It’s October 21 – and according to Marty McFly (Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies) – we are now officially in the future! Granted, we don’t have hoverboards and flying cars yet, but we are not that far off! One thing is for sure, I am getting ready to ride 365 miles next year and I remain as excited, committed and slightly scared as I was the when I first made my commitment!
2 months in, I am very excited to have gained the support of sponsors, volunteers and donors to support the event. With close to $10,000 in donations raised so far, we are also making some great initial progress on the fundraising side, and that is good news for the Pink Lotus Foundation, our event beneficiary.
Most notably, Garmin saw the vision for Vegas In 24 immediately and joined as a sponsor. We are now fully equipped with multiple Garmin 920xt’s, the most functional multisport watch I have ever used, as well as several Garmin Virb XE cameras, heart rate monitors, mounting kits, you name it. The 920xt will allow everyone to track me live during the event, which was a key feature I was looking for. The Garmin Virb XE action cameras will provide us with an additional tool to document the entire journey while displaying key metrics on the screen such as speed, heart rate, elevation – any metric you could possibly think of. Thank you Garmin for all this support!
If that weren’t enough, Garmin wrote an awesome blog post about Vegas In 24 and our cause and featured it on social media. Be sure to check it out.
On the training side of things, I have not had a severe urge to put the pedal to the metal (at least not yet) and have taken a fairly relaxed approach (some of this could have to do with my insanely busy schedule, but let’s not go there). Riding 365 miles in a single day will be no picnic so I do have to get started with longer training sessions soon or I will pay the price for it.
I competed in two races in the last 2 months, the 105-mile Giro di San Diego and the 200-mile Solvang Autumn Double. I came in 3rd during the Giro di San Diego, but due to a timing chip malfunction at the finish line, my finish time never got recorded and it basically looks as if I never raced. This never happened to me before so I contacted the timing chip company to complain, but even though I could prove it and had the 1st place finisher and current 3rd place finisher vouch for me, they would not add my results to the final list of finishers. I even sent them this picture that shows me going over the finish line with my timing chip still on me, but still no luck.
According to the timing company, my results “were simply too good” to be added retroactively. Too good? I had to read it twice to make sure I read it correctly. With two 1st places, one 2nd place and 2 age group wins this year alone, I guess being fast is no longer working in my favor. I have never DNF’d or cheated in any event so I found their lack of accommodation insulting. Needless to say, if you ever think of riding in the Giro di San Diego, save your time, energy and money and choose a different race that respects the effort you are going to put into it. Being cheated out of a well-deserved result when you gave it 100% and paid an entry fee to compete is the worst kind of defeat.
The Solvang Autumn Double went much smoother. The event is a 200-mile race with 13,000 ft + in elevation gain, just a little less than what I will be faced with during Vegas In 24. I won by about 25 minutes in 10:43 hours total, despite one flat and an overly long stop at an aid station. This was the first long-distance race that I had chosen to get me ready for Vegas In 24. This was not my first 200 miler, but 200 miles is never easy no matter how you slice it. My neck was completely shot from riding in aero position, my hands very bruised from the vibration of the handlebar (I may need to wear gloves for Vegas In 24), and then there is the simple exhaustion of having just biked 200 miles. At the end of the race I wondered: “could you go on for another 165 miles”. The answer was yes but a lot of question marks remain and there is much left to be figured out.
Thank you for all the continued support and words of encouragement that I receive from so many of you. Please continue to share the event with your friends and on social media, and please ask them to support it by making a donation.