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Project Hero Honor Ride 2022 w/ Extra Credit

I only learned of this ride once it was posted to the Adobo Velo Facebook page. I knew immediately I was going to participate. After registering, I returned to the group’s Facebook page and started fishing for others who might want to ride to the start of the ride versus driving. I received a couple bites with a few interested from both the west- and east-side of town so I picked a spot near the middle, the corner of Cactus and Las Vegas Blvd (LVB), as a meetup spot. At one point there were a total of five of us going to ride down. By the night before, two had dropped off and one more had signed up. I went to bed knowing I’d have a total of three riders with me on the ride in.

I want to back up some before diving into the ride. During the registration process I was prompted to setup a fundraising goal. Honestly, before registering, I had no idea there was an additional fundraiser going on. The registration page suggested an initial goal of $250. I figured with the ride being approximately 60 miles in length, I’d be able to get 10 people to donate $30, or $0.50/mile, so I set a goal of $300, added an initial $30 donation during my registration, and started posting to Facebook. That first post was on November 6th, and I continued to share the link to my donation page daily. On the morning of November 10th, I was pleasantly surprised with an email from Project Hero notifying me that I’d met my fundraising goal. Seizing on the momentum, I bumped my goal to $600 just to see what would happen. I continued posting daily, and was thrilled when I went to bed the night before knowing I’d hit my $600 goal! Super thankful for everyone who stepped up to donate and share my donation information. Thank you all so so much.

The morning of the ride was a chilly one, I’d guess the coldest start after the summer months. My head unit recorded a low of 33.8°F around Del Webb Middle School. Definitely a chilly one. I left the house wearing my typical low 40s gear and added a three-year-old Pearl Izumi wind breaker. It’s nice in that it did the job at keeping the worst of the wind from going through me, but it’s a size XL and I sounded like a flag flapping in the breeze as I bombed down Anthem Pkwy. Definitely annoying, but better than being frozen through.

Leaving the house, I probably could have ridden straight to the rendezvous at Cactus and LVB; however, I’d posted on the Adobo Velo Facebook page that I would be riding through Anthem Hills Park at 6:50 before continuing on. The one person who had agreed to meet me there had backed out, but I didn’t want someone to go to the park expecting me to be there. It isn’t uncommon for someone to show up at the last minute having not checked in online beforehand. Waited around for a few minutes, grabbed a couple photos, and after no one arrived I rolled out.

The trip over to Cactus and LVB went pretty quickly. I used a route I’d drawn up the week before to avoid construction along Cactus and the timing worked out about perfectly. As I was riding down LVB, I spotted Caleb making the turn onto LVB and eventually into the gas station on the corner. He’d barely had a chance to walk inside when I rolled up. We hung out and chatted for a bit while waiting on Moose to show up about five minutes later. With our initial group together, we set out to pick up Brett at the NW corner of LVB and Warm Springs.

This segment went pretty quickly as well. Moose was putting in some work and I just jumped on his wheel and enjoyed the ride. Along the way I received a text message from Brett asking if he’d missed us. Thankfully my Garmin computer and sent a couple pre-defined replies and I sent him a ‘No’. We rolled up to a red light at the corner of LVB and Warm Springs and I shouted over to Brett to go ahead and start rolling and we’d catch up to him.

I had originally planned on taking LVB to Mandalay Bay Rd before moving west to Frank Sinatra. We would then take Frank Sinatra all the way north eventually arriving at the Clark County Government Center. Thankfully, I rode the section of LVB between Warm Springs and Mandalay Bay Rd the day before and it was still under heavy construction. Riding solo I didn’t have too much trouble, but I didn’t want to subject anyone else to the rough road and potential heavy traffic. In the alternative, we took Warm Springs over I-15 to take Dean Martin north instead, and it was shortly after turning onto Dean Martin that we caught up to Brett. Our ride along Dean Martin was pretty quick and we made excellent time arriving at the official start around 8:00 a.m.

Of the four of us who rolled in to the start, I was the only one who had already checked-in and picked up their number and ride packet. Thankfully we arrived early enough to allow the other three to check-in and pick up their numbers. While they were doing that, I spotted Mark and Joe and started visiting with them. I took the opportunity to take off my windbreaker and was thankful that Mark allowed me to store it in his car for the ride. It does have the ability to collapse and pack into itself, but that would mean stuffing it into one of my jersey pockets or strapping it to the bike and hope it doesn’t come off.

After the jacket was taken care of, and Mark was ready, we meandered over to the gathering area to see who else had showed up. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of Adobo Velo riders who showed up. Looking back through the pictures I’d guess we had at least a dozen riders show up! Pretty decent turnout for a paid event. We gathered around and were visiting and chatting it up while waiting for the event to get underway. Once the announcer started counting down the minutes until the start, we worked our way over and lined up with the other riders.

Just like that we were off. The route started with a parade style ride south along the resort corridor section of LVB. We were told before hand that we’d be escorted by Metro and CC Fire until after the turn onto Mandalay Bay Rd. We were also asked to not pass any riders that were on recumbent bikes as they were recovering veterans who we were riding for in the first place. Finally, we were told that the pace would be around 10 MPH for the full trip down LVB. Honestly, much of all that didn’t matter to me because we were so far back in the pack anyway. We just took our time visiting, enjoying the scenery, and taking as many pictures as we could. This was my second trip down the resort corridor, but the first time I felt comfortable enough to take pictures and take pictures I did!

