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Transplant Athlete
Monday, May 28, 2007
  600 Km Brevet

Let's get this out of the way right now. I DNF'ed the 600k.

Clare and I made it through the first 100k without issues except for a hurried roadside pee stop. On the way back from the turnaround point, it started to rain, so we stopped under the eve of a barn so Clare could put on her raincoat. I thought I was covered, but my jacket turned out to be water resistant, not proof. I started shivering uncontrollably and Clare kept asking me if I wanted to ride ahead to get warmed up, but I declined. For some reason the scene in Top Gun kept running through my head, "I'm not leaving my wingman."

In Chemung, Clare asked the clerk for a trash bag for me to use as a rainjacket and she loaned me arm warmers. A quick cup of coffee later and I was ready to go, but every cyclist that saw me wanted to loan me something to wear. That's a good thing, but I was a bit overwhelmed. The sun came out soon after we left, and I warmed up pretty well. My knee was starting to hurt, but I rode through it.

We got back to the hotel and I went in the opposite direction and put on heavy winter gear. So, I left the hotel hot, but I figured it would either rain or the temps would come down. About 250k into the ride, my right knee started getting worse and Clare gave me some ICY/HOT to put on my knee. By 300k, I was in unbearable pain and started taking Tylenol to get through the miles. A dose of Tylenol got me about an hour down the road. I took a second dose to get us another hour down the road, but I could feel my knee getting hot and I worried that if I couldn't feel the pain, I would do some major damage.

From then on I did a lot of one legged pedaling. At the 350k control, I was advised to ice my knee to reduce the swelling. That got me most of the way back to the hotel. While we were there, we found out that Bob had gone off-roading on a tight 90 degree right hander at the bottom of a steep downhill. Dick, seeing Bob go off road, assumed Bob had turned the wrong way, so he went left and face planted into a freshly plowed field.

We ate, showered, and slept for awhile. I used a foam roller and ice on my IT band. Sheila took care of Clare and then came over to wake me up 30 minutes before Clare was ready to leave, but my knee was still messed up, so I went back to sleep. Clare said the wind pushed her out to 500k and from then on, she started catching riders and organized them into a paceline to make it back faster. They were together for 40 something miles when they came upon a rider who had fallen off his bike and she asked the group to slow down to help him, but they took off when she circled back to help. Not cool.

Dick had started out on the last 200k, but had trouble on the first steep hill, so he turned around and headed back to the hotel. I saw him at breakfast and he said he was giving up randonneuring.

Clare came back later that day after finishing her last 200k and I was so proud of her for finishing the 600k.

 

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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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