Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pure Pain today at the end of the Hamilton Low Key Hill Climb.  About the time I deserve considering my shoddy training since the Furnace Creek 356.    I need to get motivated to get back in top shape soon as RAAM is calling.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

RAW 2012: Part 1

The step up from 500 to 860 was bound to be a challenge.  I treated RAW like any other 500 miler.   We had one small car, one small 3 man crew.    The best part of RAW is you start alongside RAAM so you get to hang with big boys of RAAM and soak in the pageantry .  While RAAM is an obscure sporting event in the US, it has captured the hearts of a lot of Europeans.  Some of the RAAM solo teams were huge, well funded and loaded with bike bling unlike I have seen at any other event.    Some of the teams had team doctors along which gives you an idea how seriously they take this.   The RAW rider gets to soak up this excitement and line up with the hardest of the hard men and for this alone its worth the price of admission.  Getting to experience the vastness of the American West at a speed that allows to ponder the size, history, beauty, and tragedy of the expanse makes this an experience you will never forget and something that the 500 mile Ultra rider should step into immediately.

Its funny how calm people are before a huge undertaking like this.  I imagine its similar to people taking off for war.    The RAAM riders were fiddling with their bikes, adjusting their saddles at the last minute, chatting with their crews, and just hanging out and laughing. I could only imagine how much pain they would be in later, but for now, nobody had a care in the world.  I for sure did not.  I was relaxed and worked my way to the start.  The Race Director George Thomas introduced me and I was ready to go.   I was excited to know that the guy following me, Dani Wyss, was one of the top Ultra Racers in the world and glad I picked a sport where I could race alongside the best, even if that would be just for a few minutes.  Since the first 10 miles or so were neutralized, I got to chat with Dani for a while and he was a super nice guy and extremely focused.  He said that he planned on finishing in 45 or 46 hours and that the course was easy as he could "whoop" right through the desert like it was childs play.   The speed he took off once the neutral support was over was comical . It was like he was riding a 10 mile TT and was out of site in seconds.  

The start of the race was really cool in Oceanside and as we head East towards Palomar it started to heat up  quickly.   I met the crew for the first time about 25 miles inland and felt ok.  On the first climb a tiny guy passed me so fast I was surprised.  I knew the Team division did not start for a couple of days, but surely this guy could not be a solo as he was flying so fast it defied logic.  Turned out he was the eventual winner Reto Schoch and he was a solo rider.  Nobody had told him that rookies are not supposed to take off so quick I guess, or that race is 3000 miles long.    We continued to climb up to Lake Henshaw, the first time station and I was cramping pretty badly.   We hit the long descent into the desert, Montezuma Grade which is a classic fast and very smooth descent that drops you into the heat of the Mojave.    I hit 50 MPH at one point and was quickly passed in the middle by Gerhard Gulewicz.     Once we got to the bottom in Borrego Springs we switched out to the TT bike and I was off flying.   There were moments when I was able to hold 40+ on the flats.  Great tail wind and riding as the sun was settting in the desert was magical, even dealing with a few blasts of wind on my disc wheel that knocked me around a bit.  A few people were questioning my judgment on the disc wheel.  Might not be the best place for it, but I enjoyed it anyway.

We hit the Salton Sea and road towards TS 2 in Brawley.   I learned that in 1904 engineers trying to bypass the Colorado Rivers irrigation system inadvertently crated the Salton Sea whe nthe river surged and burts its bank and spilled waywardly for two years into a dry California lake bed.  I also learned its the biggest lake in California.   We were in Imperial County now and nearing the borderlands with Mexico.   We passed  labor camps, giant farms, small farms, truckloads of migrant workers, deserted motels, rotten decaying restaurants, and a ton of fast food restaurants once we finally pulled into Brawley.  We stopped at one and grabbed some junk food.   I got off the bike and relaxed a bit, surrendering into the sheer ridiculousness of what we were doing and not worrying too much about my standing.    We started up again and I was riding at night.   We would get passed by faster RAAM guys and then leap frog a few of them for hours.   We were in the Imperial Sand Dunes and I was still in my TT bike stomping up the occasional roller and cruising down the other side.  I was pretty sore and had to take a break.  Martin worked over my back and shoulders as I lay on a tarp in the pitch black staring at the stars.  At past midnight we passed a border patrol checkpoint and were passed through by a bored looking Border Patrol Guard.    I was feeling amazing riding at night and while I felt that we were making good time, was not passing anybody up ahead in the RAW field.  

