(Sorry for some of the inverted photos. Can't figure out how to get Photobucket to fix it, though it looks ok at the site. )
Tyler and I arrived at Gulfstream Park about 6:10 am. He was still sleeping, so I unpacked the bike and got thing ready for the 7 am start.
I figured we would start with the club, who were doing the 62 mile metric ride, but I didn't expect we would be able to keep up for long. We managed to hold on to the back of the pack for about 5 miles, but the swirling wind was in our face just a little too much. As the police escorted peleton pulled away, Tyler said "pedal harder, Papa, let's catch up!" I knew there was no way, as we still a too far before we headed west with a tail wind.
We settled to a 15 mph pace. We finally reached the Dania Beach bridge, which involved a bit of a clover leaf climb. We had the wind at our back for the last part, and as we crested the hill we cranked it up and hit 27. We held that and slowed to 21 by the time we reached US 1. Heading north again, we settled back to 15. Riders who had mechanicals or other issues started passing us, trying to catch the peleton. At this point I realized that Garmin had stopped, so it was not recording. I pressed start, but we lost about 11 miles of hard work.
Reaching 17th st, we headed east, into the teeth of the ever stronger winds. I was not looking forward to the causeway, looming ominously in the distance. It looked like Mt Everest, and this wind would not make it any easier. We got a short respite as we entered the wind shadow of the bridge, but I knew that would be short lived. The good news is that at the bottom of the bridge is our first rest stop!
We kept a slow and steady pace up the hill, and several rider who we passed on the flats overtook us. We crested the hill and cranked up the gears for the descent, but the wind gusts held us back a bit. What could have been a 40 mph ride, was slowed but the gusty winds and the fact that we needed to make a 180 at the bottom of the bridge for our much awaited rest stop!
Tyler and I arrived at the turn around rest stop ahead of the 31 mi police escorted group since we started with the rest of CSP for the metric ride. We relaxed, fueled up, and awaited the start of the police escorted return.
Mounted up, rested up, and ready to head back!
The good news is that the wind, out of the ENE, will be at our back most of the rest of the ride. The wind was at our back as we went back over the bridge, and we really got up a great head of steam, passing everyone. We will head north for a while, but it will be inland, away from the wind. Once we made the turn south, it was pretty easy, except for the swirling winds in the "condo canyons" on A1A. We stopped at the last rest stop at mile 26, to ready ourselves for the final assualt.
Not too many people passed us on the way back, except for a few brave (stupid?) souls that jumped a red lite when the traffic allowed. Setting a good example for Tyler, I waited.
Entering in the Gulfstream Park alone, we navigated the parking lot and approached the finish. I got a bit choked up as I thought of the fact that Tyler and I, both survivors, are finishing this event for a good cause. We passed the Finish Line alone to roaring cheers of the assembled crowd. The announcer said "and here we have the dad and his son on the tandem." I didn't bother to correct him.
We stopped to receive our medals and pose for pix.
Two cancer survivors, happy to do our part for others.
We then hit the food line, and visited the vendor booths to pick up freebees. Harley Davidson had a booth with a bean bag toss (known as corn hole in the mid west.) After 2 tries each, I got all 3 in and won Tyler a "Ronnie the Clown" "piggy" bank, and got to introduce him to Ronnie himself.
After a bagel and some drinks, we rode back the the car and headed home.
A big "Thank You" to all our many BF friends that supported us with their generous donations!
The donation page is still open, and while we have topped $1,000 we're still short of our goal. None the less, the ride was a complete success and we had a great time. Tyler slept on the 45 min ride home, but the first thing he did when we got to my house was go insist on a 3 mi bike ride on his new (to him) BMX bike!