Sunday, 11 August 2013
Ride to Conquer Cancer day 1
Cindy and I started next to each other, but with her jets and random talking with clients and friends and random other riders and stoplights I didn't see her again until between the traffic circle and Redwood Meadows. We rode together for a while, and about that point the 1,700 people fervor and initial gusto was starting to die down, and I decided I wanted to just pedal a solo not a group pace. It's not a race, but it's open roads, they have my money already, and with Mongolia a few weeks out I just set myself at a good tempo (the SRM tells me its zone 3). That's enough to go group of 3-5 up to next group of 3-5 basically intermittently for the next 90k to the finish, as I'd say hi to groups, chat, then go up to next one. Felt really nice pedaling, really nice thinking time, really nice just feeling healthy and with vigor to pedal a bike - some aren't so lucky. There were a lot of little inspirational signs on the side of the road, like "earn the downhill" kind of thing on the climbs. My favourite was "chuck norris didn't even ride 200k in a weekend".
There were a few bikes in when I finished, but not many. A couple groups hit the gas right from the start. But more importantly as we chatted, showered, ate, socialized people kept streaming in. Like for 5+ hours after I rolled in. People with friends and families and posters; people for whom this was a real stretch, a real stick the neck out, and a real accomplishment. All sizes, all ages, and a lot of yellow survivor flags whipping in the wind. That's great.