Our group did pretty good staying together for the entirety of the resort corridor. We made the right onto Mandalay Bay Rd which eventually becomes Hacienda after crossing I-15. After that bridge we were released to start riding without restrictions. It didn’t take long before we were riding as many lanes as possible to work around some of the slower riders. There was a total of three distances offered (20-, 42-, and 57-miles) and all three groups left the start at the same time. All three groups leaving together meant that all variety of fitness levels were all jumbled together. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but a little annoying for the first 10 miles. At mile 10 was the first rest stop and it seems EVERYONE needed to stop including a few from our group. It actually worked out for the best because once our group wrapped up at that first stop, we were released to ride “normally”.

After that first stop, we really started motoring. Honestly, at this point it felt like another Adobo Velo group ride. I got out in front and spent much of the time leading the group. Did share the lead duties with Joe and Brett along several segments. They were an especially huge help on a few of the legs south as we started heading into a head wind. Each time either of them would take a pull I’d make sure to holler what the next turn was. It seems I was one of the few to load up the course on their head unit. Thank heaven or we may have ended up out at the test site or who knows where else! Everything went smoothly back to the start except for the single flat which we made short work of.

We came into the parking lot where the finish was located and missed the turn to go under the arch. Don’t think we were paying much attention at that point. We were greeted with quite the spread. First thing was to grab the socks we received for finishing the ride. Next, I went over to the merchandise table to check in on a fundraising reward jersey. By raising more than $250 I received an event jersey, and that only happened because of all my supporters! Then, I went over to the lunch table and grabbed a plate full of pasta and a Gatorade to wash it all down. Lastly, I joined all the other Adobo Velo members who I’d been riding with to relax and chat before heading home.

While we were enjoying lunch a few of us started working plans for getting home. I’d lost track of Moose immediately after arriving to the start. Brett had arranged a ride home with Joe. That left Caleb and I from the original group. David and Kant had also ridden down to the start, but they’d started in west Summerlin versus the south like Caleb and I. I also learned that Al rode over from his house in Green Valley and he was up for riding back with us depending on the route. I had already planned on riding east to McLeod to go south versus risking Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra during the busier afternoon hours. Al liked the idea and had planned a similar route. With a plan set we hung out and waited for Caleb to roll in.

At the second rest stop Caleb decided to hang back with his buddy, also Caleb, who was on a recumbent. Recumbent Caleb had some issues with a flat at the second stop and we’d thought we had him taken care of when our group rolled out. When the two of them arrived at the finish we learned that the tire kept giving them trouble and eventually it needed a tube despite being tubeless. Overall, I didn’t wait all that long for Caleb to roll in, and wasn’t bothered in the least for it.

Al and I gave Caleb all the time he needed before we rolled out. Thankfully he took the time to grab a bite to eat and use the restroom before saying he was ready. I gathered up all my stuff; windbreaker, jersey, and socks, and stuffed them into my rear pockets for the ride home. Sadly, because of the way everything was packed, there were no pictures of our ride south.

The ride south was an easy one. I’d ridden this route in the past when riding from the house to UNLV’s School of Medicine. We just went down St. Louis to Pecos and then turned south until we met McLeod. Honestly it was smooth sailing and something I’ve done hundreds of times once we reached the section that overlapped with my evening commutes. When we reached the McLeod turn off Al was hesitant, at first, to make the right. It sounded like he usually takes Pecos the entire way. We certainly could have gone that way, but I convinced them to trust me on the route that would have less traffic. I was actually tickled when Al sounded impressed and surprised by my suggestion and revealing that he’d never ridden these roads before.

Our group of three was reduced to two at Robindale and Pecos. I’m not certain where Al lives but I believe it was further south and to the east of the Robindale/Pecos intersection. However, I wanted to avoid the construction on Pecos between Windmill and Pebble and I needed to get Caleb back over to LVB and Cactus. We said our quick goodbyes and Caleb and I proceeded west along Robindale.

Caleb and I wound our way through, I guess, the Silverado Ranch neighborhood. We set a nice chill pace and had a great little riding visit. It didn’t take long before we were rolling along LVB. As we started rolling up to Cactus said our goodbyes only after I was assured, he knew how to get back to Mountains Edge Park. I always feel partially responsible for those I ride with and just don’t know what I would do with myself if something were to happen to someone separating like Caleb and I were. Thankfully my worries were unfounded and he made it back to his ride without issue. Always a pleasure riding out with him.

This left me solo for the last 12 miles and 900+ feet of climbing. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything spectacular to report. I continued south along LVB into a decent headwind that was annoying at first, but once I made the turn onto Via Inspirada it was more like a tailwind and I was loving it. Hit the Democracy climb with some gusto and set a personal best on the segment. I rolled up to the house and felt like I still had a few miles left in my legs, but I was happy to be home. I got all my stuff put away, changed into some house clothes, and proceeded to stuff my face with some recover food before hitting up Taco Man Grill with the little darling once she got home.

Wrapping up, this was a great event and a great ride. Despite my joke about getting lost in the desert the course was well marked with red, white, and blue arrows directing the route based on the length of ride you’d signed up for. All three rest areas were well stocked with snacks and drinks. Lastly, all the monies raised go to support a good cause which is always a good thing. Ultimately, I think that this is definitely a ride I’d do again in the future.

49.56 new miles, completed 25% of Paradise, competed 25% of Las Vegas Strip — From
Clear-Mostly sunny, 38°F-59°F, Feels like 38°F-60°F, Humidity 48%-23%, Wind SW 2mph-E 4mph – by
myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: 5.8%
Headwind: 73% @ 2.9-9mph
Longest Headwind: 01h 17m 42s
Air Speed: 17.3mph
Temp: 37.6-60.2°F
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —

Total distance: 113.98 mi
Max elevation: 3081 ft
Min elevation: 1855 ft
Total climbing: 3907 ft
Total descent: -3888 ft
Total time: 10:06:44
Published inAdobo VeloCyclingEvents

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