Rather than ride the infamous Fletcher Flyer century, I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all morning at a rest stop to very grateful cyclists as they finished the first quarter of a long, hot ride.
The morning was crisp with wisps of fog, but by 10 a.m. the sun was beating down on the exposed riders churning their way around a rolling, but mostly flat (if you’re from the mountains), ride.
We set up our rest stop 22 miles in. The peloton flew by without looking back —a buzzing swarm of whizzing wheels and shouts, helmets bowed with a sweaty wake.
Not too far behind came the sweaty, wobbly, spandex-clad pack of wolves. They careened into the parking lot, some crashing and some unable to unclip from their bikes.
First-off I want to apologize to anyone who heard me say that I really wished I were in charge of hosing people down. I mean, really, wouldn’t that be refreshing?
I also am very sorry to the man I questioned as if he were crazy after he asked me to help him differentiate between the grape and the strawberry jelly. But my little black dress was soaked in orange juice and coated with peanut butter. One girl rubbed a blister into the palm of her hand she was spreading jelly so furiously.
I am also terribly sorry to the unicyclists who were working VERY hard and were clearly very serious people. I did not mean to offend you by asking you to produce your red, rubber noses.
Although folks were looking pretty fresh, strong, and hungry, many of them staggered to the line of water and Gatorade coolers and formed long lines at the porta-potties. There’s something terrible that happens when the blood leaves the gut to go help the legs pedal. The gut is left to believe all of the work is done. Let’s just say, I can’t believe my luck in getting to be the first person to use the porta-potty at a bike race.
People thanked us profusely as they accidentally drained their water bottles across the muffins and begged us for ibuprofen or sunscreen. A few flats were repaired—one on a guy who was towing his kid on a trail-a-bike (please see previous blog concerning the heroic efforts necessary to pull such a contraption). I can see how he could’ve gone quite some distance with a rear flat without realizing it wasn’t just his kid not pedaling.
There were no wounds for me to attend. I’m glad that everyone showed up unscathed, but I had deemed myself the rest stop wound tech and was disappointed not to have my chance to show off my meticulous bandaging skills. I was also disappointed that the first aid kit did not contain a suture kit, which also was not necessary.
It was fun being on the other side of the snack table.