TRIP REPORT: Eagleman Ride on 5/10
It's your favorite vertical swimmer again. I'm back with a trip report from our group bike ride on the Eagleman Ironman 70.3 ride this past Sunday. I promised a few ladies who were at the ride that I would put a trip report together to let everyone know how our day went. As a disclaimer, the names that you see in this report may or may not be made up. The last time that I claimed to know a woman's name and was a bit off ... let's just say that the Tuan-man was severely bitch slapped.
Let me take a pause here to thank my fellow riders for giving me props as a vertical swimmer. It's much nicer to hear "oh, you're THE Tuan who is the vertical swimmer" as opposed to "oh, you're the walking STD." The last thing that I want to hear while standing among a group of women that I have never meet before is that "Oh you're Tuan ... the walking STD." I know that that's what they were all thinking so I want thank them for refraining from such comments. It's bad enough that you are a walking STD but when you hear those words out of the mouths of women who you've never meet before... it can be devastating to a man's ego.
I did this ride because I wanted a fresh start on life. I wanted people to see what I'm like out of the water. I wanted people to know that it's ok to come up to me and talk to me. I wanted the children not to be so frighten by the sight of me. In essence, I wanted to be normal looking. I wanted to be normal.
The start was a three wave start under blistering wind gusts. Our ride consisted of two groups of people. We had the ganja smoking Hippies or HIPster or whatever it is that they call themselves and we had folks that were asked to stay at least 10 feet away from these hippies. The hippies themselves were separated into two different divisions. The first division was anchored by a woman who gave her bike some boy toy name. I think she named it Munudo or something along that line. Hi Amanda ! That may or may not have been her real name but when you name your bike Munudo ... you've got cat-lady written all of you. The second division was anchored by the Wombat. I'm not sure if she was actually a wombat or has some kind of wombat fetish. I don't judge so I just let her be.
The first division was anchored by our fearless leader Becky. Her bike had three spokes. How freaky is that ? Back in 'nam possessing something like that would get you six months in a Viet Cong re-education camp. Again, I don't judge but when your bike has fewer spokes than the number of fingers on your hands, you either have too many fingers or your bike is a bad ass bike. We also had world duathalon qualifier Lawrence the Freak and three time Ironman finisher Emily in the first wave. Then, we had the Tuan-man and his Vamboghini.
I'm not going to throw anyone under the bus (Julia, Sandy, Michigan State chick (Steph ?), and chick #4) but there is no Facebooking during a race. Why would you do that during a practice ride ? I blame our public school system for this. Here's what we know about triathlons: A. Helmets are mandatory and B. There's no Facebooking. Two simple rules. I'd tell it to the face of these women but you know ... the Tuan-man is deathly afraid of getting bitch slapped again.
The ride was a 56 miles single loop ride on as flat roads as you will find. The wind was just relentless. Is it possible for the wind to blow in 4 different directions at once ? There were parts where the headwind was so strong that when I turned to my left, the headwind followed my head to become a left crosswind. I turned to my right and it followed me there too. I turned around to look behind me and you'd guessed it ... son of a gun was waiting for me. It was like getting bitch slapped by four women at once.
The first wave got back in about 3 hours 15 minutes. It was a pretty decent time considering that we were probably peddling backwards there for quite a few miles. Becky and Emily then went for their brick while the Freak and I went back onto the bike course for a few more miles. Along the way guessed who we found just riding back and fourth about 10 times near the turnoff point to the finish ? The Wombat. Apparently the bright neon pink arrow on the road wasn't bright enough for the Wombat to notice so the Freak and I escorted her back to base.
Soon after, the rest of the ganja smoking hippies returned to base. The third wave, however, had a bad case of Wombat-itist. They too couldn't see the bright neo pink arrow on the road that told them where to turn. I think that they did something like 67 miles. I think that one of them, Jeanne, said that it was one of the best day of her life ... to be able to go 67 miles while planning to go only 37. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why A. We wear helmets while on the bike and B. We don't Facebook while on the ride.
