Ok....those of you who have been following my blog (Daniel) have realized that it's been quite some time since I last posted. Day 2 of the ride found all 5 bikers on Team Tutu Much riding out together and heading south to Key West. It was another hot day...thankfully the first part of the ride was on a bike path, with some tree cover for shade. And then we hit Route 1. No shade. No nice bike path. Obnoxious drivers. Oh joy. After spreading out a bit, we all joined up again at the water stop before the 7 mile bridge.
In theory, biking over the 7 mile bridge should be really cool. Well, neat. Definitely not cool. Freakin' hot. No shade. No cool ocean breezes. Now the scenery to my right was kind of cool -- the old 7 mile bridge, beautiful blue water, fishies. I tried not to look to my left as that was lots of traffic. Not so pretty to look at. I swear it got hotter and hotter as we cycled along the bridge. When we reached the end of the bridge there was a parking lot with an unofficial pit stop. Kathy and I rode in and found Tom, Ron and Ron. Ron W's 59 year old knee had said "ENOUGH!" So he was stopping. Me, my face was beet red and you could feel the heat pouring off me. So I was walking to the van when one of the medical crew stopped me and asked if I was riding more. I said that I didn't think it would be wise as I couldn't cool off. He said "good answer." They made me a ziploc bag ice pack which I put on my head, my wrists, the back of my neck. Ron and I rode in one van to pit 2, where we saw Kathy, Ron and Tom ride in. Switched to another car which took us to Key West and the holding area. I'd been drinking non-stop and still no need to pee. I visited the Medical tent and got some more ice for my ziploc bag. Drank yet another bottle of water and voila!! The need to pee!!
The whole Tutu team reunited and had lunch at the pit and keep in touch with our cheering crew. Biking through Key West was pretty neat -- people lined the streets and cheered us on. I have no idea what route we took from holding, but we ended up at the AIDS Memorial at the White Street Pier. As we were turning right to get onto the pier, I saw my mom, Liz and other friends there cheering for us....all decked out in their rainbow tutu visors!
Sunrise on November 14th was at 6:37am. Rideout started at 6:38am. Team Tutu Much started out winding our way through Miami. Honestly, we started in the Pinecrest neighborhood -- home of some serious mansions. I think the Ride Organizers felt guilty as it wasn't Miami proper, so they wound us through neighborhoods for about 20 miles. The temps started climbing. Julie was not happy as weather.com had forecast temps in the low 70's.
So...the first day....at Pit 2 (mile 28?) I stopped for the day. While I'd drank 70 ounces of water from my camelback and 3 16.9 ounce bottles of Propel, very little was coming out. Hardly any, in fact. Add to that that I was overheating it seemed much wisher to stop. Kathy, Ron W., Tom and Ron O. all continued to press on to Pit 3 and lunch. I was eventually transported to Pit 3 where I found Kathy, Tom and Ron O. Seems Ron W's knee was not cooperating and he had to stop between Pits 2 and 3. The remaining 3 members on bikes of Team Tutu Much set out, while I waited for Ron and eventual transport to Duck Key.
I am thrilled to report that Ron O made it to Pit 4 -- which I think was at the 78 mile mark. Tom and Kathy made it all 100 miles -- and as luck would have it, Ron, Ron and I were at the entrance to "camp" and watched them ride in!
It's been a little over 2 weeks since we finished the Smart Ride, ending at the White Street Pier AIDS Memorial in Key West under a beautiful blue sky. Correction: beautiful blue sky in amazingly HOT weather. Hotter than we expected. Hotter than is normal. Which was followed by 3 days of wind gusts ranging from 10-35mph and temperatures below normal. So much for my plan of lounging by the pool!
The bikes all arrived in Miami courtesy of Jackie & Liz, PhD Transport and were taken to "bike parking." Visors were distributed to the ride support team (Jackie, Liz, Mac, John, Linda, Mary and David (who also served as a volunteer massage therapist on the ride). The visors matched our costumes. See picture above - from left to right: Ron W., Kathy, Julie, Tom, and Ron O.
Last week and this week has been filled with visits to the gym, and finishing the rainbow tutus. And the visors for the non riders. Hehehe Wait until you see the pictures after the ride!
Our bikes are now in Florida, compliments of Jackie & Liz transporters. They called with every state line they crossed. :-) They are spending some time visiting friends and touring around. Yesterday they went on a boat to see the manatees - mom said there were so many of them and she was able to pet them! She decided against swimming with them as the water was cold and she'd need a wetsuit.
We fly to Ft. Lauderdale tomorrow (Wednesday 11/12) where we'll spend the night with friends. Thursday is registration and the safety video and getting our bikes to bike parking. Friday we ride...early. Saturday closing ceremonies are at 2pm. After that it's R&R! We've planned a trip to the Dry Tortugas where we can go scuba diving....hopefully the water is warm!
Send prayers, warm thoughts, good vibes and karma to us all on Friday and Saturday. Thanks for all your support!
Ok...Monday I don't think I did a darn thing. Can't remember why exactly.
Tuesday the polls opened at 7am, so we woke up and showered (Kathy) and dressed and were heading out as early as possible. The convenient thing is that our polling place is RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET. And at 6:30am the phone rang. It was my mom, already in line with Liz her housemate. Seems Liz needed a potty. And we were just across the street. And awake. :-)
We got in line around 6:40am and were done with the lines and the voting by 7:45am. I drove Kathy to the metro and headed straight to the gym. Normally I listen to my book on tape/cd, but this morning I was enthralled by CNN.
I must say that I felt this was an historic year. I was able to cast my first vote for a woman for President in a primary election, and my first vote for an African-American in the general election. I thought Sen. McCain was eloquent in his concession speech and that Sen. Obama was inspirational. Let's hope that we can all unite behind the President-elect and move forward as a nation.
Wednesday was back to the gym as usual. Still watching CNN and hoping that North Carolina would swing the way I hope. :-)
If you voted -- thank you. If you didn't, you'd better have a good reason!
So...Sunday Kathy asked several times if we were going to ride. That should have been my warning that she really wasn't into the riding thing. It was cold, after all. But I said "sure" so we dressed and hydrated and ate and hauled the bikes up from the basement.
I think we made it MAYBE 1/2 a mile before Kathy, the lead, stopped to ask what the plan was. Hey, my thighs were absolutely frozen. I'd gone out to take recycling out wearing a t-shirt and thought it was fine even though it was 58 degrees. That's 58 degrees without you biking 20+ (I'm ambitious!) miles per hour. Kathy's fingers were frozen.
So we did a whopping 3 miles (WOOO HOOO) and wimped out. But we did load the bikes on the trainer (Thanks Greg) and each did 45 minutes.
I hate the cold. If you can call 58 degrees cold. BRRRRR