Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A little cycling heaven

This last weekend was almost a little piece of cycling heaven for me.  Between events on and off the bike I got the chance to support my brother-in-law Mike, ride with great friends, and watch the pros sprint to the finish in downtown Santa Rosa.  Yes, it has been a great three days.

Saturday started things off with Sherry and I supporting her brother Mike in his effort to run 40 miles on his 40th birthday.  Mike did great (read Milestones & accomplishments for the full report) and I had a blast riding SAG.  Of course, you might think my workout was not all that great since I was spending the morning on the bike riding next to a runner.  You would be wrong. 

I actually got in a great workout.  It started with a time trial since I started almost an hour after Mike.  So once I hit the road I warmed up a little and then started to hammer the pedals to catch up.  Then I made an incorrect assumption about the course and didn’t know if I was ahead of him or behind him.   I continued my time trial pace for almost 9 miles and when I didn’t see him I decided he was behind me.  I turn around and start riding an active recovery pace.  Three miles later I decide I am wrong again and he has to be ahead of me.  So back into time trial mode until I finally make the catch.  I also did a few climbs and then time trialed from Mike’s house back home.  In the end, I had covered 60 miles in just about 4 and half hours of saddle time with some decent interval efforts thrown in for fun.

On Sunday, six of us headed out to some of my favorite roads.  This was an L2 ride for the ride leader, which left us plenty of time to chat.  While we did form the occasional pace line, it was mostly a quiet affair.  The best part was that I was feeling great.  I have not had great form this year and Sunday was the first time I felt like it was coming back.  I was on the front quite a bit riding tempo and I just felt good.

After riding it was time to fulfill my final Tour of California committee duties.  I headed up one of the fundraising activities.  Basically, AEG allowed host cities like Santa Rosa the opportunity to become a Amgen Tour of California merchandise wholesaler.  We would provide tour stuff to the local bike shops, they would sell it, and we would split the profits.  It was an fundraising effort to help pay the costs of bringing the race to town.

Monday was our big race day and of course it rained.  If you live in Northern California you know that it rarely rains this late in May.  Still, it didn’t dampen our spirits and we were looking forward to a great race.

I arrive downtown around 10:00 to drop off the unsold merchandise.  There I got to meet the two AEG staff members who I have been emailing over the last four months.  I then ran a few errands for my friend David, who was the Chair of the local committee.  In the process, I ran into many, many of my cycling friends and even met a few new ones.

As the race was drawing near, it was time for my reward for all the work I did with the merchandise.  I took my little VIP pass and headed for my VIP tent, which was on the finish line.  I won’t say how but I also got Sherry a pass.  With the riders out on course burning up the miles we are eating delicious foods and drinking wine.  Then we moved over to the barriers and enjoyed an unobstructed view of the final sprint for the finish.

There you have it.  A weekend of supporting family, riding with friends, watching the pros and enjoying a little VIP treatment for my efforts.  No wonder it feels a little like cycling heaven.


1 Comment(s):

Sarah said...

GREAT post, Lee! And loved the video from the sprint finish. Especially since I did NOT have VIP positioning for a good view. :)

It's really great to hear you had such a fantastic cycling weekend. You rode really well on Sunday and it was nice to catch up with you.

BTW I got 39.5 miles for my route...what did you have? Wish we could've ridden back to the shop together!