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Thursday, August 28, 2008

On My Commute today....Motorpacing

This was fun. On the last 10 miles to work I was treated to a little high intensity work. I was drafting or Motorpacing behind a Land Rover. The driver, Shannon, knew I was behind him and he kept the speed steady between 30-32 mph a few times over 35mph but he could see I was dropping off and slowed down. I had my climbing cassette 12-27 and a 53/39 crankset. Anything over 34mph had me spinning over 100 RPM (I'm not a spinner). There four distinct rollers along the way and it took significant amount of effort to stay in contact with him.

I noticed the Yakima roof rack so I figured he knew what he was doing. We stopped a couple of times for traffic signals and stop signs and exchanged a few words. Shannon thanks for the "pull" and perfect high intensity end to my commute.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Epic Adventure on Saturday

On Saturday I had no idea where I was going and no motivation to go anywhere. But I knew I needed to ride and it had to be at least a century. After the 45,000 ft climbing camp last weekend I wanted to keep building on my fitness for Everest Challenge and Furnace Creek 508. I had breakfast and two cups of coffee (stalling) and finally got on the road. It was almost 9am. A very late start for me. I like to roll at daybreak on century days.

Three miles into my ride I was passed by a paceline of three riders. I decided to hook up with them to get warmed up. At the very next light (I've been on their wheel less than 2 minutes) they slam on their brakes for a yellow light and I locked up my brakes to avoid hitting the rider in front of me and swerve left. I went down in spectacular fashion-- bike here, body there, bottles everywhere. I was furious as I was wearing my Assos S2 bibs ($280) but more importantly my Furnace Creek 508 Race Veteran jersey which was made in limited quantities and they were not doing a reissue. But you know what made it even worse? The riders looked back saw I had crashed and didn't say "boo". They were off as soon as the light turned green.

I collected my things and got up on the sidewalk to inspect the bike. Both shifter/levers are turned in but the frame and fork were fine. I was riding Sasha my Cervelo Soloist Super Light (SLC-SL). While I'm composing myself I see a rider with a California Triple Crown Jersey come up the light and I'm thinking "good a fellow Ultra Cyclist he'll stop for sure." It was Dave Evans out on 150 miler. He then says "I saw a rider down and then I saw the 508 jersey so I knew it was an experienced rider". He was shocked when I told him the other riders never rendered assistance. We rolled together until the next light when I realized I couldn't get my big ring, Dave astutely noticed the front derailuer was out of alignment and I was back on the road.
Turns out Dave had gone down earlier in the day catching the lip from the concrete gutter to the blacktop in a construction zone in the predawn hours. I wish him a speedy recovery. We soon parted ways.

My wounds- I had a skinned left knee, skinned left elbow, bruised hip which I could feel I had broken the skin on. Miraculously I didn't rip my shorts and only a few little pin holes in my jersey. What made everything look more dramatic was the gels I had in my short leg that exploded on impact. There was gel running down the back and sides of my leg. I didn't bother cleaning it off since I didn't want to take off the Hawaiian Island Creations Sunblock. By the way this is an excellent all day sublock. Please pick some up for yourself. I use the 50 SPF.

I then hooked up with Marty Brown from my team, Sho Air. I asked him where he was going and he replied the river trail. I had never been on it and thought why not I've got all day. We rode on the San Gabriel River Trail for a few miles. On one of turns he gave me late notice to turn right and I hit a huge cutout on the edge of the pavement and sure enough I got a pinch flat. I know my Velocity Deep V's rim can take the punishment so I didn't even worry about the rim or the wheel's trueness.

I change the flat and I realize now that I only packed ONE tube and ONE CO2. I didn't think to carry two since I was lazy to ride in the first place and I also thought I would end up doing a coastal century or be home in less 30 miles remember I had no motivation to ride. So now I am less than 15 miles into my ride and I HAVE HAD A CRASH AND USED MY ONLY SPARE TUBE AND CO2. We rode a few more miles together and he turns off and I decide to press on.

The SGRT is a good place to ride endurance and tempo pace since there aren't any traffic signals and best of all no CARS. The trail heads Northeast for at least 38 miles inland from SEAL BEACH. On one of the last Public Restrooms I stop to fill up and use the facilities. Now I still haven't decide where I'm going or what I am going to do for the day. But I am about 50 miles into the ride and getting REALLY close to the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. It is quite warm out and I figure if I am going into the mountains I need to take more water. So I look in the trash and grab an empty 20 oz WITH sport top, rinse it out and fill it up with water. While to some of you that might sound nasty and gross just think about all the road grime and crap that gets on your water bottles during your ride-- and you put that spout up to your mouth and drink from it everyday.

