Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Weekend in Reverse - Saturday's Ride

Yesterday I posted about the Run with Kenyans.  Today I will tell you about the Tour de Cure experience.

Ride Info:  This is a ride to raise money for the Diabetes Association.  My father had diabetes and diabetes runs in his side of the family, so it's something that hits home.  Each riders needs to raise a minimum of $150 to participate.  The event offered full century, metric century, quarter century, and a "family fun ride".  We chose the quarter century.  If they had offered a half, we would have chosen that, but a metric was too far for me at this time.

Pre-Ride:  Packet pickup was on a Wednesday evening, which was not all that convenient for us.  We arrived to find out that we had not raised the minimum according to their records, but we had!  Called the office the next day to get that straightened out.  Signs of things to come?

The event site said that the quarter century was starting at 11:30.  Husband, running partner, & I were all riding together.  Running partner arrived early and found out we could start before 11:30.  We were still en route to the event, but figured we could get rolling by 11am.  In general, the earlier the better.  It gets hotter and hotter as the day goes on.

A reminder that this ride was held to raise money for the ADA
Ride:  Husband checked us in and they told us to "get on out of here" - meaning that not only were they allowing early starts, they were encouraging it. I forgot to print a map.  I took a photo of the course map that they had set up at check-in.  Good thing, because it turns out that I would need to reference it.

Photo of course map that I ended up referencing while riding
The ride started on a fairly busy street, which was a little scary, but then moved to a dedicated bike path for a while and a road with a bike lane.  We went through some scenic areas. The volunteers at the aid stations were enthusiastic.  The course itself, however, was not well marked.  We also *never* saw any SAG vehicles even though they were supposed to be our there. And since they didn't start everyone together at one, we were pretty much on our own to find our way.  We missed a turn or two on the way back.  Didn't see any any course markers for the last 4 miles or so.  We knew in general where we were going, so we eventually found our way.

At this aid station, they even mentioned that other riders were complaining about lack of clear course marking
I would also like to add that my running partner isn't a very experienced cyclist.  We decided that I would ride up front to set the pace, she would follow me, and Husband would sweep from the back to make sure we were both doing okay.  I wasn't sure she would be able to keep up with me, but she did pretty well except for an uphill section.  Other than that, I only had to stop a couple times to let her catch up.  Husband was helping her better understand how/when to shift her gears.  After this ride, she feels much more confident on her bike.
Husband, Running Partner & I 
Post-Ride:  They had hamburgers and hot dogs with fruit cups for us after the ride. I was hot and sweaty and sunburned.  We needed to rush off to packet pickup for the next day's running event. I couldn't wait to take a shower.  Hahahah!

Post race food
General Thoughts:  I'm not sure I would do this event again due to issues with course marking/support.  Being out there with Husband and Race Partner made it much better experience than it may have been otherwise. I should also mention that it was a successful charity event (just over 200 riders participated and in total we raised almost $50K for the ADA) and the volunteers were awesome.

After the ride, Husband explaining more to Running Partner about shifting gears 


  1. Sounds like a great event! Sadly, diabetes runs in my dad's side of the family, too.

  2. Pity about the bad course markings but at least you were with others. For charity it seems to have been worth it though.

  3. Well, if you do decide to do it again, at least you know you can start early! Congrats on raising money for a good cause.