Sunday, May 31, 2009

Time Trial #3: 26:15 Unofficial


The 3rd Beat the Clock Time trial of 2009 happened on Saturday and I was excited to tackle this post Devil Mountain and Central Coast Doubles. I figured I was going to crush it and felt pretty cocky, especially since I was sporting my ridiculous LAS Chronos TT helmet. I started out fast and noticed a lot of 30 MPH on the computer in the first few minutes. My joy was quickly crushed as I clearly went out too fast as I felt dead before the turn-around and felt like I was riding in mud. I figured I blew it again, but kept pushing. I got passed a bit past half way mark. It was a good thing I got passed as I was able to focus on something outside of myself and I kept the guy about 150 feet ahead of me for most of the rest of the ride. I was surprised I could keep him the same distance away for the rest of the ride, but I think this guy was much smarter about pacing and looked pretty solid. I think I went out way too fast which is a rookie mistake for these time trials as once you over do it, its really hard to come back. I managed to recover and held 18-19 mph up the last hill and cruised into the finish in approx 26:15 which was 56 seconds faster than my last two attempts. 56 seconds improvement does not sound like much, but I am glad to have picked up some time after suffering that bad. Time Trials are a great complement to the Ultra Endurance events as they are hard in completely different ways. Sure riding 500 miles is tough, but pushing so hard you feel your going to puke is hard even if its for 27 minutes.

About to head out for an obsessive compulsive night ride to insure I lock in 800 miles for May. Nothing worse than an OCD ride at night on the last day of the month to achieve an absurd victory. Luckily its only 13 miles! I can test out my new night light I got for the Hoodoo 500.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Attacking the Hills

Had the kind of day where the tough hills felt easy. Black Road with Gist option went really well, then Alba felt like a breeze. We pushed hard up the last hill of the day Mountain Charlie and nailed it. My pulse was dropping in the 80's on the descents indicating form is coming. I also noticed that I could microburst on the climbs up hammering up to a tree 100 feet ahead and then quickly recovering before doing it again. It was a good day. The main question, is how do you time a good day? It seems the last two big rides on my calendar I showed up nervous and could not get the heart below 100 on the early descents and I felt moderately ill, yet I could not determine if it was really something wrong, or just nerves. It must be just experience and realizing that you cant control all the variables in this game. Even though I had 4 flats, it was a nice day. I felt bad keeping Mike and Loren waiting as I changed them. We even had to make a special stop in Scott's Valley to hit a bike shop to load up on more tubes. Needless to say I am tossing out the offending tire. Typically, we were stopped for a autograph by the tifoso in Boulder Creek. Since my partners Levi and Freddy signed, I gave in. Gotta keep the fans happy I guess.

75 miles
7800 feet of Climbing

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Triple Crown Stage Race Results after CCD

Triple Crown Stage Race Results after CCD Rather than waiting a month for the Triple Crown page to update the results, I just pulled down the results from the DMD and the CCD to see where things stand. I am 14th place at this point with a long gap between myself and 13th. Should be interesting to at Mt. Tam this year for the final stage. Feeling happy so far about avenging my previous Lanterne Rouge performance in 2006.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Centra Coast Double


