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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

Pics From The 2012 Richardson WildRide!

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BFR Gang At Lake Lavine

This past weekend, I got to participate in the 9th annual Richardson WildRide! Against Cancer benefitting the Methodist Richardson Cancer Center, home of the Lance Armstrong Shaped Beam SurgeryTM program. The ride consisted of three distances of your choice – a 16 mile, 40 mile or 64 mile route. This was my 3rd year to ride in this event. The first year, I did the 16 mile route and last year, I took on the the 40 – which seemed incredibly hard at the time.

The goal was to ride the 64 mile route this year. Unfortunately, I didn’t get enough rest the day before, so I decided to just do the 40 mile route. I did have some company this time. My friends, Jenny and her husband James rode their first WildRide! this year, which made the route a little more interesting. Overall, the ride was actually not as hard as it was last year, so perhaps I’m ready for the 64.

Here are some pics from the event. Click here to see the entire set.

Registration and Check In

Hospitality

40 Mile Staging Area

Starting The Ride

Down Plano Road

Crazy People

Riders With A View

Dam Crossing

Scenic Route

REI Break Station

Written by dickdavid

May 21, 2012 at 5:26 am

Pics From The 2011 Richardson WildRide!

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WildRide! Registration

This past weekend, I decided to participate in the 8th annual Richardson WildRide! Against Cancer benefitting the Methodist Richardson Cancer Center, home of the Lance Armstrong Shaped Beam SurgeryTM program. The ride consisted of three distances of your choice – a 16 mile, 40 mile or 64 mile route. Last year, I decided to do the 16 mile route – mostly because I’m not a sports cyclist and I don’t have a proper road bike. It turns out the route was relatively easy and I finished rather early – even on my old clunker, mountain-to-road bike conversion. I told myself that I would do the 40 mile route in 2011.

As it turns out, I wasn’t able to get on the saddle as much this spring. Worried about not having enough training, I opted to do the 16 mile route again. Quite honestly, I’m shocked that there is such a gap between the short and medium routes. I would have preferred a 30 mile route.

At the actual line-up of the rally, I met some folks that were excited about doing the 40 mile route and getting to ride on the Lake Lavon Dam – only open to cyclists for this ride. I got motivated and decided to do the 40 mile route as well. Most of the ride was really nice and the scenery was amazing – even on such a cloudy and foggy morning. It wasn’t until the return stretch that I was regretting my decision to upgrade the route distance. Those small climbs up Shiloh and Campbell, that were so easy last year, seemed like mountains. Still, I managed to plow through and get my weak legs and heavy bike to the finish line. Of course I didn’t realize how tired I was until my 2.5 mile bike ride home from the event.

Here are some pics from the event. Click here to see the entire set.

Riders

Starting Point

Mass Of Riders

Mass Of Riders Going Down Plano Road

Riders

Teams of Riders

Rough Roads

Slight Detour Over Some Rough Roads

Riding On Lake Lavon Dam

Riding On Lake Lavon Dam

View From Lake Lavon Dam

View From Lake Lavon Dam

Ride Back

The Ride Back

Nice View

Open Fields

Written by dickdavid

May 23, 2011 at 6:08 am

My First Wild Ride

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I’ve always seen myself as a solo cyclist. I preferred the peace and solitude of my two wheeled treks around town. They gave me a chance to unwind and reflect on my life, opening up a new perspective of my surroundings. While they are fun and relaxing, they are also a bit lonely.

This last year, I’ve rediscovered the enjoyment of participating in group rides. They would range from a small gathering of friends to some of the larger Bike Friendly groups in Dallas. I’ve even hosted a few with BFR. It only seemed logical to sign up for the 2010 Richardson Wild Ride.

My First Time:

I’ve read a few things about the Wild Ride and drew some conclusions based on the description on their site, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew it was for a good cause, but didn’t know much about the actual ride. I had talked to a few friends about which of the three different routes to go with. The 16 mile route was very doable. I’ve done some longer rides, so the 40 was an option as well. The 64 mile route, however, was a bit too much for a first timer. Also, since I wanted to pull together a BFR team, it made the most sense to do the shorter route and accommodate the different skill levels of our riders.

