Cycling - Did an event in Clermont Florida called the "Horrible Hundred" - 100 miles of cycling around central Florida outside of Orlando. Actually probably one of the few places in the state where a course can be laid out to have "rolling hills." Very few flats on this ride that my high school friend Craig Oldham asked me to do with him a few months ago. He lives about an hour away from me, and we may see each other once per year and exchange emails or phone calls every now and then. He had done it last year and had a very difficult time with poor training but this year was much better prepared. Unfortunately in the first "climb" of the day (about a half mile at 8% grade) his chain jumped off when he was changing gears and jammed between the spokes and the cassette. I was out in front of him, and was unaware of his mechanical problems. But he got some assistance and was up and heading down the hill behind me when I circled back to check on him. Shortly after that, it happened again, this time snapping a spoke and forcing the wheel out of true to where the bike was unusable - this time I did not know he had stopped. He reached me on my cell when I got to the first rest stop at mile 17 and let me know he had gotten a ride with a mechanic to the next rest stop where I met him only to find out that they were not equipped to make that complex of a repair - so his ride was over for the day after only 10 miles of riding. He encouraged me to continue to ride and refused when I offered to pull out or give him my bike.
He had a few other friends who had their wives in the event too -and I rode with them for a time, but the pace was very slow and they were sort of recreational cyclists and so, I ended up riding the rest of the way alone after the second rest stop. There were very few riders in groups working together (which was surprising for an event with 2000 cyclists) and I never really latched on to anyone or two riders for very long. The course was at times scenic but it became quite warm (in the 80's) and very windy - which combined with the lack of any long flats - made it a rather choppy - less than enjoyable ride for the last hour to hour and a half. The "hills" were significant for people who are unaccustomed to them especially because they were so numerous - but none were very long or even approached the mountain climbs I did in the French Alps this summer. Would have been nice to have a triple chain ring on a couple of the hills especially since I have been really only running (no cycling) for the last few months and did not have great riding leg strength.
Met Craig after the ride at the finish area and shared lunch with him. He was quite dissappointed with his mechanical problems but was circumspect enough to know that there will be other rides. I had stayed with him the night before with his family at his home in Lithia so I was glad that I got to visit with them and share the drive over to the event even though we had a short time of sorts actually cycling.