Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tour de Cure Makes for a Good Early-Season Challenge

Each ride leader who rode in the Tour de Cure will be contributing commentary for this week's blog:

[Contributed by Stan Schultz]
Back in January, Kevin and I decided it would be useful to plot out goal rides for the 2010 season. These goals would help keep our training focused, and us motivated. We agreed that this would also help us as Cycle Folsom ride leaders, too. After doing my first century last summer, I set a goal to do 5 centuries this year. The Tour de Cure represents the first of the year for me. Kevin also did the Chico Wildflower last week, so he's one up on me already! 

The ride started with a group of 7 CF riders and 3 or 4 others starting together. After a nice several mile warm up, the pace started to pick up. Everyone held together in a well-structured pace line. After the first water stop we were to face our first set of hills. One group pretty quickly turned into two, and after a moderate attempt to keep up with the lead group, I realized that I would be better off settling in to a slower pace and enjoying the ride. I'm glad I did, the weather was perfect yesterday and the scenery was spectacular.

Oak trees were everywhere, covered with bright, tender spring foliage. The field grass was tall and lush, punctuated with dainty, colorful wild flowers. A few small lakes on the course were full, feeding the many creeks that ran alongside the route. The hills were somewhat stair-stepped, which I appreciated. The views from atop the hill climbs made the effort worth while.

My goal was to finish in under 6 hours. In the end, I rolled in at 6 hours 1 minute. Call me a cheater, but I think I'll chalk it up as a success.

[Contributed by Joel Brandt]
First of all...a HUGE thank you to all who contributed in helping raise money for the fight against diabetes. Regardless of the outcome, each rider should be proud of raising the $150 minimum needed to enter this years event. With that said, a special thank you is in order to Jeff T for putting us all on his back and carrying us through the first 50 miles...and then some...

The event couldn't have had better conditions with sunshine and a high in the low 80's. Last year's event produced thundershowers and winds gusting up to 15-20 mph making this year's event seem like a pun intended! 7 CF riders along with a couple of riders who joined us on the Folsom Lake tour a couple of week's ago, embarked on a 100 mile journey.

With the pace being set around 15mph to start out, I could tell Jeff was itching to up the ante and get things rolling. Once we were out of the city limits of Roseville, the heat was turned up on the weather and the pace (could have just been my HR making the weather hotter, who knows?) We took turns leading a pace line of around 12 riders that helped keep an average around 19 to the first rest stop. After a few adult beverages of water and Perpetuem, we headed for the hills. This is where the fun began! Our group seemed to pick off the early starters one by one and by the time we reached the 2nd rest stop at the 50 mile mark, we discovered that Jeff was the 2nd person to arrive! The main group of us "dropped" riders arrived around 3 minutes behind him, so we did ourselves proud over the first half of the century. 

After filling up on more adult beverages of G2, H20 and Perpetuem, we headed for the hills of Crater Hill and Bald Hill Rd. This is where the pack dispersed in a hurry. 8-15% grades have a tendency to do that, however each individual persevered through tough climbs, missing road markers and beautiful scenery and made it back to the 3rd rest stop around mile mark 70. From here it was mostly a well deserved descent back into Lincoln and the Roseville finish. With each of us having our own personal goals, it was great to see that our hard training over the last few months have paid off.

Jeff finished in 5:28 (believed to be the 1st 100 mile finisher), Kevin and Stan finished at 6 hours and I accomplished my goal of getting below 6 hours by hitting a riding time of 5:49. Without the support and advice that the CF gang provides I know I never would have come close to hitting this time. Last year took me over 7 hours to complete! It was truly a joy riding with Jeff, Stan, Kevin, Lisa, Ron and Kirk...I look forward to future rides and new journeys!

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