Day 5, Suddenly it came to an abrupt END–THE ENTIRE RIDE! So close yet so far…

The ride started out well enough, after all the excitement from the previous day we shoved off around 1AM.  We stopped to gas up the cars as well as get water and supplies for the ride.  It’s getting exciting, after tonight we would be two days out from Tampa Bay, finally getting it there.  Today we were riding 138 miles, easy enough–NO SWEAT.  Bill started out on his ride and he finished in about 2 hours 15 mins.  We switched and I jumped on the road, we were supposed to be riding basically on two main roads, but along the way the route was changed and we were making all kinds of twists and turns on the road.  The ride was getting easier on long rides like this we basically ride ourselves into shape, by the end of the ride we would be in better shape than the start of the ride.  Evidenced by my blazing 19mph pace, we were both riding better–the terrain was flat for the most part.

I was just following my lead car, so I didn’t really know what was happening; I am like  male model–I DO WHAT I AM TOLD!  I do my miles and then we switch.  Now we switched and I am DEAD TIRED the schedule that we are keeping is brutal and the double duty (driving and riding) is just making things all that much harder.  I put my head back on the headrest for a second and fell asleep.  When I woke up no one is anywhere, I don’t know where they went.  I immediately floor it to try and find the–I catch up with them 8 miles down the road.  I must have slept for a while as they were a significant way down the road.

As I catch up I am looking at the GPS, I see that we are suppose to be going south but were traveling east, I asked why, but was given no response.  So we kept going.  No when I switched we had about 58 miles to go, but at this point the GPS shows 70 miles to go, obviously we are getting farther away.  I finally stop everyone and tell them we are gong the wrong way, we have to make a right turn somewhere to continue going south.  It is at this point Bill has a MAJOR meltdown, he starts to yell and just plain old acting like an asshole!  He said he’s done, he told us we can do whatever we want to do.  I told him to get in the car and ‘calm down and shut the fuck up.’  Anyone who has ever uttered the words ‘calm down’ to someone knows that that is the last thing they do after saying the words–LOL.  It only seemed to enrage him even more.  He tries to haphazardly load his bike into the car, I told him I would do it, but he HAD to do it.  He was not being careful not to damage MY bike, I was getting a little annoyed as he may damage MY BIKE–WTF!

He manages to get the bike into the car, myself and Maddie are sitting there and laughing our asses off, we can’t believe what a scene he just made and what an asshole he was being.  As we’re laughing, I ask her if she has the address to the hotel, she did and I said well, let’s go, doesn’t look like we are riding anymore.  We start to drive and as we are driving we get this message:

This “fools errand” has come to an end. I will absolutely make good on getting both of you home, the bike shipped and the $$ I agreed to with Maddie. Beyond that I cannot invest more of my time, effort and energy into something that no one cares about. I thought the premise was sound and trying to do something good seemed like a good idea 4 weeks ago. Alas, I was completely delusional, wasted time, money and friendships in the process. No good deed…… I am sorry that I wasted your time as well. Thank you for trying with me, I know I do not make it easy sometimes and for that I am truly sorry. I checked into the hotel and you both can whenever you arrive. Let me know how you want to sort out the flights. I can purchase them for you or write you a check to cover the cost if you prefer to get them on your own. Maddie, I will give you a check for the remainder, or will get the cash. Up to you. I will sort everything else out on my own. I am still going to put in the miles, just cannot logistically do it from here b/c of my car. Anyway, let me know how you want to get all your flights and bike shipment handled and we will get it done. The rooms are paid for so by all means stay the night and fly tomorrow. However you want to do it.

Maddie and I looked at each other, I said, ‘WTF dude, did he just break up with us thru a text message?’  Then we laughed hysterically because it was just so absurd!  We have travelled this far only to give out a few hundred miles out–NOT COOL!  I was resigned to ok, I was pissed off and angry from the scene he made and then this!  FUCKING AYE!  I called Kathy to talk to her and and just give her the lowdown on the absurdity of this, the first thing she said is ‘you have to complete the mission.’  She said it several times and the more she said it the more I started to believe it.  At this point I was calmer and thinking more rationally and in my head I was saying ‘yeah, she’s right we have to finish this thing.’  I spoke to Maddie and she was also on board and we attempted to speak to Bill, problem is this idiot wasn’t answering the phone.  He knew we were calling as I had to have called at least a dozen times if not more.  Ironically he was in the room right next door to me–the front desk wouldn’t tell us what room he’s in citing privacy concerns.

