ACTC Academy BD1 Graduation Ride

8 09 2008

Saturday was the graduation ride for the Almaden Cycling Touring Club Academy Bike Driving 1 class. I’ve been taking this class for the last 7 weeks (including the labor day holiday) gradually building up endurance and skills riding in traffic, with groups on different types of terrain.

Saturday we rode from South Milpitas to Lake Elizabeth in Fremont and back, total miles – 34. something.. my cyclometer isn’t working (piece of s**t!). There was a lot of debate with our instructors as to the ride. The heat has been intense the last few days, but Thursday night Harry sent out an email to all of us letting us know the ride was on.

We met behind a shopping center at 8:30.. did some pre-ride chat and refresh of topics from previous days and then took off. What was interesting to me is that this is the first ride I’ve done of this distance with only one rest stop. We paused a couple of times for regroups after hills, but no resting. 

The weather on the way to the lake was perfect. Warm, but with a nice breeze and the sun was not yet intense. Most of the ride was relatively flat with some rollers until about mile 12 (I think.. again broken f**cking cyclometer) we hit a pretty nasty long hill. It was by no means as bad or intense as tunnel rd. on the BAO. I tried to use what I learned at the beggining of BAO and not take off too fast up the hill and burn out before reaching the top.  Slow and steady wins the race. 

The first hill was the hardest. We had one other pretty nice hill before the lake, but the rest of the ride was pretty uneventful. We got to the lake and “rested”. Of course the nicely packed peanut butter sandwich and plum that I had packed the night before were nice and safe in my refridgerator at home. I’m such a dork.. I forgot to take it with me when I left.

Joann was nice enough to lend me a few bucks to get a hotdog (the best thing they had) at the snack bar at the lake. We all decided not to break too long because the temperature was rising quickly. We all finished our food, refilled water bottles and got on the road.

When we started out again, it was apparent that a lot of our group was very tired. We weren’t riding with the same speed or energy as earlier. However with the exception of one casualty (too much heat and exaustion), we all made it back to the shopping center where I proceeded to act like a 12 year old and try to swing my foot over the seat while I was still moving, forgetting I had metal cleats on the bottoms of my shoes, not so easy to stop with, I grabbed the brakes, lost my balance and ended up sliding to my car on my shoulder.

After the ride we all went to round table pizza for food and our last lesson of BD1 as well as our little “graduation” ceremony with certificates suitable for framing.. lol. 

Next week we start BD2 where we will continue to add to our mileage every week as well as learning more advanced skills. 

This week Joann and I start riding on Wed. evening and I will take a small ride on Friday evening.