Friday, November 4, 2011

Color Me Pink

Last year I wrote a blog titled “Dude you have Pink Bar Tape on Your Bike.” It was in supported of breast cancer awareness month, and for all cancers. I put the pink bar tape on my bike again this year.

It was my intention to go back to my regular bar tape around the first of November. However, on the first of November we found out that my wife, Angi, has breast cancer.

Angi is tough. She will fight, and cancer is going to be sorry it messed with her.

Today, I changed my bar tape. But I kept it pink. I will have pink bar tape on my road and tri-bike until the doctor declares her cancer free.

I will buy some white bar tape. I will keep it on the shelf, waiting. Going back to the white will be part of our celebration once she is cancer free.

Until then, my bikes will be in the pink. I welcome anyone that wants to join me.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ironman 70.3 Austin

70.3 miles. For someone who has done 14 double centuries the distance is not intimidating. The only difference is of the 70.3 miles, only 56 are cycling. The first 1.2 is a swim, and the last 13.1 is a run. Okay, now there is some intimidation.

I decided to drive to Austin from San Diego, so I left on the Sunday before. I arrived Monday night and checked into my room.

Tuesday I drove the bike course. Two things jumped out at me. A lot of turns and some of the roads were in rough shape. I made some notes where a turn led to a hill, so I would shift in advance. I also noted some spots where I thought I would have to be on the bullhorns due to rough roads.

I finished Tuesday with an easy one hour spin.

Wednesday I went to the venue and took a good look at the lake, then went for a 30 minute run on part of the run course. Anticipation was building as Ironman had crew out marking the course.

I got an email Wednesday night from Ironman stating they were altering the run course from two loops at 6.55 miles to three loops at 4.4 miles. This was due to the severe drought in Central Texas; they took out an off-road portion.

I did not see the off-road portion, but this meant a third trip up the hill on Hog Eye Road. Actually a fifth and sixth trip since we go up and down it both ways.

Thursday I rode part of the course and felt really good. I was wishing Thursday was race day; I was riding strong without much effort.

Thursday night was great. I was able to get together with my friend Rich and his family. Rich was my best friend in college and roommate my senior year. It was awesome to spend some time with them. We got together again on Friday and Monday!

Friday was a tough day early on. I had no workout on the agenda. My wife and mother in law were flying in, but not until later in the day. Finally 3:00 and check-in opens. I got my packet, and T-shirts for my wife and mother in law that said Ironman Support Crew. I thought they would enjoy those.

Saturday meant my last pre-race workout. A short bike and very short run. After that, lunch, then off to the venue to rack my bike. Ironman requires racking your bike the day before. We looked at the swim venue, Swim out with the big IRONMAN SWIM OUT sign, and how it led into Transition, then how I would get to my bike, and exit transition. I walked through it, and left my bike.

Race day! Got nerves? I’ve done several events and races, and never have I been this nervous. I guess the first time doing this distance in a triathlon combined with doing a destination event, plus dedicating 20 weeks to training and making it very clear this was my A event of the year added up.

Water temperature was 72 degrees, so wetsuits are legal. My wave starts at 7:45. The Pros start at 7:30. Around 7:15 I put the wetsuit on, nibbling on a Honey Stinger Waffle. The cannon goes off and the pros start their swim. Another cannon shot and the women pros are off. I head to the swim start. We cannot go into the water until five minutes before the start, so no warm up. We get in, and I immerse and take a few strokes. The temperature is good, and the water feels nice. The air horn goes off. We humble age-groupers are not worthy of a cannon shot?

My swim strategy was to start easy, stay out of the washing machine, get a groove, and finish strong. Despite that, I got kicked in the head around the 100 meter mark. I got swam over about 200 meters in, and kicked again a short time later. Despite all that, my strategy was working. My breathing was regulated nicely, and as I made the first of two turns, I started to pass folks. During this section I started passing folks from the previous wave! The turn for home; and I was thinking, wow, what a great swim, now I’m seeing caps from two waves ago. Swim Out, the legs are a bit wobbly, take it easy, and watch the racer in front of me do a face plant. See two others fall. I walked until my legs felt okay then trotted into transition. This was the first race I have done where they had volunteers helping people get out of their wetsuits. That looked slow, I learned how to get out of a wetsuit TCSD style, no thanks, I got this on my own!

