Monday, April 30, 2018

My big event

It's the night before a forty-five-mile charity ride. I have pre-ride jitters. I have no idea if I'm in good enough shape to do this ride. Last year I went on every training ride; this year, due to sickness and injury, I missed four or five of the training rides. I'm nervous.

Suddenly I realize that I have to meet a bus that will take us to to start of the ride (sixty miles from the meet-up point) and I have no idea what time I have to be there.  I look at the website for the event. There is no mention of a time anywhere. Frantically I search all the emails I've gotten from the ride organizers. It takes me ten minutes to find the pertinent information. It's buried somewhere in the fine print of one of the very early emails.

And this is one of the best-organized rides I go on.

The day after.

It's now the (early) Sunday morning the day after the ride. Was I right to be nervous? Who can say? How did the ride go? Fine.

Of course, there were pros and cons. On the negative side, my chain came loose when I was trying to shift to the big ring while going around twenty miles an hour.

On the positive side, I got to ride with a lot of great people, and the ride was far easier than I remember. Those big hills that I had problems with last year? Between now and then, someone must have flattened them a bit. I also got to ride part of the ride with my brother-in-law, who is a far more accomplished cyclist than I am, and I almost kept up with him in parts. Oh, and I rode the entire forty-five miles without a single flat. The weather was also nice, with an average temperature of sixty-five degrees.

That's me third in line. I've just been dropped by a little kid. And yes, I am rocking some dorky looking leg warmers and mountain bike shorts. Obviously I didn't take this picture.

I also cut two hours off of my ride time from last year. I'm not sure whether this was a positive or a negative. I didn't get to spend as much time in the countryside as I would have liked,, there's no but here. I think I would have preferred taking it a little slower. I'm happier with my level of fitness, but next time, I'm going a little slower. Or I have the option to ride sixty-eight miles instead of forty-five. Watch this space.

The route was from Vacaville to Sacramento. Ten miles to the first rest stop, twenty miles to lunch, and then fifteen more miles to the finish.

The terrain was far greener than last year.
Across the highway from the rest stop. This view was typical of the first thirty miles.
There were also interesting features of the ride not made by nature:
Note the graffiti in the road: "Toy Story is STILL just okay."
Some of the more interesting art(?)

There was one negative I forgot, but it was relative to a huge positive. The positive was that the first thirty miles of the ride were what I would characterize as a nice ride through the beautiful countryside. The rest of the ride was either uninteresting suburbia or urban blight.

Still, there were some positives, even in the negative. For instance, a beautiful gateway into Sacramento.
The final bridge.
All in all, a very satisfying ride.

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