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Project Hero Honor Ride 2023 w/ Extra Credit

I signed up for this ride months ago, and even set up a team page for Adobo Velo to boot. I will admit I didn’t even try to fundraise this year which is kinda disappointing, but there are plans for next year though. Anyway, Friday afternoon I got a text from Joy asking if I was riding over. I told her I was and shared my planned route. Last year I’d rode north along Dean Martin but the construction on Tropicana had me second guessing that option. This year I’d start with the same route, but ride west at Post to connect with Valley View. I would have loved to have rode Valley View from within Southern Highlands, but it is closed/demolished at I-215. I also received a text from Moose asking about any rides and he met Joy and I just south of M Casino along Las Vegas Blvd. The ride to the start went off without a hitch. Our little group made good time and arrived with plenty of time to spare.

The only thing frustrating about the Honor Ride is, in a way, the weather, but then again it’s my own fault. I started from the house at 6:30 and the temperature was in the mid-40s. By the time I got to the start the temperature had climbed into the mid-50s. All the riders who had driven were in shorts and arm warmers, and here I am in both arm and leg warmers and a vest. Completely over dressed for the current temperature. Thankfully Joe let me store my vest in his car until we got back.

The ride started with a great parade down the Strip. Always nice to have a police escort along this stretch. I don’t think I would ride it any other way despite all my commuting experience. The highlight was riding down what will be the back stretch of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Once we made the turn onto Hacienda and cleared the I-15 bridge, everyone started stepping up the pace. Seasoned riders were wanting to get moving while other riders were simply enjoying the afternoon. I just made sure to keep a decent pace that would keep me moving forward through the crowd while being very aware of the other riders around me. Would be awful to take a spill or worse cause a huge pileup because I was riding like a jerk in a hurry.

Making the turn north onto Torrey Pines I decided to skip the first rest area. Last year it was swamped with riders and, one, I didn’t want to deal with that again and, two, we’d barely started really. I mean the cruise down the strip is next to nothing and the short ride along Hacienda was barely a warm up. Thankfully I wasn’t alone and a few of my Adobo Velo buddies hung with me as we rode on by.

We had a nice solid group going. We’d overtake a few groups here and there. Catch a few at a light and then pass them after the green and realizing we wanted to ride faster than them. At one such light Dave and Joy popped up out of nowhere. It seems that they’d decided to make a quick bathroom break at the first rest stop and were only now catching up.

Not entirely sure when it happened, but things kinda got serious! A small group led by Dave got out in front after a light. It took a few lights, but the smaller group I was with eventually caught back up. Once I was back with this lead group I didn’t want to let go and boy was Dave really hammering it. I think the goal was to either stick with or pass a pair of riders in matching team kit. Dave held the lead for quite a bit and eventually I came around him and took a solid pull myself. As we rounded the corner onto Fort Apache I just could not bridge our group up to these two riders. Continuing up Fort Apache I spotted the two again and then it came to me why we weren’t catching them, they were running every stop sign and red light they came to. I mean at some points it didn’t even look like they were slowing for a stop. It was at this point I resigned myself to never catching them. I’m all for having a little fun, but there is fun and there is dangerous. In addition, I don’t want Project Hero to catch heat from locals because a group of participants is smoking through stops and lights. If you ever wonder why we can’t have nice things it’s that kind of behavior that certainly doesn’t help. Anyway, enough soapbox.

Soon enough we rolled into the second rest area and it wasn’t a moment too soon either. After grabbing a couple snacks I pulled up a spot to sit down and strip off some layers. I pulled everything off leaving only my jersey and bibs. The temperature had climbed that much. Ended up having a decently extended stay hanging out for a bit.

Then I spotted Joy and Dave rolling off without us and I gathered everyone up to roll out. Of course as luck would have it we hit the very next light. Once it went green I tried to work with Joe to pull the group back up to Dave and Joy, but then we caught another light and we would never really see Dave again and Joy only at the end.

I had a good time up front but after making the right onto Centennial Pkwy I had to stop to take a phone call. Of course everyone asked if I was ok and even had a few shout out they were stopping. I insisted that everyone keep riding and that I knew the route and would try to catch up to them later.

With the call to the kiddo done I set off to hunt the group I was with down. I’m surprised that I caught them maybe four miles later making the left onto Jones Blvd. I was cruising east on Grand Teton and spotted them out ahead of me. This got me amped so I put my head down and focused on reeling them in. Then as luck would have it they all hit the left arrow red and had to wait to make the turn. By the time I came rolling up, the light had just gone green and half the pack had completed the left while the other half were just getting underway. I took the corner wide to the right to give everyone space along the inside, and then as they started coming right I announced I was coming up while working my way left. I pulled on through to the front and hear old Joe yell out, “There he is!”. I love it when I can actually chase a group down. Then again they were probably going easy to let me catch up!

From here on out we made one more stop at a rest area before finishing up the ride. Our little group kept picking up a few riders here and there who were happy to jump onto a friendly wheel. We cruised along pretty well and had a great time all the way to the finish.

At the finish we nabbed a couple tables and hung out and visited for a bit while waiting for the lunch to arrive. Not entirely sure why but it seems that lunch is always delayed for the longer riders. I noticed it last year, and another rider mentioned it has been happening for a few years now. Thankfully some pizza did finally arrive and we tore into it like a bunch of ravenous dogs.

With full bellies and fighting off the urge to take a nap, Joy and I finally convinced ourselves it was time to roll out. Last year I’d taken a group back into Henderson by going back to the strip and down St. Louis to Pecos. I was hesitant to do that again so we took our chances with downtown instead. Honestly I think it wasn’t too bad. Were there sketchy looking spots? Absolutely. Spotted a couple homeless folks wondering about and things didn’t improve much as we moved from Ogden to Fremont St and on to Boulder Hwy. I feel things did improve once we cleared Charleston and had an actual bike/bus lane all to ourselves.

Unfortunately the luxury of a bike lane didn’t last long as we made the right onto west bound St. Louis and then the left onto south bound Pecos. Once again we were on plain jane surface streets with little to no bike lane. Thankfully at this portion of Pecos the road is a little quieter and there isn’t as much traffic to worry about. As we passed Flamingo that quieter quality of Pecos faded away. I gotta give it to Joy though. Some riders would be a ball of nerves riding along that section of road, but she rode it like a champ. Thankfully it gets better once you pass Warm Springs and you’re given a bike lane again.

We stayed with Pecos/St. Rose until Bermuda when we did the fancy little loop over to Starr to join Executive Airport. Then from there it was just a simple ride to drop Joy at her place leaving me to ride up the hill solo. I was kinda nervous about climbing Democracy with the new gearing, but it wasn’t as bad as my mind had made it out to be. I think a 52/36 chainring with 11/34 is going to suit me quite nicely.

New bike fund: $31.85 (+$0.01)
21.73 new miles — From
643 vehicles @ 5.8 per mile, 1.6 per minute, Speeds: 33.9 mph (avg), 70.3 mph (max) —
Sunny-Sunny, 43°F-67°F, Feels like 44°F-69°F, Humidity 24%-10%, Wind WNW 3mph-N 2mph — by
myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: 3.8%
Headwind: 46% @ 1.7-9.8mph
Longest Headwind: 01h 2m 42s
Air Speed: 17.4mph
Temp: 41.4-70°F
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —

Total distance: 110.78 mi
Max elevation: 3052 ft
Min elevation: 1839 ft
Total climbing: 3560 ft
Total descent: -3585 ft
Total time: 09:56:56
Published inAdobo VeloCyclingEvents

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