A note on swimming, I just started to swim in January of this year. My goal for the swim was 45 minutes. Actual time 40:52. A huge success to me. Thrilled! Onto the bike, my favorite.

Wetsuit off, helmet and shoes on, grab the bike. Get on the bike, pedal, pedal, and pedal. Something feels wrong. Stop, jump off. What the…..? My saddle is literally 45 degrees down. I usually have it level. How the heck? I give it a tug, and jump on and go.

Around the six mile mark is a nasty little hill. Short, but probably 12 percent at the peak. Soon after, I really felt like I didn’t have great legs. I pushed on. Lots of rolling hills, lots of turns. The roads did not seem as bad as they looked on Tuesday.

Around mile 35 I could feel the saddle was sinking again. I just pushed on. Around this time I realized I was not going to hit my time goal for the bike. I tried to smooth pedal and push without blowing up.

Bike goal time: 2:45. Actual 3:00:52

Dismount. Ouch! My quadriceps seized up as I got off the bike. All the training sessions I did, I have never had that. I limped into T2 and racked my bike. I grabbed some Tylenol and water, changed my shoes, and headed out. Before starting the run, I hit a potty. Off to the run. The quads seemed a little better. Take it easy, same strategy as the swim, start easy, and then pick it up. Mile one 10:39. Perfect, right where I want it. But, despite that being the pace I wanted, it was not easy. I had plenty of lungs, but the legs were crabby.

Strategy change; walk through the feed zones, get liquid, then run again.

That worked for two more miles. Then I had to mix in more walk breaks.

Mile five, in 58 minutes. Behind my goal pace, but okay, can we keep this pace? And wow, it got hot! (92f)

I felt like I was keeping the pace, I made the turn to lap number three. I smiled when I saw my wife and mother in law and heard their cow bells. Well, I smiled on the inside. It hurt way too much to smile outwardly.

The final lap. The cramping was so bad I was walking twice as much as I was running, and when I ran, it was more like a slow jog.

Mile 11, adding insult to injury. Now I was having gastro-intestinal issues. The last two miles were 90 percent walk.

I turned into the arena for the finish, and insisted on running across the finish line, so I started about 100 meters out. I really thought I was going to crash, but managed to make it. I could hear the cheers and the announcer call out my name: STEVE SMART you finished the IRONMAN 70.3 AUSTIN.

Run goal 2:20. Run actual 2:58:12/

Total goal 5:59:59.9999 Actual 6:52:58.

Goal two: Give it everything I got, leave nothing. ACCOMPLISHED!

I had to lean on the volunteer who pulled my chip off. I took a bottle of water and got my medal. But what I needed was a bathroom.

After the pit stop, I felt quite a bit better. I found my “crew” and went back to have a photo taken with my medal.

Now it is over. 20 weeks of training, anticipation, and in less than seven hours it is over. I hurt, I was spent, I was both excited that I finished, and a bit disappointed in the result. Proud that I did something that a few years ago would have been impossible, and bummed that I had so many issues.

When is my next one? What will I change? How much can I improve?

When the race first ended, I really thought my issues were due to an electrolyte imbalance, probably going into the day. I used the same products I trained with. Yes, it was hot, but not so hot that I should have cracked before the run.

After thinking about it, I think the saddle issue was a big reason for the cramps. This put me in a poor position on the bike. And my lower quads were still sore three days later. That never happens.

Lesson learned. Bring a multi tool on race morning, especially if you have to leave the bike, and check and make sure everything is tight.

I cannot figure out how my saddle got loose. My wife came up with the only plausible thought; that someone made an adjustment on what they thought was their bike, realized it was not theirs, and left without tightening it back up.

Lesson learned two: At least once a month, train in East County for the heat.

