Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tour de Cure 2011: Ride Report

grey skies at the starting line
As the day dawned with overcast skies, I was feeling absolutely elated about riding in the 2011 Michigan Tour de Cure. My plan was to ride the 100 mile route - what cyclists call a "century" - for the second year in a row, and I had nothing in front of me for 5-6 hours or so but riding my bike. That always makes me happy. But more than that, as I aired up my tires and packed my jersey pockets with spare tubes, C02 canister, a couple of PayDay bars for emergency fuel, and my rain jacket just in case, I was overwhelmed at the support my fundraising campaign had received this year.

We raised $2,274 dollars for the American Diabetes Foundation. That's a new record for me. And it is just flat out inspiring - I was filled with honor and pride to represent the 52 (!) people who donated to the ADA on behalf of my ride. I know that each of them did so because they or someone close to them has been touched by the disease we are trying to fight. For each mile I planned to ride, more than $20 was donated...and there was a new person at each two mile interval (I literally imagined them all riding with me, as corny as that might sound). I say "planned" to ride because, well, it turned out that I (and I should say "we" as I was in a group of folks) got a bit off course.

In the end, I logged 82.7 of the planned 100 miles yesterday. How? Well, I was off course at least three times. Two of those times added miles and one cut out a loop that distinguished the metric century (62.1 miles or 100,000 meters) from the 100 mile route. The route markings were a bit less clear this year, in part due to rain on the day before the event which likely caused some of the markings to be less clear (chalk, you see).

But apart from the random distance - it was a good ride. And one that I am proud of from a performance standpoint. I started at 7:00 a.m. and finished a bit after 11:30. I had an avg. speed of about 19.3mph, counting only the wheel-spinning time and not the additional minutes looking confused and/or filling bottles and grabbing food at rest stops. That's pretty good, I'd say, especially since I rode with restraint all day. That is, I tried to make sure I stayed in Zone 3 the whole time. At the beginning, a fast group bombed off the front and I resisted the temptation to go with them. I eventually would catch many of them who rode with more enthusiasm than they could perhaps sustain.

At the finish, I had lots left in the tank. Though I felt appropriate levels of leg load, I feel pretty confident that I had stayed well within my lactate threshold because I had plenty of jump when I needed it even after mile sixty. And while I had planned to go another 18 miles, I felt I could have easily done so. I think it is safe to say I've never felt better after such a long effort - and given my avg. speed I'd say that I was going well given my attempts to stay aerobic.

I wish I'd done the full 100, just for the sake of the round number. I was tempted to just ride my bike home. But then I'd have had to have Leslie drive me back to Brighton to get the car. So I decided that a slightly earlier lunch was not such a bad thing, and called it day at 82.7. After all, the real reason for all of that was another number: $2274! And for that, I can only say: Thank you.

1 comment:

susan said...

I'm happy to be one of your contributors--glad to know that those of us contributing from afar helped keep you company on the ride.

BTW, your ride inspired me to do a (very tiny) ride here--in support of a program that does support , education, and housing for pregnant/newly parenting women who also have substance abuse problems. We all did the 4 mile family ride together.