Monday, August 19, 2013

The 2013 seen by our teammate Kevin Romer

The 2013 FLX Tour de Cure is now history. I am both happy and sad…happy that I took part and made lots of new friends, and rekindled the old and sad to know that it is “over”…for this year!!!

I want to say to my best friend and riding partner…Kristen Romer… THANK YOU and I love you!!

To the most awesome team ever…the NS Power Train…you are the best ever!!! Your inspiration and motivation was a huge driving force. The force behind a team like this just drives energy!!! Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of huge effort!!!

Yesterday started out pretty early as we wanted to be there when the Century riders departed. Doing 100mi on a bike…AWESOME…and maybe not next year for me, but if it all works out, for sure the year after.

Then I needed to decide whether to do the 20mi route or jump and do the 35mi route. My longest ride ever was 21mi (adult life anyways) so I knew I could do the 20 without a problem, but now I needed to challenge myself again…20 or 35?? Right up till the registration table, when I was asked which route..I said… 35!!! That decision all alone was bittersweet for me…I wanted the challenge, but I didn’t want to leave my friend and riding partner. I am sorry for that but happy I chose the challenge.

As the 35mi group departed, I waved and off I went. To “the hill”!! Let me tell you that “the hill” was worse than I imagined. I rode a small distance when it was just faster to walk and push the bike. When I looked up the hill, it was a relief to see that I was not the only one walking. It was amazing to see those that could ride up the entire hill and disappear…someday…maybe it will be me doing that.

When I go to a point I could begin to actually ride the bike, the course continued an uphill climb, even with the short downhills, the course continued upward. I struggled at times, caught a few riders and passed them (nice!!) and was passed by them at another point (not so nice) and arrived at the first checkpoint. Ate about half an orange, took a breath and off I went…as I left the girls working the rest stop said “it’s all downhill from here!!”…it was obvious quite quickly that honesty is not a trait for rest stop volunteers!!!

The ride from Dundee to Himrod was actually pretty nice, although the climb seemed to continue for
about 5 more miles…then the start downhill. Across the tracks (successfully I will add), turn left and
across to more sets of tracks (still without issue), then UPHILL to the rest stop. Doing okay still, but the sun is beginning to take a toll on me. If you know me…I am not a big fan of direct sunlight…and shade was not to be found.

Left the rest stop with my friend Doug Wheeler and headed for Watkins…knowing that I was half done was relief. Course seemed have leveled off some and I was able to make some pretty good time…got into a zone and cruised.

With the third rest stop approaching…I was feeling pretty good, but knew if I stopped there…it might have been my last stop…so I kept going…right on by. After a couple of stretches of highway that you could see several miles in the distance, and the beating sun, and what appeared to be no progress being made…and mirages of cool water and palm trees began to appear…I need to get out of the sun…BADLY. The 14A overpass came into view…I HAD TO STOP!!! The VanDruff crew stopped and asked if I was okay and commented “its all downhill from here” and if I wanted to finish the course with them?? Off we went…downhill into Watkins.

As we all crossed the “finish line”… it was awesome to see my wife waiting for me… I did it!!!

35.5mi in 3h 36m… my thighs were on fire, I was cooking from the sun…and needed a cold drink!!! But I did it!!!

1 comment:

  1. Great job! Glad you took the challenge and crushed it! That climb was tough but you were tougher! Awesome recap and blog post too! :) I know what you mean about being a part of the Norfolk Southern PowerTrain Team! I really does give you energy! Can't wait for next year and other team rides! Peace! :)