5:30 AM. Mile 0 and three sounds hit my ears; sparrows waking up in the pre-dawn grey, the hiss of my skinny red bike tires rolling out of the driveway, and the satisfying click of my cleats kerchunking into my pedals. A long day begins and my blood glucose takes off – waaay too much nerves and excitement!
6:30 AM. Mile 19 and I still have the roads to myself. The iPod jammed in my ears plays music to match my mood and cadence; Dick Dale jams out Ghost Riders (really!) and the sun heats up a few clouds over Mt Garfield. I take a peek at my CGM and flip out – 300 plus! I roll to a stop and fight my pump out of the back of my bibs, click in one unit of insulin and hit the road again.
7:30 AM. Mile 26 and I pit stop for water and a call to my wife. My bike shoes clack across the convenience store floor and customers with coffee and cookies glance sideways at me. Carrying water bottles I duck into the bathroom to exchange fluids. Back outside I dig out meter, lancet and strips for a real blood test. I smile at the 160 and remount my bike.
8:30 AM. Mile 40 and I run the gauntlet. 13 miles of interstate highway paralleling the Colorado River. The canyon is so narrow, the road so sketchy, my tires hit and then spit road debris sideways into the river. I pass through a windshield glass minefield so dense, I just squinch my eyes and roll – there is no option to swerve into the lane of traffic. Every 30 seconds a semi truck screams past me at 5 times my speed. I think the sound of 18 tires wailing past is more than I can stand…until two FedEx triples whip past me. They each bring their own little desert storm down the
shoulder and the back of my legs sting with crap they blow up in their wake. I crank it up a notch and my computer logs a 100+ cadence.
9:30 AM. Mile 50 and the cool grip of morning is gone. My ascents for the day await, my water is hot, and my gels turn my stomach. And my friend is back – Mr. Wind. I cringe as I drop onto my smallest of three rings up front…I wasn’t going to have do this damnit! I spin up the hills and try to keep it steady as Mr. Wind punches me around. Cracks and craters in the pavement become non-stop. but I'm close.
10:00 AM. Mile 63 and I bobble across dirt and gravel for the last 200 yards. I risk my expensive tires because if I stop the gnats will eat me alive. I park my bike, stand tall, and walk in with as much poise and grace as cleats and Lycra will allow. Now I steal sideways glances at coworkers gawking lean muscle, sunburn and tattoos. I smile at everyone, and think to myself - just 63 miles to home.