6 years cancer free, please donate $6 to the Lance Armstrong Foundation!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Ride for the Roses

Early morning and the alarm went off, Erik jumped out off bed as if it was not 5.45 in the am, must be the jet-lag!

We got up made some tea, ate our muffins and bananas, put on our bike gear and were ready to ride! Then the fun was spoiled when we opened the curtain, as Lance predicted: it was looking like rain! We still went down to find the CCC team ready to go. The busses were lined up and they filled up quickly to go south to Smith Ville to the start of the Ride for the Roses. The rain started falling before we arrived.

The bikes were waiting for us in the purple section and I finally found the “I’m a survivor, In honor off and in Memory off” signs so I could fill them out and ride with them. I rode in honor off: Mamma, Judith, Kharmen, Jacqui, Kathy, Cathy, Alison, Marion, oom Ed en tante Ellen, Kris, Julie, Earl, BCAA and all CCC-ers. This was also the time for me to again realize that I am a lucky girl, able to ride all these miles.

This gave me the strength to ride for all those that are not so lucky and realize that you can make a small difference if you set your mind to it. Thank you everybody for the support and believe in me and make my dream come through!

We were told that due to the weather the 100-mile ride was cancelled, that was a disappointment because I was really looking forward to an other 100 miles! Most off the other CCC-er choose to ride the 45 miles so we took some time to take some pictures with the whole group. Then it was time to line up at the starting line.

We were ordered to free up a path at the left side, for as it turned out Lance and company wanted to ride up to the front off the line. Lance gave us a quick pep talk and than it was time to ride. I never saw Lance again; I guess I need to work on my ability to get on somebody’s wheel!

Soon enough we came to the split where the 45 miles took a right turn and we kept going on hwy 71 to Bastrop State Park. Riding through the park was great because of the quiet roads, nice climbs and descents and a rest stop with very helpful and cheerful volunteers. Thanks to all the volunteers for your help, it was amazing considering the bad weather!
Erik was doing great, asking me all kind of questions, especially when we climbed the hills! I was having some difficulties breathing due to the climbing and the residuals off my cold and was not able to talk.

At the end off the park, I heard, “Hello Annemiek”, from behind me from a man I didn’t recognize?! It took me about 5 minutes to figure out that he had ready my “ Survivor sign” that I was wearing on my back. We started talking and it turned out that Mike was riding for his father who is battling cancer. He did a nice pull for us into the wind and this got our speed going. We worked together nicely the three of us and decided to stay together. The route now took us through farmland with some nice longer climbs so my legs started to feel better and better; I finally got my muscles warmed up!
On one off those hills we saw a rider loose his bottle and keep going, he must have thought it was broken. Erik tried to kick it off the road but after he missed, he then decided to pick the bottle up and bring it back to its owner. So on the chase we were, finding the wheel! It took a while but working together we caught up with Miguel, as we later found out. Erik returned the bottle and he caught on to our wheel and joined the group. We turned onto another highway and I was on a roll; at least until I heard yelling behind me, what?! It turned out that I completely missed a turn, must have been my subconscious wanting to ride 100 miles. Back on the trail we picked up Jim so our group now had 5 members. It was going great until we hit a rough part of the road and I felt my back tire slowly empty. We stopped behind a police car and with a little teamwork and a lot of Jim’s help my tire was changed quickly. An assist car pulled up at the end of this and provided us with a pump to get the pressure up enough. Back on the bike I got going steady again until again I hear yelling behind me. This time my brother was missing from our group. It turned out that he was having cleat problems and he was quickly pulled back onto our wheel.

The last rest stop got into sight, just in time for Erik to get a flat. We decided to have Erik, Mike and Jim fix the flat and Miguel and I would go get some snacks at the last rest stop. After we regrouped the last 10 miles flew by getting more and more speed going. Do I hear there is beer and fajitas at the after ride party; let’s go! I was brought up front to be able to finish first in the group and get my survivor rose! Thanks guys it was a great ride; a fantastic finish to the adventure of my lifetime!

Celebrating 5 years cancer free, all the preparation, getting in shape, fundraising and BLOGGING has finally paid off and coming to an end! We took some pictures off our group before racking our bikes, changing into something dry and finding my fellow CCC-ers. All of who had great stories of their Ride for the Roses. What a fantastic group to belong to!

As Erik and sat down to eat a gentleman approached us asking me if my name was Dutch, he heard it last week at the pasta dinner. It turned out that Joe had lived in Germany and during that time had taken a Dutch course (mind you this was years ago) he spoke very good Dutch and was excited to be able to practice. We talked for a while and had another beer.

Then it was time to find our bikes and get on the bus to return to the hotel, we were ready for a shower. I dropped off my bike at the mechanics to be taken apart and get ready for the plane ride tomorrow.

At 6.45pm it was time to meet up with Kathleen and other CCC-ers for the after ride dinner at PF Changs. We had a good group going Steve, Mike, Chris, Kathleen, Fred, Will, Darren, Scot, Phyllis (I think I spelled that wrong!)Bob and our guests. Then Steve pulled out the dreadlocks and we all got to try out a new look. The dinner was great due to the family style servings we were able to taste everything. It was fantastic to have time to talk and hear all the stories from the other CCC-ers. Time flew by and before I knew it was time to say goodbye and get on with my plans to meet with Kharmen’s sister and family. Thanks for the tea and the gift. I’ll be wearing the jersey proudly next summer.
Back at the hotel Erik and I looked back on a great weekend, I’m so happy he was there to share this with me.


  • At 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You did it!!!
    We are all proud of you!

    The Joneses

    Jo, wendy, Jon Carlos and Diego....Hoshi and Randy too.

  • At 5:27 AM, Anonymous Edina Housewife said…

    Thank you for the final posting of the big day. What an amazing adventure you have had. It was so fun to see you at work yesterday and give you a huge congratuations/welcome home hug! Think my patient was impressed as well. Even at 80+ years she remembers her rides around the Minneapolis chain of lakes. With that new knee maybe she'll try biking again! You rock Bike Girl!

  • At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Kris said…

    You can't even begin to know how proud I am of you.....to call you friend!

    I'm so glad you had a final update, I've been wondering about you. As I read this it brought tears to my eyes...what an emotional (albiet wonderful) ride it's been for you and your fan club.
    I Love you!
    Your Rochester Fan Club
    The DeMattos Family


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