Well, I know none of you here went but you missed a great ride! Here's a few highlights:
- Riders 9000+
- Temperature 78 degrees
- Scenery with snow capped mountains
I started out from the RV Park where we were staying at around 6:30 and rode the 7 miles to the start. When I got there it was absolutlely crazy with the staggered starts of about 100 people every 5 minutes. I ended up going to the back of the line where the riders for the 100 mile were starting and finally made my way up to the front. I've never been in a ride where there were so many people from like everywhere. The announcer for the ride was calling out people from L.A., Washington, Arizona, East Coast, Canada, Australia, you get the point. So I take off and the streets are jammed with riders and it stayed that way until the final few miles. We ended up going through the desert out towards the direction of 29 Palms.
At around 20 miles or so I look up and see in the distance riders are stopped at this one intersection and when I got closer, it turns out that they're stopped because it's the first rest stop. This stop is absolutlely CRAZY. Kids are handing out bottles of water. You've got people yelling out food options and tossing it to riders because it's so jammed that you can't get to the food. So I yell out FIG BARS HERE! and the next thing you know I'm picking them out of the sky with my hands. BANANAS HERE and I'm catching bananas with my other hand. They are around 50+ port a potties but still people are pissing on the side of the road all this while they have a full size band playing on the side. I said to myself "This is my kind of ride!"
I take off from this rest stop and there's a great downhill ride heading back towards the south. It's then I saw a bad accident with a rider down on the other side and pretty soon the ambulance on it's way. Got behind a few tandems and sucked wheels until we came to where the 55 and 100 routes met and then it was bikes everywhere. A 2 lane road where bikes were holding up cars because no one knew or cared about the meaning "CAR BACK" or so many primadonnas that thought they owned the road. That was my only complaint about the ride that riders don't have any etiquette and wonder why drivers hate bikers.
To make a long story short, I had a great time, it was a great course with some wonderful sites. Palm Springs was really nice with the weather and all. Now the picks:
Heading out from the RV Park
Arriving at the start
Shot of the windmills
First rest stop pandemonium
Some of the snow capped mountains
The long road of riders
View of the Coachella Valley towards Palm Springs
Of course a picture of me
Gerald Ford Drive going back in towards the finish in Palm Springs