When my husband and his Marines first told me they were making a cycling group I kind of sorta laughed at the prospect -- considering how nowadays most people say they want to do something and then don't stick to it, but mostly because when people get to know something there's always that honeymoon stage in which they just want to keep doing it and then that infatuation gets eclipsed by the reality and cruelty of how intense this specific lifestyle is.

But one day I decided to start riding with them, and the days I can't ride (I'm very prone to heat strokes and am SUPER out of shape) I decided I would be their photographer... However, on a very hot 4th of July, these knuckle heads decided to venture on a 60 something km for some and 99km for others ride. The temperatures were hellish,  reaching a blazing heat of 113°, but these guys don't know when to quit. So here's their ride through Suoh-Oshima and it's rolling hills.

Martinez and his blinding smile, making fun of Nico for bursting a tube.

Martinez and his blinding smile, making fun of Nico for bursting a tube.

As we ventured further into the island I took a wrong turn and waited for them.

5 minutes in, 10 minutes in and no sign of them, so I took pictures of the flowers around instead.

And then we finally got to our desired checkpoint.

The cyclists replenished with some food and loads of water, compared tan lines and the first one fell out, but the overall kinship and motivation they all give each other is palpable in every single one of their rides,

After all that is what NEC is all about. Sticking together to share the love and joy of cycling.