Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hoover Hope Ride

Ever since M fell in love with road biking 2 years ago, he has been trying to convince me to join him.  I was never crazy about the thought of riding a bike on the road as I don't trust myself or drivers, so I resisted.  Recently, however, he began doing his tri training rides at Natchez Trace which is a 444-mile scenic drive that is super popular for bikers and has very limited traffic (the few cars you see are usually toting road bikes themselves).  We rented a bike one weekend for me to try out and after my first ride, I was hooked.  It was a better workout than I expected, not as scary as I feared, and had the beautiful benefit of being impact free (my shins and hips thanked me). After driving all over Nashville and testing out lots of bikes, we found one we both agreed on and I became the newest owner of a road bike!


Not long after my purchase, I discovered a road bike race a little south of us and set my goal on doing the 20 mile portion.  I convinced Mike and two of the guys I work with to do the 40 mile option.  I was a little nervous as it was only my third time on my bike and definitely my first time with that distance. 

The morning arrived and was absolutely beautiful: zero clouds, blue skies, and crisp temperatures.  The race took place near Arrington vineyards (those of you who have been will probably remember how gorgeous the scenery out there is).  I was super scared getting started in such a big group and trying to get my feet into the cage pedals but, once we got going, it was great.  M and I stayed together for the first 3.5 miles before splitting off on our respective courses. 

There weren't too many people on the 20 mile course and I was usually by myself.  I learned two things about rural Tennessee: it's super pretty and contains super hills.  Some of the hills were crazy but it was overall pretty reasonable.  {I'm not sure that M would say his course was reasonable- he equated his to the Swiss Alps.}

I finished up the ride fairly painlessly and waited around for the boys to get done.  I met some of the organizers of the event as well as the mom of the boy who the foundation is in honor of.  The foundation was created to raise money for pediatric cancer research after Liam Hoover lost his battle with brain cancer.  They have hosted a 5k run for 7 years and this was the first year for the bike ride.  It was a great event for a great cause and I'll definitely be marking my calendar for next years... maybe even for a longer distance!

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