Warning: Contains Cycling Content Only … No Poker

by Lou on February 13, 2009

Tomorrow is the Tour de Palm Spings, a charity bicycle ride that annually attracts somewhere in the neighborhood of 9,000 cyclists to the desert for rides of 5, 10, 25, 55, and 100 miles.

I’ve been training arduously for this event, pedaling upwards of 170 miles a week, and riding with two different groups on their weekly, fast paced training rides (That’s me, between the middle and right hand guys who are kneeling down).
My goal was to do a century–a 100 mile ride–and I was on course to do it. But then I had the flu for about four or five days, got better for a few days, then came down with a bad cold that sidelined me for six days.

The net result is that I’ve only ridden four of the past fourteen days, and still getting over my cold, and am definately not fit enough to do a 100-mile ride. But I will ride 55 miles.

The bad news is that I was psyched and geared up to go 100 miles. The good news is that there are plenty of century rides available throughout southern California all spring, so I’ll pick one up somewhere when my fitness is back where it was, and where it needs to be.

For those of you familiar with the area, the route begins in downtown Palm Springs, goes north to Desert Hot Springs, then east on Dillon Road, which features a seven mile long hill along with incredible views of the now snow-capped mountains. After a series of rollers that last a few miles, most of the hard work is done. There’s an exhilarating, five mile, high-speed descent down Thousand Palms Canyon; then we work our way over to Washington and Country Club in Palm Desert, where we turn west for the remaining 20 miles back to downtown Palm Springs.

For any of you techies out there, I’m riding a 2007 Trek Madone 5.2 with Shimano Ultegra components–a mid-grade carbon fiber bike. The only changes I made to it is that I swapped out the rather heavy and unresponsive Bontrager clincher wheels for Reynolds MV32 carbon tubulars that are lighter and much faster too.

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