AFTER RIDE LUNCH
After the ride was over we had a nice little group lunch at Panero. The ratio of women to men on this ride was something like 10 to 1. All these women were talking about during lunch was how sexy the bodies of male swimmers and water polo players are knowing full well that the Tuan-man can't swim. Now you see what us vertical swimmers have to put up with. They mock us and they mock us. It's as if I wasn't even sitting there. The Freak had his wife there to protect him. I had nothing but a reputation as a walking STD. Oh, how I yearn for the days when women don't judge my kind.
Our next ride is Memorial Day weekend. Perhaps the second go around I can get a bit more love. A man can only dream. Until then, back to antibiotics therapy I shall go.
1. His name is BLAIN!
2. I don't have cats - very allergic. I like breathing and cats don't let me do that. But maybe some day dog-lady.
3. Facebooking is totally acceptable AFTER the ride is done.
4. Chick #4 is Karen.
whoa, man, that was trippy!
we hipsters are waaaaaaaaaaay to cool to be looking at signs. I mean, ANYONE can follow signs. it takes a real woman to dismiss the reality-based evidence of the physical world. ("why did that entire group just turn left? um, who cares! cue sheet says right!") A wise man once said that the eyes of the soul see things beyond time and space.
BEST DAY OF MY LIFE? i musta been high. again.
1) No facebooking whilst riding (that includes blogging and twittering). (you hear that Minime? :) )
2) Tuan seems to get bitch slapped a LOT.
3) I will not make a joke correlating the number of people who couldn't follow road directions and the number of women on the ride or else I will get bitch slapped. :)
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha (gasp for air) ha ha ha ha!!!
thanks for calling me your fearless leader and letting me know I have a bad ass bike.
thanks for not letting on that I don't know how to handle aforementioned bad ass bike with winds coming at me from all directions
thanks for not mentioning that because I can't handle said bad ass bike that I almost killed you at least twice and Lawrence, the Freak, once.
Hmm... I had no idea I should have been referring to you as STD during the trip.
and, yes, Michael Phelps is just so darn pretty to look at!
Looking forward to memorial day sunday's installment!
I think our local Literary Philantropist, Tuan, deserves a big round of applause, and hugs from the ladies. Although I do think he prefers that slaps.
Ha ha! Watch out, wombats are known for their powerful claws! But I am handicapped by terrible eyesight and square wheels on my bike. Thank you to you and Lawrence the Freak for leading this lost marsupial back to the parking lot.
WOW - This hipster is sorry she missed the ride and hopes to make the next one!
This report is a perfect ending to a perfect ride. That is if you consider 4-direction wind, wrong turns and doing that extra 9 mile section on 'grooved roads' to be perfect riding conditions.
I, like Jeanne, refuse to believe the physical evidence of reality. Perhaps that is why I am often accused of living in my own world. (It is very nice in my world. Lots of puppies and kittens and happy things.)
I believe the Wombat has suggested that we refer to the HIPsters/HIPpies as HIPpos. I believe this has nothing to do with the 10 pounds I gained over the winter.
My thanks to the Wombat, Jeanne, Tom and Shannon for all keeping me company at various sections of the ride. It was great to ride with all of you. Tuan, I will have to make it a goal to ride with you sometime so that I can be immortalized in one of your ride reports. It may be my new goal for this season.
Indeed it was an fine day for riding, despite that headwind - and crosswind, and did I mention the headwind?
As Tuan has said so eloquently, it promised to be an auspicious, or perhaps a challenging occasion when we rolled into the parking lot to find (at first) not another male in sight - and several HIPsters and others I'd never met (or didn't recognize in biking gear despite meeting her the day before, sorry Steph!). I was afraid I would be banished to ride alone so as not to disturb the female bonding, or whatever it is they do in groups besides go to the bathroom.
As is never the case with the Mrs., we were a tad late Sunday morning... so rapid preparations were underway when I heard the friendly voice of Emily saying hello (followed in rapid succession by Julia in her nifty new DC Tri kit.) Then I knew I was among friends. Em was ready to roll out with two serious looking cats at her side: the Tuan-man (who I hadn't met) looking focussed and steely eyed, and this fit and serious looking lady on a TT frame with tri spoke carbon wheels. So I said, "Can I ride with you?" "Yes." So I rapidly saddled up, put on a touch of sunblock (missing large swaths of both legs and my nose) and rolled out with Wave 1.
