Yesterday the Ride For Karen took place, and yes, I did complete it. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t always fun, but it really was an amazing experience. I guess I did everything right to ensure I didn’t get cramps or run out of energy too soon. It started with a great night’s sleep, up at 6, then a hearty breakfast of whole-grain French toast with wild blueberries, bananas and maple syrup, plus a cup of green tea.
Then, I drank loads of water, since being hydrated will help prevent leg cramps, while my husband, Jules, drove us to the starting point. It was chilly that morning! But thankfully, rain was not in the forecast. Before I knew it, we were off, and I was very grateful when a guy named Eric came alongside and started chatting, then basically stuck with me although he could have done the course faster than me. He said he was happy to go at my pace as it was only his second time doing a long ride like this; he’s a mountain biker primarily. I had to believe he really was okay riding with me because I dreaded to think what it would be like riding for so long alone!
It was hilly. It was tough. The lunch break spot seemed to take forever to reach! It was nice to see Jules, with our little dog, sitting on a hill beside the road snapping photographs and cheering us on. And the lunch volunteers there were handing out sandwiches, drinks, fruit’all the fuel you could want. Then, off again.
My awesome Speciliazed Dolce bike did not let me down once! It was my partner in endurance, taking me up long inclines slowly but surely [it’s my job to work on the slowly part for future!].
As for Eric, he kept with me for the 2nd half too’so nice of him!’and at least I was able to be of some help to him in return when he blew a tire and needed a CO2 cartridge to refill it up, which I had in my kit. At about the 70k mark my muscles were really burning, really feeling it. I said, ‘So are your legs feeling it, are you in any pain?" He replied, "No, not really.” I thought, GRRRRRRRR! Then again, I reasoned, one of his calves is probably the size of, or bigger than, one of my thighs.
The ride turned out to be 105k, not 100k. That was fine though; most of those last 5 were downhill! So it was great to ride into the finish and be congratulated by Jules, and by Eric’s wife, Amanda, and their kids. My time, if you subtract the short lunch break and the time we had to stop to repair Eric’s tire, was 4 hours 40 minutes for the 105k. That’s 23.5km per hour. Probably my best time ever!
A gourmet pizza with sausage and hot peppers, plus some lovely red wine, was a great celebratory dinner that evening with Jules. Yum!
The best part of the whole experience is that I feel so glad to have raised $5,754 for the Ride For Karen. That’s part of this year’s total raised of almost $200,000 for kid with cancer to go to camp. How awesome to be a part of it. Thanks, Kris and Kirk Tobias, for all of your support both to me personally to help me prepare for this ride, and much more importantly, for your wonderfully kind and giving nature, and for doing what you do for kids in need. Your mom, Karen, would be so proud.
Watch for more details on Bonnie’s cycling experience in the November issue.