Phils Phriends, a great group of folks that offered some comfort and support during the weekend. I'm thankful for them for keeping me sane! We met up on Friday night for opening ceremonies. There is a huge dinner and lots of excitement about the upcoming weekend. Then we all herded into a large room (and overflow went outside for a simulcast) to listen to Billy Star, Lance Armstrong and others speak. In the beginning, they played this video. How do you not get the emotion of the day from this??
PMC 2011 Deputy Video from David Hellman on Vimeo.
We got to hear Lance Armstrong speak, I wish I could have met him..maybe next time! There are stories, as you can imagine. Everyone is riding for someone, sometimes even as a survivor. Those are the most awesome riders!
I left Friday night ceremonies, very emotional and excited to embark on the next day's ride! 2 of my teammates spent the night with me. I'm lucky and live near the start so I didn't have to trudge to a hotel! I was more than freaked out at what I would forget! I'm glad I had my teammates there to help me, and my forgotten items were few. I forgot a brush and SHEETS for Sat night!
I have such a small bike and finding realestate on it for my needs for a long ride were pretty tough! I have to carry my own fuel as I'm allergic to some things, medications, and of course my gadgets! Thanks to Abby's dad I had a 'spot' GPS, so my friends and family could track me. And I had a helmet cam, which required me to carry additional batteries and cards. (I will eventually edit the video and post it here).
I was so excited and could not sleep, when I finally DID fall asleep I felt a migraine coming on. YUP, can you believe it? I actually talked to it and swore at it, saying "F.. you can't have me this weekend, F-U Ehlers Danlos Syndrom, see me next weekend, ok?" I've done plenty of races with a migraine, but I wanted to ENJOY this one!
With about 4 hours of sleep, the alarm went off at 3:30AM! I woke and took some medication and hoped for the best. I made sure I had enough meds packed into my bento box and just left it at that.
We arrived in the dark and many people were already there! You line up in a parking lot, and people just lay their bikes down! Now I have a speedfill hydration system on my bike so if I just laid it down, my electrolited water would have spilled out. Phils Phriends lined up on the side and luckily I had a tree!
Everyone was texting each other and trying to decide IF they would do the ride or not. To me, there was no question. I don't give up. Migraine, weather, who cares! I'm here to do a job! I said to one other teammate "I'm doing this no questions" - her reply "Yup me too." We all trudged to breakfast and as the sun came up, the weather started to clear a bit. We all got a later start than we would have liked, but it was not pouring on us!
The day started out better. No headache, I had food, no rain! WHOOHOO.. here we go! The Bourne Bridge was a bear for me. This is from the car, but you can see the incline. BUT, behold the other side is DOWNHILL!
She saw the picture on my bike "hey that's me." - Yes Abby- I ride for the most awesome little girl ever! :).