We pulled into Blythe at about 3 AM and bought some stuff at a mini market.    I remember passing what we assumed was a German RAAM guy.  His team kept passing him bottles and they would end up dropping them.  It happened 3 times.  I was laughing like crazy watching this and I could tell that the crew were enjoying this.    I passed him and then he passed me.  I might have imagined it, but I dont think he was happy  I passed him .    There is nothing more awesome than riding a bike at night in the desert with a crew behind you.   Your able to relax and enjoy the night sky and desert and the crew allow you to relax completely.  Getting entertained by a novice crew practicing bottle hand offs made it memorable!   We were approaching Arizona as the first glints of sun started to show.  It was warm out and I was still on my TT bike.  I had never ridden the TT bike for more than 100 miles and my left knee was starting to bug me.    I kept riding too TS4 in Parker AZ, a dusty tired town that had the nicest parking lot I have ever layed down on by a Mini Market.  We ate some food and that nagging feeling that my knee was bad was hitting me.  I have not had knee pain in a while.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Mid Sole Cleat Position for Ultras

At the start of Race Across the West I road with champion Dani Wyss and noticed he had some pretty funky shoes.   Found out that he uses a mid sole cleat position and that he uses Biomac custom shoes made in Germany.     Doing some more reading I found out that not only Dani, but many other RAAM stars including Gulewicz use a mid foot cleat position.      Joe Friel, one of the leading cycling coaches is  also a proponent and lays out many of the pros and cons in this article.     I used to have horrible hot foot on double centuries until I moved my cleats as far back as possible.   Now the hot foot is almost completely gone.  I also used to have way more Achilles heel issues in the past and felt zero issues on RAW with my cleats back.  To be clear, my cleats as far back as possible on my S-Works shoes is in  no way as radical a position that the people above are advocating.     Many people talk about drilling an old pair of shoes to test this out.  I will try this out, but it is supposedly difficult to drill a 3 bolt pattern required for Look cleats.  

I have an inquiry to Germany for the Biomac shoes to find out the cost.  I hear they are not cheap!

Interview with mid sole position innovator Gotz Heine.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Grocery Outlet Loaded with Cheap Cycling Fuel

Picked up Power Bel Gels at 3 for a buck.   The cheapest you can normally find them is a little under a buck a piece.  Also picked up a crazy deal of 24 x 200 calorie Individually packed Fig Newton bars for $2.50 or ten cents a piece.  1972 prices.    Being a fan of fig newtons on rides, this is pretty cool.  They had a ton of other energy bars.  I am going to head back there and load up on a bunch of the fig newtons as I might be able to get enough bars for the rest of the year for 20 bucks.

The Fig Newtons work out to 19.2 calories a cent.  The maltodextrin/fructose bulk mixture is approximately 13.6 calories a cent.    Heed was 1.75 calories per cent last time I checked and the Power Bar Gel I got for 3 for a dollar works out to 3.33 calories a penny.    Since I am not a believer in magical elixers that energy bar companies claim and they are pretty much all similar in fueling you, its time to run back down and score more of those fig newtons!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Devil Mountain Double Race Report 2012

Being in my best cycling shape I knew this would go pretty well.   I first did this ride in 2006 in 19 hours plus so my goal of sub 13 was a big jump, but I like big goals.  The 6 AM start was faster than the last two years and we hit Diablo pretty hard.  I was holding about 320 watts avg and chatting with Balvindar Singh up the climb, but the main pace maker put a few surges on and I dropped back with 5 minutes to go or so.   Being gapped here would mean that I was to be alone on a very long Time Trial, but I could not go any faster.  Ended up doing my best hour for watts by a long shot and saw the lead guys take off for good.   I was going on a long TT now and I knew it, but that was going to be good training for RAW (Race Across the West) in June.  

