I was looking at some of the pictures from PBP07 this morning and it brought back so many memories of that year and of the year I did it in 2003. I plucked a few of the pics that seemed to demonstrate the highs, lows, and in betweens of riding 1200 km in 90 hours or less.
Arriving in France is so great.
Here is the SIR gang the day before start day full of anticipation and nervous energy.
And then the real start line.
Many highs, high fives, and smiles.
And a few lows: Shermers neck and examples of carnage (carnage with energy bar wrapper, carnage by road signs, cafeteria carnage).
And finally the triumphant (?) finish!
The agony and the ecstasy. It is a strange sport.
Sunday, 22 March 2009
My hubby Robin broke his collar bone and fractured both wrists about 5 weeks ago from crashing on his bike. Just a couple of weeks after that my good buddy and sometime tandem partner, Peter, crashed his bike in CA and broke his scapula.
After Mark R broke his pelvis last year from a bike crash I began to mentally compile a list of bones that ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE BROKEN. You know, fingers, maybe an arm, or the frequently broken clavicle are not such a big deal (although I have never broken a bone, knock on wood, so am no expert) but there are those bones that are integral to the structure of the human frame that really ought not to be broken. Pelvis, skull, scapula, femur - those just really need to remain intact. I actually cringe when I hear that someone has broken one of those. Just goes to reinforce my motto on each ride - keep the rubber side down.
Back to my friend Peter. He is a very enthusiastic rider, loves to ride, has a great positive attitude, and is a big powerful guy. Two days before SIR's season starter 200k ride Peter emailed me to see if I would captain him on the tandem. I asked if he had clearance from his wife, Anita, and from his doctor. Without really answering the question he steamrolled the process and next thing I knew we were set to ride together. I hadn't captained the tandem for nearly a year and was VERY rusty. Combined with Peter's weight (all muscle Peter!) and my lack of recent experience I was doing a lot of oversteering and manhandling of the bike. Peter did confess that he hadn't consulted his doc about doing the ride and that Anita, while not forbidding it also did not give her blessing. So I got to add not just a little bit of trepidation about dumping my broken friend or just hurting him further by covering 200k of a pretty challenging bike course.
The weather was GREAT! After a winter of WAY too much snow and COLD we actually saw evidence of spring after the fog cleared. Sun and temps up to 50 degrees added to my stoker's sunny attitude to make even the tough parts of the ride fun. The last few climbs to Greg's house near the finish were looming large in our minds but we handled 218th better than expected (no walking!) and the hill on 240th passed quickly as we spent the time gossiping about our rando friends (what happens on the tandem stays on the tandem - right Peter).
No bravado here though, I was definitely wasted but pleased with our day. Always a pleasure to ride with Peter and all the other randos with terrific support and a great finish line chili feed at the Cox house. Not quite ready to think about 300k in two weeks...