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Old 06-12-11, 06:19 AM   #1
CraigB
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Tour de Cure - 2011 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway - CraigB

I had a great ride, but only saw one person I know - an electrical engineer I used to work with, who's part of Team Nebo Ridge, the motor that propelled the fastest of the pacelines. I can't post any pics right now as Photobucket seems to be down. But here are my general impressions:

The weather looked iffy at first. A major thunderstorm blew through Indy about 1:15 that morning, and it left lingering rain right up until about 4:00, when it changed to intermittent sprinkles and some nasty looking clouds right up until start time. But once we began, I never felt another drop.

I had bumped my goal from 50 miles to riding my soon-to-be age, then again to a full metric, so I knew going in I needed to do 25 laps. It's funny how once your energy gets a little tapped, higher brain functions seem to abandon you - I had trouble calculating laps and distances in my head, all morning. I finally gave up and just watched the miles click by on the computer.

I managed to get into a couple of pace lines, at first one with only about 5 or 6 riders, and we took turns at the front. Someone in the group decided that a "turn" meant pulling for one entire 2.5-mile lap, a distance I've never led out before. From my old racing days I was used to pace line leaders pulling off after 40-60 turns of the crank. So I was a little concerned that I'd poop out before my lap was complete, but surprisingly I managed to keep it going over 20 MPH, even between turns 3 and 4 where we had the worst of the headwind, at least early on. When I finished that pull at the front, it just happened to be time for the first of my two PBJ breaks in pit lane (one at 25 miles, the second at 50), so that was a bit of a relief. Altogether I was in that pace line for about 6 or 7 laps.

During my second ride segment (25-50 miles) I managed to get on a considerably larger group that was going a little faster still, one that was big enough that there wasn't any organized sharing of the lead. Which was fine by me - I was happy to sit in near the back and stay there, though it was a little nerve-racking. Most of that time I was behind a teenager on a twitchy TT bike, on which he thought the thing to do was practice riding no-hands. Turns out there were at least 3 crashes I was aware of over the course of the day, though I never saw the actual event - only the ambulances and broken bikes. Late in the morning I almost hit a kid who swerved right in front of me as I was passing him.

The big freight train - the Team Nebo Ridge group and their hangers-on - were a thing to see. All morning long there were shouts of warning as they approached along the wall, and it seemed no matter how fast I was going, they'd pass in a great whoosh of carbon, alloy and air. Once or twice I thought it would be interesting to see if I could hang onto their tail, but it didn't take long before I realized there wasn't enough energy in my legs to even try.

Random thoughts:

It wasn't nearly the psychological slog I thought it would be. I expected it to be interesting for 3 or 4 laps, then be a chore. It wasn't, at least not for me, until I had about 3 laps to go. Most of that I credit to being in pacelines for about 12 of my 25 laps.

The track is not that wide. No more than maybe 4 lanes of a multi-lane road or highway. Spooky to imagine driving 225 MPH with 32 other cars in that confined a space.

The track is not smooth. Don't get me wrong, it's nice and relatively free of bumps and artifacts, but the surface isn't smooth - it's grooved, and has enough texture that you feel it, to the point where it even soaks up a tiny little bit of your energy.

When the track warms up a little with the rising sun, it begins to smell faintly of tires.

The announcer said we had 1800 people there, representing 6 states. All kinds and shapes of riders, on all kinds and shapes of bikes. I'm surprised there weren't more accidents. One guy who lined up a couple of rows in front of me at the start was a good example of an accident waiting to happen. He was bouncing his bike up and down on the pavement, wondering why he was getting a rattling sound from the rear end when he did it. Someone near him pointed out that his quick release wasn't closed. So he tries to close it but can't because it's already just a little too tight. But instead of loosening it a quarter turn, which was all I'm sure it needed, he starts kicking it! I had to turn away and stop looking at that point. I don't know if he finally got it figured out or not.

I'll put up a few pics when I can get access to them.

Oh, and for the statistically interested, I had 63.5 miles at 3:40:49, for an average of 17.25 MPH. Total time start to finish was just about 4 hours even.

Last edited by CraigB; 06-12-11 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 06-12-11, 06:28 AM   #2
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Kudos to you Craig for doing this ride - a great cause.
How much money did you raise?
I did our TdC last week, a country road century. Raised over $500 and I got this years Jersey & cap. They do a nice job with rest stops every 12.5 miles. There was no excuse for not taking a break if you needed one.
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Old 06-12-11, 06:39 AM   #3
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I was able to complete the 100 miles.
Rode with my 1960 high school classsmate Ed (he was on a black trike) Ed completed the 100 miles.

