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Only the teeth…

2010 April 14
by Eric R.

A lot of people asked me this weekend how could I lose weight on a electric bike. I think they have the concept that I just went for the ride until they saw me passing them going uphill while huffing and puffing.  Yes I did pass 149 cyclists on the way to arriving 1st to Athens on my 130+ mile ride this weekend. You can follow my getting there route here.  Before I give you the results of my 2 day adventure let me tell you 1st that I will never attempt this ever again.

Google bicycle maps showed a -3 to a +3 % average grade from Atlanta to Athens. Oh boy, are they wrong. Those hills were brutal. No they were not mountains but were they long going uphill and short on their downhills even both ways…Day one was a total blur. Got lost because I followed the route I downloaded to my Garmin – thinking that the route would be easy to follow- but I learned yesterday that my Garmin Edge 705 would not let me ride the route, unless that was the shortest route to the destination. So when I realized I’ve not seen a cyclist for about an hour and that I no longer found little signs with an arrow around the road and the road was a four lane 55+ mph road that I must somehow got lost. I stopped at a gas station and started to figure out where in the world Eric R. was. With the help of the mission control folks I was not too far from the route and my Garmin finally put me back on track. I had somehow missed the lunch break point (not that I need any help in that category) and cut my route short by about 2 miles (82 instead of 84) – but I did turned off my Garmin and turned it on a mile off here and there – those senior moments do show up in the Garmin as diagonal lines not ever following a road. When I got to the outskirts of Athens, ran out of batteries. I started walking with my bike any time the terrain was uphill. Rode the downhills and after about 30 minutes I could see people with pompoms and the signs that I was close to the finish line. As I said, I was walking uphill and this guy riding a road bike passed me by. Knowing that the finish line was so close, I jumped on my bike and started riding on pure human power uphill to the finish line. I was able to overtake him before the finish line and gained about a 5 second lead.  Being the first two riders at the finish line – very few people even noticed us but arriving first,  I’ve never felt so good in my life! I’m glad I was able to hold on to that feeling for the next couple of days before all the muscles on my body started sending not so good signals to my brain (pain).

Menu so far: Breakfast – 2 Costco croissants with 3 shots of espresso. A few bananas and orange slices with powerade at the break points and a couple of bites of beef jerky. Lunch – nada. Dinner- 4 beers, a small pizza and a killer BBQ pork sandwich out of a trailer.

Went to bed the earliest I remember and prayed all night for the Lord to give me strength to be able to ride back safely without too much pain.

Next day I was up and about around 6 a.m. waiting for the hot breakfast to be served. My language skills helped me to get 2 cheese omelets, 2 sausages, 1 biscuit and 2 waffles before the rest of the world. Began my ride to the start line when a technical glitch eliminated my chances of completing my ride. After about 1-2 blocks from my hotel the internal battery pack tripped and no longer gave me signs of any life. I knew it was a matter of resetting it – but without ever encountering a similar issue with my Opti – I wanted confirmation on where to poke the bike before letting any field mechanic to do surgery on my baby.  I was able to get confirmation on the procedure much too late on the ride so after riding 50 miles I was sagged to the finish line. I only had a roast beef with cheese croissant sandwich for lunch with 2 sodas and again oranges and bananas at the 3 breakpoints I went. A very light dinner ensued when I went home (1 curry chicken empanada).

I rode for about 10 hours in two days. The results – 7 lbs to the ether. The title of this post? It should be completed – what was the body part that didn’t hurt 24 hours after the ride?

1,668 miles to go in 2010.

And BTW – thanks to all of you who supported my fund raising efforts and put me on the top 25 fund raisers of the event.

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