Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 2 of the R2R Florida Challenge is over

I took the elbow pads off today.  I didn't fall, but I'm going to be worried about forgetting to clip out until it gets more automatic.

Riding in the flats with clipless pedals affects the legs differently than platform pedals and I'm a little bit more sore and tired than I was on the Ride 2 Recovery (R2R) Golden State Challenge (GSC)Wayne Stetina, the Shimano Man and a professional cyclist, said its also because I'm riding faster and pedaling more on the flats.

Today's ride had a few rolling hills.  That gave me an opportunity to get more familiar with the gears.

I received the ultimate compliment from Wayne yesterday; he told me I exceeded his expectations.

That's the second time I've exceeded expectations because Wayne told me that NO ONE thought I'd get up the hills on the R2R Golden State Challenge (GSC).  I told a couple of people if it hadn't been so dark and raining when we came in that night I would have ridden 5 more miles so I could have said that I rode a century on the Ride 2 Recovery. ;-)  Maybe next year! 

When I got home from the  Golden State Challenge (GSC), I asked my cycling buddies if they thought I'd make the entire ride without SAGing.  They both said yes.  When I told Marc, who I affectionately refer to as my Trainer, that no one thought I'd make the hills on the GSC, he said:  They didn't see you train; we did. 

Wayne has mentored me along the route and I've been riding with his lovely wife Barbara who learned from him, also.  I'm taking advantage of what they know.  I'm sure sometimes that they think I might be a little slow, but since my brain injury (not combat related) I don't learn as quickly and I have a fear of crashing since my injury was while out riding a bike.

Along the route and especially today, a few of the more experienced cyclists, including America's wounded warriors, have called out to suggest what gear I should move to.  They've been great about helping me.  I'm finally understanding how the gears on a road bike work since I moved them more today going up and down the rolling hills.  Wayne has told me several times what gears to use and why, and now I'm finally getting it and putting that to use.  Barbara often checks to make sure I remember to unclip and tells me when she's changing her gears as a friendly reminder to me.  I enjoy riding with her.

I'll know within the next few weeks when the Napa R2R Cyclefest will be and whether there will be a metric and/or century ride.  I plan to participate in it and I hope I can get my cycling buddies, others I know who cycle, and some of Marc's Coast Guard friends to participate.  It's going to be one fun day and a great way to support our troops in their recovery.  Cycling is great medicine!

We had awesome support going through Hernado County from the Sheriff's Department.  It was heartwarming to hear one of the wounded warriors thank them for their service. They are the men and women who watch our backs on the homefront. I hope I'm complimenting the correct sheriff's department and I'll delete this sentence once confirmed.

Be sure to check the news section of my blog (bottom, left) and read the articles about the R2R Florida Challenge.  You can see more photos, learn more quickly about the news and articles, and upcoming events by joining the R2R on Facebook.

Last night we had a great dinner at the local American Legion Hall in the city of Lady Lake just a few miles from the hotel.  Our entertainment included a senior ladies cheerleading squad.  They entertained us by cheerleading to patriotic songs.  They were adorable.  They enjoyed entertaining us and it was very obvious we enjoyed it, too.  We gave them a standing ovation.

Again, I'll have the honor riding with the men and women who made the commitment, took the oath and answered the call tomorrow.  We have a shorter ride on Day 3, approximately 50 miles.  

Please keep our troops in your prayers and sneak in a prayer that Debi won't forget to unclip during this ride. ;-)  Thanks.

Until next time,


AKA Deborah Palmer

P.S.  I'll probably need to edit this later.  It's a last minute post. 

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