Sunday, June 14, 2009

100 Miles

Mike biked 100 miles today for the Diabetes "Tour de Cure" event in Reston, VA. Well it started in Reston anyway. I waved him off at 7:45 am this morning and realized I had his cue sheet with turn-by-turn directions. I had planned on volunteering for the event, but we arrived late thanks to me setting the alarm for the wrong time. I decided to try to find him at the first stop (and hoped he would make it there without getting lost). I headed off down the road with the cue sheet and my somewhat trusty GPS (nicknamed "Bree" like hoity-toity Bree from Desperate Housewives). Bree could not find the first stop at Carolina Brothers BBQ so I tried to hone in as close to the street name listed on my cue sheet. On the way there, I passed a small group of bikers on the side of the road who looked totally lost so I stopped and asked if they needed help. They asked if I was a volunteer and I said, "no, but I'm out looking for my husband." I tried to help them find their way back to the trail because they had made a wrong turn (someone had deliberately moved or removed some of the signs, I later found out). I used the cue sheet and Bree the best I could to help, but they had to turn around and find the trail. I got in the car and proceeded to try and find Mike but because the street ended at the trail where I couldn't take my RAV, I never found the rest stop. I managed to call Mike on his cell phone and said I'd meet him at the second rest stop in Leesburg.

I waited at the second stop for at least 30 minutes, watching all of the bikers roll in for a water or food break. The volunteers clapped and hollered for all of them. It was pretty impressive. I pulled out the cue sheet and realized that there were only 6 miles in between stop 1 and stop 2 so Mike had probably already been by this stop so I called and said I'd meet him at the fourth rest stop in Purcellville. I drove through the beautiful countryside and caught glimpses of the bikers (not Mike) along the way. It was nice today and not too hot - great for the bikers. The Purcellville stop was the halfway point for the 100 milers and it was really busy when I arrived. I waited a long time for Mike, but figured out where riders needed to go to continue on their way or head back to Reston and ended up helping quite a few with directions. By the time Mike got there, I was an expert!

I finally caught up with him and the other MSM crew from his office (Glen and Greg) and provided them with more goo for the road. Mike didn't need the cue sheet after all so I kept it. We heard how bumpy the next portion was so I said I'd meet them back at the rest stop in an hour and a half in case they had a flat tire or something. It was a good thing I did because the volunteers were packing up as I arrived back from lunch. I told them that there were three riders still out there who were going to need water. They stuck around until the guys arrived (luckily about 15 minutes later) and asked if they wanted to ride back since there would be no more support on the way back as all the rest stops were shutting down. Of course they said no and we made sure they had water and I gave Glen and Greg some Gatorade from the car since the rest stop was all out. They chowed down on some cold pizza and headed the 27 miles back to Reston.

I drove back to Reston and did a little window shopping at the Town Center while I waited the 40 or so minutes from them to arrive. Once again, it was lucky I was there because they started shutting down the finish line activities and packing up all the food and water. I said that there were still riders out there and they gave me three goodie bags and I loaded them up with apples, bananas, granola bars, and water. I walked over to the trail end and saw volunteers pulling out the signs and told them too that riders were still out there. I was getting annoyed that they were so quick to shut down. Then I met up with another MSM staffer who had only done the 33 mile loop and we waited together for the guys who finally crossed the finish line at 4:3opm. Woo hoo! Yay, they made it 100 miles!


That Blair Guy said...

So wait... The race organizers were shutting down the race and leaving without bothering to make sure everyone made it back first?

"Sorry guys, we're only interested in supporting the participants who come in first"?

Doesn't sound like a charity I want to support.

victory4angela said...

Well, it didn't help that Mike's group started about 30 minutes late so they were late turning around.

Apparentely, the 33 milers had warnings all over their cue sheets that they were going to shut down the rest stop by a certain time. It's too bad they didn't do that for the 100 milers (which is more important I think).

The Diabetes Foundation is still a good charity, but just a little unorganized.

FirePhrase said...

Lucky for Mike and his boyz that he had some backup in you. You'd think if only for checking on the well-being of their riders that the even would have kept at least some of the stations open. All it would take is one biker passed out at the side of the road, and they'd have a big image problem to contend with.

victory4angela said...

The guys at the rest stop radioed back to let the race organizers know that Mike and the boyz had a "wife support unit" who would keep an eye on things. I giggled when I heard that!