a stolen bike was only a speed bump

I’m always a sucker for a good challenge.  Last year the local running store had a challenge to run 100 miles in a week which they titled “Stupid Week.”  I couldn’t resist it so I went for it.  It taught me so much about myself. After that challenge, I wondered what would be a similar cycling challenge for this year.  Then I learned about the Rapha Festive 500.  The Rapha Festive 500 is a challenge to ride 500km from Christmas Eve to New Years Eve and none of the distance can be on a trainer.  What a great idea!  I joined the challenge on Strava and was excited to get some good riding in between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.  A few days before the challenge was set to begin my road bike was stolen.  I was devastated. I ended up missing the first two days of the challenge but was able to get the first long ride in on my TT bike on the third day.  I rode that bike for the first 4 rides and then my replacement road bike came in. I had two days left to complete the Festive 500. With two little kids who were off from school this was going to be a challenge. 

On the last day I had to get in 90 miles.  That morning I woke up to pouring rain.  I tried to wait it out but it did not let up.  By this time, it was 10am and I knew if I was going to get the 90 miles in before dark I had to get going.  So I put on all my rain gear and got on my bike.  It was rainy, cold and windy for the first 3 hours but my friend Jason joined me for some of it and I just kept riding with a quick stop for coffee, a bagel and warmth.  At mile 65 I was wet, cold and tired. I was also feeling a little delirious. I texted my husband that I didn’t think I was going to finish it and was heading home. When I got home, I drank a coke (to see if it would give me some energy) and my husband asked me how many more miles I had to go.  I had 20 miles left and it was getting dark.  Then an idea came to me.  I asked my six year old daughter Chloe if she would get a paper out and mark every time I came by the house.  The plan was to do 20, 1 mile repeats down our street and back and she would make a hash mark each time. She was so excited which in turn gave me the boost of energy I needed.  I’m sure the neighbors thought I was crazy but I just kept riding.  As I came in to the last mile the kids and my husband had horn blowers and were cheering me into the drive way.  It was awesome.  I was exhausted but it was the best way to end the year.  Thank you Rapha for the crazy challenge. It really was the best way to end 2016!!  And thank you to Jon for always supporting me in my crazy adventures!!