Ride for the Children is an annual mid-April charity bike ride to benefit homeless kids. Basically, it is a loop around Mummy Mountain. Note that on Ride day, each rest stop has a port-a-potty, water, orange slices, energy bars, etc. On other days, you are on your own.
I missed the Ride for the Children in 2012 (had another commitment), but donated anyway. They have 10, 25 and 62 mile options. I usually do the 25, but in 2011 I only did the 10, as I had torn my ACL the week prior. (Knee was puffed up double size.) This year, I did not get a training ride in until this week, doing 17 miles on Wednesday and 14 on Thursday, due to bike tire being flat and not having time to take it in to shop. I took Friday off, as my right knee was sore, and the quads feeling washed out — a condition that persisted through the start of today’s event. I was wondering if it would be smarter to cut it short. (One disadvantage to doing the 10 is getting run over the last mile or two by the uber-bikers on the 65, who are finishing their first 25 as you finish your 10.)
So, the event started, and I merged in after about 2/3’s of the crowd had departed down 56th St. I followed a slower guy in a recumbent until we cleared Shea, and started into the low-traffic side streets. Legs warmed up, I picked up my pace, doing the rest of the ride on my own. I stopped for a quick photo at Rest Stop #1, 5.5 miles in, but upon noticing the lack of llamas and goats in the adjacent corral, quickly continued on my way. (That corral is the highlight of the ride! )
I missed the turn off for the 10-miler, but was feeling good enough to do the 25, so no big.
After turning south, off Mockingbird, onto 54th St, I began the day’s first, and steepest climb. Near the top, not wanting to down shift any further, I had to get up out of the saddle. That was followed by upshifting five gears, and pedalling like a demon on the only real downhill of the ride, on the backside of the Paradise Valley Country Club.
After crossing Lincoln, the second climb began. Though not as steep, it is longer and harder, not really ending until I turned south on Invergordon, and began dodging all the foot, dog and auto traffic headed up Camelback.
I was heading north on Casa Blanca Dr, about to turn east onto Solano Dr, when I noticed a fire truck at the apex. I could see between vehicles that someone had been loaded on a stretcher, so I slowed down in time to avoid causing further casualties. Lots of other bikers on the route today, so not sure if he was some guy, or one of us.
Rest Stop #2, at 15.5 miles, was right after that, and by now I was starting feel it. I took a few minutes to rest my sore rear end, and chug some cold cups of water. (I had water, but like hiking, it had long since achieved ambient temperature.)
When I was about to turn east off 68th St, onto Golf Dr, I noticed Golf Dr had been recently paved. Of bigger concern was the orange “Fresh Oil” sign. That’s not something you want to see when you are apexing a corner. Thankfully, it was on a flat, not a downhill. A mile later, about to leave the Camelback Golf Club area, I just missed the beer cart. Could he not see I was in need!?
After passing by a few final mansions, it was north onto 56th St, and the shallow climb back to Horizon HS, and bagels. Delicious, delicious bagels.
GPS File: Ride_For_The_Children
Distance: 25.20 mi.
AEG: 548 ft.
Time: 2h 16m