Monday, June 24, 2013

International Marathon Chasing

Lubec, ME to Campobello Island, Canada and back.  Repeat as necessary.

How do you get a bike, camping gear, and 2 people 500 miles with only 12.5 gallons of gas?  Stuff a Sonic of course.

This is my wife's third marathon and her first away marathon.  Since it was just the two of us and she would be busy for about 4-5 hours I brought my bike for company and to offer course support. I'm glad I did, driving was discouraged on the course and the bike offered a great way to get to different course locations.   

The marathon ran from:
West Quoddy Head Lighthouse,
Note I color coordinated my bike and windbreaker to match the regional lighthouses.
East Quoddy Head Lighthouse

"Downtown" Lubec
 I dropped my wife off to be bussed about 4 miles from the parking lot to the start and my ride began.
In about a mile the bus had to stop because the roads were only running one way.  After a few minutes I decided to take my chances with all the "traffic" and passed the bus.  I saw about 3 cars in 4 miles and pretty much had both lanes to myself.  The bus and I pulled in to the start at about the same time.  After milling around the starting area for a while the race went off just about on time.  
Gratuitous Starting Line Photo

Once the runners were on their way...
Runners are on their way
I milled around the lighthouse a little longer to wait until the pack spread out.  Throughout the whole day I was very mindful of letting the runners own the road and staying out of their way.
Milling around.  There are about 500 fewer people here than 10 minutes ago.

From here I spent the day following the course and snapping pictures. 
About 7 miles into the race.
Typical Scenery on the run.

Out of all the things on the island, the tides were the most amazing.  At peak flow they can change over 5' per hour.  Here is a time lapse of the access to the island that East Quoddy Head Lighthouse is on.  One of the attendants that was leaving warned us" Do not go over there, it may look like you have plenty of time and you'll think I'm crazy, but you don't.  If you get stuck on the island you will be there for 8 hours."  I personally think we could have made it but not with a lot to spare.
Sandbar to Island
About 15 Minutes Later

High Tide
Kelly Crossing Into Maine for the Last Time
Yes, it's Really Her

From the lighthouse which was the furthers point out the runners had a grueling run back to town repeating the hilly terrain in reverse order. 
"Yay, I'm done"
After finishing the runners get their reward for punishing themselves for 26.2 miles.
A tinfoil blanket, a cup of yogurt and an orange juice.
We're already planning on going back.  One of the best things about this race were the the people both in Lubec and Campobello.  They were all genuinely friendly and glad to have us there.  Nobody seemed irritated that we were clogging up their roads and disrupting schedules.  I got to stop and talk to quite a few people on my bike and all of them were pleasant!

Oh, and one final note:
I Should Have Brought My Fat Bike!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Dog with Passion, Deer with Passion

I'm finding that our dog Wesley not only loves mountain biking, he needs mountain biking.  He's good for about 3-4 miles of full speed cruising.  Our shoes and furniture really appreciate it. Here are a few brief action shots.

And now for the deer story.  I'm on my mountain bike going down a very steep hill on the road at about 30mph = 44 feet/second = 0.022 seconds/foot. and a frickin big deer bounds out of the woods about 5 feet on front of me.  DOH!  I'll finish the math.  I was about 0.113 seconds from T-boning the crazy woods cow in mid air at high speed.  The best part, wait for it.....I was on Deer Acres Rd at the intersection of Fawn Rd.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Early Morning Cyclist Inspiration

Actually 2 early mornings for the price of one.

Yesterday's commute included a bridge through head high grass with a nice stand of iris for color.

Today's had an attempted turtle rescue.  Except when I tried to move mama turtle away from the road (hissing and snapping) I found that she had a nest with eggs underneath her.  So I put her back.  She's only about a foot from the pavement.  How long to turtle eggs take to hatch?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pirate Tri...Arrgh

At least 1/3 of the pirate tri for me, guess which 3rd?  Give up, it was the bike part.  Normally, I'd snub my nose at a relay team because those people are cheating.  I wasn't really planning on doing this as a relay.  At first I was planning on it, then I wasn't because I hadn't swam yet this year.  Then, a friend came to us and said that she was already entered but didn't think she could do the bike part.  So, to help out a friend in need I offered to cheat in a triathlon and do it as a relay.  Which is good because I really didn't want to do competitive swimming anyway.

Fast forward to the race start, the relay teams are the last wave to go off.  Our swimmer hits the water which she reports as horribly cold despite her wetsuit, again, glad it wasn't me, and has an asthma attack about 15 seconds into the swim and nearly turned back.  That was 4 days ago and she's still punishing herself.  Peg, we not only forgive you but thank you for getting us out there, pressing on and now drowning.

About 15:43 later she arrives at the bike transition area, about 6 minutes longer than she can do on a good day.  Now my part begins!  My nerves are a little on edge because our swimmer arrived a little late and this is the first road race I have actually been in.  Let the passing begin. I was on a relay team so it's not fair to compare myself to those who just swam and had to save some to run...but I will. I was up in the 20 fastest riders out of around 400.  Better than I expected, really.  Between starting in the last wave having a slow swim time and being a fast rider I passed a lot of people that day, like 300, not that I'm bragging.  Actually, I am obviously.  Luckily, hills are my specialty, hills are not most peoples specialty and it was a hilly course.  I rolled over the 14 mile course in 39:59 give or take a few tenths.

(Picture may be inserted here once they are posted)

The timing chip is handed off and now it's our runner's turn..........I don't know what happens here because she left.........24:16 later she is sprinting for the finish line.

Even with our slow start our team came in 5th out of 24 in the mixed relay class.  Had our swimmer not had an unfortunately timed attack we were right in the running for 1st place.  Full Results Here

My wife and I have already resolved to do a tri as individuals within the next year and are glad we got to "get our feet wet" without getting our feet wet...Even if we were cheaters.