Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Gran Fondo Fun

Because 450 miles was not enough miles for Biking Guy, Houston participated in another grueling ride on Saturday. The Gran Fondo is one of the hardest rides in the country. You may choose your torture, a mere 25 miles, a 44 mile (4800' of climbing), the Masochistic Metric (62 miles/8000' climb), Savage Century (102 miles/12,700' climb), or the Diabolical Double (125 miles, 16,500' climb). These mountains are steep, even steeper than the Rockies with some being 20% grade. Yikes! 
Above is some of the Western Wheelman, a bike group that Houston and I are a part of in Cumberland.   Most of them did the Masochistic Metric and came in smiling. What an accomplishment! If you could see the final 3-mile climb, you would be impressed. 1200 bicyclists rode their hearts out (not literally, thank goodness) and it was amazing to see them crank it out to the finish.

 They were all happy to see the finish line. Houston did the ride last year and I was hoping I would be able to at least do the 25 miler. But no way Jose. My knees, quads and my entire body are not in shape for this abuse. A few of us non-riders met them at the end and cheered them on. 

Sylvester and Donna pedaling into the finish line. This ride is a fundraiser for the Melanoma Foundation. Each rider pays an entrance fee and raises money on their own. Houston put the word out on Facebook and raised $4200!!! One of our close friends is going through treatment for melanoma, so plenty of folks we know gave for this cause. A surprise amount of $2100 came in on Friday and brought tears to many people's eyes. Our friend's firm matched the $2100 that others had raised. Wow!

Poor Mandela. He fell off his bike at the end due to extreme cramping. He had just completed the Savage Century and his legs said, NO MORE! 

But this awaited him at the end of the day. Well deserved. To all the riders, great job! And to all the volunteers, kudos to you. Another well organized vent. On Friday, there was a 'microburst' storm that tore through Garrett County, throwing debris onto the roads. The road crews worked through the night clearing the roads so they would be safe for those skinny tires and the riders on those bikes.
So now I hope Houston can relax a bit (well not really relax....I have a long list of chores!), but at least not ride miles and miles and miles every day. 

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