First ever trike rider to do that on The Indy Tour de Cure.

Ed's longest ride had only been 38 miles before coming to the track. We rode the first 25 miles non stop, the second 25 miles non stop, the third 25 miles non stop. Ed had some legs cramps at that point and had to take some breaks to stand on his legs.
Ed at age 69 had just started riding this year.

Awesome ride for him and my third 100 mile ride at the track.
Pics later.
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Old 06-12-11, 06:47 AM   #4
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I was able to complete the 100 miles.
Rode with my 1960 high school classsmate Ed (he was on a black trike) Ed completed the 100 miles.

First ever trike rider to do that on The Indy Tour de Cure.

Ed's longest ride had only been 38 miles before coming to the track. We rode the first 25 miles non stop, the second 25 miles non stop, the third 25 miles non stop. Ed had some legs cramps at that point and had to take some breaks to stand on his legs.
Ed at age 69 had just started riding this year.

Awesome ride for him and my third 100 mile ride at the track.
Pics later.
With your passion for distance I assume you rode up to Indy as well
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Old 06-12-11, 06:58 AM   #5
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With your passion for distance I assume you rode up to Indy as well
Someday just might do that on my touring bike. Saw 2 Cannondale T-1's on the 100 mile ride.
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Old 06-12-11, 07:02 AM   #6
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Way to go Craig, fun & a good cause. Look forward to the pics.
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Old 06-12-11, 07:33 AM   #7
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A few pics:

Ed on The start Line.











60 miles



70 miles



80 miles



100 miles Complete:



Two Old Dogs after the 100 miles

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Old 06-12-11, 09:32 AM   #8
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10 Wheels, great photos. What is that attached to your friends visor and what make trike is he riding? I really wish they would do some type of a ride like the TDC at Daytona International Speedway.

Craig B, good story thanks for sharing, really looking forward to your photos.
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Old 06-12-11, 09:42 AM   #9
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Ed is a very creative person That is his custom visor.

Ed is BF Member Daddy.

His trike: http://www.actionbent.com/TWTRIKE.html

Join us next year in Indy. You will Love the ride.
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Old 06-12-11, 03:13 PM   #10
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Slide Show;
http://s256.photobucket.com/albums/h...view=slideshow

Accident



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Old 06-12-11, 04:06 PM   #11
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Kudos to you Craig for doing this ride - a great cause.
How much money did you raise?
I did our TdC last week, a country road century. Raised over $500 and I got this years Jersey & cap. They do a nice job with rest stops every 12.5 miles. There was no excuse for not taking a break if you needed one.
Thanks. I raised $1215.00. In addition to the full kit of this year's design (jersey, shorts and socks, when they come), it also got me access to the VIP tent which was no great shakes - they had arguably better ham sandwiches in their box lunch along with pasta salad, instead of the McAllister's sandwiches and chips in the garages, but the atmosphere at the general lunch was much more fun. Oh, and we had free Fat Tire Ale in the VIP tent, too. So there's that.

Congrats to you, too for riding. Great job.
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Old 06-12-11, 04:25 PM   #12
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I didn't get a lot of shots, but I had a friend in the stands who took a few. This first one is where I lined up for the start (by the way, the guys at the very front in the purple, black, white and green in 10 Wheels' pics are the Team Nebo Ridge gang):



This is me, waiting for the start - I'm in the white helmet with the blue strap, leaning on my bars:



A shot of the start, from pit lane:



Me on one of my times across the yard of bricks:



The Nebo Ridge freight train coming down the home straight:



Some of the early clouds, which ended up blowing over and clearing out:



A shot of 10 Wheels' pal Ed, chatting with another recumbent rider:



One of the staff vehicles:



Me coming in for one of my two refueling stops:



And on completion of my metric:


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Old 06-12-11, 04:42 PM   #13
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A great write up, great pictures, and a great cause.

