- Rain fell from the beginning at 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
- Rode in Memory of Jacob the Hero Grecco and Jamie Roberts
- Rode in Honor of Alex Shepherd
- First 70 miles were tough with cold and wet conditions zapping my energy
- Planned to ride throughout the night but was getting cold and realized I would not handle that many hours without sleep
- Retreated to car about 2:45 a.m. for a couple of hours of sleep
- Knew I was on pace for 200 miles but only by skipping lunch
- I ate lunch
- Marveled at a 20-something woman who rode like the Energizer Bunny. She was up to 280 miles and told me she wasn't stopping the rest of the way.
- I escorted a woman to help her finish her first 100 miles.
- After the event I was 18 miles short of 200 (14 really since Garmin was off for two laps). I stayed an extra hour to get the miles, hence 25 Hours of Booty
- Final distance was actually 204.2 miles
|Start Line - National Anthem|
The weather did not look promising. Still, it was only a 40% chance of rain in Columbia. They missed that one. Try 100%. All day. It was raining as we took to the start line. While there a woman looked at me and said "Hey, you were here last year. You wore the F**k You Cancer jersey." I laughed. "Well, it's FUCANCER and I'm wearing the socks.
I then regretted not having my FUCANCER jersey (any of them). But I later discovered that I did have one of my jerseys with me. I wore my Bootystrong, Spokes of Hope, and Stand Up to Cancer jerseys.
|Bootyville, on a beautiful Sunday morning|
Survivors, followed by top fundraisers, were to line up at the beginning. It appeared to me the groups were mixed and everyone took off at once when it was announced. It would be more meaningful if they let survivors only go. And then one minute later, let the top fund raisers go. Then one minute later, let everybody else go.
|Ready to roll in the rain|
At the end of the first lap, and I went through it first - three years in a row, I pulled over and waited for my sister, Betsy, to roll by. And waited. And waited. Finally, after being lapped twice by the field, she came by and told me she had had a flat. She walked her bike back to the Race Pace tent and had them repair it.
|Rode in HONOR of Alex Shepherd|
We rode. We got wet. The temperature was 70 degrees so it wasn't that chilly although there was no warming sun. When we stopped around 7:00 p.m. for dinner I had 70 miles but was chilled to the bone, sitting in a tent, soaking wet. I thought about calling it a day/night then. I went to the car, changed clothes, and turned the heat on high. Aaaaah.
|Rode in MEMORY of Jake the Hero Grecco and Jamie Roberts|
With dry clothes I hit the course again. My intention was to ride 24 hours although I am not a night person. I rode until "midnight pizza" arrived and then turned off my Garmin for the first time. I wanted to record a 24 hour ride but didn't know about battery life. So I shut down the Garmin while I ate.
|Bootyville on Saturday afternoon|
Done with pizza, I turned Garmin back on to a mishmash screen of incredibly small fonts. It appeared it was in diagnostic mode. I could not get it to work. My plan all along had been to count laps and take a water/bio break every 10 laps (21 miles). So I kept counting.
After two laps I went back to my car for an extra layer and turned on the Garmin. This time it worked. I only missed 4.2 miles.
|One of the youngsters climbing the hill|
Around 2:30 a.m. the realization finally struck. I suck at sleep deprivation. It seemed on course there were only four of us but it could have been five times as many as we were spread out. Still cold, but no longer wet, I thought some time off the bike would be useful.
If I could make one cancer patient's life better by riding 24 hours I would never stop. But at this point, the money has been raised and the time on the bike was purely personal. That is all. I took a break.
|Wore my Jamie T-shirt the first two hours of daylight on Sunday|
When the sun came out I switched to my Trek Domane as the roads dried. At breakfast Betsy and I sat with Paul Lemle, a Key to Keys rider from 2013. On course I rode with John Phipps and counted laps with him as his Garmin quit working too.
|These kids (not the big one) got ice cream after their lap|
There were a few riders who openly declared they were riding 24 hours and piling up the miles. One of these had a coach or wife just beyond the start/finish line. He didn't plan to exit the course to take on food/water but simply have it handed to him on course. I saw him take bottles from her on the fly and toss his empty bottles aside. And then he was sitting in the grass. Just sitting. For an hour. Then he left. I don't know what happened. Hard crash? Mechanical?
Jim Gleason was one of the ultra-riders (although not the one mentioned above) and was the top fund raiser. Another was a young (20-something?) woman who routinely lapped the field every 5-6 laps. Around 10:30 a.m. she told me she was at 280 miles and was not getting off her bike until the end.
But she was no longer lapping me (and John) and each lap on the climb up the start/finish line, we passed her. She passed back on the back stretch but I also noticed she no longer pedaled on the downhill portion. Near the end she was off her bike and sitting in the grass. She was awesome, racking up more than 300 miles and also she was human.
|Ultra-rider, on left|
Garmin beeped. Low battery. I knew if I was to get 200 miles that I was going to have to skip lunch. Once Garmin beeped I decided to go for lunch. I put Garmin in the car on accessory and gave it a charge while taking my time at lunch. I traded miles for lunch and my chance to reach 200 miles.
|Someday my sister will see this and ask that it be removed|
We were instructed to talk to people, and I tried. But so many people had ear buds in which screams to me "LEAVE ME ALONE." So I didn't talk to them. But late in the ride I was next to Veronica Galindo de Otazo and asked her who she was riding for. She said a friend of her daughter's mother, who had a second recurrence of breast cancer. We rode and talked.
|Some young riders on road bikes|
Veronica was also trying to get to 100 miles. At 12:26 p.m. we told me she was at 84 miles and wouldn't make it. I told her she would. We would break it down. I told her we needed eight laps and at eight minutes per lap, we could finish with 20 minutes to spare. We did and she thanked me. She told me without me supporting her she wouldn't have made it.
|Last year's Team Jake's Snazzy Pistols|
This year Team BootyStrong
Betsy Sherry, John Phipps, Barry Sherry
As we were held at 1:45 p.m. to begin the last lap, I put on my Team Alex T-shirt. At the completion of Booty I was at 184 miles. I decided to make it 25 Hours of Booty and get the 200 miles.
|Rode the final lap in honor of Alex Shepherd|
When I got home I realized those diagnostics that appeared in Garmin - it was fried. I could not offload the data. But I do have picture and the course is a loop.
204.2 miles (remember those two missed laps?)