Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tour de Cure Ride

Saturday was the big day for my ride for Diabetes, the Tour de Cure.  It was an absolutely glorious day for a ride too.  Sunny, but not too hot, at least at the start of the ride.  The start of the ride was at Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA.  Tour had five ride options from 15 to 100 miles in length.  I chose the shortest route, since that would still be the longest I have ridden in at least 15 years.  While the stated route was 15 miles,  it was closer to 17 miles from where the start line was within the park.  The shortest route had the latest start, so I arrived about 20 minutes before the 11am start.

Sign in

I got signed in and turned in my cash donations.  I got my number, 520 and a T-Shirt, next year's will be smaller. ;)

I made my way up to the start line.  Even though we were the last group, they did not spare the pomp and circumstance.  They gave the thank you speech for all out donations, and thanked all the volunteers.  There was a band and they even had a young lady sing the National Anthem.

We are riding to fight diabetes.  Some of those who rode actually have diabetes and were designated "Red Riders".  They got a nice red jersey and got to go to the head of the pack.

Red Riders
The ride started out slowly as there was a pack of riders, but it quickly thinned out and by the time I reached the Sammamish River Trail, I was pretty much riding by myself.  There were a few that I could see the majority of the ride, I was passed by a few and event passed a few myself.  For the most part I kept a pace of about 9-12 mph.  I have to admit I did not stop during the ride to take pictures, so I added some from my previous ride where I rode the majority of the ride route.  So these have been posted on my blog in a prior post.  The weather was just as nice, so they could easily have been taken on the same day...

Just after the eight mile mark, I made it to Wilmot Park, the turn around point.  Had some water and they provided a few snacks that hit the spot.

The first half of the ride felt pretty good.  I thought I had a small headwind, but it must have been a tailwind because there was definitely a nice headwind on the way back.  Of course I also stopped too long, so my legs tightened up.  It was hard to get my momentum going, but I pushed on.  I actually loosened up pretty good and was making decent time, though was going a little bit slower most of the way back.  When I got back to the park, I still had a little over a mile to the finish line and my (new!) rear derailleur fell apart.  The bolt for one of the pulleys came apart and while I think I have all the parts, I could not get it back together in the field, so I walked the last mile to the finish line.  But I did it!

They had a goody bag at the finish line and they put out a pretty good spread of food for the riders.  It was nice.  After getting hydrated and fed, I listened to the music they had playing and watched the festivities.  They honored the riders who raised $1,000 or more, and they honored a five year old who completed the 25 mile route under his own power!!  

It was nice out, but did not seem terribly hot when I left home, so, of course, I did not put on any sun screen.  I was bright red on my forearms and neck, but I will recover to ride another day!!  It was a good day and I was happy I made it.  I know the distance does not seem like a lot, but I am still building back up.  I hope to ride a 50 miler by the end of the summer, my next goal...

I capped the day by taking my wife to see The Great Gatsby for Mother's Day.  A good flick.  And if you have an iPic theater nearby, I highly recommend it!  21 and over only, they serve alcohol that you can take to your seat, and plush leather chairs.  

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Been a while...

I have not written in a while.  I am back at the MBA program after taking the winter quarter off and its been a little hectic for me.  I have been riding some, but mostly shorter rides in the neighbor hood and and around town.  So I really have not had any rides that I felt were too interesting to write about.  Next weekend I will ride the Tour de Cure for Diabetes, so I will definitely do a write up after that.  I will be doing the shortest route, which is 15 miles, but I hope to build up to 50 miles by this fall.  My plan is to ride every day don't have class, even if it is for just a little ride from my house.  Something to keep my legs moving, burn some fat hopefully, and give me some time to reflect on my day.  I'll throw in some longer rides on the weekend.

So far, I have enjoyed the experience and have learned a few things.  One, I really don't like the comfort bike I purchased.  It's main advantage is its upright position and the fact that it is getting me riding, but I have realized a few things.  I like to get up out of the saddle to climb hills.  The way the comfort bike is design, you really cannot do that.  Grinding up a hill while seated is a pleasant experience.  I have ridden my son's mountain bike and like that better.  I may rid it more or get my old Bridgestone up and running.  The second thing I found I don't like is are shocks.  Really, I don't think you need shocks for road riding ever, but I just don't like them.  Now, I realize it may be partly due to my weight.  If I was at my goal weight, which is about 75 pounds lighter than I am now, then maybe I would enjoy shocks better.  Or maybe better quality shocks??  I don't like the ones on my comfort bike or my son's mountain bike.  Again, I will have to get my Bridgestone up and running, since it has no shocks and always worked well for me.  Unfortunately the rear rim is beyond worn out, so  I need to replace it.  I can do a lot of my own work on bikes, but building wheels is not one of them.

After I lose another 25 pounds, I may try my trusty old Mercian touring bike.  I just don't want it to break underneath me.  I also need to add a stem that raises up higher.  It has the opposite issue from my comfort bike, as it is set up like a racing bike.  The handle bars are several inches below the seat.  I think one to two inches above the seat will get me into a better riding position.  The other issue is it has skinny tires, and since I have narrow Campagnolo rims, it is not just a matter of getting larger diameter tires.  I do have another set of 27 inch wheels without a bike.  I may take it apart and have a local shop build up my vintage Campy hubs with some nice rims that can take a 35-38mm tire.  That will add a little bit of extra comfort.  Maybe a triple crank as well...

Well I am just babbling now.  Until next time, keep pedaling!!