It's 5am and Significant Other is up already and this helps me get into gear.I'm nervous and debating if I should go to the MS/Cox Bike Ride Fundraiser. The friend told me there have been a road close so today instead of 25 miles it will be 32 miles. She mentioned alot of hills at the 3rd break point. Even after all of this nerve racking information and feeling like I'm going into surgery; I put one foot in front of the other and go through the motions of getting ready. Maybe this will give me the nerves to make a decision to go today.
We all get ready, let the dogs out so that they can take care of their business, and feed them.
We pack up in the car. We are on our way to Callaway Gardens. I call my friend and she's happy I made the decision to come. She asks if I brought my package which include the numbers with me because this is the only way I can participate; OMG, I forgot it! We are at the Jonesboro exit and Significant Others doesn't seem bothered by tuning around and going back to the house.
The packet in my workspace drawer. I run and get back into the car. We are back on the road. I'm nervous because it's 7 am and the ride starts at 8am. I read on a pamphlet in the car that no one can start after 9am, yet the official ride starts at 8am. I hope we can make it there on time. Our son forgot to bring the sandwiches I made for the occasion, so I don't have anything to eat and we don't have enough time to stop.
We arrive at 8:09 and cyclist have already started their routes. Significant Other and our son take my bike off of the bike rack. I find a restroom, my bottle of water that I put in my shirt back pocket falls into the porter potty toilet. I can't believe it! I notice the Cox tent and find a banana and healthy snack and I make sure they do not fall out of my back shirt pocket. I ride to the start line at 8:15.
I'd printed out a map during the week and remembered to bring it. S-hero C taught me to be prepared and I am somewhat there.
Thank God, they have arrows throughout the ride. After about 3 miles into this ride; two cyclist pass me and I'm along again. I read a sign that states after 8:45 that no one can pass the first break point. What does that mean? It's after 8:45 and I've come too far to turn around.
I'm finally at the break point and a lady makes a comment about me being late. I tell her I started at 8:30am and I'm a slow rider. She calls others to let them know I am here. I'm on my way!
Miles later, I notice a red arrow with the number 1 pointing in one direction and a blue arrow with number 2 pointing in other. I stop and I look at my map and see the street to follow. I notice red lights, a van, and a motorcycle. I'm thinking something has happen in the town. I proceed since this is the street on the map and I want to follow the number 1 sign instead of 2 in this case. They are breaking down the tent. This is the rest stop, I take a banana and orange. I hear someone say what if I had a mountain bike. I guess this is their joke because I'm the last cyclist, however, there is another female cyclist passing by on a hybrid bike, but she didn't stop. I didn't feel too bad.
Once I finished, the van called SAG follows me.
Shortly after, on the highway I stop and get off my bike because I notice my computer has stop. I guess when I walked it through the damp grass at the break point it stop working. I couldn't keep working on it. I had to jump on the bike and keep it moving. At the break point, one of the ladies told me that the next break point is 16 miles. I rode 9.75 miles to get to this one.
About 5 miles down the road, I signal to the SAG van, he pulls over. I ask if he has water.He is my savivor. I drink and stretch before getting back to this ride.
The inclines are challenging. I rest as I ride on the downhills. There are times there is nothing around but the open road and the SAG van behind me, sometimes a dragon fly or a butter fly. I invited any thing to entertain me on this long highway; any glimspe of excitement. I notice a do not enter sign and seconds later I hear gun shots. Now, I thank God for the SAG van that is trailing behind me. They call him the turtle. Beforehand I wanted him to go around me.
I wonder how much further is it to the next break point. I pass cows, a group of horses, they look at me as I look at them. I thank God for the scenery.
I finally see a sign that states 2 miles to the next break point. Sometimes I think of getting in the van, but I can't stop now, I'm too close. This road is like a roller coaster. There have been hills from break point 1. I get a breather and here is another hill. OMG!
There are cyclist at the second break point, I'm assuming from the 60 or 100 miles ride catetory. I eat more bananas and a orange and take a visit to the porter potty.
7.9 miles to go before reaching the finish line. The hill are much more steep and I'm at my lowest gear and taking my time. Cyclist are passing me and shouting to me great words of support. One cyclist call out, Keep peddling! Others shout, You are almost there; you on the home stretch!
A gentlemen on a motorcycle says I have 2 miles to go. I get a call on my cell and it's my friend who rode yesterday. She has other friends that have finished an hour ago and will wait until I finish before she leaves. She ask for a description of my family. 2 miles seems like 4, but I don't stop. I begin to notice these sights from earlier and now I know where I am. I'm near the finish line. I'm about to cross over and hear the announcer shout,"Here is a cyclist finishing from Cox." I wave! I see a lady in a wheel chair, I see my family and my friend taking pictures. I've never had a dream of even attempting to do anything like this in my life. I just bought this bike in July 2010 and could only ride 4 miles and look at me now! I did it! 32 miles on Sunday 12, 2010.