Rick Jacobson caught me on the way to Clayton and we worked together out to Morgan Territory. We were on a good pace and pulled in at about 9:20 AM which was a great pace.  I quickly filled a bottle and and expected Rick to catch back on, but I never saw him again.   With the top guys gone, I road past all of the 5 AM guys one at a time and hoped for some help pulling on the flats, but I ended up dropping them and kept riding hard to Patterson.  The climb went pretty easy and then I caught on to a fast Peleton of the Wente Road race for a short while out to Mines road.  I got to Mines road at 11:25 AM or so which was right on target for a sub 13 finish.   I did not feel great up Mines, but kept moving and hit lunch at 1:05.   Based on some analysis of the ride I did a while back, I knew that I needed to be at lunch before 1 PM to have a shot at breaking 13 hours.   5 minutes too slow!  Oh well.  I got in and out and took off pretty fast to the backside of Hamilton.  I cruised up and down the two test climbs and then managed to do some decent slow tempo up the back side of Hamilton in 42 minutes which was good considering how easy it felt.  The descent of Hamilton was better than usual and it seemed that Crothers came up quick.  I saw the pacemaker up Diablo there David Palmeri who was having a rough day bonking and knew there was not many guys ahead.  I had a great ascent of Sierra in 34 and change which was better than I expected at mile 160.  The descent to Sunol was as good as it gets at over 20 MPH average and I imagined I was Tom Boonen blasting solo into the finish at Flanders.    

At Sunol, I whined a bit about not being able to break 13 as it was 5:45 PM or so and that was not enough time for me to finish by 7 PM.  Lloyd Chambers and Jeff Gould were strong 5 AM guys who happened to be taking off for the finish at the same time.  Jeff ripped a strong pull all the way to Palomares and mentioned he heard I wanted to bust 13 and was going to help out.  Talk about awesome.  We hammered up the climb and descended fast out to Crow Canyon.   The ride up Norris was great and we pulled into the finish at 7:13.    I was happy with the time.  It was a lot of fun.  I was in control and enjoyed about every minute of the ride.  Compared to my first DMD where I barely finished.     

Looking forward to 2013.


Strava Analysis

Top 10 Things Learned:

1.  Hang with top guys to the top of Diablo or TT alone for 12 hours
2.  Be at lunch by 1 PM if you want to break 13 hours
3.  Wente road race pacing is great for some free speed
4.  Carrying two 1200 calorie bottles to get to lunch w/o stopping works
5.  21 minutes off the bike is good, but how in the hell do people sub 10?  Crazies!
6.  I am very lucky to get to do this stuff for fun
7.  Sierra road is only hard if you dont gear properly.  34/29 was cake
8.  Bal Singh is hard core.  Crashed and still finished in 12:30
9.  We have an amazing ability to improve
10. Quackcyclists are the best

Friday, April 20, 2012

Devil Mountain Double next Saturday

Looking forward to a good ride.  Training is going great.   Managed to drop to under 180 pounds for first time since 1986 or so.   Could be a peak experience, could be disappointing, as 200 miles can destroy any delusional ideas you have.    I don't see the big names this year signed up so far, but have to guess they will be coming.  If I can break 13 hours, that would make me pretty happy.  I would guess the odds are about 1 in 5 thats possible.  Breaking 14 would be nice too.    This will be my 5th go at this silly ride.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Furnace Creek 508 2011 Race Report

Its been almost a week since the 2011 508 finished and I have had enough time to sort out the emotional ups and downs, race successes and failures, and describe the experience.   For months I have been thinking about this race and  trying to figure out how to ride fast, not just survive like I did in 2006.    I know that the 508 is famous for throwing a ton of curveballs to each of the racers and throwing them off their plan.   I felt that my training was great, but still wondered what would happen after 200 miles as I had not done any training beyond that for this years ride.   What would happen to me out there?   I would find out soon enough that the 508 would have many demons hiding the bushes to sabotage me.

