Saturday, September 24, 2016

Bad Luck?

So for last weekend's ride I got #13.  Per tradition I wore it upside-down.  Then, 2 days later I had an emergency tooth extraction as the first step in treating an infected cheek/jaw.  I was out of work for 2 days and the ones I was there for, getting to the end was a challenge.  Having a tooth extracted out of an infected jaw involves them breaking it into pieces and prying it out while you listen.  My preference would have been to be "asleep" for the event, no such luck.  Those tooth breaking sounds!
13? 
Coincidence?  
Yeah, probably coincidence.  My tooth was already killing me before last weekend.  

So for this week's ride I get:

Number of the BEAST
Party On Garth

I'm not wearing that number upside-down.  Anyway, when I looked at it I saw 999 which apparently means that angles are contacting me.  Crap, I didn't think the infection had got that bad.
I may have been a little late to start


Once I got on the bike the ride went pretty good!  For about 3 hours I almost forgot how my head was throbbing and muscle memory took over the fatigue.  I rode the first 11 miles in a pack, 8-10 alone and the rest with one other rider.  We'll call him Dan; because I think that was his name.  I know it was 3 letters long with a vowel in the middle. ( I should remember it, I blame the antibiotic)

Kelly had a great run despite having a cold coming on.  2nd overall female, we think.

Team Edwards raised $345 for this event!

Bad Luck?  No.  I'll take an infected tooth over a cancer diagnoses.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Loon..Loon....Loon.....Loon.......Loon........Loon....

Get it? (Hint: it's a Loon Echo)
Spoiler Alert: We finished
 I had thoughts about skipping this ride due to a toothache that has been one of the more painful experiences of my life including broken bones and surgeries. Off to the endontist on Monday, I hope.

But, that's not the story here.  I decided to ride.

I had told my wife that I'd ride with her.  Well, it wasn't 15 minutes into the ride that I chased down some of the local race guys and considered going for speed.  NO,  that is exactly what happened last year so I let them go and went with plan A.  Plan A was to ride with her but go hard on some Strava segments to keep myself entertained.  
Waiting at the first rest stop to ride together
 My wife was a little skeptical at first that I'd be satisfied riding at her pace for 100 miles but I was determined to enjoy the ride and kick ass on some hills. Racing up ahead for some sections let me get some shots of her on the course.  I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.

Beautiful Country Roads

Beautiful Country Wife

Maybe I need to ride with a selfie stick, can you see the swollen jaw?
I seem to get a lot of pictures on green bridges.
Androscoggin River

I did get to the top o' the notch with some time to spare to take a picture
High Five Bro, Note the inverse "13" bib number.

All and all it was a great day!  Another good ride for Team Edwards.  Which reminds me, there is less than 1 week to donate to the Cancer Community Center Ride and only 2 weeks to donate to The Dempsey Challeng.  Both of us still need to raise a little more cash before the end of the week. 

Please consider donating.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Escaping From The Pumpkin Man Via ET

My first thought was to ride to the Pumpkinman Tri and watch my wife compete then ride home.  Well, it was 54 miles one way on main roads and the race started at 8:00.  F-that.  The next best thing was to get up at 5:00 with her, get her set up at the race and then ride some areas that I don't usually get to.

Happy Triathlete

It turns out that the Eastern Trail runs right by the triathlon start and I've never ridden it south of Saco.  The first part isn't so much a trail but signs telling you what roads to be on.  Kind of a gyp if you ask me but the signs were clear and the roads were (mostly) back roads so I'll let it go.

This is the part I had been to.
 The trail part from Kennebunk to OOB area was nice with only the occasional "On Your Left" being needed.  For the most part even that was unnecessary.  Then it happened.  The one day of the year I decide to ride the eastern trail...1200 other people are riding it too.  The trail to Scarborough was a total parking lot of people out to do their big 25 mile ride of the year.
1200 Trail Users

1201
 The ride was actually the Maine Lighthouse Ride which supports the ET so it was all good but what are the chances?  I slowed from the 20mph range to somewhere right around 9mph.  I got to talk to Mark (?) from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine for a few miles.  Mark yelled words of encouragement to every person we passed, and there were a lot.  Fun guy!  Kind of a BCOM cheerleader. Soon after we hit the road I picked my pace back up so I'd be home before dark.
This time it isn't wrapped in plastic.
From there I rode to the end of the lighthouse ride to see if they had some water.  I was the first bicycle on the scene.  No water (?) but they did offer me some ice tea which was even better.

