Yesterday, Stephen, Anthony, and I rode in the Ride for Heroes. Last year when I did this event I had only been riding about 6 months it was my longest ride ever. Now I’ve got another year of experience under my belt (plus a faster bike).
I’ve done most of the charity rides around D/FW and a few outside of the metroplex and in my opinion the Ride for Heroes has the toughest route. It winds through the countryside west of Fort Worth near Aledo and Weatherford. If you haven’t been out that way, it’s suprisingly hilly. There is about 4,500 vertical feet of climbing over the 75 mile route.
Early in the ride, I joined a group of pretty fast riders and managed to hold on (sometimes just barely) until I got dropped on a hill climb at 50 miles. At the top of the hill, I was only seperated from the group by about 100 yards, so I spent the next 5 minutes turning myself inside out to catch the group. I did catch them, but by then I was completely baked and got dropped for good at 55 miles. Through this point, I had averaged almost 20mph, which is a good speed given the amount of climbing we had done. After this I had nothing left and had to limp in the last 20 miles.
This is only my 3rd long (50+ mile) ride this year, so my cycling form isn’t great. But I have two MS-150 rides coming up, so that should help. After those, I’m thinking about trying a CAT 5 crit race just for fun.