Below is BTC team member Libby Rouan’s report from the Livestrong Challenge Davis. If you want to contribute to her fundraising effort – click here!
LIVESTRONG Challenge, Davis, 2012 was a very sweet experience, from the Fundraiser Appreciation Dinner to getting another yellow rose. And I love wind – tail wind, that is!
Thanks to Team Beat the Clock (BTC), I was invited to the Fundraiser Dinner. It was genuinely special, held at the UC Davis Good Life Garden, a beautiful venue. Special guest Amy Dodson, cancer survivor and para-triathlete, was particularly inspirational for me. After struggling with her diagnosis, losing half a leg and a lung, she emerged as an athlete, competing in – and winning – marathons, endurance events, and triathlons. Then student cyclists from Texas 4000, a University of Texas cycling club, showed what power in numbers can do, both in fundraising and in achieving an athletic endeavor few others can claim: cycling 4,000+ miles from Austin, TX to Anchorage, AK during this summer. Wow, what a great night.
In the morning, I met BTC at the team tent, and breakfast was nowhere! Oh, man. No coffee? A few of us grabbed coffee elsewhere while home fries, scrambled eggs, English muffins, fruit and chocolate crepes were finally delivered! Coffee arrived with minutes to spare. Then we snaked our way through the mass of cyclists toward the front of the start line to roll out together as a Team. I cruised behind them as faster packs pedaled by. Finally the swarm of riders thinned and I dropped to a manageable pace that I could sustain, watching BTC jerseys ride away. (BTC are mostly racers, btw, who are smokin’ fast.)
The BTC Team – from left to right: Jan Mock, Peter Tapscott, Patt Baenen-Tapscott, Carole Sykes, Libby Rouan, Carola Berger, Lisa Hern, Kim Boester, Debra Paulsen, David Paulsen; and Trudee Gardner, who rode with us in form of a very un-aerodynamic tag on Carola’s bike
I took advantage of each rest stop to stretch, eat, drink and count down the miles in small numbers: 10, 14, 10, 10, 15, and 8 – DONE. My BTC mates were at Stop 3 at the same time I was, but of course that was because they were 10 miles ahead of me, having already ridden the short loop out and back. As I departed from there, my 100-miler BTC mates were arriving at that Stop and cheering me on. See https://blocg.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/impressions-from-the-livestrong-challenge-davis/ (legs on fire!)
During the 15 mile section, I swear, I was standing still at 50.something miles for an eternity. Not true, of course, but when farmland terrain is so flat and featureless, and the road is so straight for so long, it sure feels like you’re pedaling over the same asphalt, that never changes. I finally switched my computer screen to a different view so I would quit looking at it. Then my energy seemed to fade, so I sucked down a Honey Stinger gel packet which zapped me back to life instantly. With the added tailwind pushing me forward, I was comfortably cruising along again. The last 8 miles were easy to count down and I was happily keeping my pace up, thanks again to the wind. I proudly rode down the finishing strait, and got my yellow rose. I was delighted to have completed the ride with such ease and enjoyment! YES! Thanks Wind! Ride time was 4 hrs 47 min at 14.6 mph for a total of 70.2 miles (including to and from the car and start/finish).
My teammates were at the bike parking, suggesting I eat lunch in the Beer Tent for the shade…and beer! Cheeseburger, salad, chips… no beer…and I, too, was ready to head home for a shower and a nap.
Thank you so much for supporting me in this endeavor, and for helping me to raise $1,015 for LIVESTRONG. Peace and Health!