Last year I did the Tour De Palm Springs ride. It was one of the last fun things I did before Covid 19 lock down. On a crisp and sunny Saturday last February, I rode 30 miles through windmills and palm trees of Palm Springs with thousands of other riders.
I rode solo but my husband and dog were there to send me off at the start and celebrate with me at the finish. At the start line there were cheerleaders, marching bands and hundreds of spectators hooting and hollering for us. Although I loved the start line and many other parts of Palm Springs, the road itself was rough, which made me slow and uncomfortable.
While I rode, my husband got drunk and shopped with our two year old Golden Doodle on the streets of downtown Palm Springs. He ended the day with a couple new friends that he shared shots of Jameson with and a plush stuffed toy for our dog that was a bottle of champagne named Chompers.
After the ride we celebrated in the beer garden with other riders while our dog captured the affection of everyone she met.
We went back to the hotel where my husband had surprised me with a dozen red roses to commemorate the end of the ride and our 10 year anniversary.
We went bowling at the hotel, with our dog, and had a great dinner at the hotel--without our dog. We dropped her off in the hotel to watch TV and play with her new toy Chompers.
The weekend away, the ride, and overall experience was so wonderful that we decided to make it an annual event. And then....Covid hit....and is still going strong. The Tour De Palm Springs 2021 is virtual. Instead of 30 miles in one day, I am going to do 100 miles in 28 days, virtually, on my own roads and paths here in San Diego.
I won't be using my Bonvoy points to stay at a plush resort like Westin Mission Hills. I won't be riding between windmills and palm trees. There won't be any post ride bowling matches with my husband and dog. Will there be roses? Will my husband day drink on my ride days?
Will Luca capture the affection of strangers over the next 28 days? Who knows...but, I will write about each ride and keep you apprised along the way.
Here's how it will work. I have 28 days to complete 100 miles on my bike. I will log mileage using the Strava app. In the absence of the dessert terrain and scenery of Palm Springs, I will choose routes with San Diego's own palm trees, mountains and beaches of San Diego. To keep it interesting for all of us, I am going to pick 4 different routes and rotate each ride. To replace the marching band and cheerleaders I'll start each ride with Fleetwood Mac's Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow--the USC marching band version, I will harken back to my own cheerleading days and create some mad rhymes while I ride to pass the time.
The cost to participate is $40.00. The entry fee gives me raffle tickets, a t-shirt and bike swag from sponsors. Of course, we don't get any of those until the end of the ride, so the jury is still out if the $40.00 was worth it.
When I told my husband I was doing the virtual ride and that I paid $40.00 to ride my own bike in my own town, he said "Forty Dollars for a virtual ride, that's horse shit." When I told him the money goes to a good cause for bike improvement in Palm Springs and I get a t-shirt, he calmed down. I made a mental note for me to mirror his reaction the next time he restocks his favorite Ocho tequila, also $40,00 (if it's on sale, otherwise it can be as high as $55.00) At least my $40.00 has some mental and physical health benefits.
I invited Aunt Dena to join me. She lives in Ohio. We've done rides together before like Bike the Bay here in San Diego. She's the perfect traveling companion and bike riding partner. I am confident she will enhance this odd virtual bike riding experience. We made a plea to mother nature to be dry and not frigid cold over the next 28 days in Ohio. However, today, Accuweather told me with it's "special weather statement" that mother nature hasn't quite heard our plea yet--or she's just not answering. I suspect Aunt Dena's ride conditions will be much different than my palm trees and sunshine here in San Diego. However, when it comes to ambition and fortitude, she wins every time. I have faith she'll crush whatever element mother nature throws at her and complete her 100 miles, probably before me.
So, here we go. 100 miles in 28 days, a virtual experience. Will I like the routes? Will I get sick of my marching song? Will Aunt Dena ride in the frozen flurries this Wednesday? Will my husband create a celebration beer garden with roses after the 100 miles are complete? Who knows....but, I will write one post after each ride and we'll see what transpires along the way.
To get alerts on Mandi's journey to 100 miles in 28 days, add her to your RSS feed or check back on the Brain Trails blog on https://www.mandigraziano.com/sales-tales-book. If you have ride play list suggestions, route recommendations or future rides live or virtual I should chronical, click here to send me a note in the Let's Chat section of my website.
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