2009-06-09 / 18:00 / dave
EDIT: if you’re thinking “oh no, I missed my chance to donate!” fear not: donations are open until July 17th. See the original post begging for donations.
Another year down.
Saturday was pretty uneventful. I caught a ride up with Kimberly and we got there early enough that I could get out with the first batch of riders. After pushing through the first weed-out hill I settled into a nice solo pace. I skipped lunch and stopped only at the last rest stop to pee & refill my water bottles (though not at the same time). Somewhere around 5 miles out I was caught by a group of about 5 riders, including two UPMC guys who I see every year (mostly passing me).
I rolled into Edinboro around noon and ate some recovery food and laid around. Finally I got around to setting up my tent and taking a shower. That’s when I found out what I forgot: soap. So I got a handful of soap from the dispensers by the sinks and ran into the shower. Truly classy.
While reading under a tree in front of my tent another camper came and asked if he could share some shade. His name was Greg and it was his first year riding. Going to get some more snacks I ran into Jim (team captain, who snapped a picture) and Kimberly and Jim (not team captain). Kim & Jim got their stuff and met me by my tent to set up their own camps. Jim had a dorm room but had also brought his ultralight camping hammock. He strung it between inverted soccer goal posts and hung out talking. In the meantime Shane–old college buddy & hiking trip planning extraordinare–showed up and pitched his tent in our circle. In conversation it turns out that the Rachel Carson Challenge is already full! Between that, the Pittsburgh Marathon and the Megatransect it seems like this will be a year of near misses.
Dinner was better than past years, with a slightly better array of cafeteria food.
After dinner we met up with Shane again to catch the shuttle to downtown Edinboro. We had some time to kill before the Pens game, so we got some ice cream at Dairy Supreme. Mint malted = awesome.
Next we hit the Edinboro Hotel for a pitcher of Yuengling and some pre-game coverage. But the bar was a little crowded so we ended up at Boro Bar. Boro had a dark wood-paneled interior, Killian’s red, and camp-buddy Greg. Turns out Greg had been there since a little after 6 waiting for the game to start.
The game started well but when it got to 3-0 we decided to head back to campus.
I fell asleep immediately.
Sunday’s breakfast was similarly better than previous years. I was particularly proud of the oatmeal/Cinnamon Toast Crunch suicide.
The team picture was another pleasant success. Not only was I early, but everyone else was on time too. We were done by 7:17.
Then I pushed my way to the front of the pack to avoid getting stuck in the crowd. I promptly almost missed the first right hand turn then hit the road. Again I tried to ride solo but spent some time riding with a rider in a Papa John’s jersey who knew Nathan and Andrew from Vocollect. After yo-yoing in and out of some small groups, I solo’ed past lunch and followed signs. Soon I was on a road that seemed suspiciously busy and poorly marked. I thought I was saved when I saw someone ahead directing bikes, except that the bikers were coming from the other direction. I followed them and ended up at the 2nd rest-stop. Somehow I had gone backwards 15-20 miles. Oops.
At the rest stop I saw Kimberly and Jim (not team leader). After eating and talking to Rob–Thick Bikes SAG van driver–I rode with Kimbely and Jim to lunch, where it started to rain. There I ate a turkey sandwich with lots of other Team Vocollect riders before heading out solo. On the road Jim (not team leader) passed me. I thought about trying to grab his wheel, but was feeling the extra miles and decided to go alone. Further on I saw an Alcoa jersey on the side of the road and slowed, thinking it might be Jim. Turns out it was someone who looked not at all like Jim, but who did need help. I tried but he needed a schrader-valve compatible pump.
The ride continued into the outskirts of Conneaut where I ran into a guy whose chain had exploded. I stopped and used my chain tool to help him. Twice, unfortunately, since I didn’t realize that he hadn’t routed the chain the first time. Apparently he didn’t do much bike maintenance since the chain was also covered with a 1/8″ layer of black grease which quickly transferred to my hands, jersey, bibs & bartape. Yay.
A few more miles and I was at the lake. Pictures (once again I promptly saw team leader Jim), pizza, etc. etc. I changed clothes and waited a few minutes for Kimberly. We headed up the final hill to load the bikes on the truck and get on the bus back to Moraine.
The bus beat the truck by half an hour, so we waited by the lake. We finally got them loaded on the bike rack and headed back to Pittsburgh. We were both starving and were planning on getting some Kassab’s until we got out of the car and saw they were closed. Kimberly took a shower while I did some research. Turns out Gypsy was open on Sunday so we headed in for some prix fixe. Decent.
Finally Kimberly went to her friend’s chakra dance birthday party while I started to unpack.
I woke up on the sofa around 1 am. I hadn’t yet showered. Gross.