My first real ultra was the 508 in 2006, so I know the course.   The week up to the event went really easy this time as I took a couple of weeks to slowly prepare all the gear and equipment so it was way less stressful.  The crew and I took off to the race, easily got through vehicle and bike inspection and were ready for the race.   The weather was perfect as we snaked out of town.  I made my way towards the front of the pack and we hit San Francisquito Canyon.   I was riding comfortably at about 280 watts average up the canyon.  This was higher than the 250 I was supposed to ride based on the pre-work analysis I did.   It felt so easy, that I could not resist cranking it up a bit to stay up in the front.  When we pulled into Johnson Summit, I was in 4th place which was pretty unusual for me.  The feeling of passing all the cars and get the great support from so many crew members pumped me up.   Steve LaChaine, a strong ultra guy I did Hoodoo Voyager with exclaimed,  "Dude.. your in 4th place!"  Hmm.  I wonder if this was a good thing or not.   

I pushed onto the flats and the team met me and we swapped out to the TT Bike and Helmet.  I started cruising at the pre-planned 210 watts for the flats and rollers and felt great as I had trained for hours at this pace, doing several 3+ hour training sessions at this wattage,  and it was really easy.   This was to be my "treatment" for the next 8 hours or so I and settled into my rope-a-dope as I told my crew.   I calmly cranked out the miles and my crew gracefully supported me.     After Escape Goat passed for a few minutes, I passed back and stayed in that position for the next 150 miles.   I swapped back to road bike for the the WindMill Climb came and went easily at about 250 watts.  Piece of cake.   Then we swapped back to the TT bike and smoked it very hard into California City.  I was hitting about 29 MPH on the flats into town and ripped it past the time station. It was fast riding all the way to the Randsberg Climb which I did in the TT bike.  This started to hurt, but I was able to hold about 220 watts or so, which was in the sweet spot.    I had been drinking a bottle of home brew maltodextrin and fructose concoction which contained approx 360 cals of carbs an hour to this point.

We took the left towards Trona and I noticed I was slowing down slightly.   It was getting a bit warmer and the fatigue of riding without any rest started to hit a bit.  Overall I was still good.  A photographer caught a bunch of shots of me descending towards Trona and I was getting excited to get to Time Station 2 in 4th place.     I pulled in and we were told that the only gas station in town was out of gas and we would have to figure out a plan B.    I was getting used to being in the front of the race, although I knew there were a ton of people bearing down on me and we kept up the ride to the Trona Bump.

 The next section to the base of Trona started out mellow.  I had swapped out to the road bike, but I should have waited a bit as it was pretty flat for quite a few miles.     It was a great descent after the Trona bump and I settled into some nice rollers to the the base of Townes Pass.  The team managed to score some gas in Panamint Springs and get to me about 5 miles shy of the start of the climb.  We went into night follow mode and started the climb up Townes Pass before night fall.  The going was slow.  I locked into 200 watts and pushed up the climb steadily.  Wade Baker passed me here and was climbing like a maniac up the hill standing up on his pedals and looking really strong.  I tried to ignore him and stick to my boring plan.   I was in a tunnel climbing the hill and it was over in about 1:20 from the bottom.  Not fast, but ok.  I grabbed a jacket and started the long descent into Death Valley.

