the century loop which I had missed because of poor marking from day one. Add another 9mi to the ride. We rode back towards Route 82 picking up some other riders from the event who also happened to make the wrong turn making a decent paceline of about 9 people.
With 5 miles left and returning to the correct route, a woman o n a tri bike with aero pairs started to make her move. I said bye to John and Jack who laughed and knew that I wouldn't finish without a fight and too much energy not fully expended. The next 4mi we drafted back and forth and she tried to shake me and almost exceded but I always pulled my way back on the small rolling hills. Right turn onto Folwes rd. dodging parked cars, pot holes made it quite interesting. We pulled up next to two guys who really didn't want us to finish in front and began kick it in.
Left turn onto Oak and the last 1/4mi stretch. I waited for tri to make her move then I jumped out the saddle for a strong sprint. I had 10yrds on her when I looked to my right and realized that our captin Andy was right next to me. "Andy! Is that you?!" Full look towards eachother before we both really made that sprint count. I beat Andy on that sprint towards the finish line. I have never had so much fun and knowing that we all participed in this event a great cause makes it all that much better. Good riding HCR Manor Care Team and see you next year!
This picture to the right is Andy and I discussing who was the actual winner of our sprint. ..