07 October 2008

Hardest thing I have ever done.

It is very difficult to summarize this type of experience without sounding obvious or cliche, but I'll do my best. First I want to be honest and say that this is the most difficult experience I have ever put myself through. I knew it would be hard, but I was blown away (twice almost literally: once in a sandstorm and another on a hairy descent with insane crosswinds- one of the scariest times I've ever had on a bike). But I had a great time. Really. In one waking period I rode through fog, rain, steep canyons, 50+ MPH downhills, dry desert, 10 mountain passes, temperatures in the 40s all the way to 90s, headwinds, tailwinds and even a few miles of normal conditions.
I'm going to break up my thoughts into a number of posts so that Matthew doesn't complain about bike blog posts being way too long. For now here is a photo Race Director Chris Kostman posted. Below is a caption that he wrote, which he rarely does, so I am thankful for that.

AdventureCORPS Presents the 2008 Furnace Creek 508 / _A052716
Photos by Chris Kostman, Oct 5, 2008: Finishers 7:00pm through 9:50pm

The stars of Eat!Sleep?Bike!: the acclaimed film by Sasha Edge about the four rider fixed gear Team Bonobo who completed The 508 in 2006.
From L-R: Pictured are Maxwell Lucas crewed for Brian; Matt Ruscigno competed solo as Desert Locust; Megan Dean, a custom bicycle frame builder, competed with the four woman Team Blue-Footed Booby; Brian Davidson competed solo as Emperor Moth. They are all members of Team Swarm!, an LA-based cycling club, team, and advocacy group. Why the bananas? In 2006, they used a banana as their relay team baton, which they then ate at the finish line. This year, Megan's team also used a banana as their baton, while Matt carried one, too, just for fun. All four riders are vegan. In fact, Brian has now completed the race twice on a purely raw, vegan diet, about which Matt, a dietician, has presented a poster at a science conference. It was on display at Racer Check-In. Click here for the first of several photos of the poster (click the arrows to the right to see the rest of the photos.)

4 comments:

jenny said...

That's crazy - I'm super impressed with you!!

ironvegan said...

You are the sh*t! I can't believe that is possible... WOW. Excellent work.

George said...

Congratulations on a great race Matt. I look forward to reading the rest of your report!

George "Red Eyed Vireo" Vargas

Jen said...

Very impressive! And it's so great that you got to highlight veganism, too—with scientific data to back you up. Good work!