Sunday, October 10, 2010

Viva Bike Vegas

I signed up for this ride when they announced the Century Ride will go over the Hoover Dam bypass road BEFORE they opened the road to regular traffic... I thought "How cool is that?" and I had a feeling that the ride would sell out... and indeed it did - not as soon as I thought it would, but they capped the ride at 1500 riders, and with VERY little notice, they closed the registration, and some of my friends did not register in time :(

I didn't put together a rigid training plan for this ride. Since I did the Tahoe ride, I had confidence that I would be able to finish this one - although this was an extra 15 miles! I just tried to keep my mileage between 125 and 150 miles per week... I thought that would do it.... Looking back, I think I was better prepared for the Tahoe ride...Although, my average Power for this ride was WAY higher than my average for Tahoe... hmmmm maybe I improved afterall?

Night before the ride, I went to McGhies for last minute items - got a bigger Bento Box and got some new cleats as my old cleats were pretty old, and I was having trouble clipping in & out with them... then I went to a 7-11 to get bandaids as I got a paper-cut opening the mail... I threw $10 into a machine and got a Royal Flush!!! Put me in a GREAT mood for the ride :)

I decided to wear my BLV Jersey so I could wear the RTC jersey on Sunday's ride... it was fun to see so many BLV members out there... we had a plan to meet by the front before we lined up... I took a couple of pictures, not sure if there was a big group shot at that point, but in my nervousness, I went and lined up by myself - and I bumped into some TnT Friends... so I rode out with them for the first part.




The starting shoot was LONG, and they had the music playing "Viva Las Vegas" with Elvis and show girls - only thing missing was Oscar... a brief count down, the horn, and we were off

I took this picture at the end of the ride... but this is the starting shoot:



Down the streets of Vegas we went - with Police Escort so we didn't have to stop at any traffic signals - how cool is that? soon enough, we were at the first big hill (of many) My strategy was just to put it in an easy gear and spin... success... made it up to the top and was rewarded with about 6-8 miles down hill...

We came to the first Aid Station and it was a mess! Bikes all over the place, lines about 20 deep for the port-a-pots...I had to go, but I could wait... so I navigated around the crowd and rode on... up the road a ways, there was a turn-out and a car was stopped with a man setting up some equipment (looked like a tri-pod) I stopped there to eat my first PB&J sandwhich (Nutrition plan was to stop & eat half a sandwich every 20 miles and to munch on pretzels & sports beans in between, plus NUUN tablets in my water bottles)... turns out it was the Bike Mechanic from REI - he took a look at my brakes for me (they had been making noise) and gave me a cold bottled water - PERFECT! After about a 5 minute break, I rode on... my TnT friends were long gone by then... What goes down must go back up, and the climbing started again... I stopped and took a picture of Lake Las Vegas - it was a beautiful view on a beautiful day...and I hardly ever have my camera while riding out there...



I climbed up out of Northshore Drive and onto LakeShore drive... got up the "hill from hell" and I knew there was a restroom soon, but when I passed, there was a line - Boulder Beach it was - whether there was a line or not... At Boulder Beach, I stopped at the restroom - nobody else was there - at first I thought maybe the door was locked, but nope, I got to go with NO WAITING - SCORE!!!

I got back on the road, and started the steep climb up past the visitor center to the main road, turned left and headed to the Dam... There was another Aid Station there, and I quickly filled my bottle with water, then continued - past the check-point and onto the Brand New Road... it was smooth and since it wasn't open to cars, we had the whole road to ourselves! Soon, I was on the Bridge - the only way to tell was that the Volunteers were there with Cow Bells and cheering us on... You really couldn't see anything because the walls were too high... but they had a Camera Set-up to take your picture with the Dam behind you... as I rode up, the whole BLV group had just taken their group shot - I was told I was about 2-3 minutes late for that... but the Volunteers let me cut in line for an individual picture so I could be with my group... I had my picture taken, and the group rode off... I stayed there for a bit... I looked over the wall at the Dam, but because I'm so short, it was hard to see anything... I don't know if we rode into Arizona, but when I was coming off the Bridge, there was a "Welcome to Nevada" sign, so I stopped to take a picture of that too...







Now that the exciting part of the ride was over, it was hard to get motivated for the next 75 miles - especially as now the hard climb to Boulder City was about to start. Since that was an out-and-back section, I got to see that there were TONS of people ahead of me, but that there were also a lot of people behind me... I stopped half-way up the hill to Boulder City to eat my 2nd PB&J sandwhich... a little late at around 45 miles... it's all good...



finished my climb and got on the River Mountain Trail - the volunteers were AWESOME again, making sure we went the right way and warning us of the hazards. I've gotta say that this course was VERY well marked, I never questioned which way to go, never had to take out my map! The RMT was a fun part of the ride - mostly down-hill but a few short steep uphill parts... We turned off the RMT onto this street where I had never been before - I'm thinking it's where the Silverman Route goes that I missed with Jen when I rode with her last week....

