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Monday, September 29, 2008

Everest Challenge Race Report

Everest Challenge was a bust. Sorry to disappoint but I had to DNF.

I came down with something on Wednesday night. More like early Thursday morning. I had trouble getting to sleep with an upset stomach. Then in the wee morning hours I began vomiting and the other thing. I went to work Thursday knowing I would be off on Friday. I couldn't keep anything down and I was feeling lousy but I made it through the day. Thursday night I didn't sleep well either.

On Friday, we drove to Bishop still wondering if I would feel better. It wasn't the case. At dinner I was still having GI issues. That evening I took some Immodium.

On Saturday, I thought I have to be better by now. I lined up for the hardest USCF race in California-- and about 5 hours I DNF'd. I had not been able to fuel as I needed to and I also had been to the bathroom three times. My stomach was in knots and revolting to anything I was putting in.

So there you have it. Months of training for EC and I had to DNF half-way through the first of two days.

Well there is always next year. I was very conflicted at first but now I am good with it. I DNF'd because there is no way I would have ever finished that race. Even more accurately I SHOULD HAVE NEVER STARTED THE RACE.

Now it's time to focus on the Furnace Creek 508.

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My Last Hard Training Ride...





^^^ Graph of ride. Notice the first climb 35 miles with some rollers.




^^^ Dawson Saddle Summit at 7901 feet of elevation




^^^ How convenient that Motor Tabs tablets fits into my Speefil hydration system.



^^^ Another summit along the way. It is great to have the opportunity to climb from Sea Level to 7000 feet!


well before Furnace Creek 508 that is.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank a few sponsors that keep me rolling. I fueled with Sportquest CarboPro and Motortabs. I rode a Speedfil and a hydration pack from Nathan Sports.



I did a 107 mile training ride in the San Gabriel Mountains. I left Encanto Park (below 1000 feet) in Duarte and rode up Hwy 39 to the Angeles Crest Hwy junction and then continued East another 5.3 miles to Dawson Saddle elevation 7901 feet. It was a 35 mile climb with over 7,000 feet of gain.

I then headed West on the AC Hwy and got water from Newcombs Ranch. I climbed back to Dawson Saddle a second time via Cloudburst Summit at 7018 elevation.

It was a great day of climbing with VERY little traffic. Mostly because the lion's share of the climbing is done on closed roads. It was a solo ride. I only saw one cyclist all day near Cloudburst Summit. He was coming East up the AC Hwy.

This was a tough ride but since it was cooler at elevation I felt good most of the day. I dreaded the descent into the blast furnace.

Sure it was a 107 miles with 12,300 but 11,700 feet came within the first 72 miles.


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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

ON MY COMMUTE...

So another installment of On My Commute...

Today as I was commuting home from work I met two people. The first was Brett, a transplant from Colorado. A freelance writer of skiing sports. New to riding and having a good time enjoying the weather. I hope she stops in the shop and we can spend some time getting to know each other. Welcome to Encinitas Brett.

The second was a 58 year old commuter, Bob. We met on the north end of Newport Beach in an area called Mariner's Mile. Turns out Bob has been commuting for two years rain or shine, winter or summer although he admits not in a downpour. In talking to him he told me his commute was 26 miles each way and he does it five times a week. And here's some more good stuff-- he has lost 40 lbs in the process. You gotta love that!!! Keep on truckin' Bob!!!

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Everest Challenge



DAY 2 GRAPH IS THE TOP ONE

DAY 1 GRAPH IS THE BOTTOM ONE (sorry for the confusing graphs it is from the event site)

I am off to Bishop for the start of a two day climbing race the Everest Challenge. It is the California/Nevada State Climbing Championships. 29,000 feet of climbing in two days. It is my last hard training ride before Furnace Creek 508. Stay tuned for race report.

Friday, September 12, 2008

MOTOR TABS ON BOARD THE EPIC TRAIN...






I WANT TO SEND A HUGE THANK YOU TO GREG SELLERS AND THE GREAT FOLKS AT MOTOR TABS.

AS PART OF OUR SPONSORSHIP AGREEMENT MOTOR TABS WILL BE SUPPLYING ME THROUGH THE END OF 2008 AND THEN STARTING A FRESH YEAR IN 2009.

I use Motor Tabs because of their portability, electrolyte content and their taste. Visit their website at www.motortabs.com and read all about them. They are a great way to add flavor and carbonation to your favorite plain bland tasting powder nutrition. I use it with Carbo-Pro which is a non-sweet Maltodextrin powder. I get the carbs from the Carbo-Pro and the electrolytes from the Motor Tabs. IT IS AN EXCELLENT COMBINATION.

THANKS AGAIN GREG AND MOTOR TABS.

Nathan Sports comes through in a big way












THANK YOU TO ELLEN CASSIDY AND ALL THE GREAT FOLKS AT NATHAN PERFORMANCE GEAR www.NathanSports.com

As part of our sponsorship agreement I received box 1 of 2 of goodies for my third Furnace Creek 508, Oct 4-6 2008. My crew and I will be sporting as much of the Nathan gear as possible to ensure our safety. For those not aware the Furnace Creek 508 is a 508 mile (818 kms) with 35,000 feet (10,668 meters) of climbing through the Mojave Desert, Death Valley Desert and very remote points beyond. It is non-stop, that is, it is done as one stage.

