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Tucson or Bust
21 November 2009 @ 04:35 pm
158K 0:49
“This is a phone call. I didn't really wanna make a voice post that I would prefer not to have posted but I am had I need a supporting to your truck. That's a there's trailer on my brand new fancy bike sales. I lost 3 gears about 3:00mi ago and I just lost 2 more gears at miles 90. It just not possible for me to finish the ride on the years that I have left so I need a truck on my way back to the finish line. Late of 90mi out of a hundred nine and discipline that I didn't go to the whole way hopefully next year I do better after the new bikes been fix. Thanks for following my ride I'll check in it later.”

Auto-Transcribed Voice Post - spoken through SpinVox
Tucson or Bust
21 November 2009 @ 03:14 pm
163K 0:53
(no transcription available)
Tucson or Bust
21 November 2009 @ 12:59 pm
159K 0:49
(no transcription available)
Tucson or Bust
21 November 2009 @ 11:41 am
148K 0:46
(no transcription available)
Tucson or Bust
21 November 2009 @ 10:30 am
159K 0:50
(no transcription available)
Tucson or Bust
20 November 2009 @ 12:32 pm
48K 0:14
“Good morning. This is a test voice post. My first one was cut off. I'm not sure why. So this is the 2nd test voice post to make sure that I can live blog for the Tucson tomorrow.”

Auto-Transcribed Voice Post - spoken through SpinVox
Tucson or Bust
12 October 2009 @ 04:10 pm
It's been about ten months since my last post... yes, I've been training, and yes, I've even ridden a bike century recently (more about that later). But in the meantime, I needed to clear the sidebar of the blog for this year's list of those people who've given $109 or more in order to sponsor an entire mile of El Tour de Tucson, so here's the list of people who did that last year:

Miles 1-5: Paul Anbinder
Mile 6: John Raimondi
Mile 7: Thomas Lento's girlfriend's cat "Awsome"
Miles 8-9: Tyler & Lisa Anbinder
Mile 10: Jessica Lang
Miles 11-12: Noah Price
Miles 13-21: Meg Silvern
Mile 22: Fred Trinkoff
Mile 23: Rebecca Seacord
Miles 24-26: Henry & Christine Bial
Mile 27: Michelle Lee
Mile 28: Marisa Bocci
Mile 29: Missa Bergin (In Honor of Luke Romano)
Mile 30: Andy Grosser & Nadine Macolini
Mile 31: Jason Damsker
Mile 32: Brandyne Warren
Mile 33: Stacey Golub (In Honor of Bob Golub)
Mile 34: Rob Necco
Mile 35: Kendall Golladay
Mile 36: Temple Sinai
Mile 37: Adriano Manocchia
Mile 38: Jeremiah Gertler
Miles 49-50: Lev Spiro
Mile 52: Dustin & Linda Moskowitz
Mile 54: Jeffrey Anbinder
Mile 55: Wade Kwon
Miles 58-59: Mark Weiss
Mile 60: Stu Fox
Miles 62-63: Linda Rodd
Mile 64: Dustin & Linda Moskowitz
Miles 65-68: Ross & Melody Brown
Mile 69: Mark Giordano
Mile 70: Ken Deschere
Mile 72: Mark H. Anbinder
Mile 77: Barry & Adrienne Anbinder
Mile 78: Ann Senghas (In Memory of June Murray Senghas)
Mile 79: Ernie & Martha Bial
Miles 93-94: Tim Vinciguerra
Miles 95-99: Madeline & Steve Anbinder
Mile 100: The Future Mr. & Mrs. Ellsom
Miles 101-4: Tracy & Rob Baron
Miles 105-9: Helen Anbinder

Thanks again to all of last year's Mile Sponsors!
Tucson or Bust
02 December 2008 @ 12:20 pm
Click Here for Gallery of El Tour de Tucson 2008 Photos

Late in the afternoon on November 22, 2008, I pedaled my way over the finish line for El Tour de Tucson XXVI, completing 109 miles of bicycling that I'd started by crossing the start line at five minutes after 7 in the morning, a couple thousand riders already starting ahead of me in those five minutes. I finished nine hours and thirty-two minutes after I started, in 3,487th place out of the 3,814 riders who completed the entire 109 miles.

Click here to read my transcribed voice posts from the day of the ride for more detail.

It was my third century ride in slightly over a year, and the second year in a row I've ridden El Tour de Tucson - and in many ways, the two rides were like night and day for me. The weather was equally gorgeous and tame, starting in the low 50s in the morning and topping out in the mid-70s. But my training had gone very differently, and my riding habits were very different as well.

I still had more strength in my core from working on it in the spring while preparing for America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride in Tahoe in June, and although it wasn't as strong as I'd hoped, it did help me take fewer and shorter breaks instead of having to nurse my back every hour or so. I had also learned a lot of valuable lessons during last year's Tucson ride about feeding myself constantly, hydrating myself effectively with electrolyte powder, putting on plenty of sunscreen, getting a good night's sleep beforehand, and wearing shorts with thicker padding... so I never had a moment like last year's where I felt like I was simply too exhausted to finish the ride.

On the other hand, I missed a lot of training rides this fall. Between the weather, greater demands on my time at work, and other issues, I just didn't work as hard to get my legs strong. And I felt it, but not for a while, and not nearly as badly as I expected. For the first several hours, I really felt great - I had some trouble climbing hills, but my riding was otherwise strong and efficient, and I was very glad to be out there. As I alluded to in one of my voice posts, on more than one occasion I thought the rest of my teammates were ahead of me when they were actually behind me, and vice versa (we were just stopping at different rest stops, and hopping over each other, basically). I wasn't doing too badly by comparison, though I knew the effect would worsen at the end of the day when they had more steam in reserve than I did.

