Live Strong Davis 2011 Ride Report Doug(Way Upstate NY)

Just got back from Davis last night at 3am. Not really sure how to write down all that happened and how fun the trip was, but I am going to try.

The trip to Davis was great. Friday I unpacked my bike from its bag. Went into town and got the tires pumped up. I went out for a short ride to make sure everything was OK and discovered that it was FLAT in the Davis area. That started me thinking about the ride on Sunday. If ti was this flat, it would be an easy flat 100 miles. (Cue the jinx). Friday night Team Fatty had dinner at the US Cycle Hall of Fame. Really cool place to visit. Lots of neat memorabilia, bikes, pictures, etc.
And of course Team Fatty travels with food.

Saturday I rode with two people I met at the LiveStrong Philly Challenge last year Carlos and Christine. Wow we all thought, its FLAT here. Saturday night was the Live Strong appreciation dinner. Team Fatty won all of the fundraising awards so we were able to bring a boat load of people to the dinner.

The dinner was in an outdoor garden on the UC Davis campus. It was an excellent setting. Well once the sun went behind the buildings :)

Team Fatty was presented with our awards and The Fat Cyclist spoke on our behalf.

One of the highlights for me was meeting a group of student from University of Texas Austin who were riding from Austin to Anchorage on bike. They were part of a group call the Texas 4000. If you are looking for inspiration, look them up. They are very cool.

So then it was off to bed for the big ride.

Sunday morning a bunch of us met at the hotel to bike over to the start line.

The start was cool. Team Fatty was placed in front for the start. Thats some heavy weight horsepower.


The ride itself was amazing. And came in 3 parts. Because we were able to start together we formed a large group of about 25 Team Fatty members at the beginning. And at the beginning it WAS FLAT. Our group stayed together and rode hard averaging well of 20 mph for the first 30 miles or so. Our pace line was 2 wide and rotated. People all took turns pulling. I have never ridden in a group like that. We were unstoppable. Probably unstoppable because of our mass ;). The ride was easy and when you were not pulling you did not have to expend a lot of energy. The conversation was great. Then came mile 30 and the beginning of the climb. Here is the route we took for the ride.

Part 2. You will notice that we were actually going slightly up during the first 30 miles. The grade was slight and the ride was easy. Then it changed. The section from mile 30 to mile 42 or so was an out and back into the mountains. It was a part of one of the stages of the Tour of California in 2009. It is known as "Cardiac Hill". During the second part of the ride our pace line blew up as we went into the mountains. I was in front with two other Team Fatty riders Greg and Darin. I would like to say we were the strongest, but the truth is that we were racing to the porta-potty at the top of the climb. I won. It was actually a really nice climb. Not super steep in any section, but just long and continual. At the top of Cardiac Hill I stopped for my first break. Orange slices, PBJ and water. Oh yeah and the potty. Then back down. We formed a group again, but it split again as there was some climbing on the decent. The scenery was gorgeous (sorry no pictures it was going by really fast).  Here is Elden (aka the Fat Cyclist) and his wife Lisa at the turn around.

Part 3 of the ride was the last 30 or so miles. About 5 of us met at a power stop with 30 miles or so to go. We decided to finish together. So off we went in a pace line. Single file this time. When we got onto the road it was Me, Elden, Lisa, Greg and Darin. Heads down. Everyone took a turn in front. Did what they could and rotated back. We did the last 30 miles at a very brisk 20-21 mph clip. We picked up a couple of Team Fatty Members towards the end and finished as a group. 

And this was our little group at the finish.

Darrin is on the right. This was his first 100 mile bike ride. He did awesome as we really set a blistering pace. In the end this is what my GPS looked like. Prior to this my fastest 100 mile ride had an average of 18.3 mph so I bettered that by a mph. The ride was decidedly NOT flat. It had flat sections, but the middle 30 miles were as hard as any 30 miles around my house in the mountains. I am really happy with my time and speed. My riding has been strong this summer and I think it shows.

After the ride we did what any good group of Fat Cyclists would do. We ate pie...And it was good too!

Now I am home. Blurry from the trip. My thoughts go to the people I met and rode with. Once again riding with Team Fatty is like getting together with friends you have know for a long time, even though you might have just met. It was great to see and ride with Christine and Carlos from Philly. It was great to meet and ride with new friends like Greg and Darin (among the many many others). Events like this make me believe in community and people. They energize me (OK well the ride did the opposite, but give me a break!).

It was fun to meet Elden and Lisa who I felt like I knew just a little bit through the blog. I really enjoyed riding with you guys on Sunday. It was fun to share a pace line with you. Thank you for being the inspiration and organization behind this group. We raised a ton of money (if it was all in pennies it might be several tons!) for a very good cause. Sunday was really about community and celebration. I think we showed how to do that as well.

BTW. I am proud to say I did not ride sweep :D