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BRAKING WIND


9 June 2002

The Boobs have done their bit for hunger. All three of us are tired, but feeling good about our accomplishment (of course Haggie rode about 2 miles farther than Olivia and I did, because she was trying to take care of us old ladies and did a lot of back tracking to make sure we were all right).

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Olivia came and spent the night last night, after wandering around in the dark in Davis for an hour, trying to find our house (she kept calling, but the line was busy, because I'd inadvertently knocked the receiver off the hook! But that was OK, because we weren't home anyway--we were in Sacramento seeing Phantom of the Opera).

We got up and did some carbo-loading at 6 a.m. and began loading the bikes on the back of the car, when Haggie arrived. We, of course, had to take an official "before" picture with all of us in our "boob" t-shirts.

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(get your own Boob t-shirt and other stuff at  Cafe Press).

It's amazing how much junk you need for a simple bike ride. Helmets, gloves, jackets, camel backs, sox, power bars, jerseys, cameras, etc., etc. But eventually we got it all loaded into two cars and we caravaned in to Raley Field in Sacramento.

We joined several hundred other registered riders of all ages, shapes and sizes getting our free raffle ticket, wristband for lunch, and ride t-shirt. Then we stopped by the food table and picked up a power bar and some Odwalla sport drink and we were ready for the start of the ride.

Haggie and I stood there wondering what had happened to Olivia as the ride started and hundreds of riders passed by us. She had simply disappeared. We looked and looked and looked, but no Olivia. Finally I happened to spy her brightly colored jersey off in the distance with the bikers. She wasn't behind us, she was in front of us.

We sped off to try and catch up with her, and the ride was officially on.

There were flag persons and traffic cops to hold back the traffic and point us in the direction we were to go when we reached turns. All the flag persons shouted encouraging words at us or cheered when we passed, so we felt very special indeed.

I'm not sure if we lucked out on weather or not. The last two days have been in triple digits and I just don't know how I could have ridden what turned out to be about 18 miles in that kind of heat. But instead we had what Olivia has so affectionately called the "goddamnfucking (gdf) wind." What started as a gentle breeze turned into, in spots, gusts of up to 40 mph and there were times when I was afraid I was going to tumble down into the river, as we rode along the River Road.

It wasn't so bad at first and we made some good time and even successfully scaled 3 dreaded overpasses. The first one we encountered was quite long and steeper, I think, than my own dreaded overpass. As we rounded the corner and saw it looming in the distance, I groaned and Olivia eloquenltly shouted "Oh fuck!" But we pedaled our little legs off and with Haggie shouting encouragement and with the expert use of the "downshift" (which I am in the process of perfecting), it was a great triumph to crest the overpass and coast down the other side at 22 mph.

Then it was on to the shores of the Sacramento river, definitely out in the country, and now the breeze was really picking up. It didn't seem too bad because it was more of a cross wind than either a front-on or tail wind.

Lemme tell you, the very best $30 I ever spent was on the camel back.  I carry 70 oz. of water on my back (ice cold, thanks to ice cubes), and I was able to remain hydrated the whole way.  Thirst, in previous rides, has been my biggest complaint and that has been all but eliminated.

I was looking for the turn-around spot along about mile 8 of this supposedly 16 mile course, but we didn't encounter it until about mile 9+. However, we were treated like sweaty royalty. There was a long line at the port-o-potties, and there were tables laden with power bars, juice, water, cheese and crackers and bananas. We partook of all of these perks and lounged around for a bit and then started retracing our tire tracks.

The way back to Raley Field had the gdf wind in our faces all the way. There were times when I had to shift to the lowest setting just to move forward on the flat. When the overpass loomed ahead again and I was struggling to maintain a brisk 5 mph in 1st gear, I knew that there was NO way I was going to be able to make it back over the hill again.

Haggie made it, but just barely. I walked my bike with another exhausted biker and the wind was blowing so hard that instead of reaching speeds of 22 mph as we coasted down the other side, by the time I reached the bottom of the hill, i was barely moving, and that was with pedaling!

But it was clear sailing from here, through city streets, where the houses cut off most of the wind. We made it back to Raley field, enjoyed a nice lunch, courtesy of all sorts of vendors, didn't win any prizes in the raffle, and ultimately came back here to put all of our photos on CDs so we can all have copies of everyone's photos.

I have now participated in a sporting event. I lived to tell the tale. I enjoyed myself. And I have the t-shirt to prove it.

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When's the next event?

Quote of the Day

The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night."

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(I wonder of Longfellow was a bike rider!)

Picture of the Day

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Boobs on parade

One Year Ago
"The Doctor Will See You Now"

Two Years Ago
I Leap into Action


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Pounds Lost:  55.8
(this figure is updated on Tuesdays)

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Created 6/9/02