Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bike 4 Breath, 2011

This 62-mile ride was absolutely AWESOME!  The weather was perfect and the company was even better.

Jennie, Karen #2, Soraya, Erin, Karen #1, Kathryn, Me
I did this ride last year as a way to make amends to my mother-in-law who passed away from lung cancer in 2004.

This year I did the ride in her memory and had six other friends sign up with me.  These were mostly women I have been riding with since January when I signed up for the Cinderella Classic training.  We even wore our Cinderella Classic jerseys.  Oh, and I painted my nails to match my bike (and one of the sleeves on the jersey).

  We met up in the parking lot in Foster City at 7:00.  We all got checked in and were ready to roll right at 7:30.  Just as we had planned.  We rolled out together, as a group.  I started off with arm warmers under a wind breaker.  The beginning of the ride was right along the water for about five miles.  It was a bit chilly for that time.  After about an hour, we had our first climb.  We all pulled over and stripped off our necessary layers so we wouldn't overheat. 

Soraya and I.  First to arrive at the rest stop.
Our first rest stop was on Canada Road, we got there at 9:00.  The girls were thrilled to see PB&J sandwiches - real food, they said.  From there we went north on Canada Road past Crystal Springs Reservoir where there was a pretty good cross wind.  I really wished I had my windbreaker but I managed.  We did a loop with some pretty good hills.  I remembered the course from last year and was quite happy that I wasn't struggling as much as last year.

Crystal Springs Reservoir

We dropped back onto Canada Road and headed south to the same rest stop.  We all enjoyed more PB&J sandwiches.

Karen #2 and I
From there we rode into Woodside and Portola Valley.  We were starting to separate into two groups about this time.  We would always meet up at rest stops though.

Jennie and I
We pulled into the rest stop at mile 41 with cowbells and bullhorns and cheering volunteers.  Actually, all of the rest stops had extremely enthusiastic volunteers.  They made us feel like we were coming in first in a race or something.  I had a huge smile when I pulled into each rest stop.

Somehow, after that last rest stop, Soraya and I got separated from the rest of the group.  I'm thinking they didn't make it through a green light.  Soraya and I chugged along and made pretty good time back to Foster City.  The stretch along the water had a terrible headwind.  Soraya was behind me for a bit and I kept us at 17 or 18 mph.  I finally got worn out and she was kind enough to get in front and pull me for a bit.  I was pushing as hard as I could and my legs were hurting.  But, I felt GREAT when I pulled in at the end.

The rest of the group pulled in within five minutes of us.  We all enjoyed a very yummy lunch and talked about our ride.  I could tell they all had a great time.  Soraya had to get home to her kids so she isn't in the final group photo.

Karen #1, Jennie, Karen #2, Erin, Me, Kathryn
I can definitely tell an improvement in my strength, now that I actually have a ride to compare to.  I didn't feel destroyed afterwards.  I even went to Body Pump the following morning.

I am so thankful to these friends that signed up and did this ride with me.  It was so fun riding in a group again.  I like seeing different women riding together and chatting, getting to know each other or just catching up.  It warmed my heart.  I had a marvelous time with everyone. 

I have a ride planned with two of these girls tomorrow -  a ~55-miler through the Oakland/Moraga/Orinda hills.  Soraya and I have signed up for a 100k in August.  Of course I will continue to see a few of them a week during club rides. 

Because you have read this far, I will reward you with a photo of Boomer.  I know most of you are used to seeing photos of him on my blog.  So, here you are:

Thanks for reading.

Until later.............


Pigeon said...

Sounds like a great day with a great group of friends. Awesome job on your ride!

Kristen said...

You sure are speedy!! Sounds like you had a great day. It is fun to see improvement on the bike.