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Transplant Athlete
Friday, May 27, 2005
  400 Km Brevet

I completed a 400 km (249.6 mile) brevet last Saturday. We started at 4AM and I finished at 11:48PM. My total time on the bike was 16 hours 43 minutes. My on bike average was around 15.3 mph. About 20 – 30 miles into the ride I was drafting Ed and Mary on a tandem when a deer darted across the street and from where I was sitting, it looked like they were seconds away from creaming it. We were traveling at nearly the same speed, meeting up at stores and control points. At mile 116, we met up at a store and I drafted them the whole rest of the way to the finish line.

Somewhere near Scotsville (I think), we were descending a hill and this woman loses control of her 4 young kids and they dart across the road. The kid in the lead was pushing an umbrella stroller, and she was awful quick. The other three were spaced out pretty evenly across the road and cutting between them was out of the question. Kids are remarkably unpredictable and what looked like a safe passage between any two could rapidly become a catastrophe. We were probably exceeding 30 miles an hour when the kids started their mad dash. I briefly locked up my brakes, but backed off, figuring control around the kids was better than fishtailing into them. Images of Joseba Beloki flashed into my head. I tried to get around the front of the girl pushing the stroller and she was rapidly cutting off my line. If she was any faster, I would have had to put the bike into the ditch alongside the road and I would have finished the brevet in an ambulance.

I suffered like a dog trying to stay on the tandem’s wheel. My on bike average before meeting up with them had dropped below 15 mph, the tandem picked up the pace to a 16 mph average for the rest of the ride. I could climb faster than the tandem, but they were faster descending, so I really had to get in their draft. On the flats, they can cruise in the mid 20’s, so I had to get in their draft and work pretty hard to keep up. Around 233 miles into the ride we missed an unmarked turn or made a wrong turn and ended up doing 6 – 8 bonus miles. I was pretty zonked out at the time, so I wasn’t much help navigating for Ed and Mary. I was drinking and eating enough, but I was a bit confused and disoriented and the best I could do was to focus on their rear wheel. I don’t really know what was wrong. It felt a bit like dehydration, but I was drinking enough and taking Endurolytes. I was certainly peeing enough.
I tried eating a slice of pizza after I checked in at the final control point (finish line), but it made me nauseas. I passed a McD’s on my way home at 1AM and it was the only thing open, so I grabbed a burger. The food was enough to keep me awake for the last 20 miles or so to get home. I was so tired, I fell asleep on the floor just inside the door to the house.

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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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