Thank you:

My Tri-Sherpas, AKA Wifey and mom-in-law. They made the day easier for me, and more fun.

The people that came out to watch. Your energy was awesome. Central Texas rocks. More than once I heard, hey California, welcome to Longhorn Country!

The volunteers. Great energy, and support.

TCSD – I saw a few other tri-clubbers out there, and the tips I’ve gotten from the club were useful and helpful.

Equipment Used:

Swim – Blue Seventy Fusion wetsuit
Aqua sphere Rx goggles

Bike – Specialized Transition Comp
Shimano RS 80 Wheels
Giro Aero Helmet
Shimano Tri shoes

Run – Nike Voomero 5 shoes
Fuel Belt

Top – TCSD Tri top
Desoto 400 mile bib shorts

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Hay is in the Barn

I just completed the 18th week of my 20 week training plan leading to the Austin Half-Ironman.

As they say, the hay is now in the barn. For the next two weeks, it will be about keeping the hay fresh, so I can consume every last strand on October 23rd.

Some observations: After five years of cycling, I was riding a lot. But I was not really training. Not properly at least. I’ve seen more gains in fitness and speed in 18 weeks than I ever thought I could. Regardless of the outcome at Austin, the training has been a success.

Intervals work, and really if your not doing intervals, your not training.

Rest works. Not too much, or your just resting. But planned rest lets the muscles recover, and gains happen.

Racing is fun.

Push yourself. Go fast, climb a really hard hill, push to the point of cracking. You will improve.

The hay is in the barn. And if I do say so myself, it is a pretty big barn!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tri Rock San Diego

The Austin 70.3 is six weeks away. Yesterday was Tri Rock, a Sprint Triathlon in Embarcadero Park, San Diego. My tune-up race for Austin. Use the same gear, fuel, methods and make sure it all works.

The day started with a 3:30 AM wake up call, to leave by 4:30, since Transition opens at 5:00. One cool thing about Tri Rock, is the racks. No hanging your bike, slots for your wheel, nice and stable. And they had all the spots assigned, no first come first serve stuff.

I found my place, and set my stuff up. Took my time, I had plenty. Note to self, it was dark, bring your running headlamp to Austin just in case.

Now the waiting game. My wave is scheduled to go off at 8:10. Its 6:15 and I’m ready.

I went over to the swim start area. The first wave started at 7:00, and before that, there was a tremendous rendition of our national anthem, along with a tribute to 9-11.

Tick tock, tick tock, it’s finally 8:00 and our group is on-deck. We get into the water, I warm up a bit, then get into position for our start.

The swim start is always chaotic. I decided to start this swim with my head up, less efficient, but better than getting knocked all over the place. And it worked well, as I could tell when it was the ideal time to start swimming. I had a solid swim, 10:38 for 500 meters, right in the middle of my age group. Off to Transition.

Bike time, my favorite. The bike course was supposed to go out Harbor drive to the 32nd Street Naval Base, and then go on base, before returning via Harbor drive. With heightened security, we had to do two laps of Harbor drive, which meant four trips over the railroad tracks, and more time on the lumpy, bumpy, moonscape that is Harbor Drive. There were reports of several crashes. I kept the rubber down, and managed to cover the 9.5 miles in 27:54.

Transition number two, then onto the run course. As triathletes go, I am a pretty slow runner. However, with my training for Austin, my running has improved, and I could feel it as I headed out. The run course was scenic, mostly along the waterfront, Seaport Village, and there was a section they took us up on some grass to give it a cross country feel. They had a little stadium like area set up for the finish, and as you came into the shoot the announcer called out your name, I gave a fist pump and crossed the line in 27:44, a personal best for a 5K.

My total time, 1:11:31. 18th out of 54 in my age group. I am really pleased with that effort.

This event was a Tri-Rock which is put on by the Competitor Group. They are the same folks that do the Rock and Roll Marathons. So, yes, there were bands on the course, and even in the water! At the finish they had a band called Back in Black, an AC-DC Tribute band. I really thought AC-DC was on stage, these guys were good! Made for a fun event!

