Tuesday, July 1, 2014

ADA Tour de Cure, 6/8/2014

By Dennis Pedersen

Me and "Fast" Freddie on the "Champions" ride.
This was my 8th year of riding in this fund-raiser for the American Diabetes Association. Wow, time flies! Cycling tends to be a very ego-centric activity, so for me this is a great way to use my love of cycling to give back. I am lucky I don't have a personal connection to diabetes, but every year I'm glad I registered for this ride.

This year I encouraged Bill Kacmarsky to formally be my co-Captain on the HP Tour de Cure team, and gladly he accepted. He's always been our top fund-raiser, and this year was no different; Bill raised an amazing $3,087.00, I think a record for him! I was very fortunate too, as I have so many generous friends, family and co-workers; I raised an impressive $1,140.00, thanks! As a team, HP raised $9,795.72 toward our $10,000.00 goal, still short of the last three years for some reason (I will have to work on big changes for next year!).

If you haven't yet, you can still donate:  Click here!

One nice perk this year were the amazing HP Cycling clothing options we have, thanks to Phil Wandrey (based in Nebraska), who is strongly active in HP Cycling. These clothes are available on a year-round basis, so feel free to visit the HP Cycling online store.

Because we both raised over $1,000, Bill and I also qualified to attend the ADA's "Champions Celebration" on 5/29, before the big ride. Bill also works extra duty to help ADA organize this event. It was at beautiful Silver Creek Country Club in San Jose, and I joined the optional group ride with Pro racer "Fast" Freddie Rodriguez, up San Felipe Road, east of San Jose. Not sure if it's my shifted training focus (toward track sprints), or if they intentionally went harder than last year, but it was hard trying to keep up with them on the hard climb on the way back, and I see from my Strava records that we were 1 minute faster there! The dinner, with drinks, was very welcome, and inspiring!

The day of the ride it was gray in Santa Cruz when I woke up at 4:00 am, and I loaded my bike and stuff onto my car. But it cleared up as I neared Palo Alto and the forecast was hot. After a couple cups of coffee I was good to go and met some of my HP teammates for the 6:15 am start. A new addition to our team this year is "Frerk" Malte Feller, who heads up the HP online store site; welcome! Like last year, Fast Freddie talked a bit before the start, as did Richard Allejandro and Allyson Schloming of ADA.

Pescadero countryside.
This year the route was changed along the first section, so we rode north on Alameda de las Pulgas, then west on Alpine Road, and then onto Portola Road. This is much safer, as we have far less traffic here in the morning, rather than riding that section later in the ride as in previous years.

Because of my new training I was very focused on not riding too hard, and, judging from how many people passed me on the hills, I succeeded! Kings Mountain Road was our first big climb and I just tried to enjoy the view; it was nice and clear to the east, looking over the valley far below with the sunrise shining over a slight haze. Malte turned out to be a strong rider and had no trouble scooting up the hill ahead of me! The rest station at the top, on Skyline Boulevard, was my first food of the day, as I'm trying not to overeat. Malte took off ahead of me and I ended up riding alone along Skyline at a comfortable pace.

Me, Scott and Malte, at Pescadero.
I had brought my vest, as I know from the past that the rip-roaring descent down Highway 84, from Summit Boulevard, can be very chilly. Even though it was sunny past the summit there were still some pockets of intense cold, so I was glad I had it on. When I turned onto Pescadero Road it warmed up a bit, and while the weather in Pescadero was quite nice, it was still a bit chilly as I stopped there for another rest station break, and a photo op with the HP'ers there.

I really like Stage Road, north from Pescadero, and the historic San Gregorio Market where it intersects Highway 84. After a short ride on Highway 1, above the Pacific Ocean's cliffs, I turned onto Tunitas Creek Road, where there was another rest station, at the Bike Hut. Very cute place. Tunitas Creek is really steep and long, though, and I had no intention of trying to set any records. Instead I enjoyed the gorgeous redwood forest.

Historic San Gregorio.
Me, on Tunitas Creek's steep climb.
After a brief stop at the top of Tunitas, at Skyline, I was ready for a super-fast descent down Kings Mountain Road, into the heat of the valley. It turned out to be over 90 degrees, and it sure was a change form the chilly morning along the coast. And it was nice to return along Portola Road, instead of on Alameda de las Pulgas as in previous years. This new route is safer, and cooler in the afternoon. I was happy to cross the finish line, to the cheers of volunteers, back at HP in Palo Alto.

Fast Freddie and me... and lunch!
A few of us met at the usual HP awning on the HP campus' lawn, and enjoyed the music (some quite good!) and yummy food. This year, for the first time, I also got a massage! In the past I have always skipped that because there was always a long waiting line for them. But this year they had more volunteer masseuses, plus a special short waiting line for Champions; another great reason to raise more money for the cause!

It was 98 to 101 degrees as I drove off, but all I could think of was that I am very lucky to have such generous supporters... but also that I need to help the HP team do better next year. I have asked Malte if he can help, and I'm happy to say he accepted! So I'm optimistic about our team's outlook for 2015!

Thanks again!

1 comment:

  1. great write-up!! glad to hear you took it easy this year and enjoyed yourself ; ) it was a ROUGH one for me!


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