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PMC 2005, Sunday After the Ride, and the Trip Home

Sunday, August 7, 2005 @ 10:05 am

After being "scanned" at the finish line, I coasted up to the reception area. Mark and Andy had just come out of the shower tent and were finishing getting dressed.

I wasn't surprised they were in ahead of me. Remember, I saw them take off first thing in the morning to find Dave, and then never saw them again. (If perception were reality, as we're so often told, then that's exactly how it would have happened. I had their story all wrong, but this is just the story of the ride through my eyes, and what I was thinking at the time.)

I parked my bike on the walkway which leads to the "security lockup" area for the bikes, then headed back to find my bag. The bags were all piled up in no particular order, they were just separated by where you'd stayed at Bourne. Mine was in the "tent and off-campus" pile, with hundreds of others. There were dozens of volunteers helping to look for bags, but not that many riders were around yet so eight of them started scouring the pile for mine.

"What's it look like?" they asked me. "Navy blue, rectangular, leather handles, soft-sided, like a big duffel bag. Sorta like half of the other bags I can see from here."

Nope, that's not it. Nope. Nope. No, not that one either. Darker blue. Nope. Uh-uh. No, bigger. Nope, nope, nope, nope... yeah! That's the one. Thank you!"

"You're welcome!" they all said, in chorus. That was downright spooky, but they all looked at each other and laughed... obviously they thought so too.

After three years of this, I'm not even sure why I send a bag at all. I can't take a shower at the Provincetown Inn because I still have to ride the bike to the Family Finish for Corinne to pick me up. So, the clothes in the bag don't do me any good, and it means I have to carry it on my back for the two miles between stops. I hope I can remember that next year.

Lunch? Brunch?

What do you call the second meal of the day, after more than 80 miles on the bike, when it's only a little after 10 am?

"Yummy," that's what. I had two pita sandwiches (rolled up). One was roastbeef and ham, the other was chicken salad. Whoever told me the chicken salad was good was totally right, it was excellent.

The food tables and volunteers were set up to handle fifty-plus riders at a time, but when I went through there was nobody else there! So, I had two volunteers at one table all to myself, each making a sandwich for me. Ahhh, yeah. Gotta love the volunteers.

It wasn't hard to find a place to sit, either. There were only two other riders under the tent, everybody else was wearing the lime green volunteer t-shirt. I picked a spot fairly close to the entrance so I could spot anybody I knew as they came in.

Mark and Andy were first, and came over to sit with me. Two-tone Tony came in a little later, and talked about the super-fast paceline he'd been in for much of the day.

Then Steve came in, and asked me "what happened to me today."

"Huh? I beat you here!"

"No you didn't. We were here at 9:45, what time did you get here?"

It's like he'd told me the sky was orange. By the time I reached the Nickerson waterstop and didn't see anybody except Mike, I was sure that Mark and Andy had stayed ahead of me all day, and that Steve and Dave were behind me. Now he's telling me that they got here fifteen minutes ahead of me!?

(Steve later explained that they had skipped the first water stop, reached the second water stop ahead of me and were just leaving as I came in. He thought I wanted to ride alone!)

I admitted that I hadn't come in until just after 10, but I was still confused.

Dave came in with his food and sat down with us a few minutes later. They all got talking about their ride, and that they had ended the day at 20.6 mph! Grr. I completely blew it.

The water at Nickerson came up, and I told them that's where I made my biggest mistake. I should have just kept drinking at my regular pace (in spite of my complete revulsion for the taste of chlorine). In the twenty or twenty five miles that I was feeling dehydrated (or recovering from it, shortly after the last water stop), my average speed dropped from 21.1 down to 20. I managed to bring it up a little at the end, when I was feeling better.

More than anything else, though, I just shouldn't have taken off like that.

Oh well! Two good days with friends at the PMC is all most of us can hope for, and I got that so I really have nothing to complain about.

