patrick dempsey is maine's own homeboy and therefore the primary reason i was unable to listen to my limp excuses sunday morning when faced with the prospect of 50 miles; dans le saddle; in a torrential downpour; over "puke hill". that, and an enormous registration fee long since withdrawn from the checking account. fortunately, positive reinforcement abounded at 7:15am, when dave zabriskie and i made 'protracted-eye-contact-but-not-in-a-creepy-stalking-kind-of-way (not to me anyway)' as he disembarked the stage with his peloton of "muscle". george hincapie was also kind enough to bend over for a paparazzi money shot.
and so 3,500 fairly unco-ordinated spandex/cotton blend clad people and their bicycles (and possibly 23 kickstands), avoided a concrete and carbon snarl between 8:15 and 8:19 as we all set off from the corral into the drizzly mists so as to enjoy some unripe "foliage", gatorade and gummi bears. lots of gummi bears. at miles 17, 28, and 39-ish. the mantra for the day was "soggy saddle sore is better than turbulence or sharing stirrups and a paper sheet with bill o'reilly". and aside from the obvious pain, discomfort and millilitres of mucous absorbed into the thumb of my right bike glove, there were some entertaining moments to briefly interrupt the whining. maybe only two; the "wheel housewives of cumberland county" rode by in their team kits, and the dulcet caterwauling of my one eared friend, cheering and photographing this "faster than shutter speed" grumpy, calloused crotch 200 metres from the finish line.
things started to perk up when i saw that the "apres feed" included baked lobster, globs of salty butter and a small serving of McDessert.