About a month ago (I’ve been resting my blogging muscles since then), I completed my third 100-mile bike ride — the accurately named “America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride” in Tahoe. As with my two previous “centuries,” I did this one with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training (TNT — because, really, do you think they’d want to be known as “TiT”?). Don’t want to bury the lede, so here it is: I had a blast! I love my teammates! And thanks to a bunch of very generous people, I was able to surpass my personal $2,700 fundraising goal, ending up with $4,238.22 to fight blood cancers and to support patients and their loved ones. Thanks so much to everyone who donated, or who offered words of encouragement! A couple of big changes since my previous century ride:
- New bike — a nifty “road bike,” instead of my heavier “hybrid,” which is much more suited for commuting than for very long (and hilly) rides.
- Stretchy pants.
This second transition was arguably more nerve-wracking than the first. I did not want to wear stretchy pants: I am a fellow who likes to preserve some mystery. But my beloved (and sometimes intimidating) head coach, K.Sue, became increasingly adamant on this point. As she saw it, I had already gotten so close to being a real, honest-to-God cyclist — road bike, “clipless” pedals (which means, paradoxically, pedals with clips), and such — but had stopped tantalizingly short: with my shorts. The baggy shorts I favored were clearly knocking 0.000001 mph off my top speed, and this needed to be rectified.
So on June 1, amid thousands of other cyclists, I rode “naked.” There was nothing between my lower parts and the warm mountain air other than a thin layer of stretchy stuff. And it was … okay! Someone on my team even complimented me on my shapely legs, though I think maybe she was kidding. In any case, it felt like another step towards becoming the kind of person both of my brothers would see at Peet’s and laugh at — which is something.
Here’s the map of my ride; you can click on it to embiggen and to see all sorts of details (none of them involving my legs):