Monday, June 25, 2012

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2012 Conquered?

I did it. I rode my bike 145km (90miles) in about 8 1/2 hours over two days. I was able to finish the first day-120km then the next morning I felt ok but then when I started it was like picking up from where I left off the day before. Ouch. It was a hard ride, mostly uphill in rain. Thankfully the wind wasn't very bad...light for southern Alberta actually.

Then we camp. In mud. And rain. Ahh nothing like putting on damp clothing in the morning. We (DH & I) fared better than others as our tent barely leaked while others had pools of water in their's.
We had a downpour Saturday evening so the entire campsite was a mudfest.
People wore grocery bags, torn polymer emergency blankets or garbage bags on their feet. Some compared it to Woodstock.
On the upside, over $8million dollars was raised for the Alberta Cancer Foundation for Cancer research. Pretty cool.
1854 people started the ride on all types of bicycles: road bikes (even saw a couple of vintage 10-speeds!), mountain bikes (all types!), hybrids, a recumbent, a single speed, and striders -which they look like elliptical trainers on wheels.  I was so amazed to be passed by people riding heavy about shear muscle work!
I rode until my body said no more. But I rode over the finish line and so I'm ready for the next adventure...
and thanks to Ride With GPS, I'm going to do their Tour de France Challenge.  I'm doing their 1/4TdF: 874.25km (543.25mi) done between June 30 & July 22.
 Check it out here:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

New gears = new hills to climb

I posted this on my 'personal page' for the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer' but thought it worthy of here (since I'm very sure I'm the only one who sees that page).

Last Saturday I participated in Cyclepath's "Ride With Jim" event. Jim is taking a bunch of neophyte road bikers and helping them ride efficiently & safer. I have a hybrid (a cross between a road bike & a mountain bike) so I used my road bike part as a reason to crash the party. (if you can see it, there is a painted cross-stitch pattern on the cross bar by the stem).

I learned sooo much about climbing hills. With my hands/arms closer together I sit higher and open my lungs more, pedal like I was scraping mud off of them, move forward or backward on my saddle to change groups of muscles that are working hard. He also suggested that I think about getting a mountain bike cassette (that's cyclespeak for the rear wheel gears) because they're bigger and therefore makes climbing hills easier. 
On Monday I test drove/rode road bikes-women's and two mens. Specialized Rubys in two sizes-no wow moment. The Specialize Rubaiux (men's version of the Ruby) was like going home-back to my beloved deceased 1975 BRC 10 speed. I also tried a Cervelo...which unfortunately the seat killed whatever pleasure the power the bike had because it was like riding on the seatpost! Ouch. I decided that I would wait until next year to buy one...when I would have a cornucopia of styles and makes to choose from.

     On Tuesday I had my mountain bike gears installed. Yes they do help quite a bit with the hill climbing. I kept forgetting to put it in the smallest front sprocket yet it climbed much easier than before. Worth every penny.

Yesterday I started with the "Ride With Jim" crowd but since I was the last one up the Sikome Lake hill I choose to do my own route and let them do the regular route without me holding them up. I still rode 34km., just at my leisure and I met up with them at the top of the hills by Spruce Meadows. They had only been there for a couple of minutes before I showed up. I made it up 1.5 the the two hills walked a short way and then was able to ride the rest of the way. That was only thanks to the new gear ratios.