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Monday, August 31, 2009

Ok, it’s ride report time and forgive me now because it’s quite lengthy.

This ride was way more important for what it stood for than all the training that was put in. ALL of the money that was raised goes to The James Cancer Clinic in Columbus, Ohio. We’ve all lost too many friends and family to just stand by and be a spectator to it’s devastation any longer. Many of you know that I’ve become addicted to riding my bike and this was the perfect event to break that magic barrier; 100-miles. Most cyclists don’t give 100-miles much thought but, ask anyone who doesn’t ride and they look at you like you’ve grown an extra appendage.

Most of you also know I’ve also have a great Sparkfriend who rides with me. Anne (AMCG200) is not your normal sit back and see what happens type person. She is a hard-charger, Type-A personality and I think that’s why we click. If you’ve never visited her page please do; she’s a great inspiration. From here on out any WE will reference us as a team.

Friday night’s event was dinner, rider check-in and opening ceremonies. Several people spoke and kept the mood light. The sky was darkening by the minute when Lance Armstrong took the stage to speak. He kept his speech to about 10 minutes even though I’m sure he could have talked all night long about why we were riding. Well, needless to say by the time DW (TAMZTIME) and I got back to our hotel the lightening was pretty intense and the storms were moving in.

When I woke on Saturday morning I was feeling pretty good considering I had only 5 hours of sleep again. I went into the bathroom to do some warm up yoga and get dressed for the day. As I donned my Under Armour shirt and riding shorts it became apparent it was “go time.” I had arranged with my SAG (Support And Gear and will be referred to as such through out) team (DW, DD, mom and in-laws) that I would just walk down to the staging area so they could sleep in a bit longer. I arrived at about 5:40 AM with my bike and gear ready to roll. As with any big event (2,000 riders in this one) it didn’t start on time and those extra 15 minutes were torture. Hello! Let’s ROLL!

Once we were rolling it was awesome. I’ve never been in a biking event where they shutdown the roads for you. They closed off the entire downtown section of the ride until we reached the city limits. It was awesome to just blow through the stoplights. We reached the first checkpoint just before our SAG group. This being a first time event there were some logistical issues, but overall ran pretty smoothly. We planed to meet with our SAG vehicle every other stop and carry supplies with us between stops. This worked out pretty well and helped avoid wasted time standing in lines for food/drink.

After leaving Franklin County the road take to a rolling scenario. After our second meeting with SAG the hills become more than rolling and puts your mettle to the test. We passed many “strong looking” cyclists WALKING his/her bike up said hills. We just kept our heads down and our pedals moving. I had read something about positive mantras and I took advantage to try this out. My biggest fear for the ride was all the climbing we’d have to do. My mantra was “I AM A MOUNTAIN GOAT! I LOVE TO CLIMB!” This was a post-it note on my desk to constantly remind me of this. By the time we reached SAG at the 3rd stop we’d passed some significant hills and were still feeling pretty fresh. After this stop the rest was on us until the finish line. Just before reaching the 3rd stop there was news around the stop that there had been a bad bike accident and medics had been dispatched. Our SAG group grew worried that we’d been involved, but then we crested the hill and arrived safe and sound. After topping off our water bottles and having a snack we clicked in for our last 2 legs. I thought that the biggest hills were behind us, but there was some major climbing still to come. There were times when my legs and lungs felt like someone was holding a blowtorch to them, but I kept on moving. The rewards of the work are the 40+ MPH down hills after the hard work. We knew that once we reached the Hocking College that the last 18 miles was on a bike path. This was going to be our “recovery” area. We didn’t push the pace too much and just enjoyed the cool, tree-lined, mostly FLAT path.

Crossing that finish line brought out so many emotions it’s hard to put into words. Pride, Sorrow and Happiness would have to top the list. Pride & happiness for the accomplishment; sorrow for those who could only be there in spirit. We crossed the line at just under 6.5 hours of riding time with an average speed of around 17 MPH. Totaling up my HRM details showed that I burned over 4100 calories and had pushed my HR up to 97% of max at times. Five years ago I was 500+ pounds and couldn’t walk on a treadmill for 15 minutes and now this. Set your mind to things and you can accomplish anything.

I need to give full credit to our SAG group. I know that they were proud to be a part of this and we were grateful for their assistance. After storing my gear I headed for a shower and noticed that my once black Under Armour shirt was now a dusty white with the results of today’s efforts. After the shower we all went for dinner and then later DW & I went to Dairy Queen for a Blizzard. Exhaustion set in and bedtime was early.

Rising on Sunday morning and noticing my fellow riders gearing up to head out I had a longing feeling to join them. Unfortunately, DW & DD had come down sick during the weekend and getting them home was more important.

How do you memorialize a life moment like this? Many people have different thoughts; my thought is to get a tattoo to commemorate the event. I’m currently working on the design and will have to show it off in the future.

If you read this entire thing I commend you. If you just hit the highlights I don’t blame you.

