Gail and I grab our bikes after the "transition" process and we head to the BIKE START/FINISH line ,you technically walk your bike really fast because you can't get on it until a certain point. So we are just getting ready to mount our bikes and we look up to see the direction we will be heading towards. I look left ,no sign, I look right, no sign I look straight up SIGN ,arrow points in the straight up direction! UGH!I turn to the guide, Are we going up that? yes, and you better get going.
Gail and I take off and try to gain as much speed as we can before starting the climb up this mini-monster hill (you will understand why I call this a Minnie hill later) I push and push on my peddles, trying to use my strength in my legs. I finally have to stand on this bike to make it up the hill, I did make it! Now I will interject to explain one thing about my bike. I had to borrow a bike from my friend. Although this bike has been great on flat surfaces, it is not made to go up hills, it is an everyday family friendly bike. I am not putting it down, because it did carry me through (at some point I thought I might carry it!) this race, it is not efficient for a triathlon.
We made it through the first hill, yes 1st, and I thought Okay, I can do this. That was tough when you are already gasping for breath from swimming, but doable. We go around a corner and it is downhill baby, we are feeling the wind in our hair, relaxing, taking a breather when around the bend there is another hill, a little bigger(this is my perspective), oh crap! start peddling, stop relaxing, go faster, go faster to make it. I had to struggle up this one and it was uglier than the last one, but we made it. Oh I forgot to mention about the bike, it has gears, mine would not change past a six, (you should be doing your hill on 1!) so it was extra hard for me,but I am an overachiever!
After this hill, we have some flat land, with minor hill and road humps. We are riding for awhile now and have noticed no other people on the road, until I hear this hhhh,hhhh behind me, I try to turn around but I am afraid I will tip over on the bike, so I scream "go around us if you need to!" She says, "no I am trying to keep up with you!" Alright, we must not being too bad, this girl can't keep up with us speed demons. Little did I know until a few nano seconds later, I see that we are being escorted by the police themselves! This either means, we are so good the police can't believe it, or we are all three dead last and they want to go home!
We now come to a long stretch of the race where Gail is getting tired, I am trying to encourage her with my words, she is getting more and more irritated! When I get tired or nervous I have to keep talking (okay I talk even when I am not tired or nervous) so I kept talking, "we can do this, your doing great, keep it up, how are you doing up there?, that house is beautiful, I want to bring the kids, do you think this lake has amoebas in it, I wonder what I will make for dinner?" "SHUT THE @&$^#%$#%& UP! or I AM GONNA KILL YOU!!!! that is from Gail. I think I was about to be her new ex-best friend! and she may not have cursed, but I know she was thinking it! I have never seen Gail this mad! I shut up, well not really but for a few seconds anyway:) We go around another corner and see another cop, "hey I yell out ,we must be half way right?." He give me a thumbs up "Yeah right, you keep telling yourselves that" sarcasm.
We are finally on the home stretch, I can see the park. "Gail, Gail, there it is we are almost there!"and this being my biggest mistake that I said to her that day."and look no more hills!" That is when we look up, there it is, the momma of all hills, laughing at us, mocking us - Gail is about to blow a gasket now. "Gail I must go as fast as I can to make it up this one, I will meet you at the top". I start to peddle as fast as my legs can go, well the bike only goes in gear six, and then it only goes so fast and once it achieves its maximum fastness it stops not allowing me to peddle until I it slows way down for the chain to catch, I have to put my legs to the side because the peddles are going around so fast they are hitting my ankles, thump, thumpity thump, I am never going to make it up this hill. As soon as I am able to start peddling again I do, I stand to put more strength in it, I hear a loud intercom speaker coming from our police escort, I turn I see Gail trying to get up the hill, she is going very slowly, the police (on microphone) says to Gail "Mame are you gonna ride that bike or get off it and walk?" They have a very southern drawl, Gail hops off, she is really pissed now, she pushes her bike towards me, Come on Gail you can do it, come on! She gets to me, "I can't go any further!,I must stop. my legs are hurting!" "Yes Gail we will do it together,see there is our turn, a few more feet!" the second mistake I said. We are turning, I see relief on Gail's face, loud intercom again "Ladies, that is not your turn, you must go to the top of the hill!" there were daggers coming out of Gail's eyes, straight at me!
We make it to the top, and around one more downhill corner, and we are at the bike finish line. Gail tells me,she is not going to run, she is done, I secretly smile, -oh yes she is!
Later that day, we were talking about where we did our triathlon, and someone says, "you know that place is the USAT's training center for triathlons!" I said "Wow, why is that?" she says"Oh because of all the hills!!" that little bit of information may have been helpful, I mean we looked at the map of the bike course, and well, the map was flat!!