I now have two water bottles on the bike, one in my center pocket and now I have a 20 oz in my right pocket. I begin the climb up Hwy 39 at 1ish pm. It is hot and all I can think of is if I keep climbing it HAS TO GET COOLER.

I climb Hwy 39 and see the turn off for EAST FORK. I've been there before how about something new. There is a sign that says CRYSTAL LAKE 15 MILES. I say I've never been there let's give that a try.

About two miles from the EAST FORK turn off I see a gate and a few cars parked along the road. I have done about 10 miles of climbing and I have gone through a bottle and half of water. I asked a family that is exiting their mini-van if they had any water they could spare and they offered me a 20 oz bottle. I said my thank yous and I was off.

At this point by my estimate I had 12.5 mile CLIMB to CRYSTAL LAKE about 3500 feet of gain (I had just passed the 2000 ft elevation sign) NO CELL COVERAGE, NO TUBES, NO CO2, NO PATCH KIT, AND 4 GELS (400 calories) LEFT, and it was in the low 90's for temperature AND I AM ABOUT TO ENTER A CLOSED ROAD . On the plus side I had 76 oz of water and good climbing legs.

I had to pull over twice because the heat and lack of calories were getting to me. The first time I pulled over I downed one of my 20 oz bottles and took a gel under the ONLY shade tree I had seen in a while and then got back on the bike. As I got into the higher elevations it slowly got cooler and somewhere around 4000 ft I saw the tiniest waterfall coming through the rocks. Although I wasn't overheating I thought for insurance sake I better dunk my head. The water was ice cold and felt so refreshing and then BACK ON THE BIKE.

It was weird to climb past the 2000 ft and 3000 ft signs and not see a 4000 ft sign. I kept looking at my Polar 625x and expecting to see the 4000 ft sign. I kept climbing and almost by surprise I was at 5000ft sign. My Polar 625x said I was at 5005 feet-- I think that is pretty darn accurate. I am not a fan of GPS I find it very inaccurate as it overstates your elevation gain by a huge percentage. I figured I must be getting close by now. About 2.3 miles to CRYSTAL LAKE I took a right turn off the main road and climbed the rest of the way to the CRYSTAL LAKE RECREATIONAL AREA. I was now in the shade and in cooler temps. This was my first time up there and the place looked like a ghost town. Signs were either just barely attached to posts hanging sideways while others were just on the ground. While it was nice and deserted I knew I had to get off the mountain and start making tracks for home.

Before I began my descent I REMINDED myself "you have NO CELL COVERAGE, NO TUBES, NO CO2, NO PATCH KIT, NO GELS LEFT, 32 OZ OF WATER AND YOU ARE 12.5 MILES INTO A CLOSE ROAD YOU MUST BE CAREFUL AND DESCEND WITH CAUTION. The road is paved but unmaintained. There are fallen rocks everywhere but the road is in good condition except one section. The fallen rocks are not a problem when climbing. They are easier to dodge at slower speeds but at descending speeds they are little land mines waiting to get ya!

The 25 mile descent goes without incident and I am back at the SGRT with about 50 miles to get home with about 96 miles in the bag. While in my search for a good exit to take off the SGRT for food I notice my rear tire is a little soft. Darn it's going flat. But I am also starving. So now I'm riding a rear flat (Velocity Deep V Rear with Powertap) , standing to keep the weight off the rear and starving looking for food and I have no idea where I'm at. Yes I'm on the bike path but I don't know any of the neighborhoods and which street exit will I be able to find food quickly off the bike path.

I take a chance at Ramona Blvd. I saw what looked like an elementary school from the bike trail and figured there has to be a store near it. I get on the surface streets and two blocks away there is a taco shop---CASH ONLY. URRRGGG!! I didn't have any cash on me but I HATE CASH ONLY PLACES. Two more blocks and I see a 7 11. As I pull up there are three police cars there and there is a lot of activity. Isn't this just great. I am in the hood and a crime has just happened at the 7 11 that I need to stop at. I went in got a turkey and cheese sandwich and a cherries and cheese danish and within minutes I started to feel better.

