No Brick Award For Me

Unlike the last two years (2010, 2011), you may have noticed a distinct lack of chatter from me about earning another Brick Award. Yes, that prestigious prize that can only be earned by completing the Tour de Palm Springs on Saturday, February 11 and following it up with the Palm Springs Half Marathon the next day.

2010

2011

After last year’s fiasco of a ride, I felt like I’d never want to ride the Tour again. The crowds of riders, many of them rude and/or ignorant of the etiquette of riding in large groups, my broken chain, not to mention that Alan crashed after almost being hit by a car, well, all that kind of took the thrill out of the ride. The organizers, after feedback from the riders (including me), did make some changes, including offering staggered starts for both the 100 and 55 milers. But I also took into consideration that I haven’t ridden more that 35 miles in the last three months, so it was probably a wise decision to skip it.

Alan and I did take a ride today, though, leaving from our house, heading east where the traffic is light and stop signs and traffic lights are few and far between.

So instead of this:

photo credit tourdepalmsprings.com

I saw this:

and instead of dealing with this:

photo credit tourdepalmsprings.com

I had the joy of this:

No crashes, no crowds, great weather=Bike riding heaven.  We did spend some time on the course, which passes by our house at mile 73, but early enough that just a few riders were coming along. Of course, those few riders were the really rude ones I referred to above, not calling “on your left,” not saying hello, just barely clearing my bike before they cut back in front of me. Nope, I didn’t miss skipping this ride at all.

Rude pace lines of riders made me happy I wasn't doing the century.

I won’t be doing the half marathon this year either. While I have been increasing my mileage, I’m still not in shape to run 13 miles. Of course, I wasn’t last year either, but this year I decided to be smart and not endure a suffer-fest just for the sake of, well, of nothing. Alan will be announcing the race, so I’ll go along for support and probably head out for run while he is working. It will be interesting, because all my recent runs have been on the trails with my dog, long, slow runs with lots of stops. So a steady eight miler on the road may be a bit of a challenge. But, compared to the half marathon, I’m pretty sure I’m ready for it.

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