The ride– final thoughts.

I’ve already talked too much about last Saturday’s ride. So, sorry in advance for this long post. Sometimes you just have to get things off your chest before you can move on, you know? So here are some final thoughts on the 100 mile ride.

I can’t tell you how much fear I was feeling at the start. It was a combination of too little sleep and unfamiliar surroundings.

And this: Last year, while I was training for a triathlon, I had a bad fall off of my bike. No broken bones, but a concussion that put me out of work for a week. Honestly, I don’t know how football players do it. My head didn’t stop hurting for six days. I couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t focus. As you can imagine, it scared me. Before the crash, I rode without a care. I wanted to go fast, turn hard, push my limits. After the crash, I was afraid of every downhill, every little bump in the road. Always on the brakes.

I related this fear to my nephew while he was tuning up my bike a few days ahead of the ride. He paused for a moment, then said “A hundred miles oughta take care of that”. He was right.

The longer I rode, the better, the stronger, the more in control I felt. I probably went fastest when I was on my own on the course. I learned a long time ago that the only way for me to overcome my fear was to confront it. Either it would best me or I would best it. And I usually emerged victorious. That’s exactly what this ride did for me. No more worries. I’m ready to train hard again.

By the way, it’s ridiculous how many new elements there were to this ride for me. A new seat (a little wider, a little softer, very comfy too). An extra water bottle. Carrying extra carbs with me. It must have been comical watching Maureen stuff granola bars into the pockets of my jersey, and then watching me take them out. This must happen for parents of CWD all the time.

“Here, take these with you”.

“Honey, the rest stops are close together and I’m already carrying all this other stuff”.

“I just want you to be safe”.

This was the first event with my feet clipped in, instead of going with running shoes and toe cages on my pedals. And let’s not forget that this was the 1st event ever where I wore my pump instead of disconnecting.

All of that is a lot to process. So I didn’t. I just had to trust that everything would work as designed. And it did, until I fell apart after the finish.

And the thing is: I really felt pretty good up to that point. Tired, yes. I felt like I had ridden 100 miles, but as I crossed the finish line, I remember thinking I could probably just ride my bike up to where I was staying, about 1/2 mile away.

I like to think I’m a spiritual man, but not religious. The Holy Trinity and I don’t stand on ceremony. I want to have a relationship with my God and Savior, but doctrine and dogma aren’t my thing. Just before the start of the ride, I said the same prayer I always say, asking Him to keep us all safe from incident and injury as long as we ride. And He did. Of course, once I finished the ride, I collapsed. Lord, why do you interpret things so literally sometimes? Of course, He delivered me into the hands of capable people who were able to help me when I needed them. So there is that.

In the end, after worrying the most about how to manage my diabetes during this event, my diabetes was really a non-issue. Great BGs all day. So while I have some work to do to keep from suffering the dehydration I suffered, I guess there’s a message there that I did accomplish something big for me, and I did it in spite of my diabetes. And my fear. Excuse me, but I really get a charge out of something like that.

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