This picture has nothing to do with the ride. This is what a fitbit looks like just before it shits the bed - AGAIN.
I'm not sure how a picture of my broken Fitbit got here (other than I loaded it by mistake).  I wasn't even wearing it because it broke.  Don't buy products from Fitbit, they suck!

Anyway, I got tired of taking pictures after that.  Actually, I got tired of just about everything after that.  I continued up the coast through Falmouth & Yarmouth. By mile 80 I was at Pineland Market to fill my water bottles one last time and my legs were done.  Done I tell you.  Somehow I made it home.  I'd say this was one of the hardest rides of the year and I'm not sure why.  Oh well, there's always next weekend.  Loon Echo!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Team Edwards Needs Your Help!

 
I've done The Dempsey Challenge every year since it started.  Since then with your donations I've personally raised $9510 for that cause.  Kelly has also done it as either a run or a ride and raised several thousand.  My goal has always been to raise enough to get the Dempsey Challenge cycling Jersey for raising $1000.  In the past few years we started participating in the Fight Back Festival which supports the Cancer Community Center in Portland.  The Dempsey Center and the Cancer Community Center offer nearly identical services for people struggling with cancer.  One center services Lewiston/Auburn and the other Portland.  The CCC doesn't have a pretty movie star promoting the event so it doesn't get the press of The Dempsey Challenge but it is equally important.  As much as I would love to get my 8th Dempsey Challenge jersey, I don't really need one.  Kelly and I do both need to meet some minimum fundraising goals for each entry so please click on the links below and donate to the cause you feel most strongly about.  If you hail from the LA area or just like the way Patrick looks, then pick the Dempsey.  If you've got kin in Portland then the CCC/FBF is the one to support.  If you just want to support me or Kelly, click on our links and make sure we've got to our minimum.
(Update: We have both reached all of our minimums!!  So, still feel free to donate to whatever cause and person you like.  But, if your undecided, pick my Dempsey Page.  I wouldn't mind collecting the complete set of Challenge riding shirts. And I control the blog.)




Physically we're ready for the challenge!   The first year I did The Dempsey Challenge I did the 50 mile option because I wasn't sure I was up for the 100.  8 years later I have already done twelve 100+ mile rides this year.  So far these have been unsupported rides, no rest stops every 12 miles with food and water.  The Dempsey Challenge is going to be a cake walk (whatever that actually means).  Scroll down in my blog to see posts about most if not all of them.

Kelly completed her first Ironman.  (notice I said first) Still, don't expect her to run a marathon after she finishes the Dempsey ride, we'll be eating cold lobster and heating our frozen hands up with hot potatoes.

And now I present to you dozens of pictures of "Team Edwards" in action in no particular order.  Celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary and over 20 years together we've never been stronger!



















Monday, August 29, 2016

I've Never Been To Harpswell Before

And I don't think I need to go back.  No offense to the fine Massachusetts residents of Harpswell.  I road to the end to a place called Potts Point Preserve. Which seemed to be a little overrated.  The Brochure indicated swimming.  Maybe if you are a crab, because the shoreline was sharp rocks with lots of attached seaweed.  Mostly, it is a private road leading to the preserve and the residents, rightly so, don't want the masses parking on their lawns.  So I'm not going back out of respect for the residents.  Which incidentally all seem to be people from Massachusetts looking for a place to spend all their extra money.  And I say that because the starting price for a waterfront lot is around $400,000 A F---ING LOT. And at least half the cars in the driveways I passed had Mass plates. OK, I'll stop being negative.  Potts Point was a fine place to walk around but there are thousands of other destinations that might be better.
Welcome to Potts Point Preserve

My Garmin said I was at 140' below sea level when I got there.  It must have been because it was low tide
My Wife Said
To Take A Lot
Of Pictures
So I Did.
After a quick snack and a 250' stroll I headed back.  I was excited because I had battled a headwind all the way out.  Not so fast, still a good cross wind on the way back.  I was leaving Harpswell neck at about mile 60 with 2 empty water bottles.  I had crossed paths with the Farm to Fork Fondo back in Pownal and knew that it started around Wolf's Neck Farm.  I decided to see if I could bandit one of the rest stops for a water refill.  I found the last stop on the short course and told them I wasn't part of the ride but needed some water.  They said they were just closing up and to take any food or drink that I wanted.  Score!  That Fondo may be on my list for next year because the food at the rest stops was top notch! 

