Sunday, June 18, 2017

On Sunday the team woke up at 5:00am and geared up for our first century ride.  In total, the ride was 115 miles to Austin, Nevada.  Around mile 20, all of us got off our bikes to write “JOH 17” in big roicks on the side of the road and then took a team picture next to it. It was an acvtivity that brought the whole team closer together.  Continuing down the road, my paceline prepared for the long distance of the ride by taking it nice and easy while drinking plenty of water.  Our biggest battle was the heat.  The road seemed to drag on forever and looking ahead we could see the heat waves that we were approaching.  By mile 70, it became a challenge just to get to the next crew stop, which were spaced out 10 miles apart.  Cramping and sore at mile 90 we knew we had come too far to quit now.  We motivated and pushed each other physically and mentally to finish strong, reminding ourselves that this was our disability of the day.  Grinding forward, I thought of how fortunate I was to even have legs that could feel pain in the first place, and I reminded myself of a friend I made in a wheelchair in Napa that would kill do be able to do what I am doing now.  At mile 111, my derailer snapped off on my bike right before the final strech was approaching.  I racked my bike but I knew I could not quit, so I took off on foot.  I got a while down the road before the crew realized I could ride my friend’s bike in that had racked earlier.  Beaten and exhasted, our paceline made it to lodging at the church.  An amazing feeling of accomplishment rushed over us.

Later in the day, we met up with the Lander County Assessors Office “Austin Ladies” to have dinner.  After losing so many calories from the ride, we gained them right back with a turkey, mashed potato, stuffing, salad, and cobbler feast. It was amazingly rejuvenating, and we discovered that these ladies had traveled from quite a far distance to meet us there. The sponsor truly gave their all and it was greatly appreciated by every member of the North route.  Stuffed and tired we returned to lodging to pass out in preparation for the next day to Eureka!

Nick Long

Archon- Eta Gamma