This weekend I did the inagural LAF Ride held in Portland, OR. My dad had a generous donation of them using their airstreams during the festivities and so he got some extra tickets to do the ride as a result. I took my friend Kristin and we drove down Saturday afternoon. That night we were invited to the pasta feed at Nike with Lance, Bob Roll, Eddy Meryx and George Hincapie. There were about 350 people in the room - so the chance of getting near Lance for an autograph was nearly impossible. My grandfather was persistent though to get an autograph for Max, his great grandson - and managed to get one. Kristin and I had our photos taken with Bob Roll - the character. It was a good time! Several people shared their cancer stories of survival and fights - one husband raised over $20,000 in honor of his wife who watched the Tour this summer while battling severe chemo treatments. It was moving.
The following morning we woke up bright and early to chilly 43 degree weather - with 80 degree sun promised for later in the day. Dressed in layers, we departed the Nike head quarters for a 100 mile ride with nearly 4500 feet of climbing. Luckily the climb was in the morning - with 17% grade in some sections - and descent speeds in the upper 40s. It was thrilling cruising down that climb - a little scary but talk about endorphines!
The rest of the ride was somewhat grueling - when you get up to that many miles and you're just "riding" - it's harder for me to hang out then if I'm racing that distance. I'd much rather get it over as quickly as possible - cut out the rest breaks and food - give me the miles and let me pound them into my legs! It was good though - the sun was shining and it was fun passing all of the 40 year old weekend warriors who got pissed when a woman passed them. Some would say - you go girl! Others would surge and pass me again - and in a few minutes I would over take them again because suddenly that head wind was harder than they thought it was! It was all in good fun. And the average rider on this century ride was a lot different than STP - definitely a lot more serious. It was great. I can't tell you how many Colnagos I saw and passed. :) At least one guy had the heart to say - sure I have a nice bike - now all I have to do is learn how to ride it! I'd be more than happy to do that for you I said!
This morning I woke up - a little stiff but feeling good. Not sore like last weekend after the epic climbing Ryan and I did. My body is definitely conditioned for cycling than before. I'm looking forward to the off season training to begin. Later!