Eileen, both an ambassador and an educator at lululemon Walnut Creek, with her final installment on the Best Buddies 100 Mile Bike Ride. You can read her other entries on training for the challenge here:
Cycling 100 Miles: Step One
Cycling + Nutrition
After weeks of training, I had the opportunity to join Team KCBS/KPIX Channel 5 to ride in the Audi Best Buddies Challenge 100 mile bike ride alongside my good friend, Channel 5 weatherwoman Roberta Gonzales. Best Buddies is an organization that supports individuals with intellectual disabilities and Maria Shriver is the spokesperson for this event. I am happy to report that this year with the help of so many amazing individuals, Best Buddies raised over $4 million. People are amazing!
The ride was absolutely breathtaking, and an unbelievable experience. 100 miles with 7,000 feet of climbing! A couple of Garmin Slipstream professional cyclists were in attendance to make the ride even that much more fun. The Tibco pro women’s cycling team was also there and wanted to get in a good 'hard' ride.
The first nine miles of the ride started off very controlled with two escort Audi TTs leading the way. My husband Reid, fellow triathlete Steve Cramer and I quickly moved up to the front of the pack with the pro riders. The pro cyclists were so cool and fun to ride with. We had a good pack of about 30 strong riders, moving along at a good fast pace along rolling terrain. It was not until we passed through Big Sur, Ventana hill that the pace got a bit too fast for my hill climbing. Reid, Cramer and the pro riders were putting the hurt on the rest of us. But I was lucky to have a couple nice guys slow up for me so that I could pace off of them up that crazy climb! At the top of the climb, Reid and Cramer were waiting for me. Reid asked if I was ready to work hard to catch back on to the lead group. I knew this would be challenging and I am always up for a challenge!
We were flying up and down the California coast, trying so hard to catch back on to the fast moving peleton. It hurt and we were all working hard, breathing extra hard, and feeling the serious burn in our legs. Within a couple of miles, we were back on and so happy to sit in and draft. Phew! It is incredible what our strong minds can help us accomplish. Believing in yourself can take you to reach new heights once thought unimaginable.
On to the crazy part. A mile after catching the group, we hit some big rollers and I once again was in the red zone. My legs were screaming, my lungs were burning, but my mind was fresh and willing to deal with it all. I stayed on pace for as long as I could until I felt like I was going to pass out. I backed off at that point, only to have a California Highway Patrol officer on his motorcycle tell me to hold on and pointed to a part of his motorcycle that I could actually hold on to. Super cool! When does this ever happen!?
I was so stoked to have gotten so far with some amazing riders. Plus this was my longest ride in a year! I couldn’t believe how great I was feeling despite all the crazy hard efforts. Reid, on the other hand, was still looking fresh and ready for another 100 miles. Our ride time was just a bit over five hours. This is my fastest 100 miles ever and I am coming off a 6-month injury. It must have been the great company, the amazing goal setting team at lululemon and great cause that inspired me to ride fast. What an unforgettable experience!