I finally heard back from him.  Bill is passionate about raising the funds for the charities.  He gave me a wrap that ‘no one cares,’ the amount of money raised was significantly low and he was dejected.  He just thought it was a waste of time.  He was bummed out and really despondent.  I explained for the amount of time it took to put this together I think we have fared very well all things considered.  We have made it almost 700 miles and we’re less than three hundred miles from our end point.  He was adamant about not continuing.  I kept pushing, I said let’s just sleep the night rest and instead of leaving at midnight as we have been doing, let’s leave around 6AM or 7AM.  He wasn’t the least bid interested in doing that.  Finally he said ‘look I am going to do the miles just not with you two.’  It was at this point it finally sunk in that we WILL NOT be able to complete this ‘fools errand’ as he put it.  I spoke to Marjorie and she said the same thing, ‘you have to finish you’re too close.’  I agreed, but as I said he just wasn’t having it.  I thought about just taking the van and grabbing Maddie and just rolling out, BUT with the ‘unstable’ mental state Bill was in, I wouldn’t put it past him to report the car stolen and open up an entire different set of problems.  Also, part of the agreement for the ride was that we’d get a ticket back home as well as have the bike shipped back–a significant amount of money, hey a deal is a deal why should I come out of pocket to get home.

Much to his credit, Bill was a man of his word!  We went to UPS and had the bike packed and shipped to Chicago (for RAGBRAI) $280).  He then went and purchased and airline ticket back to DC ($500 x 2 for myself and Maddie).  I wanted to get the hell out of there as I would probably kill him the more I thought about it.  I was having dinner with Kathy in Arlington before heading back home–a win in itself!  ;)  He then paid Maddie the remainder of the money owed her and bought her a ticket back to DC–we were going to be on the same flight.  As I said he was a total mensch about getting us and our stuff back home for that I do thank him.

 

EPILOGUE:

I was not a fool to participate in this folly, I knew what I was getting in to all along.  I thought the planning was very haphazard and wanted to bail several times during the planning stages, but I am not one to miss an adventure, besides the stories I can tell from it will be priceless.  I was not forced to do the ride, I went into it fully well knowing what to expect and for the most part I thought everything went as good as can be expected considering the planning.

Interesting events I may or may not have told you about:

