St. Joseph Islander Review

Bucket List Ride for ARCH is now complete with Record Time/Over $40,000 Raised !!

I have generally been athletic more or less except when I tip a few beverages too many but when I first heard about yesterdays challenge for a good cause I thought; great I can do this no problem. After moving here to Richards Landing I started biking and found that doing stretches of 35-40K was nothing. With hills and all I was usually clocking at about 20K or more per hour. I am not sure if that is good or bad but I know it is decent as I was always pedaling.

Anyway the Bucket List course had 4 categories of difficulty; Beginners could ride 20, Novice 40, Intermediate 70, and Advanced would burn their tires to the tune of 100K. I thought there is no way I couldn’t hit 100K as all I had to do was add another 60k in the course of training over the next 7 weeks which would not be that difficult. Once you learn the course the mental aspect of riding as per running becomes easier.

Well I am not happy to report that the night before event I was feeling…………extremally sore. I was aching from working-out the previous day. I am not sure what I did; but I believe I actually put effort into working-out this time as I was as sore as Muck !

Now if you know me; I am generally… when it comes to doing hard things like running and half marathons etc I am no quitter. You get that runners high that keeps you going when the body says quit. Well this was the same for me Saturday night; there was no way I was going to bail and not do the ride; plus I had already collected the pledges.

Anyway I went to bed early to get rested for the big ride and turned out the light at just before 11pm. Well when that alarm went off at 6 AM….I thought….. oh man I’m in even more discomfort how am going to do this?

I greeted my coffee cup and chatted with myself for at least 45 min trying to decide what to do; I literally did not sleep that well and probably because of the tossing and turning and Rudi my cat sleeping beside me. As you pet owners know; you would rather sacrifice your own sleep than to move over a feline or a canine to get more comfortable because let’s face it………. they live a ruff life and barely sleep. (SARCASM) 

So what did I do? Well I went back to bed and was about to just fall asleep and bring the money up later to the event when something happened. I got a second wind and told my girlfriend that I wasn’t going to bail and got up and had a nice shower and felt ready. Let’s do this !!

I live literally a 5 minute bike ride from the Centennial Grounds where all the participants were to meet between 7:30 and 8:45 to register and pick up their gift bags from different sponsors etc. I left the house and followed other bikers who decided to park downtown and we made our way up to the grounds. I registered and handed in the $50 I had raised and then we all listened a brief speech of thanks and good luck from event organizer via ARCH.

When she finished up it was 8:55 and the bikes started to roll out and I did as well. I think I was about 15th out of the gate as the rest (approx. 100?) might have been waiting for an official GO ! or something but I wasn’t racing for a medal or anything; I just wanted to participate and do my part.

The course was familiar to me for sure and by the time I was Boyles Side Rd I had passed about 3 people as they were no hoofing it or anything; they were just out for a leisurely ride for a good cause. At the repair/water station on A Line I saw my mechanic Patrick Gladu the bike repair guy (705-971-9003) who generously came to my place Friday night to repair my bike. I literally made a normal install of my repaired back tire a complete mess. Thanks again Pat!

After waving to the well wishers; I turned right onto the new section of graveled hwy 538 to which many bikers (especially rode or city bikers) did not like as per the odd patches of loose rocks. I then made my turn at Sailors Encampment and forced myself up the sharp steep hill next to the mansion (locals/riders will know what I mean) and started my journey down D Line.

From there I could bore you with all the details like getting stung by something in the neck at 40km per hour going down a hill but I won’t. And no it wasn’t a rock; it has been itchy as hell since and another thing……how does a insect hold on at 40km an hour anyway ?

Getting back on track, the story comes to an end when I end up at the Finish Line and grab my gift bag to which I left there and made my way back home happy and full of energy and zest for life. After I got home and as you can imagine….I was exhausted as FiretrUCK !

At his point I grab sandwich out of the fridge and just go and sit on the couch in the airconditioned living room and refuel my depleted body. My gf who is still in bed as it’s her day off from work mumbles something from the room. I reply that I couldn’t hear her as per the AC unit and I am just eating. I thought she would come out and ask me how I did etc but she didn’t.

Well I get up off the couch about 5 minutes later and go into the bedroom and apologize that I couldn’t here her. We chat for a few minutes as I was sitting at my desk on figuring out via my km’s as I wanted include the ride to and from the venue to add to my total. 

Anyway out of the blue I get one of these dreaded questions; “Ernie, can I ask you a question?” 

I am like…..(God not now; I am physically and mentally exhausted) but I said “Yeah what’s up?”

“Did you actually ride the course today or did you just go and hand in your money?” What ????????? Are You Kidding ME ???

You see earlier in the am I had thought of doing that but as I said I did go up and do the course. The problem is my impeccable time. I managed to do the course and be home in 60 minutes. As God as my witness it is the truth. The organizers and event helpers will tell you I was the first one back and they all gave me a round of applause as I was coming in. 

Oh yeah I forget to mention something of importance.

I didn’t actually do the full 100km as per my lack of sleep and soreness. I was close though. I only missed by a mere 80km. All in all it was enjoyable and fun and I look forward to doing it again next year. 


Thank for Reading

**Soo Greyhounds Article coming soon**

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