I received some comments from fellow spidermonkeys about the first part of my ride report. If you have a problem about my English…
We left the 4th rest stop as a team together. Emily, who was doing only 62 miles (metric century) was with us, we had 40 miles to go where she only had 13, such an unlucky number… After she left the group for the 62 mile route it was a peaceful single file ride, not that she was disturbing the peace… Everyone was pulling for about a few minutes and moving back in the pack, where I was sitting all the time. I was tired of all that racing and time trailing with Phast Matt. Somewhere around this point, Timmy (coughing effect) left the group too. It seemed like in the middle of nowhere but he said he is going back home, well the guy is a cop so probably he knows the area better than all of us. ohhh shoot I shouldn’t say that, now you all know that he is called ‘Timmy’ and he is a police officer, that’s supposed to be a secret. The group started to climb this little bump so jumped too. It was Dean, Vanessa, Matt and me who came to the top first, after the fast downhill section we were again separated from the group due to a stop sign. Four of us, Dean and Matt pulling all the time and Vanessa practicing positioning for drafting, kept moving on the windy flats, not long before the next rest stop, Dean started to drop back, I think he was running out of fuel again., but the rest stop came just in time, one more time.
Two things about this rest stop makes it different than the others, (1) the guy with a tiny bike and (2) a dialog between spidermonkeys and other riders.
– ‘Spidermonkeys’ interesting name. Where are you guys are from
– We are from Chicago.
– That explains why you are riding as if you are from Chicago
– @!$%*& ??

I really started to hate uphill sections coming right after rest stops, this one was one of them. I figured out the best way to get rid of that sluggish feeling was standing up pedaling harder and brining the hearth rate up a little… I did it and it helped. One little hill after another, I was caught by Vanessa uphill and by Moshe downhill. Man, gravity really does a lot… After a few rolling hills we hit a bigger one. It seemed almost flat from the bottom of the hill but I figured it actually wasn’t. I really started to like climbs, how I can move forward while climbing so I stood up one more time and enjoy the pain of climbing. When I reached the top I looked back my good friend, who never let me alone, Matt Smith was coming with me and Vanessa was trying to catch us. The rest was incredibly windy 4-5 miles until the next rest stop. I remember Matt was complaining about something I think he was saying that I cooked his legs, do you know what does that mean??
We stopped at the rest stop to wait for the others, I went to get some water and saw those amazing strawberries, had a few and took one to Matt as a sample. First thing he said after eating one was ‘I’m gonna get more of these’. So we officially stopped at the 6th rest stop too.
Now everybody was really tired, people could barely smile for the camera, so we sent a scouting party. Caroline and Bruno left the rest stop a few minutes ahead of us. Not longer than a minute after we departed from the rest stop Moshe stopped, he was having a clipping problem I don’t know how he did it but he solved it at least partially. As we rolled into a hilly but really nice area, we caught the other monkeys and a bunch of other riders. So we were riding together and climbing something happened to Dean, either his chain skipped or he couldn’t shift into the right gear so he and Vanessa fell back as Matt and I moved forward uphill. Whenever two of us came together there was a slight increase in the speed, I’m not complaining it was fun. We caught our scouting party Caroline and Bruno at a rest stop. No we didn’t stop and wait for others as they were right behind us. It was more like a ‘let’s take it easy just finish one more mile’ kind of thing now, tired people aching bodies, sunburned faces… Even we were cruising at a reasonable pace the group split. At an intersection point where we had to stop to turn we decided to wait for Dean, who was at the waaay back. Some GU gel helped him to get to the next rest stop. Just before the rest stop I thought I saw a pool in someone backyard, there were tow girls, one in the pool the other one getting ready to go in. Maybe it was a mirage but I desperately wanted to be in the pool with them. At the rest stop Dean corrected me, it wasn’t a mirage it was real or both of us had the same dream…
In all of the rest stop volunteers were really kind, helpful and friendly, but this next one was an exceptionally kind. There were high school kids all around with pitchers of water in their hands asking people if they want some water. They quenched us in no time. Trent an I was in love with the potato chips in that rest stop. They weren’t any different but both of us were craving salty food so we had the same reaction “Man, these chips are awesome”.
Having 14 miles to go we departed from the last rest stop in two groups, scouting party and a few minutes later the main bunch. First into a residential area with nice houses, and then on a highway. One uphill section, there were signs on the side of the road to motivate riders. “Thank you”, “For giving”, “The Children”, “The chance”, “You are”, “A Hero”. Dean started to read them aloud and it was so motivating that I stood up again and picked up some speed and get to the top of the hill in no time. Of course I wasn’t hearing Dean after a couple of seconds but I got the motivation. After flying downhill, there came an infinite climb, it was really tough. climb climb climb, look up, there is more, climb climb climb, look up, still more… Those are sections where you cannot sit in, you have to do the work for yourself. So I did it. After one more hill I caught Bruno and Caroline and passed them on the next hill. Now I was all alone looking back couldn’t see any spidermonkeys, not even Matt… After a few minutes, I heard two riders talking about the organization were calling in riders, because of a tornado watch. There was nothing else to do but ride. Hoping that there wasn’t much left. Now I understood what team work means, I needed my teammates to be with me. It was really demoralizing to go alone, I was slowing down, looking back but there was no on, until 2 miles to go, where one of the volunteers told me that there was a tornado warning and I should take the shortcut to the campus. I didn’t, turned left looked back one more time and Matt was there he saw me he didn’t take the shortcut either and two of us were together again. ‘Tornado watch?’ he asked ‘Yeah’ I said ‘Tornado my ass’ and we laughed and proceed to the finish line.
What was I feeling as I was passing he finish line? ‘I’m really tired, this is not fun this is pure pain’. I saw Emily sitting on the grass waiting for us. She told me everything was canceled, so we had to pack our stuff and go. That was not good news all the pain and there wasn’t even one glass of beer. That sucks. 7 min later Caroline and Bruno came in, 11 min Dean Vanessa and Trent and 15 min Moshe was there. Bryan got there last with his girl friend who cramped in the last 10 miles.
It was a great day overall, I guess. Yes I guess because I didn’t know the thunderstorms waiting for us on our way back home. Thanks to all SPIDERMONKEYS who did it, and all others who supported us.