  • We lost a driver from the FIRST day, a second driver was supposed to drive the second car, Bill and I would have been on the road together while these two would be our support along the trip.  Both drivers were paid a significant amount of money, well Maddie was I don’t know about the the other driver.  This was probably the most significant event of the trip as we would only have ONE rider on the road and would be pulling double duty riding and driving.
  • We stayed at all four or five star hotels, Marriott Courtyard for several nights and The W in Atlanta on night, we DID NOT have to share a room, we all had our own rooms and all meals were paid for by Bill.  Bill said he had a private sponsor for the actual ride costs, in my opinion, BILL was the sponsor.  I believe all the money came out of his pocket.  KUDOS to him.
  • Bill had several meltdowns along the way, I’ve done a lot of these long distance rides, you can tell when someone just doesn’t have the goods to ride.  I felt Bill was ill prepared for the ride.  Indeed leaving up to the start of the ride he was doing 30 and 40 mile rides, as I did several centuries.  I think the stress took a toll on him hence leading to the eventual demise of the ride.
  • Bill delayed the ride on day three from The W because he met a woman at the bar, we were packed and ready to leave at 1AM as discussed; at the last minute he changed the ride time to 5 or 6AM.  This is significant because this was the day of the accident.  One can argue if we had left on time perhaps the accident wouldn’t have occurred?  Hindsight is always 20/20.
  • We traveled at night, which I was adverse to from the beginning driving at night is very dangerous, Bill was unwilling to relent on this.  In retrospect it wasn’t too bad an idea, but I say that as we did have an accident.  For the most part the roads were clear and the weather was cooler.
  • Bill claims to be completing the ride BY HIMSELF, he posted this on the Team RWB Cycling group:  It has been rumored by some that A Ride For Reclamation has ended. This is completely false. It is true that without any remaining logistical support, the ride cannot continue exactly as planned, but it is by no means done. The next two days were to be from Valdosta to Crystal River, then to Tampa. It is 238 miles total and I will be doing those miles. I cannot do them alone safely over the course of 238 miles, but will be driving to Tampa and doing the 238 miles through Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater. I have a GoPro and will be using it you capture the beauty of those 3 cities as I complete the ride.  This smacks of being ridiculous–why didn’t we just finish the mission?  He is the one who pulled the logistical support!  Does he think that anyone cares at this point?  He looks like a clown planning this and then not completing it.
  • I sincerely believe that all funds will make it to the charity, he has been a stand up guy all along and even to the bitter end.  If he doesn’t get the money to the charities I will contact law enforcement myself.  I wasn’t crazy about him using a GO FUND ME site for the fundraising.  It is easy enough to link directly to the charities to donate.
  • Being that this ‘fools folly’ using Bill’s own words was put together in just about three weeks, I still think it was amazing what we accomplished.  I full believe had we had more time and planning we would have been able to entice more riders to come along, raise more awareness, and there may have been a better plan, in the end they way we were abandoned leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
  • I was not forced or obligated to do this ride.  I joke around that Marjorie ‘volunteered’ me do the ride, hence I did.  In reality ‘no one tells baby what to do.’  I am a big boy and make my own decisions.  As half cocked the ride was I committed to doing it regardless.  HEY IT’S ALL ABOUT THE ADVENTURE!
  • That all being said I would NEVER do another ride with Bill, I would participate in one that he may organize, but he needs to be more on the management side NOT the riding side.
  • Maddie and I have gotten a lot of crap about not finishing the mission.  Unfortunately there was no way to for us to complete the mission without investing a significant amount of our own money.  Had we taken the rental that we had and went on our way, I wouldn’t put it past him to report the car stolen.  Also we had gear in the car to lug, clothing, bags, etc.

 

Day 4, Well it was bound to happen right?

The day started out well, I mean how couldn’t it, we were big pimpin’ at The W the last 1.5 days.  Our original plan was to leave at 1:00Am, but due to some unforeseen circumstances we ended up leaving at 3AM.  Headed out of Atlanta was ok, mostly flat, a few hills but nothing like what we saw the first three days.  I was making good time, my odometer showed about 19mph, but Bill said it was 17mph, lets not squabble about a couple mph, lol.  All I knew was I started riding and a short time later I was ready to switch, miles were going by rapidly!

We switched somewhere the hell in Georgia, lol.  Bill gets on the road and a short while later, tragedy strikes (cue the music…), not to be too dramatic, an elderly woman sped into our line, she missed Bill and then by the time she corrected her path she ended up hitting the right rear quarter panel of our Dodge Caravan.  NO ONE WAS HURT!  It was a little scary to say the least because this could have turned out a lot worse than it did.  We called the police to do an accident report, the woman admitted it was her fault, as it was no one was even arguing otherwise.

OK, so after the police report is taken.  We call Enterprise Rent a Car to have them tow the vehicle.  It is now 6:00AM, a their tow truck will not b here until 9:00AM–WTF Enterprise?  At this point we are still contemplating riding, but more than likely not.  It’s one of those things, we started the workout, switched and then we sat around for several hours, afterward who wants to get back on the bike and go.  But still hadn’t made the decision.  We spoke to the police officer and he said he trumps Enterprise and can have a tow truck there in 15 minutes–only issue is for them to be paid (the non-authorized town company towing Enterprise’s car).  The tow truck shows up, it is agreed that I will ride with the tow truck and Maddie and Bill will go to Enterprise to pick up a new car.

I jump into the tow truck and the driver is nice enough, his name is Marty and we are just talking and goofing around.  Honestly laughing at the situation and, I notice that I lose cell service, no big deal it goes in and out as we are in the ‘sticks’ in Georgia.  We get to his shop and I get out and hang out in the shop.  Now I am still wearing my kit at this pint, his wife (I can’t recall her name, but was a lovely woman), and I gentleman named Quentin was working on restoring a 1957 Chevy.  We’re talking, they offered me a sausage sandwich, which I wasn’t in a mood for.  Honestly I just wanted to get going again.

