Monday, June 25, 2012

Team Livestrong Challenge Davis Ride Report: Preamble

First off, I have to say that this was an incredible ride.  The support was amazing, the rest stops plentiful, the village area exciting, and the cause worthwhile.  But the best part about it was riding with Team Fatty: Fighting Like Susan.  Being a part of a great team really made the event for me.

Things didn't start well for me.  Getting to the bay area was difficult to say the least (see my previous post).  After getting about 5 hours sleep, I was up at around 9:00 on Saturday morning to pick up my bike and get out to Davis/Sacramento.  This ended up being a rather long and involved process as I had to:
  • Return the Hertz rental car
  • Pickup the Avis rental car
  • Drive to the North Shore area of San Francisco to get the bike
  • Drive out to Davis to pick up my race packet
  • Drive to Sacramento to check into my hotel
This process, thanks to ridiculous traffic, took about 7 hours!  Let me tell you I was a bit stressed out when I arrived at my hotel, but a quick test spin on the rental bike, a 2012 Specialized Roubaix Comp, helped me to relax.

Because Team Fatty led the most fundraising categories, Elden Nelson ('s eponymous blogger) got us all invited to the Fundraiser/Volunteer Appreciation Dinner the night before the ride.  This was a really nice event where many of the Team Fatty riders were able to get to know each other and also listen to some very inspirational speeches from people either battling cancer or who had battled cancer in their past.

Elden and Team Fatty took home three fundraising awards that night, and we all got up on stage to accept the award and listen to Elden's speech.  It was really a nice event, and I thank the Lance Armstrong Foundation for allowing all us Fatties to attend.

I made it an early evening on Saturday since I'd not gotten a whole lot of sleep the night before.  I set the alarm for early to make sure I had time to get all my stuff ready, pack up, check out of the hotel, drive the 20 minute drive to Davis, and be on the starting line for pictures at 7:00.

After final preparations at the car, I headed over to the rider's village.  In the village there was an area where people who were riding in memory or in honor of someone could hang a card.  I hung up the two cards I'd created, one in memory of my cousin, Christie Truelock Devitt, who died last year from breast cancer, and one in honor of my father-in-law, Ron Siegel, who successfully battled prostate cancer last year.  It was sad to see so many In Memory Of cards hanging, but it was also an inspiration to see so many In Honor Of cards for people who had beaten cancer.

After that, I headed over to the starting area where Team Fatty was getting its pictures taken.  I was looking good in my Fat Cyclist jersey and freshly shaved legs.  I was also feeling good, having eaten a good breakfast and having spalmed my Assos Chamois Creme in all the right places!

(I put on that paunch in honor of Team Fatty!)

Team Fatty had about 40 riders, most of them resplendent in their black, orange and white team kit:

(Team Fatty at the starting line...)

After getting the standard safety talk and singing the national anthem (led by a member of the Texas 4000 team), we were off...

1 comment:

  1. Hey Bill nice blog thanks for letting me tag on the fat Orange train! Good to meet you at a great event and all the best to you on your TdF trip
    Leigh Anne, fatty in white and pink, my orange is long sleeve