The 100K ride offers a very challenging opportunity to test your riding skills, with 5,700 feet of elevation gain over 67.1 miles.
This blog outlines my journey toward improved health and fitness, one sport, goal, and day at a time. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Ahh, the beginning of summer - a clean slate, with months to go before it's time to look back on how I've wasted my time and not achieved any of my goals. You might remember the day I bought every pillowcase in the known universe, planning to make a bunch of dresses for Zoe, per the evil influence of Pinterest and its endless stream of cute and seemingly doable ideas. Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen dances with carnival revelers in Rio de Janeiro in A 2004. Italy's Vincenzo Nibali won the Tour de France on Sunday after dominating the three-week race from Leeds, England, to Paris.
The 29-year-old Sicilian, who rides for the Astana Pro Team, beat France's Jean-Christophe Peraud of the Ag2r-La Mondiale team by 7 minutes and 37 seconds.
Nibali added he would never have come even close to winning the Tour if it were not for improved doping tests. He was already well known for his astute tactics; this move showed he'd brought super legs to the big show too. But Nibali surprised everyone by absolutely flying over the pave, dropping just about everybody and gaining time in the general classification. The Tour was looking more and more like Nibali's to lose, yet the mountains loomed and some wondered if the Italian would be able to keep his lead when the "real race" started.
Though some had questioned whether he'd have the legs to take the lead back, by day's end there was no doubt who owned this Tour. When it came to positioning himself in the peloton at critical moments, Nibali nailed that, too. With his victory, Nibali becomes the first Italian winner of the Tour de France since the late Marco Pantani in 1998.
Nibali has now won each of pro cycling's three Grand Tours: the Giro d'Italia, the Vuelta a Espana, and the Tour de France. Business Insider watched the video several times on Thursday in order to report about it for this story, but the video was apparently removed from YouTube by Ford sometime Thursday afternoon. He's scored all kinds of awesome victories, come back from horrific crashes that nearly ended his career, and inspired millions along the way. His message is always the same: Keep attacking, keep going, keep hurting for the win — no matter the pain.
Before he hangs up his bike, he'll try for one last victory this week as he ends his 17-year racing career. As befits a champion such as Voigt, his team came up with a gorgeous send-off package, including a custom bike with matching shoes and helmet.
In an email to Business Insider, Eric Bjorling, director of brand communications for Trek, said, "Jens' team-issued Madone 7 Series is worth roughly $12,500.
Trek has incorporated social media into the package, encouraging fans to use the hashtag #FarewellJens to share their memories and best wishes. The really cool detail is all up and down the down tube, a tally representing Voigt's many race wins over his career.
As The Wall Street Journal's Jason Gay put it, "It's Voigt's suffering that clinches his popularity. Williams made his passion clear in a 2013 Reddit AMA: "My favorite thing to do is ride a bicycle. One of the world's funniest men rode through these small towns on customized ultra-light bikes, his infamous body hair contrasting with the shaved legs of other serious road cyclists, giving away his identity.
In the fraternity of local bike retailers, Williams was appreciated as a patron and, at times, a savior. But it was the regular outings, where he would come in and shop for parts and gear for customized bikes, like a $12,000 Bianchi, that the small retailers appreciated. For the last 10 years, Williams biked to the Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley for Tuesday Night Comedy With Mark Pitta & Friends.
Almost a decade ago, Knowles, who currently works at Tam Bikes, knew Williams as a customer at Sunshine Bicycle Center in Fairfax. Knowing that Williams and Armstrong were friends, Knowles asked Williams to get the book autographed by the Tour de France champion. Then Williams asked, "Where does your father live?" Learning his was just a few blocks from the store, the comic offered, "Let's go see him and say hello." Sadly, Knowles' father was in San Francisco getting chemotherapy but loved to tell the story of how Robin Williams came to visit. Williams won't bike on Paradise Drive anymore, or stop in at Odyssey or Mike's or Tam's or 3 Rings or Above Category.
