Transplant Athlete
Sunday, March 26, 2006
  200km Brevet Hyattstown 2006

I completed a 200km brevet yesterday. On my way to the ride start, I have to take the Ferry across the Potomac to get into Maryland. Yesterday morning a little after 5am (they ferry service starts running at 5am) I pulled up to the Ferry and I'm pretty sure the guy saw me, because he left the building and went down to the ferry. I'm not sure if he saw me as a cyclist, or maybe thought I wasn't there. I started to dig into my pack for cash and food. The next time I look up, the guy is walking along the riverbank skipping stones across the Potomac. I turned my headlight on and tried to signal him. He eventually got on the ferry and started across, but when he got 1/4 of the way across a car pulled up to the Maryland side. He guided the ferry back to Maryland and picked up the car. Just before he docked on the VA side, a car pulled up behind me. That was my Alanis moment for the day.

Needless to say, I was about 20 minutes late to the ride start. I had taken Steve's advice and was carrying about half the water I have been carrying with my new camelback, although it still lasted for 81 miles. I caught up to Matt and Liz a few miles before the First control point, Matt has the flu and gets the "Ultracyclist of the year" award for completing the brevet. I caught a couple more riders on the climb up Catoctin mountain west of Thurmont. By this time, I was almost out of water and I was flying up the hill. I felt great, I could tell my fitness level is really high and then this guy comes flying by me. I don't know if he was on the brevet or just out for a ride, but I was 73 miles into my day (mile 38 on the Brevet). I still felt good even after getting passed, because I caught a rider just after the top. The descent was a bit sketchy, it felt like I had a flat on my rear tire(Yes, the one I rebuilt). The tire was fine, so I'm guessing that the spokes weren't tight enough to hold the rim in place during a high speed descent.

At the bottom of the hill, I bought a gallon of water and filled my camelback and mixed up some
for my water bottles. I hadn't gone 5 feet when I started praying that the next section of the ride was flat. Short little inclines feel harder than going up Catoctin Mountain when you have 8 pounds of water strapped to your back. My Second thought was "Start drinking, there's a tough climb up Mountville road at 106 miles (141 for me) and you don't want to be carrying all this water.

At the second control point, I found a bunch of riders resting. I pressed on before they were ready to leave and then they caught me as I was preparing to leave the third control point. I caught a couple more guys before the secret control at Antietam (which FYI looks surprisingly like Gettysburg), but two of them must have been traveling at my speed, because I they caught me just before a short climb on Townsend Rd near Gapland, MD and we were within a 100 feet or so of each other until I pulled over in Jefferson for some food.

My legs felt great all day. My right foot was a bit sore. I was a bit on the chilly side at the end of the ride. The NBC weather guessers had said that it was going to be rainy, drizzly, maybe even a chance of snow, but generally damp all day. I wore my rain jacket instead of my regular cold weather jacket. Would you believe the sun was out all day. I arrived in Hyattstown after dark and was not excited about riding home, so I called my wife for a SAG. I had 160 miles for the day with 8000' of climbing on the brevet. All in all, it turned out to be a beautiful day for a ride and left me feeling like my training is on track for RAAM despite the SAG at the end.


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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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