We are in the final countdown for this year's JDRF Death Valley ride. Our bikes leave tomorrow. We get on a plane to head for DV a week from tomorrow. A week from Saturday we'll be riding 105 miles in predicted 102 degree heat. After over 1,200 miles of training and almost $12,000 of fundraising it's almost time to ride. I am very excited.
My first JDRF ride was in Death Valley in 2005. It was also my first ever century ride and happened on my 48th birthday. October 18, 2014 will be the tenth annual ride I've done with JDRF. Death Valley seems like a great place to commemorate a decade of riding for the cure. There will be about 35 of us from West Michigan out in the desert. 10 years ago there were 14. We've gone from a confused little group of mostly casual riders to one of the top teams in all of JDRF. Since 2005 we've raised over 1.5 million dollars for diabetes research. That is exhilirating and humbling at the same time.
I'm going to try and get a little more riding in on my mountain bike before we go to Death Valley. I have done two rides on my road bike this week. Sunday was a 30 mile team ride in the Cannonsburg area. Quite cold and windy with over 1,100 feet of climbing, but at least it didn't rain. Yesterday I did a quick solo ride on the White Pine Trail south to the ballpark. It was one of the best average speeds I've had in awhile, 15.6 mph. Now that's not going to win many races, but I've been hovering in the 14 mph range for most of the summer, so it was good to see that better time. Of course, it might also be because of the new bibs and sunglasses I got from 3rd Coast Cycles.
10 days until ride number 10.