Here’s the first e-mail,sent 5/18.98, chronicling the path to the Death Ride:

Yesterday I rode the Montauk Century which is from Penn Station in Manhattan to the furthest tip of Long Island, 130 miles. Just barely underway, in Queens, I developed an injury to my left knee. I hoped it would go away but no such luck. It got worse. It had been glorious the day before: warm and brilliant out. The weather report for Sunday was for more of the same with some scattered clouds and a possibility of showers. We started in darkness with overcast skies which I expected to burn off once the sun was up. Again, no such luck. It remained chilly and dreary. So I rode more than a hundred miles favoring one leg. If I just spinned the cranks it was tolerable. I couldn’t stand on the pedals but thankfully the course is relatively flat. At about mile 72 it began to rain, not at all hard, but persistent and furthered what was already a chilly day. Just like the week before, when I rode 60 miles in the rain, I wound up with road grit up my back and thoroughly coating the bicycle. The encouraging aspect of the ride was that I had plenty of energy, did not bonk at any time, and finished feeling strong. Got back to Penn Station via bus to find that the sidewalks outside Madison Square Garden/Penn Station had all been taken over by machinery connected to the premiere of Godzilla. Sat in the cold for an hour on the side walk of a side street waiting for the truck carrying our bicycles to show. By then my right knee, the leg that had been doing most of the work, was in more pain than the left. Was able to coast over to the subway and ride it home. Slept 10 and a half hours. Feel much better today. Deep knee bends are a problem but other wise I feel great.