Done and done! 1:48 finish time or so. Fantastic day for a ride :)
UPDATE: As if you couldn’t already tell, today was the Long Beach Marathon Bike Tour. The picture you see to the left is a self-portrait I managed to take with my phone since I didn’t bring a camera with me. I did think about it for a bit but realized that once I was off and running, carrying one more thing around (along with my phone) wouldn’t have been the wisest thing to do and that there wouldn’t be too much else to take pictures of. I was right.
It was an early day, too. I woke up at 3 am so that I wouldn’t have to fight the parking situation in downtown Long Beach which, marathon aside, is pretty bad to begin with. I left about 3:45, parked around 4:15 after a stop at Carl’s Jr. for some French Toast Sticks, and then stretched and roamed down to the event.
Then I had to wait until 6 am for the start but oh, what a start it was.
I was near the front of the group and right at 6 am (after the usual introduction of local dignitaries and Grand Marshals), we were off and running. If you’re interested, here’s a map of the course so you can see how crazy it was.
It was a drizzly, dark morning here in Long Beach but the course was absolutely magnificent: riding along the beach and hearing the waves crash while taking in the smell of the ocean, riding through neighborhoods and having residents cheer us on, being in the middle of streets I only normally see while behind the wheel. Just a great time all around.
I managed to finish the tour–it was anything but a race–at a time of 1:45 or so. And while I was feeling pretty good most of the ride, right at about 17 miles (and uphill, I might add) I really started to feel it but it was at times like that when I looked at my handlebars and saw Anthony’s stickers:
I also felt as if the spirit of Dad was with me the whole ride. Just before we started the race, I closed my eyes and sort of channeled him and let him know that he’d be proud of me for doing this. I also threw a kiss upward to the sky, then kissed Anthony’s “Go Dad!” sticker and we were off.
I think it helped. Not long into the race, there were countless cyclists with flats, dropping water bottles or other items, breaking chains, etc. Whether this is the norm is beyond me since this was my first race but I know that I wasn’t afflicted with any of those things and kept on going. It was almost as if he was riding with me and making sure everything went right.
I then walked around the booths for a little bit and realizing there was nothing but overpriced food, I decided to head out and get a meal cheaper elsewhere. That was, unless, King Taco would have been there because then it would have so been on!
So yeah, it was a great day all around and the Trek 7100 held up brilliantly. I’m now tired and need some sleep badly. I held on as long as I could but man, I’m feeling it now.
And yes, I’m looking forward to doing it all again next year :)