Monday, September 11, 2006

Jesse James Ride Report-- by Kristy

So, I am proclaiming that this is the Ride that I was the Leader
for....Yes, I couldn't let my Bellas who signed up for it down....I
must show, I must ride on! I must know the route!!! (does this
really count as a ride I led???) ha ha! Here's the ride report, and
I do apologize for not being a great writer...but I'll give it a shot!

"100 miles - no problem! I can do this!!! I've done it before! I
know I can...."
Those were the initial thoughts I had on Saturday morning as I was
taking a warm shower to wake myself up! I also had thoughts
of "You've only ridden 300 miles this summer...this is going to be
25% of your entire time in the saddle today!" (due to a shoulder
dislocation...) and I didn't factor in the fact that it really was
flippin' cold and I didn't grab the right stuff to wear. Still, I
was going to do it....and I couldn't let another Bella down....she
was my support (or as she learned on the ride....my SAG...standing
for "Support and "Guidance" "). I don't think Jennifer really
understood what she had signed up for...and it wasn't the pain of the
100 miles for her...it was the PITA (pain in the a...) that I was!!!

It started out with 2 people who didn't know each other, hadn't
talked to each other, and only shared a couple of emails to one
another prior to the ride. Unknown to each was the fact that they
were practically neighbors! So, the arrangements for the morning
pick up were fairly seamless - a great way to start the day! The
Friday night before the ride was a late one for both girls --- Kristy
(me) had been out with some friends the night before for "Girls
Night" and none of the friends seemed to really care or understand
what "riding 100 miles at 7:00 AM" was all about...they wanted me to
keep drinking. I'd cut myself off early enough, but the text message
from the concerned boyfriend at 11:00 pm summed it up for me...all it
read was: "100 Miles". I got the point...time to come home and get
some zzzzz's. Jennifer had been asked out on a random blind date,
and much to her avail, the night went nicely and finished a bottle of
wine much later than she had anticipated. 2 sleepy gals getting
ready for the 100 mile ride....great introductory setting. At least
we were both in the same boat!

The chat to get to know each other on the way to Northfield was
great - I got to vent about how I hoped the ex wouldn't be at the
ride as well, and she got to tell me all about her and her job,
things she enjoys, how she got into cycling, etc. When we arrived in
Northfield, we park the car (near the smelly horses....had to get the
nostrils ready for that smell for the ride!) and start to get ready.
As we exit the car, we notice the sea of yellow-jackets....and I
don't mean as in "Buzzing Bees"....only a cyclist could appreciate
the sea of yellow we saw as we decided to get ready for the ride. Of
course, we were in our bella blue and pink, and didn't have a jacket
to cover it up (shoot - we were going to be cold in our short
sleeves! Oh well...we're tough Bellas.) We parked next to an
inquisitive gentleman who commented on the pink hubs I have. Glad he
was looking at those instead of Jen in the car doing the "Towel
Change" she executed in perfect time! It seemed as though he was
fishing for some riding buddies, but we both agreed - "too weird!"
Besides, we needed to meet up with Kate! As we were waiting for
Kate, I decided I'd be lazy and let the crew from Erik's pump up my
tires. I wheel the bike over to the tent where the tech
says, "What's this!??!" as he holds up my Flander's and Turtleman
(Gear West) water bottles. I innocently exclaim "I don't have any
Erik's bottles....what do you expect!" After much poking (and
perhaps flirting), he comments on the pink fluid I have to match my
pink hubs and gives the hub a whirl to hear the Chris King "tick tick
tick tick" that they do so well and exclaims "aaah, music to my
ears". Jen gets hers checked out too and he comments on the nice
orange bike as he examines her apparently acceptable water bottles.
We go to check in and get the goods so we can be ready when Kate
arrives. Kate arrives; we greet her, go back and forth with her a
little between the car and "should we leave yet??" while she waits
for her other friends to arrive. Jen and I decide we should get
going, but we make one more trip to the school with Kate to check for
her friends to ensure we don't leave a Bella stranded. As we are
leaving the school to embark on the Century, the Erik's tent guy
says "Hey Ladies! I have something for you...." as he holds up 2
Erik's bottles. SCORE! (I needed one that didn't leak anyway....I
was disappointed with my sleepy grabbing of water bottles as it
was...the Turtleman one really has an issue and should be
recycled...). So, he again comments on the pink fluid matching and I
tell him "Hey, if you are going to match, you might as well go all
out..." Which left him thinking thoughts he chose not to say as he
said, "I won't say anything...." and as a classy Bella, I whispered
to Jen "but I'm not wearing any panties..." to which we both laughed.

