Alex and I took a week off from running to train for the Tour de Gap. Haven’t heard of it? Haven’t heard of the bike race in Buffalo Gap, Texas which is a city that has approximately 432 people? Okay, weirdo. It’s a bike race benefitting a local food bank and you can choose from 77 miles, 52 miles, 27 miles, or 11 miles. My parents and Alex did it last year and they dragged me into it this year.
My first objection was that my bike is stupid and I hate it and I really don’t want to ride it 27 miles. Alex has a sleek bike that weighs one ounce soaking wet. It’s like pedaling air. And I have what I like to refer to as, “The Green Monster”. Oh, do you need a picture?
The solution was that my mom and I would ride my parents’ comfort bikes. If you don’t know what a comfort bike is, picture a bike that beautiful people ride on the beach or a bike that Whole Foods might use in a display of peaches. It’s the sort of bike that you ride to go pick up your glass bottle of milk, simply because it’s vintage and classy. We literally had to take a basket off one of these bikes so that we wouldn’t be laughed off the course.
It’s always interesting to me to go to biking events because people of all ages, shapes, and sizes show up wearing professional bike gear. Even at White Rock, you’ll see some overweight man hoofing it on a flat trail and yet he is dressed like Lance Armstrong. That’s what I like about biking- it’s an equal opportunity sport. Anyone and everyone can buy the gear.
Anyway, my mom and I were wearing normal clothes, along with our comfort bikes, which made us look like misfits in a sea of wannabe bikers. So…we knew we were in trouble.
At one point, there was literally no one on the great expanse of flat road around us and we decided that we must be at the beginning of the second group of riders….
When we got half way (about two hours in after 100 miles of uphill), the guy at the rest stop said, “Yeah, we’re just waiting for the 77 milers to come around for their second lap.” So, we were half-way and the other crazies had already done more than 30 miles. I’ll go ahead and let you know that we realized at this point that there was not second group. It was just us, two freaks on comfort bikes who hadn’t seen another biker in the last hour.
Obviously we cared alot about winning because we talked the whole time. Just kidding. Serious bikers don’t call their sister on speaker phone while they’re supposed to be racing. Serious bikers don’t stop for a bathroom and banana break at every rest stop. Serious bikers don’t sing and count their pedal strokes in unison when they’re going uphill for the millionth time. Serious bikers don’t take 3 hours to ride 27 miles. I can literally run faster than that…maybe.
In reality, I almost bonked. Don’t know what bonk means? Let me wander on over here to this road bike so you’ll trust my expertise. ‘Bonk’ means ‘to poop out’. In the last five miles, I went slower and slower cause I was just over it. All these 52 milers kept passing us and yelling “encouraging” things. I say “encouraging” because it felt a little patronizing. Mom and I kept talking loudly about how quickly these 77 miles had gone, especially on our comfort bikes. I don’t think anyone believed us.
Anyway, regardless of how we did, it was fun to spend some quality time with my mom and it was nice to take a break from running.
In other news, this week it’s supposed to be about 95 degrees at 8:00pm so I don’t know how that’s going to fit in with our half-marathon training. Perhaps we should just lay on the couch…
(Read more about our adoption fundraiser half-marathon here.)