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Day 62 – Best Race Ever

114 days until IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga

What gets your heart rate going? A good workout? A scary movie? Christmas morning?

Our bikes were carefully strapped in for the two day drive to IMLP

In the middle of July, 2013 Marty and Mike picked me up from my house in Marty’s SUV. After a bit of wrangling and repositioning, all three of our bikes were comfortably situated on the bike rack. Then Marty handed me the keys and made me the driver for the day: Mr. Sulu of the Yukon. We were headed to IRONMAN Lake Placid, in the mountain town of Lake Placid, New York. That first day on the road was rather uneventful, but it was nice to just hang out with good friends and yell at other drivers.

At lunchtime on the second day we stopped somewhere near Albany, NY to get a bite to eat. I found a Peruvian restaurant through Google that sounded fantastic and had stellar reviews. Mike and I had eaten from a Peruvian food truck in Madison just before IRONMAN Wisconsin. That meal changed my life!

I tapped the “Directions” button on the Google page and we drove straight for “the best Peruvian restaurant” in a nameless little town somewhere in New York. The neighborhood was sketchy, but we weren’t worried so we bounded out of the SUV and headed straight for the little restaurant. It was closed. Permanently. Out of business. We ended up eating at a little pizza joint in the same strip mall.

One thing about Mike that I admire is that he’s a doctor. Sometimes his patients call him for advice so in the middle of lunch he took a call and went outside. Eventually he returned and it wasn’t long before we were off and driving again. I know this sounds very uneventful, but it was at this point in our trip that the story was created.

I like Lake Placid. It’s a nice town that get’s overrun by tourists most of the year and by triathletes in the middle of July. We stayed at the Northwoods Inn where Marty expertly parked the SUV in a narrow strip of a parking lot behind the hotel. I took my bike off the rack from the SUV and wheeled it into the hotel. The elevator was so small that I had to turn the bike up on its back wheel and hold it by the pedals. Nothing seemed out of the norm until the next morning when we were getting ready for a bike ride.

This is where the memory is a bit foggy. Either I noticed the missing pedal as I was leaving my room with the bike or Mike said something about it when I got to his room. MISSING PEDAL? WTF!.

  1. Did I lose it on the trip up? Was it that loosely attached that it vibrated off from a two day car ride?

  2. Did someone steal it? But why? Who would steal a single pedal?

  3. Did it fall off in the hotel room? I searched every crevice and crack in that room.

I think this was Thursday morning, three days before the race. What the hell was I going to do? I hadn’t even started the bike ride and my heart rate was already at anaerobic threshold.

And then I remembered: I had three days before the race. I knew I would be able to find a pair of pedals at the expo or maybe someone would have a set I could borrow. No problem. I remember thinking that my compadres could start their bike ride and I could hunt down some pedals. My brain quickly returned to a calm state by the time Marty came into the room, but he and Mike were freaking out more than I was. They put on a good show.

Just as I was fully prepared to buy a new set of pedals, Mike produced a Ziploc baggie with my missing pedal and in the other hand he was holding a pedal wrench. THOSE BASTARDS!

The previous day when we stopped for lunch and Mike left to take the call, the only thing he took was the pedal off my bike. He always carried bike tools with him, so the pedal wrench was handy. The funny part is that I never noticed until almost 24 hours after he had done it. And as much as I handled the bike in that 24 hours, I should have noticed. I don’t know how they kept from laughing the whole time. Maybe they did laugh and I just didn’t notice that either.

IRONMAN Lake Placid 2013 is on my list as being the most fun race I’ve ever done.

Until tomorrow…

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