Wednesday, October 03, 2007

2007 York Tour de Pink pb Hershey

In addition to my posting of the 2007 Tour de Pink, this is blog posting #101. Wow where did the time go? In tradition to all things related to this post and being the 101th, I would like to dedicate a soundtrack to this post. One of the greatest alternative bands of the 80s with one of the greatest albums from that genre, Depeche Mode 101. A double disc covering that famed concert from the Rose Bowl show in front of 78k screaming fans in Pasadena, Ca.
Song dedicated to this ride; 'Never Let Me Down Again' - Depeche Mode.
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On with the 2007 Tour de Pink.

Day 1 Tour de Pink, Hershey to Pottstown, Pa:

The weather of this event from tip to tail was epic. Blue bird sky's with trace amounts of clouds, but few. Temps in the 60s in the morning and peaking around 80 deg tops.

Thursday afternoon I get the car packed, grab a pasta dish from Nino's in Millersville for lunch and meet Cinco back at the house with my wife who has volunteered as support personal along the 3 day route.

We arrive at the Hilton Hotel in Hershey and begin assembling some of the bikes that the easterners had shipped in the day before. After a couple of bikes and a nasty wrestling match with a Softride bike that nearly kicked Cinco's and my arse, we handed the rest of the bikes over to Knapps Cyclery to finish the job. The Knapp's crew were along for the ride to offer neutral support for the event, thanks guys!

That evening at Hershey's Chocolate World we had a great dinner with all the attendees; pasta, salad and killer desserts. At our table we became friends with Lauren, Natalee and Deirdre. All from the New Jersey area. We laughed, talked bike and consumed mass quantities of grub that evening.

A participant named Eric blew up his Campy Chorus shifter on the ride to Hershey from Pottstown. That Ergo felt like it was a infinite speed shifter. Through casual conversation I explained how I have some Ergo parts back at the shop and could get it up and working for him in a hour tops. With an offer that he couldn't refuse, we trucked 90 miles round trip to the shop for the repair, all for the love of the bike and Campagnolo. In the heat of repair, I reduce the repair time by 50% by swapping a refurbed 4yr old Record rear Ergo for his 2 year old Chorus, saved time and maybe 30 minutes sleep on my evening. We rolled back to the Hershey Hilton and I finally managed to snatch 5 hours of sleep, damn I'm going to feel that in the morning at 6 a.m. Friday's goal, Hershey to Pottstown, Pa.
Friday morning came without hesitation, up at 6am, get breakfast and the kit on. Above is a great shot my wife took. Thanks babe! Elevator crammed full of bikes and smiles. Speaking of kits, the jerseys this year were sized oddly. Those that know me will agree I like my jerseys tight, fitted, whatever you call it. It's hard to get them to fit a 24in torso with a 6ft+ wing span. Thank goodness I have zero upper body mass. I traded my Men's Large for a Women's Medium, stop laughing! It worked for me and that's all that counts.
The lobby of Chocolate World. Guest speakers, heads of the YSC org with great stories and mission statements that Churchill would be proud of. Breast cancer will not win...

At the first rest stop of the Tour de Pink. Alright maybe there were some clouds but still no rain, thank you. Things have been rolling along well, Cinco and I are taking this ride at a social pace like last year averaging around 15mph. The first day has a hefty climb in the Reading area named Eagle's Peak. There was a lot of tension amongst the riders about having to do this climb. I did my best to ease their concerns by stating that the ride will be at least 2 hours underway so they should be plenty warmed up for it. Warmed up, ya and then some. At one part heading out towards RT 419, Cinco and I made a left onto 419 North instead of 419 South. We realized something was wrong when we didn't see any turn markers on the street signs after 5 miles or so. We made it up to Wormelsdorf and turned around. We found the correct turn off, ran into Lisa Frank and joked we were double backing around and doing it again. Just joking about that, apparently there was a small rumor on the rest of the ride that we did just that. Sorry, only one time for us please.

We hit the climb. It has a sneaking sweeping left hand bend sort of like Turkey Hill does in Lancaster. Kind of peaking out to see you coming, inviting you to spin like a Maytag washer, up it. Cinco and I hit the climb like a red headed stepchild. I tried to time my food intake and fluids for this climb as to optimize my efforts. Man this was a steep one. 14% in some spots. 2 goals for me...don't drop below 6mph and finish the top quarter in my big ring, ride 'through the hill' has Dan Stambaugh used to say, thanks coach! Cinco has lost 20lbs for this ride and it showed. He was roughly 2 minutes behind me after cresting the top, good going bro! He has the bike crank from Mantown...53/39. I prefer the girlie cranks(as named by the guys in the bike shop) 50/34.

