Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bicycle Diaries II - Tour de Palm Springs

First century ride in 2007!

This past weekend, I joined some 7000+ riders of different shapes and sizes and colors and ages from all over the places at the 9th Tour de Palm Springs. To date, more than $1 million has been donated to local charities in the Coachella Valley, such as cadets, Lions Club, Rotary Club, Boy and Girl Scouts, to help support their community events.

With encouragement (or peer pressure?) from my buddies, I decided to put myself into the challenge by signing up for the century ride (which turn out to be 102 miles). I was a little nervous because I have not done any century ride since October. Although I’ve been training and riding, but the most I’ve done in the recent weeks was about 50 miles.

Saturday morning turn out to be a picture perfect day. Leaving downtown Palm Springs with such a huge group of riders. I started feeling not so well during the first 20 miles. I seriously doubted if I could finish the ride. My ego was ready, but my body (and butt) was not. Stopping at the first SAG stop helped a lot, by getting some rest and food, I started to feel better.

Thirty miles flew by, then 50, 65 and 80. The route was actually very doable; I’ve done some tougher century ride. Yet I felt so tired and the legs weren’t moving as fast as I wanted them to be. I’m glad I rode with my buddy Aaron, who kept pushing me to the limit, if not because of him, I would have quit long time ago.

Riding through the windmill and desert was a totally new and fun experience. We could actually hear the sound of the giant fan when it moved. Unfortunately the picture when I passed through the windmill didn’t turn out perfect.

It took us almost seven hours to finish the ride. We were exhausted and tired. Luckily we’ve Andy and Tim (former ALC riders) from Palm Springs who hosted a BBQ dinner for all the ALC riders. The food was great and the hot tub was even better. Also want to thank my friend Dennis who hosted me for two nights, saved me some hotel expenses.

If I had any complain, it would be those riders who used i-pod and cell phone while riding, this not only put themselves in danger, but other riders around as well. We saw several unpleasant incidents.

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