Transplant Athlete
Sunday, January 15, 2006
  Union Bridge Century

Yesterday was "Driving Miss Libby" leaving from Emmitsburg, MD, it covered 102.7 miles through Pennsylvania. Rudy, Chuck/Crista and myself rode together for the ride. This ride was relatively flat and unexpectedly dry.

Today, I woke up an hour earlier than I needed to and the house was cold and shaking from the brutal wind outside. I really had to convince myself to get out of bed. I was the only one to show up at Chuck's house for the "Union Bridge Century" and if I hadn't shown up, he and Crista were considering not riding (I think they were joking). We decided to cut out 5 miles that would be into the wind and uphill.

This ride was brutal. There was a nasty headwind and we had to be constantly on guard because of the wind gusts. One second, you're leaning into a gust and then seconds later the gust is gone. Riding too close to the road edge could be dangerous with the unpredictable winds. There were a couple of times I thought the tandem was going into the grass. At the first rest stop, I desperately wanted to turn around, but the lunch stop was only 18 miles away. According to Chuck, the wind would be at our backs for the return trip. I just kept thinking 18 miles to Lunch. 18 Miles. We averaged 12.2 mph getting to lunch. To put that in perspective, Saturdays average for 102.7 miles was 15.4 mph. After lunch, we raised our average to 13.6 mph and finished 95 miles in 7 hours. We did have our tailwind, but there were still sections that were uphill and into the wind.

I have to thank Crista and Chuck because there is no way I could train for RAAM without them. Crista supplies cue sheets and maps and organizes these weekend rides. Without these rides, its doubtful I could get out and ride one century a weekend let alone two. And today, their presence kept me going when the ride got tough.



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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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