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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Stage 1 Start to California City

Furnace Creek 508 2D and 3D Maps by Doug Dog Sloan, solo and team veteran

Stage One: Santa Clarita to California City, 82.25 miles. Elevation Gain: 6176'.

From the 508 website:

"After a 5-mile group ride across town, the race starts up San Francisquito Canyon (Mountain Section One). In the next 15 miles, you will climb 2,500 feet. The climb is generally moderate; the climb before the turn to Elizabeth Lake is short and steep. A windy flat section through the Mojave Desert leads to the windmill climb at mile 44 (Mountain Section Two). Over seven miles, you’ll climb 1000 feet, probably into a stiff headwind. Another fast descent takes you down to the town of Mojave with a couple of quick turns. There is a shopping center and Subway on the right before you leave town where the crew can grab food. Then it’s a fast shot into Cali City."

That's me second from the right. The one with the really bright helmet. LOL! Thank you Nathan Sports for the reflective stickers.

Every year I get goosebumps at the start of the race. I don't know why, but I start to second guess myself. Have I trained enough? Have I put in the work? Have I selected a good crew? These are the things that go through my head at the start line. And then like a mental checklist, I check them off. YES, YES, YES. Ok, let's roll!!

I'm the only guy that's waving, so you should be able to see me.

And then, as I turn the first pedal revolution I think, "No turning back now."

Cool temperatures and heavy fog made for easy going early on. I felt good riding the Cervelo P3C. It's so funny how we train for hours and hours alone, but every year I really look forward to seeing my crew on Johnson Rd.

There was a strong tailwind as I started the first descent. I am not the skittish type at all, but the Zipp 808 wheelset was unpredictable in the winds. A tailwind is great, but as the road would curve one way or another I was was getting pushed off my line. My crew said they always knew it was me because I was not riding to the far right, but more towards the right of center of the lane.

On one descent I was doing 50-55 mph and scrubbing off speed constantly. I was enjoying the adrenaline rush from it, but in hindsight I should have switched to a Zipp 404 front, or something even lower profile, which I had in the support vehicle.

Except for stop signs, I didn't set my foot down on Stage 1 (83.6 miles) . This was thanks to successful hand ups by my crew on UPWARD sloping terrain. Don't try to do a hand up on flat terrain when the rider has a tailwind. LOL!

The crew having a good time at the windmills climb.

Listen to the wind in this video.

It was important that my crew maintain their energy levels. It was going to be a long day. LOL! Jason was apparently heeding my instructions of keeping Brandy fed!

Notice the stormy looking clouds in the background.

Luckily the HTFU came early on in the race. Much later in the race I don't want to hear that I'm not pulling my weight LOL!

One of the best pics!

My goal was 5:00 hours I made my goal and beat it time 4:36.

Time Station---Miles----Date----Time----Elapsed Time-AvgSpd---Time from last station avg. Speed from last time station
California City 83.6----10/04---11:36---04:36:00----18.17-----04:36:00---18.17


  1. Cheez-Its...the crew food of champions! You know, it's amazing what kind of things that you will eat out of boredom while sitting in the back of a van. Thankfully I never got desperate enough to eat the Pop-Tarts. :P

    Great job honey. I can't wait to see the rest of the report!

  2. Thanks George! You rocked the Furnace Creek! I like your bicyles...pretty dang rad.
    I'm so happy that we finished an epic journey.