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Author: CindyC72 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 15354  
Subject: I survived the Aids Ride!! (Long!!) Date: 6/17/2002 11:06 PM
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So did Tim (GlasMenagerie), but you'll have to ask him about his ride, as I pretty much only saw him at breakfast and dinner. (Just a slight disparity in our riding speeds)

It was absolutely amazing and hellish all at the same time. We raised over 5k between the two of us for Food & Friends and Whitman-Walker Clinic - thanks to EVERYONE for their support on that front.

Got sagged more than I care to admit. (Personal Discovery: If your average speed is a bit on the slow side and you stop a lot to help other people, you're not going to be able to make up the lost time) Most importantly, I made it through the ride with no wrecks or any real injuries. (Have some scrapes on my legs from who knows what, and a good knot in my shoulder, but that is about it)

Day 1 - Very slow getting out of Norfolk, not enough police to cover the route, and they wouldn't let the traffic teams help out. Also really, really hot until about 3 pm when a storm came through. (My second time riding in the rain!) Major mistake on the mileage from one of the pits to lunch. As we rode out, they were telling us it was 15 miles, it was actually 22. Makes a large difference in time when you ride as slow as I do, and I was starting to think I had gotten lost after riding for a lot longer than I had calculated and still not finding this elusive lunch stop.

Was a bad day for me and cars. Had a car decide to mess with me at an intersection while I was stopped waiting for the light, pulled up next to me and jerked over at the last second - managed to hop off my bike and out of the way. Was stretching out and talking w/a woman in a 7-11 parking lot when a van drove in and decided to play the "lets see how close I can come to hitting the chick on the bike without actually hitting her" game. Fortunately, I saw that one coming and was able to rather gracefully lean myself and my bike out of the way as he cruised less than a foot away from me. After he got out of the van, the woman I was talking to went after him in a big way. And then, the sag bus ran me off into the grass not once, but TWICE. (Hey, they're supposed to be with US!!)

Back at camp, set up the tents and then the rains came. Oh lordy, did it rain. Soggy everything. High point of my night was finding the coffee dispenser in the dining tent. :-D

Rain stopped for the evening, started again at 4 am, and I wondered what they would do if I just refused to come out of the tent. (Fortunately, it stopped around 5 am.)

Day 2 - A Personal Best. 10 hours before having to hang it up, and I was happy to get swept, cause the rain started again and it was looking like a good electrical storm was in the works. Again, lots of stopping and helping out other folks. Was very happy that I had my kitchen/pharmacy in my rack trunk. Had band aids for the rider that cut his thumb trying to fix his flat and granola bars for the rider who had leg cramps and really needed some food.

Day 3 - Personal Worst. Huge downpour in camp just as we were trying to get things packed up to leave, slowed everything down trying to get out. Everything that had dried out was completely soaked again. I did NOT want to go out there. But, got on the bike anyway and headed out, squishing shoes and all. Couldn't get up any speed to save my life. Stopped and helped with a flat on the way into the first pit. Later, stopped and checked on Tim who was waiting for a sweep after his second flat of the morning. Paced very slow for a while with a gal who seemed to be having some problems, wanted to make sure she was doing ok. Then stopped to check on a gal who had decided she was done for the day, but saw her pretty much fall off her bike when she pulled off the road and wanted to make sure she was ok. At this point I realized I wouldn't have enough time to get to the pit and decided to wait w/ her for the sweep van. Moral of the story: Don't get off the road until they TAKE you off the road - as it turned out, they left the pit open late and I probably could have made it in time. Argh.

Day 4 - The Ride In. Finally was back in NoVa and seeing places that I recognized. LOTS of people out along the route cheering us on - really makes it SO much easier to ride!!! Made the full route with no problems. :-D Bless his heart, Tim rode with me the whole time that day, as slow as I am. (Must have been pretty relaxing for him, though, LOL!) Coming onto the mall was absolutely incredible. Over one thousand of us. A ton of people cheering us on. I was crying like a idiot, but I couldn't help it.

Four days. Rain. 219 out of 330 miles. More rain. Soaked shoes. 1 out of 4 finishes. Wet tents. Gatorade coming out my ears. Sunburn. Knotted up shoulders. Absolute hell.

I think I'll do it again next year.

Cindy
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