DECEMBER 6, 2009
A huge thanks to all who worked to make the ride as tolerable as possible! [smile]
Yes, it was very wet, and very cold….but some prep work made it a “Mission: Possible!” experience.
Notice the signs – made out of paper!….but SERIOUSLY wrapped with clear mailing tape. They actually lasted the whole trip! And the head rest – I think the pool noodle worked out pretty well….AND it was waterproof.
I had two shirts and a rain jacket on, along with long water resistant pants from Wal-Mart ($10) that worked out pretty well. And I used velcro that I had stuck back to back and then wrapped around the ankles to keep the cuffs tucked in and the cold air out.
As I mentioned in the blog during the ride, the tires kept picking up the road water, so I had little 4-foot water fleck fountains in front of each wheel that I rode THROUGH the first 40 miles or so. They were actually kind of pretty, but not all that fun. HA! Next time wheel fenders I think would be the better choice.
I also had taken the cue sheet and printed out section maps of the route and laminated them to keep them usable. I kept them in a little fanny pack (Wal-Mart again – $9.95) that sat on my chest so it was accessible for me on the trike, and kept my camera and phone in ziploc baggies in that bag. Everything stayed dry. [Except me!] And the little pak helped keep me warm when the wind picked up.
Let me back up to the start – had some dry spots to take pictures of all the folks helping out:
Even last minute registration for those who thought it MIGHT stop raining. [Hee-hee-hee-hee][no chance]
I thought the markings were all laid out well. They were confirmation that we were reading our maps or our cue sheets right. The markings were even laid out correctly showing approximately when to change lanes, and where to stay in that lane. Some rides might not need that detail, but so much of this ride was in heavy traffic areas, that the detail of the signage was really well done and appreciated. [Okay, who did the little smiley face at the end of the ride??!!] Thanks!
SAG Stop #1….Did you eat the WHOLE box of cookies????!!!!!
Yes, it was drizzling at this first stop. Those of you who had to STAND in the cold were truly appreciated by those of us riding, who were at least moving a lot to stay warm. For the sandwiches, might I suggest maybe a whole wheat or honey wheat bread like they had for the Horrible 100 a few weeks ago, that had peanut butter and honey on them – they were really pretty good!
Little did I know the challenge soon to come – shortly after this stop, after turning west on Broadway, going through Oviedo, it just POURED….and the wind changed about the same time, so it was blowing cold from the West-Northwest, right into our faces. Br-r-r-r-r!
And then came the wonderful little section on Winter Springs Boulevard – beautiful homes, lots of trees to block the wind, smooth road – that really was a nice little section. Trouble is, that spoiled us, because then came Lake Dr. and Seminole Blvd., no trees, and the wind right in our faces again. Double b-r-r-r-r-r-!! Ack!!
Montgomery, Wekiva Springs, Welch Road, lots of lights, HEAVY trafffic – and into the wind, hard to make good time. (Though the wind resistance on a recumbent is less, so I was grateful for that. I applaud you guys on the road bikes riding into that!)
I mentioned in the ride blog that I had a wardrobe malfunction! I was losing feeling in both my big toes, especially the left. Stopped on Wekiva Springs Road and took both my shoes off – the left took about 10 minutes to get feeling back. Part of this is a recumbent issue, but I also think what happened is that when the shoes got wet, the shoelaces also got soaked, and the water tightened up the shoelaces and contributed to tightening the shoe and cutting off circulation. I tied both shoes a lot looser, and that seemed to fix the problem.
Got to the 3rd SAG 5 minutes AFTER closing, but Susan and her daughter waited for me (thank-you, thank-you). (Are you still in the yellow VW?….HA!)
Up to 46, and that was actually a nice ride, mostly flat, little bit of a shoulder, wind now behind us, and when the big trucks would come by – WHOOSH! – we’d get a little push! Nice!
Made it down to SAG #4 about 15 minutes before it was scheduled to close.
Mike and crew were all packed up, but waiting for me – by now I’m the last one! They gave me some goodies….thanks much!!
What you guys DON’T know, is that when you went past me on the road – you were only about 50 yards past me – when my left pedal fell off! I thought you might have even seen me pull off the road, but you kept going. And I did not have the tool I needed to fix it. And I didn’t have the phone number that was on the paperwork with me. What to do?
After realizing I had no options but to find a pliers or a wrench, I got back on the road. I have an extender on the pedal stems, about an inch and a half long, so I would try to keep my left foot on that while pushing with my right leg (which had been hurting me for the past 15 miles, so it was NOT a pretty picture!). I just figured I would go until I either ran into a store, or found someone along the road that had a wrench.
After a couple unsuccessful “asks”, I saw 2 guys who each had a truck, filling up at a gas station. One of them had to have a wrench! And sure enough, one of them had a crescent wrench. WHEW! The pedal screwed on straight, though a little hard – I think the threads may have gotten a little damaged while coming loose – but I never would have been able to get that on by hand. Thank-you Jesus! Bless the guy that helped me!
By now, it’s getting a little colder, but the sun is coming OUT! Here’s the proof:
Now, if you looked over the concrete wall, this is what you saw (reserved for those who DID the 100!):
And then came the ride along the north shore of Lake Monroe. The road was a little rough, but what a pretty ride!
All-in-all, I really did enjoy the ride (okay, maybe not the got-soaking-wet-and-freezing-my-tail-off-part), but as long as I kept moving, and staying warm, the temperature was actually pretty nice for a long ride. And, for sure, I was the first [and ONLY] recumbent to complete the Holiday Hundred! Yea!
Dark by the time I got in – but there was no one left to pull me off the route, like the Horrible Hundred! Actually got in around 6:30, so despite the technical difficulties with the malfunctioning pedal, I averaged a little under 10 MPH.
The kids get some bikes for Christmas, and I had a chance to tell some of you folks about our efforts to help the Deaf community, as well as tell you about a chance to join our W-I-F-I team and help us accomplish some even bigger “Mission: Possibles!”
Thanks for the opportunities, check out our Friends and Sponsors page, donate there for our non-profit (GHA – GodsHandsAgency.com) if you can, and let’s do this again!