(Photo taken post race once we were off the bike. We both wore helmets throughout the ride.)
From the outside periphery, I’ve heard the phrase “No man left behind” when speaking of our Armed Forces. What it really boils down to is loyalty and not leaving a team member behind, as you know they wouldn’t leave you if the solution was reverse.
Earlier this summer, my uncle and I decided to do the 50 mile version of the North Shore Century. And a couple of weeks ago, one of my Dare2Tri Development teammates (Alberto) and his pilot Andrew decided to join us. So Sunday morning, we all met up at the park in Evanston and set off for the ride.
Things went well for the fiurst 4 or 5 miles, but near the bridge over I-94, they started to have issues. Andrew was able to get things tightened back up and we were back on the way. But that didn’t last. Shortly after that, they needed to pull over and we waited for the SAG wagon. Once the SAG crew had helped to tighten it up, we were back off again. But that didn’t last for long, and we eventually ended up at REI so they could have a bike mechanic look at it. Long story short, an internal bolt being too tight was messing things up.
They tapped out at REI, and we continued north towards the first rest stop. At this point, we were about 4 hours in and had only gone 10-11 miles. For others, it might have been easy to say at the second or third issue ‘you’re on your own’ and ride on. But in this order, (a) it’s not in my makeup to leave a friend behind and (b) I know that if things had been reversed they would have stayed with us.
After leaving the first rest stop (18.6 miles), we kept heading towards Lake Forest and then into Lake Bluff, which was the turnaround. On the way back, my body started getting unhappy with me. By about mile 32 (our own rest stop at Starbucks), my calf muscles had started to hurt. And by the time that we made it to the next rest stop (mile 44) in Winetka, it was hard to ride for more than a mile or two without it really hurting. I think part of this is that by that point, I’d been on the bike for 7 hours.
Even with the pain, we still made it back to the van by about 4:30 and back to much needed beer at the house.
Even with all the hurdles, it was still a great ride and a fun day. I look forward to doing the North Shore Century again next year!