It seemed to take forever, but at around mile 60 was the turn-off for lunch... I debated going down the hill to the park, but I needed more water, and I could use the break... when I got there, there was a LONG line for food/water.... but I waited in line, refilled both of my bottles, and ate the turkey wrap and a pickle... then got back on the road... when I tasted the water, it tasted HORRIBLE... the first place I could, I stopped and bought some bottled water and continued my ride.. I'm thinking I would have been better off eating my PB&J and getting water at the store - which I did anyway... I think I could have cut off about half an hour to 45 minutes off my time... about 5 more miles, there was another aid station, but I didn't need to stop...

The roads were GREAT going through Henderson & Southern Highlands, and I hated that we went up Jones to get to Blue Diamond Highway - I had driven down it once looking for a bike route and decided it wasn't good - no shoulder, no bike lanes, and heavy traffic... But it was the course, so I went up that street... my left foot was REALLY hurting - not sure why... But I unclipped it so I could move it around hoping that would help the pain... as I was trying to clip back in, I looked down to the left, and I swerved to the right and went off the road - there was about a 4" dip from the road into the dirt, and I fell road side... I was VERY lucky that the car that was behind me stopped before I got run-over (that's always been my biggest fear)... she got out of her car to check on me... nice lady! There were also some other cyclists that stopped to assist... I lost about half of my Sports Beans & pretzels in the fall.... and when the cyclist turned my bike over to put the chain back on, I lost the rest of my afternoon snacks... oh well... so, now my hip and back were hurting, my adrenalin was high, and my pride hurt, but I didn't feel the pain in my left foot any more... and after about a 5 minute break, I rode on...

The Road on Blue Diamond Highway was LONG & HOT and all uphill (of course) and I was hurting... and I ran out of water!! It was along this stretch that I took out my "Dory" chant - "Just keep pedaling, Just keep pedaling" I didn't even care if anyone else heard me... I think I was delirious at that point lol - I figured I'd stop at the Gas Station at the 159/160 intersection... about half mile before there, I had to stop and rest for about a minute... but I made it to the Gas Station and bought some more bottled water - ate another PB&J sandwich... I saw my friends Kurt & Donna there. They were on their Tandem bike... They told me that they each won 8 gold medals in the Senior Olympics Bike Races last week - CONGRATS!!! I told them about my crash... then I rode out... I didn't need to stop at Blue Diamond as I had just refilled....

As I was going up the HARD hill before the overlook, my left foot was hurting again grrrr... there was a man stopped at the side of the road resting... so I stopped next to him and gave him some encouragement... then another rider came up and stopped to rest, so I told him what I had just told the other gentleman... I said, "see that there, it's the top of the hill... then there's one more hill to climb to the overlook - it looks worse than it is, then it's down hill from there except for 3 itty bitty climbs - we can do this!" I don't know if I was talking to them or to myself, but after my speech, I rode on... btw, while I was stopped, Kurt & Donna rode past me, as I expected them to pass me at any time...

I made it up to the overlook and stopped to use the restroom for only the 2nd time during the ride... this time, I had to wait about 30 seconds - not bad... then it was all down hill except for the 3 itty bitty climbs - When I got to Alta, there was another Aid Station, but I rode right on by that one too... I saw Eric there and gave him a shout out... it was 3:30 - I had about 12 miles to go - all down hill... It was advertised that they were serving food til 4pm... Me and the group I was with started chasing the clock to arrive before they stopped serving... it was the best part of the ride... unfortunately, we hit almost all of the traffic signals on Alta - some of them LONG, and I arrived at the finish at 4:08pm... turned in my chip and got my medal and headed over to get food - they were still serving :) had yummy chicken, salad and rice by Outback... I went over and sat by Ken who was volunteering... he went and got me a cold water - what a guy!

After I ate, I saw Deanna (CyborgQueen) who was there volunteering - we chatted a bit, and I said, I wanted to talk with a lady that I had ridden with... as I was making my way over there, I noticed the massage tent - so I got a MUCH NEEDED massage! never did chat with that lady :(

After my massage, as I was walking out, a man came up and gave me a HUGE hug - I didn't know who he was at first... he said, He wouldn't have made it to the finish if it weren't for me... then I realized, he was the one who came up when I was stopped and I gave the speech to... we took our picture together - he thanked me... it felt good :)



I went over to the finish shoot and cheered some people in... and then got back on my bike and rode to my car... When I got home, I was already late for the BLV get-together at Islands, so I quickly showered and got dressed and went out again...

Today is 10/10/10, and I got up and got back on my bike - I'm more hurting from the fall than I am sore from the ride... but I wanted to do 10/10/10 right... so, I rode with the group, ended up at 26.1 miles, I sat and had a bagel and juice, then got back on my bike for another 3.9 miles, so I ended up with 30 miles for the day... I think I'm done riding for a while - well, at least til Wednesday

3 comments:

Damaris said...

So cool! I love the Hoover Dam and Vegas, so doing a ride there sounds awesome to me. Great job! You look strong and happy in those pics.

Randi Lyn A. said...

Congrats Diane!!! One of these days I'll have to do some rides with BLV.

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