Sunday, May 27, 2012

Preseason Training: It’s Mostly Downhill!

The ride summary from ride captain Andrew on Sunday's ride to South 14.  There were 5 riders: Andrew, Val, Craig, Jeff, and Geoff.  Sounds like it was a good one!
Our weather lately is just perfect riding weather.  After an impromptu request, replete with “Needs:  One bottle, Eight Fig Newtons”, five riders collected at the SE Smiths on Tramway and headed out from Old Route 66 in the direction of the illustrious Tijeras Canyon and a general store with promise of breakfast just past the Oak Flats apex.  Canyons may not inspire riders so early in our training schedule, but “it’s okay,” Jeff Stevens commented, “because [the route] is mostly downhill.”  You bet it is.  And so it went as Andrew, Craig, Geoff, Jeff, and Val continued to South 14. 
Val and Andrew: slow and steady wins the day!
Personally I really enjoy this route because of it’s relaxed traffic, the many other riders seen climbing or descending, and because you – the rider – determine how challenging the canyon climb is.  You can sprint up if your awesomeness so desires, or you can partner up and have a good chat until you arrive at your destination.  Honestly if I could sprint up the canyon I would, but I very much enjoy getting to know everyone and keeping a brisk pace in preparation for that edible win at our end point. 
The clock popped to 8:50AM when we arrived at the general store where we unwrapped granola bars, downed some water, and talked with locals at the picnic table.  Someone bought an ice cream Snickers and rubbed it in everyone else’s face.  We learned of the Old Tyme Ice Cream Shop a little further down the road and soon headed over there for a fixin.  The owner Barbie was en route to church so we noted the hours and promised to come back (hint, hint.. Ice Cream + Bikes + Hot Weather = Yes Please!).  Of course she mentioned that their banana splits were too big for one person to eat.  Challenge accepted. 
Cruising with Geoff
And now for the downhill element, which is what makes this ride truly fun.  Unless there are 20mph headwinds while you descend the canyon.  Maybe there was, maybe there wasn’t.  OK So there was.  No Big Deal.  We ate it up.  Just like we’re going to do at the ice cream shop.  I look forward to this route later in the season when we combine the Tijeras Canyon climb in the full Roller’s Loop route.  It’s a wildly fun day, and I encourage everyone to come along. 
NB:  We did learn of two shortcuts for skipping busy intersections: one in Tijeras at the South 14 > Old Route 66 intersection, and one at the Tramway > Central Smiths intersection.  Check Google Maps and keep these in mind when you’re in these areas.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Penultimates at the Santa Fe Century

We had quite a few riders participate in the Santa Fe Century - congrats to John, Val, Laura, Catherine, Diane, and Jeff!  Details are scarce, but eyewitness reports seem to indicate that several riders did the 50 and others did the full century.  No photos from the actual event, but I have put together a artist rendition of what I think the ride looked like:

Artist rendition of the Santa Fe Century
Here is some testimony from actual participants.  From Laura:
Val, John, and I met up for the start.  It was a bit windy, but still excellent cycling weather.  We had a great time reminiscing about the MS 150, the training ride to Santa Fe, and David’s definitions of “flat” and “downhill.”   (Editors note: I have no idea what she is talking about - bwah ha ha!
John rode with us to the 50/100 mile split, then decided to enjoy the great day and go for the century.  Val and I continued on to Galisteo, where we met some of her former Team in Training teammates, a few of whom have joined the Penultimates.  After grabbing “bike-through” popsicles, we charged up the Lamy hill.  At Eldorado, Val and I met up with new Penultimates Catherine and Diane, who joined us for the ride into Santa Fe.
From Val:
Oh, one addition.  While waiting with Catherine and Diane for the last of their TNT riders, I did witness Jeff crossing the finish line and making a bee-line for his vehicle.
From Jeff:
My friend (a very new road rider) I was going to ride the 50 with hurt herself on Saturday.  I ended up riding the 100 with her husband and his friends.  I'm sore!
Sounds like a great time!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The MS150: The Details

Here are all the details about the New Mexico MS150: Pedal los Pueblos which will be August 25 and 26, 2012.  It is a two day event, and both days leave from the Cities of Gold Casino just north of Santa Fe.

