Saturday, July 25, 2009

Taylor House Charity Ride

Today TC and I took part in the Taylor House charity ride, put on by Absolute Bikes. We did the 45 mile ride, and had a great time. Lots of people, and we got passed by most of them, but hey, I wasn't racing. We met a few people from out of town, had some good conversations, and compliments on our bikes. A couple people on mountain bikes thanked us for bringing our mountain bikes too, so they didn't feel so out of place.

The ride started out at the hospital at 7, and we had police at the intersections to control traffic and keep the group moving together most of the way through town. We ended up heading out through Doney Park past the house TC and I grew up in (ahh, memories) before going back to highway 89 and climbing all the way up to the Sunset Crater turnoff, where one of the aid stations and our turn around point was. At that point, we both were starting to really feel the ride.

While we were at the station, I helped another rider swap out her front tube, and loaned my Leathermans to someone else when they mentioned no one had a pair of pliers. TC let someone use her pump to air up their tire. It rocks being able to help people. The volunteers manning the aid station were very helpful and encouraging as well, making the whole experience very relaxing.

TC getting ready to head out.

Me waiting for TC to give my camera back... interestingly, I was the only one with a Fat Cyclist jersey out of everyone on the ride.

Our trusty steeds. The big red thing on Henry is a cooler, the envy of a couple riders today.

The aid station.

In the first 15 or so miles of the ride, I think we passed four riders with flat tires. They either looked like they had everything under control, or someone else had stopped and was helping them out already, so I didn't stop. One thing they all had in common was skinny road tires. As such, I told TC not to brag about having mountain bike tires that don't flat easily, because then we'd get flats.

Well. I think you can see where I'm going with this.

At least the hole's easy to find.

Yup, Quicksilver got attacked by a drywall screw as we were flying down highway 89 into Fernwood, north of town. It was pretty much exactly like what happened to me on Bi a few weeks ago on the way in to work. Mountain bike tires may be pretty resistant to thorns, glass shards, and pinch flats, but even the greatest will lose the fight when it comes to screws, nails, and other bits of metal. After a few minutes I had TC's tire patched, and we were rolling again.

For the most part, the rest of the ride was an un-eventful mostly uphill grind back into town and back to the hospital, where we were greeted with BBQ and ice-cold drinks! The only frustrating part was finishing the ride with a long climb up Cedar Hill. When we got to the hospital, we hung out and talked with other riders, shared stories, and of course, ate.

All in all, it was a great ride, for being our first charity ride, and I'm looking forward to doing it next year.

A few things of note:

- The cooler pannier: a great idea. It was nice to have cold Sobe on the entire length of the ride.
- People on carbon fiber roadbikes are fast. a lot of them were too fast to say "Hi" to. Interestingly, their drivetrains were noisier than mine.
- Hills suck.
- A nap upon getting home from the ride hits the spot, but only getting 5 hours of sleep sucks.
- I think I need to invest in a pair of cycling shorts if I'm going to regularly do any long distance riding. I still had some energy in me at the end of the ride, but my butt was sore. The 4 mile ride home felt almost as long as the 45 mile ride itself.
-Also: Sunblock only works if you actually use it. Just owning a can of it doesn't save you from burns.

Good fun.
Mileage: 52.6

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