Monday, June 11, 2007

Century Ride around Lake Tahoe

by Diana

I am back from what is rightfully named "America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride". I was one of 3400 riders! (Over 2000 of them were Team in Training riders.)

The morning was brisk so I started the ride with leg warmers, arm warmers and the Bella gortex jacket. As the day progressed I stripped down to just the Bella short sleeve jersey and Bella shorts! And what did my bike wear? I wish I had a photo to show you, but I had this very cute little pink basket on my handlebars and a pink bell that I rang when I passed someone. (After all, I am a Bella now.) It made this very odd whining sound at faster speeds! hee hee Part of the charm of doing this ride is that every Team in Training team from the different states will decorate their helmets to indentify themselves. (Detroit had half of a Motown Record on their helmet which very much made them look like they had mohawks!)

Going into this ride I was far less confident than I had been in years past. Why? Well, I have a nine month old so I have not done any training in earnest since September of 2005! Pre-Matthew I could do a flat century in about 4 1/2 hours and a mountain century in about 5 1/4. I knew I had a better chance of seeing an alien then I did finishing with a time remotely close to my historical times. LOL!!!

Despite the lack of TITS (you know....Time In The Saddle), I did quite well. I did many of the miles solo, but managed to find a few fast groups so I could suck some wheel! Somehow I finished this 100 mile mountain course in 5 hours 34 minutes. I joke to my closest friends that I now have a twelve pound battery pack to draw from since my pregnancy! However, I think there are probably easier and more effective ways to find power when you need it.

The best part of the ride??? The cheers I heard! Yep, I heard several "Go Bella" shouts. One guy from Tennessee said he rides with his Bellas on occasion. I was even fortunate enough to meet another Bella! She was a coach for one of the regional Team in Training teams out on the ride.

Yep, I'll be doing the ride again next year I am sure. If you have the time or desire to ride a very challenging course, I highly suggest it! See attached photo for a pic at the rest stop. Yep, the whole ride has scenery just as beautiful!


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