Nevertheless, when I realized I had overestimated how much it would affect my overall time on the ride, and I actually had a shot at finishing earlier this year than last, I knew I had to seize the opportunity. All of my teammates had passed me for good by this point, but that was fine. I knew my training had been subpar, and unlike last year the cyclists on the team who were weaker than I had dropped out a couple of months ago, so I knew that one way or another I was almost certain to finish last; the only question was how far behind.

So I hammered my way through those last fifteen miles, especially - with my knees starting to hurt from the exertion, and beginning to run low on my last bottle of Gatorade (or so I thought, anyway; as it turned out, I still had one more packet of mix buried in a pocket somewhere). And at this late stage of the ride, with the police actually stopping us to let suburban automobile traffic through, I was forced to channel my frustration at those stops and renew my efforts.

But it paid off - just as our route took us onto the downtown flats that begin two miles from the finish line at the Tucson Convention Center, I felt my phone vibrate, and I checked to see that Coach Kurt had sent me a text message: "How are you doing, sir?" The rest of the team had finished, and had obviously had time to gather themselves and their thoughts together long enough to wonder just how far behind I was. So I answered him the best way I knew how - by powering up the flats at 20mph, rounding the corner, and finishing the damn ride. This time, Mom and Dad were both there, as was my old friend Mark, and it was a relief to get off the bike, check in, and get my medal.

So I finished this year four minutes earlier than I had last year - but my bike's computer registered a ride time of 7 hours and 32 minutes, meaning it took me about twenty minutes longer to do the actual 109 miles of pedaling. As I'd planned, I made it through with fewer and far shorter breaks, which more than made up for the slower biking and accounted for getting me across the finish line sooner.

But another thing I pondered was this: Last year, I started in the back of the Gold group, which meant I crossed the start line pretty quickly after 7am. This year I started with the rest of the team (minus Anna and Peach, who were shooting for gold medals) in the Bronze section, and we didn't cross the start line until 7:05am. If our ankle chips were scanned at the start line when we actually crossed, then my ride really took nine hours and thirty-two minutes; if on the other hand they were all set with a default start time of exactly 7am, then the time it took me to bike the 109-mile route was really nine hours and twenty-seven minutes, and I shaved nine minutes off my time. Naturally, I sent an e-mail to the organizers to ask them which it is, because I'm just that obsessive - and the answer came back this morning that the start time was 7am for everyone, meaning I actually shaved nine minutes off my time. Woohoo!

(Not officially, but whatever.)

The victory celebration was a nice turkey dinner, just like last year's, and this time instead of feeling burned out from too much sun, I just had trouble using my knees. To my pleasant surprise, the next morning I was getting around just fine, and my knees have been great ever since. My back had trouble on the flights back on Sunday, and then went into full spasms on Tuesday, but I've fully recovered from that now. Last night was bike pickup, so my bike is now back in its rightful place in my apartment's entry hallway.

I even got a very nice e-mail this morning from Team in Training, asking if I would be a mentor or fundraising captain again for the spring/summer season, as I did this past spring. But I politely declined this time, because I think I need a season off - several months during which when I bike, it's because I want to. I made sure to let them know I'd be available as a fundraising resource if they needed me, though.

Which brings me to the final point, and the reason I was doing this in the first place: So far, friends, family, colleagues, and complete strangers have sponsored me for this second El Tour de Tucson ride to the tune of $14,774, which will go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to support its missions of blood cancer research, patient support, and lobbying efforts. I'm very grateful for everyone's support! Still, it's not quite 75% of the way to my 2008 goal of $20,000; and in fact it's still short of my total from last year, $15,395. I would really love to top last year, even with the economy in its current state.

If you haven't made a donation yet, there is still time. There are even a few miles left open that you could sponsor retroactively with a $109 donation (see the sidebar to your right)! Click the link below for information on how to give by credit card or check. Please also feel free to share the information with your friends and family if you think they would be interested; I'm perfectly happy to have strangers sponsor me if it'll help the LLS find new treatments and cures. Thank you for reading, and for supporting my ride and this important cause!

Click Here to Sponsor Me

Tucson or Bust
22 November 2008 @ 06:39 pm
113K 0:35
“Well, I did it again. Somehow I managed to shave four minutes off both my biking time and my clock time from last year. I honest-to-God don't know how the hell that happened; I guess I was pushing pretty hard at the end there, but I'm done. Mom and Dad and Mark Giordano greeted me at the finish line. I've checked in with Team in Training, and I got my third "hundred mile" pin; I'm going to get my medal now. I'll post with more details later. Thank you for following, thank you for your support, bye bye!

Original transcription:

Well, I did it again. ___ how I manage to safe 4 mins off for my biking time and my clock time from last year. I honestly got don't know how the hell that happened. I guess I was pushing pretty hard in getting there but I'm done. Mom and Dad marked you down agreed to me at first part. I've checked in with you in training and I got my 3rd hundred mile. I'm going to get my medal now. I'll post with more details later. Thank you for following, thank you for your support. Bye bye.”

Transcribed by: tucsonorbust
Tucson or Bust
22 November 2008 @ 06:05 pm
35K 0:11
“Now entering Mile 105, and just like last year, these last five miles are for Mom. I'll see you soon.

Original transcription:

Now entering mile 105 and just like last year we just like 5mi off from mom. I'll see you soon.”

Transcribed by: tucsonorbust