I left the 7 11 STILL ON THE REAR FLAT. I got back on the SGRT and kept hoping to find someone with a spare tube. Finally an older gentleman (Eddie) stops and offers to help. I have ridden the rear flat standing for 5 miles (REALLY SLOW) to keep the weight off the rear rim. I know the Velocity Deep V is sturdy but how much punishment can it take.

He didn't have a tube but he had patches. We patched the tube aired up with a mini-pump (I HATE MINI-PUMPS) and got back on the road. Within two minutes I am flat again and Eddie catches up to me.

We patch the second puncture. In my haste to get back on the road I hadn't noticed the second puncture. This time I inspect the tire more thoroughly than before and put the double-patched tube back in the rear tire. Meanwhile, as I am patching the tube Eddie calls his friend Miguel. He informs him that we need a fresh tube and it doesn't seem like he wants to leave the comfort of his sofa. I find out later that after his ride he was relaxing tossing back a few. With two patches and 40 psi (remember mini-pump)I roll. I figure this has to be the last of my tire woes.

NOOOOOOO! About 10 minutes later my rear tire is low again and I am riding on the rim AGAIN. I'm starting to worry about the rear rim it is at least 7 miles of riding on it and the tire keeps coming off. I have to stop and reinstall the tire to keep rolling. My speed is only 3mph. I have traveled less than 10 miles in the last 2 hours.

All of a sudden a guy on a ROAD BIKE blows past me. By the way, I forgot to mention that in all this time no one with a road bike has passed me or was anyone coming from the other direction either. Mainly what I saw were Beach Cruises, Moutain Bikes and Hybrids. It was after 6pm and I guess most Roadies had gone home. I whistle desperately at "the guy that blew past me" and he keeps going around a turn and out of sight. I said isn't that my luck. As I turn the corner there he is. I then see Eddie behind me and he introduces me to Miguel aka the guy that blew past me. He has a spare tube and I take the tire completely out off the rim turn it inside out and inspect and inspect and inspect it again. I put the fresh tube in air up and I am back on the road.

Now I'm thinking that has to be the last of it. I am now racing the sunset. I have lights on the bike but why not get home before dark right. I am riding my MiNewt Headlight and tail light. Awesome lights from NiteRider. YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS 3 miles from SEAL BEACH I puncture AGAIN. A front flat now. I couldn't believe it. I have NEVER flatted so many times in six months let alone one day.

So now I am sitting as far back on the saddle as possible to keep the weight off the front rim. Now my front Velocity Deep V is taking the punishment of expansion joints every few meters. I try to lean as far back on the saddle but the tire is completely flat and comes off the rim again and again.

It is nighttime and I still can't call in the calvary to save me. On this particular day there was no one to call. I make the junction to PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY AT SEAL BEACH. I am going really slow and thumbing it. I even pulled into a gas station and offered to pay for this guy's gas if he would take me home in his huge pick up truck. He said no. Why? Because he was headed in the other direction. I was offering $20 in gas for a less than a gallon ride. He even looked at me and said "Dude that's far." I said "yeah no shit and I have a flat so it is VERY FAR FOR ME." He still said no. I didn't push it and got back on the road.

BUT HERE COMES THE BEST PART. After hours and hours of dealing with flats and riding on rims I am on the Pacific Coast Hwy with my thumb out. You're not going to believe this but a stretch HUMMER LIMO pulls over to give me a ride. The driver used to ride a long time ago. He punches in my address in the GPS and says "8.2 miles you'll be home in 13 minutes". Sweetest words I had heard all day.

As I pull up to my house my neighbors came out and were asking the obvious questions as to why I was in a limo. It was now after 930 pm. I was tired, hungry and just mentally drained from all the possible scenarios I had run through my head on HOW THE HECK AM I GOING TO GET HOME!!!

I thank Velocity for their product durability. I rode on the rear Deep V for about 7 miles and the front for about 5 miles and the wheels are still true (24 spoke) and even though they are marred they are still in service as my primary wheelset. RIDE VELOCITY



Sunday, August 24, 2008

Truly an epic adventure...

Yesterday I rode out to Crystal Lake from Huntington Beach. It was 150 miles (241 kms) with 7,000 ft (2133 meters) of climbing. I had a lot of tire/flatting issues but I don't have time to write about it now. I will over the next couple of days (hopefully tomorrow) get something up for you to ride.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Epic Climbing's a Wrap

Three hard training days in the mountains. I missed completing a few of my goals, but I came away from the weekend knowing that I am one step closer to being fit for Everest Challenge and Furnace Creek 508.

