Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rainbow Prelude Permanent

This week I rode the Rainbow Prelude Permanent. The what? You ask. A permanent is a route that can be ridden at any time for credit if you are a randonneur. This route is the one I do most often since the start point is closest to my house. It is a challenging and good route.

Starting in the LaJolla/UTC area we head into Sorrento Valley, up to Del Mar, across to Fairbanks Ranch, and then go out to Del Dios for the first climb. Del Dios goes up to the Lake Hodges Dam. From there we go through Harmony Grove and Elfin Forest. One of my favorite places to ride. About mile 33 we turn and go up San Elijo Road for the next climb. This one is about 3 miles at 5-6 percent. But has a wicked fast downhill that is straight, and marked at 9 percent. The only caveat is the two stoplights. I hit 44 this time; I have hit 50 on this one before. After the descent the route is benign until Old Castle Road. The first of 3 strong climbs in a row. Old Castle is about 2.5 miles, then a short descent and a turn on Lilac. Lilac has its rollers, then a turn onto the beast known as Couser Canyon. Bam! Grades at 8-10 percent are common. They spike at 14-15 percent! But Couser has a sweet technical downhill. My downhill cornering needs work, so I’m not so fast there, but I do enjoy it. Next up, Rice Canyon. And a couple more 15 percent spikes. Finally I get to Rainbow, roughly half way in distance, but almost 2/3 in the total time it will take. That is because the majority of the rest of the route heads to and down the coast. More downhill than up. Even with nasty headwinds on the San Luis Rey Bike Path, and dealing with a detour through Carlsbad. Finally there is one more climb, Torrey Grade. 1.4 miles, 5-6%. Over Torrey, and that’s about it. 121.45 miles. 7,110 feet of gain. You can see the ride here on Garmin Connect:

Notable on the ride: Saw a 50’s era Porsche that was immaculate. Also saw a Lotus, and a nicely restored Chevy Chevelle SS. Not to mention the Ford Model T, with license plates that said, “Horseless Carriage.” A good day for interesting cars.

Also saw the first snake of the year. This one was a sidewinder that lost an encounter with a motor vehicle. But beware So Cal cyclists, especially off road or in the back country. This is their time of year.

Specialized Roubaix Expert Ultegra
Crank: 50/34 Compact
Cassette: 12/27
Pearl Izumi PRO Bibs
Cool Breeze Century Jersey over DaFeet S/S wool baselayer
Specialized Arm Warmers
Shimano RS 80 wheels with Continental Gatorskins

Thanks for reading, and as always you can follow me on Twitter. I am @stevecycles200.

Upcoming Events:
May 1 – Borrego Double Ordeal
June 5 – Eastern Sierra Double Century
June 26 – Grand Tour Double Century.

Monday, April 19, 2010

SD Randos 600K

This weekend was the Solana 600K put on by the San Diego Randos. 600 Kilometers is 375 miles. You have 40 hours to finish. Our route was three loops of 200 kilometers each.

The first loop took us from Solana Beach (where Angi and I got married) inland to Escondido and Valley Center, then across Route 76 past the base of Palomar Mountain and to Mesa Grande. Over Mesa Grande and to Santa Ysabel. That was 75 miles. Those 75 miles was almost 7,500 feet of elevation gain. The hardest 75 miles I have ever done. Parts were very pretty. And despite the slow pace and climbing, I felt pretty good, thanks to a solid nutrition strategy.

After re-fueling at Santa Ysabel It is mostly downhill to Ramona, using Old Julian Highway one of my favorite cycling roads. My friend Keith, a very strong rider caught up with me on Mesa Grande, and again on Old Julian Highway. Keith is much faster than I am, but started late, and took some time at Santa Ysabel. We finished the first loop together. It took me over 11 hours to finish the first 200 kilometers, which was a disappointment, I was hoping for a sub 10 hour 200. I knew we had some good climbs, but I under estimated just how much climbing we had on the first loop.

Keith was looking at doing the entire event in about 24 hours, and he is fast enough to do it. He finished a 400K in the 16 hour window, but he too under estimated how tough the first 200K was. Since he had obligations on Sunday, he abandoned the ride after the first loop.

I took off, and of course immediately we were climbing. Right back up Scripps Poway Parkway, then a downhill to Lakeside, then a whole bunch of climbs through East County. Dehesa Road was relentless as the sun set and darkness took a hold. Only eight riders started the 600K, and I had no idea where the others were. I knew three were ahead of me, four behind, and that Keith had abandoned. But as slow as I was going, I was surprised nobody else had passed me. Unless someone did when I took a quick nature break? Finally turning off of Dehesa for the up and down, up and down, up and down of Japatul Road and Lyons Valley Road. Lyons Valley Road started to concern me, as I was really wobbling on the bike. Not just doing the “paper boy” on climbs, but even on flats and downhills. I stopped for a few minutes ate a Cliff Bar, and a Gu. Going over Honey Springs I had the same issue, and onto the relatively flat Otay Lakes Road. Luckily traffic was very light, so when I heard a vehicle behind me, I just stopped. Once I got into Chula Vista I called my wife to come pick me up. I surrendered to safety. Disappointed because my legs felt good enough to go one, and other than exhaustion, I was okay. But a couple of poor nights sleep before an event that requires sleep deprivation is not good. Yes I was disappointed, but I prefer to live to ride again. I understand the PCH Randos have a 600K in October; maybe I’ll give that a shot.

Route 76 the base of Palomar Mtn.

Lake Henshaw. AKA Time Station 1 on RAAM

I skipped writing my blog for a couple of weeks. On March 29th I flew out to Illinois to visit my mom who had been diagnosed with cancer on February 1st. She was in the hospital, but we thought she was sick from the treatment, which is very hard. Sadly, she had complications from the treatment including a stroke, and a rupture in the small intestine. By Wednesday morning we lost her.

I’ve lost my mom and four uncles to cancer. My mother in law is a 13 year survivor; my father in law is a survivor of many years.

After all the years, all the donations to cancer research why do we not have a cure? Why are treatments still so rough? What is the best approach to get rid of cancer?

I don’t know. I’d like to do something with my cycling, but I’m not sure what. Join Team Livestrong? Do something like a penny per mile?

Any suggestions from my blog readers?