Sunday, June 14, 2009

262 Mile Week

With another big day yesterday, that brings my weekly total (Sunday - Saturday) to 262 miles. Certainly an epic week. Yesterday was 4 climbs: Quimby West, Upper Mt. Hamilton, and then back over Mt. Hamilton and Quimby East. Our clmbing gauge registered about 9500 vert feet, so it was a big day.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

new milestone

The cool thing about the bike is that you can hit milestones going downhill. Today I smashed through the 45MPH barrier on Summit road. My top speed on today's ride was 46.5! It is a section going south just prior to taking a left turn on Old SC Highway. I decided I'd just overshoot the turn and see how fast I could get going, and was surprised when I scrolled through to find my Max Speed. Another good indicator for next month in Markleeville.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cross Posting

I liked this post.

You read a blog for a few months and then you learn something that surprises you.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Quite a week: Sequoia Metric Double Century Report

Even without work, that was a hectic week. Chloe graduated from Junior High on Friday and the frenzied activities on both sides of the day were both fun and gratifying as well as a little tiring. Nonetheless we had a great week and were proud to see our baby finish her junior high school experience. For me Jr. high graduation was not a big deal, but for Chloe and her classmates, they have attended the same school for 9 years and will all split up and go to different schools next year, so it was truly the end of a significant chapter in all our lives.

Friday night, we attended a late graduation party and followed a rest and nutrition regimen not recommended by any of the training books I've read. Ah well...

So that brings us to Sunday morning: I was unsure of my form and how I would feel, but Justine convinced me that if I was doing the Sequoia Century I just could not cut it short and do the 100 miles. Basically, her message was: "OK, you've got the whole day, don't come back and tell me you just did the century." My cycling muse!

She was absolutely right on this one, it would be important for me to stretch my limits and see how the body and mind responded, pre-Death Ride, so I went in with the idea that I'd do the double metric.

Long story short, the ride went really well. I am starting to learn understand how to manage my energy and nutrition on these long rides, and clearly the long training rides I've banked are helping (as well as the 27 tooth rear cog!) . I'll skip the blow-by-blow and head straight for the highlights:

Redwood Gulch - a good way to start the day and begin the dialogue with the legs. Everything feeling fine. Except that the guy I was climbing with told me the most harrowing cycling story I'd heard in awhile. I was asking him about his frame (custom carbon from the east coast, the name escapes me now) (ed. note: I just remembered, it was a Parlee) and he told me that it was a replacement for his first bike that he cracked when he was forced off the road on Mt. Hamilton last year on father's day. He broke his neck, was in the hospital for three months, and was back on his bike by December. Titanium plates in his neck, rehab after they had to completely open up his throat to operate, completely crazy. He said that if the driver hadn't stopped and helped, he would've died. My legs stopped hurting the more I listened. That said I did enjoy hearing the visitors to the ride complain about Redwood Gulch, a climb I do at least twice a month these days. That hill got a lot of respect yesterday.

Climb # 2 was the backside of Hwy 9. Not a highlight but it is the kind of moderate and sustained effort that can wear you out.

Descents at the ride this year were quite technical: down Alpine road on the backside, down Kings on the front side. Kings is in dreadful shape and I can't stand going down that road, and it was worse on a Sunday afternoon. Thankfully we stayed upright. Nice to have a car pull over for me to pass ;).

Nutrition Management and Lunch: I think this was a major improvement for me. There is so much food on these things that my natural instinct is to just eat a lot at every stop and then get a big lunch. This time I was pretty judicious with the calories I consumed. Lunch was actually really tasty - chicken wraps and veggie wraps - but I didn't overdo it and I was back on my bike pretty quickly. Food at this ride was outstanding overall. Not too heavy on the baked goods, a great lunch, HOT COFFEE at one stop, and Coke at the top of Tunitas.

The Coast: for all the drippy fog in the mountains, once we got to the coast it was just spectacular. Add to that a tailwind and the ride south to Pescadero was a real joy. I hooked up with a couple of groups and made some good time on this section until I flatted in Pescadero. The Metric Double had 230 riders, so losing my pace group was a bummer, but I was able to hook up with a couple others and rode with them to the finish. coming back up the coast I was a little burnt, but I grabbed a can of coke (16 OZ for 99cents !!!) in Pescadero and that helped a bunch.

Tunitas: I rode Tunitas with the San Francisco crew and held their wheels as long as I could, which was until about 2.5 miles from the top. I was happy with how much I had to give on that last climb, I hadn't been able to hang with those guys earlier in the day. Tunitas also got a lot of appreciative comments from the riders, it is super pleasant at the end of a long day. I really don't know why the Tour of Cali went up this one though.

Bunch Sprint: Coming back from the Kings descent to Palo Alto, we started hammering the flats and picking up riders as we went. The result was an all out sprint for the last several miles, a really good way to burn off the last bit of energy and test the fast twitch muscles. I'm certainly more sprinter than climber (climb like a sprinter!) and elbowed my way to a 3rd place finish (third in the bunch, not third overall).


Miles- 124

Vertical Feet - 10,600

Avg Speed ~13.8

Riding Time ~9:10

Total Time ~10:15

Top Speed - 42 MPH

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mental Fatigue

OK, I'm starting to wonder ... today I spent 5 riding hours, covered 60 miles, and did it solo. I couldn't get out over the weekend, so Monday became my ride day. I threw a new climb in (Soda Springs) and was treated to 5.6 miles with no flats, and overall climbing of over 6K feet. I have to say though, I just wasn't feeling it. Honestly readers, don't you just get tired of climbing sometimes? Thankfully my next long ride will be Sequoia, therefore supported and plenty of company.

I don't ever remember having that kind of day while running. Plenty of shitty runs, believe me, but rarely if ever did I feel like I just wanted to be done after the first 5 or so miles, especially if I got through the first 2 miles of whatever malaise of the day I was feeling.

So I'm a little whiney. But the reality is I'm a bit of a rookie at these long rides, so I had hoped that every ride would be thrilling and fun. sometimes though you just have to put in the miles.

there were some great parts though: hit a new speed record, 44.9 on summit approaching Old SC highway. great descent down old SC (hit the brakes only 4 times, two corners I just don't think I can get through without them) and the bike handled everything with aplomb.

I picked up my death ride ticket Saturday, so I'm committed through July, then I'll probably enjoy a brake. I ran 7 last Saturday though, and still trying to keep sharp with that.