Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Go Maki, Go!

This past Saturday I was one half of a two-person team for the Red Island Relay. Overall, it was tonnes of fun and I'm so glad that I got to go in last minute. The Relay is in five parts: 1) run 7.5 km, 2) road bike 27 km, 3) run 10 km, 4) trail bike 19 km, and 5) two-person canoe or kayak for 6km. I did legs 2, 4, and 5. After a panicked Thursday night, I arranged to borrow a road bike for the road portion (THANK GOD) and would use my usual happy-commuter hybrid on the trail. They said "mountain bike portion", but there is absolutely no need for a mountain bike when the trail is dry - which is was. It was actually probably some of the best portion of the Confederation Trail that I have biked on recently.

Here is how my road bike started:

Excellent. Remember to wear helmet and sport huge, unsporty sunglasses. The ride went very well, and there was a nice tailwind going down a huge hill. The wind also did not seem as bad as originally forecasted to be.

However, this is how my ride ended:

Nice one, Jen Mac. At about kilometre 22 (I'm not completely sure, but I was pretty close to the end) I suffered from a race-ending flat in my back tire. So I walked back down the giant hill I was conquering to some people directing cyclists. We shuffled awkwardly.

"Umm, I have a flat and no spare tube or pump. I usually would bring a tube and pump... but just not today, I guess."
"Huh. Well, that's too bad."
"It is. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do now."
"I suppose I could give you and your bike a lift in my truck? Where do you want to go?"
"I guess to the finish line/transition area."
"Okay - off we go!"

We load the bike into the truck and drive off, passing a few cyclists going up the big hill. I wave. Then I note a car ahead of me that looks familiar. My parents' car - they were going to snap some pictures and say hello. They pulled over to let us pass, thinking we were part of some race convoy. We pull up next to them and I knock on the window, smile, and wave.

Mother waves back, also with a big smile, thinking, "That is my daughter, it is nice to see her smiling in that truck with the stranger man!"

Papa looks at me, looks absolutely disgusted, likely thinking, "HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO SCREW UP ALL THE TIME?" or perhaps, "Of course, she crashed, and now she is excited because she hurt her ankle and is secretly thrilled that she'll get to use crutches and have something to laugh about."

The Kind Stranger drove me back close to the transition area and I wheeled/walked across the timer mat. We took a weird route back, I actually probably have a recorded time pretty similar to what my actual time would be.

I stand in the transition area awkwardly, basically saying over and over and over again and again, "I have a flat tire!!!" and was unable to find my team mate. A delightfully eager volunteer sprints over, concerned that I can find my team mate. She asks who he is, and I reply, "He's tall with curly hair and we call him Mike!" and she takes off. Mike comes running over a few moments later, surprised to see me so soon. And off he goes!

I take the hour to do healthy athlete type things: eat chocolate, put on my fleece to keep warm, use the washroom, guzzle some gatorade (red, please), fiddle with my front wheel, and pat a dog I see on the way to the toilet.

Mike comes back from a triumphant run, and I take off for Leg 4. The trail ride went very well, and I think took me about 48 mins. High five for fantastic trail conditions! I even passed a few people, which made me feel smug, particularly as one was decked in hardcore geeky bike gear. Mind you this person was probably doing the whole thing on his own... but anyway.

Coming back down into the transition area was awesome, and you have pedalled hard you could easily hit 45km/hr, even on a hybrid. My nose was getting curiously runny, and it turned out I had what I like to call a "fake" nose bleed. It dripped, like, five drops on my arm, then I rubbed my nose a few times, and it appeared to end.

I sprinted off to the boat area, while Devin captured a wonderful photo of me basically yelping, "I think I have a nose bleed!" to which he responded by looking at me bizarrely. Likely because what I yelped probably sounded like, "I klhejlon mweeeee!"

I hopped into the canoe with Mike and off we went! I would like to say we raced off and won the whole thing, but the wee cyclist of the team had one large drawback: she had never paddled a canoe. She got the hang of it, but didn't want to push too hard for the first bit in fear of burning out for the last bit.

Cyclist = me

Also, something about being in a canoe makes me think "relax!" A kayak I tend to think GO GO GOOOOOOO! So I realised towards the end that I wasn't really trying that hard. I think Mike fell into the same groove a wee bit. Had we both tried harder (particularly the cyclist) I'm sure we could have shaved ten minutes off our time. Alas, perhaps next year. Overall time was 4 hours, twenty-four minutes.


Kathleen said...

This blog has made me laugh so much that I think I will share it with my friend who doesn't even know you. xxx

Jen said...

I also approve of blog sharing! Hope your vacay went/is going well :)