Tour de Foothills 2017! FUN day riding with friends and setting new personal records!! By Jenna Rollman on 11/11/2017Jenna Rollman
The 2017 Tour de Foothills was a fantastically FUN day from start to finish, from the scenic yet aptly challenging 66 mile route to the festive and satisfying post-ride beer garden hosting friends and the always entertaining shenanigans that are sure to follow!!
The weather was absolutely perfect for a long day on the handcycle, making for a wonderfully comfortable 5 hours and 50 minutes of ride time with my Ultimate rotating Man-Squad Jeff Rusk, Barry Beecher, Michael Dowdle and Jim Mann! They had me laughing the whole time!
I was able to put in some consistent strong efforts throughout the day, keeping up a fast pace through Sierra Madre, across the San Gabriel River Trail, along Arrow Highway, and hustled down Hollenbeck to Covina Hills at mile 53 where the real climbing was waiting to test my Larms, but I was READY for the grinding challenge!! ??
I was SO thankful it wasn’t blazing hot through Covina Hills like it has been in previous years and for once I actually enjoyed cranking around the steep curves of the road instead of feeling like I’m on fire! ??? LOL!
Of course you’re not done yet, because just a quick left turn out of Covina and you’re greeted by the BEAST of a climb known as Via Verde!!! ???
Boy does this climb eat you alive, but I have gained a lot of efficiency training with my Paralympic Coach and I employed every technique I’ve been practicing throughout the year on this long incredibly steep grind, which helped me shave 11 seconds off last year’s time! That’s HUGE!!! ??
Not to say I didn’t suffer through, oh man did I ever!! ???
But what goes up must come down and the blistering fast San Dimas Avenue descent was beyond exhilarating after putting in such a monumental climbing effort.
Jeff and I had reached the home stretch so I picked up the pace as we got to Bonita, in no time we went from San Dimas to Upland where I finally caught my fellow handcycling buddy and Team PossAbilities teammate Alfonso Garibay on 11th street with just a couple of miles to go.
In true competitive spirit as I passed Alfonso I egged him to a race to the finish with some fighting words and we took off together, feverishly HAMMERING our Larms while willing ourselves to push out every last ounce of energy that we both could possibly muster!! It was ON!!! ???
I did not know I could push that hard after such a long ride with 3,400ft of elevation but somehow I was cranking 18-20mph in a complete frenzy, going back and forth with Alfonso. We approached the last right turn and hauled neck and neck downhill to the finish…but in friendly fashion we slowed down and passed through together, proud of our efforts and feeling accomplished!! What a GREAT day!
All in all 2017 Tour de Foothills was an AMAZING event, THANK YOU to all the hardworking organizers, volunteers, sponsors, vendors, and riders for coming together as a community to put on this fantastic ride in our own backyard!
Everyone did a GREAT job and you deserve a round of applause!!
I can’t wait for next year! ???