Saturday was the Cinderella Ride. To those of you under rocks out there, 65 miles and my two bike wheels. And Amelia to cheer me on when I managed to catch up to her.

We stayed with Amelia’s grandmother on Friday night, which put us that much closer to the starting point, given that we had to be there at the crack of doom dawn. Amelia’s aunt is not *ahem* the most on time person, and she’d poked fun at us for not being ready at 6am last year, so we showed up at her house at 5:50, all set and ready to go, and that was even after having to run back to grandma’s and grab the water bottles from the fridge!!

We got to the fairgrounds at about 6:45, and check-in didn’t open until 7, so we stood in line for awhile. It was gray and cold, about 50°, and windy. In my utter brilliance, I only packed a sleeveless jersey, unlike last year when I took two just in case. So I had a sleeveless jersey (pink) and a sleeveless wind vest (pink), plus arm warmers and knee warmers and shorts. (For the record, I also had pink socks. Go pink go!) However, this left small gaps on my shoulders and ankles, and they were chill-yyy! Brrr. We checked in, and Amelia’s aunt made the much-regretted-later decision to take her jacket back to the car.

And we were off! The ride went fairly well. My fingers and toes were so cold they’d lost most feeling beyond “cold”, but after riding, most parts of me warmed up other than my toes. I even stayed with Amelia and her aunt for a lot of the first leg, including the some of the smaller hills. We got to the first rest stop and were chilly enough that we grabbed food, checked out Amelia’s gears (which didn’t want to shift), used the portapottys (in spandex bike gear, lots of fun), and got back on our bikes as a way to warm up.

The second leg included the first big hill, and I stayed with Amelia and her aunt right up until it began-ish. On the hill, I did really well. I passed people, which was nice, but also got passed (oh well). However, the hill didn’t kill me. It was a long slow one, and I like them better than the short steep ones.

Lunch was next, and we managed to score seats in a protected area of the shelter, out of the wind, where we scarfed our food, grabbed our baggies of M&M’s, and got back on our bikes. Again, the only way to warm up. Sadly, Amelia had a flat immediately after leaving the lunch area, but a SAG guy riding by was nice enough to replace it and pump it up for us with the little tiny pump Amelia was carrying. Thanks, Brian!!

After lunch, it was off into the headwind, which hadn’t been too bad up until that point. We also climbed Lemon Drop Hill at that point, with the wind in our faces. Lemon Drop Hill is great–there’s a guy who stands at the top and passes out lemon drop candies if you’re coordinated enough to grab one. However, it is hard to suck on a candy and breathe while biking.

Hey Team Jelly Belly–why don’t you stand on the first hill and pass out Jelly Bellys? Or the sport beans? Or something? Jelly Belly Hill? Great advertising, I’m telling you!

The sun came out after lunch for the climb, which was good. We warmed up when we stood in the sun, but I never did take off my arm and leg warmers. Anyways, the climb was good. I’m getting better at learning to pedal with more efficiency. And just better at climbing in general.

I did slow down after the hill a bit, and basically was a bit behind Amelia and her aunt for most of the rest of the ride, but I could usually see them up ahead.

The only bad part of the ride for me was when my brain got the better of me. Amelia’s aunt had forgotten/hadn’t known about my mom’s breast cancer, so she hadn’t understood the significance of all the pink Amelia and I wore (beyond it being the CINDERELLA ride and just having a decent amount of pink…and tutus…and tiaras…and other costume things). So she called her husband to bring her her pink jersey, and he met up with us on the leg after lunch. Her jersey had sleeves, and since my shoulders were still chilly, she offered it to me. I was okay at that point, and kept on riding. A bit later, I just couldn’t keep the whole pink-breast cancer-mommy out of my head, and broke down a bit, but luckily no one was in the immediate vicinity to see. Oh well, and Amelia’s aunt was just trying to do the nice thing, and it was greatly appreciated.

Anyways, the last leg was the long leg, and but the sun was out and we were almost done, so despite the headwind, we went and went and went. There were lots of people, and we were on residential roads, so it was a bit dicey to pass people.

Here’s where Wonder Woman comes in.

There was a chick dressed in a Wonder Woman costume, complete with the underwear over the bike shorts. And her friend? Was really annoying.

She kept rolling through STOP LIGHTS!!!!

Now, I’ll admit to rolling through stop SIGNS if there’s no one coming and it’s a SIGN, not a LIGHT. But this chick? Would do a cursory look and go for it. And Wonder Woman? Is now learning to ride that way, too.

Here’s a couple problems with this: It’s dangerous. It’s how people get killed. I don’t trust other cars when I’m in my car, and I sure as hell don’t trust them when I’m on my bike. It’s against the law. And it’s part of why the Cinderella Ride has more and more problems getting permission to go through the towns it goes through–because people disobey the law.

Bah.

So kicking Wonder Woman’s ass, and thus her friend’s, to the finish line, was great incentive. Both Amelia and I made it, and finished satisfactorily ahead of them.

We did much better than last year, too, which felt good.

Afterwards, we wended our way homeward, stopping at the local bike shop and to pick up a pizza, then took turns showering. At that point, John was home, too, and we cooked/ate the pizza and watched the unimpressive Final Four games.

And, that, folks, was our ride. Woot.

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