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B Strong Ride – complete for now

Most of us after the ride

Wow – We did it. Rode the 69 mile mountain loop. Our team, Coach Karl’s Chain Gang, was able to raise over $6000 to fight cancer in Boulder and Colorado. Here is a picture of most of the team after the ride. There was a great after ride celebration at Celestial Seasonings. Lots of great sponsors turned out to feed all of the riders.

This is the second year of the B Strong Ride. There were 800 riders and the event raised over $320,000. LIVESTRONG was the partner for the event, but the money will stay within the community. The funds raised will benefit Boulder Community Hospital and the George Karl Foundation. The goal for next year is over 1,000 riders and to raise over $500,000. Great goals that are achievable.

We want to give recognition, as the event did, to Rick Gorton for his generous support of us in this event. THANK YOU for the unique level of support! Rick was one of a few donors who were recognized publicly by the B Strong Ride event for his level of support!

The green line is the route we rode. Amazing.

 

I will also post a variety of pictures of the ride and route that I have. While my intent was to take more pictures, climbing slowly up the mountain (or hill to some) and quickly descending did not make taking pictures easy!

First things first – the route map. We rode UP Lefthand Canyon to Ward and beyond. As one friend said “where is the end of this hill?” It was a long climb and a bit tough for all of us who trained in Wisconsin this summer. Yes, the grade did get to 12% on the switchback. I had to walk that one!

Three of the gang on the ride up to Ward.

So, on the climb we experienced sunshine, cloud cover, rain and some sleet. There were 5 of us who stayed together for most of the ride up. Here is a picture of 3 of us on the way up to Ward, before it got more cloudy and then wet.

As we got further up the mountain, or hill as some would call it, we began to get wet. With a light breeze and more rain, we started to get wet and COLD. At one time, when a girl behind us got into the SAG wagon, we were all thinking ‘that looks like a warm option. Should we ask for a ride up?’ None of us took that option. But we all needed to walk some – Next year we will all ride the whole thing! We now know what will be expected of us. Bring it on.

We all made it to the second aid station as the workers were commenting on how cold it was. We got snacks, water, electrolyte  drink, and encouragement. The ride down to Lyons was a bit slow as we had wet roads and wet brakes. Here is a picture of some of our team members (Nancy, Regis & me) on the way down. We are still feeling cool here. About 1/2 way down to Lyons, the sun started to come out! With cold toes, feet and fingertips, it was a welcome change.

Yes, it was downhill and it was fun to find dry roads. My max speed was 41 mph. Needless to say, I didn’t take too many pictures during the ride into Lyons. It was beautiful, as I remembered it from the drive, and nice to have the warm breeze.

Paceline training buddies!

We got into the Lyons after branching off onto some fresh asphalt! Nice change from the chip seal and traffic. The crew there was amazing. Three of us, Cindy, Linda and myself, were the first of our team into the aid station. We waited for Regis and then Nancy. All of us ate, refilled on drinks, used the facilities and motored on. It got quite warm after leaving Lyons. I was wishing for the cloud cover of earlier in the day. The paceline worked well until the railroad tracks in Hygiene. I just lost it and had to move forward at my own pace. Until that point, we were able to maintain about 24 – 22 mph on the road. For me, my pace was right around 17 mph for this part of the ride. As we were motoring into the finish, we passed a rider on a mountain bike. He was plugging along. Happy to be riding. Here is a picture of the paceline team.

A photo with Kevin after the ride. He is the person behing the B Strong Ride.

The celebration after the ride was amazing. A chance to rehydrate, eat some great food, drink more of my lemon Skratch exercise hydration mix, listen to the nominations for the awards and just rest and chat with the team was so fun.

The highlight of the day was when we, the chain gang, were out for a meal after the event. Nine of us were sitting at the table, chatting and enjoying the time. A woman approached us and said ‘I see all of you rode today. I want to say thank you as I am in treatment for cancer now. THANK YOU!’ Wow, that made our day. Yes, were able to ride up the canyon and do much more. We were not limited to only dreaming about doing it by a disease or treatment. Thank you Kevin for starting the ride!

Overall, it was an amazing journey and success. The event raised over $300,000 and had 800 riders. Next year they want 1,000 riders and to raise over $500,000. I think we will all do it!

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