Monday, June 9, 2008

Tour de Cure: Event Report


Sunday 6/8: Bike 3:45:14, 64.8 miles; 17.2 AVS

I completed the long course of the Brighton, MI Tour de Cure ride. By my calculations, I did it about 45 minutes faster than last year, which largely reflects the difference between doing it on a road bike vs. my hybrid.

More importantly, I have raised $950 to support diabetes research & education initiatives on behalf of the American Diabetes Association. You can still donate to this year's cause if you like, through August 1st.

The numbers for the ride come from my bike computer, which had the course just under 5 miles shy of 70 miles. The average speed is a bit misleading since we rode a fair bit in traffic (like, actual vehicular traffic complete with stop signs and lights and stuff) and that slowed us down a bit even when the wheels were moving. But I would guess that it's still fairly accurate. The total time does not reflect time spent at 4 rest stops along the way to stretch, drink, eat a little, fill water bottles, etc. I didn't spend more than a few minutes at any one stop, but I would guess 10 minutes total is a fair estimate.

This year's course was a different route than the one in 2007, with more hills. The weather was not bad. The first hour was ideal. Cool, sunny, and not too windy. But the wind and the temperature rose steadily throughout the morning. By mile 40, we faced a stiff breeze (sustained winds of 18-20 mph) and temperatures in the upper 80's to low '90's with lots of humidity.

But I'm happy to report that running a marathon is great training for an event like this. :) I don't recommend it, but if you should find yourself registered for a 65 mile charity ride two weeks after completing a marathon that you've spent some time training needn't worry about finishing.

I enjoyed myself a great deal, I must say. While last year I was just curious to know if I could finish, this year I was able to savor the experience, including the many opportunities to suffer on the climbs and/or when hanging with a pack of roadies (or, worse, tri-geeks with those infernal front-mounted sippy bottles) determined to make the day a replay of their weekly club ride mash session. I rode a fair bit with a couple of different groups, but this event splits people up due to different ride lengths (folks doing the 50 miler followed a different route) and different approaches to the rest stops, etc. So I rode alone a fair bit too, but managed to stay fueled, hydrated, and strong (read: cramp & bonk free!) the whole way.

All in all, it was a great first long ride of the season. And now I need another "next thing" to talk about. I'm working on that...

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