The rest of the day flowed for the most part except for another mis navigation on my part. In an effort to make up time, Cinco and I were pulling pace and saw a sign for 5 miles to the finish. We lit it up and keep jamming, only to not see the left turn arrow below the 5ml sign. Damn, we made it out to RT 100 and again, I say, this doesn't seem right. We got directions from a car detailing shop and rolled into the hotel parking lot that evening netting 84 miles for the first day.

That evening we ate a pasta dinner at a local Italian restaurant, reflected on the day's nav mishaps and conjured up a healthy outlook for the following day's miles. Pottstown to Trenton, NJ.

Day 2 Tour de Pink, Pottstown, Pa to Trenton, NJ:

The morning was crisp and cool in the 60s. My wife and I left our wonderful(exaggerating) Motel 6, grabbed a huge breakfast from Friendly's, assembled for the roll out for Day 2. Cinco in the frame above. Probably talking about the advantages of Reynolds ClingWrap over aluminum foil to anyone that will listen. No really, he is a super approachable guy and great riding companion.

Morning assembly. First rest stop. Glad to have the Subie there.

My trusty bike. 2005 Masi Gran Crit. Fits like teeth to gums, ya I know that Will-ism is getting old but it's true. Love it so much that I think I'll build up another Masi over the winter. To give this one a rest. The new 3VC are looking sexy, now where is that SRAM Red kit? Number 10 too b/c the bike is one, a perfect 10!
At this 'T' in the road Cinco and I stopped to fix the number on my jersey. Upon doing so and chewing on a Clif Bar the front tube blew. Tim went on to chalk up a total of 4 flats on this ride, one front, 3 rears.
Dominic in the above shot. One of many riders on a Serotta. As the flat repair continued, riders rounded the corner, politely asked if we were alright and I said we were putting in a lighter tube to catch up to everyone...
Cathy, right behind fellow 'GutterBunny' rider Dominic. Cathy and I met at first hour upon check in of the event. I commented on her Serotta, she spewed some bike geek-ism upon me soapboxing about steel bikes and Ti and we'll be friends forever, after that.
So what do you do when half the field passes you while changing a flat, drop the hammer. Cinco and I (as we would say when we were kids...)bookin' along. Me, multitasking at 25mph with a bike shot. Yes that's my front wheel. Look at Cinco's Speedplay pedals! I like my Time pedals but I'm becoming curious towards the Lollypops.

At the lunch rest stop I grabbed a Pb&J sandwich and stuffed it in my pocket. This would make a great afternoon snack I thought. After Cinco and I motored for a bit, we paralleled ourselves along the river that would lead us to the bridge into Trenton. Cinco was looking forward to his Pb&J too and we agreed to consume them around 1330hrs. That didn't last long as 1315hrs I was hungry again. So I did what a good hungry rider would do, look to the rear, look forward to analyze the condition of the shoulder of the road and sit up to eat. Man that tasted so good. Thanks to whoever made them. I should have grabbed 2 more for the road. As I pedal along, Cinco pulled away from me. I didn't care since I was having a mouthgasm at that time.
Soon I heard 2 riders approaching from the rear. I was done eating and we caught Cinco in time to walk through a street fair that interrupted our route to NJ. Along that way we spotted Mark, a Hershey employee and customer of an aquaintance of mine that owns a bike shop here in Lancaster. Mark bought his Pinarello Galileo from there and we talked about the beauty of it as the miles past us the day before. By now we made it through the street fair and assembled what would be one of the most enjoyable pacelines I have ridden in a long time.
We took turns pushing some wind as it was hefty for most of the day. Everyone did a great job keeping the line in the low 20mph's. 7 miles to the bridge I stayed in front until our destination. I didn' t mind b/c my legs were feeling great and I was the tallest of the bunch. We crossed the bridge into Trenton, checked into our rooms and met in the banquet hall for dinner and ceremonies. 85 miles done.

