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And now???

Arghhh, so it seems as though this is going to go rough. As I was saying before the customs forms were delivered...(and I lost 3 paragraphs) vacation is over. I went into it very excercise/training driven. For the past 2 years we've/I've trained in the hotel gym on a recumbent trainer. It worked, but is tedious boring and did I mention hot and stinky? Well, gyms usually smell right? Add to that tropical musty and you know my battle. Anyhow this year, though my friends deemed me crazy, death defying and downright foolish, I decided to rent a hybrid bike for a week. After picking up the rental car, we swung thru tri-sports where I arranged for Olivier to deliver the next morning between 10am and noon. I thought my girlfriends would love this coup. No dice though, they did not surrender a moment of beach time ;). So there I sat in my bike shorts and jog bra on a tropical morn. I thought when he arrived, I'd have him drop the seat, and go for a quick spin around the village. Unfortunately, his early morning 'meeting' was a child's ride, from which he arrived shirtless (yay) but with his 2 very French children, their bikes and the course cones crammed on top of the rental in his 'jeep'. BOOO-HISSSSS! Papa-papa-papa, while I'm trying to get the bike just so, Arghhhh. So one fantasy shot (maybe I can find a pic on the website to help with a visual).

As he set off to whatever his Saturday holds, I set off on my 1.6 mile jaunt. I thought no problem, though I was up high and uncertain. I knew my first ride after this would again be in the village since the roads are very hilly and I certainly was not road ready. Guess what I forgot.... and note, it was only a 17 minute ride. Sunscreen. Burn-arama. Boo-hiss yet again, luckily I did not know until the next day.

The next morning dawned overcast and spitting. Off I set anyway onto a dirty muddy mucky road, after picking up speed and mud, I reversed direction for a harder packed (better drained?) surface. I don't recall how far I made it, maybe 4 miles, when I headed back , I was soaked and I needed breakfast.

I skipped a day to rest my wrists back and tuckas (the bike weren't betsey, I can tell ya that). In those two days time as my friends all pleaded for me not to risk my life, Bruce pled his utter faith in me while pointing out the difficulty of riding the beach. He compared it to his duney, bike carrying slogs in AZ He literally meant the beach, on the hardpack, at the water line. I'm on to his tricks, but took up his challenge ;-). If you are reading this and don't know, I am highly competetive and rarely walk from a challenge. His gauntlet? 5 laps of this 1.5 mile beach (15 miles, what's that to a he-woman like me?). After a small snack of cottage cheese, off I went. Ok, let me say Saint Martin is hot, sticky and wet when you are in the surf. I tried to avoid it but if you beach walk, u know... Too high and it's mushy... Too low, ditto. So this jaunt required effort and precision with high effort!!!! I was beet red after .25 miles and had to stop EVERY qurter mile to hydrate. Well. I did not even make one lap. I only made it 2 miles and sat panting beach side. A friend was setting off on a beach walk (the exercise of choice) and after taking the bike to her room so Bruce could sleep, off we went for my biathalon training. After walking 2 miles to cool off, I rested for another coupla days.

Unfortunately unfamiliar saddle and general pain prevented daily use. Oh well, come Saturday, it was time to bike back to the shop. I hit the open road @645am, to my friends dismay. At Marigot, after walking 2 large steep 'mountains', I texted Bruce that I was snacking before continuing. To my biking friends I went with what I had, a fruit roll up and finished one of my 2 waters. To my beach friends, they thought I was lounging and having breakfast ;). Anyway as soon as I get the data from the GPS, I'll post a brag or bemoaning update. I beat Bruce to the shop by 15-20 minutes. You see there are some fair steady climbs from marigot to Simpson bay. Summary??? One 'drifter' in oncoming traffic, lots of people up and about, one burnt out vw bus, no gloves to aid in climbs (my sweaty palms kept twisting making climbs tricky). 16 miles@9.8 mph including the 2 walking climbs. Nor too shabby I think.

To be continued.