Friday, April 12, 2013

Venus de Miles Ride

As I've been searching for triathlon races to do this summer, I've also been poking around for supported or group bike rides.  When I was training for my half Ironman last summer, I did the majority of my long weekend rides alone.  My rides were split between the low traffic, bumpy roads in eastern Iowa and the Palatine Trail system and forest preserve paths I could ride to from my apartment.   It is peaceful to ride a bike by myself, but after riding 3+ hours every weekend for several weeks on end, the rides got a little boring.  Especially because I was mostly riding the same routes over and over again and the scenery was getting old.  I tried searching for group rides, but didn't have much luck last year.

I did participate in one supported ride last year and that was the Arlington 500 hosted the the Arlington Heights Bicycle Club in May. Don't worry that's only 500 furlongs not miles! It was such a treat to have a route already planned out in a different area plus a fully stocked aid station with fresh, cold water, treats and snacks.  You know what is delicious when you are riding your bike in the heat? I'm glad you asked.  Oreos.  Much better than the Gu or Quaker Chewy bars I usually eat on the bike.  Most supported bike rides also have a sag vehicle that drives the course and assists cyclists that are having problems like flat tires or other mechanical problems.

After the ride, I ate this delicious ice cream cone.

Just had to throw that in here.  
I plan on doing the Arlington 500 again and had hoped to find a few more rides to do.  That's why I am so thrilled to be selected as an ambassador for the Venus de Miles ride of Illinois.  I've actually been eyeing this race since seeing the recaps from last year's ride on Erin's and Kelly's blogs.

Venus de Miles is a 61- or 25- mile all women's road ride through Lake County, Illinois.  The ride takes place on Sunday, July, 28.  Last year was the inaugural ride to support the Greenhouse Scholars.  Greenhouse Scholars is "dedicated to helping high-performing, under-resourced students reach their full potential".  Through their efforts, seven scholars have been selected for the program in 2013.

If you aren't a competitive cyclist, don't worry.  Bike rides are not like races and have a very friendly atmosphere. There is no clock finish line and it is not a competition.  Riders are encouraged to stop at aid stations and make new friends without the pressure to ride super fast.  After the ride, riders are encouraged to stick around for the post-ride celebration.

Even if you don't have a road bike, you can still do this event on a mountain bike or any type of bike you have. If you don't have a bike, look into borrowing one from a friend or check out rental information from your local bike store. My local bike store rents out bikes for about $25 a day.

I look forward to sharing my training with you and I can't wait to meet people at the ride!

Disclaimer: I was selected to be an ambassador for Venus de Miles and am provided with a free entry into the ride. 
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