I see Marty bring the keys in from the car and he drops them in a way which there was an attitude on the desk.  I don’t quite know how to explain it, but it wasn’t just putting them on the desk.  It’s at this point I felt  little uncomfortable, nothing was wrong, they were all being extremely nice to me and I had no inkling there was a problem.  It was the old ‘you can take the boy out of The Bronx, but you can’ t take The Bronx out of the boy.’  I was gabbing away with his wife about all kinds of crap (secretly in the back of my mind I figure if I am their friend they won’t kill me–I think), as I said she was very nice and easy on the eyes too.  I learned their entire life story, why is it that I bring this out of people?  I still had no cell service (THANK YOU T-MOBILE!)  Then MArty introduces me to  gentlemen that is the police chief in the neighboring town, my mind was a little bit more at ease.  Looking back at it I’m an idiot, these were very nice people but because of my NY paranoia, I turned it into much more than it should have been–LOL!  I ask to use the phone to call Bill, they obliged–come to find out they had to go to a couple of different Enterprise Rent a Car to find a minvan.  Even after all of that they still didn’t find a minivan–we ended up with a Hyundai Santa Fe.

It is now 12:00PM, and it’s sweltering hot and humid, we decide to just go to the hotel and call it a day.  After everything that has transpired, no one was really in the mood to go back on the road anyway.  Enjoyed a day at the pool and relaxing again, stayed at Courtyard by Marriott.

Day 3, Ce sont les problèmes de la bourgeoisie….staying at The W in Atlanta, Ga….

Our day started out well yesterday.  We rolled into Raleigh late in the morning, the ride was brutal, there were a lot of rollers.  As I mentioned previously I thought my last stretch was going to be easy going in, but man was it tough.  But we made it, after a day of relaxing by the pool and just resting up we had a brutal 220 miles ahead of us into Columbia, SC.  I hadn’t been in Columbia since basic training ‘at Fort Jaaaaaaackson, late at night when we’re sleeping there’s a drill sergeant creeping all arooooooouuuund–AT FORT JACKSON!’  It’s funny the things that I remember when a place is mentioned.  But I digress…

Our moving average is between 15-16mph we were looking at a 13-14 hours night/day in the saddle.  We’ve done just over 350 miles over last couple days and I felt that was an over ambitious goal for the day.  I hate making excuses but I have to be realistic.  Since we are a driver short, doing double duty driving and riding, we are ON constantly and it is taxing, not only physically but also mentally, so there truly is no down time while riding.  While I am on the road I am really on I don’t feel the fatigue, in fact I am feeling really good, climbing well, rolling well, making the absolute most out of the downhills.  BUT, when I get into the car and have to follow, I am TIRED.  I find myself putting my head back for a second and then ‘wake up’ 30 seconds later and someone may be blowing the horn for me to move, I didn’t even realize I fell asleep for the 30 seconds or so.  It’s my own fault, I haven’t been sleeping much (I’ve been getting 2-3 hours a night).

I DEFINITELY got some sleep last night!  After checking out Atlanta (Atlanta–I’m not impressed), when you’re from NYC it’s hard for anywhere to live up to it.  Had a burger and and a glass of hard cider I got back to our hotel The W!  I know Maddie was tired and zonked out, and Bill was meeting some people.  I slept from 10PM to 5AM, which I haven’t done in I don’t know how long.  I feel very refreshed today and ready to take on the world!

Tonight we roll for 109 miles from Atalanta to Robins, AFB.  Only a 109 miles–piece of cake after a day of rest…I have to say all in all the trip has gone pretty well, I can’t complain too much (actually I can but I will save that for my friends privately–LOL).  The route has been good, nothing unexpected, accommodations have been superb, company has been great.  I would have loved to have more riders but for being ‘thrown’ together in about two weeks, things are moving right along!

