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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Didn't make it




Blame daylight savings time.

It was hard getting started in the morning.
In the dark.

So by the time I drove to Naples to start I was already an hour late.




Katie scared me - talking about doing a century in 4 hours.
She's been reading too many man books.

One thing I've learned about man-bikers - they - ah - have a tendency to exaggerate.
I've stood in the pre-dawn starting line of the RAIN ride listening to all of them grouse ...
"I didn't start training until 2 weeks ago"
"I've only biked twice so far this summer."
"I haven't biked since last October."

Now do you believe them?
Who would even start a 160 mile ride across Indiana without training?

I aim for an 8 hour century - and that's later in the season when I'm in better shape.

One thing I've noticed after age 52 - I can get in shape, but if I don't keep it up I lose it quicker.

So here I was on my last day in Naples with the clock ticking.
The bike shop would close at 6:00 and I needed to return the bike that day since I had an early flight the next day.

Started out fine - head wind.
After 12 miles turned back - still had a head wind.

OK - one thing I have learned about Florida - you might as well go with the tail wind, because whatever direction the wind is blowing now, it will be different later.

No time for sightseeing today. All I see are the detritus on the shoulder of the road. A single white high heel shoe.

My dazed mind wonders the story behind that elegant shoe tossed by the side of the road. Was it thrown out a window in a fit of rage or of passion?

I once stopped on an Indiana bike ride to pick up a cell phone laying out in the gravel by the road. It had a few moments of battery power left. I called the first number on the call list and left a message to the dry voice of an answering machine. Why was the phone out there near the roadside cross festooned with flowers and a teddy bear. Was it dropped by a jogger or hurled out a speeding window during a raging argument? I will never know. I left a message that the phone could be found by the cross at 200 west and Fortville Pike.

Back in Florida I had to swerve around the white rubber boot lying on it's side in the shoulder. What's the story there?

Made it back to Borders for a muffin and a quick airline check-in.

Then back into that pesky headwind. I forgot to bring my PB&J from the car.
No, I didn't forget.
I didn't have room in my black bag cause I was carrying the danged flat tire repair kit (which I didn't need).
I needed my PB&J.
When I circled back to Borders about mile 64 I was ready to bonk (biker lingo for passing out for lack of food),

Needed a long break.

A head wind again? This was ridiculous.
At this point I realized the century was not going to happen. Tired. Pain in a place we don't discuss in polite company. Late.

I eked out a modest 90 and returned the bike to Naples Cyclery at 6PM- head hung in shame.

This is a bad sign. Last year by this time I had done 3 centuries.
This year - zero.

I have a lot of work to do before Astoria.
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