One of my teammates was walking across the grass toward me, making a “WTH??” gesture.
I was lying in the grass, part of me under the bike, part of me on top of the bike. I’d unclipped my right foot but when I tried to unclip my left foot the cramp started, my leg folded like a cheap camp chair, and down I went.
I stared at the lovely blue sky while I yelled.
The lady in the camp next to us calmly continued packing. She’s seen this before.
Both calves and my entire abdomen were cramping so tightly that, two days later, I am still sore.
A can of Sour Cream and Onion Pringles appeared, floating above my face in the pretty blue sky.
“You need some salt,” he intoned.
How do I always end up in these situations? I think I have “Here, Hold My Beer, Watch This” Syndrome.
Lisa, my friend and a certifiable lunatic, sent out an email a couple of months ago. I should have kept it as proof that she’s insane. We could have had her locked up and this would all have been nothing but a bad dream.
But, no. “Hey!” she emailed, “this looks like fun! Who wants to join?”
“Fun” as described by Lisa, is a 24 hour bike ride.
Are you nucking futs??
I’m frequently Little Debbie Downer. I thought I should reply with something a bit more positive than my usual disdain for crazy things and people (especially since Hubs was on the email list too, I need to look like a Team Player, right?), so I said something like “well, yeah, maybe.”
Here’s a clue: if you say “well, yeah, maybe”, crazy people read that as Y-E-S.
Next thing I know I’m on the email string, oh, wow, how fun, we have a site, here’s the schedule, everyone’s taking 2-hour intervals, rah-rah-sis-boom-bah and I’m sucked into the vortex.
Well, I’m getting a bit cocky here, I’ve been riding the bike, I’m clipping in, I’m hot Shizzoozle, I can do this. It started to sound like fun. It was fun. We had a campsite on the bluff overlooking the Mighty (low) Mississippi River. We hauled our gear down, had a beer and watched the sunset. We ate a catered pasta dinner (all you can eat, I’m with ya, babe!)
Sunset on the Mississippi River
Hubs and I headed home, he had the 4am-6am shift and I had the noon-2pm shift and we needed to take care of Cat and Dog.
It was a beautiful day which dawned nice and cool. Hubs had loaded Matilda in the truck for me so Babs, Matilda and I headed downtown. “Bill” had the 8-10am slot, “John” the 10-noon slot. Bill and I watched the river go by and visited. We cheered John on. I had some lunch and got ready to pick up my two hours when John came in.
The ride benefits St. Jude and if you’ve never done a charity event for St. Jude you are missing out. They do a great job; they get the details right, and they do it with their hearts. They are doing this for the kids and it takes it to a new level. I’m riding a bike, but it’s not just for me, it’s for those kids. In two hours I can get off that bike and take a break. Those kids don’t get to take a break after a couple of hours, and their family doesn’t either. St. Jude volunteers are doing it all for the kids, but they treated the bikers like royalty. Every meal provided. Music and live bands. Pizza and Movie at 10pm. “Portajohns” that were in a trailer! With a sink with running water! Snacks and beverages 24/7. Every volunteer smiled constantly and did everything they could to accommodate everyone.
The ride is a closed course, Riverside Drive is closed and the bikers have a continuous 2.8 mile loop they can ride in safety. The crisply cool morning gave way to a hot, dry (for Memphis) and completely sunny day. I set out. I knew I needed to stay hydrated. Lisa and John met me on the course with water and Powerade about 30 minutes in.
Two hours later I pulled off and “A” headed out. I knew I’d sweat a lot when I saw the salt crystals on my bike shorts. I tried to get as many fluids and salty junk in as I could. We had 11 on our team, so the last two hours didn’t have a designated rider. “A” agreed to ride until 4:30, I’d pick up 4:30-5 and John would close it out.
We were desperately trying to hold onto our 11th place standing. Pride. It’s a terrible thing.
So it was – a little after 5pm I finished my last loop and ended up in the grass. Dehydrated and depleted, yelling in pain, a can of Pringles levitating above my face.
I HAD A BLAST!!!!!!!
We’re doing it again next year!!!