Friday, October 6, 2017

2017 Ride by the Numbers

Wow!  What a season 2017 season!  Our 8th year and going stronger than ever.  Lot of training rides, lots of new riders, lots of new friends.  The completion of the ride is always a little bittersweet - the culmination of a long summer of training pays off with some great scenery and great friendships.  The ride is over, but now we can sleep in on the weekend without guilt!

38 - total teammates (5 more than 2016!)
11 - new riders to the Bike MS: Pedal los Pueblos
1 - long lost return riders from years past (Yay Brady) 
22 - riders who have done the ride >2 years
16 - riders who have done the ride >5 years!
Training season:
0 - number of bike free weekends since June 17 (team wide)
24 - number of riders on our largest training ride (Ride to Santa Fe!)
7 - new rookie riders
10 -  Saturday training rides we had this year! (ranging from 14-24 riders)
9 - Sunday training rides (thanks to Ali and John M. for leading!)

 9313- Miles of training (team wide)
At the MS ride:
30 - riders Day 1
28 - riders Day 2
8 - Friends and family volunteers!
1 - Awesome Penultimate rest stop at Puy Cliffs Day 2!
3 - Brand new century riders! (Congrats Robin, Maria,  Rhea)
1 - Crash (yours truly, and was very minor)
22- riders to completed the Century ride Day 1!
19 - riders to make it to Puye Cliffs on Day 2
3790 miles rode a the BikeMS (team wide)
10 - top fundraisers (raised more than $1000 a piece!)
$24,877 (and counting) raised by the Penultimates in 2017! 
>$175,000 raised by the Penultimates in our 8 years of riding

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Paired Scotch Dinner 2017

We are partnering again with Two Fools Tavern in Nob Hill for our 8th annual Paired Scotch dinner.  Take a love of food, a love of scotch, and a fantastic chef to coordinate, and this equals a fantastic fundraiser for the National MS Society.

Tickets are $100, with a portion of ticket sales going to the National MS Society.  This years menu:

Course 1: 
 “Islay Breakfast”, Cured, Smoked Organic Irish Salmon, Spicy Elk Sausage, and whisky Cheddar:  
Whisky Paring: Kilchoman Saniag (Islay)

Course 2: 
Sea Scallops in a Sherry Pan Sauce
Whiskey Paring: Ohishi Sherry whisky (Japan)

Course 3:  
Local Fresh Greens tossed in a Citrus Vinaigrette, Heirloom tomatoes
Whisky Paring: Cocktail “One Fools Redemption” Redepmtion Rye, Benedictine, Cointreau, Mescal 

Course 4: 
Whisky Mint tea Charred Lamb, Moroccan rice pilaf, and steak house Broccoli.   
Whisky Paring: Glenfiddich 15yr Solara (Speyside)

Course 5:
Homemade Peach Cobbler, with a bourbon glace.

 Whiskey Paring: Two Fools 13yr hand selected Knob Creek barrel (Kentucky)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Weekend's Ride: 8/19 & 8/20 - Last training rides!

How are we already at the end?  Could it be that we just spent 10 weekends in a row out logging miles getting ready for the big ride?  Say it ain't so!  That is the secret (at least for me) that training for the BIke MS is a huge part of my summer, and a huge part of why I enjoy this ride so much!

Saturday (courtesy of the awesome Eric and Laura who captained the ride! Write up by Eric)

Seventeen riders set out from O'Neill's just after 6:00am on Saturday morning to tackle the Clockwise City Loop. The peloton included a hardy bunch who had already met at the Tramway and Central Smith's at 5:30am before riding to O'Neill's. We kept everyone together and on course through construction in the Ridgecrest and Rio Bravo areas. We greeted the sunrise as we rode up the South Bosque to our first stop at Tingley Beach. There we had to keep an eye on some suspicious-looking ducks who were a little too interested in our bikes.

Back off ducks!
 As we warded off potential fowl play, we were joined by one more rider. Matt L. arrived, fresh from last week's service as Super SAG Wagon Captain, to bring our strength up to eighteen. Matt had ridden from home and dropped the hammer to catch up.

Team picture!
Refreshed and ready to resume, we continued North join the Bosque fray. The ride North was mostly smooth. Runners and walkers tended to part like the Red Sea for Moses when they heard eighteen of us were coming. (Public service announcement: Remember to stay single file on a busy route like the Bosque. Bunching up and going two-by-two makes it a lot harder to navigate past slower traffic in the right lane without encroaching on opposite traffic in the left lane).

