this is why

So the Trek was cold and rainy and fantastic. All night at Sunday River I listened to the rain beating down (and to the 8 other people in the little dorm room snoring and tossing and turning) and thought about how horrible of a ride it was going to be. It would be wet and I'd be riding without my friend. But in the morning, I sat and ate my power bar and sipped coffee and chatted with strangers and started to get excited. I met up with Anne and found Ken, and we took off. I was drenched by the bottom of the first hill. But from that point on, I couldn't get any wetter so I just rode. I cranked up the 3 mile hill, and then just bombed down. My heart was pumping, the rain was pelting me, dirt was flying up into my face and I was laughing. The second 30 miles went by in a blur. I felt so good, I just kept pushing and pushing.
Saturday morning my legs felt pretty dead and I was afraid I'd pushed too hard. But after 15 or so miles, I got into it and felt good again. I rode alone and kept a comfortable pace. I did gorge a little on pizza and ice cream at the end, but I deserved it right? There was a great band playing, Sally and the Smelts. It was nice to just sit and sip a beer and listen. We ate an early dinner and then just sat and talked for a couple hours. I felt very comfortable with everyone the whole weekend. I'm fine being alone, but I never felt that I had to be alone.
Sunday we were up early again, and I started with Anne and Kim. I lost them fairly quickly, but ended up riding with a couple for a long time. I forget how brutal the third day is. The hills are relentless and the wind was against us. The 3 of us took turns pulling the other 2. I'm not sure how much we were really drafting, I think it was mostly mental, just having company. Ken came up as I passed the last rest stop, and we pushed it to the end. Like the first day, something came over me and I just was on fire. Coming down the final 2 miles, with people lining the streets cheering and screaming I was peddling as fast as I could. It was over too soon.
Every year I think about not riding because I hate raising the money. But every year I am so glad I do. Everyone riding is just so supportive and into making it a fun experience. It's hard, but not impossibly so. It's about doing what you can do, and having fun doing it.

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