At 7 am on the 19th of May 2007 Robbie and I (Team Goober and Runt) set out for El Dorado Park in Long Beach, CA to check in for the 35 mi Tour de Cure ride. It was overcast as can be expected for this time of year in Southern California, and to my New Mexico skin the temperature was a little colder than I would’ve liked. The moment the sky opened up and a slight rain fell I was bummed. But rain or shine I was going to ride. When we pulled into the parking area at the park I had on my shorts and a long sleeve shirt. When it was time to get in line for the ride I was in a tank top. “Cowboy up” I had said to myself, “When you start riding you’ll warm up.” Turns out that the infrequent opening of the sky was nice as it cooled me down. But let me back track slightly to before the ride began.
It was about 7:15 when we arrived at the park, perfect timing as that was when check-in for the 35 mi ride began. Being me, I had to show up at the start of check in time as opposed to closer to ride time (8:30), not knowing what I was to expect was my reasoning behind that. (In actuality though, I expected lines of people and having to wait to get checked in, and I really didn’t desire to have to wait in line.) Luckily for me though, having raised more than $1k, I got to skip the lines (although I can barely say any lines existed) and check-in at the Elite Riders Club, while all the other riders had to step from stations 1 to 2 to 3 etc, I got to bypass all that non-sense, hand in all my previous filled out paperwork and donation envelope, get my t-shirt, my wristbands, my bib/bike number. It was a painless process, quick and easy. (For me anways, Robbie had to fill out all his paperwork and stand in line to get checked in and get all his stuff).
After check-in, we unloaded our bikes, pulled our acts together, took some pictures, and waited until start time. We were supposed to start at 8:30, but we actually didn’t get to begin our trek until 8:45. Regardless, we were in our starting positions, which I chose, at 8:15 because I wanted to be near the front of the pack because I knew I would fall behind but I didn’t want to fall to the end of the pack, just to the middle. And that’s exactly what happened, so my plan worked out great.
The ride went well, the only thing that killed me were the overpasses which were hills, of course. They took my speed from about 12-14 mph down to about 7 mph and it also took me from being in bliss to whining and complaining about how I wasn’t going to make it, I of course made it and never did stop during my hill climbs. Boy did they wear me out though. We stopped at both rest stops. Robbie (a.k.a. Goober) was kind enough to inform me that if I didn’t stop at the rest stops that he’d chew me out and not be happy. I wasn’t happy about having to stop at the first rest stop. I thought it was unnecessary as I was doing just fine. (Of course, I assumed that I was doing just fine because I felt just fine, the stop was necessary to stop and test my blood and eat something so that my blood sugar didn’t go low before the next rest stop.) There were restrooms (gotta love those port-a-potties) and orange slices and water and Bear Naked Granola. If there were any other goodies, I didn’t notice, at the first rest stop I didn’t get anything (I was doing just fine, remember) and at the second rest stop my blood sugar was beginning to slope down so I had some orange slices and granola.
At about 30 miles I was worn out and couldn’t wait for the ride to be over with. At about 33 miles I began the “are we there yet?” questioning. At 35 miles I was rejoicing because I could see the finish and I knew I was there and I was more than happy.
Because I had made other plans for lunch we didn’t stick around for the post ride activities (I will tell you now that that was a dumb move on my part, but hindsight is also 20/20). But as I was loading my bike onto the car and I was cooling down and feeling much better, I couldn’t help but think, “Wouldn’t it be cool to ride in every state.”
My very first Tour de Cure ride went very well and as such, it’s far from being my last ride in the Tour de Cure.