I did not really open up on this as I felt nervous about descending too fast at night.  It seemed to take forever, but we finally hit the flats and swapped out the TT Bike.   Escape Goat came by and took off like I was standing still on the flats.  I was feeling tired and could tell that my power was flagging.   Hmm.   I look down and notice my Heart Rate was about 120 and my power was about 140 watts avg on the flats compared to 210 all day on the way to Townes Pass.  I did not have any pains or aches, but I have no power.  Maybe I needed some Rock Star or Diet Coke I thought.  I continue to ride down toward Furnace Creek TS3 and am just fatigued and not able to put two and two together.    Hoopoe passes us before the Time Station.  Damn.  I am really slowing down now.  I cant stay with anybody.  My Heart Rate is now about 110.   No power.  No nothing.  The reader might wonder why we dont have a quick team meeting and discuss.  But, in the bubble of the ride and not wanting to get off the bike I just blindly plod on.   Silly mistake number 1 was being realized.  Sugar Free Rock Star and Diet Coke dont bring on power.  Without realizing it, I had stopped taking in my carb sources and starved my body of carbs.   My team thought at least the Rock Star had sugar in it, but we had not communicated too well on this part.  I was feeling ok, but putting out the power of a ride with my daughter to the park.  Yet, I did not want to regroup.   Martin my crew mate made me a sandwich which went down well.   But we pulled into time station 3 with me flagging badly.   Notice how my HR drops from the start to the end of this section in Badwater.   I would expect it to drop, but not like this.  At least I was still moving.

Now were in Badwater and I am pedaling still in my self created miasma of low power.    We took the left  up Jubilee pass and I climbed this slightly faster at 166 watts.  Great American Toad, the original RAAM team passed by looking real strong, and I kept going.  The descent to the base of the Salisbury climb came and went and we headed up the main climb.   Here we got passed by several solos.  Martin made me some strong coffee half way up as I was close to falling asleep and it seemed to kick in.  I think we had another sandwich and a lot of Diet Coke and Diet Rock Star, but no main carb drink as I was brain dead and not able to properly communicate with my team as we continued in the carb depletion mode.      I ended up doing both climbs at 150 watts and a total time of 2 hours and 20 minutes.   The good thing is the coffee was really strong I found out later as I actually enjoyed the descent into Shoshone which was first night descent I liked.  Descending when tired is not one of my favorite things as I cant get the thoughts of disaster out of my head and want it over.

Was in the death march from Shoshone to Baker.  The weather was great and it was a beautiful sunrise.  The true beauty of the desert reveals itself in the early morning.  The long shadows over the distant mountain ranges were slowly disappearing and this was really nice riding.  I was slow as hell though, but more resolved to keep pedaling and hope to not get passed too many more times.  We kept moving.    We did a quick clothes change before Baker which felt great and we headed into the Mad Greek and Baker with my stomach starting to feel awful.  Damn.   I ordered a giant Gyro and Strawberry milk shake from the crew and took off slowly while they fueled up and did what they needed to in Baker.  About 20 minutes later they came.   I was crawling having just been passed by Honey Badger and Turkey Vulture with his unusual short cranks that I am guessing were Power Cranks.    When the crew came up with the bag of food, I was worried about eating it.  Martin said that it would solve all my problems.  I liked his confidence and scarfed the whole Gyro and Milkshake in 3 minutes and amazingly my stomach felt great.  I took off a bit stronger to the top feeling better than I have since the beginning of Death Valley.     The never ending climb finally started to top out as the road decayed.  The descent was slow as I could not bomb it like I would have wanted to as I was afraid of falling as I had taken on a noticeable lean to the right due to some overcompensation I was not aware of, but my crew and observers were.  They thought I was suffering from an inner ear infection, mild stroke, or something, but I told them I was just a bit tired and this lean was no big deal.   When we pulled into Kelso, the guy running the station mentioned my lean, but I told him I was ok and it was a natural compensation due to 400 miles of hell.    Luckily, I found out my crew mate Martin has a secret career as a  chiropractor and masseuse and was able to quickly work me over and make me feel alot better.     He is a man of many hidden talents!     I was suffering from awful hot foot for the last 100 miles.  Martin took a look at my feet and exclaimed I had witches feet.  They were so tight and cramped I could barely move them.  I screamed while he worked on my painful witch feet until I felt almost as good as new.  We took off quick to Boulder Mountain.  Being able to see the rocks of the summit made this a much easier climb than the previous one.  I was on fire now and pedaling harder than I had since Townes Pass.

