Today I rode with the Polkadot Jersey / by Ed Shanahan

Today a good friend of mine, Charlie Bobbish and I rode 75 miles with 6,300-7,000' of climbing through western Maryland.  Charlie had offered to help me get ready for my annual ride to fight cancer, the Pan Mass Challenge ( and today we set out to conquer one of the most difficult century routes in the Maryland-Virgina area, the one followed by Civil War Century.  The route climbs 1,000' in the first 5.8 miles and 3,000' in the first 30.  Brutal.  There was a heat advisory and temps got to well into the mid-90s with high humidity and who knows what temp at the pavement level where we were riding, adding to the "fun".

About the Polkadot Jersey: this is awarded to the best climber each year in the Tour de France.  The one who can climb effortlessly and all day.  Charlie is such a guy and maybe the best climber I know.  And the heat does not bother him.  The hotter, the better.  But as good as Charlie is at climbing, he is an even better person.  Ask anyone who knows him and they will agree.  Today he showed it in spades.  On Sunday Charlie rode 152 miles.  Just because.  But he still came out to ride today.  The heat, humidity, dehydration and challenge of the ride got to me and I was slow as molasses.  Charlie could have bitched or gone sullen.  But that is not him.  He stayed with me and helped make a very challenging day a great experience.  Thank you Charlie!

Am I ready to do 192 miles over two days starting 6-Aug?  We shall see.  But today got me a step closer to that objective so I am a happy camper.  F-U cancer.  We are coming for you.