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.
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