I used Mark's phone to call Corinne and find out how close she was to the Family Finish. She wasn't far, but she was stuck in traffic again. Mark's phone battery died before we could finish the conversation, but I gathered she thought it would be another 45 minutes.

Family Finish

The idea of getting back on the bike to ride over to the FF didn't seem very appealing. Dave said to quit my whining, "you're going to get a hug and a kiss and be driven home by your wife!"

That didn't make my saddle look any more inviting, but it was time to go anyway. I said goodbye to everybody, schlepped all the way back to my bike, and saw Jim Boyko pulling in! I said hi, but told him I was on my way out. He couldn't seem to believe it. ("You are!?") Then, i rode off to the other finish line with my bag slung over my shoulder.

On the way I chatted with another rider. He was one of the few dads whose fifteen year old son was in the ride this year, and they were able to do the whole thing together. He said that when he mentioned doing twenty miles on Monday as a "cooldown ride," his son looked at him in shock and horror and yelled that there was no way he was getting back on his bike again! Heh. :-)

Once up to the finish, I parked the bike and started looking for Corinne. I asked the volunteers if they had a cellphone. They didn't, but one of the wives (waiting for her husband) did. No answer, and I tried three times.

I went all through the parking lots to find the truck, but it wasn't there. Figuring she's probably still stuck in traffic, I headed back towards my bike so I could bring it down to the entrance where all of the cars pull in, so I could see her as soon as she arrived.

But no, there she was, walking up the hill through the crowd! Yay!

"Corinne! Hi honey!" She looked around, saw me, and said only, "I'm parked in a bad place, we need to go now."


I ran back to grab the bike, and we walked up the hill to where she was parked... nowhere near the parking lots. Instead, she was on the far side of the rotary where all the shuttles (buses) park!

I changed my clothes right there in the parking lot, shielded (mostly) by the truck, then I put the rack on the truck, the bike on the rack, and drove us out of there.

What was so bad about the spot where she parked? Nothing, really. She'd come in to the area with some funky directions, and ended up approaching the family finish from the back. As she was pulling in, a police woman yelled at her that she couldn't park there... but she had no choice, because she knew I wouldn't find the truck up there on my own. (In her flustration, driving around to the proper entrance didn't occur to her, I guess.)

Homeward Bound

Over the weekend Corinne had seen a review of some restaurant on the cape with "the best fried clams." Knowing that I really love fried, whole belly clams, she wanted to go there. It was only a few miles out of the way.

The review was right, the clams were really good. As were the scallops. Not cheap, but really good.

She drove all the way home from the restaurant. We hit heavy traffic in exactly the same place as last year, just a couple miles from our exit off 95. I honestly don't remember much of the trip home... probably because I tried to sleep through most of it.

Unmentioned, but Unforgettable

There are a few things (funny moments, observations, comments) I forgot to mention in the earlier parts of the story, or that didn't really fit anywhere in particular, but which I really don't want to forget.

  • Katie Boyko lost her engagement ring's diamond somewhere, sometime on Friday, but didn't notice until she was sitting at dinner under the tent, in the mob scene that is the PMC. Steve was undeterred, though, and searched the ground for a while to find it. (No luck.)
  • When Mark and Andy got back to their hotel on Friday afternoon (the brutally hot day when we rode from the NY line), they filled their hot tub with ICE WATER in order to bring their temperatures down.
  • They were both quick to point out that they didn't get in the icy tub *together*!
  • Steve noticed that Mark has not one, but three Adam's Apples! Ahem.
  • I noted that "Steve just said the funniest thing I've ever heard him say," but wasn't sure I could actually tell anyone about it.
  • Desitin is for babies!
  • After my massage, I found a dead guy laying under my massage table! Ok, he wasn't dead, but he looked it, and it really startled me because I hadn't seen him there earlier.
  • It's not a race!
  • If I think of anything else, this is probably where I'll put it.

Page last updated: 8/17/2005

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