Westchester to Albany

The“Retarded” was a poorly named challenge that Lucas, Richie P, Ben G. and I did while in college.  Lucas would frequently toyed with the notion of trying to ride his bike from his home in Westchester to Albany, NY.  I believe it was around 120 miles.  Lucas at this point was extremely socially dependant (self-admittedly) and asked me if I wanted to join.  I am by no means an avid bike rider, however I am always a fan of a challenge.  Lucas seemed confident that this was something we could accomplish in a day without any prior training.  I prepped the best that I could, by wearing some under armour and making sure there was air in my $100 bike that my grandparents got for me from Walmart. We woke up super early because a ride like this was going to take us all day.  Looking at Richie P. I could not help but laugh, as his outfit was a pair of Khaki shirts and a white undershirt. His bike was a mountain bike and he then had a book bag filled with random bottles of water.  His preparation made me feel significantly more confident in the ride.  I would say the first hour or so was pretty smooth, then that is when everything went wrong.  The ride became a true test of will power as everything that could possibly go wrong did.  Going down a hill, I try making a turn and my brakes lock up and I start fishtailing towards a truck going the opposite direction.  I luckily get away uninjured however the tire on my bike was popped and completely warped.  Lucas spent some time hammering it back into shape, though whatever damage done to the frame of the tire led to a consistent series of tires being blown out.  I am fairly certain I personally went through 4 tires during the ride.  Also for a majority of the ride, it was down pouring rain.  At one point I am behind Lucas and we are about to ride over some train tracks.  I see Lucas fishtail a bit and keep riding.  I immediately think that there is no way I am not fucking this up.  Sure enough the lack of confidence and skill helped catapult me from the bike and crashing into the ground.  I cut up my hands pretty bad and blood was rushing down my arms.  Lucas seeing this knows that blood is a breaking point for me and says that we can quit if I want to.  I looked at my bloody pruney hands, which could possibly be the grossest thing ever and tell him to help tape me up.  My final tire blows out within the last leg of the trip.  We were about 25 miles outside of Albany and no more spares to use.  We all sit on the side of the road defeated until Ben suggests that we call a friend in Albany to drive a bike out to us so that we can finish the ride.  For the last 25 miles of the ride I was able to use an actual road bike with clips.  I felt like I was flying.  We get into Albany and ride directly to Bombers to celebrate.  It was a fantastic sense of accomplishment to complete the ride despite all the hiccups that came along the way.