He [the righteous man] will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
Please help me raise money for the MS Bike Tour Cape Cod Getaway. Donate today on my MS Participant page.
I’m sure you’ve all been dying to hear a blow-by-blow account of all 150 miles of this weekend’s the Cape Cod Getaway. Sadly, you’re going to be disappointed, because in almost all respects it was nearly identical to last year’s CCG ride. That means you can just read last year’s post and imagine that I wrote it for this year. Some different highlights:
- Despite some initial difficulties, I met up with Gwenn and Dave, a couple I found through an online bike forum; we’ve ridden together on a couple of training rides. We rode together through Mile 40 on Day 1. At 40 miles we at lunch and I went off to ride by myself the rest of the way. The first day I passed a lot of people — we started towards the back to let the crowds thin out a bit — and averaged 14.9 mph. Actually I averaged 14 mpg for the first half and significantly above that the second half. I got in feeling very perky and pleased it hadn’t rained.
- We set up our tent in the SHADE this time, having learned our lesson last time. Later in the afternoon it clouded over and everything was shady, but we still felt clever for picking a shady spot. Even later — some time in the night — we found out that we’d also picked a spot directly beneath bathroom windows, so the light kept coming on and brightening our tent as people came and used the bathroom. That wasn’t so handy until about 3:30 am, when we woke up and needed light, but didn’t have any. Then somebody came into that bathroom and we had lots of nice diffuse light, perfect for eyes at o-dark-hundred.
- I tried to focus on recovery foods more this time, so I drank a bunch of chocolate milk, which is full of much-needed carbs, and made sure to eat a Clif bar immediately after getting off the bike, as well as continuing to eat mainly carbs (as instructed by my The Cyclist’s Food Guide book)
- In the afternoon Saturday Gwenn and Dave found us and we played Yahtzee and went to dinner together. It was very nice to have other people to spend time with. Last year Saturday afternoon felt extremely long.
- Sunday was very cool and misty all day. I feared rain both days and carried my arm warmers and vest both days, but never used them because it never actually started raining. Early on Sunday — from about 5:00 am when I started riding to maybe 7:30 or so — I had trouble with mist forming on my glasses and obscuring my view. Fortunately I was almost completely alone, except for the occasional speedy guy who passed me without so much as an “On your left.” Sunday I felt exceptionally tired, despite having tried to do lots of recovering on Saturday.
- There was a strong northerly wind all day on Sunday, which was a pretty major bummer because I spent most of the day going north up the Cape all by myself. People occasionally passed me, but going fast enough I knew I couldn’t keep up. I never found somebody going remotely near my pace all day, so I ended up just plugging along by myself, seeing the same people at rest stops and being passed by the same guys a few miles later. It wasn’t that great on Sunday, honestly.
- On the bright side, the driver of one of the motorcycle SAG vehicles cheered for me vigorously each time she passed me (which was often), and at the end congratulated me. Another couple of riders also told me they were really impressed by my riding, which was nice to hear, at least.
- We didn’t even stay around for me to shower on Sunday. I just wanted to go home, so we left almost immediately after I got off my bike and ascertained that they had only bad wraps for lunch. (Food on the Cape Cod Getaway leaves much to be desired. Who wants spicy pulled pork, spicy beans, and spicy cold pasta salad for dinner on Saturday after having ridden 75 miles and with another 75 left to go the next day? Ugh.) Sadly, it took us almost 4 hours to get home, 2 of which we spent just getting off the Cape. I slept most of that time so it didn’t feel so long, but I was extremely ready to get out of my sweaty bike clothes by the time we finally got home.
The real highlight of the ride for me was the people who came out and cheered for us. Families with little kids came out and waved and cheered as the bikes went by; firemen in small town fire departments came out and waved; lots of people clapped and cheered and thanked us for riding. This is so different from the normal treatment I get on my bike that it made riding feel altogether pleasant and refreshing. Of course, having police officers stationed at every major stop light and intersection directing traffic to let BIKES go first was pretty awesome, too. But hearing “Yay! Thank you for riding!” instead of “Get on the sidewalk, *****!” felt like a real balm this year.
So I completed the Cape Cod Getaway without any serious mishaps or difficulties, and although I felt quite tired on Sunday, by Monday I felt pretty good and I commuted by bike without discomfort today. Sadly, today is the only day I’ll have commuted on Artemis: She is now boxed up and tomorrow starts her slow, expensive trek across the country, where she will (hopefully) meet me in Kirkland next Thursday. The rest of the week and all next week I’ll be riding Charlotte, which will give me a true appreciation when I get back on Artemis. More on the whole getting-Artemis-to-Seattle thing in another post.