In short, here are my numbers:

My goal was 50K feet of climbing = ACTUAL FEET GAINED WAS 45,000

My goal was 400 total miles ======= ACTUAL MILES WERE 357

MY goal for the one night ride(6PM-6AM)= NO NIGHT RIDE

I still have one more weekend of concentrated climbing before Everest Challenge. Location yet to be determined.

A full report and pictures are in the works. My personal goals were sacrificed for the benefit of my training partner. My training partner this weekend was my girlfriend Brandy. This was her first exposure to the extreme training that I do before the Furnace Creek 508. She suffered, and as a pair our pace was slower. Temperatures were in the 90's everyday and water and food were scarce. You have to pack it with you which means carrying 10-15 pounds of fuel and water. Monday was our most remote ride, which took us up Kitchen Creek Rd, a closed road that climbs about 2800 feet from the 8 Freeway to Mount Laguna at 6100 feet of elevation.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Epic Climbing Camp

I'm really excited about my plans for this weekend. I will be staying at a cabin at Lake Henshaw. It is located at the base of East Grade Rd of Palomar Mountain. I will be riding Saturday-Tuesday. I am publicly stating my goals so that I have to live by them.





Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tour de Baldy Double Whip

Brandy's Tour de Baldy

First off I will do a little bragging. Our househould is getting ready for Everest Challenge. My lovely, Brandy, has not committed to doing the event yet but she is well on her way. I have her on a training plan that will, at the very least, allow her to complete the event. She has very limited time to train. Her training must be precise and purposeful. She is doing a fantastic job complying with the program. Having done the Everest Challenge twice before, I am very familiar with the demands of the event. I'm proud and impressed with her progress. Last Saturday she did a SOLO century with 15,000 feet of climbing.

Before you scoff at that as what's the big deal --- I challenge you to find organized centuries with that much climbing. Even some of the most known climbing events, like Death Ride or Climb the Kaiser and Breathless Agony have less climbing per mile than the ride she did. So remember this was SOLO without the benefit buffet-style spreads that you find at the events below.

Take a look at this comparison

Brandy's Tour de Baldy 15,000 feet in 104 miles = 144 feet of gain per mile

Death Ride............ 15,000 feet in 129 miles = 116 feet of gain per mile

Breathless Agony ..... 12,000 feet in 114 miles = 105 feet of gain per mile

Climb the Kaiser...... 13,500 feet in 155 miles = 87 feet of gain per mile

Whip = ski lifts

Oh by the way, I did 16,000 on Sunday in 110 miles. I went to the Baldy Ski Lifts twice and a couple of repeats on Glendora Mountain Rd.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tour de Baldy add whip

The climbs are:

UP Glendora Mountain Road
UP Glendora Ridge Road
UP Mt Baldy Ski Lifts
DOWN Mt Baldy Road
UP Mt Baldy Road from Mills Rd
DOWN Glendora Ridge Road
UP Glendora Mountain Rd
DOWN Little Glendora Mountain Rd
UP Little Glendora Mountain Rd
DOWN East Fork



I owe a huge thanks to my nutrition sponsors who help ME train and compete at my highest level. SPORTQUEST products such as CarboPro and CarboPro 1200 are my primary fuels. They are easy on the stomach and provide sustained energy. I also use MOTORTABS in conjunction with CarboPro to add vitally important electrolytes Sodium and Potassium (250mg and 75mg per tablet respectively) and a little flavor. I ENCOURAGE TO TRY THESE PRODUCTS and send me your feedback. Ok happy reading....

As part of my Everest Challenge and Furnace Creek 508 preparation I needed some mountain and heat training so we drove out to Glendora to play around on Glendora Mountain Rd and Mount Baldy. It was a great day of climbing with 14,000 feet in less than 100 miles (111 miles total). Problem with climbing out there is the lack of services. I overheated pretty badly and actually had to sit out for about 20 mins under a shade tree at mile 104. The heat and dehydration was cumulative and caught up with me throughout the day. By 2pm it was in the high 90's which feels even hotter when exerting on a climb. I will attempt to recreate the ride and count the bottles I had. This exercise is more for my edification on where I went wrong. But I am sure you will glean something for yourself.

