A great big Thank You to those who sponsored me for this ride! I raised $565. The money goes to a great cause (the American Diabetes Association). Since most of my sponsors are from the LVM21 club, I wore my LVM21 jersey in your honor!
I got up when my alarm went off at 5:15am. I had already loaded my bike to the car the previous night, and loaded most everything else I needed as well. I got up, checked my email, and spent a little time waking up. Eventually I took a shower, kissed my wife goodbye, and headed off to Mendon Ponds Park, where the Tour De Cure would start. Check in for the 100 milers was at 6:45am, and the ride started at 7:30.
I arrived around 6:50am, parked my car, and headed for the checkin. Everything went smoothly. I turned in the couple pledges that hadn’t been online, signed a waiver, and got my numbers. There was a bib # that I would wear, and one that would go on my bike.
While my bike was still on the back of my car, I removed the aerobottle from the downtube, which I had just mounted the night before. I decided to go with the standard water bottle that I would likely be using in the upcoming half-iron and full Ironman triathlons. I mounted the cage, and filled the bottle with Diet Pepsi. I got my shoes and LVM21 jersey on, smeared myself with sunblock. Filled my jersey pockets with car key, hankys, camera, Carb Boom gel, a $20 bill in a plastic bag along with some ibuprofen. I got my mp3 player on.
I mounted the number on bike. It was size of two small bibs. There was sticky adhesive on the back. I folded it over my topbar near my seatpost. I headed down to line up.
Here is a map of the 100 mile course: http://main.diabetes.org/tdc09/05117_100_TdC_2009_MAP_rev_1.pdf
I wasn’t lined up long before they counted us down, and set us on our way towards 100 miles. It starts with a small up hill to the road. I joked to another rider that I didn’t know there would hills. Then I asked if it was too early to drop out. This was all in the first 100 feet.
I got maybe a half mile down the road and stopped. The number on the bike was rubbing my leg. I pulled it off, and moved it up to the front. Then I got back out on the road. I was passing people, and occasionally someone would go barreling by me. The group spread out. The roads we were riding on were not closed to traffic, so we had to stop for lights and signs. There were colored arrows spray painted in spots on the side of the road. The 100 mile course was to follow the white arrows. Different distance rides would follow other colors. But some of the arrows seemed to be left from previous years. But there were also some arrows painted in some spots that had nothing to do with Tour De Cure.
Around the 20 mile mark I think, the road got rough. It was like sections of the road had be washed out. I was cruising down the road at 25mph when a 2 or 3 foot wide, bike eating pothole appeared in front of me. I shouted a panicked “Crap” and managed to bunny hop over it. I managed to steer around other potholes in the area.
I has skipped the first rest stop, but stopped at the second one which was around mile 26.4. It was right behind an antique store that I visit from time to time looking for used books. My Pepsi was gone. I shook out the bottle, and filled it with Gatorade. It was this blue stuff, and diluted. I didn’t like it much. I also topped of the water in the front aero bottle. I also ate a banana and a granola bar.
Continued in Part 2