Final thoughts [and some pictures] on the 1st Holiday Hundred

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.

Bridge on way to Geneva
Bridge on the way to Geneva. It actually stopped drizzling for a minute….before it started pouring!

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:

Registration table at 2009 Holiday H
Last minute rider packets – for those who DARED to show up!

Registration table2 at 2009 Holiday H
Even last minute registration for those who thought it MIGHT stop raining. [Hee-hee-hee-hee][no chance]

Registration table3 at 2009 Holiday H
Even some pre-ride goodies [maybe hot chocolate would have been a good idea?!] Ruby, is that you? I met Ruby at SAG stop #2.

SAG Stop where
Okay, you want me to set up a SAG Stop where???!!!!!

Holiday Hundred road paint
Of course, this is what we were all looking for!

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!

Oreo cookie SAG

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.

Nice picture at 4th SAG
SEE!!! It turned out to be a nice picture!

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:

Shadow on the wall
Proof the sun WAS shining! (kind of a weird picture, don’t you think??!!) Bridge going over the St. Johns River.

Now, if you looked over the concrete wall, this is what you saw (reserved for those who DID the 100!):

I-4 bridge on St. John
You can see the I-4 bridge in the background.

And then came the ride along the north shore of Lake Monroe. The road was a little rough, but what a pretty ride!

North Shore Lake Monroe road
The North Shore of Lake Monroe – it really was a gorgeous ride. (Those of you who RODE TOO FAST missed the sun shining through the moss-covered trees…..HA!)

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!

jon

 

Oops…almost forgot…

DECEMBER 5, 2009 – 8:15 PM

…..to let you know, I MADE IT! Now, I was the LAST one in, but my understanding is that there were only 16 of us that went the full 100 miles. And I’m a little sore….okay, a LOT sore!

Many thanks to the many volunteers I met today – Ruby at SAG #2, where we talked about sign language being taught in the schools, Susan (and Jim) at SAG #3, where we talked about how they and the whole Rotary Club had put this ride together, and Mike at SAG #4, where we talked about the “pedaling with purpose” of the WiFi Pedalers, and we promised to stay in touch. Thanks for all the those who braved the cold and the rain (even those of you who rode it out in a yellow punch-buggy…..you know who you are!)

You had a good cause, and provided a little fun (okay – AND MISERY) for us riders. I’ll have some more stories and some pictures in the next couple days.

Thanks again!

jon

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NO-O-O-O-O!!!!!

DECEMBER 5, 2009 – 4:04 PM

One of my pedals fell off!!! I had just left the 4th SAG stop, and “flop.” Off it flew. Guess it had been coming loose for a while, and I just didn’t notice it. And I have every wrench and tool I need to fix everything EXCEPT that! Ack!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ONE-PEDALED about a mile to a gas station at Hwy 46, and a guy with a truck pumping gas let me use his crescent wrench. So only lost around 15 minutes (tell God thank you…..THANK YOU!)

Should be to the end around 5:30 or so. Forward!

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Wardrobe malfunction!

DECEMBER 5, 2009 – 12:00 NOON

Big left toe was going numb. Had to adjust the shoe and get the circulation back! On Wekiva Springs Road, and the rain has stopped. Yea! On to Zellwood.

Ta-dah!

DECEMBER 5, 2009 – 11:18 AM

At the 2nd rest stop, coming to you from INSIDE the porta-potty (still drizzling outside). Made SAG #1 at 9:45. It’s getting cold, and my front tires are kicking up little water fountains continuously for my enjoyment. HA! Pedaling with purpose!

Drizzly Morning….

DECEMBER 5, 2009 – 7:41 AM

…..and there’s a FEW brave souls out here! (Maybe 50 to 75 or so.) The clouds are moving in from the NE, which is kinda weird, because the cold front is moving in from the NW. That tells me there’s going to be some rain and storms yet this morning. (Lord, protect us.) Going to get lubed up and ready to go….be strong and of good courage!

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Another 100??!!

DECEMBER 5, 2009 – 12:59 AM

Yup! I went triking Monday night and did about 40 miles (after the Horrible 100 the relatively flat West Orange Trail seemed easy!!!) Took a little under 3 hours, so 13+ mph.

Then that night, I found out about the 1st annual Holiday Hundred in Seminole County. Hmmmm. More PR, exposure for the WiFi Pedalers. (Got your mile number yet?)

(Side note: Earline had me do a PSA page yesterday, and she included a stat that 90% of Deaf parents have hearing children!….did not realize that….and what we’re finding is that many of these parents think that their “bad” children are that way because of their own deafness, and they feel guilty!) (they often do not realize that HEARING parents have “challenges” with their children, too!)

Back to the Holiday 100….NOW it’s been raining the past few days, and the forecast for tomorrow is rain, at least in the morning. They had been forecasting a high only in the low 50s (BRRR), but I just checked again, and now they’re saying upper 60s for the high. So maybe I won’t have to pull out the long johns!

With wet roads and/or rain, and NO mud shields, and me sitting low on the trike, and some truck going through a mud puddle at the same time as me….well, could be an interesting day! (I WILL take pictures)(this does NOT sound like fun to me, but if it gains some exposure for the WiFi Pedalers and our efforts to help the Deaf through GHA, it will all be worth it.)

By the way, if it stops raining, I WILL be texting to this blog with my phone (like I am now), but I will NOT be putzing around the rest stops like I did for the Horrible 100!! So we’ll see how long it takes this time! HA!

Many thanks again, to Mark and Linda Power of Power On Cycling in Riverview, FL for their sponsorship and help in making possible the trike I’ll be riding tomorrow (they’ve got LOTS of cool stuff on their web site….make some GREAT Christmas gifts!) Go to www.poweroncycling.com

Oooo, tomorrow is TODAY, it’s almost 1:00am, and it is raining hard outside…let me get a few hours of shut-eye, and we’ll see YOU in the a.m.!

jon

Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.