So after six months of riding many, many miles–sometimes starting as early as at 5 am, sometimes on as little as 3 hours sleep, sometimes in 90 degree heat– we have finally reached the weekend of The Pan Mass Challenge. After 1600 miles, and numerous encounters with deer,squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, and one poor deceased cat, Susan and I are tucked into our hotel beds in Southbridge,waiting to be woken by our cell phone alarms at 3:30 am so we can embark on our 190 mile journey all in the name of raising money for cancer research.
As the summer wore on and our miles added up I found myself getting increasingly agitated with having to get up so early and ride. There were many day that I just wanted to stay in bed, text Susan and tell her I wasn’t going to ride that day. Of course I didn’t do that, even on days that I hadn’t gone to bed until 2:30 in the morning. When you ride a hundred plus miles in a week it is easy to get bored with it all and lose sight of why you are on that stupid bike to begin with — easy to forget the real reason you put your body through this.
But here, tonight, I remembered the reason we do this, the reason we train all week, ride our bikes for hours on end when we should probably be cleaning the house or mowing the lawn or walking the poor dog, who looks at you with sheer disappointment every time you walk out the door with your helmet on, is quite simple…. It’s because, as Lance Armstrong said tonight, because….we love to bike and we hate cancer.
We hate cancer,we hate cancer, we hate cancer……….
(This I will continue tomorrow as it is now late, Susan is asleep, and if I don’t get to bed there is no way I will be able to ride 112 miles in the morning……so I will check back once I get to Bourne. )