By Bill Plock
My sister in California and I were finalizing some plans for RAGBRAI and she asked me how the Triple went Saturday, and asked again how far? When I today her 120 miles with almost 11,000 feet of climbing, I couldn’t tell if the phone went dead or what, and her friend in the same room, said, “In one day?” Then my sister she said your nuts! Then I told her about 4,000 other people did it and I guess she thinks we are all nuts or at least me not as much!
The weather was absolutely perfect, I had packed arm warmers, leg warmer and a couple of extra layers and didn’t touch them all day. Not even down Squaw Pass.
I was riding with a group named Team Inspire with Matthew Crowe who just 13 months ago broke his neck and upper back and miraculously can even function let alone ride a bike, made the Triple his crowing moment of recovery. More on all of that in separate story later–it deserves some serious attention. One of his friends, and assisting surgeon, who also rode, showed me the picture of his x-ray and he really can’t explain how Matt can walk–he should’ve been paralyzed.
For me, it had been a few years since I rode the Triple. With a few Ironman’s under my belt, I figured it would just be a long day. But I had forgotten how long! It is a grind and tiring but so worth it and the scenery and camaraderie makes this a bucket item list for sure. The food and support were amazing, even having gluten free sandwiches and plenty of vegetarian options.
The finish line was amazing with hundreds of people cheering us in and not long after we arrived some rain did hit part of the course to the East. It’s always fun and extra special to spend so much time on one ride, passing and being passed by a lot of the same people all day and then regrouping at aid stations with lots of good choices for snacks.
The Triple Bypass, is really a journey, and it’s about the journey, not the finish as much. It’s about all the people you meet riding, the history that is passed by and the many miles high in altitude testing our fortitude and sense of wanting to accomplish something. It doesn’t matter how fast, slow or somewhere in between— as long as you finish and have fun!
If you want to see some great pics go to professional photographer Reid Neureiter’s page, if you did it you might find a picture of you in there! Click HERE