Saturday morning Brandy woke me up with breakfast (fluffy eggs, english muffin with peanut butter and jam and a cup of coffee) in bed at 3:46 a.m. Although it sounds like an unthinkable hour to wake up, Brandy and I both agreed that it didn't seem that early since the alarm often goes off at 4:00 a.m. around here. We drove out to GMR and arrived a little after 5:30 a.m. It was still dark so we didn't rush to get started. I made sure that she knew what her training goals were for the day, since we didn't have any plans to stick together and would just see each other in passing. As we discussed our concerns about fueling and hydrating up on the mountain during the day, we both made sure to hydrate pre-ride. We ended up rolling out just before 6am. The weather was nice, but you could tell it was going to be hot one. Prior to rolling, I drank a bottle of water (BOTTLE #1) with 2 MOTORTABS I wanted to get some electrolytes (2 tablets of Motortabs contains 500mg of Sodium, 150mg of Potassium) and I just get bored of drinking straight water.

I begin the Glendora Mountain Road (GMR) climb (8.1 Miles 5.3% grade 2100 feet of gain) with TWO bottles of CarboPro 1200 mix of 300 calories each. I have a great climb enjoying the total solitude that comes from 6am starts in the mountains. I had ONE, yes only ONE, motorcycle pass me in the first hour and half. I climbed GMR in under 50 mins and felt great. I had one bottle on the GMR climb (BOTTLE #2).

Graph of Glendora Mountain Rd. to the Ski Lifts on Mount Baldy

I then climbed Glendora Ridge Road (GRR) to Baldy Village (about 1800 feet of gain in 12 miles). Not one of my favorite climbs but it is a necessary evil to get to Baldy Village. I only saw one car on this stretch of road. I finished my third bottle (BOTTLE #3)and refilled two bottles (one with CarboPro 1200 and the other with 2 MOTORTABS, at the Baldy Village Post Office water fountain (the Baldy Village Restaurant doesn't open until 11:00 a.m.) for the climb up to the lifts.

The climb to the ski lifts is a toughie. The climb from Glendora Ridge Road to the lifts is about 4.6 miles at 8.6% with 2110 feet of gain. I hadn't been up to the lifts in 18 months and I thought, how bad can it be? Well, after having climbed for roughly 20 miles (there are some dips in GRR) the last 4 miles are a real bear up to the lifts. I was wondering why I didn't have a compact cranskset on the bike. Well I got 'er done. One more bottle (BOTTLE #4).

The top portion of the mountain is hard to descend fast. Cars overshoot the corners and are consistently over the centerline. There were also many rocks on the road. I stopped at the post office (Baldy Village Restaurant still closed) and refilled my bottle and then descended the 45+ mph screaming downhill to the bottom of Mt Baldy Rd and Mills Rd for the climb up Baldy Rd.

At the Mills Rd parking lot I was looking for a water fountain. I asked some mountain bikers where it was and one of them offered me some water. Chris the generous mtb'er even cut out the top of the water bottle so I could get the chunk of ice that was in the bottle. That was awesome of him.

I began my climb up Baldy Rd. It was getting hot. I tried to drink as often as possible and was feeling pretty good. The Baldy Rd climb is exposed and there is no relief from the sun beating on you. I drank another bottle (BOTTLE #5).

I got to the post office (yes, the restaurant was STILL closed) and refilled my 1 bottle and added 2 MOTORTABS and began the "descent" on GRR. It rolls in the general down direction. The descent from the post office to the car is a little over 20 miles.I finished one bottle (BOTTLE #6) as I made the junction to GMR. I knew I had to catch up on fluids and finished my second bottle (BOTTLE #7) before reaching the car. .

About three miles from the base of GMR, I ran into Brandy, who was climbing alongside John Beam (Triple Crown Hall of Famer with 54 double centuries) who she had befriended while riding. She turned around and descended with me. At the car I had my first solid food, a PB &J sandwich and some more water. While eating at the base of GMR I saw quite a few people I knew and it was nice to visit with old friends--total random sightings.

I saw Keith Brodsky looking fully recovered from his broken collarbone that he suffered while we were doing the Butterfield Double Century. We also saw three more California Triple Crown Hall of Famers. Dave Evans (Mr. 114 Double Centuries), Lynn Katano (Ms. 90 Double Centuries) and Anny Beck (Ms. 51 Double Centuries.) Anny is also a ride promoter and has added a brand new double century to the California Triple Crown schedule this year by offering the Borrego Double Ordeal. I'm hoping she takes a bigger role in organizing double centuries in the southern California area. With her 28 years of ultracycling experience, I am sure she will put a lot of thought into great routes and providing outstanding support. Hopefully, they will provide us, Ultra cyclists, with another viable option to the poorly run, poorly supported and unfriendly directed Planet Ultra events.