That evening we had another awesome pasta dinner. After dinner Lisa Frank and Matt Perdue handed out awards and gift certificates to the top fund raisers in selected catagories. Cinco and I got nice fat Hershey chocolate bars for going above and beyond the call of duty to fix Eric's bike the first night while in Hershey.
A proclamation was awarded to everyone for conquering Eagles' Nest/Hawk Mtn climb on the first day. Nice touch guys! Thanks. The elevation was displayed at the bottom of the sheet, reminding us of the efforts that were put forth that day for the YSC, TdP and survivors everywhere. A little bit of suffering for those that already have through breast cancer.
Congrats to everyone that raise the funds, is a proud survivor, road the roads and smiled upon their fellow rider for that weekend.

Day 3 Tour de Pink, Trenton, NJ to Highlands:

The morning of day 3 was as beautiful as can be. Warm sun on your face, crisp air all around and Pete instigating a joke on Eric. To loosen the guy up a bit (apparently others think he needs to...)he swiped his bike and gave it a festive decor.
Streamers, pinwheels, the works. Eric laughed it off, posed for a few pix and road onward.
My goal for the day was to stay way back and just cruise. 12mph avg. pace for the day. Chat with everyone, real low key.
At the lunch rest stop I asked Lisa Frank to post for a pix. Our bikes were sitting near by after I performed a seat adjustment for her. There is such a contrast in the size of our bikes, a photo was totally called for. Never mind that my bellybutton is level with her armpits, ha! Lisa has a heart of a lion and a smile of a friend you'll want forever.
More of my comrades for the final ride in NJ. I love taking these type of photos. They always yield and interesting perspective on the subject matter.
'...meet Virginia, ya yea!'-Train

Lisa's partner in crime with the YSC, Virginia. We rode together on last year's TdP. One of the pack's great troopers. Don't stop spinning!
Mitchell. His daughter is a breast cancer survivor at age 37. I have a daughter myself. So does Cinco. The though of your kid leaving this world before you can be mentally crippling. Strength, determination, faith and courage keep Mitchel moving on and off the bike. High five sir....slap!
Cinco giving me a shaka/rock awhn/give me beer quickly/ hand signal.
YSC prez...Lanita. Enjoyed talking about life, education, jobs and bikes with her over the course of the day. Double high five...slappity, slap!
Mitchell, Stickboy and Cinco. ?Donde esta el bano?

The next day will be a PR day on the morning show Fox & Friends.

Day 4 Tour de Pink, NYC:


In the lobby of the hotel before the procession to the Fox morning show. We had to roll out in groups of no more than 15 cyclists. I believe there is a law against 'critical mass' bike rides in NYC. Not that we were trying to clog things up.
So what do you do when you've got a 13k bike in mind. You get the biggest bike porn you can get. The Pinarello Prince. Back again and now decked out in a full carbon frame, the Prince was released this July in conjunction with the Tour de France. Full Record w/Bora hoops. 15.2lbs. Great whip Kim!
If you want pink, you want sexy, come see me. Pinarello has them! They are doing this bike next year with full Dura Ace and a lower grade of carbon for around $3500 usd.
Rolling through the Big Apple is going to make you smile, grin or make you wish you were a bike messenger with no insurance coverage.
All the bikes are lined up. Riders up front near the camera where we cheered like mom was watching us. At least mine was. Panera Bread was on hand with coffee and bread twists in the shape of ribbons. Delicious!
The camera made us all look like heros but the real one were the survivors and the survivors that road along the miles with us.

Lisa had a really good personal interview on the show. We now need Fox News to get their act together because as of this posting the clip of Lisa still won't load from the Fox News site.
Brunch back at the hotel. Hugs, emails and best wishes were being exchanged. That and I ate the heck out of some scrambled eggs!
From R-L, me, the Mrs. and Cinco. I did sign up again for next year. Maybe I'll sell a bike for funds...
My view from our hotel room on the 25th floor.
Sorry babe but I had to sneak this one in. Heading home along Rt. 78 in the Subie.

I want to give a huge thanks for everyone that supported me for this ride and the anonymous donation I received on my site, after the ride. Without your support the YSC can't grow at the rate it is and the Tour de Pink too. I am truly blessed to have everyone that backed me, blessed that I love bikes and everyone that this ride stands for and supports.

For those that haven't contribute there is still time for 2007. Thank you!
http://www.active.com/donate/yorktourdepink/WillMahler

Young Survival Coalition.
http://www.youngsurvival.org/

Hershey.
http://www.hersheys.com/

See you in 2008!
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stickboy


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