We’ll be in Tampa in just a few more days, and this adventure sadly this adventure will end, I will have a week to ‘mourn,’ then off to RAGBRAI (www.RAGBRAI.com), several triathlons and a bunch of rides in August!  Chicago Marathon in October, NYC Marathon in November, Austin Half Ironman in November, and Disney World Marathon in January 2016!

Day 2, things are looking up…

Last night/This morning we rode in from McKenney, Va to Raleigh, NC.  It was a nice ride, there were a lot of rollers–AGAIN!  Man Ray was right, I knew we would hit rolling hills, but so many–WTF!  Bill took the first shift from McKenney to the middle of somewhere in Virginia.  A lot of long steady climbs and a lot of rollers, all in pretty good.  His moving average was 16mph, which isn’t bad all things considered (meaning not bad for a rookie….), LOL.

We pulled over in the middle of I don’t know where and I took of for my 40 miles, man was is bleak.  Riding as night is as much fun as being punched in the face.  On the one hand it’s great because there is no traffic and quiet and peaceful (if you’re into that crap); if you’re like me, I need visual stimuli, so as peaceful as it was it was BORING!  I tried to take in as much as I could.  Evidently I just missed hitting a deer, I didn’t see it but Bill did–maybe he was hallucinating?  Again, for my portion of the ride a lot of climbing and a lot of rolling.  The climbs I can slow down to 13 0r 14mph, but the downhills, I was hitting 40 at times.

We got on to the outskirts of Raleigh and after Bill’s second shift, I took over.  I was excited because the road was relatively flat and looked like a lot of undulating without huge climbs.  I came up snake eyes on that…I would crest a hill and then there it was ANOTHER HILL–WTF!  It just that they kept coming and coming, but I knew we were close, there’s nothing like knowing that you’re close to the end of the ride to motivate you…But like I said they just kept coming and coming–when would it END!  So I just going and going no big deal.  We were about two miles away from the hotel and I got the hook to jump in the car as we had to jump on I-44o for a couple of miles and I couldn’t ride there.

Interesting things I have noticed, my legs have SWOLL up–YES!  It’s only been two days, but I tried on my jeans and they are much tighter on my quads than they were a few days ago–this I am happy about.  I also noticed that I am sweating profusely around my stomach, I believe it’s all water weight, I won’t know for sure until I get back and get on the scale to see what’s going on.  This only goes to my dream of having a six pack and NEVER having to wear a shirt while limboing everywhere.  STOP LAUGHING, IT CAN HAPPEN…

Two more weeks until RAGBRAI (www.RAGBRAI.com)

Day 1, Everything doesn’t always go as planned….

So we started out last night on our journey from Washington, DC to Tampa Bay, FL  Everything was set then at the last minute one of our driver BAILED on us, no big deal right.  Well, actually it was no big deal.  What turns out happening is that one of us will drive the car, one of us will be on the road and of course the other driver that did show up ended driving the other car.  We left from Mt Vernon, Va for those that don’t know that’s George Washington’s crib.  I’m bummed I didn’t get to go inside, but I’m sure I’ll be back in the future.

The route is fairly simple we were to follow route 1 all the way down, and ‘if we hit water we know we went to far’–as our fearless leader Bill says.  We started out on US 1, everything was seemingly going well and we hit our first issue–nothing major.  We passed a County Police officer who said we were going to slow–well the cars at least, I’m slow anyway…Evidently we need a permit if we are going to be traveling below the speed limit.  No big deal we were turning the opposite way anyway, so we didn’t see her again.  US 1 is a pretty busy road I was slightly worried but not so much my legs felt great, and I was moving right along.  My only issue is we were still working out how we lead and follow, for the most part the route was well lit, but there were some dark areas.

Then THEY came–the rollers up and down, up and down, up and down.  Oh my God, there were so many hills.  It wasn’t bad, but they were so numerous and often.  I would finish one and then get a great downhill and then look forward and there’s another one.  Seeing as I rode first, I think I got the brunt of it. But how the hell am I going to get to Tampa?  I can’t be a wuss and SAG it, not in the cards–well at least not the first day…LOL.  I rode from Washington, DC to Fredericksburg, Va, where we switched riders.  I jumped in the car to drive, Bill jumped on his bike and was off!  Bill rode well, but was a bit of a diva about lead and follow vehicles, I won’t get too much into it, it was just funny nothing that would ruin the ride.