The team started to realize that we might be running a carb deficit and started jamming gus and powerbars   packing my mouth to the point of absurdity.  I was acting like angry child at the force feeding and  would secretly spit out the bars like a mental patient snubbing their meds.    It is uncanny how difficult it is to prepare to deal with your behaviour at mile 450.  You need your crew to force feed you to get the carbs in because you will resist no matter what.    Martin told me that I was unable to mentally comprehend what was necessary for me to succeed and I was in something akin to a diabetic coma, wandering around blindly in the desert.  He was onto something.  I was happy to start getting some power, and finally was realizing that I needed to start eating more   Bring on the maple syrup shots if you really want to make this interesting!   From famine to feast, but hey, something was happening.  I was moving up the climb from Kelso with a power surge.  I passed Pancake Tortoise and another solo easily, kind of like the way Honey Badger and Turkey Vulture did to me on the Baker climb.  This was my first power surge in 12 hours and it felt great.    We cranked up to the top of Granite Mountain and ripped down the backside.  I passed Mako at this point and was happy to be back in the game.     We got to Almost Amboy and were told we had to follow in the car due to a decree by the RD in the name of safety.  I waited as we got the follow going and took off with Spike the Wonder Dog and Mako in the vicinity.

The last time I did this stage in 06 I was having massive hallunications including a life altering discussion with a 50 foot Mastodon, so my memory of the route was a bit off.  This is a pretty easy section and I should have been in TT Bike, but I settled into a slowish pace behind Mako as it was getting hot and I did not want to pass and then stop for a cool down and get passed again, so I tried to be not too annoying and stay back 100 yards or so.  I imagine we were pretty annoying hanging back there.   The sun was mocking me on this section baking me on the right side.  I yelled at it, but it did not seem to care.     We kept moving up and every 20 minutes or so I would stop to get a cool down with the ice from the cooler.    I was paranoid I was going to get heat exhaustion at this point which was silly, but a good indication of the fatigue I was in after 34 hours solid of riding hard and suffering.   We finally crested the hill and I took the descent conservatively and we hit the long straight slightly up hill into 29 Palms.   Knowing we were close to the end I cranked up the power to over 200 watts for the first time in a long time.  I pulled past Mako for the last time and knew Wild Turkeywas  not far ahead as he had passed when I was delusional about the heat.  I started to really crank hard as if the governor holding me back completely broke.  I could not be stopped and figured that 36 hours might be crackable.  Full out assault until the left on Utah Trail.  My crew mate needed a pit stop and we waited a minute or so and kept the hard assault to the end.     I probably should have been enjoying this bit, but  I decided to go all in to try and break 36 and road maniacally through 29 Palms almost to the point of being ridiculous.  I just missed breaking 36 hours, but almost collapsed at the end.    I looked about 75 years old though at the end completely caked in salt and had several people ask me if I was ok.  I had trouble standing up for about 15 minutes.   Not the most graceful exit, but  I left it all out on the road.  In 2006 it took me 46:36 to finish.  Looking at the all time race stats, I have one of the biggest improvement in finishing times of 10 hours and 32 minutes.    Thats a reward in itself I guess.

The crew was awesome.   We had such a cruise on the first day, then a lot of pain and suffering on day two, but finished strong.  They really were the greatest team a guy could have.  I will never forget their support in this journey.   These rides give us a rare opportunity to peek into the magical world of dreams,  visions and leave our normal concepts of mind and body behind.  The competition, the watts, the fueling drop out as you realize that you just have to pedal and move forward.  What could be more simple than that?    I really want to thank Chris Kostman and all the volunteers that give us the opportunity to surf in this alternate reality.   Its a true gift to anybody who goes as the person that comes out the other side is always better off, usually in ways not known for many months or years.

