17 January 2009

Courage Classic 2008

In August 2008, I rode the Courage Classic Bicycle Tour with the Harmon Bike Club. The ride is a fund-raiser for Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma. In order to earn more pledges, I advertised that I would be riding my 50+ pound Xtracycle over the three mountain passes.

I had been riding that bike to work about 50% of the time, and rode it on the May Day Metric to make sure that I could handle a long day in that saddle. The funny part was that the bike is so comfortable and fun to ride, that it was a no-brainer to choose that bike for the 3-day event.

I hauled plenty of extra food and water, as well as my favorite ceramic coffee mug to use at the rest stops. Even with all of the extra weight, I still made decent time to the summits. I noticed quite a few roadies on the descent from Blewitt shaking their hands because they had gone numb while they were tucked in an aero position. On each of the summit descents, I slid off the saddle and onto the snap deck of the Xtracycle to get a more low-profile position, reaching forward to the pedals and handlebar like it was a chopper. This maneuver was like turning on an afterburner. I don't have a cycle computer, but I think I approached 60 mph on the long and steep descent from Stevens Pass. That was the most difficult climb, in my opinion, but what a pay off!

Giving my Cross Check a more upright riding position made tons of sense after I had proved to myself that the comfort/fun factor is far more important to me than any performance benefit of a drop bar. I'm hoping to ride the Courage Classic this year with my wife. She has a comfortable city bike, too...

1 comment:

John Garrish said...

do i have a picture of your xtracycle on the gallery?

if not may i post it?


thanks in advance!