So it has been two weeks since I rode 33ish miles in the Princeton Tour de Cure. Riding in a tour has been on my bucket list for some time. Granted, my ultimate plan is to train eventually for the 100 mile tour. I am just not there yet, both in time availability to schedule training and such like that. I am getting there though. Yet I was psyched for this. Not knowing what to expect on the planning front I was very proactive on my arrival schedule and such to make sure everything went according to plan. I was lost upon arrival. Finding the start location was easy, finding the registration table, the Red Rider table for my jersey and stuff was confusing.
I should have had a different colored number, either red for Red Rider or Gold for my “champion” status based on fundraising. I missed that memo somewhere or the person who checked me in was not doing things right. Meh. Now I know. I wandered over to the Team Red tent figuring to meet some of the people that I had “teamed” up with. That never happened, there was no one from team red at the tent. I can only assume the 50 plus people on the team were either doing the longer or the shorter ride. Either way, it was just me hanging out like the awkward champ I was.
My aunt yelled at me for not smiling. How could I, I was a little nervous about the ride and well, there was no one to take the picture for me. So I was all serious and stuff. (Next time I do this, I am dragging friends to either ride with me or support me.)Anyway, I did a final check on my bike, made sure I had the route map tucked away, just in case I needed it, which I didn’t and eventually around 9:20 heard the general call for the riders to start lining up.
There were a bunch of people lined up for the 3o-mile ride, just none that I knew. They had a warm up Zumbaing if you wanted. Seeing as how I was already stretched I declined. After some kick off festivities, I was ready to go. All of my riding and training was for this moment. Snip went the scissors (a starting gun would have been cool) and all of the riders started. I was in the beginning set of people starting so I figured eventually I would get in my pace and fall back some. That never really happened, I guess the training in Clifton really paid off. I kept passing people and had a great ride rhythm throughout the entirety of the ride.
It’s funny, I had my phone set to track my miles. We were told the first rest stop was at mile 11. We didn’t hit that point until 15 or so. Not that I needed a break, but I was also aware of the fact that even though I had intentionally started higher, I was pushing my pace and needed to eat something. So I chugged more water and some grapes and a banana. Hopped back on my bike and continued on.
Honestly the entire ride was great, training on the hills and such of Clifton gave me an edge and I rode well. I hit my stride or cycling pattern?!? and continued forward. Not that I passed tons of people but I did pass a lot of people along the way. The next rest area at around mile mark 26 was happiness for me, a little more water, a tissue to blow my nose, and I was good to go. I crossed path’s with another cyclist who thought for a while he missed a turn since no one else seemed to be around. So we rode together for a bit chatting. He pulled ahead of me, but I was glad he was there. He was that push I was looking for to keep my momentum going. I chased him to the finish line. I ended my 33 mile ride in just over 2 hours. I want to say I was in the top 30 of finishers, maybe top 15, so I was happy with my progress and my ride.
My sugars were pretty decent throughout the ride and at the end. I snacked twenty minutes before start so I was happy with my riding graph. Kim told me it looked like a car, I tried to tell her I wanted to do a bike pattern but my BS and CGM would not cooperate with me. I wandered back to the tent, talked with one or two people and just relaxed, I grabbed lunch and hung out some more. I was really hoping to meet up with my team captain, but he was not back from his 100 mile ride. Apparently we missed each other by maybe 10 minutes. Oh well. So I drove home and relaxed some more. It was at that point I realized that I had developed quite a farmers/bikers tan.
I used SPF 15, since it was the only stuff I had access to. Yet I didn’t think to spray where my shirt would be riding up my arm. I learned a lesson. The thing is, the red area did not hurt. In fact the remnants are peeling away right now. All in all I am quite pleased with how things worked out. I raised over $6,000 thanks to family, friends, and parishioners and cannot thank them enough. I learned a lot about my needs as a cyclist, but also my needs when I do something like this. I really just need to make sure I bring someone with me to alleviate the boring. I have no complaints though. It was a great day.