Monday, August 25, 2008

Bike Against the Odds

Some of my teammates and I participated in the Bike Against the Odds last Saturday (8/23). This was an amazing event put on by the Breast Cancer Fund.

There were over 360 cyclists in attendance and we raised a ton towards Breast Cancer Research!

There were a few options for the ride:
-31 miles with 2,660 feet of climbing
-51 miles with 4,000 feet of climbing
-72 miles with 6,500 feet of climbing
-103 miles -Full Century- with 10,000 feet of climbing

Anthony, Mark, Chris, Jan, Colin, Lloyd, Eric, and I decided to do the 72-mile route. We ended up riding with the Code 3 girls and we had a great time.

About 5-miles into the ride we hit our first major climb...up from about sea-level to around 1,500 ft. This climb was a nice steady grade and the last 1/3rd of the climb was in thick fog. After that, we had a nice downhill and then a long, somewhat flat stretch until we hit found ourselves on the same route as the Berkeley Hills Road Race. We had to climb up Mama Bear, Little Bear and Papa Bear, which brought back great memories (I DNF'd on this course earlier this year!). Another short break and then it was off to more climbing...up Wildcat and Grizzly Peaks (about 1,600 ft.). This climb ended with amazing views of Oakland and the Bay. The final 10 miles were downhill and flat...phew!

We got back to the park at Lake Merritt and enjoyed hanging out in the sun...eating and sharing some good laughs. Willem (our currently broken teammate) met us with cold beers and sodas, which were just what we all needed.

Not being the best climber, I found myself riding solo a few times. This allowed me to reflect on the ride and the cause. It was very nice to think about family and friends that I've lost, as well as those that I know who are currently battling breast cancer.

I carried my Garmin with me and recorded the ride...below is the map and the elevation profile.
Here are a few pictures that I snapped throughout the ride. Anthony took a bunch more, as well as the professional photographers that the Breast Cancer Fund hired for the ride, so I'm sure I'll post more once I get my hands on them.

The view of the San Pablo Reservoir (on the Google map, this is in the upper loop)

Jan, pumping up Anthony's tire after flatting...had to snap that angle.

The Sportgenic banner up at the finish. Sportgenic ran free advertising to help drive registrations and in turn, the Breast Cancer Fund made us a sponsor of the ride. Big thanks to Anna (Code 3 and my teammate Willem's wife) for helping tie this up...she also played a big hand in organizing the event.

I'm already looking forward to next year's Bike Against the Odds and recommend it. The various levels make it fun for all levels of riders, so just go do it!

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