21 March 2010

65 Roses Tour

Today was an awesome new tour/bike ride benefitting cystic fibrosis that was largely sponsored and organized by my local bike shop and adopted family, Bike City and several of the great riders around Searcy.  Unfortunately, I have had my head stuck in my own little depressed world and had absolutely nothing to do with helping.  I must say everybody did a fantastic job!! Great crowd support, the local police and fire departments provided fantastic traffic control (except for Beebe), yummy food, and just all around fabulousness :-). 

Back side of the shop jerseys, one of the Mike H.s modeling it.

Back side of the Tour t-shirt (it's not white, yay!!!)

I literally waited until the day before to register. Why? Because of my general dumbassery lately (well actually over the past several months). Fortunately I'm working through most of that, I hope so anyway. SAD is a brutal thing when it hits me as hard as it has this winter. Combine that with family problems and injuries and you get the picture.

Since I've done practically no training I went ahead and opted for the 30 mile route. I figured that since I've ridden the trainer quite a bit since January, that would at least be doable. It actually ended up being more than doable, I felt great afterwards :-).  That tension being cranked up strengthened my legs more than I realized.

Weather decided to cooperate and remain mild despite the predicted thunderstorms, yay!!!! Nice crowds, I think Duane said that 207 people had pre-registered (?) so VERY good turnout for a first time tour.  Started out slow because I had done no warmup ride and it always seems to take me at least 3-5 miles to get my legs loosened up and ended up near the rear of the pack.  Once I got to where I decided my legs were loose enough, took off and attacked the hills. Surprisingly I never had to go into the little ring up front although it was iffy a time or 2, lol.

Oh to back up a minute, James didn't ride today and he was asked to help out with SAG wagon duty on the 30 mile route. He was the one in the white Dodge pickup going back & forth checking on people when they stopped.

A few times (well more than a few) we had people that would intentionally crowd us with their cars or pickups when there was no reason to do so but overall the vast majority of motorists were very polite and gave us plenty of room.  As I stated before all of the intersections were very well manned by the local police & fire departments, got the traffic stopped in plenty of time and were very encouraging. Cyclists, if you're not saying thank you to these guys when they do this, shame on you!!!!  The only snafu was at Beebe at the 4 way stop where we made our turn onto Hwy 64 and I don't think the officer there was paying quite close enough attention and/or didn't know how to handle traffic control for a ride or race. I ended up having to stop as did several others that went through there.

I ended up only making 2 stops, neither of which should have happened. The first was the Beebe incident, the 2nd was having to rezip my bento box after getting a gel out. Don't ask me why I didn't have 'em in my jersey pocket. I know better, grrr.

Hwy 64 is also where I started hitting some wind. It's open through there and I was all by my lonesome :-( so no one to trade drafting duties with....It took me a while before I finally caught up to the next guy in front of me but did going up the hill that Gary R. calls Evil Hill. Very steep!!! I was down to 6mph before hitting the top but didn't have to shift to granny ring up front although if the darn thing had gone on much long longer I was going to have to! I passed that guy here but what goes up must come down and he was not exactly a small man.  Even though I was down in aero-position and scrunched down as low as possible he still zoomed back by me half-way down the hill.  I was still able to reel him back in and for the last 4 miles pretty much stayed within 50 feet of him. Finished approx. 8-10 feet off his wheel :-)

This brings me to a major complaint I have about mp3 players while cycling. I tried to talk to this guy and he never heard me. If you can't hear somebody talking to you, how the hell can you hear traffic? and what happens if somebody needs to warn you of a road hazard?  Even if you just use one earbud while cycling you have to have the volume cranked up so high to hear anything that everything else gets drowned out around you. Not safe!!!!!!!!!!!

Honestly felt great afterwards and prolly could have done the 50 mile route although not quite as easily. Ended up keeping a 16.78 mph ave. slow start and hills included. Not bad for practically no training this year :-). 

This is what a half asleep, really don't wanna be smiling for the camera, cold Gabby looks like before a ride. Scary, huh? LOL!!!!!


Eric said...

I think thats a cute pic of:
"half asleep, really don't wanna be smiling for the camera, cold Gabby" :)

still shakin my head at all da fun you have Gabby,.. Lucky Girl!

gabsatrucker said...

Really? I almost didn't post that photo because I don't like how I look in it so Thank you for saying I look cute!