I biked in my second Pelotonia ride today. Last year I biked 102 miles. This year I wimped out and only did the 43 mile route. With everything going on with the house showings, Maria’s recent back to school tirade, and the lack of free weekends we have over the next four weeks, I thought it was best to call it a day at 11:30 versus 3:00 (43 miles versus 102). I woke up this morning officially at 5:25 am but I had been tossing and turning with Jon all night because of two little monsters that kept getting in bed with us. And then, if that wasn’t bad enough, Mario coughed in my ear half the night. By 5:25 am, I was ready to hop out of bed. I threw on my running gear and headed out listening to BBC. I haven’t gone out in the pitch black like that since the Winter time when it stays dark late until 8 am. It was a little freaky. At one point, a truck pulled up behind me on a side street and followed me two blocks until he finally pulled in a driveway. I kept picturing myself getting jumped and thrown in the back of the truck and killed with M&M never seeing their mama again (way too many horror flicks when I was 10 years old). I ran about 5 miles and came back to throw on my biking gear and to head to the Pelotonia event. The madhouse was in full effect when I arrived – over 4000 riders ready to take off down Olentangy River Road.
The event is for a worthy cause – the fight to end cancer. It is a sight to behold the thousands of people gathered together with bike helmets on and bikes a tow. I am used to runners. Runners are less glossy and more rugged. They are out on the road striking the pavement for hours in a pair of shorts and tank top and running shoes. Bikers are more polished and tidy. They are decked out in their shiny lycra and spandex shirts and shorts with five pockets all over them for water bottles and bananas and fruit bars. They wear their tiny clip-in shoes and sparkling helmets. Now, I admit to some generalization because I have met some high rolling runners in my time (still remember the one with matching asics tank top and running shorts (not even long enough to cover his entire buttocks) and bright-colored running shoes and waist belt with gel shots). But bikers seem to be overall a little bit more glamorous and high-maintenance than runners. You could tell the hard-core bikers; they had scuffed up bikes and used water bottles. Helmets that had been scraped up and tight calves. You could tell the newbies; they had their shiny new bikes with bright-colored water bottles. Helmets that beamed at you and clipped shoes they were trying to force into the clips without falling. But no matter expert or novice, everyone came together on this day to ride for one cause – to beat cancer – and that makes the event so inspiring. You don’t bike for more than a mile or two without bystanders cheering for you and thanking you for riding in the event. Signs hang everywhere thanking you for riding for someone’s mom or brother or friend. It is humbling.
What was even more of a treat this year was that I had my babes waiting for me at the finish line cheering me on as I rounded the corner from the side road. Jon was standing over them waving at me (my ultimate cheerleader who roots me on for these events all the time) and they jumped up and down yelling “Go Mom!” When I got off my bike to hug them, Maria immediately asked “Are you sweaty?” When I told her yes, she let me know she would hug me later. I took them to the food and drink tent and we ate chips and oranges. Maria wanted a pb&j sandwich so bad but I refused to allow her to tak a sandwich from one of the bikers who would need it. “But mom, I am starving!” This is after a burrito and a donut an hour earlier. She is my girl.
We drove back home and decided to hit the library and Maggie’s new apartment for a tour. Mario thought we would definitely take the car since I rode 43 miles. Maria knew better: “Mario, you know mom is not going to waste energy; besides she is not even tired.” Mario looked at me and nodded knowing his fate would be the stroller and not the car watching movies. I made it up to him at the library though. He got three DVDs of Spiderman, Looney Tunes, and Tom & Jerry.