Just as I resigned myself to the idea that there would be no Tri for me this year, my husband came along with a crazy new idea. "Let's complete the Tour De Habitat ride on Sept 18th!" Sounds like a great idea. Right? All proceeds for the event were to go to the Albany chapter of Habitat for humanity, and the entry fee was $100, but we could fund raise to cover the entry fees, if we wished.
Did I mention that he came up with this brilliant idea around September 4th? And, did I mention that he wanted to complete the 50 mile ride? Oh, and, he asked his dad and Uncle to join us. AL and Marty have completed the MS 150 on more than one occasion, so 50 miles is a walk in the park for them.
Kevin's enthusiasm was contagious. How could I say no? I've never completed a 50 mile ride before, so it sounded like a great adventure. With only 2 weeks to go before the event, Kevin started fund raising with incredible focus. Just as I was beginning to contemplate backing out of the event, I learned that we had raised close to $1,000. Combined with the fact that his Dad was sneaking out of his house at 5:30AM for training rides (I know, because I was outside with the puppy on several of those mornings), I decided to follow through with my commitment.
And, time marched on. A week before the ride, Kevin bought himself a new bike! It's a beautiful and fast specialized road bike. Here is the only picture we have, because every time he gets on it, he's too impatient to let me take any others.
September 18th arrived; sunny and beautiful. Unfortunately, I woke up sick. Again, I considered canceling. But, I really don't like to give up before I even try. So, I threw my bike on the rack with Kevin's and we met up with Al and Marty at the Albany Pump Station, to register and hand in our donations. As a team, we raised over $1,000! Our team was the highest fund raising team this year.
My plan at the beginning of the ride, was to modify the event and only complete the 25 mile route. Unfortunately, the routes weren't the same for the first 13 miles, and I was so busy talking to Uncle Marty, that I missed my turn for the shorter route. Prepared or not, I was going to do a 50 mile ride!
The ride was beautiful. We took some back country roads through Albany county, that I have never been on before. At mile 13, we stopped for a snack and some water. At that point, I was feeling pretty good, and was glad that I decided to do the 50 miles. From mile 12 to mile 28, the ride was scenic....and hilly! I am not a great hill climber. To make matters worse, Kevin and his Dad are fantastic hill climbers. They were truly good sports about it, and never complained once that I was holding them back.
By mile 32, my butt was pretty sore, and I was starting to get blisters on my palms (now I know why gloves are a good investment). And yet, the conversation was great, and the scenery continued to be beautiful. Around mile 40, my toes went numb. Unfortunately, that's also about the time that we cruised onto some major roads, where the scenery was not as great, and traffic was fairly busy. It was a definite test of my commitment level, and determination, to finish those last 10 miles. We rolled back into the parking lot of the Pump Station, 4.5 hours after we started. Certainly not any speed record, but we were all fairly proud of our accomplishments! We climbed a total of 2,000 feet in elevation during the ride. And, I completed my first 1/2 century!
Sorry, no photos. We didn't think to bring our camera.
I believe we are shooting for the 100 mile ride next year!