They weren't lying when they said Fountain Hills would be harder than Usery Pass! Our goal today was to ride 64 miles and it seemed the wind was against us! It seemed to laugh at me in every direction making every pedal stroke harder than normal! Fountain Hills consists of MANY rolling hills of varying lengths and sizes. I was pretty proud of myself that I was able to keep up with the group through the first half.
2/3's into the ride was a BEAST of an incline named by the coaches...9 mile. I was hoping that it was the length of an Eminem song but no such luck. It was truly 9 miles of steady incline in the middle of the desert. I was doing pretty well riding up this beast and I seemed to get into a grove not realizing that I was all alone and almost out of water. It did see further into the distance our SAG driver and thought to myself...good I can fill up! So away I went and continued to pedal focusing on how pretty it was in the desert.
Well I think I went for another 20 minutes before I realized that the SAG driver was no where to be seen! I looked around and thought I haven't seen another biker in a while..."am I on the right path?" I rode up the the highest point of the hill and saw 2 more rolling hills and no one in front of me or behind me! I called our SAG driver and no answer...tried another number and still no answer...I left a message and then the TEARS started. I was out of water and didn't know if I was lost or not! Being the wimp that I am, SYLVIA FREAKED OUT! Thankfully just as I started the water works some of my team mates were coming down 9 mile. One of the Mentors turned around and asked if I was OK? I said well I am out of water and the SAG driver is not answering his phone. I asked her if I was still on the right track and she said...You just need to get over the 2 hills and you will be at the end of 9 mile. She gave me her water and said come back with us and we will get him to meet us at the bottom of 9 mile. So I did...
So the SAG driver finally met up with us and I was able to fill up with water and Gatorade. He apologized again and again because he did leave without making sure he had gotten to all the novice riders. Although I didn't finish 9 mile I still felt good about my ride...I RODE 58 MILES and really could have made it the full 64 if I had not gotten stuck without water.
The ride back was a little more difficult considering the wind and the hills. The last challenge was the "wailing walling." Given the name many years ago because cyclist actually cried going up it. I didn't cry...I noticed the Burger King Chimney smoking and knew I was close to finishing! I got faster and FASTER! I conquered the wailing wall, and my first nervous break down, LIFE WAS GOOD! Checking my phone for messages I found LIFE WAS EVEN BETTER because my new Niece had been born and I had pictures waiting! IT WAS A GREAT DAY!
Life has many challenges of ups and downs. In no way am I comparing this experience to what my Dad or others have had to endure when fighting a disease that could take your life. It had given me a better perspective on how small my problems really are. Life is GREAT and we are LOVED by Heavenly Father, Jesus,Family and friends....what more do you need?
In memory of my Dad I am collecting donations for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society towards my 100 mile cycle ride on June 5th. Please donate what you can...every little bit helps : D