In February I signed up for a double century in Orange County California, little did I know that at mile 43 a not so cyclist friendly San Clemente Sheriff would be waiting to hand out citations that day!
The ride started out as any other double everyone takes off as they are doing a 40km time trial! But after a few red lights and a few sharp inclines the group soon began to spread out. I had signed up for the ride for 2 reasons, the first being they needed numbers to continue this ride in 2010 and the second being I raise money for AVONS breast cancer crusade, and every mile I cover in competition is worth $$$$s! I was well prepared I was wearing new serfas booties so my feet would not get cold, I had a multi bottle of Perpetuem on my down tube and extra endurolytes should I need them. I started the ride at 6.15am, I was having mechanical problems with a rear derailleur so I took a few of the climbs in a hard gear, but the scenery along the coastal highway was breathe taking and soon I passed divers cove and shaws cove where I scuba dive a lot!
The first check point was just to get more water if needed and the second check point would be a poker point were a card is drawn and put onto a card given at the beginning of the ride. As we approached San Clemente I had joined a group of guys going at a good pace, we entered a residential area were every corner was a stop sign on the road, traffic was really light and the area quite hilly making it difficult to get a momentum going after you stop, this is where I ran into the long arm of the law! As we came to a stop 4 way junction, I let two cars go then I took my turn and I had not finished cycling across the road when a sheriff on a motorbike came right up next to me and told me to pull over! I even had the calmness to switch off my polar monitor which showed my elevated heart rate to be significant! Me with 3 other cyclists!! I had not a clue what we had done wrong and was not happy when this sheriff started telling us that he was tired of cyclists rolling through the stop signs and we have to put our foot down as is the law!! I thought this could not be happening it had to be a joke!
But he was dead serious and wrote a citation for each of us! And then lectured us about making an example of us and made us stand there while other cyclists made the same mistake we had made!! I was absolutely gob smacked! I hoped to wake up from this bad dream and continue on my up to then nice bike ride! But here I was and reality was due to my ignorance I had just rrightfully or wrongfully received a citation worth $202! For a first time ever run in with a cop at a stop light! Wow! Super not happy, I called my hubby who could not believe my miss fortune!
When we finally were allowed to continue, I was with one other cyclist and we managed to get totally lost in the residential area! Finally we made the second check point I was so not happy!! I set off with two other cyclists, very soon I was enjoying the ride again and trying hard to forget about the citation; which was quite easy to do as after a few miles on a river bed trail, we read the directions wrong and did an extra 5 miles in the wrong direction!
At mile 90 there was a lunch stop and a guy called Frank Neal fixed my rear derailleur. Life was good there was sunshine and I had 2 cycling buddies to cycle with! I kept to my game plan of Hammer Nutrition having two cycling buddies was cool, as we were rolling at a nice pace a cyclists in front of us was the victim of an angry driver who actually clipped her with hid mirror! Wow we stopped to see if she was okay and then another car stopped who had the cars license plate! At mile 135 we stopped to pick up our lights I sprayed my shoe insoles with Kool n fit and took a few endurolytes, topped up my Perpetuem and took off again.
Soon darkness set in and I switched on my night lights, we were on Antonio Parkway for 10 hilly miles, traffic was significant, then Trabuco canyon were we rolled up to the final aid station, brr getting a little nippy stopped a wee bit too long as waiting for my friends, when we set off it was officially darkness and going through Santiago Canyon at night was fun in a spooky way, soon the familiar lights of La Quinta Inn glowed in the distance, 200 miles, a cycling citation for not putting my foot down at a stop sign, and I was home safe!
I raised $1200 for Avon or Puerto Rico breast Cancer Crusade, and I was out of pocket $300! (entry plus citation!) mm, but I had a great time out there that day and would like to thank Hammer Nutrition, Rudy Project, Profile Design, Serfas tires, Polar Monitors, Kool n Fit, fuel belt, cannondale and of course my husband Al who had decided to go to the Rose bowl to see the tour of amgen roll through and probably where I should have cycled to that day!!
A few weeks later I decided I was ready to try to do another cycling event again so I found myself early on Saturday march 28th signing up for the Redlands Savage Ride with my tri friend Jodi Ruby. As my step son was racing in the pro race in the afternoon we thought we would get a few quality miles in ourselves it was 60 in total…oh did I mention SAVAGE ride…
We were given a paper that had on eight blank decals these represented the eight climbs in the ride, and a green route map. We started under the official start finish sign of the Redland banner and we were off.
It was pretty cool when we set off and our teeth’s were chattering, but 3.5miles into the ride we approached our first climb, not to bad but certainly warmed up the body, at the top of the climb we received a sticker and set off for the next hill, and oh what a kicker that was sometimes ignorance is a blessing and not knowing what was around the corner proved beneficial as we hit a gradient were I thought my stomach would come out of my mouth and heart would explode. It was a total focus on the present keep on churning over the pedals, I could not see my cs600 monitor as I was to busy trying to avoid the cyclist in front of me who was adding an extra 3 miles by zig zagging across the center line time and time again to get to the top! Finally at the top I took a hammer gel and water and tried to get my heart rate out of the high 190s! Then we literally turned around and went down that hill full blast, well not quite we had to watch out for tired cyclists!
And so I projected time of its only 60 mile attitude just a 4 hour ride turned into a 4hour 45 minute ride, as hill after hill hit us we kept collecting our stickers, we had Beswicks Savage climb, Burn out hill, Rough Rider Ridge, Hospital Hill, Bank of America hill, security Bank hill, Edward Jones Investment and legally blond hill! At the top of each climb friendly volunteers greeted us with water and food , the last thing I wanted in my stomach was a peanut butter sandwich, I kept to my Hammer Nutrition liquid diet, did I mention it was getting really hot! Which on the 6th climb cyclists were getting cramps, one cyclist told us he could not understand why he had cramp he had been eating jelly beans and taking lots of Gatorade all day! So I volunteered some of my precious endurolytes and got him on some plain water! There was some climbs that had a pitch of 22% and one of the small climbs I had to get off my bike as I could not go up the small hill and negotiate other cyclists zig zagging so I opted for the safer way and made it to the top the same time as everyone else did! Besides the climbs, Redlands had some gorgeous vistas, the hills were emerald green and The mountain range was elegant and still had snow on the peaks! I actually had time to enjoy the view while I tried to keep on pace with Jodi who is a fantastic climber, we both did so well we were the first females over the line for the 60 miles! We took our finishers t-shirts and went back to the car, we were sporting wicked suntans and as our husbands had not arrived yet Jodi decided we needed to run 5km to cool down! SO we ran! Actually an excellent day a great ride for the cyclist who really wants a challenge and best of all, all the proceeds go to different charities in Redlands!
SO on reflection with the ride in Orange County and the Redlands climbing adventure and run, I put in 263.1miles which means a total of $1841.70 I raised for the Avon crusade of Puerto Rico to find a cure for breast cancer. A Huge thank you to my husband for giving me the chance to do these crazy rides and my friend Jodi for raising the bar out there!
photo Cheltenham jockey club
photo Cheltenham Racecourse
Slovakian alpine skier narrowly beats Millie Knight to capture gold photo Getty Images