Transplant Athlete
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
  BikeSebring Part 1

We were on the road from 4:30 am to 9:30pm Thursday to get from Herndon, VA to Sebring, FL. Q heard us leave and being a two year old, thought everyone had left her and so she started screaming “MOMMY” loud enough to wake the dead. Then while we were on the road she was home pestering mommy with a chorus of “Meme Pepe Dat?”
We stopped for lunch in Santee, SC looking for Jake’s BBQ (Pepe found them on the internet and he wanted to get a T-Shirt for Jake, my sister’s son). Apparently, Jake’s wasn’t there anymore, so we went to the Lone Star Barbecue and Mercantile:
Very unique, one-of-a-kind restaurant and old-fashioned general store that is comprised of four historic buildings filled with antiques including the general store, restaurant, and a social hall. A wonderful down home, country buffet is served that includes pork barbecue, barbecue hash, and fried chicken, as well as delicious desserts such as banana pudding and strawberry shortcake.
When they use the terms Unique and Antique, they weren’t kidding. I’m a really picky eater and the prospect of eating at a restaurant my father found on the Internet was a bit scary. The place was soon packed with locals and the food was pretty good.

Friday: I met a German rider who was praying for the airlines to find his bike. I met Larry Graham (recumbent) while talking with the Guth’s. Leslie Tierstein and Jeff Magnuson both from the DC area showed up in the afternoon. Mark Andrews. The race organizer, was the one who told me that about the article in the Tampa Tribune about the dialysis patient being denied a life-saving kidney transplant. My dad, quoting John Fogerty, said, “He ain’t no senator’s son.”
Since it was Friday dinner, my parents didn’t eat meat, but apparently I was exempt. When I pressed my mom for where in the bible it says I could eat meat on Friday, my Dad replied, “The Book of Armstrong.” Note to self: when you start McChurch add athlete exemptions to “no meat on Friday” rules.

Saturday I woke up with an air-conditioning induced headache, so I took another shower, which completely threw off my preparations, I forgot to stretch and didn’t get any kind of warm-up in. I paid for it about an hour into the race with a pulled muscle, I had to stand, sit upright, and generally avoid the aero position for a half an hour, and throughout the first 100 miles I had to repeat the exercise. The first 100 miles were the same as last year and it felt really great to be riding down there. I was slowly pulling in some of the 12 hour riders who had tagged onto the faster pacelines, mentally it feels good to see someone in the distance and gradually reel them in. The winds were really light, so I was riding a Zipp 404 in the front and the Zipp Disc in the rear. Although, just before we hit 98 South we had an unrelenting headwind and we were traveling into it for several miles. It was just a long straight road with no shelter from the wind. First 100 miles down in 5 hours 26 minutes.
I took a break to apply sunscreen and grab supplies and headed out on the 11.5 mile loop, which I believe has about the same elevation gain as the 89 mile loop. I think I was starting to get dehydrated here, but it was very gradual.


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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