Bill did his ride he rode 40 and we changed agin in some town in Virginia, don’t ask me where, I don’t even know!  All these towns look the same at 3:30AM.  We were on our way to McKenney, but there was some type of discrepancy in mileage, we though it was 97 miles away but in actuality it was about 30 miles away.  The day was originally supposed to be 177.6 miles, but everyone was tired, turns out the hotel was closer than expected so we did the right thing and just went to the hotel.  We checked in at 6AM, I slept for a few hours, The Tour de France started to day, I had to wake up for the live feed!  Australian dude won it Rohan Dennis Tour de France Stage 1.  Prologue are a little boring, but that’s why they’re called ‘prologues’

Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 2.17.25 PM

I’m very nervous….

AR4R

 

“A Ride For Reclamation” US Vets Cycling 1,000 To Tampa For Charity!!

Through private sponsorship, A Ride For Reclamation (AR4R) is organizing a 1,000 mile cycling campaign consisting of US military veterans and outstanding volunteers. The cyclist are starting their journey at the historic Mount Vernon, VA. They are excited to continue cycling through VA, NC, GA, and FL along the way! The final destination will be in Tampa, FL on July 11th. The journey will raise money to help TeamRWB, whose mission “is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.” Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S), which provides resources for survivors of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. USFirst.org “Our mission is to show students of every age that science, technology, and problem-solving are not only fun and rewarding, but are proven paths to successful careers and a bright future for us all.” Boys and Girls Clubs of America “Our mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

The campaign has established a donation website athttp://www.gofundme.com/ar4r2015. Director and founder Bill Murray states, “At a click of one button, we are giving people the ability to make donations to four phenomenal organizations and help change the world for the better for generations to come. It’s exciting to get the wheels moving and make a difference with every generous donation and mile we ride.”

The Team will be available for interviews/media to share their story, vision, and cause. Please contact AR4R Public Relations and Marketing Director, Alisha Feagin (alliear4r@gmail.com) to arrange media and/or further information on how you can support such an inspiring campaign.

https://www.facebook.com/events/760222094096560/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Ride-For-Reclamation/1688948968001415

Twitter: @AR4R2015

AR4R Egghead Challenge!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZ9vtDWkpiM&noredirect=1

So, as I sit here in The Courtyard by Marriott in Vienna, Va–I head off on another adventure.  We’re riding from Washington, DC to Tampa, FL–what the hell am I thinking!

I know I haven’t trained enough and this trip in my humble opinion was put together haphazardly!  This all started a couple weeks ago at The Air Force Classic, after the race we went for brunch, little did I know what this brunch would lead to.  As we sat there watching the race (Criterium around Crystal City), we had fun, re-fueled and made new friends.  Unbeknownst to me Bill was speaking with Marjorie about his plan to raise funds and ride to Tamp from Washington, DC–specifically depart from The Air Force Memorial.  She quickly said that I would do it, she was halfway right.  I ‘complain’ an ‘blame’ her for getting me into this but in all actuality nobody makes me do anything I don’t want to do, but it makes for a better story to say I was backed into it…LOL.

He explained his plan, I said ‘maybe’ outwardly to him, but in my head I was thinking ‘he’s fucking nuts!’  Seeing as the turn around time was supposed to be 6 days, originally we were supposed to leave on June 26, but cooler minds prevailed and we are leaving today.  Now, we are riding at night which I am not crazy about, but I am here to pedal!

Here’s our route, pretty aggressive the first few days.  The first day is in honor of Independence Day–get it 177.6, lol.  We plan on leapfrogging that day and on the 3rd day, the other days we’ll both be on the road for all the miles.

