Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Yet More Tour de Cure

Finally got around to adding my post, better late than never I guess

The weather for this ride was almost perfect, especially when you consider that last year I’m told everyone had to ride in steady rain and wind!

I had a couple of goals for this ride, one was to improve on last weeks Wildflower Century time of 6 hrs, 43 minutes and to break the 6 hour mark. I was also trying out Perpetuem from Hammer Nutrition to see how that worked for me during this long ride. With Jeff and Joel pulling for most of the start of this ride I figured this is going to be a cinch! Ya right, there are always those damn hills, and I hate climbing!

Jeff from the CycleFolsom Performance group was leading & pulling most of the way with Joel right on this tail. We also had a several other very strong riders who rode with us in the pack who rode with us on the Folsom Lake loop ride.

After the 50 mile rest stop at the fire station, I decided I’d try to maintain the pace these stronger riders had established and get them to pull me up the dreaded climbs to come. And for a while that plan worked. At one point they dropped me for a short period then I was able to catch back up and actually take my turn at pulling at the front, all be it for a short time before the entire group passed me like I was Grandma on a beach cruiser!

Slowly but surely, I lost sight of the tail end of the group not long after turning onto Bancroft Road at the Halsey Forebay reservoir turn. Then I managed to get myself lost and ended back up at the Halsey Forebay reservoir turn. Great, extra climbing! Just as I pulled out the map Stan, Lisa and Ron were coming down Christian Valley Road to make the turn onto Bancroft Road at the reservoir. After some good natured ribbing and directions from a couple of the SAG volunteers, I was off again back down Christian Valley Road.

After making up some lost time down the climb I had just come up, I was back on course and rolling down Bowman Road along Hwy 80 where I should have been all along. Soon after making the turn onto Auburn Ravine Road who should I see but Stan, Lisa and Ron again! This worked out great because I was able to ride along with them conserving my energy while I sucked off their wheels. The four of us along with one guy on a “fixie” (fixed gear bike) and several other rides formed a new pace line and were soon back up to a 20+ MPH pace on our way back to Roseville.

It’s just about at this point that I noticed my elapsed ride time of about 5hrs, 40 mins and start thinking “ok, if I’m gonna break the 6 hour mark I gotta get up front with Stan and another rider who seem to be hammering it back. So I jumped in front of the pack and started hammering it myself to catch up with them in hopes of getting them to pull me back in before hitting 6 hours. It worked, I caught up with them and then took several turns pulling myself before I had to confess to them, “I’m done, that’s all I’ve got” and dropped back behind the two of them for the reminder of the ride to the start at HP Drive.

Did I break the magic 6 hour mark, well almost! Total ride time was 6 hours 1 minute and 23 seconds. Not too bad considering I had gotten lost and added in what seemed like an extra 5 miles of climbing.

All and all this was a great ride with great riding partners for a great cause. As Stan mentioned when he and I got together late last year to plot out what rides we wanted to do this year, this one was one of those “got to do rides” and after Saturday, its got to be on the list for next year as well!

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