Monday, May 28, 2007
May 28th, 2007 - 2 days after the ride
Well, it is all finished now; what an incredible day it was! We arrived in Durango on Thursday the 24th. After a brief warm-up ride, Liz and I drove the course. After seeing what I was going to try to do in 48 hours . . . let's just say I was aprehensive. Saturday did finally arrive, and the ride started. The steam whistle started us off; 1000 riders and the train started all at once. Our trip through the San Juan mountain range was quite challenging. 25 miles in, we started a 6 mile climb up to 10,600 feet. With 1 1/2 miles to go in that climb, I started getting cramps. My hamstrings, my calves, and my quads all decided to cramp at the same time. with 20 miles yet to go, and 1.5 left in this particular climb, I wasn't sure how I would make it. I did some on bike stretching and drank more than I wanted of my electrolyte beverage and things got enough better that I was able get to the rest stop at the top of this hill. I ate bananas and filled up my water bottle and was on a 4 mile downhill only to be followed by 4 miles back up to 10,900 feet. with 1.5 miles to go on this climb, the cramps came back, only worse. At this point, the only thing that kept me going was the thought. . . this is easy compared to what the Make-a-wish kids & families have to go through. I reached the top and then hung on and enjoyed the ride down into Silverton. I completed the ride 5 minutes faster than I thought I would at 3 hours and 55 minutes. However, the train arrived in Silverton a bit before I did. As the Cubs fans say, "There's always next year"
It was an incredible day and a wonderful experience. I want to thank everyone for all the kind words, thoughts, prayers and donations. I could not have completed this without the support! The picture shows me 10 minutes after the ride with the mountains I just climbed behind me.