The ride was to begin...The late night left room for the giddiness
and giggles. As we started our ride, more "get to know your riding
buddy" conversations ensued. As we pass most forms of Road Kill -
fox, skunk, coon, etc....the conversation morphs into having pets,
which neither of us have. We comment how it would be nice to have
one you could fold up and put into a drawer and pull it out when you
want and put it back when you want to drop everything and go on a
ride. Realizing that's not realistic, we discuss the opportunity for
Chia Pets....maybe we should ask for one in our stocking this year...

The ride was windy and on great roads (I was gaining points for the
smooth ones and losing them for the rough roads as the ride
leader...). Everyone in the pack was friendly and nice - what do we
expect from fellow bikers??!? Disappointingly, we didn't see many
women out there though.....but....there wasn't much eye candy either -
dang! We were cruising along averaging about 18 mph (which was
considerably fast in the wind and with the hills), until about mile
50 - when I told Jennifer "I'm 20 miles from the furthest distance
I've ridden all summer...and that was 2, 35 mile segments to
Stillwater!" I was getting tired, my legs felt tight....I was
becoming a complainer! ugh! Jennifer has great spirits and kept me
going (thanks girl!). As a group of guys passed us, around this
time, they commented "Hey, it's the pink hubs! Nice...!" and they
dropped us. We were ok with thatas we poked some fun back at them ---
there was about 6 yellow jackets in their group and they were all
pulling for each other. We were a team of 2 and we were side by
side...we are tough! At each stop, we spotted the guy who seemed to
want to ride with us....but he would usually leave before we did.
Eventually, we did come across a group of 3 guys whom we had earlier
dropped in a hurry on a down hill. **** By the way - if we wanted to
have a stellar cyclist, Jennifer's climbing abilities combined with
my downhill speed....we'd be a rock star!!!**** As we took off again
from the 3rd stop - about mile 65 or so....these guys commented on
our bikes once again - stating that the pink hubs and orange frame
were the 2 best looking bikes they'd seen out there! Then they
proceeded to tell us that WE were what was going to keep them going
at a decent rate. There was "The Dude" (We never did get his name)
who was leading their pack, Jeffery - the 60+ year old triathlete,
yoga instructor, and personal trainer, and Patrick - a cyclist who
had been out for 8 years and now has a bum knee.... So, what the
heck - I was getting somewhat tired, they were good humor....we stuck
with them for the rest of the ride and had a few good laughs with
them.

There were no crashes or anything really adventurous to
report....just the simple fact that it was great to have a Bella
there with me!

Today I signed up to do the Ironman Wisconsin, 2007. I figured that
if I rode 400 miles this summer, 100 in one ride, I could do it.
I'll hear Jennifer in my ear saying "Oh come on...you're doing
fine...you can do it, just one stroke at a time!"

When Jennifer dropped me off at the house after the ride, I was happy
to be able to step into a warm shower, but was sad that the ride was
done "so soon". Going for that ride reminded me how much I truly do
miss riding with the Bellas and how much I look forward to finishing
this year strong and riding more next year with you gals. We have a
great crew --- and yes...even SAG amongst us - but it should stand
for "Support and Giggles"...There you go Jennifer --- that's what it
means....I've made another new meaning for it versus "Sorry A.. Get-
up-n-go!"

Signing off from the first ride report of the year --- sad and happy
to see the end of the ride -
Kristy
along with Jennifer Greiber

Ciao~

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