Patrick asked Armstrong if he could have won the world's greatest bike race without doping. Armstrong said he no longer wears a yellow Livestrong bracelet, which promoted the anticancer foundation he founded.

Armstrong became the first person to win the Tour seven times, and he did so consecutively, from 1999 to 2005.
Armstrong's net worth, according to The New York Times, was estimated at $125 million in 2012.
Armstrong said the reactions he gets when he's out in public today are "positive." He owns two houses, one in Austin, Texas, and one in Aspen, Colorado. All that pedaling makes you perspire, and many companies don't have showers for employees to use.
I have some firsthand experience as I ride to work a few days week, from Brooklyn into Manhattan, a 40-minute ride each way. Another issue, for some anyway, is that it's really tough to get up steep climbs and haul heavy loads, like stuffed backpacks and bags of groceries. Enter the e-bike, whose electric motor helps you as you pedal along, making it easier to get up to speed and maintain it. Another benefit of e-bikes, as with all bikes, is that they help you avoid traffic and thus get around faster. With tens of millions of e-bikes already on the road in China, e-bike sales are now surging in Europe, especially in northern countries with long cycling traditions. There are 250,000 on the road in Switzerland, according to the European Cyclists’ Federation. One thing that's unclear is whether e-bikes can succeed in putting you in a good mood the way a conventional bike can.
Dutch cyclist Annefleur Kalvenhaar has died after crashing on Friday at the Mountain Bike World Cup in France. Brian Cookson, the president of the UCI, said in a statement: "I'm devastated to hear that the cycling family has lost one of its members at such a young age. Determined to be a fit and healthy bride, she changed her lifestyle by changing her eating habits and doing lots of bike riding. My goal is to lose 225~ pounds through eating healthy whole foods and intense focused exercise. Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing! So, I think it is the same, as a mum, to take care of myself.'A 'You can feel a bit guilty - you feel guilty if you do and if you don't.
In third was another Frenchman, Thibaut Pinot of the team, 8 minutes and 15 seconds back. This year's race was marked by the early withdrawals of favorites Britain's Chris Froome (Sky Pro Cycling) and Spain's Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), both of whom crashed out in the first 10 days. Stage 2 finished with a select group charging into Sheffield; it included overall favorites Froome, Contador, and Van Garderen.
He found himself in the leader's jersey only two days into the race, and suddenly everyone was talking not just about Froome and Contador but also the Shark as a true favorite for the overall. The route featured several sections of cobblestones, which don't usually appear in the Tour. He took third on the stage but the real damage had been done behind: He distanced chief rivals Contador and Froome, who crashed out. That left the race open for others to attack on the summit finish at La Planche des Belles Filles.
Nibali attacked in the closing kilometers and soloed to his second stage victory and into the lead.
To take one example, shown above, he found himself on stage 15 in a precarious situation where he could have crashed or been swarmed by riders as they approached a dangerous roundabout.
It attracts 3.5 billion TV viewers each year, according to the race organizers, and another 12 million spectators along the route in a typical year's race. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) suspended Leogrande from cycling in 2008, and his doping case ultimately led investigators to Armstrong’s team, sponsored by the U.S. The multicolored top tube features a variety of colors to represent his wife, six children, family dog, country, major victories, and teams.
Cycling fetishizes pain—the more agony a rider can withstand, the more his or her legend grows. It loops from San Francisco to Sausalito, giving way to views of the city, the Richmond Bridge and the surrounding mountains, crushing in their beauty.
On Monday, news of his suicide engulfed the Northern California enclaves that view him as a celebrated son.
According to Quoc Phan at Tam Bikes in Mill Valley, Williams' reps made him stop mountain biking as a safety precaution — though road biking is often considered more dangerous. When an iconic San Francisco bike store was up for sale 10 years ago, the actor was approached to back a bid that would keep the shop in the hands of its managers.
