The apparently cracked frame held up and I had a safe ride. I'm happy with the finish as I really have not ridden much since September.
Finished the 109 miles in 5 hr 37 mins in 824th place out of 3474 that completed the century. Heck, it took me 10 mins just to get to the start line from where I lined up at 2 hours before the ride! Plus that includes carrying my bike across 2 dried up river beds for 3/4 mile.
Using the ride to travel out to visit my wonderful daughter.
Organization is top notch-26th ride and they have it right.
Traffic control-superior-even with lots of the ride involving city streets I never slowed down at intersections due to the terrific support of the local police.
Weather-with it being in the 30's back home, just terrific weather for this event
The ride-I never got dropped by a group all day-there were so many people riding I just moved back or up and got back in line-never seen anything like it
Tandems-I rode behind tandems for a good while today-a great ride for catching wheels-at one point I was behind two tandems riding together!
Local support-Wow-I can't believe how many local people came out to support the ride. The cheers and cowbells were very uplifting.
Rest stops-folks were doing everything they could to help-good supplies at the two I stopped at.
The route-there was a stretch-maybe Tangerine Dr-where a group of 20-30 us pushed the pace as much as we could. It was downhill for several miles and I wore out my 50/11 pedaling and acelerating in the 30+ mph range. 3-4 of us pulled the group and had an absolute blast pushing the pace. No uphills to speak of.
The announcer calling out your name as you finished-nice touch!
Results posted very quickly!
The 2 beers and glass of wine I drank afterwards for supper.
I could go on and on.
The parts I didn't like:
The last 15-20 miles. All on one road that paralled I-10 and we had a slight headwind today. So, at 90 miles to the end it was just a matter of trying to keep up the pace.
The pavement-too many roads that were extremely rough. I've never seen so many water bottles scattered across the roads. I bet it would give Paris-Roubais a run for the money........
One bike patrol cyclist-I'm not sure what their duties are, but this fellow was just doing the ride like we were. At one point in the group I was in (the bike patrol cyclist was riding with us), the rider beside me and to my right hit a seam in the pavement and lost control. He somersaulted off the road over a concrete curb into some cactus and brush. The sounds of the bike and rider hitting and bouncing were horrible. I told the bike patrol fellow immediately about the crash but he just kept riding. I know it was an isolated case but I just didn't like it.
The two river beds-you had to dismount and carry your bike across a dusty, sandy dried up river bed-TWICE. The first was 1/4 mile and the second was at least 1/3 mile. I got lots of sandy stuff on me-in my shoes, etc. Gotta be a better option!!
Having done Bike Patrol for El Tour over 20 years, this is most untypical behaviour.
We assist folks who have problems, whether mechanical, medical or whatever.
In the decades we've done Bike Patrol can't recount how many flats we fixed, chains we put back on or assisted with medical issues (including one concussion) or giiven moral support/advice to riders with issues other than mechanical/medical.
However could not help a woman today who 'lost my pedal' and was pedaling one-legged 3 miles from the finish line. How do you 'loose a pedal?!!'
As for the dry river beds here in the southwest we call them 'washes' . . . just think of it as doing a bit of cyclocross and giving your quads a break. You don't want to be here when it rains and the washes fill up with torrents of water. Have actually seen big 4-wheeler trucks get stuck, a Mercedes and a VW half buried in the sand, etc. In the flood of 1984 several bridges disappeared and some apartments built too close to 'dry' river beds crumbled into the water.
Your timing chip recorded when you crossed the official start line to when you crossed the finish line.
Glad your frame held up fine even over some of the bumpy roads. Tangerine Road had a slight headwind today and kept your speed down a bit. Have actually spun out our tandem's top gear of120" on that road in more favorable conditions. So tuck in and coast!
For several years the route was reversed and you had to pedal UP Tangerine Road from the Interstate 10.
All in all a good day (for most folks) for a nice bike ride!