Had a goal of breaking the top 30 today and my plan was to try to ride near the front of the pack to Cambria so I could catch a fast train to the base of Nacamiento. The pace was quick out of town and there at one of the early turns a guy crashed hard right in front of me when he missed a left and tried at the last second to make the turn. He flew over his bars and was pretty shaken up, but did not appear to be injured. I was averaging about 18-19 MPH for the first hour that had about 1800 feet of climbing so the pace was pretty hard. The Santa Rosa hill is pretty challenging, but pretty similar to Redwood Gulch and I made quick work of it. I loaded up quickly at the first rest stop and started the descent into Cambria. My cruddy descending was about to hurt my plan as I got passed about 1/2 way down with what looked like a great coastal train. I figured I was a lock to keep up with them, but they were really flying and I realized I was falling behind and as hard as I tried I could not catch them. I road solo from Cambria for at least an hour until I was finally passed. It was beautiful riding to the base of Nacamiento as I fought a minor head wind. Nacamiento starts out hard with some 10% ramps, but eases up into a consistent 7-8%. It was pretty hot on a few exposed sections which surprised me for being so close to the coast. The climb took about 45 minutes and I lost time on the descent to the group I was with as I could not handle the speed on the sketchy road like my comrades. That meant that I had to solo it into lunch which seemed to go pretty quick. CCD is not known for its lunch, and luckily I was in top 25% of the ride as the lunch meat and bread was not being rationed yet. I made it out of there quickly and noticed it was 90 degrees according to the Hunter Liggett temperature gauge. Luckily I hooked up with 2 other riders and we shared pulls up Jolon road. It was miserable riding and I knew a nice descent was coming which made the pain easier to take. The descent finally came and there was a nasty cross wind making the fast descent a bit less fun that it should have been. The guy I was riding with had deep dish Zipp rimms and he looked really sketchy on the descent. We hung a ride on San Lucas road and got a great tail wind. I ran out of water at this point and was starting to panic as there was no way I could make it into Lockwood. Luckily there was an ad hoc water stop under Hwy 101 which saved my ride. I loaded up here and pushed into the Lockwood aid station. We had a great tail wind for maybe 6 miles and then started the climb up Interlake road. Its not a hard climb, but my computer was reading 106 in the direct sun and I was suffering on the last turn. I chatted with a guy I did the Hoodoo 500 with Josh Talley who was having a rough day out there but gutting it out to the end. We descended into Bradley and fought a nasty head wind into the Aid station. Nothing beats Hot Dogs at mile 185 and I made it a double dog and took off pretty quickly. I road with Josh and Ernesto a guy I met on the DMD a few weeks ago. The climb up Hare Canyon is the highlight of the second half as the wind died down, it was gorgeous up there, and the heat was dying down. Another great thing about Hare Canyon is once you summit, your done with the hard part of the CCD and can expect 25 miles of fast riding to the end. I love that Google has done the Street View feature for really remote roads like Hare Canyon with absolutely nothing on them but deserted farms and ranches. I would have liked to have been the guy who got to drive these deserted roads for this feature!

The tangle of roads into the end was a blur, but I enjoyed every minute of it averaging over 20 MPH for the last hour. I attacked the hills like it was mile 10 knowing I wanted to finish before dark and there was no time to waste. I made it to the end right before dark. Like all doubles, I had highs and lows, but luckily more highs and never went too deep in the pain cave.

Distance: 219.5
Ride Time: 13:42:21
Total Time: 14:31
Total Climbing 13792
Time off Bike: 46:09
Average Speed: 16.01
Average Heart Rate: 139
Max Speed: 39
Temp Min: 43
Temp Max: 106
Altitude: 367 Min 3054 Max
Inclination: -12% Min 16 % Max
Calories Burned: 10302
Place: 22/175

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Central Coast 220 Miler

According to the CCD website, the ride is up to 220 miles due to some last minute road closures. Nothing like a 350K ride to really test your mettle. True to form, the weather will be 90 degrees on Saturday as well. This will make for great Race Across Oregon training. I have some illusions of finishing higher up in the standings than I did on the Devil Mountain Double, but going to play it hour by hour and see how things go. With my bling white tires I better put in a decent showing, or I will hang my head in shame. f I only had white handle bar tape, seat and shoes I could really expose true riding self to the world. Oh well. White tires is enough for now. There is one really strong set of endurance riders here. I can see 10-15 names I recognize from various ultras and doubles that will make this a pretty competitive day on the sharp end of the ride. My main goal is to try and hang near the front until Nacamiento and then see what happens after this hill. Its a fantastic climb and I am really looking forward to it. The last time I did this ride in 2006, Jason and I were near the end of the pack and they ran out of food. Jason did not appreciate the hot dogs they offered him being a vegetarian at that time of his life. We will see if things are any better this time.