Posted by Ted on Sep 16, 2007 in Biking

I did it!

Yesterday morning I woke up at 4:30a.

At around 6:45a, over 200 riders and I left the corner of Columbus Ave and Berkeley in the drizzling rain.

At 12:21p I had just walked my bike across the Sagamore Bridge in my socks. (my feet and socks were soaked anyway, and it was a welcome break from the bike shoes)

At 3:54p I reached the 100 mile mark, in the middle of the Cape Cod Rail Trail.

At around 5:30p I pulled into the finish line in Provincetown. (it would then be more than an hour before the gathered riders would ride through the heart of town with a police escort to the closing ceremonies and party)

and today I feel great!

It was an interesting ride. I would never bike in conditions like we had yesterday. For most of the day, there was a light rain. Not altogether too bad, with multiple layers on my torso, but my feet were soaked and cold inside my shoes. At one point, the rain became heavy, mixed with what felt like hail, which was decidedly unpleasant. Not only that, but at the time we were traveling on a very busy narrow road with no shoulder. Thankfully, that only lasted maybe 20 miles. Somewhere on the Cape, the rain let up, and then it was just cold, but the heat of biking and layers helped. At the lunch stop and every pitstop thereafter they made available silver mylar sheets for warmth. Some folks just used them at the stop, some would find interesting ways to wrap them around their bodies while riding. Me, I wrapped them around my feet inside my shoes which helped a lot. And then, as if the rain throughout much of the day wasn’t bad enough, the last 10 miles or so, tired and with P-town tantalizingly close, there was a ferocious headwind which made what should have been an easy flat approach, interminably hard and longer than expected.

That said, I’m certainly glad that I did it. There was never a doubt in my mind, it was just a matter of getting through it. The adverse conditions seemed to add to the determination for everyone. What I personally disliked most about the weather was not so much that I was wet and cold, but that it meant I couldn’t enjoy the scenery as much during the ride, between the grey overcast color and limited visibility, and the technical challenge of riding in the rain along with traffic meant that even more attention than normal needed to be paid to riding safely.

The support crew was wonderful, offering encouragement, congratulations, baked goods, and smiles. The people lining the streets in P-town as we rode through were happy and excited and cheered. And then the best sight of all was goat who had taken the ferry earlier in the day to meet me at the finish.

And now, the numbers in increasing order;

9.28 hours in motion
13.2 mph average speed
123.57 miles traveled
2465 dollars raised
3223 calories burned
94698 revolutions of my front tire

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The Cape is like Burning Man

Posted by Ted on Aug 1, 2006 in Burning Man, Travel

Liz and I just got back late Sunday night from spending a wonderful week down on the Outer Cape, with her huge extended family and friends in Truro.

it struck me while I was there just how similar the place is to Burning Man. there is desert, and a featureless expanse (of ocean instead of playa).

there is this large structure that can be seen for miles, marking a point where there is a metropolis, guaranteed to have at least something going on at any time of day or night (at least during the high season).

there is camping, including being woken up by the sun, and the gathering together of people to share in nature and just being together. there are fires, and there are lights in the night; stars above and the world below.

there are places you can go to be truly alone, surrounded by sky, sand, and ocean, giving one that being at the end of the world feeling, and in minutes, you can be among people of all descriptions enjoying life. did I mention plenty of drinking and good food?

there is plenty to do, including doing nothing, which we did a very relaxing amount of.

and there is the hard transition back to real life, missing the sounds; in this case of the ocean, the wind whistling, and the gentle sound of sap falling from the trees.

already looking forward to next year..

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