Events: The 2018 Festive 500 Day Three
Ride Distance: 43 Miles/ 227 Miles Remain
(2018) Sometimes I write articles, lay them off to the interwebs, and then expect accolades of the highest calling. I think, “This will be the article of the century!” I’ll spend a couple of days expecting my online column to rise to the top as most read article. Except it often does not. Then there are articles that inflict curiosity as to why they are so often read.
Take an old article for instance. It was an essay called ‘On a Heat Wave.’ It was the story of a ride in midsummer where I intended to chase my friend down who had departed at a slightly reasonable time for me to consider catching him. I rode hard relishing the moment when I would jokingly rip by him and seem as if I would continue on with a bullying, “On your left.” I never did catch him, nor did I find out how close I was.
That story popped into my mind as I caught a glorious tailwind on Route 29 in New Jersey for the final leg home. One of the hurdles for the Rapha Festive 500 is life obligation. Our famous ridekick Mike had shown up at the creakybottombracket.com office to make his ride a duo. Unfortunately I was not able to go at the time but told him of my intended route. Perhaps I could ride him down. Perhaps.
I was racing three mental finish lines. I had come up a bit short on yesterday’s average of 45 miles for a seven-day Festive 500. I respect the challenge enough to know every mile counts, and the possibility of coming up short again today would make the final days concerning. I was racing to get closer to the average than yesterday. Then there was the belief I could catch Mike. I was encouraged to ride faster as I saw numerous salty bike tire tracks along the route. He’s just up ahead I thought. With my late start time I was constantly doing the maths to make sure I was back before darkness descended. Sometimes a sunset is all we need for motivation.
I couldn’t help think back to my summertime article that featured a photo of bubbling asphalt. On that ride I eventually lost all power on account of the heat. Here today I was riding in early winter gear and getting faster each mile. There was enough fuel in the furnace to keep me going. With this in mind perhaps I was going to catch Mike yet.
In the end I came close to the 45-mile average. I never did catch Mike. Perhaps I could have caught him with a couple of minute head start and his not knowing of my pursuit. I left over an hour after him; there was no way I would even see a hint of his Curbar winter kit. I rolled to the final stop light just outside of the creakybottombracket.com offices where I removed my sunglasses to help see in the increasing darkness. Cloud cover had expedited the fading light.
The Rapha Festive 500 doesn’t give us forever to finish, nor is 2018 around for much longer. After looking out the window, I’m glad the grass doesn’t need mowing.