Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hotter-N-Hell Hundred Part 4: After the Ride

 I left off my story with Christine's telling me to take a shower and get the salt off of me. I did. Then I thought I would indulge myself such as Christine does after a hard ride and soak in the tub with hot water. She had already told me that our room had a large and deep tub so it could hold a lot of water and I could stretch out. I lingered in the tub for a while, let the water out, and made a move to get out of the deep tub.

Mistake. I had to use my legs to try to get up. Muscle pay back time. Cramp time. After flopping about in pain for a few futile moments-----"Chris HELP!" I whined. Christine came in and saw my predicament and helpless look. Then she did the worst thing possible. She tried stifling her laughter...unsuccessfully. Since she was of no help, ever so slowly I lifted one leg up and over the tub rim. 

I thought I would flash back to happier times.

 Next I had to scoot myself up on the tub rim without straining any leg muscle that I have. EVENTUALLY, I had both legs over the tub and Christine was under enough control to assist me.

We had made dinner plans with Ty Johnson, Christine Buckstead, and Gene Linthicum. Christine J. drove me to the steak house as there was no way I was going to lift my leg to brake or even try to push down on the gas pedal.

We all met at the steak house, eventually seated, and ordered. Ty, Gene, and Christine B. had all completed the 100 miles that day, but their stories were quite different from mine. Ty and Gene are part of the fast riders from San Angelo and they had ridden with Shane Plymell--who, incidentally, completed the 100 miles in 3 hours 48 minutes several years ago. 

Now, if anyone ever wondered what the difference is between an amateur's and an athlete's completing the 100 miles, keep reading. As our steaks arrived Gene and Ty were telling about their experiences on the ride. Although they did not race, they caught up to the racers. As they were telling about their catching up to the racers, my left hand muscle between the thumb and forefinger cramped; I couldn't hold my fork. I switched the fork to my right hand while listening to, "...I didn't stop until mile 80 'cause I was out of water..." my right hand cramped and I dropped the fork. I was just eating my baked potato.

It took forever to cut my steak. I would have to pause to massage my hands. No one seemed to notice as I was intently listening to, "...We were going between 25-30 mph when they stopped us to let the racers go past..." I inadvertently made a fast move with my right leg and my underside thigh muscle cramped, "...and between mile 70 and 80 was tough..." I was contemplating how to feed myself without people noticing that I was lifting the fork up to my mouth with both hands holding the fork.

No one seemed to notice that I was the last one to finish eating. It was time to leave. While I was getting out of the booth, BOTH legs cramped. I walked out of the restaurant like I had a corn cob....
Christine Jones, Ty Johnson, Christine Buckstead, and Gene Linthicum.

Little did they know that I was also having trouble holding up the camera to push the button. There is a wide gap between amateur and athlete.

Just outside of Wichita Falls is Hudson Ranch with camels in the pasture. We had spotted them in past years and they were out grazing closely to the highway again. There are no signs to advertise them or even to announce them so it is not certain as to their purpose other than to entertain tired riders.

Memo to self: train a little harder and longer before Hotter-N-Hell Hundred next year.

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