2011 Furnace Creek WebCast with Results and Photos

Peformance Analysis

I did a bit of research to determine the best approach to using power for the 508.  There is not a lot of information available for Ultra road cycling events like this.  The closest information available is from the 24 hour endurance mountain biking world.  A few riders train with power and blog about and I found out some of the elite guys can hold 60-70 IF for the 24 hour rides.    I planned on starting off at about 250 watts for the climbs average power, and about 200-210 for the flats and rollers.   This was pretty doable for the first 12 hours, but clearly I was unable to keep this going and you can see power drop to 148 watts avg at hour 16 and never recover from there.   This could be fueling issues, major fatigue, or just what Ultracycling does to you.  I might have burned alot of matches with my fast start.  I need more experience on very long rides with power to see if I can keep things going stronger at night.    You can really see my exuberance in the first four hours.  You can really see how I fell into a hole at hours 24-27.  I would like to come back soon and work out my fueling and pacing issues and take a few more hours off of my time.  

Ride Stats Part 1
Ride Stats Part 2
Ride Stats Part 3

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

508 Stuff

Fly Over of 508 Click on the 3D link to get newly released google maps flyby feature.   My plan for the 508 is set.  250 Max Avg watts on the climbs and a low of 210 watts for the flats and rollers.    250 watts will feel easy at the beginning, but will be about all I can do later on at Townes pass and further.  Holding 210 on the flats in the TT bike will keep me moving quickly.   This should keep things moving and keep me out of trouble and not trying to keep up with the truly fast riders or the pretenders which I should hopefully start scooping up as the night moves on.  Who knows.   Had a great hard ride on Saturday that felt too good.   I wonder if I should have saved it for the race?   Hit the TT today for 45 minutes today and felt ok.  Always feel a cold coming on during race week, but taking it easy this week to keep it at bay.   Packed 40 baggies of maltodextrin and fructose and the place looked like one Pablo Escobar's hide-outs.   Scales, powder, baggies all on the table and powder everywhere.  Nobody was knocking on the door looking for a hit though.  I guess thats ok.  

Good luck to everybody racing.  Should be alot of fun.

Friday, September 30, 2011

2011 Furnace Creek 508 Pacing and Odds

Joe Friel responded that 55-60 was a decent strategy for something like the 508, but he was clear he did not know the ins and outs of the race. I contacted another 24 hour Mtn. Biking coach online who advised 60% of so is a good pace. Just read the 2009 blog entry of American Krestel who handled the crazy winds well that year. He talks of doing the "Treatment" which for him was holding 280 watts or so all day. I like that approach, but for me my target will be quite a bit lower, especially on the flats. Based on what I read there, I would have to guess this guy is one of the favorites for the win. He was not that far behind Emde and Ragsdale in 09 and since they are not riding, he rises up. Betting a battle between him and Rock Rabbit is in the cards as that guy is smoking this year based on the the Terrible Two first place I witnessed and some sick power output I see on Strava.  Its an open race this year with only one top 10 from last year in the race.   Could be a dark horse out there, but I will give a shot with admittedly poor predicting skills:

508 Predictions for Podium

  •  Rock Rabbit: 3 to 1: 1st in Terrible Two, stomach issues finally solved 
  •  American Kestrel: 3.5 to 1: 3rd in 2009. Enuff Said 
  •  Holstein: 4 to 1: Won Hoodoo Voyager. Previous low 30's finish. 
  •  Escape Goat: 20 to 1: 12 hour and change Mulholland Double. Could be breakthrough race 
  •  Honey Badger: 25 to 1:  Sub 13 Hour Devil Mountain Double is Nice...
  •  Tapir: 200 to 1: Been drinking bee pollen. Feel psychic breakthrough coming any day.