My wife and mother in law came out to cheer me on, ring cow bells and play sherpa for me. I really appreciate that, it made my day a bit easier and more fun. Plus the photos are courtesy of my mother in law and her new digital camera. Most of these are better than official event photos I’ve gotten! This week is back to training, as the next four weeks get pretty intense before a two week taper.

Photos: 1. Just before entering the water. Game time!

2. I'm in there, I'm the guy in the black cap and black wetsuit!

3. Bike time!

4. Run time!

5. Medal time!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Solana Beach Triathlon

Photo Credit Swim Out - Angi Smart (Wifey)

I have not written a blog since the Eastern Sierra Double. I usually blog in conjunction with my events, and there have been no events for me since Eastern Sierra. That is, until last Sunday.

I did the Solana Beach Triathlon. A sprint triathlon with a ¼ mile ocean swim, 9 mile bike, and 3 mile run. This race was mostly a training race as part of my preparation for the Austin 70.3 that I am doing in October. The Solana Tri culminated week seven of my 20 week training plan. There will be one more practice tri, my “dress rehearsal” at Tri-Rock on September 11.

The training for triathlon is very different from what I did for distance cycling. Of course I am swimming and running, not just cycling, but the durations tend to be shorter, but more intense. I find after three years of focusing on distance cycling, the hardest thing for me to do, is go all-out. I always want to keep something in the bank for the end.

I didn’t really train to do my doubles fast. When I got into cycling, I just kept trying to ride further, it wasn’t until recently I actually really decided I’d like to see if I can get faster.

Two things about going faster, especially on the bike: One, its fun! Two, it hurts. Not in a bad way, but really, if you are trying to go fast, and it is not hurting, you are not pushing hard enough. That has been a bit of a challenge for me too. I mean, I got into cycling to get rid of 150 excess pounds of girth by doing something I liked. Putting myself into the pain cave was not part of the original equation.

I just started swimming in January, and I have to say I am pleased with my progress. The hardest part of triathlon swimming is the washing machine at the start. Bang, bump, collide. It’s not like everyone lines up on the right and people move to the left to pass. Once I get some room, I can hold my own. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not challenging Michael Phelps, or even the fast triathletes. But my swim has come along better than I anticipated.

The run is the challenge for me. As a kid, I was one of the slowest. I grew up playing baseball. You’ve heard the saying; he’s fast for a catcher. I caught; I was slow, even by catcher’s standards. I started mixing in running three years ago, not consistently, but enough for a bike guy. It took me a while to get to where I could do a 5K in less than 40 minutes. I can now break 30, but barely. 29:26 in the Solana Tri. 53rd of 66 in my age group. As a percentage, my worst of the three events. I’ll keep working at it. This is one of those speed/pain things, as I think I could have maintained that pace for much longer, where I’m sure others would have dropped off. I just couldn’t seem to ramp it up, even for the short course.

Speaking of results, I did the 9 miles in just under 27 minutes, or just over a 20MPH average. The course was on 101. For San Diego locals, depart transition at Lomas Santa Fe, go north to Via de la Valle, do a 180, Make a right on Lomas Santa Fe, and immediately do a 180 and make a right back on coast highway, down the hill to the light for another 180. Repeat, except on lap two pull back into transition at Lomas Santa Fe. Six 180’s on the course really cut the speed. Koz, the group that runs this event lumps both transitions into the bike split, so I really don’t know how I compared to the rest of the field. I can tell you this, I did not get passed on the bike course by anyone from my age group, (the fast guys were already ahead of me from the swim) and only one guy overall, who was on his second lap while I was still on my first. I passed a ton of people! The problem was I saw most of them go by me on the run. Including both transitions I was 26 of 66 in my age group for the split.

I was 47 of 66 on the swim. Okay for my second competitive swim, first in the ocean; and that includes a ¼ mile up hill from the beach at Fletcher Cove to Transition where at least 10 guys passed me running in. There’s that doggone running speed again.

Anyway, I am enjoying the triathlons, and training. One thing, as a cyclist, I can say I really like, is the time trial discipline. I like getting aero, and testing myself against the clock.