Ride details:

Here are the google maps of both days ride.  Eventually the official ride site will post details, including elevations, but it is not currently up.  You will notice that for the majority of the ride both days the long and short rides overlap each other.  So lots of opportunity to ride with your fellow teammates regardless of what ride you will be doing.  (Or if you don't feel like you can't do the full ride, you can decide the day of to ride the shorter ride).  

  • Long ride day 1 route here
  • Short ride day 1 route here
  • Short and long ride day 2 route here (Note: identical except short ride does not do the spur to Puye)

General thoughts on the ride.  It is incredibly well supported the entire time.  There are rest stops every 10 miles with plenty of food and drink.  These are manned by the most helpful and friendly people ever and are usually stocked with special goodies too. Last year's highlights: cycle-tini's (gatorade with an olive), chocolate covered strawberries, coffee and donuts.  They will hold your bike while you eat, apply sunscreen, make you eat and drink.  Super nice!  Also, you will see SAG vehicles about every 20 minutes the entire time your riding, and there are bike mechanics at every stop that will service your bike free of charge.


Since most of our riders are in ABQ, this will require at least a night or two in a hotel near the ride center.  There is also a camping option, and if you have a trailer you can stay in the parking lot of the ride center. There are three hotels very close.  
  • Buffalo Thunder Casino - website here - small rooms but beautiful pool
  • Cities of Gold Casino - website here - at the heart of it all
  • Homewood Suites website here - large rooms with a kitchenette
There will be ride specific discounts, but those have not yet been announced (although some people thought that booking outside of this was sometimes cheaper).  Don't wait to the last minute as they will fill up.  (I would say have your reservations set by the beginning of August).  If you are a registered rider, keep your eyes peeled from emails from the ride organizer, there will be lots of good information in here too.  (Note you will only get this if you agree to get email from the society.)

The general schedule of events:

Friday Night the 24th:
Try to do a team dinner at Gabriel's? (Or maybe takeout at the ride center?)
Party at the team tent at the Ride Center!

Saturday:  (note there will be lunch provided for riders at one of the rest stops)
Breakfast 5:30-7 am  - free to all riders, coffee, juice, cereal, bagels, eggs
Ride start 7 am
Ride finish (?) 3 pm  
Party at the team tent at the Ride Center
BBQ Dinner at Ride Center (you will need tickets for non riders and family contact Maggie Schold)

Sunday:  (Note: if you earn a top fundraiser jersey, wear it today!)
Breakfast 5:30-7 am  - free to all riders, coffee, juice, cereal, bagels, eggs
Ride start 7 am
Ride finish (?) 12 pm 
Free lunch for riders at Ride Center

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Smarty Party Trivia

The Penultimates are proud to announce a Trivia Night fundraiser to benefit the National MS Society!  "Smarty Party Trivia" will be on June 8th at 8pm at O'Neill's Pub in Nob Hill.  The format will be an old fashioned pub quiz - teams of up to 6 people will compete for the top prize in 8 rounds of thematically linked trivia questions.  Bonus points between rounds will be specifically about MS, but the questions during the rounds could be about anything.  Trivia at it's finest!

Winning teams will receive prizes donated by local businesses and the champion team will get the honor of displaying the Golden Domo Cup for the year.  In addition to trivia, there will be 'mystery' gift bags for sale for $50 (full of donated prizes worth well over $50 and bonus points to help your team win!).  Light snacks provided and cash bar available.  Hosted by Dan Mayfield, the editor of Albuquerque the Magazine.  Awesome!

If you'd like to participate, tickets are $50 per person, of which $40 will be fully tax deductible.  We only have 55 tickets available, and when they're gone, they're gone.  Tickets may be available at the door, but not guaranteed, so buy your tickets now!

Tickets can be purchased by emailing or at the MS Society Head Office (map here) during business hours.  We also have an online payment system here.  We especially welcome teams from organizations and businesses!