The ride was on Sunday, but we went out to Napa on Friday night to enjoy some extra time with friends, and to go wine tasting on Saturday.
Sunday morning we were up before the sun to make sure we were packed up and ready in time. There is so much gear when you have to bring bikes!
Since this wasn’t a race, just a ride to go the distance, we didn’t have an exact time to start. Just were supposed to get our there sometime between 6:45-7:15am. It seemed like most people riding 100 miles started right at 6:45am, but we weren’t quite ready. (Too busy enjoying our breakfast burritos!) I think we took off a few minutes after 7am. The weather was overcast and a little cooler, so I ended up wearing my sleeves the whole day.
The Tour de Cure has a number of rest stops to refill water bottles and grab some food. We decided to skip the first one since it was only 10 miles in. We were all excited and started really quick!! After a few miles though we got into a better rhythm and lead rotation.
Before making it to our first rest stop, there was one hill. Nothing too crazy, but the biggest incline of the day. I had remembered it being tough and struggling to get over it the last couple years (this was our 4th Tour de Cure). But this year, it seemed like I made it to the top so quickly!! Must be the few hilly training rides.
We decided to take our first rest stop at mile 35. The volunteers were awesome, and had peanut butter and jelly, trail mix, nuts, fruit, and cookies out. We tried to keep out breaks brief, and grabbed some snacks, filled water bottles, and used the bathroom before rolling out again.
From here, we had a 20-mile loop before returning to the same rest station. We got rained on a little bit during this loop of the ride, but it never got too bad. We then headed back over the hill, and crossed over to the Silverado Trail to continue the ride. We made one final rest stop at mile 70. When we rode over the hills, we sometimes spread out a little, but then we got everyone back together into our pace line when we were back on the flats.
I always feel like riding the Silverado Trail is quicker (note the general downhill in the elevation chart), but there are a few rolling hills to go over. Enough to make your legs burn pretty good after riding 75 miles. At one point I started getting frustrated that I wasn’t keeping up well enough after one of these little hills. But luckily I realized I probably needed some more calories, so I ate a couple bloks and felt better pretty quickly. It’s sometimes amazing to me how much food is necessary during a bike ride!
The last 15-20 miles or so were pretty uneventful. We were all ready to be off our bikes, but were enjoying the scenery… beautiful vineyards everywhere. We finished in 5 hours 23 minutes. Our average pace was 18.6 miles/hour. This was faster than last year! It is fun to see an improvement year to year on the ride.
After the ride we hung out for a post ride beer and food with other friends who rode various distances, and caught up on the days events. The Napa Valley Tour de Cure is the largest in the country with nearly 2800 riders across all the distances. This was a great event and was very well organized.
Thank you to anyone who donated to the cause. As I have said before, helping people better understand this disease and its treatment, as well as finding a cure are important to me. The continued support of friends and family is amazing, and I am so thankful.
Have you ever done a century bike ride? This was my 3rd 100-mile ride!