The highlight of the Bosque leg was a surprising potential recruit. A pigeon didn't like us passing it, and it decided to try a little formation flying with us. It did okay for a minute, but couldn't hang with the peloton any longer. The pigeon needs proper training, but we liked its moxie. According too the internet, there's a precedent for cycling birds.
We left to Bosque behind to head for Tramway via Alameda, Guadalupe Trail, and 4th St. The Tramway climb was the main event, and everyone conquered it in good form. A large number of riders tacked on the bonus slog up to the Sandia Peak Tramway station. During the cruise down Tramway, most of the early contingent peeled off for home, while the rest made a stop near Evil Gary's new hacienda for delicious cookies (Thanks Bex!) and a water refill. 

The remainder of the trip South and West saw three flat tires (I suspect pigeon sabotage). Special thanks to Ryan H. for his assistance with all three (including mine). Kudos also go to the homeowner who came out with a floor pump to help with one tire change. 

Flat tires fixed, the peloton headed for O'Neill's for a successful completion of the season's last training ride. Next week is the big one. Two days. 150 miles of riding to end MS. Bring it.

Sunday (writeup courtesy of the awesome John M.)

We started out with just three riders: John M., Rhea, and Ryan E, gathered in the cool, cloudy pre-dawn gloom at O’Neill’s. It was dark, but otherwise very nice weather, staying in the 60s for the first half of the ride.

We headed out the usual way, with a detour to get across Central, but a quiet trip up the diversion channel trail, over to 4th and a short stop at the train station next to the traffic circle. From there, we had a fairly leisurely trip up to Bernalillo, but again witnessed the strange prevalence of skunk carcasses on the road, not so unlike the aftermath of last year’s raccoon uprising on the same road! We saw at least half a dozen dead skunks on that road.

We went past the gas station to our destination of Kaktus Brewing, took a quick picture, and then back to the gas station for a bathroom and refreshment break. 

After our rest, we headed back at a much faster pace! Sadly, we saw a dead hawk on the road. But, we also saw a possible Penultimates first: an entire mattress on the shoulder! We didn’t let that slow us down, and the fine weather and a fast pace convinced us to extend the route by going down the Bosque trail. 

The trail was not too busy, and we kept a pretty consistent pace of about 20 MPH all the way down to I-40. We would have taken the Mountain exit, but construction there forced a detour alongside I-40 that got us to Rio Grande, eventually. From there, we slowed down to apparently hit every light red as we tried to get through Old Town, Martineztown, and Downtown, mostly along Mountain and MLK, eventually hitting UNM. From there, it was a quick spin back to O’Neill’s. 

Ryan, of course, was still fresh, and planned to put in more miles, but my legs were feeling the burn from a challenging flat ride – my favorite kind! 47 miles, total, and a nice end to the training season.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Weekend's Rides 8/12 & 8/13 - Adventures ahoy!

So close! At this point, we are all super fit riding machines ready to do the Bike MS.  This is the special training weekend - the Penultimate training weekend!  Only one more week to go!

Saturday:  The high road to Santa Fe!  The best ride of the year in my humble opinion.  A long 60ish mile ride (depending on where you started or where you ended) through gorgeous high desert passing through some gems of New Mexico quirkiness (route here).  The ride ends with epic tacos and other New Mexico specialties and plentiful beer at Santa Fe Brewing, before taking the train south back to ABQ.

We had 24 riders through out the day join us on our adventure!  It was an absolutely stunning day weather wise, with the last remnants of the summer rains of the day before slowly dissipating, providing a deliciously cool ride for most of the day, until the last 15 mile slog of the ride where it finally burned off.

Some riders turned around early and headed home, but the vast majority made it all the way. As usual, we had a wonderful trip, with everyone having a good time and enjoying the beauty of the road, the fun and camaraderie of the team, and the ice cream at rest stop two (which everyone knows is the secret of making the last leg tolerable).

Special thanks to Matt and the Lane kids who drove the SAG vehicle, cheered riders, filled water bottles, took AMAZING photos, and generally an all around great guy!

Sunday: I think we had at least 4 riders head out today.  The normal captain of the Sunday rides Mrs. Snookums took ill over night and missed the ride.  Safe to assume a good time was had!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Weekend's Ride: August 5 & 6 - the end is near!

After the completion of this weekends rides we have only 2 more training weekends before the Bike MS!

Saturday: The early morning was a little bit darker than last time. A hint of fall is in the air, as our normal 6 am start time was just barely light enough to ride.  But is was a gorgeous morning - over night clouds were still lingering near the mountains filtering the rising sun into dramatic patterns over the city.  Today's ride was an out and back to Placitas (route here), a 65 mile ride through the Rio Grande valley before taking a right and heading uphill for 10 miles to where the road ends.  Then a thrilling descent and a sprint back home.

