Monday, November 19, 2012

111 miles on the B, aka El Tour de Tucson

El Tour de Tucson is the biggest cycling event around these parts, attracting cyclists from all over. The main event is the 111 mile race that runs around the perimeter of town. I've done this ride twice before on a road bike, but of course this year I had to do it on the B!

Let me rewind a couple of days... I was getting flats on both tires a few days before the event (even though I had Flat Attack in the tubes).  I took the rear tire off and for the life of me I couldn't get it back on.  Had to go to the LBS to get it back on with a new tube and sealant.  The front tire went back on just fine.  I also snugged up my headset at BICAS since I could feel it coming loose.

Back to race day...

First of all, the weather could not have been better!  It was overcast all day, and the morning wasn't very cold.  As usual, all the participants were cheery and ready to roll.  I arrived to the starting area around 6:00, about an hour before the start.  I chatted up with a couple of guys who flew in from Kansas City.  I was able to park the B with the rear folded until just before the start.


The B ready and waiting and getting some stares.

Riders getting anxious.

The dudes from KC checking their phones.

Testing out Apple's new panoramic feature

Let's go already!

Before I knew it we were off and running. I didn't see any other folding bikes... I did see an unicyclist and three elliptiGO-type bikes, along with a hand full of recumbents and hand-powered cycles.  It was relatively uneventful 100 miles in... I did spontaneously find my soccer teammate about 40 miles in, then we parted ways soon after, then met up again with about 15 miles to go.

Me passing the unicyclist

I was beginning to struggle at about 10 miles from the finish.  I ran out of water in my Camelback hydration pack with about 7 miles to go.  I stopped about 5 miles to go and ate another gel, which in hindsight was a mistake because I didn't have any water to wash it down with.  Another 2 miles down the road my body (and especially my arms) were getting severely tingly and numb...I had to pull over again.  A couple of minutes later a bike patroller stopped, gave me some water, made sure I was ok, and escorted me to the finish.

Crossing the finish line

Many thanks to Bike Patrol #11133, who gave me water and escorted me to the finish.  I made Silver status (under 9 hours) by less than 3 minutes thanks to him.

I was hoping to get some cool acquisition data using the GPS from the iPhone, but it didn't work out... the battery ran out before the finish and my external battery kinda malfunctioned.  Oh well.  Luckily the GoPro just barely hung on long enough to get the finish.

One lesson I learned was to keep eating and drinking!  I ate 3 Clif Bars, 3 Larabars, 2 half-bananas, 7 gels and a handful of pretzels, along with 3.5 Camelback's worth of water and it wasn't enough.  And I know that amount was way more than I had last year.

Healthy post-race meal!


  1. Congratulations, Fernando. 100+ miles ain't no easy task.

    Peace :)

  2. Century on a B! That's a feat of which to be proud!

  3. Hello Fernando, my name is Rafael. I´m from Spain, Almería. Firstly congratulations on your feat cyclist. Secondly I have to tell you that I also have written a blog and a post where I talk about your feat. A greeting and I leave the link. I will keep reading you and I'll tell you my next feat cyclist here in Spain.