Next up is Tri-Rock on September 11th, then Austin 70.3 on October 23rd.

Gear: Swim – Blue Seventy wetsuit, Aqua Sphere goggles
Bike – Specialized Transition, 53/39 crank, 11-28 cassette, Shimano RS80 wheels, Giro Advantage 2 aero helmet.
Run – Nike Vomero+ 5 shoes

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

2011 Eastern Sierra Double Century

Early in the week I looked at the weather report for Bishop/Mammoth/Benton and what I would need for the Eastern Sierra Double Century on June 4.

What I saw was not what I wanted to see. A chance of SNOW in Mammoth, chance of rain, and strong winds. As the week progressed the chance of snow diminished, and the percentage chance of rain dropped. But the wind was in the forecast. Not breezy, but flat out windy.

I got up to Bishop on Friday in time for lunch, and it was already blowing. Saturday morning it was still blowing, and it was only going to get stronger.

I was prepared for below normal temperatures, and a slight chance of rain, but there isn’t much you can do for wind. So we headed out for the 30 miles around the Owens River Valley. Going east you could feel the wind a bit, going south you could definitely feel it. But now, we were mostly going north up the Old Sherwin Grade. Then toward Mammoth Lakes. The Mammoth Scenic loop is recently repaved. Wow, what a treat to descend on fresh blacktop. This was the highlight of the day for me, a wonderful loop, great road, and I like descending!

Up and over Dead Mans Summit on highway 395, and into the third aid station. Then the June Lake loop. Smack, there’s that wind, but we’d be turning soon enough. Drip, drip, drip, Shower! All of the sudden it was raining. Then back to a drip, then done. Short and sweet it rained, and it was done. Back on 395 to Mono Lake and the lunch stop. Nice and fast up to Mono with a good tailwind.

Lunch was over, and we had about 90 miles left. Most of which would be into the wind. 11 miles back south on 395, then a left on highway 120, a short fun descent. Then the last climb of the day, up Sagehen. 8,136 feet, the highest elevation, and third 8,000 foot plus summit of the day.

My favorite part of the ride last year was descending Sagehen. I hit 52 MPH last year. With a very strong head/cross wind, I “only” hit 46.4 this year, and didn’t really enjoy it, as I was worried about the wind pushing me over. After the descent we were going due south, into the wind on rollers. Ugh, that was slow. Finally a short descent into Benton. 35 miles to go.

35 miles due south. Into a wind that was now sustained at 25 MPH with gusts well over 40. Last year I did this stretch in about an hour and 40 minutes. Instead of describing the agony of riding 35 miles into that kind of wind, I’ll just let you know it took 3 hours and 45 minutes.

I love this ride. It is my favorite double century route. Beautiful scenery. But having ridden in cold, rain, fog, and now rip-roaring winds, I can say, wind is my least favorite. It really messes with your mind. Knowing you are on roads you can hold 20 MPH on; and now you are going less than 10, and hurting more than you did when you were going fast.

At one point a group of six riders came on me, I latched onto the back. The shelter seemed to make it easier for a bit, at a whopping 10.5 MPH. After five or six minutes I couldn’t even hold on to the group. I finally realized I had bonked, since I hadn’t eaten anything after leaving Benton. I stopped and dug out a Fig Newton. Washed it down with some water and started again. About 10 minutes later I felt quite a bit better and picked up the pace a little bit. Finally the road curved and the breeze was a helping cross wind for a couple of miles. It didn’t last long, but it did enough to lift my spirits as the road turned back into the wind I could see Bishop. Not much longer and I reached Hwy 395 a left turn and a right into the La Quinta! Done, dusted, wiped, spent, exhausted.

Chatted with a couple of the speedy guys, Keith J and Colin S, then headed to the motel for a much needed shower, change, and trip to Denny’s.

My next “major” event will be the Longhorn 70.3 triathlon in Austin, TX on October 23rd. I am now in a 20 week training block leading up to it that will include three sprint triathlons for practice.

