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Pics From The 2014 Richardson WildRide!

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Ride Out

This is my fifth year to participate in Methodist Health System’s WildRide! Against Cancer. Unlike last year, when I rode the 64 mile route with my buddy and barely made it, I opted to go easy and just do the 40 mile route (Well, with the new starting point this year, it was only 38 miles). The day was beautiful and the wind a little forgiving, which made this year’s rally one of the better ones for me.

Like with every WildRide, I keep promising myself that I’m going to get a new bike that’s lighter and not so mechanically challenged. Instead, I keep riding the only geared bike that I own – my 21-year old DiamondBack Apex mountain bike that’s been converted to a commuter. It’s heavy, the wheels wobble and the original drivetrain is showing it’s age. But, like the previous 4 WildRides and dozens of commutes to work, it gets me to where I need to go – even if I have to work a little harder.

Pre-Ride

As I stated earlier, this year’s rally started at a new location. It was still close to my house, so I opted to ride my bike the 4 miles to the rally. The new staging area was nice, but didn’t seem as well organized. I’m sure it’s just growing pains and getting used to the new place.

The starting lineup is usually much longer, giving room to all the cyclists who are planning on riding the 64 mile route – which is probably 75 percent, leaving the remaining lineup space for the 40 and 16 mile group. This year, it seemed to be the reverse, which left about 25 percent of the space for the lead group and a lot more for the rest. This forced many cyclists to cram together at the front, some waiting on the sidewalk and on the road median. Quite frankly, the rally always starts out slow for everybody, so it doesn’t really matter where you start.

Lineup

Lineup

Lineup

Other than the awkward, overly-crowded start, the rally was really nice. The 40 (I mean 38) mile route was mostly the same with the typical rest stops, and riding over the Lavon Lake dam is always spectacular. Since I rode solo, this year’s ride was a bit lonely. Also, even though it wasn’t going to be as hard as last year’s 64 mile route, I think I had underestimated this year’s ride. I had forgotten that the 38 mile route was still a challenge for me, and it caught my legs off guard for the last few miles. I completed the route, but that 4 mile ride back to my house was miserable.

Here are a few pics of this year’s rally. Click here to see the entire set.

Pre-Ride

Lineup

Start

Ride Out

Ride Out

Ride Out

Ride Out

Rest Point At The Dam

Ride Back

Written by dickdavid

May 23, 2014 at 5:56 am

Pics From The 2013 Richardson WildRide!

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Over The Damn

Jason Rides Over Lake Lavon Dam

My Goal:
This is my fourth year to ride in the Richardson WildRide! Against Cancer rally. Previously, I rode the 16 mile loop in 2010, the 40 mile loop in 2011 and the 40 mile loop in 2012. This year my goal was to complete the 64 mile loop. This might not seem like a big deal to some of those weekend warriors out there who do 64 miles before breakfast – but let me give you some perspective. If you read this blog, you’ll know that I’m a practical cyclist who only rides for fun or transportation. I am not athletic, I don’t ride for sport, nor do I even own a ‘proper’ road bike. Most of my longer rides are 14 mile (each way) commutes to my office, and my last, longest ride was last year’s 40 mile WildRide loop.

So, the 64 mile loop was a big deal to me.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to ride it alone. My buddy, Jason, who just got back into cycling this year, decided to join me. I was glad, because he was just the motivation that I needed to complete the task. Jason rides a lot, but hasn’t completed a 64 mile ride either.

The Start:
Like the previous 3 years, the start of the rally was really impressive. There were hundreds of cyclists at the start, arranged in staging areas for each group of riders (64,40 and 16). You can see the difference in types of riders as you move from the fully-kitted 64 mile group at the front, all the way to the more casual 16 mile group in the back. With our baggy shorts and heavy, fat-wheeled bikes, Jason and I looked a little out of place waiting in the 64 mile staging area. With all due respect to those in tight shorts, who ride super-slick road bikes – we just don’t ride that way. Quite frankly, until this 64 mile ride, I didn’t think there was ever a need.

The Ride:
It’s very impressive watching the start of this rally, where you see a huge mass of riders rolling down Plano Road. As always, with fresh legs and high spirits, I really enjoy this part of the ride. This good feeling kept up for the first 20 miles of the ride, so much that we skipped the first rest stop. By the time we reached the second rest stop, just past Lake Levon dam (which happened to be the 40 mile loop turnaround) we were still feeling pretty good.

This was the point at which we needed to decide to push on and do the 64 mile loop, or turn back. We pushed on.

Hello Misery:
Since this was the first time for both of us to venture out this far, we didn’t know what to expect. Unfortunately, we were greeted with a couple of really nasty rolling hills. We still had some good strength, so they weren’t too bad. Facing them on the return trip was a problem. Beyond that, the extended 24 mile loop took us deep into open country, where there were some amazing views.

We started to get tired.

On those long country roads we were exposed to some nasty wind, paired with the late morning sun. Our baggy shorts were sails and our bikes felt like they were loaded with bricks. The energy level dropped fast. By the time we returned to the rest stop at Lake Lavon dam, our bodies were starting to shut down. Bonk was hitting us hard and we still had 20 miles to go. We drank and ate as much as we could at each remaining rest stop, but recovery was getting harder and harder as we pushed to get back to the start. The last few miles were the worst, but ultimately we made it back.

It wasn’t a fast ride – an average of 14MPH – but we succeeded with our goal (and we weren’t DFL).

To add insult to injury, we had the brilliant idea of riding to the rally, which meant we had to ride back home. That was the worst 2.6 miles of my life.

Would I Do This Again?:
As we were making our way up Shiloh Road, hitting all headwind, we were saying never again. But, since we’ve had a day to recover, our thoughts go back to those riders wearing skin-tight shorts, rolling on ‘proper’ road bikes and had practiced on prior weekends. Perhaps, if we are better prepared, we would do it again.

Here are my pics from the ride. Click here to see the entire set.

My Truckster

My Steel Truckster

Ready To Ride

Riders Arriving

Lining Up To Start

The Back Of The 64 Mile Staging Area

Ride Start

Riding Down Plano Road

Jason Enjoying The View

Crossing The Lake Lavon Dam

First Time For Me

No Turning Back

Open Country

Open Country

Written by dickdavid

May 20, 2013 at 9:53 am