The route covers some of East San Diego's more rural roads. The stats are
Distance: 177 miles Elevation gain: approx 13,000 feet of gain (Polar 720i 12,700) Highest elevation point: Santa Ysabel 2936 feet Climbs along the way: Honey Springs Rd, Harbinson Canyon, Hwy 67, Old Julian Hwy, Old Hwy 80, Japatul Valley Rd.
It was a chilly morning in the low 40's. Clear skies most of the day and the best thing no RAIN.
I chose my Serotta again. I think the fit is dialed in now. I rode my Powertap powermeter which is built on Velocity Deep V rim. They are very sturdy very stiff and very reliable. I have them laced 24H and have never had them go out of true. Tires of course were Kenda C2Cs. For lights I carried two small headlights powered by "AA" batteries and a tail light.
I wore Assos S2 Bib Shorts, in my opinion the best cycling shorts, with knee warmers. I also wore a wool base layer from Woolistic under my 2XU base layer. I wore my Furnace Creek 508 finisher's jersey with matching vest. This is one I am very proud to wear since I did the race on a fixed gear bicycle. I had a Descente Velom jacket which is very thin, compacts into a sandwich baggie and provided just the right amount of warmth for the first hour of the ride. I was fortunate to have chosen the perfect layering system and felt great temperature wise all day.
The 300km attracts mainly brevet riders. You no longer find road racer types or people that "Gee I'd like to try a brevet." It is just short of a double century but I find it just as hard because you don't have support every 25-30 miles. The controls were spread out as such:
Control #1 55.1 miles ---with 4300 feet of climbing Control #2 96.1 miles--- with 3500 feet of climbing Control #3 140.1 miles--- with 2450 feet of climbing Finish 176.4 miles--- with 2520 feet of climbing
I estimated I would be on the course 12 hours and needed an avg of 300 calories per hour. 12x300= 3600 calories
1. The night before I mixed VIGOURSLY 1 bottle of CarboPro 1200 (16oz) and 6 scoops of CarboPro in a water bottle. I then split the mixture in two 8oz flasks. 1800 Calories
2. I then made two water bottles of 300 calories each with CarboPro 1200.
3. For the drop bag at mile 96 I sent another bottle of CarboPro 1200. 1200 Calories
So that meant I had 2400 calories I was carrying with me and 1200 calories waiting for me at the turnaround point mile 96 for a total of 3600 calories
Obviously, I expended more calories than 3,600 but I have found that consuming more than 350-400 for too long really causes me GI issues. Using the CarboPro1200 was so easy on my stomach that I strongly recommend that you should try it on your next Ultra. I felt well fueled all day. I went on a liquid diet meaning no solids and felt great
The powermeter said I used 6454 kjs which is pretty close to the number of calories. A heart rate monitor will show many more calories expended.
Start to Control #1 55.1 mile Arrived at 9:33am
6am start and it was cold. I saw Kevin McNulty and thought I should try and ride with him and I would finish with a good time. Well that wasn't to be. Kevin took off right from the start and I just could not keep up. After seven miles of killing myself I let him go and settled into my own grove. Soon enough about five riders (Bruce Taylor, Chris Kostman, Chris Haddikan and others) caught up to me and we chit-chatted for a little while until the Honey Springs climb and then I did my own thing. Bruce Taylor got ahead of me because I was having issues with my gearing. I couldn't get the 27T to stay in gear. Not a big deal at this point but definitely necessary on Japatul Valley Rd at mile 145. I eventually caught Bruce on Steele Canyon and we rode for a couple of miles and then I climbed Harbinson Canyon at my own pace.
Control #2 96.1 mile Arrived at 12:44pm
I was feeling a little warm on the Hwy 67 climb. I removed my vest and climbed the rest of the way to Ramona. Once I turned on to Old Julian Hwy the winds started to pick up. I would guess about 20-30 mph. All I kept thinking was "I can't wait to turnaround and take advantage of this tailwind." I like Old Julian Hwy. It is a great climb and there is very little traffic on it.
Control #3 Mile 140.1 Unmanned Arrived at 3:30pm left at 3:39pm Carl's Jr
There was lots of descending from Santa Ysabel with little rollers here and there. I like the climb up Old Highway 80. I used to live in Santee and would climb up to Alpine often. When I got to the unmanned Control at Carls Jr I couldn't believe how long the line was. It took me almost 10 minutes just to get a reciept. But I had to keep in mind that this is not a race. Although I was frustrated since I had worked really hard on the climb up to Alpine.
To the Finish
I wasn't looking forward to the Japatul Valley Rd climb. All day I was conserving energy so I would be able to tackle the 10-14% grade ramps found on this climb. I got through it eventhough I hadn't done that much climbing since Furnace Creek. I made the right turn on Lyons Valley and thought for sure there would be a long descent. I guess I forgot that it isn't that much of a descent. I was happy to make the left turn onto Honey Springs Rd because I knew that would be the last climb of the day. As I summited the climb, I read a text message from Brandy that said "I'm at the finish". Oh that felt great. I read that and found new motivation and sped on to the finish.
I had ridden with some riders intermittenly up until mile 30 and then I rode Solo the rest of the way. I felt well fueled and comfortable on the bike. The only thing lacking was good legs. I'm happy with my result and placing second to Kevin McNulty --- who holds the two person RAAM, and two person Furnace Creek 508 records and won the California/Nevada State Climbing Championships in the Cat 4/5 isn't bad at all.
I downed a bottle of Interphase and Recover Amino Power capsules just as I got off the bike. I then gave in and ate McD's...I figured I had earned it. I used the restroom of McD's to get out of my cycling gear and put on my Skins Travel and Recovery tights to begin the passive portion of my recovery and because I had a 1.5 hours drive before getting home.
I've been asked if I sleep in them--- YES! My legs feel so much better the next morning. Sunday morning I went out for a 22 mile recovery ride and then came home and took a 1.5 hours nap. By Monday, I was commuting to work from Huntington Beach to Encinitas (65 miles).
I'd like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers!! Mike B. great route and Japatul in the latter stages of the event is a real leg zapper. You all great THANK YOU FOR VOLUNTEERING!!
Kevin McNulty way too strong to keep up with. The guy's an animal!!
I am an Ultra Cyclist and father who completed 2- Person Race Across America (RAAM) in 2007. I have finished Furnace Creek 508 SOLO FOUR consecutive years in 2006, 2007 (Fixed Gear)2008, and 2009. I am a Trans Iowa finisher and a Super Randonneur. I am a cycling coach with clients ranging from endurance cyclists, to triathletes, to beginners just entering the sport of cycling.