Weekends are, of course, my “big ride” days, building for the 2009 Tour de Cure on June 14.Â On Saturday morning I met with a dozen or so other riders from company team to head out for what was supposed to be a 30 mile ride. But as I feared, they were almost all skinny road racer types on serious road bikes. I, of course, brought my bomber: a beefy Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc mountain bike outfitted for rough urban commuting, weighing in at a hefty 32 lbs unloaded (about twice what a road racer weighs).Â I kept up, but only as they were warming up and hitting stop lights. Then they left me in the dust some 6 miles into the ride when the road opened up.
So I went it alone for the day (as I suspected I would) and headed from Sunnyvale, up to Palo Alto, up Alpine climb into Portola Valley, down and over to Woodside (think Hwy 84) andÂ back into Palo Alto.Â My goal was to put in 40 miles â€“ a lot considering the hills â€“ but I got lost in Mountain View and ended riding a full 50 miles by the time I got back to my car in Sunnyvale!Â Though my original goal was to ride 50 miles two weeks before the event, I’m already able to do so; a full 5 weeks before the event. This puts me three weeks ahead on my training schedule.
But it’s also become clear that if I want to put in serious miles and not feel like I’m fighting my bike, I need to get a serious road bike. I now feel like I’m ready for that level of bike. It’s not what I’d intended on spending my money, but it’s increasingly needed since I’m not going to give up cycling.
The tour has also challenged me to such an extent that I’ll probably continue riding in similar events for personal achievement, motivation and it’s good to raise a little money for good causes.
(NOTE: This is really a current cycling milestone for me. I was into cycling in high school and once rode a record 86 miles when I was 16 and did so also on a mountain bike.)