The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Day Three, Part II: Waiting

If my memory serves me, I reached lunch at Meggido at around 11:15 after spending a most wonderful morning climbing and descending up and down the Gilboa range. This year, the lunches were much more modest than last year; soup, some bread and peanut butter, chummus and some vegetables and on one or two days some pasta. That's a good thing because last year's lunches were huge meat affairs that were way more than we needed.

What didn't change from last year was the amount of time the stronger riders had to wait. Because the police would not permit the ride to get too strung out, the stronger riders were not permitted to leave the lunch area until the slowest riders came in and had lunch. Since climbing differentiates the riders much more than flat riding, the harder the day, the longer the wait. Indeed, on this day, we would be at Meggido for about two hours.

Any book you read on long distance riding will tell you to keep your breaks short. Otherwise your muscles tighten up and all kinds of nasty things can happen. Two hours is way off the charts, muscle-wise. And last year, on two separate days, I had to wait two hours in temperatures approaching 100 degrees. I was completely cooked and almost bonked in the afternoon of one of those days. On the first day of this ride, we waited over an hour at a rest break at Katzrin in the Golan and froze our toesies off. And, it's not like there were chez lounges to hang out on. Or, for that matter, grass.

The good news is that I was able to buy a Magnum ice cream bar at the kiosk and got to watch Bruce from Chicago change a flat in about three minutes. It was like watching Rembrant paint.

Another thing was on my mind as well. Loser that I am, I had scheduled an important teleconference for work for 5 p.m. (10 a.m. Eastern time). I figured that would give me plenty of time to get to our lodgings, park my bike, pick up my bags, get to the room, shower and review my notes. Now it was getting a little sketchy. It would continue to get sketchier the rest of the afternoon, even after lunch, as the waiting continued.


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