We started on a modest pace and quickly worked up to speed (I think the wind gave us a relative windspeed well north of Tour de France pace....) Much to my surprise, after meeting serious looking Becky on the Tri bike with the tri spokes, I learned that she is not so serious, and while a veteran marathoner, is new to cycling (the race wheels are her everyday ride, I'm jealous.) With the modest 35 kt wind gusts, let me go on record saying Becky (who's weight I know better than to guess - think pure climber's build), handled her bike well in those conditions.
The Tuan-man also rode like a champion: quiet, steady, and always right there with you. Being the non-swimming duathlon freak that I am, the "vertical swimmer" and I must have connected on a subconscious level - that or it was the fact that we were the only two Y Chromosomes for 50 miles and we had to stick together! T-man, I'd be glad to roll with you anytime, and if any chicks call you a walking STD, well, that does suck brother!
Needless to say, Wave 1 successfully navigated the neon pink course markings on the road (team effort all the way - thanks Em.) I do apologize for the errors on the printed cue sheets. I don't know where the sheets were pulled from but we'll get that fixed - in the meantime, the course markings on the road are perfect for the 56 mile route.
I want to give serious props to everyone who came out and did the ride, whether the 37 that became 45, or something north of 56. I don't want to sound like a grizzled old vet, but a) having ridden a few tough miles in my day, those wind conditions were really tough, and b) I think its safe to say that those conditions were among the toughest that many of our crew had ever faced. According to my sources, everyone was a real trouper! You should be proud of your ride, it will pay off on race day when others are scared or freaking out because they've never ridden in high winds. Believe me, under preparing happens all the time. That's why you get out and run in the cold and the rain, you run and ride hills, and you ride into the wind. Its all worth it when you rise above the conditions and don't let a tough weather day negatively impact your race. Remember, its YOUR race and nobody else's, and you control how you handle and OVERCOME the conditions! Still, odds are you'll have good weather and you'll just feel that much stronger and more confident. And if you're going 70.3 for the first time, that helps a ton!
On a less serious note, I can't help mentioning the sight of the lost Wombat riding back and forth, searching for the final left turn of the ride all by herself. I feel like T-man and I did our good deed for the week by getting her home! Wombat, you can pay me back with a smoking fast swim leg on a relay for me someday!
Speaking of good deeds, did I mention that I left the keys to our xterra with Michele when I rolled out, and managed to finish just a bit (read an hour) before her? I need to say a HUGE THANKS to everyone (especially Tuan, Em, Becky, Julia, and Wombat) who fed, watered, and clothed me after the ride while I sat baking in the sun while my recovery bag sat nicely, locked in my car. And what's up with the turned off water fountain? Yeah, note to self, plan better next time!
Tom, Julia, Sandy, Janel, and anyone I didn't ride with or chat with as much as I would have liked, I hope you had a good day and I'm sure you enjoyed Tuan's far superior accounting of the events as much as I did.
And Emily, it was so very cool to see you again and to roll with your pack and catch up. I can't wait to try that recipe, this weekend its on and I'll report back to you!
Be good everybody, I'll see you on the road.
Goto nissanusa(dot)com. They have a programable wireless touch pad entry that you stick on your door. There is no hard wiring needed. I had it on my Nissan Frontier, and it worked great. Also it's super easy to program, I know cause a low tech guy like me programed it. That should help you out with the key issue, and the staring at your recovery bag from outside your Xterra.
Everyone who rode the EM course on Sunday did a great job even just finishing the ride - 56 miles or 37mi. The wind was tough and is probably the toughest I've ever seen it and I've been on this course a lot. If you get a chance to ride it again before doing the race - do it. Becky, Karen and I rode the course a few weeks ago and it was warm but not nearly as windy, so it was interesting to compare avg speed, cadence, fluid intake, bike handling, etc. from those 2 rides.
Tuan - it was great to meet you and ride w/ you. FYI - I've done 4 IM races, not 3. Granted the 4th wasn't an IMNA race I did work hard for all 562.4 miles i swam/biked/ran (albeit not very fast) ;) Hope to see you on more rides. Becky - thanks for pushing (killing) me on the brick. Lawrence - looking forward to more rides w/ you and getting that darn monkey off my back for the total200.