Given his collection at one point hovered around 100 bikes (many of which he auctioned off for charity), it was no small act. Knowles' father had cancer, and he bought him Lance Armstrong's book, It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life.

Originally called the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Livestrong severed all ties with Armstrong in 2012. From roughly the late 1980s to the mid-2000s, cycling was rampant with blood doping, mainly the use of EPO, and suffered from a lack of effective drug testing. By the time I get into the city, especially in the summer, I've got a sweaty brow and an uncomfortable coat of perspiration. One company, Smart, has a video on YouTube showing a woman making it into work early, before all her coworkers.
In Germany, bike sales were down 5.5 percent last year, but sales of more expensive e-bikes were up almost 8 percent and now command about 11 percent of the market. A lot of people who bike say riding makes them feel more positive and decreases their stress levels. But if I put my oxygen mask on first, if I'm feeling fulfilled and present and good about myself, then I'm going to be a much more patient, loving, understanding mother and wife.A 'You have to fill your glass so that everyone can drink from it.
Along the way, spectators with smartphones made headlines as they nearly caused riders to crash and almost took out the race leader. Nibali, aka the Shark, launched a beautifully timed attack in the closing kilometers and powered his way to the finish line solo.
To make things worse, it was raining on this hellish stage, so the century-old stones were slick and sure to cause chaos.
Yet all day Nibali benefited from his strong team, which set him up for a brilliant climbing debut in the Vosges Mountains. He sensed the need to move up, so he powered out of the slipstream of his teammates and into the wind right to the front of the peloton. He raced more aggressively as the Tour went on, distancing himself from everyone with constant attacking.
His team-issued Madone 7 is a chrome-colored vision that took Trek artists more than a week to perfectly polish, the company said.
It leads inland, shedding tourists en route to Mill Valley, San Rafael, San Anselmo and Fairfax, quaint villages in the tony county where mountain biking was born. Robin Williams rode Paradise Drive into these towns. His renown as the best his generation had to offer as a comedian and actor looms so large it's disingenuous to pretend he was anything else. And for me, it's mobile meditation." Wander into any local bicycle shop and people know the comedian.
So Williams would bike through these towns, completing an informal loop of bike shops, coffee houses and book stores.
It was pretty awesome because we had this little show that he did on his own, with just our family here in the shop," he says. Williams had coffee with an elder statesman of comedy, Mort Sahl, at the Depot on Sunday, less than 24 hours before he died. But between all of these stops between San Francisco and Sonoma and Marin, Robin Williams rides on. It takes a while to cool down, too, and there's only so much that taking a birdbath in the restroom can do to cool you off.
In the Netherlands, which has Europe’s highest per capita bicycle usage, the overall bike market fell slightly last year, but e-bike sales rose more than 9 percent. That's because when you ride your body releases chemicals called endorphins, which make you feel happy. It was small but critical tactical moves like this that helped Nibali stay out of danger — and showed he could read a race as well as anyone. Yet the way he wove in and out of everyday life here allowed him safe passage as a neighbor. Walk into Mike's Bikes in San Rafael and talk to the assistant sales manager, Erik Lindquist, who waited on the actor as a 15-year-old server during the Mork & Mindy era, then continued to commune with him via cycling. The comedian, about to jump on his bike, "unzips his sports jersey like a mad flasher," recalls Knowles, "sticks his chest out and yells, 'I am Robin Williams! Years ago, when A Bicycle Odyssey in Sausalito was crippled by an embezzling employee, owner Tony Tam faced tough times. I refused to be a heavy bride so I totally divorced food and decided to eat to live instead of living to eat. Lindquist last saw Williams on the Fourth of July at a private party on Sonoma Mountain, where Williams also loved to ride.
The actor wrote him a check for $10,000 as a "down payment for bikes" when Tam refused his offer for help. The theater remained dark as fans dropped off flowers and cards and wrote messages in memoriam. I ate whatever I wanted to eat, but I cut EVERYTHING I ate in half, in terms of portions, and threw the rest away.

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