I have never had to use the Support And Gear vehicle before, but it is a huge possibility in a coming event. Centuries and sportives are cool, but I want to go to something different. May 31 and June 1st will be that something new.
Recently I have been invited (an honor in itself) on a 248 mile ride that ends in Mexico Beach, Florida. In two stages, we will ride 140 miles on the first day and 108 the second day. I’m kind of nervous thinking about it, but I know that it is something that I have to do . . . for whatever reason. I have always wanted to do back-to-back 100+ mile stages, just to get a very small feel of what it must feel like to ride in a professional race. I have been informed that certain vehicles are assigned to riders for bottles and assistance . . . another cool thing. What about radios? The dude just smiled and said, “We’re not there, yet.”
In all of the excitement, something deep down is whispering that word failure.
“Hey, I can ride,” I reply to myself.
The voice snickers, “Are you sure? You’ve never gone that hard that long before? I’m just saying what if.”
“Shut up,” I reply.
The snicker again. “We’ll see.”
In all honesty, I don’t know how I would handle a failure (I’m speaking as though it is a possibility) . . . of course anything is possible, but it would be devastating. I train very hard. I feel as strong as I have ever been on a bike, but the butterflies are still there. Someone once told me that when the butterflies are there anymore then it is time to move on. It is in me to not quit anything I start. It always has been. The way I look at it is that I will need serious medical attention before I load my bike up prior to the finish. I’ve even wavered on the invitation and thought of some pretty good excuses, but I really think that it is something that I must prove to myself. My non-riding friends and family think I’m nuts, except my wife. She tells me to go for it. I think I will.