Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tour De Cure - OH THE LEFT

My brother's step daughter, Krissy, is in Stugo. Her HS Stugo was hosting a stop in the Tour de Cure bike ride to help raise funds for the American Diabetes Association. When she found our she asked if Kenny and I were participating because it sounded like something we would do : ) I did a little research asked the guys if they were interested, signed us up and then told them it was a 34 mile ride and we each had to raise $150 to participate! I think the fund raising was the most intimidating part of the challenge!

We signed up 8 weeks out which was the perfect length for training (well at least the website had an 8 week schedule posted which is what we followed).

I asked around and found the best trails for us were all located in the canals. Our first trip (on 01/29/12) out took a little longer than expected because when we loaded the bikes in the truck my brothers bike had something sharp that stabbed my tire and popped it... That added about an hour to go to Walmart, purchase new tubes and then for the guys to change them... We finally loaded up the bikes and headed to Arrowhead to meet the trail at 75th Ave and Paradise Ln.

During the first ride I really struggled between 3-4 mile mark... now if I was only going that far I would have been fine, but knowing our goal was 10 miles... I stuggled. My GPS app was set in kilometers and gave me a false hope on our distance and speed... once I realized it wasn't MPH I struggled to keep motivated (this was that 3-4 mile mark). The guys decided to lie to me and get me to finish the distance. It worked. I was happy we did the full 10, actually ended up doing 11.09 1 hour 19 mins .

We tried to ride weekly and did a good job until we all go sick... and then the weather was bad and we 3 week gap in riding... Even though we didn't have time to ride in the canal we just rode near the house. We took old El Mirage road almost to the 303. It wasn't a bad evening ride.

02/05 12.22 miles 1 hour 28 mins
02/11 15.16 miles 1 hour 37mins
03/01 10.48 miles 1 hour 14 mins

Our final practice ride was on Saturday 03/10/12. We rode 27.48 miles in 3 hours 20 mins... it was a BIG ride. We took the canal from 75th Ave and Paradise all the way to the Bike Cafe on Glendale and the 51!

All of the rides were a lot of fun and we tried to take different parts of the canal each time. One ride we went up to the 101 and Olive and the other times we went up toward the street side. Each time we saw new things. I also did several mini rides during the week to train even more. The weather (with the exception of that one rainy, cold, windy weekend) was perfect for bike riding and we all really enjoyed it. We made somewhat of an after ride tradition of going out to Hooters. I know I know... but their Hot wings, fried pickles and Dr.Pepper are SO delicious! I actually looked forward to our rides/lunch each week. We had lots of laughs, fun talks and fun singing along to our music on those rides. I was kind of sad the event seemed to come so quickly and our training was over. I love those times with my brother and husband and so appreciate my mom watching the boys for several hours each time we went out to ride and have lunch. During the entire training process I actually lost 5 lbs and have kept it off... despite my horrible diet and lack of will power to quit soda! Also, beside the flat on the first day and Brian's chain falling off once we didn't have any bike issues the in all those miles.

Today was the BIG race day. I was nervous. We had only done over 20 miles ONCE and it hurt! On the 27 mile we had hills to climb in the last few miles and my legs really hurt (not just muscle soreness either).

During the first 1/2 mile of the race we all realized we were in trouble... Although, we started near the back we weren't IN THE BACK to start... but we kept getting passed... The riders were doing almost a full 2 miles FASTER than we our average training speed.... we all rode as quickly as possible but were loosing our place in the group.

By the time we made it to Krissy's stop (about 7 miles in) we were sure we dead last of our group... especially since the policy officers that were directing traffic were neck and neck with us... Krissy later informed us that there was at least 12 people behind us. Who hoo.

Kenny, Krissy and Brian 

Just passed the first rest stop we were diverted into residential. It was this area that a biker was hit by a car. He wasn't from our route, but it must have happened with in the hour, because he was strapped to a stretcher and ready to be transported. We never heard any more on him. It is pretty ironic that he got hit in the residential considering some of the business streets we rode on.

We were truckin' along pretty well (passed all those people at the first stop- ha ha) until we turned onto Carefree Highway... We had been warned that 1/2 of the route was uphill... but looking at it was VERY intimidating!! We hadn't practiced on any terrain like it! We just kept peddling and peddling.... the guys would stop and take a break to wait for me.... I didn't stop. Not once. I just kept trucking along. I was very happy we stuck together as a team (isn't the slowest person always thankful for that?). Kenny was near me most of the time and when he wasn't my brother was. They encouraged me and kept me going. One older male rider sort of made my day... I was standing up riding (to get up hill and give my legs a stretch) and he rode by and said, " Looking good.... real good." Seriously made my day even if he was my parents age. All of the bikers really were encouraging.... as they passed me I got all kinds of words of encouragement.

My brother GOT tons of attention too.... since he was riding his GT BMX with 20 inch tires (rims?). The tires are heavy and the bike is small with only one gear... I seriously don't know how he did it either. As I rode behind him most of the way it was pretty funny to watch as people passed and made comments like:

* You're crazy man!
* Are you seriously gonna ride that 30 miles?
* You are a stud!
* Wow, good luck man
* You have knees of steel 
* You are hardcore man! 

There were tons more that I am not remembering... and the looks... people would check him out as they passed us. Classic. 

We finally made it to the turn which was promised to be an easy downhill ride! We couldn't wait!! It was a decline, but we still had to pedal...bummer.... but that last 9 miles being at least slightly downhill REALLY helped!! 

At our last rest stop the guy from Landis Cyclery fixed the gears on my bike (and took this picture). He was awesome. 

We followed the arrows in the end because there weren't any bikers to follow....
And FINALLY made it to the finish!! 

34.81 miles in 3 hours and 49 mins.... 

We raised over $500 for a good cause that hits close to home (both my mom and Kenny's Aunt and Uncle are diabetic) 

After the race they had lunch for all the riders... we were all starving, but didn't eat much. They had Carolina's Mexican food, Olive Garden and Subway. Oh and we stocked up on tons of goodies like granola bars, energy bars etc. 

No comments:

Post a Comment