Yesterday’s 150 mile ride was intense and challenging both mentally and physically. My team had been concerned about the distance all week and we still didn’t have a route figured out the night before. I couldn’t remember what I had done last year on the first day of the ECMSR, only that I was by myself and wound up riding in the dark for a bit, beginning to hallucinate that the street lamps were people. I didn’t want that to happen again, and Opie from Atlanta kindly lent us a 500 lumen headlight so we didn’t have to worry too much about being out at night. We were also able to convince him to share Lucas’ route with us which was really amazing of both of them. The routes we were quickly plotting at 10pm the night before were all coming out at over 160 miles. Lucas emailed me his gps file late on Friday night and I tried to find someone who had a garmin cycling computer back home who could translate it for us. Luckily, Krista is good friends with Dan Chabanov, who translated the file and sent it to her in the morning. We weren’t able to connect to the Internet at the bike shop at the start of the race, so really had no idea where we were going. I asked Lucas if we could do all the roads he had plotted or if it had some ‘typical Lucas craziness’ and was going to have us running over highways or through culverts. ‘follow it to a T,’ he said. ‘you can ride on every road. There is a shortcut through a guy’s farm and it looks sketchy from google earth but it’s a road so just take it and follow the directions exactly.’
Somehow the guys had all decided to ride through the Yale campus together and not start picking up the pace until we got out of the city. It was nice to get to ride with the whole group in a relaxed pace. I wound up staying with the peloton for about 25 miles outside of New Haven and felt really strong with them. It felt great to be swept along with the group and really be able to push it on the flats. Once the hills started though, I just didn’t have the fitness to keep up with them and got dropped off the back. I had to quickly decide whether to keep going or pull over and wait for Krista and Rachel to come through, but was unsure of how far back they were and worried that if I stopped, I would start to zone out and would have a difficult time getting back on my bike. I decided to keep going, and caught up with Greg Addo, who was also off the back of the peloton. I didn’t have Lucas’ route, so I started routing on the fly with my iPhone, trying to find the best roads to cut a diagonal through Connecticut and Massachusetts.
It was a really long day. Greg and I ran into James from Boston and rode with him for a bit but then separated to stay on the main roads.
We caught up with Corey and pacelined with him for a while on route 6.
Then we found Luis while we were navigating to get on 12 north. Luis, Greg and I wound up riding the rest of the way into Boston together.
We were about 30 miles outside of Boston and saw Aaron at a gas station. Riding was getting difficult at this point. It was 5pm and we were on Route 9 into Boston, which is hilly and had a lot of traffic. About 10 miles out of Boston, we started hearing thunder and seeing lightning and the sky became completely gray. It started raining right as we came into the city. Luis was navigating us to the end and after some frustration with riding down the wrong streets we finally found the end and then made our way to Edinboro St. to meet up with the rest of the guys. Rachel and Krista came in shortly after us and I was so glad to see them after such a long day of riding without my team.