Saturday I rode the SLC Bike Tour.
Last year, I ran the half marathon. It was my first half marathon and I loved IT! It was one of my favorite races of all last year. But I knew that my body was not ready, or prepared for 13.1 miles, so this year, I had to settle for the bike tour.
The bike tour is supposed to be the same distance as the marathon 26.2 miles. However, they made some changes to the route this year, and instead, I crossed the line with 23 miles.
We started early that morning, I picked up Lisa and Leslie at 4:45 am. We loaded their bikes and headed for the Shark's house. Got her bike loaded and headed for the U.
Now Chad and Tib are more conservative and like to error on the side of safe judgement and line up towards the back of the pack where the odds of crashing out of the gate is minimal.
That makes me crazy! I love to be RIGHT ON THE START LINE!
We compromised and started somewhere in the middle, although we got seperated from Chad and he stayed safely in the back.
The sounded the horn and we gingerly made our way to the start line. Once out of the chute, it thinned a bit, but I am not gonna lie. It was kind of an adrenaline rush to be that close to other cyclists and the challenge of keeping myself upright and not knocking into someone else. It was kinda a rush!
It was just a few minutes and I seperated from the pack. The three girls were close together so I felt okay taking off. I figured Chad would catch up to them, see that they were sticking together and then race to catch up to me.
I was wrong.
I didn't see them again until the finish line. At about 8 miles in, I knew that Chad wasn't finding me. I wasn't about to stop and wait so I decided I was going to kick it and see how fast I could bust this out. The route is fairly flat with small downgrades and a few slight upgrades and it is a closed course, so you really could get cranking if you wanted to.
I wanted to. I pushed hard until I was gonna puke. Then I would back off, coast a bit, catch my breath, and then push again. That was my pattern for the next hour and 14 minutes.
I crossed at 1:14 and some change. I was pleased. I turned around and rode the course backwards looking for my friends and only found Tib. I rode in with her and when we finally got to talk, I was told the others had gone ahead, so they were somewhere already across the line.
It took some minimal coordinating to find one another. Get some food and drink, park our bikes and then we headed for the bridge at the Gateway to watch the runners come in.
At first it was all 5k runners. Interesting thing about a 5k. ANYONE CAN DO IT! Really! Even if you walk part of the way, you can STILL DO IT! I saw little kids, wicked old people, and even some folks I thought would likely have a heart attack, but still kept shuffling along. And to everyone of them, I say "good on ya!"
Soon the half marathoners started coming in and then this is where my heart started hurting. I was insanely jealous! While I had enjoyed the bike ride. I didn't LOVE it. I LOVE running! I was so envious of those runners I could taste it in my mouth! Not sweet.
We watched for a while hoping to see some friends we knew that were running, and took the time for some photo op's.
Chad, Me, Lisa, Tib and Leslie (Leslie's first ride/race ever - she rocked it!)
Who is that grabbing Lisa's boob?
The Trifecta - a shark, a cat and a guppy
Then it was back to get our bikes and get ourselves back to the U. Most riders boarded the Traxx train up the hill to the U, however, when I found out the next train wasn't for 20 minutes, I wanted to ride it. Chad and Lisa joined me and off we went. On a suicide mission. For those familiar with the SL area. Picture 400 south, from main street to the U. The institute building at the U. IT IS A HUGE HILL! What were we thinking?!?!
By the time I racked my bike, I had a total of 29 miles on it and had burned 1800 calories. My quads were burning and I was ready for a shower like nobody's business.
Chad took care of us as usual with beverages (dude keeps his cooler filled with our favorites) and then we headed home to unload bikes, soak sore muscles and ice knees.
I felt pleased with my performance. I am satisfied with my time. But more than anything, I wished I could have run it. It just made me that more determined to get my miles built back up and get some more races on the agenda!
As for the tour itself.....a VERY well run ride - kudos to those who put on the event! I'll be there next year but sans bike and with my running shoes!