The BFR team didn’t seem to come together as I had planned, but I still wanted to do the ride.

The Morning Of The Ride:

I’m more of a casual rider. However, I hate that classification, so I usually just call myself a Bicyclist. What I’m not, is a weekend warrior road cyclist.

I figured that since I’m only doing the 16 mile route, the least I could do is ride my bike to the event. When I arrived in my blank jersey and baggy cycling shorts, while on my steel, road-converted mountain bike, I felt a bit out of place. Dozens of riders had already arrived, dismounting their super light, super slick road bikes from their vehicle bike racks. Spandex and team sponsored jerseys were the dress code – I didn’t get that memo. The riders themselves seemed distant, yet focused on the ride ahead. Although I have a lot of respect for these riders, the first thing that was running through my head was what the hell did I get myself into.

The Rally Line Up:

The start of the ride was set up with three staging areas – one for each route of the rally. The front area was for the 64 mile group. The one behind it was the 40 mile group. I was in the last group, with the 16 mile riders. Once I arrived, I started to feel more at home because many of the riders in my group were more like me. The bikes weren’t as slick and some of the attire was a bit less fitted. I could actually see some faces with smiles of anticipation and excitement and less with determination and drive. Riders were hanging out and taking pictures. I could ride with these folks.

The Start Of The Rally:

Eight O’clock rolled around. After the national anthem and a few words from the organizers, the ride started. The first two groups rolled out in a flash, then ours started. Our pace was similar to some of the Bike Friendly rides that I had been on. The only difference was the level of organization and planning that went into this rally. At every traffic light, a local police officer was holding up traffic and allowing the cyclists through. As much as I like the grass root nature of the Bike Friendly rides, I could see that when you run a group of several hundred cyclists, this amount of organization is needed and appreciated.

The First Leg:

As the cyclists merged onto northbound Plano Road, many of the rider groups started to blend together. Obviously, some of the more determined riders pulled ahead. But given the nature of such a large group and everybody setting their own pace, I had lost the sense of our 16 mile group. So, I just followed the crowd.

We made our way into Plano – east then north – mostly holding together as a large group . Eventually, we came to the first group split at East Park Boulevard. The 40 and 64 mile groups went right to head towards Murphy, Wylie, Lavon, Nevada and Josephine, while the rest of us in the 16 mile group went left, back into Plano. I could see small pockets of my original group reappearing as we made our way back to the start.

The Ride Back:

The group for the ride back was a bit less unified. The 30-50 people surrounding me had now dwindled down to 4-6. I couldn’t tell if I had gotten far ahead or fallen far behind. At this point, the only thing I could do was stick with it and finish the route. I passed a few people while a few others passed me. I started to notice that the once happy and excited looks were now focused and determined.

Eventually, we made our way back into Richardson. The last leg of the ride was up Campbell road. (BTW, When I wrote, UP, I was being literal.) Even though most of the rally was pretty smooth, with very little headwinds and very few climbs, Campbell was a little less forgiving.

When we arrived back at the start, I realized that a handful of us had actually gotten a bit ahead of our group. At the finish, it was nice to kick back and watch the satisfied faces of the other riders as they rewarded themselves with some great snacks and cool beverages.

My Conclusion:

I’m glad I decided to do this ride. At first I was a bit apprehensive about the type of ride it would be. However, as I rode through it, I discovered it to be a rewarding and exciting rally – tied to a great cause. I think next year, I’ll try the 40 mile ride.

Written by dickdavid

May 16, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Richardson 2010 Wild Ride Pics

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I’ll post a review of the event later. Until then CLICK HERE or on any of the pics below to see the pics from the 2010 Wild Ride.

Written by dickdavid

May 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Support Team Bike Friendly Richardson at the WildRide!

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I’ll be representing Bike Friendly Richardson at the 2010 WildRide. Because I’m the designated BFR as a team, they’ve asked me to pull together some donations.

This is the last day to donate, so if you are in the mood to help out a great cause, click here to step up.

EDIT: Looks like they’ll be taking donations up until the event on May 15. It’s not too late to donate.

Written by dickdavid

May 4, 2010 at 12:27 pm