For April, the adventure of the month continues the biking theme as I work to regain my prior fitness level and speed. On Saturday, April 18 it was the Ride for the Children 2015 another charity bike ride. This ride had about 600 riders and offered 3 distances – 10 miles, 25 miles and 65 miles – the distance I picked. I was the only participant from Team Adventures for Life that was able to ride this year and help this cause of providing school supplies for children that are homeless. This is such a great cause and I have rode this event for many years.
The weather was great for the 8am start and overall it was a great day for riding, with only a south wind making the end of the ride a bit more difficult. The ride started with the 65 mile riders heading out with a police escort. The first 25 miles were spent riding south, first around Mummy Mountain then along Camelback Mountain before turning back to the North and passing the starting point. The field quickly thinned out in the short climbs around those 2 mountains and I found myself being able to stay very near the front. As we passed the starting point, my average speed was 21.7mph for those first 25 miles and I was in the second group of riders.
Next, the route took us up past the Mayo Clinic then east past the Fairmont Princess Hotel to Hayden road. We then peddled up Hayden road and over to Scottsdale road. Once on Scottsdale road, at about 35 miles into the ride, our small group of 4 riders were second behind the 2 lead riders. As we rode up Scottsdale road we were stopped by a few lights (as this was a ride not a race) but managed to catch 1 of the 2 lead riders. We were now in second place about 40 miles into the ride. As we turned off Scottsdale road and went across Stagecoach Pass the hills began to take their toll on a couple of the riders in our group. Once on Pima road, 3 of the riders dropped to stay together and I was on my own for the rest of the ride.
I crossed the finish line after 3:15 of elapsed time and 3:08 of moving time with an average speed of 20.8 mph. The ride had an elevation gain of 2,060′. I finished this ride in 2nd place overall and this was my best time and speed for this ride – beating my prior record set in 2013. That was great news as 2013 was a good biking year for me and that means I am beginning to get back my endurance and speed.
The bike and charity themed adventures will continue in May with a planned 150 mile MS Ride for the Gold event on tap.