… we made it! Ten of the eleven members of Team Jetstream reached the beach, on nine of our ten tallbikes. (Sadly, Doc was hobbled by knee issues and had to take the sag wagon. Those issues didn’t stop him from throwing beer at me when I reached the finish line.)
We started together at 6:30 AM, but soon split into Team Fast and Team Slow, with myself in the latter pack. I got to the finish around 6 PM, so that’s a good eleven and a half hours to travel 104 miles — slow but steady. About 3000 bicyclists rode in this year’s Reach The Beach; 2900 of them rode past me at some point. Nearly a thousand of them asked me how I get down from that thing. But I finished in front of two other tallbikes on our team, including the behemoth tandem captained by Max Taint with no stoker.
It almost didn’t happen; my three-speed rear wheel began to self-destruct a week before the event! Even worse, my replacement 7-speed internal SRAM hub arrived with pieces missing. Kudos to Aaron’s Bicycle Repair in Seattle for stocking the obscure sub-parts my obscure part needed. I got the wheel built on Thursday and spent Friday riding off every curb in my neighborhood, testing it for strength. On Saturday I rode it 100 miles, and it’s still straight as an arrow.
My butt hurt like hell, but three days later I feel just fine. It’s remarkable what you can learn about your body by torturing it. The team training rides we did this month were very helpful. Last night I spent about an hour stretching out my sore, stiff body, and I noticed my legs have gotten larger. Weird.
I would like to publicly thank my sponsors: Skeeter, Fiona, Patty & Ralph, the Vosaclos and the mysterious “Oxygn luvr!” Together we raised real money for a great cause. I’d also like to thank all the members of Team Jetstream for rallying with great purpose and effort around one of my most far-fetched ideas.
I suppose I should mention at this point that I have an article about tallbikes in the latest issue of Momentum Magazine, and that I’m organizing a tallbike picnic on June 26th in Portland, as part of Pedalpalooza. Can’t get enough of them tallbikes, I guess. (Although I haven’t been up one it once since I crossed that finish line. Walking … I love walking … )