Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Well, after months of training I did it! I rode and completed the Death Ride. My friend Gayle trained with us and also rode it for the first time. This was Jims seventh time. Here is a picture of me and Gayle after we picked up our registration packets. We're standing in front of the 2009 poster.
After registration we ate dinner then headed back to our camping spots. We needed a good nights rest! Gayle and I were laughing when we pulled off the road and Jim said, "Great, here's a spot for our tents!" It was a gravel parking lot with weeds!
We set up the tents and sleeping bags. Then checked the bikes, pumped our tires and loaded every pack and pocket with food. We were in bed by 9PM, but with nerves and noise we didn't sleep much.
We started the ride at 5:20am. It was really cold at 40 degrees! We rode all day. We were well prepared physically, but didn't have the best time strategy and almost missed the last two cut-offs. Here we are at the top of the 5th mountain. We were exhausted but happy!
There were 3,500 riders. About 500 are women so Gayle and I were pretty proud to finish it. It was 5 mountain passes, 15,000 feet of climb and 129 miles! It was long and tiring but we had trained in the Oakland Hills riding roads with 25% grade. The highest grade on the Death Ride was 20%.
We stood in line for about 45 minutes to sign the 2011 poster that will hang in the lodge at Turtle Rock!
If I ride it again I'll be much better prepared: 1- I'll take a sleeping pill the night before. 2- Start riding earlier, between 4:30 and 5am. 3- Less rest stops, there are so many that we could cut out 1 or 2 of them. 4- Better strategy at rest stops- divide the work so one person fills water bottles, one person grabs food and one person gets in the line for the bathrooms.
It was great to train and complete something so challenging. Thanks Gayle for doing it with us and thanks Jim for sharing your passion for riding with me! I am officially a Death Rider!
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
We had a potluck breakfast at the church and then watched the parade. Our friend Rogan shaved his beard into a star and dyed it blue!