Transplant Athlete
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
  Poor Mike

So...We fueled up the Escape and grabbed some Burger King and headed back to pick up Mike. We had left him on the Blue Ridge Parkway for his pull. It was a beautiful warm day. The visibility was excellent, and Mike had some tremendous climbs ahead of him. He must have been a bit nervous about us going off without him, because he kept asking if we had our cell phones on. I'd really like to ride that stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway again.

We hauled ass to get back to him as he was 20 minutes past his pull. I didn't want him to have to climb any more than was necessary. He seemed no worse for the extra time on the bike when we caught up with him. It was close to 2PM and we still had 70 miles to go to get to Christiansburg. By my calculations, that meant we would be getting in after 6PM. I suggested we pack it up and finish the ride in the truck. That gave us the time at the hotel to shower, nap, and still get to the pasta dinner at the Holiday Inn in Blacksburg.

Mike Magnuson was the featured speaker at the Pasta Dinner and I was interested in hearing him talk. Unfortunately, he's a better author (I hope, I haven't read his books) than he is a speaker. He made some excuses about not being able to tell cyclists anything, and went on to read a short story he wrote, a Jean Shepherd knockoff, about his experiences with dogs while cycling. You remember Jean Shepherd...He wrote about the Bumpass' dogs and how they ruined his CHRISTMAS dinner. The father won a major award...You'll shoot your eye out...Well, I was ready to walk out, but that's rude, so I put my head down on the table and nearly fell asleep. I had gorged myself on pasta and I was rapidly fading into a food coma.

From then on, we would refer to Mike Magnuson as "Dog Boy".

The next morning, it was a quick stop at Denny's for breakfast and off to the ride start at the Newport Rec Center. There were about 75 riders lined up for the double metric century. Our man Mike was not, he had registered for the century and would be going off 10 minutes later with about 300 other cyclists.

The route started out with some gentle rollers and a gradual elevation gain to 2800'. Then a great descent, where all the sketchy riders showed off how crazy they could get in the twisties. Its a wonder there were no accidents. Deming and Vosseller went off in the lead group and I didn't see them again until the end. I'm kind of a mid-packer, but I hoped to make up some time by skipping rest stops. I was wearing my U Maryland racing jersey and kept thinking "tortoise and hare", or in my case "Terrapin and Hare". I skipped the first two stops and had about a half a bottle of water left at the bottom of Potts Mountain when I came upon Rest Stop #5 - It was meant for later in the ride, but I needed water. It was a hard slog up Potts Mountain and I got passed by at least a dozen people, including a hot Asian Chick. Nothing motivates me up a hill faster than trying to stay in sight of a hot biker chic. I'm not the kind of guy that gets pissed when he gets chicked. I prefer to ride behind women.

I did catch up to the biker chic at the next rest stop. She was taking an extended break and I just stopped for more water. The next stretch of road lost a couple hundred feet of elevation and was relatively flat for about 15 miles, so I cruised along trading pulls with another rider. We kept the speed pretty high. I overcooked a turn on a downhill and almost ended up in someone's yard - twenty feet down. We were running along a valley floor at times along a stream.

The road started turning up and I started slowing down, but again made up some time by having a really short rest stop at the bottom of a hellaciously steep climb. Hot Asian Chick passed me on the climb, but I caught up on the downhill by doing a great tuck, the kind you see pro's doing, hands near the stem, chin grazing the bar, ass up in the air. I passed her and a small group of riders near rest stop #5 and again made a quick stop. I then time-trialed to the next rest stop, it gained a bit of elevation, but was still relatively flat. I paused for a longer break at Rest stop #6, their slogan "If you are draggy, stop at Maggie." It was sponsored by VT cycling and Triathlon. A gust of wind came and yanked the VT Cycling sign lose and it whacked me in the head. I guess that's what I get for wearing my Maryland jersey in Hokie Country. My left knee was bothering me and it was difficult pedaling on the flat stretches. After Maggie, was the second to last big climb of the day. I had to stop at the top for a bio break.

The ride back to the start line was fast with a few small climbs thrown in. At rest stop #8 I got a peanut butter and Banana sandwich which felt like super fuel, my knee even stopped hurting, I figured they must have laced the sandwiches with Advil or Tylenol, it wasn't until 10 miles down the road I realized that standing on the leg was probably what made it feel better.


Email This Article
hey mike, i was just surfing and came across this site. its real good to see someone with so much determination and positive thinking. i myself am a renal transplant patient. people told me that my life was gonna be different after the operation but i refused to believe that. iam proud to say that iam a top class motor racer but i could never really harness my talent coz my kidney's were failing. its been abt 11 months since my surgery and iam back to being fit and my next step is to start competing and show people we are not any different from them.
pls keep up the good work. take care.
Post a Comment
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.

January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011


Warning Signs for Kidney Disease:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Burning or Difficulty when Urinating
  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Blood in your urine
  • Cola or tea colored urine
  • Swellig of the eyes, ankles, or feet
  • Lower back pain unrelated to physical activity

Send Me Email:

Blogs I Read:
Ultra Rob
Get Rich Slowly