I’ve been building up to ride 25 for a couple of weeks now. My longest ride on my Trek Silque road bike was a 20-mile ride. So when my coach called for a 25-mile ride, I was ready.
I put a post on Facebook on my team page. “Anyone interested in riding 25 on Saturday,” I wrote.
One woman, Jacqueline, answered me. She said she would meet me at 6:45 am. Perfect!
Although I don’t mind riding alone, I actually enjoy it, I thought it would be nice to share the experience with one of my teammates.
As the time drew closer to Saturday, one of my husband’s managers, Dianne, asked if she could ride with me too. “I haven’t ridden in a while,” she said.
Dianne came to my house at 6:30 am. We loaded the bikes and were off. We got to Cedar Creek Park at 6:45 and Jackie was there waiting for us.
It was chilly. I thought the weather people said it was going to be hot and sunny? Nope. It was dark, slightly rainy and humid.
We saw the rock and ducked into the path that goes along the Wantagh Parkway. It was nice that there were only a few people on the path. Jackie started out, Dianne followed. I trailed behind. I couldn’t catch up. And then I thought, it really doesn’t matter, we’re all going to the same place. But for a moment, I felt like the third wheel. All the self-doubts that you had as a child come back. I tried to brush the thoughts out of my mind.
Jackie saw that I was way behind, so she slowed down. I caught up and we completed the path to Jones Beach. Once at Jones Beach, we went through a series of obstacles before we got to the path that lead to Tobay Beach.
As we headed out, the wind was brutal. It was pushing against us as if we were in a wind tunnel and couldn’t move forward. Jackie started out, Dianne followed (she was actually right on her tail) and I lagged behind. Jackie stopped and told Dianne that I should go in the middle. It definitely helped a little but not that much. It was still impossible to even go 9 miles an hour!
The way back from Tobay to Jones was incredible. The wind was behind us and we flew going nearly 20 mph. (I’m sure Jackie went faster. She met us at the end.) But then we had to turn around and do it again. The entire trail is 17.5 so I figured if I go 4 miles out and 4 miles back we could do the 25. I didn’t calculate right and when we got to the end of the trail at Cedar Creek we were almost a mile short.
It took a long time but when the ride was finished, I met up with Jackie and Dianne. “We’re just a little short,” I said.
“We can go back on the path,” Jackie said. (She was so incredibly supportive!)
“No,” I said, “I think I’m okay. I’m going to do my 2 mile run now.” Dianne decided to come with me and we finished off strong.
Interestingly, I saw some of the other local teams training as well. It was nice to see familiar faces and I felt great leaving. I accomplished something I had never done before and I was really proud of myself for that small accomplishment.