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Old 06-12-11, 06:29 PM   #14
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Nephew & I entered the event and had a great ride. I didn't know however that nephew had only started riding a week before the event (he lives in Indy; I'm in Atl). So between the 9 mi ride over, the laps we rode, and the 9 mi ride back he was one wasted puppy by the time we finished. He was looking around for a better bike to ride and his neighbor lent him one. He emailed me and asked "Does the model Buenos Aires mean anything to you?" Hah!
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Old 06-12-11, 07:49 PM   #15
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Thanks. I raised $1215.00. In addition to the full kit of this year's design (jersey, shorts and socks, when they come), it also got me access to the VIP tent which was no great shakes - they had arguably better ham sandwiches in their box lunch along with pasta salad, instead of the McAllister's sandwiches and chips in the garages, but the atmosphere at the general lunch was much more fun. Oh, and we had free Fat Tire Ale in the VIP tent, too. So there's that.
Congrats to you, too for riding. Great job.
Awesome donation effort Craig.
I looked for you knowing you had a yellow bike..but you know how it was with 1800 riders.
Good Pics.
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Old 06-13-11, 05:41 AM   #16
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Thanks. I raised $1215.00. In addition to the full kit of this year's design (jersey, shorts and socks, when they come), it also got me access to the VIP tent which was no great shakes - they had arguably better ham sandwiches in their box lunch along with pasta salad, instead of the McAllister's sandwiches and chips in the garages, but the atmosphere at the general lunch was much more fun. Oh, and we had free Fat Tire Ale in the VIP tent, too. So there's that.

Congrats to you, too for riding. Great job.
Good job - nice contribution!
I don't see how folks raise multi-thousands. I focused on friends and co-workers where the company matches, that seems to work pretty well but it must be low key.
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Old 06-13-11, 07:28 AM   #17
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I entered friends', family's and co-workers' email addresses into my TdC page database, and sent out three solicitation notes spaced out over a couple of months. I was lucky that I had a couple of family members who gave low 3 digits, lots of friends who gave low-to-mid 2 digits, one old friend who saw it on Facebook and contributed, and a couple of folks from the forum here. I kept the letters low-key and humorous. I don't know what aspect of that, beyond folks' innate generosity, worked the most magic, but I appreciate every penny they gave.
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Old 06-13-11, 08:18 AM   #18
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Looks like a huge event, a great cause and a lot of fun with all the people, but didn't it get monotonous riding so many laps around a flat track all day?
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Old 06-13-11, 08:24 AM   #19
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Looks like a huge event, a great cause and a lot of fun with all the people, but didn't it get monotonous riding so many laps around a flat track all day?
I really thought it would, but it didn't. Between the initial novelty, and spending about half of my laps in pacelines that required concentration, it only got old for about the last 3 of my 25 laps, when I was on my own and running low on gas. Even so, I'm torn about next year - part of me wants to do it again, maybe go for a full century, and part of me wants to do the 75K road route for some variety.
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Old 06-13-11, 08:24 AM   #20
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Very nice ride report and photos. I ESPECIALLY liked your comment about sitting in at the back of the larger group. Nerve racking is how I often feel when riding in a group with riders I don't know, or can't easily ascertain their skill level.
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Old 06-13-11, 12:39 PM   #21
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The pace lines were something else. One of them had over 100 riders, at last a couple tandems. They'd go by on the high side and you'd wait, wait, wait for the tail end to go by so you could hop on. NOS, you raise a good point about riding with people you don't know - instructed Nephew NOT to overlap a wheel.
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Old 06-13-11, 12:58 PM   #22
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Looks like a huge event, a great cause and a lot of fun with all the people, but didn't it get monotonous riding so many laps around a flat track all day?
My third one...I enjoy talking with the riders and taking pics of there bikes.

35 year old Huffy



Sandy, riding for her Dad who died last year from Diabetes



Red rider his first ever 100 mile ride.

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Old 06-13-11, 02:03 PM   #23
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Great job from both of you. Super photos and narration.
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Old 06-13-11, 07:57 PM   #24
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You should be proud of your effort, good pics & descriptions. Would love to do that sometime. Is it an annual event??
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Old 06-13-11, 08:32 PM   #25
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I really thought it would, but it didn't. Between the initial novelty, and spending about half of my laps in pacelines that required concentration, it only got old for about the last 3 of my 25 laps, when I was on my own and running low on gas. Even so, I'm torn about next year - part of me wants to do it again, maybe go for a full century, and part of me wants to do the 75K road route for some variety.
Sounds like me last year. I opted for the 75k this year after two years of doing the track ride, and enjoyed it quite a bit. It's cool to experience riding the track, but after a while it does get monotonous. The road route was very nice.
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