We were 8 strong heading out from O'Neill's, with another 8 joining us at the round about by the casino, and another 2 joining en route.  It was a great ride, with stunningly beautiful vistas the whole ride.  At the end of the ride, 4 of us had brunch at O'Neill's with fabulous restorative Bloody Mary's.

Sunday: We had 5 riders head out into the East Mountains (route here).  Highlights of the ride was a stop at Roots Farm Cafe in Tijeras for iced coffee before the downhill back into the city.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Weekend's Rides: July 22 & 23 - East Mountain Mosey

Another great set of rides in the books.  We are approximately half way through the training season, and 34 days until the Bike MS.

Saturday:  We escaped the mid summer heat for a quick jaunt in the East Mountains. Due with some problems in the road conditions on the 217 rollers (road condition combined with aggressive drivers) we switched up our normal ride and added a quick loop out through Gutierrez Canyon (route here).
In the cool mountain morning!
From O'Neill's five of us headed east across the city to meet with the majority of the group at the Smith's at the base of Tijeras Canyon.  We picked up another 13 riders, and headed out old Route 66 and wound our way eastward and upward.  We gathered another 4 enroute, making our total ridership 22 for the day.
Heading south for some downhill!
From O'Neill's, the first 26 miles of this ride is all up hill, picking up 2300' of elevation to the top of South 14.  After a quick break, we headed back down the hill and over to the start of Gutierrez Canyon for another dose of hill work winding up eventually at Frost Road where we had our last break before the last 14 mile descent back to town and the end of the ride.
Getting our kicks, on Route 66!

Sunday: Something Route here. Dennis, John M., and Ali left O'Neill's at 6 and headed out for a quick out and back to Bernallilo to rack up some easy(ish) miles.  John made the mistake of commenting on how nice it was to ride with "no wind" so, of course, we had a headwind for the rest of the ride.

It's a fairly unremarkable ride so we amused ourselves by playing "i spy".  Of note were almost enough tools for a tool box; a giant bull frog, snake, and skunk (all deceased unfortunately); some wild turkeys (good spot, Dennis); a jackrabbit; and a Vespa cruising along on the diversion channel.

This was also the first time any of us had to stop at a train crossing to allow the Railrunner to speed by.
Mostly done and still smiling!
While not the most exciting ride, it was great company and goes to show that we can have a great time anywhere when we are riding together.  Thanks!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Weekend's Rides: July 15 & 16 - Time to get the miles!

Another great weekend of rides!  This is usually the worst ride of the year in terms of pure feeling like you are cycling through an oven set on slow roast. But it was not as bad as in previous years, so cheers all around.

Saturday:  Today we headed out for the Jemez Dam Ride* - a 65 mile out and back through the picturesque Rio Grande Valley, then back through Corrales and then back home (route here).  We were 15 strong as we headed out of O'Neill's early, and picked up another 4 riders as we headed out 313 heading north.  After our first rally in Bernalillo, we surprisingly picked up an additional 2 riders represented by the Los Alamos contingent of the team (more on them later) just before heading up to the dam.

Or rather, tried to head up to the dam.  Last summer the ride was cut short by a gate and guard who informed us that a dispute between the Pueblo and the Corp of Engineers had closed the road.  I hoped for the best this year, but this year they actually closed more of the road.  Boo!  Need to find a new route for next year.
At the aborted attempt to ride to top.
After this we headed out into Breaking Bad vistas for the 20 mile loop out through the dusty high desert before heading back into the valley near Corrales.  The biggest surprise of the ride was the impromptu stop at the wonderful Hardy house just before our traditional refuel stop.  We were treated to fresh baked cookies and plenty of water.  

At this point the group split into two, with the first group (those who didn't get cookies) rolled on just before the second group caught up to them.  The second group had two flat tires in the space of about 5 miles which delayed them significantly.  But all arrived safely at back at the ride start where a few stayed for a post ride brunch at O'Neill's.  The captain is happy to report that the Bloody Mary's are as delicious this summer as last!

*Dam not included.
Yay cookies!
Sunday: A quick jaunt around the city (route here). Ali, Rhea, Ryan E, Blythe, Cap, and Liz started out from O'Neills at 6.  A beautiful and cool morning.  We picked up Stacey at the start of the diversion channel and headed north.  We had a surprise meetup with Greg about half-way up Tramway and Nellie at the top.  A brave few headed up the base of the tram.  Kudos to Nellie for her first-time climb!  A great ride, with great company.  Thanks to all for joining.
Headed up the tram spur

Regrouping at Tramway before heading home.  We missed you Gary!
Editors note: due to a miscommunication Good Gary headed in the opposite direction and cranked out the full city (50-mile loop) like a rock star!