23 May, 2010

Training and got to see the pros this week...

No official events this week but I did get some miles in as well as a bit of cross training on the mountain bike on Friday night and last, we got some great news this week that I'll share later in this post. I started out the week with what I first thought to be a strong dose of allergies following some serious gardening on Sunday but later appeared to be a cold. Despite feeling bad on Monday and Tuesday I had planned to take Wednesday off and ride out to the Junction and catch Stage 4 of the Tour of California.

I woke up on Wednesday morning and the weather looked perfect in spite of the fact that the forecast was for a 20% chance of showers in the afternoon. Even though I initially suited up with arm and leg warmers as well as a vest, as I popped the garage door to head out I contemplated leaving the vest, arm, and leg warmers at home but in the end just shed the leg warmers.

Without a cloud in the sky and not even the slightest breeze, I headed out to Livermore to meet some friends on Mines Road with the plan to roll from the intersection at Del Valle well ahead of the ToC that would come through a couple of hours later. As I arrived I'd find that my friend Jonathan was there but would not be able to ride with us as he had some back issues that had gotten worse the night before. Although it was definitely a disappointment that Jon could not join us, Roger (another friend from one of my cycling clubs, Central Valley Wheelers) and I headed off at a fairly leisurely pace. Arriving around noon we were well ahead of the race and I grabbed a chicken sandwich and a water before we'd head another couple of miles up the road to watch the pros come by as they headed through Del Puerto Canyon and out toward Modesto.

As we waited for the race to come through, the weather was definitely starting to change and was starting to look more like winter than the summer day we started with. And and the peloton was only minutes away we started feeling the raindrops falling although clearly nothing serious at this point. Around 2:14 the chase group off the front of the peloton came through. With the peloton right behind we'd see one of the members of the Columbia HCL squad right behind with Garmin and Radio Shack quads following at the front of the peloton. I managed to catch shots of Lance and Andy Schleck among others .

As the boys literally blasted past in what seemed like (and probably was) just seconds it was now time to head back and the rain appeared to be picking up now. As we rolled back to Mines and then back into Livermore it really never appeared to amount to much and I was dry by the time I got back home (and logged a total of 85 miles that day). While it was great to actually ride ahead of the race, should I have the chance to do this again next year I'll probably try to drive out to various parts of the course and then also catch the pros at the start and finish of the stage.

As I wrapped up my week "at the office" I had the chance to do some mountain biking with friends from the office on Friday afternoon on Pleasanton Ridge.
It was great to get a couple of hours in "off the road" and about 1400 ft of climbing over our 10 mile ride. I concluded my training this week by participating in a 24hr spin-a-thon benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This was a personal fund-raising event being led by one of the Central Valley Wheelers Cycling Club members. When I arrived to participate in the 10-11PM session (at the In Shape Health Club in Tracy, CA) I found that a number of the participants had been on the bike for ten hours already and had 200 to 250 miles logged since they started...VERY IMPRESSIVE! After a spinning for an hour and 15 mins or so I headed back home. This was a great event for a great cause and one that is personal to Russ who had coordinated it as his daughter lives with diabetes every day.

Last, we got some great news this week as we received notification that we have been "officially accepted" to participate as a 4-man relay team in the Furnace Creek 508. While this has ALWAYS been a prestigious race, this year there will be even more exposure as the Furnace Creek 508 has been reinstated as a RAAM qualifier. I will share more on this last event of the onetoughride project in the weeks ahead as well as promotional opportunities for companies that may wish to make a significant tax deductible donation to this onetoughride project. If you are the owner of such a company or know someone that might be interested, please have them contact me directly.

It was a busy week and Memorial Day weekend is just a few days away, it is only a matter of weeks before the double century double header (Alta Alpina and Terrible Two) is upon me. This is going to be two tough weeks with two of the toughest double centuries on the calendar back to back over two successive weekends. Till next time, enjoy the ride and please consider donating to the cause by using the Donate Now buttons on my blog or on my Facebook fan page.

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