Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tour de Cure : Century Ride - 20100619

It was hard ... but we did it!!!

Here we are; Gene, Gary and me just prior to setting out on the 100 mile Tour de Cure for diabetes research, from Brielle on the Jersey Shore.

We don't look like finely tuned athletes, but believe me, your first Century Ride is your own personal Everest. Special credit to Gary, who is proudly wearing the red jersey of a rider who has diabetes.

We took part as the "Old Cranks", our own ad hoc team for riders of a certain age and we intend to get one or two more centuries under our 6-packs before the year is out. We do this instead of buying Harleys or shopping for purses/handbags ...

I cannot begin to tell you the sense of achievement we have from finishing this ride and also the feeling of having contributed a small part towards the search for a cure for diabetes.

The ride itself was largely situated along the Jersey shore, but with several loops which made following the route rather confusing so it was easy to miss one and have to backtrack to get back on course. Large parts also ran alongside the beach so wayward pedestrians, cars diving for parking spots, recreational cyclists riding on the wrong side of the road and potholes made it very hazardous indeed. I fear that a young cyclist, not on the TdC was hit by a car just as we passed. I hope they are okay ...

And for Old Cranks like us, putting the first hills eighty miles into the ride was a bit cruel. I have to say, we suffered them heroically, although a rest stop meant I endured my usual two or three miles of hell while I got back into the swing. Our time was pretty good for beginners. An early puncture/flat put us off schedule and towards the back of the Century riders, but we dealt pretty efficiently with it. The tyre had taken quite a cut but we had an emergency tyre boot and spare inner-tube with us which did the trick.

There were rest stops every 20 miles or so, and these were most welcome. I did pretty well at keeping myself hydrated, drinking about 24fl.oz/hour of various energy drinks, nibbling my way through Clif Bars and eating several bananas.

If organisers are looking for improvements for next year, I'd suggest:

  • Better on road waymarks. Often they were confusing, especially when routes diverged on the loops. Frequently, waymarks were under parked cars.
  • Publish a map of the longer routes as well as a cue-sheet. Making a .gpx map of the route available for riders with GPS units would be a big help.
  • Each rest stop have a pump and a couple of spare inner tubes available.

And finally, thanks to all our sponsors. We raised $665 for diabetes research.

Thank you.