From there I decided that I'd follow the course back toward the finish to see if I could catch up with some friends that were riding.  As it turns out, they were the very first group of cyclists I past out of over 500.  What are the chances?  I finished the last 5 or so miles of the ride with them.  The announcer at the finish announced everybody's name as they finish but just had a funny look on his face when I went through.  I declined the finisher's medal at the end too but helped myself at the sponsor tables.

With a belly full of Gu Recovery Drink (I know I had more to ride but it's mostly marketing, it was hydrating and pretty tasty) I was on my way.  I never really got the tailwind I was looking for.  No, it was mostly of the head variety.  By mile 90 I was pretty much drained so I stopped at the orchard to re-fuel with some apples and get a drink.  Most notably, apples are ready; in August!  I bought 2 apples and a cold Poland Spring water for a buck!  I asked if they had tap-water available and they were in the process of having it tested but the owner offered me a second water for riding 90 miles already!  Therefore, I highly recommend taking a trip to the Orchard Hill Farm, very nice owners that not only saved the old T&T orchard from being developed but are planting more trees.

A welcome break with nice owners.
Slightly refreshed I went on to finish the ride.  I met yet another cycling friend on the way and finally got my tailwind for the last 8 miles.  Good thing 'cause this body was done.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Camping Century, Mount Chocorua & The Great Adventure Challenge

Some people take vacations to rest.

Actually compared to some years this year had less activities.  We started camping over the weekend and between setup weather and a forgotten Garmin (with my programmed route in it) I pushed my weekly century ride Til' Tuesday. My lovely wife offered to take her long ride home to retrieve said Garmin where she discovered a newly hatched chick.  The picture looks fuzzy because chicks are fuzzy.

I'd hoped to make it around Lake Winnipesaukee but that was going to make the ride way too long.  I opted for a route that was mostly in New Hampshire.  I had the cross bike so I didn't pay a lot of attention to weather the roads were paved or dirt.

Nice Views, Not a lot of Traffic
Trespassing?  Fine.  With Dogs?  Fine. But Leave Your Bear Dogs At Home.
New Hampshire has a lot of towns.  It seemed like I rode through 50 of them.  Most notably Sandwich.  Which gives the mind time to wonder.  Is there a New Sandwich which might also mean there is an "Old Sandwich" Can you really take the "Sandwich Police" seriously? Is there a Sandwich Sandwich shop?  And does the Sandwich Store not sell sandwiches? Anyway.
The Store Was Closed. (A Few People Will Get This)
Planning routes on the Garmin through areas I don't know is a fun way to do rides.  I'd say 80% of my ride I didn't know where I was or what I would find around the next corner.  I did make my way back to Maine to stop by the family garden and fuel with a few cherry tomatoes and a green pepper.
The Garden Was Open
This was my 11th Century this year!
.
The next day we hiked up Mount Chocorua at a spirited pace since we were going almost 4 miles one way to the top and the rest of the group was only going 1.6 miles to the falls.  
Happy Campers

My wife had visions of the dogs plummeting off a cliff and falling to a gruesome death so she stayed back with them while I scampered (almost) to the top.  In the interest of time and since there was nobody to hang out with up there I got most of the way up and called it close enough.  It was also cold, raining and very windy  and I was in a wet t-shirt (not a contest).
Could not get a selfie without a crooked face.
I'm not sure the pace was a great idea with a race coming up in a few days but it certainly didn't hurt. 

                                              BECAUSE WE FREAKIN' WON!

First Overall
She puts on a bigger celebratory face than I do.

First Female Overall
The kayak leg just about wore me out since I hadn't been in a kayak yet this year, aside from puttering around a very small pond 2 days before.  I felt totally drained when I climbed on the bike and thought: "This isn't my race".  But my 5000 miles of riding this year took over and I made my way to the front of the pack from 20th.  I passed the last person before we turned from a dirt road into the trails again.  I decided to do the run in my bike shoes so the transition was me throwing my helmet and camel back on the ground and heading up the mountain.  I spent the first 1/4 mile looking over my shoulder to see who was going to pass me on the miserable trip down the mountain.  When 2 people finally appeared I was pretty hopeful that they were far enough back that I should be able to hold my own. 


The trip down the mountain was brutal as always.  It always takes a week before I can walk down stairs without a grimace but the king for a day feeling is worth it.  

We did get our own Personal Press Release after the race, which was nice. I missed breaking the course record on the bike by 2 minutes.  I've got my sights set on breaking the overall course record but not until I get a new kayak.  I need to be paddling a pencil, not a tugboat to compete for that.  Might have to actually run some before the race too...