I won an entry to this race but wasn’t sure if I was going to sign up, even though it would have been my first organized ride. What I was afraid of was being the only male in this ‘beautiful ride for women’; fortunately they had a ride just for males or what they called ‘rico suaves’. I signed up for the shorter, 40-miler distance instead of the 60. They clarified a few days before the race that the actual distance was 42 miles, but for some reason, my ride came out to over 45 miles! Although the ride wasn’t actually timed or offered place awards, I was happy with my personal time and unofficial placing. Results: 45.13 mi, 3:06:14 (14.5 mph, 34.9 mph max), total ascent: 1513 ft. I was very surprised to find only about 5 other riders at the finish line when I got there; I’m sure if it were a competitive ride, I would have been a lot farther back. The ride was tough at times, those uphills were particularly painful. It was a scenic course that rode up and down the coast with views of the ocean and various beaches. I did find it hard to ride on highways and main streets since we had to share the road with cars and stop at red lights on multiple occasions. But in the end, it was a great ride, a good workout and fun day overall. Hopefully, I’ll be able to go on more rides this year.
At a glance, the course looked pretty straightforward: ride up the coast, make a u-turn and back and you’re done. But getting to the coast involved making a bunch of turns along smaller streets and neighborhoods, which came out to almost 10 miles before we finally got to Highway 101. By the time we got to the coast, the sun was out and we got a nice view of the beaches and other runners and riders as well. Before that, we had to climb a few hills which were tough, but I was able to keep riding the whole way. It was weird seeing a bunch of riders stopped at the peak resting from that one hill, it just seemed early for people to be getting tired. But as you can see in the elevation profile, the hills were fairly steep for a decent number of miles too. I feel like I pushed it pretty hard on the uphills; I was breathing pretty hard and my legs were burning the whole way.
I don’t think I rode as hard the entire ride since I didn’t feel that tired by the end of the race (by comparison, I’ve felt more tired on other 10-15 mile runs..) I know bike rides are as hard as you make them since you’re the one determining what type of cadence you want to ride at. I didn’t want to go too hard in the beginning just in case I’d be too tired at the end (my longest ride before this was a few 20-milers) and I didn’t want to take off from the current group of riders unless I saw a rider up ahead. The reason why I didn’t want to ride alone was more of a safety precaution; I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss a turn. And for the last 2-3 miles, I felt like I did miss a turn since it was taking longer to finish than I was expecting (and I was well over the estimated 42 mile distance). I finally saw a landmark I recognized and was able to ride it to the finish.
One nice perk to the race was at the rest stop on the half way mark of the race. People were able to meet up with friends that may have lost each other during the ride, but also get some rest and use the restrooms too. In addition, they had some really delicious baked goods, fruit and drinks to snack on as well as technicians available for any fixes needed to people’s bikes.
I have 3 weeks until my next race, which is a 10K trail run. It will be nice to have a few weeks to rest and recover my next race. Hopefully I will sign up for another bike ride as well. The weather has been pretty good lately; I’ll try and go for a few swims and maybe, just maybe I’ll finally bite the bullet and sign up for my first triathlon!