Harbor to the Bay–A Wet and Wild Time

Making time for a quick lunch break at the Sagamore Bridge.
Making time for a quick lunch break at the Sagamore Bridge.

Although our big ride was just over one week ago, Wuggs and I are still reeling with excitement and adrenaline.  We have so many friends and family members to thank for helping us reach our fundraising goal:

We managed to raise $1,340–surpassing our collective fundraising goal by $340.

With  the cheering, kind words, and encouragement of so many friends and family at our back, Wuggs and I cycled over 100 miles from Boston to Welfleet.*  We still have one more ride, El Tour de Tucson in November…

While our support of Harbor to the Bay 2009 went directly to Fenway Community Health Center; combined with the efforts of 350 riders, we collectively raised almost $260,000 that will go directly into the programming and research budgets for Fenway Community Health Center, AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, Community Research Initiative of New England, and AIDS Action Committee.

Though I could never capture the entire experience and wonderful high I felt to be a part of something so big–I’ve included text and photos so you can get a snapshot of our experience.

The ride was truly a remarkable experience:  I experienced some great highs from the endorphins that our bodies produce when pushing the physical limits–I also experienced doubt and insecurity…would I have the self control to brave the rain and cold and persevere?  And I finally experienced great joy that the ride ended in Wellfleet (19 miles I didn’t have to ride) because the rain was flooding Route 6.  All-in-all it was a great day.

Wuggs models her new jersey and fuels up on a chocolate muffin.  Thanks Trinity Church for providing us a warm place to prepare for a long and wet ride!
Wuggs models her new jersey and fuels up on a chocolate muffin. Thanks Trinity Church for providing us a warm place to prepare for a long and wet ride!

After rising at the ungodly and dark hour of 3:30am on a Saturday morning, we slowly and carefully pedalled in the cold rain to Trinity Church in Copley Square in time for a 5:00 am breakfast and registration.

Once we picked up our riding jerseys, we bulked up on oatmeal, bananas, chocolate muffins (Wuggs’ favorite), OJ and coffee.

Motivational speeches and “thank yous” were blasted in between flashy dance music from loud speakers in the center of Copley Square.  At 6am, we were off in three rounds of fastest, followed my medium paced, and then slow riders at the tail.

And they're off!  The first round of H2B Riders departing from Copley Square.
And they’re off! The first round of H2B Riders departing from Copley Square.

There was one traumatic moment in between the start of the ride and the UMASS Boston Campus, where there was a deep pool of water (more like a lake!) that collected at a backed up gutter.  Several riders went down in the first 5 miles and 30 minutes.

Though Wuggs and I safely passed this section (we are the queens of safety!  Yeah!), I lost my dear wife for the next hour.  Unbeknownst to me, Wuggs experienced her first of three flat tires near here.  I plugged ahead thinking that my little speed racer had out paced me (it wouldn’t be the first time).  We caught up with each other at the first rest stop in Quincy where Wuggs caught me up in between cookies, trailmix, and…the discovery of her SECOND flat tire (ugh).

We were a little behind–but still making pretty good time, considering.  The bike tech fixed her tire and inspected the wheel closely for any more damage:  it would appear that we were safe to go.  So we mounted our aluminum ponies and were off.  It would be another 15 miles (and another flat tire) before our next rest stop.

7 miles later, Wuggs and I pulled over and hailed the nearest SAG car to help with another tire casualty.  I’ll be honest–we were 30 miles into the ride, I was wet and cold and my mood was spiralling downhill quickly.  At this point, I was beginning to use her faulty front tire/wheel as a good excuse to stop the ride and head directly to p-town.

We get by with a little help from our friends…

I have to take a moment to thank all of the incredible H2B volunteers.  They kept saying, “Thank you!” to the riders…  But these volunteers made what would have been a horrible, achy, nasty and otherwise crappy day into an upeat and really fun experience.  The SAG volunteers not only fixed Wuggs’ wheel and tire for good–but they fixed my bad attitude.  It just goes to show how a smile, a pat on the back, a cheer can really make a difference.  Thank you H2B volunteers!

One of many inspirations along the ride:  Will, a Positive Peddlar from Chicago.
One of many inspirations along the ride: Will, a Positive Pedaler from Chicago.

It was about this time that we met a lone-rider and Positive Pedaler, Will.  Will was an inspiration for many reasons–his winning attitude, the experiences he shared with me to keep me company between Yarmouth and Brewster, and his bold spirit.  This was Will’s first time to participate in H2B and it was his first time to bike this route and visit Provincetown.  He discovered H2B randomly when searching on the internet for positive, active community people living with  HIV.  Will participated in H2B because a group of riders representing “Positive Pedalers” planned to participate.

Positive Pedalers is a group of people living with HIV/AIDS whose goal is to eliminate the stigma through their “positive” public example.

Around 4:30pm, after 10 and a half hours of hard riding–Wuggs and I made it to the end of the Rail Trail path in Welfleet.  We learned at this rest stop that the remainder 19 miles had been cancelled because Rt. 6 was flooded and unsafe.  I’ll admit–I was fine with this news.  After 105+ miles, 3 flat tires, and one knee scraping fall near Sagamore bridge, and over an inch of rain–we were ready to call it a day!

Done! Wuggs is happy that they cancelled the last 19 miles because rt. 6 is unsafe due to inclement weather.
Done! Wuggs is happy that they cancelled the last 19 miles because rt. 6 is unsafe due to inclement weather.
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About themacdoodle

Communications Manager, Creative Strategist, Community Builder, & Possibility Agent
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