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Old 02-19-10, 04:26 PM   #1
Mhendricks
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Tour De Palm Springs Ride Report

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

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Old 02-19-10, 09:12 PM   #2
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Great report! Salivating over the concept of riding in short sleeves and no knee warmers.
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Old 02-20-10, 12:30 AM   #3
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What is this 78 degrees you speak of? And 9000 riders?! That is a lot of rolling humanity. I'm not sure I could handle that kind of chaos. Thanks for the nice report and pics. It's encouraging to know that cycling can still be done in the sunshine. Glad you had a good time!
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Old 02-20-10, 12:43 AM   #4
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Nice report and pics.

This was our first tandem century; we did it in '07 and although the weather was similar to what you had, we had overcast skies. Still, shorts and short-sleeved jerseys in February are a novelty.

Somewhere, on a road that looks like GF Dr., cgallagh said to me, "Gawd, I'm tired, I don't know how much longer I can do this." A voice behind us said, "Don't look now, but you're pulling a few people." We looked back and sure enough, we were pulling at least 30 cyclists. That was enough incentive for us to kick it up and finish strong.

It's a long way for us to travel but on a day such as you had, a ton of fun and a good excuse to leave the NorCal gloom.
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Old 02-20-10, 03:09 PM   #5
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Great report, thanks. You're looking good and the new bike is a beaut.
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Old 02-20-10, 06:21 PM   #6
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Great report, thanks. You're looking good and the new bike is a beaut.
Thanks for the kudos! Yes, I've dropped some weight and shifted some to different places due to some yoga and wieght training. The bike is the best I've ever ridden and would never consider getting rid of it like I have with all my other bikes. I can't wait until the weather here is like Palm Springs.
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Old 02-20-10, 07:03 PM   #7
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Was there the mass sprint in the first 20 miles? Well, maybe not sprint, but when I did it 2 years ago, I just remember hitting high HR leading up to the first rest stop.
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Old 02-20-10, 07:56 PM   #8
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Gosh, a Regal and a square taper crank on an Orbea?!

...I like!

Sounds like a fun ride, whether in spite of or because of the crowds.
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Old 02-20-10, 08:21 PM   #9
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Was there the mass sprint in the first 20 miles? Well, maybe not sprint, but when I did it 2 years ago, I just remember hitting high HR leading up to the first rest stop.
No mass sprint but I was passed by a lot of hammering to the first rest stop. I've settled in to just keeping a good pace ( around 17mph) throughout the ride.
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Old 02-20-10, 08:25 PM   #10
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Gosh, a Regal and a square taper crank on an Orbea?!

...I like!

Sounds like a fun ride, whether in spite of or because of the crowds.
Funny you said something about that. Yes, I still believe that old school technology is still the best no matter what frame it's on. As for the saddle, my ass also agrees!
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Old 02-27-10, 09:55 PM   #11
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Thanks for the report on that. I was thinking of going out there myself, but I thought it might be crowded. And more like a rat race. But the weather looks like it was nice. So.
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