Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Death Valley Memories

This weekend is the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in Death Valley. Since 2005 we have participated in that ride six times. In 2009 we rode in Vermont and this year we did the ride in Lake Tahoe. Death Valley is the original JDRF ride and annually raises way over one million dollars toward the cure. It is also a special place to those that have been there. It was one of the most difficult and most rewarding rides a cyclist will ever do. 105 miles through the desert on and out and back route. The ride starts at sunrise in relatively cool temperatures (60-70 degrees). 45 miles later you hit the climb up to Jubilee Pass in the heat of the day. It's six miles at a six percent grade, a Category 2 climb for those that follow the Tour de France. Once you summit and get your photo taken you head quickly back down. Then starts the hours long ordeal of getting back to the finish line under cloudless skies with temperatures in the 100's. While all that may sound horrible to the uninitiated, it is a powerful feeling when you complete the ride. Basically, if you can ride in Death Valley, you can do anything!

Ten of our West Michigan teammates will be riding in DV this weekend. Good luck to them and everyone participating in this noble cause. Remember to hydrate. "Drinking!"

Six years of the Death Valley Ride for the Cure. The non-Jubilee Pass photo is from 2011 when they changed the route to eliminate the climb because temperatures were predicted to go over 110 degrees.

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