This weekend is the big ride and my mind is mush. The stress of getting everything right is both useful and useless. I know in the end everything will run smoothly but the stress in a way helps me to make sure I get to that end; that successful end.
I have such a draw to this event. Many are less then obvious. The biggest of the less then obvious reasons is the concept of the 'Pan Mass', literally translated a ride across the state. But as an endurance purest the fact that its not actually across the entire state bums me out. Maybe next year I'll take a day off and do just that, start at the western end the day before and ride to Sturbridge. It's fun to dream. So I'll have to settle for 192 miles over two days… and there in lies the problem, notice the word ‘settle'. The 101 mile training ride that I did 3 weeks ago has me in a completely different mind set. In a way the first day of 111 miles is less of a challenge, so in that spirit I have made a new one.
I came up with it in the latter ends of that long ride. It was based on something that has resonated ever since I heard it. Have you ever had those conversations where a pointless comment just sticks, and your mind revisits it over and over again?
When I first meet Chris Doktor he made that very, very subtle comment. Chris is the Captain of the team I'm riding for/with this weekend. On a side note, it's an honor to be on the team and I thank him more then he'll ever know for inviting me. He was giving me insight into the ride, the process, all the good info you get from someone that's been there. We were talking about arrival times, start times and when you have to wake up. He then pointed down to our fellow teammate Chandler and said with wide eyes, 'He'll get to Bourne before Noon' or something to that effect. Just like dreams my mind is fuzzy of the exact wording but the message was succinct. Getting there by Noon is a pretty sweet accomplishment. That's 111 miles in less then 6 hours.
I want to be that guy. I want that challenge. I what this to HURT. I have daemons to battle on Saturday and the more intense the fight the greater the gain.
The book I read to prep for my first marathon 8 years ago stressed over and over again how you should never place a time goal for your first big race. I did, I failed and it was the best thing I could have done. The failure of breaking 4 hours (by 8 minutes) lead to more training, more effort and a 3:30:00 less then a year later (for the record I missed my goal for that race by 1 single second). The difference of that first marathon and this ride is making the goal public. I welcome the pressure.
To all of you that have sponsored me, thank you. You have done a wonderful thing. To all of you that haven't don't be turned away by the large sum I've amassed. Every dollar counts, it's not about my total, it's about the possibility of your donation favorably impacting a life that has been turned upside down. It gives me great joy to know I've done something that could cause a positive chain of events, a cure, an extension of a study, the procurement of better equipment or the hiring of that favorite nurse that your son takes about all those months later.
To Ethan, Jessica Ross, Tim & Charlie, this weekend is for you!
I've added a little bling to the profiles at planetlotus.org. They now feature a thumbnail of your blog front page, just to the left of the *twitter image. This is done through a service call to http://www.girafa.com. Girafa offers free thumnail images of web pages. Free up to 2,000 calls a day. The implimnetation was pretty easy but the registration process was a little teadious. Anway there are some drawback that I wanted air before the emails come in.
- They don't have images on file for all sites. Not sure why but im hoping our calls will add to the weight in their collection algorthim.
- The images is of the url's root, which can be a problem for most blogs that are parked 2 folders deep in the path. I believe this is addressed in the for pay version.
I've recomended to Bruce that he could use this for LinkJam in some way. I know he is working on a way to capture favicons.ico like Connections does (maybe he has already), maybe he'll share his solution. Im sure its out there somewhere, after all, the internet knows everything!
My image is now showing, it wasn't yesterday, so if you lack an image, click on your profile once or twice a day to ring some bells back at girafa.com.
Since I was a kid I've always kept a short list in my head of celebrities I'd most like to see out in public. As I've gotten older those on the list have changed from Hollywood / movie types to sports figures, until a couple years ago I came up with the ultimate celebrity; the Bald Eagle.
Today, alone in a Kayak on the North East side of Alfred Lake in Hope, Maine my telephoto lens came within a hundred feet of a Bald Eagle in flight.
It was shortly out of sight but I was able to get off about 5 pictures. I was also able to watch it playing in the thermals from our dock about an hour later. Now I'm off to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bald_Eagle to see if i can find out more about its feeding times, etc to better time my trip(s) out tomorrow.
I'll have the pictures up next week. I have my laptop but no cord, sorry.
The list right now, in order, the Bald Eagle is still number one.
In requesting this I guess Im also announcing that its coming, it is... and soon! If you are interested in being one of the first to configure and get it running please reply below with the name of the rss reader you use. I will email you the details.
UPDATE: I'm going to limit the testers to 10.
By the numbers.
Time 5:30:28 at the 100 mile turn over.
Avg. MPH 18.1
Water bottles emptied 4.5, half Gatorade, half water.
PowerBars: 5 (PowerBar Performance / Peanut Butter)
Pain meds: 2 Advil at the 60 mile mark; shoulders. (3 more when im done writing this)
Minutes listening to my iPod: 0
Miles drafting behind other riders: 0
Times my feet cramped up: Once, each foot, both during mile 99 (very weird).
Times somenone in a car yelled at me: 0. Just a kid in his yard. I have no clue what he was saying but it made me jump.
Stops due to red lights: 2
Times my phone rang: 0 (sweeeet)
Flat tires: 0
Close calls: 2. Both in Newburyport, MA (In their new designated BIKE LANE! )
Hourly Temp: 82/82/84/78/75/74.
Clouds: almost zero.
Wind: Windiest ride of the year. I tried to not let it bother me. Weather.com said the wind was 22/15/19/8/13/9/10mph over the same hours.
Minutes thinking about work: 0
Yesterday I spent 10 minutes reading my odometer manual. I know it cold. I also took the time to check the calibration. Spot on to the centimeter. To boot, new identical tubes and tires.
Yesterday I road a fast 30 with the my Triathlon club. 21.2 mph average. We were flying. It was 4 of us taking turns pulling at the front. 130 mile weekend. Not bad.
The countdown is at 3 weeks. http://charity.planetlotus.org for more info.
Now to watch the Tour de France on Versus. No I never tire of cycling; at least not in July!
I can't remember what I was thinking when I put this together. It was part therapy; in letting everyone know about Ethan and part; "Will I look like a fool if no one jumps on board". After 58 donations totaling $6,150.48 the latter of the two thoughts is a long lost memory.
I can't express how grateful I am for the out reach of generosity from this amazing community.
For those curious about Ethan, he is doing A OK. He just had his 6 week check up at the Jimmy Fund Clinic and got a clean bill of health. Everyday he is building more and more strength. This past Independence Day weekend at Cape Cod his energy level was right on par with his brother and sister. Swimming, miniature golf, bike riding, he couldn't get enough.
The countdown to the ride is now less then a month away. I am so ready. I look forward to documenting as much of the event as possible.
If you're interested in learning more about the event, the charity drive or feeling like making a $8.50 (beta ) donation please visit http://charity.planetlotus.org