Two very similar photos at first glance - so what is the difference - well let me tell you...
- 400 miles and 56 hours and 45 minutes
- Not knowing what awaits ahead and knowing exactly what was out there
- 30 degrees in temperature and wearing mittens on my feet
- A sore butt and a half of tube of DZ Nuts Bliss
- Two repaired knees unproven and two knees a little sore and swollen but intact
- 1 slow leak in rear tire requiring air every few hours
- Quarter bottle of chain lube
- 27,000 feet of climbing - 22,000 feet after the first 200 miles - not joking - killer!
- 5 Honey Stinger Waffles, 1 bag of caffeine Jelly Beans, 2 packages of crackers, 2 bags of Perky Jerky, 3 bags of chips, 2 Subway subs, 1 blueberry muffin, 6 Subway cookies, 3 brownies, 1 Kit Kat,10 Reese Cups, 1 order of cheese sticks, 1 order of waffle fries, 1 Mountain Dew, 4 Gatorades, 1 Vitamin Water, 2 chocolate milks, 2 oatmeal creme pies, 1 package of Reese Pieces Easter Eggs, 2 packages of peanut butter/chocolate mix, 1 NUN electrolyte drink, 1 bag of mixed nuts, 1 cashew granola bar, 1 pack of gum
- 1 depleted iPod battery
- Riding on and off with Markley Anderson - one tough dude that never quits!!!! An inspiration!
- 3 frozen water bottles
- 1 deer carcass
- 6 NoDoz pills to replace no coffee
- 1 scary woman with a bit too much make up around the eyes
- Using ChapStick as sunscreen for my face
- 6 AA batteries
- 1 foot of Duct Tape
The Allegheny Mountain Loop was such an amazing ride for me. I was so thankful I was able to ride like that again after 2 knee surgeries and experience the unknown of a new route. I went into this ride with little information, just a line to follow on my GPS. Not knowing what was around the next corner or over the next hill was rejuvenating - it is that sense of the unknown that made this loop so special for me. The knees started to hurt at 250 miles - I remember it clearly when it started- but what was not hurting at 250 miles right? Backing off so not re injure my knees was hard and I was frustrated with the knees at first since everything else was feeling so strong and good and it did became a small mental battle in my head for the next 50 miles but it was the right thing to do. I eventually realized I want to be able to do continue to do the things I love like ride long distance and taking care of myself was more important than finishing with a faster time. Enjoying being out on the bike, living off the bike, and riding through some amazing country was my reward!
Now I am back home - reunited with the boys and riding the greenway with them and thinking what might be next......... ummmmm. Nothing is better!