Tuesday, November 24, 2009
November 21, 2009 El Tour De Tucson
We arrived at the Tucson Civic Center on Friday to pick up our race packets and visit with sponsors, friends and associates.
Race Director Richard DeBernadis brought us over to the book signing to introduce Chris, Jane and me to Greg Lemond and Jane & Greg W who collaborated on a Champions book.
Having watched Greg Lemond in several Tour De France races it was nice to visit with him.
He told us of his mother passing away waiting for a life saving Liver Transplant and that he lives with limited kidney function. Probably needing a Kidney Transplant one day.
El Tour De Tucson is usually the end of our Cycling Race Season each year. For me it is just the beginning as I have been under the weather since Spring 2008. This year El Tour had a total entry of over 8,200 Cyclists for the different race segments of 109, 85, 65 or 36 miles. The whole adventure is always a highlight of the year.
Coming back from 18 months I would like to forget, just training was a treat much less competing on Team SynCardia Cycling. Riding well with only 9 previous rides on the bike leading up to the race.
The 36 mile version of El Tour begins at 12:30 PM in Oro Valley, AZ.
With Kidney TX Chris Paxton visiting from KC, Mo. and competing in his second El Tour.
We checked our bikes as we prepared for the start.
Chris had flown in on Thursday morning from KC. Our first stop to Landis Cyclery in Tempe to visit with Dave Kuhlman, GM of Landis who so helps and supports our efforts.
Dave had arranged Chris's new Trek Madone and Chris needed a new Bike computer.
THat afternoon we stopped by the Scottsdale Shea Landis with great help from Perry adjusting Chris's new computer. Perry had also put brand new Zipp 303's on my Madone for the race.
My bike rode like a dream.
Also riding with us Liver recipient (World Champion Swimmer) team mate Dianne Miller in her first El Tour on Bike Patrol as she is a trained Ski Patrol first responder.
We stayed at the Millers lovely Oro Valley home.
The long and winding road to the finish downtown 36 plus miles later.
Ride by John Miller Diannes Husband and my lovely Girl Friend Jaynee our crack Photo & Video crew.
Round the final corner and sprint to the finish line unofficialy 128th out of 1,400 Cyclists.
After each major race it is always so much fun to gather with Team SynCardia after the finish to visit and chat.
Team Director Sportif Dr. Marvin Slepian and other friends and team mates.
Saturday night brought a lovely celebratory dinner at the Millers.
Sunday morning a quick breakfast fun at Claire's Cafe in Catalina, AZ.
Friend, cyclist, Kidney TX, Brain Cancer survivor joining us for Breakfast and new friend also Claire Johnson, Executive Chef and owner of the Cafe.
Then back to Scottsdale. Time for an awesome Lunch compliments of Chris and Jack Stack Q from KC, Mo.
So Chris could unpack, break down his bike, back into the Bike Pro for the trip home.
Back to sky harbor phoenix airport to complete an almost perfect weekend.