Chris Hammond
Chris Hammond Founder of, an avid computer geek, photographer, and amateur bicycle rider

Partaking in the LIVESTRONG Challenge Davis 2012

Partaking in the LIVESTRONG Challenge Davis 2012

Team ITM America at the LIVESTRONG Challenge Davis 2012

First things first. A HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you to every one of the individuals and companies that sponsored our fundraising for the event. Without your help Team ITM America wouldn’t have raised $4,300 in total for LIVESTRONG. Also a big thank you for the largest donation from, they really helped us out with their donation and the KITs they outfitted us in!

And now for the details. All the build up, all the riding, all the fund raising, and here we are, three days past the event. I am not sore. Natalie is not sore. Did we really just ride 100 miles? Well no, actually, we didn’t, we rode 95.8 miles, you can see the results on Strava right here.

Unfortunately the ride wasn’t a full 100 miles, but that was the design and layout of the course.

Saturday morning Natalie and I said good-bye to baby Jacqueline, leaving her with Natalie’s parents to watch her for the weekend. We drove up to Davis so we could get registered for the event, and then checked in to our hotel to relax a bit before we went to the fundraising dinner on Saturday night.

Registration was pretty low key, we picked up all the “stuff” that we got, Natalie getting a t-shirt and water bottle, myself getting those items, plus a hat, bag, and LIVESTRONG jersey. Those items, along with two tickets to the fundraising dinner on Saturday night were my rewards for raising $4,015 for the event.

We took a few moments to hang a few things on the dedication wall at the LIVESTRONG tent.

Another post on the wall #lscdavis #dnn

We checked out a few of the sponsor booths, picked up our Oakley Gift Cards, I got a cool Movember pin from the guys from, and then we headed off to find our hotel.

We checked in to the Days Inn in Davis, CA on Saturday afternoon, and I tell you what we were in for an experience there. If you want to know all about it, go look it up on Yelp, I left a (not)nice review there. Here, I will just say, don’t ever stay at the Days Inn in Davis California, it isn’t worth your money.

The dinner on Saturday night was great, while I actually didn’t care for the food (I’m a picky bastard so keep that in mind) Natalie enjoyed the meal. We had a great time talking to people throughout the evening. I think I enjoyed most hearing from the Texas 4000 riders, check them out at They are heading from Austin to Anchorage, on their summer break! LIVESTRONG also had a guest speaker, Amy Dodson, her story was amazing to hear and nearly brought me to tears right there at the dinner table.

After dinner we went back to the hotel to do some final preparation on the bikes and get our jerseys ready, I rode with the following attached to my back. I do have me some love handles, but in my defense there are 4 packages of HONEYSTINGER fruit chews, keys, a cell phone, cash and chapstick in my jersey pockets!

The back of my jersey

The ride started off at 7:30am, we lined up for the start around 7:10 to try to get up front with the 100 milers. It was a tad chilly, Natalie could of used her jacket while we were standing around, but I had talked her out of taking it with her, as I knew once we got riding it would just be something extra to carry around.

At 7:30 they sent the first wave off, we made it out in the second wave. Heading out of town they had the roads blocked off, so we could head out without stopping at any lights or stop signs for the first 3 miles. To be honest though, I don’t think anyone stopped for a stop sign until well after mile 20… Fortunately most of the riding was done on the country roads of Yolo and Solano counties, so there wasn’t much traffic.

The ride itself was relatively flat, actually it was darn flat. If you notice the strava profile above you’ll see it says we climbed 896 feet, over 95.8 miles. That is nothing, in Hawaii a couple of weeks ago we did almost 4x that elevation in <1/3 the distance, and riding around here in Half Moon Bay it is easy to put that on in a 12-15 mile ride. The weather for the ride was gorgeous, a bit cool to start off with, but it maybe topped out around 80 degrees (if that) during the ride. The wind did pick up a little here or there, but nothing that caused too much pain for the ride.

This ride is a supported ride, which means there are water/bathroom/food stops all along the course, the first one being after 10 short miles. We decided that we wouldn’t stop at the first one, we were only about 35 minutes into the ride by then, so we headed on to stop #2 at mile 24. The stops were all well stocked, except for #4 which was just a water tank, but you really can’t complain because everything else was top notch. At the stops you could get water, gatorade, PBJ sandwiches, nuts, fruit and even HONEYSTINGER products, I’m a fan of the stinger, so that was my favorite part.

For the stops, we ended up skipping stop 1 and 3, but we stopped at the rest of them, it was nice to be able to get off the bike for a few minutes, expel some of the fluids we had been taking in, and grab a bite to eat without worrying about falling off the bike doing so. Ultimately we rested for about an hour and seven minutes according to the Strava route. The entire ride took us 7:10, with 1:07 of non-moving time.

We managed to make the ride without any mishaps, no spills, no flats, nothing dropped or falling from the bike. At the end we rode across the finish line together, we probably could have (should have) gone another 2 miles out and back to get up to an even 100 miles for the day, but after a day of fighting off knee pain and trying to keep up with Natalie on the bike I was all for getting off and walking around a bit.

Here's a short compilation video of some of our ride.

After the ride we had some food, grabbed some drinks, and hit the road back to Half Moon Bay.

I will go ahead and say it here now. I plan to do another, if not multiple, LIVESTRONG Challenge rides in 2013, even though we will not be in Northern California anymore (hello Missouri) I will plan to make the trip back out here if they hold one in Davis again. I would also like to try to see if I can raise enough money for Austin ($10k) next year, I have some ideas on how that can happen.

I hope to build up a larger team next year, while it was fun riding with just me and Natalie, I think we could be far more efficient if there was a full team going the entire route shifting off duties of leading (Natalie did a lot of the leading due to my knee). If you are at all considering riding a 100 mile ride next year, considering joining the team.

If you haven’t touched a bike in years, never fear, I started riding just over year ago. I didn’t put in any particular training plan for the ride, I just rode as much as I could starting in January, May really kind of tailed off besides our 100k ride and a 45 mile ride up in Vacaville, and June really didn’t get enough riding until the event itself, but we faired pretty darn well I’d say considering.

Thanks to LIVESTRONG for organizing the event, thanks to Davis for hosting it (Davis is a great college town). Thank you again to all the donors for the event, thank you to my wife for riding it with me.

And most of all because this was an event to raise money for LIVESTRONG and their cancer programs, this ride was for my best friend’s mom Jan, my uncle John, my Auntie Carol, and my father Bill.

For additional photos from LSCDavis click here

comments powered by Disqus