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Old 01-18-08, 08:34 AM   #1
momof4greatkids
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Rookie girl beats master cyclist!

It was impossible to predict the drama of competition, and the growing friendships that would develop between Momof4greatkids and Merckxduerks after meeting and competing on Bikejournal.com. Both hailing from Ohio, noticing the other neck in neck in the stats, they begin friendly banter back and forth, who will log the most miles for the year? Though Mom the rookie girl can hardly hope to compete w/Merckx the master cyclist (or can she?)

Merckx nails the TOSRV double century in May, Mom counters w/regular 25-65 mile rides through the month.Merckx rolls thru the summer months with Jun - Aug miles of 420, 766, and 778. Mom sticks 654 in June, then, backs off with 546 and 562 for July and August. It starts to get really serious.

In the first chance to size up the competition, Mom and Merckx meet as Mom is moving her daughter into the dorm at Defiance College in Merckx home town. Mom is dispirited after meeting Merckx, as 30+ years of cycling have left him in top physical condition, and Mom's a middle-aged rookie on a hybrid. What to do? Upgrade the bike of course!

But what bike? Merckx rides a beautiful custom titanium Serotta. Mom chooses a Serotta Fierte in steel, and she going farther and faster than ever before!

But the family calls out for help, "mommy please don't get on the bike! Stay home and feed us, we haven't eaten in weeks", laundry piles reach never before seen levels. Mom hears the lonesome cries of her husband whose affections have been alienated by new steed affectionately dubbed "Ray". Will the insanity ever end?

Merckx, the master cyclist, is eager to offer helpful coaching tips to Mom, the rookie. For instance, did you know you can improve your cycling strength by adding a small parachute to the back of your bike to increase wind resistance? He also advises, to improve cadence and balance, always pedal two strokes backward for every 5 strokes forward.

Merckx is eager to offer style pointers too, suggesting Mom add a playing card attached with a clothespin to the rear wheel stay of her new Serotta. He assures Mom this will garner the attention and envy of all the cyclists in her club. Thinly veiled threats about the other contestant taking some time off….you need to rest, wash your children's clothes, or go on vacation (without the bike). "You are gonna take a some time off, you understand?? OR my friend Vito is gonna come over and breaka some a you spokes, and you cant'ta ride with no broken spokes!!" Voodoo dolls are crafted. Rides are planned.

The Hancock Horizontal 100 in Findlay Ohio is the place. Sept 9th is the date.RAIN! But, that won't stop to competition. Traveling through a dark rainy morning to arrive, neither one would give in to the weather and call it off, 50 miles of rain and still going. They finish the Century, neither gaining advantage this day.

In October Merckx pulls ahead by 162 but Mom counters and recaptures the lead. Mom and Merckx meet again to ride the "Red Flannel", the traditional end-of-the-season ride in Ohio.The ride starts within 10 miles of Mom's home, and Merckx graciously agrees to make the long trek from Defiance to Lorain county. Sunday early morning, they ride to the beginning of the Red Flannel Metric Century. The day is cool but pleasant, the route is scenic with a couple challenging hills tossed in, and the food is fantastic. No advantage to be gained today for either competitor TRUCE! Friendship is more important that competition today. They and their families share a meal at mom's house, post ride. Goodbye's, hugs, and a trip home, with warm thoughts of a very special day of cycling,

After riding with Merckx this day, Mom the rookie is faced with the undeniable realization of the strength a cyclist like Merckx has gained in 30+ years of cycling, and a rookie's enthusiasm, no matter how determined, can be no match. Merckx flies up the hills, Mom slogs up the hills. His bike handling and hill climbing abilities could so easily have left Mom in the dust, but he waits at the top of the hills, or, taunting her, rides back down the hills and has another go at the "fun" while blowing past Mom for the second time.

Now it's crunch time, December, the final month, and the weather is getting downright lousy. After 5000 + miles it's coming down to the final 100 or so miles to see who 'wins' this little contest. Merckx builds a sizable lead over Mom and thinks he's nailed it. Feeling pretty confident he call "mom" to see how she is doing, and to his chagrin, Mom reports she's getting ready to log a metric century. What can Merckx do? Get out and ride! Merckx posts another 16.6 early evening. Mom posts another 14.4 as a December nite ride. Merckx checks stats Holy Cow!! Merckx posts another 14.2 (8 on the tandem IN THE SNOW at 10:30 PM).It's 11:30 now---Are we done for the day?

