Monday, August 4, 2014

My Paleton

Paleton: The main body of riders in a bicycle race.

My Paleton
OK, OK, so this wasn't a race, but a ride, and we weren't the main riders, but my team were MY main riders for the weekend...

So you have been reading about it for months now... That is right, Pedal to the Point finally happened this weekend. I was a little nervous and wondered if I would be able to finish 175 miles... I trained, and trained some more, and made plans, and trained again, and slept, and worked, and trained, and emailed my team mates about the weekend, and then continued training. I had big expectations for the weekend which can be tremendously dangerous, but you know what? All expectations were enormously exceeded.

I'm sure you want to hear about my weekend, but I'm afraid this will not even come close to a good reflection of our adventure but hopefully you get the idea.

The weekend started on Wednesday for some, Thursday for others and Friday for the remainder of the team. We all met up on Friday evening for our pre-race meal where we talked about our plans for meeting at 6:30 on Saturday morning to head out for the ride. We checked the weather and went to bed knowing that there was a 50% chance of NO rain on Saturday (the cup was half full). We also figured out who was going to ride the 100 and who was going to ride the 75 on Saturday.

We met on Saturday and off we went, splitting off after the first rest stop on our journey for the 100 or 75 miles respectively. Meredith, RJ, John, Sue and I headed out for the 100, while everyone else went for the 75. I heard the 75 mile riders were pelted with rain for half the day, while the other five of us were only pelted by rain drops that felt like hail for 6 miles. There were hills that were so challenging many folks were walking their bikes, and downhills that got us up to 35 miles per hour and HoHo's everywhere.

We got to the High School in Sandusky, the skies had cleared and half of us pitched out tents, while the other half headed to hotels. We ate pasta and then some appetizers, and went to bed knowing we would get to relive our experience the next day with 90% chance of NO rain. Us campers were kept awake by some birds, trains and volunteers who decided to bring their kids camping, and who were extremely loud... And if we knew who the mother was of the daughter, we would have all taken the opportunity to call her at 3 in the morning for a week straight to let her know that her kid was up REALLY late, but unfortunately, we never got his phone number.

We went out for day number 2, talking about what parts of our bodies were sore. Luckily, I was in good shape but others had pains in unmentionable areas that should never feel pain!!! We rode for about 20 miles when the 10% chance of rain decided to sprinkle on us, but this time it was refreshing. It only lasted for a few miles and no one really had a bad thing to say about it. We ate more HoHos and drank more Gatorade, and ate more grapes.

We then encountered the hill... This wasn't just a hill, but more like a mountain in the middle of Ohio!!! Well, at least that is what it felt like at the 173 mile mark of the 175 mile ride. There were volunteers standing in the middle of the hill letting us know that we were only 1.5 miles til the end. I said it was a cruel joke, but it was amazing. I made it up the hill!!! One of my team mates told a story about how her bike just decided to stop half way up the hill, but we all made it up to tell our own version of the tale.

My team mates who were all much faster riders than myself were there at the end to ride in the final mile of the ride with me. They stuck by my side and we all crossed the finish line together. It was a breathtaking moment for me. Why? Because these are the people who crowded around me and not only threw their support in my direction, but also took a journey with me that is worth a thousand years and a million memories.

I know this isn't the best write up of an event, but I couldn't even begin to tell you the stories that made this a weekend that will be in my memories forever. Sure, there were trash bags, hohos, stories about bodily functions, falls, corn fields, camping stories, commando discussions, and so on and so forth, BUT the most amazing part of the weekend was getting to spend it with my own personal paleton!!!

Thank you Mom and Cathy for being there to support us along the way. Thank you Meredith, Bernie, David, Janell, Christina, John, Tina, RJ and Sue!!! To 2016, when we are back for another MS 150 (or 175)...

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