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Transplant Athlete
Friday, May 25, 2007
  400 KM Brevet

I started the 400km pretty slowly and ended up chatting with Clare Zecher and Sheila. We cruised to the first control point together. As we left the control point, I found myself at the front of a line of about 6 or 7 women. At that point I had mentally committed to riding with Clare to the end. She's funny and extremely talkative, so the miles seemed to go by faster. At times I felt a bit like a pack mule, Clare would yell "slippin' off the back" or "Take it down a degree" but I was there for the company and didn't mind. Women came and went, but I stayed with Clare and Sheila. The first 200k was windy, but I felt pretty good, if slow when we got back to the hotel. The wind died down a bit for the second 200k. We eventually caught Bill Schwarz, Bernd (from DC RAND), and another gentleman. We made it to the second control on the way out before we had to don our reflective gear and lights.

I had been pulling much of the day, but once the sun went down, we were more of an amorphous blob than a paceline. I generally stayed in the back to watch over Sheila who was not having much fun.

A little bit about Sheila: She lives in Bermuda which is 21 square miles and the longest ride she can get in on the island is 62 miles. Her longest ride ever was the 200 KM ride on Sunday, then the 300K on Monday was her longest ride ever, this 400k was now her longest ride ever.

We limped into the control in Troy, Wisconsin at a McDonalds. This was the turn around point and we were on the final 60 something miles to the finish. We took a long break to give Sheila some time to recover and then headed out joined by Debra Banks (riding a loner wheel from Lon after she broke the flange on her Mavic Kysriums). Sheila was struggling and Clare asked me if I had seen Sheila eating or drinking. I hadn't so I reminded her and then every 15 minutes, I would say, "Hey Sheila, it's been about 15 minutes, time to eat and drink." I said it in my best softest daddy voice. I wasn't sure what was going through Sheila's head, but somebody reminding you to eat and drink every 15 minutes could be super annoying and I didn't want to be obnoxious. It worked though, she was riding stronger. I found out later, she wasn't comfortable putting the bottles back in the cages in the dark, so that was one of the reasons she wasn't drinking. On the way into the final control, Clare asked what would be the best course of action for Sheila A) Letting her sleep at the Control point for 3 hours while we continue on without her. I was a bit concerned about leaving a sleeping woman unsupervised at a gas station in the middle of nowhere B) Pumping her full of coffee and continuing on.

We opted for option B, but Clare had to ask the clerk at the gas station to help Sheila pour the coffee, I think she was pretty far gone at that point.

I found myself battling my own demons at this point. I was having to pee frequently and falling behind. Debra is a strong, consistent rider and she pulled Dick Seebode and Sheila along while Clare and I followed along behind. The last 20 miles seemed to take forever and while I was focusing on Sheila, I kind of forgot about myself until I got to the point where I couldn't choke anymore food down. When we were about 5 miles out, I was bonking and tired of stopping to pee and then having to push hard to catch up, so I fell back a bit from the group, whipped it out and peed off of the bike, just like a pro. First time ever and I was wearing bib shorts at the time. It was remarkably easy, so I'll probably do it more during RAAM. Yes, I am proud of myself.

We were on the bikes for 18 hours and our overall time was 22 hours. Our on bike average was 13.5 mph for 243 miles.

 

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Comments:
Awesome! this is the summer that Lou learned to pee on the bike and RJ learned not to pee in the pool. This is going to be a great Summer. :)
-da Wife
 
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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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