Thursday, September 24, 2015

August and September Rides

Although our late-season biking memories are (rightly) overwhelmed by the glory of our Tour de Donut victory, we did some darn fine rides in August and September that are worthy of recording.

August's first triumph was the Wildflower Pedalfest. This ride kicked my ass last year - it was my first major ride after totally borking my ankle and I was so, so not ready for 3,000 feet of climbing over about 10 of the course's 75 miles. I completed the ride last year, but not with dignity or grace - that is, I completed it with a lot of tears and swearing.

This year Mom and I both did Wildflower and it was a ton more fun. I ended up in the top third of my age group, which I was a-ok with. I also never spontaneously burst into tears on the course - an even greater victory.

We also enjoyed some fun family-and-friends rides, including an after-church ride with our community group. It was a harrowing 11 miles so, never fear, we stopped for ice cream at the midpoint.

We sure do love our church!

Next up came the Summit Challenge in Park City - one of our kids' first big organized rides. We signed up for the 18-mile course and it was just right - challenging for the kiddos but not so much challenge that it smashed their will to go on, which is what I normally look for in a ride.

Sasha was thrilled to complete the course on the tandem and Ben really held his own on the new road bike. And both kids stuffed their pockets full of Cliff bars and M&Ms at the rest stops, so I think they have finally figures out why cycling jerseys have such large pockets.

Oh, and Sam learned to some new bike repair skills as he swapped out his pedals for clipless ones!

And the weekend before last brought us our first major tandem ride up in Tabiona, Utah at the To the Moon and Back ride. This was an... interesting... ride. 

We signed up for the full century figuring that we had nothing to lose since if we got tired on the out-and-back course we could always just turn around. And, besides, I'm too much of a masochist to ever sign up for less than the full mileage.

The day before the ride, the organizers announced that there was some construction on the original route and so they decided on a different turn-around point. This turned the ride into 110 miles with over 4,000 feet of climbing. And, in case you forgot, we signed up to do this on a tandem. Not exactly a climbing machine.

Long, grueling, tear-streaked story short, we ended up completing 90 miles and 3,500 feet of climbing and felt very, very satisfied with our effort. It was a beautiful course and a fantastic day, but maybe next time we'll attempt it on our carbon road bikes instead.

A tandem selfie :)

Of course, the season is far from over! The days are getting shorter and we're starting to dream of snow, but we're also enjoying crisp fall rides and still-warm afternoons with golden sunshine. Never a bad time to ride!

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