bikes, whiskey, and tears

OH MY GOSH what a weekend.

Sunday:  I’m FRIED – and by fried – I mean brain cooked – leg cooked – cooked cooked cooked!!!!

Monday:  I think I might have slept nearly six hours last night!

Let’s begin the weekend at the moment I left the MRI …  No no – let’s start before the MRI.  Friday afternoon, I had a pelvic MRI (results not scary – see one post earlier).  Beforehand, I took a vitamin Z, and I was feeling relaxed.  Bummer – had to have an IV – why?  Because when the tech called for a nurse who could use my newly installed port, no one was available.  Ah well – to be honest, the vitamin Z helped me not really care.

Finished up there – headed back to my office – picked up the SUWHEET Peacock Groove bicycle I was about to begin racing – Erik calls this bike Ace of Spades – and headed to the midtown Freewheel Bike Center, which was the launch site of Powderhorn 24.  Yes – I was about to being a 24 hour bike race – an URBAN bike race in the neighborhoods surrounding Powderhorn Park.

We were a team of four – Cancer can kiss Lee’s Ass!  Spokecards – guys at the copy shop (you know who you are, and I don’t want to get you into trouble) were very kind, refusing to take my money…

For the first half, we each took three hour shifts.  My first shift was 4a (perfect, because I’m not sleeping well anyway!).  It rained.  A lot.  I was wet.  But, really, it was Will who had the epic first shift, riding from 1a until 4a in what was at times, a torrential downpour.  Dude loved it, even though he’s complained about it for far longer than he actually rode in it (JK, Will…  Well…  only a little).  That dude has some mad skills.

I start my shift a bit after 4:00a.  I had ridden from home, where I had slept off the vitamin z, and I was feeling quite awake and very happy to be there.

I was WET – and by wet – I mean soaked to the bone.  And by soaked to the bone, I mean …  Shoot – I got nothing.  Dang it – I was wet.  But you know what?  Riding in the rain is oddly delicious.  You feel rather bad a$$, especially when the rain is hard… and the sand is everywhere… and you’ve got a rockin skunk stripe up your back.  Ok – let’s see.  I finish up my shift at about a quarter after seven – computer reports nearly sixty miles of racing!  Woot woot!  Philip was up next…

I went home – tried to nap (impossible – the “what if” part of my brain absolutely refused to shut the $%^& up) – fail – did some dishes – tried to nap – fail – helped get kidlets ready for tennis – tried to nap – fail – went back the the race.

Then, we each did about 2 hour shifts… and then we did high frequency changes.  Overall – super terrific awesomeness!!!!  I was exhausted but hyped up when it was all finished.  I love my teammates – three wonderful guys – Will, Andrew, and Philip (not Phil).

A little about the course.  We rode east on the Greenway, to check point #1 at Peace Coffee.  Then, rode south on 21st, which I took all the way to 40th and took a right to make a pick-up at the intersection of 40th and 20th (favorite time through this stop was when a kid gave me a number-hand up – total pro job dude, total pro job!).  Then, it’s W on 40th until the alley just after 12th.  THIS WAS THE HARDEST LEG!!!!  Those rollers really start to catch up to you, after 8 or 10 repeats…  At the top of the last roller, which was a false flat, a few people had a jump set up.  I was paranoid of getting a flat, so I didn’t go for big air (not that my air would ever be huge anyway – I’m kind of a chicken), but I had fun doing the jump.

When the race was finishing up, I started enjoying some whiskey…  When the awards ceremony was on, we learned that we got our butts handed to us on the bonuses.  BUMMER!!!!  We placed second – we had more “real” laps than the other team, but we missed some key bonuses…  Alas – next year – next year!!!!

A little about the bike…  My good friend Erik Noren builds bikes, and oddly, I fit all of his personal bikes.  Like – nearly perfectly.  Raise the saddle a little… and ride in the drops, and it’s as if the bike has fallen in love with me.  I rode Ace of Spades, which is a cyclocross bike.  It was equipped with kind of fat road tires…  The great thing about this bike is that it rode like a road bike, when I wanted it to, and it road almost like a mountain bike when I needed to jump curbs or ride in sand or what have you.  It was pretty much the perfect choice for this race, and I have to say – Eric – THANK YOU!  Rock solid and extremely handle-able…. And I can’t wait for my bike!!!!

Ok – well – what would be a blog entry without a little about cancer.  At the awards ceremony, Kayla made some comments about me and this cancer thing… and … CRAP – that started the torrential rain fall on Lee’s face.  I’d had some whiskey – I was soooo tired – I was feeling very emotional…  Yes – I cried in public, and it was kind of embarrassing…  but it also sort of I guess needed to happen?  Luci and Erik – you’re amazing.  Thank you.

One final story.  Saturday afternoon – I am hanging out with cool bike riders… and this guy came up to me and said – Are you Lee?  Then he told me that his wife wanted to make me a F%^& Cancer Hat…  I said – oh my gosh…  He asked me what colors I like (black and silver – I hate pink – let it be known to all reading this… I HATE PINK and will not wear much of anything that has pink on it…  I do have these cool twin six sox that have some pink – I’ll wear those… and these bad kitty sox from Leslie – despite some pink, I’ll wear those… But seriously folks, pink it not a color that I wear or am willing to wear…  I’m pretty sure it goes back to my childhood).  So, I ride my 1pm shift… come in cooked…  Maybe I do some more laps – alternating there with Will…  I can’t really remember … and then this guy presents me with the most bad a$$ cancer hat I’ve seen.  I love this thing.  It fits my head perfectly.  It doesn’t squeeze my brains…  It feels soft.  There’s nothing scratchy.  And it looks cool as %^#@.

As a team, we did 84 laps.  Only one team did more than us, and they had six people.  Oh – and the coed team that beat us?  They also had six people.  We had four.  I rode 90-something miles of the race.  Andrew and Philip, I think, had the most miles.  But, I also rode to/from the race several times… Making my total for the 24 hours well over a century….

HUGE props to the race organizers.  This was the first time this race was ever run, and it was well organized, smooth, fun, …  oh I hate to put this word here because I’m sure every one is saying it…  EPIC.

Next year, our team name is gonna be Almost Vegan, because three of us are almost vegan.  Actually, one is I think 100% vegan… I’m like 98+% vegan (let’s face it, if you offer me a cookie, I’m gonna eat it)…  And Will is a vegetarian who loves cheese… but cheese does not love him.


About rleepenn

I'm a mom and a chemistry professor, and I love to ride bikes! On July 29th, 2011, I received the news that I have breast cancer. This is my blog....
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to bikes, whiskey, and tears

  1. Lowrah says:

    You were an animal out there.

    “Tell Lee to stop skidding on my tires!” -Noren

    Love you, rlmfp.

  2. lee says:

    OOOPS – two teams had more “real” laps than us – both six person teams….

  3. Jen Hanks says:

    coolest beanie ever……glad you had an awesome weekend. you look great!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s