A Ride For Reclamation Route Details:

Mckenney VA, via route 1 177.6  3-4 July

Washington, DC to Mckenney, VA

Mckenney, VA to Raleigh via US Route 1 – 114 July 4-5

Mckenney, Va to Raleigh, NC

Raleigh, NC to Columbia, SC – 220 miles July 5-6

Raleigh, NC to Columbia, SC

Drive to Atlanta – Rest in Atlanta 6-7 July

Atlanta to Robins AFB GA via US 19, US 3 and Maynard Mill Rd. 109 miles July 7-8

Atlanta, GA to Robins AFB

Robins AFB to Valdosta GA – 138 miles July 8-9

Robins AFB to Valdosta, GA

Valdosta, GA to Crystal River FL via US 98 – 159 miles 9-10

Valdosta, Ga to Crystal River, Fl

Crystal River FL to Tampa FL Macdill AFB via US 98 / US 19 – 106 miles 10-11 July

Crystal River, Fl to MacDill AFB, Tampa Bay

17.4 miles around tampa!

I m both scared and excited at the same time, does that make any sense?  I guess that’s normal, but what’s normal now a day?  Well, I will be blogging about our adventure so stay tuned.

It’s been a long, long time since my last post!

It’s been almost a year since my last post, as I sit here and write.  So many things have happened in the last year, it’s hard to keep up.  My last post was in July 2014, I hadn’t yet gone to RAGBRAI, which I hadn’t been back to in several years.  It was a great time, met some life long friends and one in particular that always has no up to no good.  NO GOOD in a great way you know who you are!  LOL!

So first of all I have to say am watching Cast Away, the movie always makes me think of Jenn, my one love from college whom I definitely shouldn’t have let go, but LIFE HAPPENS and sometimes these things just don’t work out we want them too.  C’est la vie right?  There is a pat in the movie toward the end when Tom Hanks goes to see Helen Hunt and they embrace in his Jeep.  And for a moment they lose themselves and he starts driving away with her and she says ‘I love you, you’re the love of my life,’ they jump in the Jeep and start driving away and then she says ‘Chuck,’ and he finishes off by saying ‘you have to go home.’  I feel like that at times when I think of here, I have seen her on several occasions, when I hugged her it felt like we never broke up all those years ago, but ‘she had to go home,’ she will be the great love of my life that got away.

Cast Away

I’m at a point in my life where I feel like I’m at a crossroad, a sense of ennui has set in and I feel like it’s time for a change.  There is nothing that keeps my in Hoboken, I have a job that I marginally like, I have some good friends, but I’m gregarious and can make new friends anywhere right?  ;)  I never thought I would be single still at this point in my life.  I am saddened to think that I FAILED at marriage, I’m not used to failing at anything.  But I failed miserably at it–I ruined her life and mine seemingly.  No regrets–still does suck!

Enough of this melancholy BS, you read to hear about my adventures right?

July 2014, rode RAGBRAI, great ride with Team RWB.  We had a small group but, had such a great time.  I met this really nice woman Marjorie, with whom I spent most of the week bringing up the end of our group.  RAGBRAI is so great, you can go thru it like you’re riding Le Tour de France or you can meander and take in all the sight and happenings at this great annual event.  Obviously we chose the latter–had so much fun.  So much fun that I am going back again this year for another go at it with a different group.

As you all may or may not know my dream is to run a triathlon, but the swim has always been kicking my ass.  I did a couple of triathlon relays last year–West Point and Nations Tri, this year I’ll be doing the full triathlon all on my own–God help me!  I also will be doing a couple of Sprint Triathlon relay’s.  Today I signed up for a Austin 70.3 Half Ironman, although I am sure I shouldn’t have but anyone who knows me–GO BIG OR GO HOME right?  LOL.  So now it’s all about training for the big show(s) in the fall.  My Ironman occurs a week after the NYC Marathon, maybe I’m not that well though out..

I did the New York Road Runners 9+1 program last year, I have a guaranteed spot in the NYC Marathon this year which I am proud to say I will be running.  I am also running the Chicago Marathon in October as well as The Disney World Marathon in January.  I am pretty sure I will run The Paris Marathon in April.  I only registered for Paris 3 out of the last 5 years and ended up chickening out.  No turning back this time.

I am currently prepping for a ride from Washington, DC to Tampa, FL.  It’s called the Ride for Redemtion, we are raising funds for several charities one of which is Team RWB.  We will be leaving on July 3 and finishin about 9 days later.  Quite an aggressive schedule, you all know I’m not well thought out all the time–this is proff.  But hey life is all about the adventure right?  Stay tuned I’ll blog and let you know what’s going on during the ride.