There was a fat butter moon in the sky as I drove to meet Bill and Ave. We had volunteered to help out, so we drove into Babylon as the sun was rising. We unloaded a huge truck of food and soon Bill and Ave were having lots of fun making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I took my bike over to the SAG van as soon as I spotted him setting up. While oiling my chain and pumping my tires the night before, I had noticed that Morgan had a flat. I figured I would let the professionals take care of it, and went of to work the registration table. There were over 1000 people including the familiar faces of Leslie and Adam. The man on the loudspeaker kept saying the 100 milers needed to leave. I urged the boys to stop the shenanigans with the PBJs and get on the road. Finally, the sun high, we were ready to ride.
I strapped on the helcam and rolled out of the parking lot. Incredibly, there was a gentle wind at our backs. There was a rain forecast for early afternoon, so I decided to push to see if I could do a five-hour century. Actually, with my large chain wheel, aero bars and a flat road, it was not hard at all. I found if I nibbled on some tamari almonds and a fruit/nut bar and sipped my Accelerade I could go the whole way without stopping. I passed many people along the way. There were a couple of bike racer guys who would ride up on me occasionally. I would draft them for a mile or so, but I couldn't keep up. But, then they would stop and have to catch me again. By the last time they were asking to know my secret.
I was born on Long Island. I rode through some of the places I spent time as a child. My parents had friends who were artists and naturalists, so my memories are of walking along the beach barefoot, picking up jingle shells to make things and spotting all kinds of birds. I love the smell of the ocean and the sound of the gulls. I got into a sort of trance on the long fast road to the end. Finally, I reached the gentle rolling hills of Montauk and had some fun blasting past several buff, yet very tired guys struggling to make the last miles.
At the finish there were about 50 people and they told me I was the 8th woman. Thus, men had appropriated the woman’s shower truck. No problem, I went in anyway. There were curtained stalls, after all. Next I got on line for a massage and met some really nice folks chatting while we waited. We took turns getting beers. By the time I lay down on the table I was feeling really fine. As the woman stroked my shoulders free of pain, I heard bagpipe music. The hypnotizing sound came closer and I thought perhaps I was making some sort of passage, but the pipers were just parading through the park.
When I got up, I saw Ave and Bill and we sat down for some burgers and corn and stories. The woman announced that the train was leaving the station shortly, but the station was about a mile away. Ave had a big bag to carry. We strapped our bags on our backs and rode as fast as we could, thinking we might miss the train and have to wait two hours. We just made it, tossing our bikes on the truck with a prayer and doing a dash to the closing train doors.
It was a glorious ride, and a really good time. Wish you were there.