As you may know, Celeste and I signed up to ride in the Childrens' Hospital Courage Classic charity ride again this summer. We did it for the first time last summer and had a really good time, even though the weekend ultimately entailed about 200 miles of bike riding over several high mountain passes in its three days of road biking mayhem.
Well in spite/because of that, we're back again this year to ride once again. Now, mind you, this is a charity ride and not a competitive ride, so quite frankly I don't feel too terribly stressed out about being in top riding shape when the event starts. Which is a good thing, because I can safely tell you all that I am not in any way in top riding shape right now. I'm in pretty good running shape right now, and I'm sure some of that fitness translates, but running and biking are not the same thing. So I think I'd better train a bit before the event. Now I don't need to be in Jan Ulrich shape in 4 weeks, but I don't want to be miserable out there on those mountain climbs either, so some riding is in store.
Therefore please join me on a little blogging adventure as I try to get myself in biking shape for the Courage Classic. I hope that you will also consider donating to the Children's Hospital on my or Celeste's behalf by clicking on either or both of the links below, and giving generously:
We're trying to raise $1,000 each -- $2,000 total, and I think as of today we have raised about $270 between the two of us. Not too shabby to start, but we have a ways to go. We're riding as part of the "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" team, whose members number six: Celeste and I, our cousins Tim and Brian, and our friends Tony and Chryss. We named out team after our new dog, Ziggy. We rescued him back in December and we named him after David Bowie because he had one brown and one blue eye. Come to find out that neither of David Bowie's eyes are Brown or Blue, they're both Hazel, and they only look like they're different colors because one eye is permanently dilated due to an old injury. This is David Bowie I'm referring to, not our dog Ziggy.
Regardless, I'm a bit off topic here, which is just as well because I'm not sure exactly how much time I can spend telling you about how badly I'm riding right now, but once and finally I'll get to that bit now.
So I figure, this Courage Classic features 200 miles of riding and bunches of hill climbs. I've been riding my bike to work most days, to the tune of 10 miles per day, but my commute is rather flat. So today after work I decided to go ride the biggest nastiest local hill climb I could think of. That's right, Rist canyon. I've only successfully climbed this crucible of pain one time ever. In fact it was last summer, when I was once again cramming for the courage classic. So here we go again. Rist canyon is about 2,500 feet of climbing in 10 miles of road. A pretty mellow climb for a run, actually, but nasty stuff on a bike. I've been doing a lot of hill climbing on foot lately so I thought I could breeze up Rist without too much trauma tonight on the bike. I thought wrong. Dang, biking is totally different than running. Maybe I went out too hard, but I fell apart about half way up the canyon. I didn't get started on my ride until about 6:45 pm, so I was actually running out of daylight in the narrow mountain canyon, but I was not able to make it to the top tonight. Heck, I think I only made it about 1/3 of the way up the canyon before I turned around into the calm cool evening.
It was a pretty ride, and I didn't see too many other riders up there tonight. I ended up with about 23 miles of riding and about 1,500 feet of climbing all told. This on top of my 10 commuting miles today makes for a fairly respectable 33 mile day. I'll take another crack at Rist next Monday on the 4th of July, and this time I may drag Celeste and Tony and Chryss along with me so we can all curse Ziggy together. It will be a team-building experience.
So I must admit that I was humbled by Rist tonight. Again, I may be in good running shape, but I am not in really good riding shape. At least not where I want to be. I'll keep you all updated on my training and fund raising progress over the next 4 weeks though, hopefully I'll be able to report good news on both fronts! And yes I'll continue to run as well, I can't give up my true love! I have a Bighorn 50 mile race report (I ran that jewel of a race the weekend before last) that I'll post in due time as well.
But for now let me remind you that while Ziggy played guitar, he never rode Rist.
aaaaaah, Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am (for donating)!