It rained overnight and was very gray at rollout. But it wasn’t raining. I was hopeful we would stay dry. I lined up and they pulled the 100-rider rope right behind me. I was in the first group. But last.
As we started out I moved closer and closer to the front and eventually settled in with a group of 10 which might have been the first group on the road. We worked well together although the hairy legged monster I was following scared me by occasionally just coasting causing me to brake.
Ahead I saw a tractor which I spotted yesterday. I told myself that today I would stop so I put up my hand and excited the pace line. I’m sure they thought I couldn’t hang. I could hang.
Once I took the picture I got back on the road and bridged up to a group of three and the four of us worked together to the first rest. It was quick. No mechanic (I was looking for a wrench) but my bottle was nearly empty. Refill then hit the road.
It started to rain. I didn’t get out the rain jacket and we rode for the next 20 minutes in a light rain although we had wet roads for the next hour.
I rode this section solo although I hooked up with another rider. We rode side by side because even though he gave a nice draft he also gave a nice spray. I’m sure I did too.
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At this rest I found the Spokes and Skis mechanic. I just wanted to borrow an Allen wrench to reposition my BarFly mount for the GPS. I had a multi-tool with me but it’s much easier to use a dedicated wrench. Fix completed.
Leaving Kanesatake, I was passed by two young men who were talking about how to work together. They thought they passed me for good but I blew by them just after Spruce Creek. One mentioned that we were leap frogging. No frogs here.
At Arch Springs I stopped for a photo. They passed and then I followed them to the lunch stop. I soloed to Tyrone after a quick water stop. I was on my own.
In Antis I was on a narrow street which has cars parked on both sides. There was not enough room in between for a car and a bike. There was room for a car or a bike (or two), but not both. I was in the lane when an SUV turned to come towards me.
I knew she didn’t have room but she insisted. She sheared off her passenger mirror. I chuckled. She saved two seconds which was the time it took me to pass the line of cars. But then she stopped to pick up mirror pieces.
After the Antis rest I saw a rider coming behind me. I slowed, thought he grabbed my wheel, then rode away from him. Geez.
I slowed again and waited for him and we rode together for about 6-7 miles until I rode away from him for good.
Arriving at the finish line in Hollidaysburg I checked the mileage and went for an out and back for another two miles. I caught the two young guys who were leap frogging me. I leaped them again.
At the finish there was a medal. A woman, confined to a wheelchair with MS, put the ribbon/medal over my head – a poignant reminder of why we Bike MS.