Ligget and Sherwin commentate, "I don't believe I'm seeing this ... Mom has been in the back for the whole year and Merckx is in difficulty now.This is where you have to race ... and Mom is gone!Indeed, a big move by Mom and there's no denying it, Merckx has no answer to this acceleration by Mom.So Mom has been holding everything under those legs until the last week and now she has launched the attack......or maybe it will be a sprint finish? It looks like Zabel, O'Grady, McEwen, and Boonen ... but wait! Here comes Merckx and Mom on the outside! It's Merckx and Mom, Mom and Merckx. One will be wearing the green jersey tonight!

Mom checks in with Merckx at 9pm on New Years Eve, he's put in an amazing, strong effort, sitting comfortable at 25 miles ahead of Mom. He swears he's done for the day, having logged over 50 miles, in addition to a full day on the job, he's ready to settle in and bring in the New Year in comfort relaxing with his beautiful wife. Mom’s son looks at her with expectant eyes, and says "Can you do it?" Mom, remembering her afternoon ride, feeling like she hit the wall battling a dispiriting 10-12 mph headwind that felt like a hurricane, replies, "No, heck no, double heck no!", ready to concede, feeling very tired. But her son, Patrick, says "Mom you should do it". What could she do, but suit up and head out, w/the help of the best domestiques a Mom could ever have, her enthusiastic son and husband. She logs another 27 miles, and pulling ahead by a mere 2 miles to take the victory, pipping Merckx at the line.Congrats "mom" you passed Merckx at the line. Well done, ALWAYS sprint to the finish line.End of story?? I don't think so, 2008 is another year!
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Old 01-18-08, 08:51 AM   #2
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This is a great story. I'm already feeling the pressure in 08 seeing one of my "teammates" on mycyclinglog with a commanding 100 mile lead thus far. I am a wimp when it gets below freezing and the roads are covered.
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Old 01-18-08, 02:52 PM   #3
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This is a great story. I'm already feeling the pressure in 08 seeing one of my "teammates" on mycyclinglog with a commanding 100 mile lead thus far. I am a wimp when it gets below freezing and the roads are covered.
Great story indeed!

Wiswell- we'll have to start a "super secret" midnight riding club if we hope to beat out Shanana in mileage this year. He's off to a great start.
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Old 01-18-08, 04:29 PM   #4
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Good stuff. I find when I log rides on BikeJournal that I am amused when I pass someone thousands of miles away in another country. Or, when coming in after a good ride only to notice after logging it that just one more mile might have passed a couple people slightly ahead. Vicarious competition is fun.
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Old 01-18-08, 05:09 PM   #5
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Great story - this is the most entertaining long post I've read. You can really write. But bad news Mom - you just logged a 7000? mile year and you've upgraded to a top shelf bike - I think your rookie status is over!
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Old 01-18-08, 05:51 PM   #6
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Great story - this is the most entertaining long post I've read. You can really write. But bad news Mom - you just logged a 7000? mile year and you've upgraded to a top shelf bike - I think your rookie status is over!

Thanks! But..... shhhhhh, I'm trying to milk this rookie thing for all it's worth (and then some)

I wound up w/5828 miles for the year. If I break 6k this year, I will be happy.
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Old 01-19-08, 09:02 AM   #7
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I'm only mother of one fat cat and I could manage only 4,000. Now I really feel lame. Although the weather is a bit more harsh here (-12 today), which gives me a few fewer days.

Sekaijin, JB, I'll have to pm you on those super secret midnight rides so Shanana doesn't know about them! I'll have to work extra hard on the weekends when I know he is generally off to catch up!
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Old 01-19-08, 09:07 AM   #8
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Thanks! But..... shhhhhh, I'm trying to milk this rookie thing for all it's worth (and then some)

I wound up w/5828 miles for the year. If I break 6k this year, I will be happy.
Humpf...rookie my okole. I been riding for over 40 years and my daily commute is 50 miles RT (do the math) - you and your group passed me like I was standing still on the Hancock.
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Old 01-19-08, 10:18 PM   #9
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And maybe in 2008 you will even find the time to ride with me
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Old 01-20-08, 01:14 AM   #10
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And maybe in 2008 you will even find the time to ride with me
Or in my case, next to you rather than miles behind you!
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Old 01-21-08, 09:02 AM   #11
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OK, this has inspired me to up my game ... I got a facemask (or actually, cut holes in a fleece cap) and commuted today in 3F with snow falling.

Face was OK except for glasses fogging. Now I need something to keep my toes warmer.
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