I received reflective gear, nutrition flasks, lights and small hydration systems. Nathan Sports make great products. If you are into Ultra Running or Cycling and/or if you commute, their gear is an essential part of your safety and performance.

EVERYONE that enjoys the outdoors can FIND a product from Nathan Sports to fit their needs Please visit their website and find a retailer near you.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Portia my TT bike


By request

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Solo 175 miler (282 kms)- Dawson Saddle




On Sunday I went out to do 175 miles (282 kms) solo. I rode from Huntington Beach to Dawson Saddle (7901 ft) in the San Gabriel Mountains. The ride has 8600 feet (2621 meters) of gain. The largest chunk of it comes in a 33 mile 7,000+ feet of gain (2133 meters) in a remote closed road section. No cars and no people for hours and hours just the way I like it. I love doing long solo rides.


The ride took me North on the Pacific Coast Hwy to Seal Beach then Northeast on the San Gabriel Bike Trail. Hwy 39 up past Crystal Lake (where I went two weeks ago)to the junction of Angeles Crest Hwy then continuing up to Dawson Saddle.




Meet Rebecca, my climbing bike. It is a Cervelo R3-SL. Very light very stiff and unbelievably it has a great smooth ride. It is dressed out in a Dura-Ace kit with Velocity Arrowhead rims on a Powertap Wireless 2.4 SL.

Rebecca before the Fred Pump



After the fred pump



Flat repair- notice Park Tool Patches



18 gel packets stuffed into my shorts



Three bottles in my jersey pockets with powder mix NO WATER yet



Beginning of Hwy 39 climb









9 miles into the climb East Fork Turn Off





11.5 miles into the climb the road is closed





Nearest Mile Marker to the first gate



15 Miles into the climb 3,000 feet




THIS IS A SPECIAL PLACE



Looking down



About 4,000 feet (1219 meters) elevation about 18,8 miles (30.3 kms) into the climb there is a stream. It has been really hot lately so I usually dunk my head in the icy cold water. It is very refreshing. Some folks drink from it.







About 21.2 Miles (34 kms)into the climb the 5000 ft (1524 meters) sign



Crystal Lake Turn Off if you read an earlier post you will recognize this as the destination point in that post. You may also recall it is a veritable ghost town.



About 27.8 miles junction to Angeles Crest Hwy




Destination Dawson Saddle 7901 ft (2408 meters) 33.3 miles (53.1 kms) of climbing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

EPIC Climbing on Labor Day Weekend

Saturday:

Climb #1

We left the house at 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning to drive up. I had no idea where we were going until the signs on Highway 65 gave away our destination. We arrived in Springville early Saturday morning and started out on our first climb of the day.

Balch Park Road Loop started out at 1000 ft elevation and went up to 6400 ft. We took a little detour off of the main road and ended up with 5700 ft. of gain for this climb.



Climb #2

We went back to Springville and had lunch at the cafe, which has been there since 1897. Service was a little on the slow side, so we were off of the bike longer than we anticipated. While at the cafe, we stared at the thermometer which read 100+ degrees. IN THE SHADE!

Highway 190 out of Springville started at 1000 ft and Brandy made it to 5500 ft, while I made it to 6300 ft. It was over 106 degrees when we left (with 4 bottles each) on our second climb of the day. Though Brandy is getting better about riding in the high temps, she still overheats fairly easily and the Tule River was calling her name. I was back taking pictures when Brandy decided to pull off of the road and take a dip in a beautiful pool of water. I indulged her diversion from the plan and she shed her gear for a little skinny dipping. This put us behind schedule and losing daylight, but it was well worth it. I didn't mind at all.








Sunday:


From our motel in Porterville, we drove up to Three Rivers.

Mineral King Road was our climb for the day. From a starting elevation of 800 ft in Three Rivers to an ending elevation of 7800 ft at the end of the road, we gained over 7400 ft on this climb. The road was narrow, steep, sometimes unpaved (not hard packed dirt...but SAND!) and is reported to have over 698 curves. Totally awe inspiring. The views were breathtaking.



Mineral King Road is one of the toughest climbs I have done in recent memory. It is 7,400 + feet of gain in one shot (including the warm up climb before the turn off). It has sustained ramps of 10-12% grades. There are sections that avg 10% for over 1.5 miles. It got to the point where I didn't want a relief in the road because all it meant was that I was going to have to pay for it. Just after a leveling off section BAM! you would get hit with 12-14% grade ramp. This cycle of relief and punishment repeats itself over and over and over again over the 25 miles.

Then closer to the top above 6,000 ft there were sand sections with the 12% grades. Our 23mm tires were sinking in to the sand. Hard packed dirt would have been better. Next time we will ride 25mm tires.

The motorists all said it took them over two hours to drive the 23 miles up all the switchbacks, ramps, single lane travel, potholes, loose gravel and did I mention the very narrow road without guardrails?

Mineral King is a very tough climb indeed.