I just got done interviewing this really amazing AIDS Lifecycle rider—she was the last rider of the day on Days 3 and 6. She didn’t have time to train—she didn’t know she was going to do the ride until the week before, so she didn’t do any training until the week before the ride. She bought a bike and went straight into the ride.
Anyway, the first day she managed 40 miles, including one very long hill (which she walked up). At lunch, she went in and told them she was done for the day—completely exhausted—and slept the entire bus ride back into camp. Second day, same thing. But the third day…the third day she rode every single one of the 70.2 miles (including the nastiest hill in the entire ride) and came in to a standing ovation, escorted by the entire motorcycle safety crew, as the very last rider of the day.
I don’t know about you, but when I started riding, 25 miles was about the best I could do. To do 40 miles the first day, 40 miles the second day, and SEVENTY miles the third day is just amazing. To do it in long sleeves and long pants (to avoid sunburn) in the middle of summer…well, wow.
In total she rode 375 miles in one week, which is damn impressive for someone who did no training at all. And no injuries and no soreness. I wonder if she’s really human(!)
Oh, and did I mention she’s diabetic?
So, now I’m convinced I can finish this book. If a diabetic, 37-year-old woman with no training can ride 375 miles in one week, I can write this book. Anything is possible!
(Which is exactly what she said…she kept thinking about quitting and joining the Medical team (she had volunteered in previous years), but she had committed to herself to ride, and just kept going…and she did it!!)
Book-wise, I’m excited to say that I have found a collaborator…another friend of mine is working on a novel, and has offered to help me read over/edit the drafts, discuss structural issues, and so on. He and I are meeting tomorrow for the first time. I’m really excited at the prospect—this is something I have needed for quite some time, and the book has been suffering for lack of a reader. I’m ecstatic.