I don’t know what it is about Big Ring and the fondos he signs up for, but it seems I’m just not destined to see him cross the finish line. One out of three times is not a very good track record.
When he did Whistler two years ago, I was stuck in traffic trying with all my might to will the vehicles in front of me away so I could get there in time, but to no avail; I was 15 minutes too late. When he did the Levi Leipheimer last year, I made a point of standing at the finish line for hours to ensure I did not have another Whistler no-show repeat. And this past weekend, when he did the Axel Merckx, there was no doubt in my mind, I would be at that finish line.
You see, unlike the other fondos, we had the live tracking option this time around, so when I saw that he had passed through the 72 km mark, I booked it to the finish line figuring he’d surely be in within the hour if not sooner. I picked my spot; had my camera ready; and was practicing my vocal exercises in preparation for the most perfect finishing moment.
But after just 20 minutes, a combination of low blood sugars and sweltering heat mixed with an uncomfortable pregnant belly, nearly knocked me out. I started to sweat, had the shakes, got woozy, and could hardly stand up without feeling like I was on the next train to Pukesville. I popped some sugar tablets, ate a granola bar, and tried standing off into the shade, but to no relief. Finally, I succumbed, and sulkingly shuffled off to a shady spot on the grassy knoll.
Within minutes of doing so, Big Ring crossed the finish line. Are you freaking kidding me???
To say I was disappointed, is an understatement. After last year’s fondo, seeing him with a huge smile on his face come across that finish line, me cheering so super loud, and running up to embrace his chalky, sweat-ridden body, I have never before felt such excitement and pride and happiness for another being as I did in that moment. I wanted that again.
Don’t get me wrong, I was still extremely proud when he made his way over to my shady spot, and still super happy to see that buoyant smile on his face, and thrilled that he was able to ride a fondo with his 76-year-old uncle 10-speed Pete (Big Ring’s got a long history of cycling in his family; in fact, that’s how his parents met ) but I wanted to be there for him like he’s always been there for me.
So hear me now Big Ring, I will see you cross the next finish line; I will cheer for you louder than anyone else on the concourse; and I will have a little Thumb-Sucking Alien Baby posse excitedly screaming along with me!