Sunday, October 16, 2011

Viva Bike Vegas!

Wow!  What an adventure!  Im afraid its not all about food today, unless you like hearing about gatorade, energy bars, bananas, oranges and miller lite, which is most of what I ended up eating yesterday! My courageous bike team completed what was my 10th program with Team in Training, and my 9th century bike ride to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

This was by far the hardest bike program, the 'Viva Bike Vegas' was a really gruelling 103 miles and between 4500 and 5100 ft of climbing, the toughest part being a relentless 30 mile slog up into the Red Rock Canyon preserve.  Whilst it was beautiful, it was painful continually climbing for that distance.

The true highlight of the day was riding down the Las Vegas strip, which was closed to traffic, and having a 5am cheering crew made up of drunks, and various random people who were still up from the night before!

I was so happy to have finished the ride, but I'm also proud of my team-mates, one of which had only ridden a beach cruiser many years ago and was around my mothers age!

I'm pictured here at the finish with my wonderful mentor, Will, who taught me about the 'goldilocks' method of trying to find a rider who is a similar pace to you and then hanging on to dear life on their wheel so they block the wind for you!

The hill climbing around San Diego paid off, and we continued our tradition of even the fastest riders going back out to near the finish line and riding in together, which was especially gracious when they finished several hours before and were dying for a shower and clean clothes!
I normally sneer at Outback Steakhouse, but the post ride meal provided as part of the registration was a true step up from most organized bike ride, a plate of perfectly seared mahi-mahi, delicious rice and cesar salad was most welcome to recharge my batteries, along with a cold beer!
I think this ride might be one I only try once, the fun start on the strip, the beautiful climb through red rocks, the fun bike path in the middle were great, but the relentless burning heat, and the rather boring middle section through uninspiring neighborhoods was quite tough.

Oh and I should mention the skull on our helmets.  Every week, the coaches awarded a team member a purple skull for their bravery the previous week.  They wanted to honor everyone on the team for being a warrior so we all had them!  It drew quite a lot of attention on the course, with a bloke nicknaming me 'skully' for half of the ride!

1 comment:

J said...

Congrats on completing that bike ride! What a big accomplishment. I love that picture of the squirrel.