Live your dreams!
102+ Miles later we can still smile.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Bill, I live just around the corner from Clear Creek. It was so exciting to see all the bikers come through! I am glad from your picture that you were not wearing red. A biker in red littered in my creek. I will find him. Glad it wasn't you! You have come so far, what an inspiration!
    4344 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3633680
    First of all, congrats on this huge accomplishment. It's been long-awaited by you, and those following your training blogs. Great job! Secondly, thank you. Thank you for going into this with such a selfless mindset. Over the last several months, I am not sure how many times you've referred to this being because 'We’ve all lost too many friends and family to just stand by and be a spectator to it’s devastation any longer. ' Thanks for doing something so courageous and amazing - and using this as a way to get 100 miles closer to a cure
    4348 days ago
  • AMCG2002
    So this week it's taking me a while to get caught up on things... Your blog is wonderful! Being able to ride those 100+ miles together was an experience I don't think either one of us will forget. Our first century! There are still times I can't believe we did it. It was so meaningful to have our families there, too. You are always much more articulate than I am on these things, so I will save any further rambling comments for our ride Saturday.

    PS That's the nicest way anyone has ever described my competitive nature ;-)
    4350 days ago
    Bill - so awesome! I loved reading your take on the ride. I need to get my butt seriously training to be able to keep up with you guys. 103 miles in 6.5 hours?? It took me 9.5 hours! I think I must have been taking some long rest stop breaks. My avg. speed was 15 mph. When we all do TOSRV I hope I can keep up! :)
    4350 days ago
  • REDSEE1978
    Congratulations. You're amazing person with a huge...HEART. Now that is inspirational.
    4350 days ago
    I never doubted that once you and Anne put your mind to this, you would succeed. Once I road with you two in Mansfield, it became even clearer.

    Congratulations on your fundraising for a great cause.

    You continue to put up stretch goals, then knock them down.

    Hope you find continued success with your next challenge.

    Let's link up sometime in the fall.

    4351 days ago
    good good good good good good. good gosh Bill your Superman!
    4351 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2801676
    Bill, greetings from the other side of the ocean. Awesome job on the fundraising, cancer just got another punch in the face. Awesome job on the bike ride (like I ever doubted that Anne and you could do it) - You ROCK!!! I am proud of you and I am glad I could help you with part of your journey.

    I always have respect for a century ride - flat or hilly, and everyone who goes into a bike ride short or long should have respect for it.

    Bill, congratulations on the ride. Thanks for sharing the race report.

    4351 days ago
    Wow. I loved reading about the ride. It sounds like it was tough yet you and Anne had a great time. You're right; we all have lost friends and family to cancer. Thank you for raising money to help find a cure. Congrats on your FIRST century ride. emoticon
    4351 days ago
    Bill . . .

    you're amazing. Totally, incredibly amazing. I'd DEFINITELY go for the tattoo (infact, I've been planning my first tatoo too!). Pick something that speaks to you . . of your journey, the things you accomplished. If you pick your ride though . . be prepared to want to get one for every big ride you do. hehehe

    AND you look INCREDIBLE. totally incredible.
    4352 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4228914
    Bill, you look absolutely AWESOME in your picture!
    4352 days ago
    Congratulations WHAT A RIDE! You hit this one out of the park, blew it UP!

    My hat is off to you, Bill, for your determination, motivation and sheer will to make your goal a reality. The amount of work you've put in (and allowed us to witness through your blogs and pictures) is such a testament to what can be accomplished if you believe in yourself and what you can do. Impossible is nothing if you believe it can be done.

    Once again, you prove yourself to be an inspiration to everyone in your circle of influence (and probably many, many more)!
    4352 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3965061
    I'm so proud of you for accomplishing this goal of yours!
    I loved being a part of it even though I was only behind the scenes...fundraising & sag.
    I am behind you 100% in whatever your next challenge may be.
    I hope that one of these days I can be the one beside you celebrating the challenge we did together;)
    4352 days ago
    emoticon Bill,

    emoticon I think it's fantastic that you were able to complete a 100 mile ride! That is quite an accomplishment! I enjoyed reading your blog to try to get a small feel for your experience.

    I always enjoy watching the Tour de France. It must have been wonderful to hear and see Lance in person!

    4352 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/31/2009 11:29:09 PM
    Woo-HOOO!!!! A century is hard enough, but yours sounds like it was a challenging hilly one. I have a patch from the one I did (ONE. At age 28.) May you enjoy many more. And what a fantastic cause. It must have been a thrill to see Lance in person (I saw him ride once--that's a three second sight.)
    4352 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2405644
    What a great report. I am so happy everything went well for you. Congratulations on your finish!
    4352 days ago
    Congratulations and yes I read the whole thing, it was the least I could do considering all you did this weekend for cancer research. I lost my father to cancer and I've often thought of what I could do to show my support for research but I have never been in the kind of shape I would need to be in for something like this. I have a loooong way to go but seeing your accomplishment here really has me wondering what I should start looking at for the future. Way to go. You did it and you should be proud!
    4352 days ago
  • VICKIB01
    FABULOUS!!!!!!!!! This was awesome and inspiring to read and your drive is amazing! Share some of your courage with me please, I have some tough months ahead!
    4352 days ago
    Awesome job. I thought of you guys this weekend and was looking forward to the race report!

    Way to go, MOUNTAIN GOAT!

    4353 days ago
    Ohhhhhh that sounds aMAZing!!! I want to do a century ... but I'm scared of it. Thanks for explaining it so well -- it seems that much more do-able to me because you made it.

    Congrats! I know it must feel wonderful.
    4353 days ago
    The wait was worth it and the story was great. You are a tremendous inspiration.

    One day we will have to meet so I can shake your hand.

    Thanks for being you.

    4353 days ago
    Congrats!! You did an amazing job! emoticon
    4353 days ago
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