Saturday, September 03, 2011

Pelotonia 2011

Thank you so much to everyone who had donated to my Pelotonia campaign. Our Battelloton raised almost $75k & Pelotonia has raised over $9million to date!
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The event was a bit lavish, and in general, I'm against swag bags, but people were really thrilled with them this year. Maybe they should have a donation bin at event exits so you can donate it all? The parking lot was full of luxury cars (no temporary bike parking), no one there really needed a free Columbia hoodie, Primal jersey, (and if they wanted one, it wouldn't have been too much of a stretch for them to pay for one) but there are many cancer patients who are financially burdened and would really appreciate clothing. Also, most of the stuff was made of cheap plastics and other petrochemicals known to off-gas carcinogens or give off many in the creation/transportation of them, so it seemed like there could have been much better choices made (even sunscreen).  I know that the event it to raise money for cancer RESEARCH, but it would have been nice to see even a small blurb about prevention.
Stepping off the soapbox.....
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The night before I was terrified. Facebook and other outlets were buzzing about the hilly route and I was starting to really worry that I hadn't done any training. JG and I put the route into Map My Ride and the elevation profile was similar or less then the days in PA and north of Kingston on our bike trip, but I still couldn't shake it. After the opening ceremony, we were out at Ace of Cups pretty late, so when we finally rode home I didn't feel like making seitan or getting a bagel. Poor move. When I arrived at Chemical Abstracts there wasn't enough time to get food, but pretty amazing to see 5,000 other cyclists ready to go!
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The route out of Columbus is the TOSRV route, so when my front brake was malfunctioning at mile 1.5, it didn't worry me to just open it up and ride that route. I stopped and had my bike serviced at the first rest stop, which took a good amount of time, so I was about 25 min behind the rest of the Battelloton.
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At the next rest stop, Amanda, 43 miles in, I didn't eat again so I could ride with some Battelle ladies. Poor move again. So far, I had downed coffee and about three 2x caffeine Gu packs, and had zero energy. The rollers on the route were really, really nice, and much less steep that the ones in PA, but I was barely keeping the pace that I did on the bike trip- when I was fully loaded 20 degrees hotter.
We then got to Starner Hill. This was supposed to be a killer, and though it was steep; sustained, but nowhere near undoable. I think folks give up on the uphill too easily. Guys on fancy bike don't know how to unclip and just can't stomach going that slow. If you are going >2.5 mph on the bike, it beats walking. I stopped to take a photo, and it was more difficult to push my bike, and I have recessed cleats. At the top of the hill, there is an unofficial reststop when I changed a team member's tire & they rode off. So I ate some sno-cone ice and waited for another woman who no one would ride with. It was really great to hang out at the rest stop for 10 minutes or so. The folks running the stop were amazingly sweet and I chatted with some other amazing folks. Though a bit bummed that I couldn't eat dozens of the homemade cupcakes, cookies and breads at the stop, I felt totally recharge after that.
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The rest of the ride was a blast. It was so fun to ride with another Battelloton member, and her bf was at the Logan rest stop, and it was really great to chat and soak in some sun. She & I pushed on to Nelsonville.
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After Hocking College, it's ~18 miles of bike path. Although physically easy, its always the most mentally difficult for me. JG and I used to drive to this point once a summer, ride into Athens and have delicious food & libations at Casa then ride back. I could almost taste the verde salsa and a paw paw wheat beer. We got into the end point a bit later than most folks but it was really amazing to get in. The volunteers were so nice and accomodating and the food was excellent. I felt really good when we got in too. I felt like I had gotten my legs back and could have gone more.
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Hey look! I'm all ready to ride my bike back to Columbus! But wait, they accidently shipped my bike back to Columbus, so I caught a ride back with the volunteers to the end point.
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Riding with the volunteers was very humbling and gave me a great perspective on the event. I'm not sure if I would have considered doing the ride again next year if I wasn't give that view.  I was really grateful for everything they endured. About 8 folks from the Battelloton did the return route, and it was great to eat & have a few beers with them and their families. 
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All-in-all it was a fun weekend. And in a little PSA on cancer prevention, I'll leave you with the EPA Sunscreen Dance Song...
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