Tuesday, May 16, 2006

81 miles

Saturday didn’t start off too good.

First, I set my alarm for 5:30 am so I would have plenty of time to get to the ride start. The alarm went off, but I hit the snooze button and jumped out of bed at 6:30!! Mad dash around the apartment to get everything together and out the door by 6:50.

I sailed along the freeway and as I approached The Woodlands I gave Debi (another mentor) a call to ask the turn-off I needed to take – yeah, I forgot the map! Debi was late, too, so I thought all would be okay. She gave me the name of the exit I needed to take and I kept sailing.

There sure was a lot of traffic on the road for a Saturday morning, and as I was passing a Mustang in the far right/outside lane I noticed a white pick-up truck in front of the Mustang. As I passed the Mustang, the truck started going into the shoulder. Made me wonder. Then it started going into the grass. Made me really wonder what the guy’s problem was. Then the truck hit the guard rail head-on and eventually the cement barricade. Debris started flying everywhere and then all of a sudden the metal from the guard rail was in the middle of the freeway. I swerved to miss, but the Mustang was not able. I pulled over to the inside shoulder and called 911.

As I looked back over at the wreck lots of cars and trucks pulled over to check on the driver of the truck. I called Coach Eric and told him about the situation and that I would be late. I then made it across the freeway and to the scene. As I approached the truck, which was lying on its side with the hood and roof caved in, I asked on of the people who had stopped if he made it. And miraculously he had. They were trying to keep him calm until the emergency crew could get him out. I then approached a trooper and told him I witnessed the accident. He asked me to tell him what happened then asked me to write it all down. After this, I was sent on my way.

I made it back to my car and called Coach Eric again. They were almost ready to leave so they left me a map on one of the cars and said they would ride a little slow. I finally made it to the ride start, got ready and took off. I was at least 20 minutes behind and I had a lot of ground to cover.

Coach Eric said to not push myself too hard, he didn’t want me to burn out too early! I tried to take it easy, but I wasn’t successful all the time!! Anyway, I eventually caught up with the group as they were leaving the first rest stop. I filled up my water bottles grabbed a couple Oreos and then took off with Patrick, who had graciously waited for me!

The rest of the ride was great. The day was beautiful! There was wind, but then when isn’t there any wind?! And of course there were hills. Lots of hills!! The only crimp in the ride was when we were riding through Sam Houston National Forest. A controlled burn was being done and you could see the smoke for miles. A bunch of us were worried about riding through it, but it wasn’t as bad as it looked. There was tons of smoke, but we only had to ride in it for a couple miles due to the wind direction.

I did try out some of the tips on how to make my stroke more efficient. It seemed like it helped. Only time will tell. I will get there, eventually.

By the time I finished my tripometer read close to 81 miles. And it was a tough 81 miles. I was tired. A few of us relaxed around our SAG vehicle (a motor home!) and drank a refreshing beverage. I had water! See, every once and awhile I am good!

After that it was home with a quick stop at my friend’s fundraiser. No bugs left. Dang, because I was HUNGRY!

I thought about going to another friend’s party, but time was getting short and I was not up for another 45 minute drive that late in the day. Oh well, I wouldn’t have been that much fun because I was so tired. Next time.


jamoosh said...

Wow! What a day...

Mojo said...

A stressful start to your bike ride. I'm glad you weren't hurt! See, all that bike riding probably helps you be a better driver, better handling skills!

81 miles, I'm telling ya woman, you are the biking Queen!We need a picture of this machine you ride!

Jessica, a Houston Runner said...

let me know when/where you do your swimming...i need to get on that.