With two fresh bottles (one with MOTORTABS and the other CarboPro) I begin the "last" climb of the day. One more time up GMR. I already had over 9600 feet of gain it is only 67 miles into the ride. It was close to 12pm and it was really heating up. I drank one bottle (BOTTLE #8) on the climb and was feeling the effects of the heat.

I got to the top of GMR and headed down Little GMR to Camp Williams Cafe. Now I was hot and starting to overheat. I dunked my head in the spigot and tried to cool down.

I refilled my bottle and thought, well I'm already here, I might as well get one more climb in. So I headed back up Little GMR (5 mile 1300 feet of gain). Those extra 5 miles in 95F heat after 8 hours in the saddle did me in. That extra climb just wasn't in the plan, but since I had access to water and more MOTORTABS, I didn't think much of adding the extra climb in. I knew I was in need of electrolytes so that I wouldn't cramp in the heat. Motortabs makes it very convenient to carry along on a ride. I was sluggish while climbing Little GMR and finished the bottle (BOTTLE #9), and descended.

Once I got back to Camp Williams, I knew I was in trouble. I hadn't exerted this long in the heat for a long time. I had gotten spoiled leaving by the coast in Huntington Beach. I dunked my head in the water and started down the road, hoping to get off of the mountain and out of the canyons. I was also starting to bonk, yes in total calorie deficit. According to my Power Tap I was currently at 4000+ kjs and had consumed nowhere near that amount in calories. Not that it's recommended since you can only digest about 250 calories per hour.

Now the descent from Camp Williams back to Encanto Park is not all descent. It's funny how when you do this in reverse, you can't recall any of the descending on the way out, only the climbing. Once on Highway 39, I felt like I was getting that much closer to the San Gabriel River Trail, but the foot pain that I was experiencing earlier in the day was now unbearable. I took my feet out of my shoes and started riding on the tops of the shoes until I hit yet another roller. I just couldn't produce enough power with my feet out of the shoes and on top of the buckles, so I sought out the nearest shade tree.

I dismounted and sat there for about twenty minutes. When I first got off the bike, I was nauseous and my lungs hurt from all of the heavy breathing of the day. I could only take short breaths. I had two full bottles but I just didn't feel like drinking anything sweet anymore. I sat there and tried to count how many bottles of fluids I had through the day, and wonder how I ended up in this state, knowing that I know better than this. I've been down this road before. Where did I screw up? After some reflection, I realized it was the heat of the day, scarcity of services and that extra 5 mile, 1300ft climb that wasn't in the plan, that did me in.

I remounted after twenty minutes, and clipped into my shoes. Funny how I was only another two-three miles from the San Gabriel River Trail. I thought psychologically, once I hit the SGRT, that I would feel better, but I didn't. I was still overheated and dehydrated and now I was headed for the dreaded bonk. I was actually feeling hungry, which is a good sign...better than feeling nauseous. At that time I knew that I really needed to get some food in me. I exited the SGRT and got on Route 66 in Duarte, pulling over at the first taco stand that I could find. Even in my calorie deprived state and serious deficit, I can attest to the fact that it was one of worst carne asada burritos I've ever had. Their idea of meat resembled bacon bits and it made for a poor tasting meal. I gladly ate it though, knowing I needed the carbs from tortilla, rice and beans, along with five 20oz glasses of water.

That was the end of the ride. I called in the cavalry and my lovely girlfriend, Brandy drove out to pick me up. I knew I was still in bad shape because once you're in the car with the air conditioning and heading home, you usually start feeling better. But even after an hour off the bike, in a climate control environment --I still felt horrible.


Don't trust anyone else's weather forecast. We had heard that it was going to be in the 90's at the base of the mountain but in the 70's on the climbs. Because of that, I didn't take a third bottle and was taking care to conserve my fluids on each climb.


Take on more fuel and force myself to take on more gels earlier in the day when it is still cool. As it heats up, the sweet gels become less palatable and I, despite knowing better, am less likely to fuel with them.


As a coach, I should know better. Stick to the plan. The plan was to do X number of climbs with X number of feet of gain and nothing more as I increased elevation gain and heat exposure on a weekly and incremental basis in preparation for Everest Challenge and Furnace Creek 508.