"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ride Report: Cinderella Challenge 90 mile ride April 4, 2009

The Cinderella Classic is an all women's 100K ride, put on by the Valley Spokesmen Cycle Club. The men of the club, who call themselves the Prince Charmings when they run this ride, started this ride over 20 years ago as a thank you to the wives of the club for always supporting their rides and cooking for all the rest stops. Its popularity has exploded and the ride now boasts a sellout crowd of 2500 women every year.

Last year they added a optional 30 mile loop to the course with more serious climbing and called it the Cinderella Challenge which is a 95 mile ride (However, when you add the ride sheet totals it is only 90 miles and this agreed with my cycle computer). This was the ride I have been training with the cycle group for. I was riding this with my Cycle Buddy and Julia and we had planned to start with Claire and Lori.


I am a pretty organized person and am rarely late to anything, however I can not seem to get my shit together when it comes it these rides. After forgetting to get gas the night before, missing two exits on the way there, and then poor planning on packet pick up we finally got our asses on the road at 8:10. One hour and 10 minutes AFTER our planned start time.

Lord, I am sure there will be a line out the door of people waiting to ride with me again.

The ride

I was on my bike for about 20 seconds when I fell. In the parking lot. Lots of witnesses. I told you, mad skillz! It was immediately after this that I realized I had forgotten my Garmin in the car. I was NOT about to ask my ride buddies if I could run back and get it. At this point, I was lucky they hadn't ditched me an hour earlier.

After check in we found out that the turn off to the challenge loop closed down at 10:30. If we did not make it to mile 31 by 10:30 we would not be allowed to do the Challenge option. We knew we would have to push to make the cut off, so we did.

The ride starts off in a pretty tree lined residential area. It was pretty crowded for the first 28 miles (28 miles was the actual site of the turn off. Measuring is NOT one of the Cinderella's strong suits).

If you ain't the lead dog the view never changes.

The three amigos! First rest stop!

The first rest stop was at the fairgrounds and there was a small schooling show going on. Cute horse butts!

Here we met up with Claire and Lori who had left before us. Translation: they didn't want to wait around while I bumble fucked around. They were doing the 100k today.

Once we reached the Challenge turn off and we were pretty much alone. None of the other challenge riders had started as late as us.


We made the cut off with about 30 minutes to spare. 28 miles in 1:50 is a 15.3 mph average. Considering that includes the crowded conditions, several stop signs and lights, AND a rest stop, that is pretty damn fast for me.

Patterson Pass

This climb deserves its own section. The Challenge loop started with this climb:

Profile for Patterson pass I found in the internets! Damn, I wish I had my Garmin for this ride...

I believe Cycle Buddy's comment immediately before this was, "Don't you dare take a fucking picture of me on this fucking hill."

Nothing like an average 6% grade (with about 3 steep tip ups) on a 4 mile climb to trigger an asthma attack. Fortunately, Julia recovered and was able to finish the ride.

Victory! We have survived Patterson Pass!

A big, pink sausage at the top of Patterson Pass. I really hope that is the wind puffing up my jacket. *sigh*

After the climb and a GLORIOUS descent, we came upon the only Challenge specific rest stop where we were surprised with a Cinderella Challenge pin. Very cool!

Challenge rest stop mascot enjoying a sunbath. I am embarrassed to say, I forgot her name, I think it was Sammy. If anyone knows I would love to know it.

The rest of the ride

Altamont Pass is typically a long, sufferfest through a wind tunnel, but we lucked out today and the wind left us alone.

Roadside cheering section during the climb on Altamont Pass. I call it "Cows at 6 mph"

We had a couple of more climbs, but nothing like Patterson Pass. When we rejoined the Classic course the final 30 miles were easy and heavenly. (In stark contrast to fucking Solvang that has the hardest climbs after mile 80, if may put on my 'Bitter Hat' for just a moment.)

Danville: Home of the Rich, Land of the Plastic, but, boy, they sure have a gorgeous bike trail.

Action shot of me and Cycle Buddy in Dublin.
I look like I am doing the evil genius laugh. Like I have hatched a master plan to take over the world. "On my purple bike and in pink jacket they will never see it coming!

Post ride. Three smiles = rousing success!

We had a blast and I have my second almost century under my belt!


Calyx Meredith said...

Oh how frustrating that start must have been for you - to be late, to feel like it was your fault, to not have your gear together (not to mention falling in front of people). And yet, you overcame all of that to have a solid ride and a good time with your training buddies. What a pebble to add to your confidence jar for IMCdA! You can turn anything around. It's fantastic. I am amazed and inspired by you (for the umpteenth time!!)

And? Donna and I were talking yesterday about how much we LOVE the pictures you post. The picture of the three of you with the sun shining on your slightly different colored helmets is my favorite in this post. The colors are great Easter colors. :D (Although the cute horse butt pic came in second - b/c that tiny little horse wedged in with the bigsters? Too cute!) Congrats on a great ride!

Shannon said...

Asthma attack with friends, what could be better?!?

Nice photos. :)

Unknown said...

What a way to make it happen. I would have given up rather than start over an hour late.

Love the photos. Looks like fun...except for the parts where it looks like a monster. LOL

Sarah said...

Holy shit that looks like a climb. Is it sick that I'm actually a little jealous?! I guess that means I like riding. I love the pink though, and you aren't a sausage. Whatevah. I'm totally jealous of the fun girly ride! I'm working on my own local ride sometime this spring.

Aileen said...

Cool man...but WTF about that climb?!?!?! That looks like DEATH to me!

It's so cool that you did it, though. And thanks for including some pony bums ;)

Diana said...

Way to damn funny! Thank God for Albuterol inhalers!
Thank goodness after the "rocky" start, it sounds like it ended a good note-congrats on a nice ride!

Aron said...

wow congrats!!! love your reports and all your pics :)

Lou said...

I love looking at your photos. You always look like you are having such a good time :). Congrats on the ride! It looks like it was a beautiful day.

Stef0115 said...

Sounds like an awesome ride. I especially liked the part where you said the last 30 miles was easy! Lol! You look great!

Carolina John said...

that climb looks impossible! and i live in the land of endless hills.

i must admit, i had my first fall this weekend too. i finished a 21 mile ride at the beach, and when i pulled into the driveway of the house we were staying at the front tire sunk down in the soft sand. i went right over the handlebars! came right out of the pedals and everything. i and the bike were fine.

glad you came through that one in one piece. it sounds tough but fun. most of the good rides are.

mthead said...

your liberal use of the f-bomb is hilarious. Nice job!

Jo Lynn said...

The picture of your friend pushing her bike? HAHAHAHAHA! I've been there! And usually I'm laughing my ass off, in total disbelief "I signed up for this?" LOL

Lindsay said...

lol x100. thanks for never failing to brighten my day. your captions are beyond awesome, although i don't doubt the inspiration came from the lovely experience of those insane hills. congrats on completing a tough, tough ride!

Klassenator said...

Wow... there was a definite near death of my laughing at your Danville comment... just try working retail with those people as your customers RIDICULOUS...

Anywho, congrats on making it to the challenge loop and overall great ride!

IronWaddler said...

I absolutely love the ride report. Every emotion possible and a challenge completed. The photos are great.

Formulaic said...

What a great report!

You are sooo working those hills!

I can't tell you how happy I am to hear that your getting stronger on every ride.

Keep up the centuries!