Total elevation gain 10,223 feet
Bike: Specialized Roubaix Expert
50/34 compact crank; 11-28 cassette

Huge thanks to all the Planet Ultra volunteers ya’ll were great!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

TCSD Club Race and Hemet Double Century

This will be a two for one blog since I “raced” the Tri Club San Diego’s April race last week, and completed the Hemet Double Century yesterday.

This was scheduled to be my first triathlon. I did a duathlon before, but I hadn’t yet done a tri. Friday night it rained, hard at times, so on Saturday morning it was decided we would have a duathlon since the water was unsafe. I don’t think anyone was complaining, since it was 43 degrees. It would have been interesting to get out of the water and on the bike nice and wet in those temperatures.

The first run was two miles, a single loop on the north end of Fiesta Island. I was going nice and fast, well, at least for me. Most of the field was ahead of me. I came through and was really happy with my time, but no chance to celebrate, I’ve gotta get my helmet and bike shoes on. Out of transition on my Transition. I got into a nice rhythm on the bike, and before long was passing other riders with some consistency. Lap 5, off the bike, into transition, and back on the run course for two loops, or four miles. I’m really feeling pretty good, monitoring my time, even though some of the folks I passed on the bike are passing me. Then just before the first loop I feel a strain in my left hamstring. The same one that gave me grief the end of last year into this year. I eased up, walked a few strides, stretched it, and started to walk. I considered stopping since I was at the start/finish, but decided to try to keep going. I started with a jog, and slowly increased my pace. I was able to pick it back up, but not to where it was. Still, I finished the run in, what for me was a good 4 mile time.

So what where the results? First run 16:39, (36th out of 45) T1: 1:56 (42nd out of 45) Bike: 36:51 (9th out of 45) T2 1:55 (39th) Second run: 39:40 (42nd) Final 1:37:01 (36th)

Even though my running has improved greatly, it still has a long way to go. My transition times were terrible, but since it’s only the second time I’ve done this, I know I can get better there. I made a couple of rookie mistakes, and I have to work on how I’ll deal with my running shoes since I wear an orthotic. Pretty happy with the bike split, especially since I had more to give, but held back for the final run. Even if the result was not competitive for the field, it is the first time I held under a 10 minute pace for anything greater than 3 miles.

A week later is the Hemet Double Century. One of the “easier” doubles in the Triple Crown series based on climbing, only the lowland Grand Tour has less elevation gain. However Hemet has its own challenges, including the one climb over Sage Road and it’s a more urban route than many with several stop signs and lights.

I woke up at 2:30 AM to make the 70 mile drive from San Diego. I found a place to park, got my bike and gear ready and went to the check in. I pinned my bib number on my jersey, and was about to head out. Hemet has an open start window of 4-6 am, and a volunteer records your check out and check in times. Near the check out area, they had put up a memorial poster board for Jim Swarzman. Jim was killed last week by a hit and run driver while doing the San Diego Randos 600K brevet. There was a lot of talk throughout the day by riders that new Jim, remembering miles they shared. I knew Jim a little bit, not as well as many. I think Jim would have been pleased to see the ultra cycling community getting out and doing a double century, doing what he loved. I can’t think of a better way to remember someone.

The last two doubles I’ve done have had rain, and chilly to cold temperatures. This day promised to be different. The overnight low was about 55. That’s warmer than it ever got in Solvang! The forecast high was 94! It slowly warmed up through the morning, I felt good at the start, and was maintaining a good pace. The legs felt strong, and there was a fluidity to the ride. I felt like I hadn’t been out for long, and I was on the parkway heading back to Hemet for the completion of the first loop of 105 miles. This was the first time I remember thinking, its getting warm. I checked in, had a quick sandwich, and chatted for a few minutes with my friend Keith, who was at lunch the same time, only because he started an hour later. Keith is really fast. I headed out, knowing the toughest part of the day lay ahead.

Wow! In the twenty minutes I took for lunch, the temperature must have gone up 10 degrees. About 8 miles into the second loop, we turn onto Sage Rd. You’re on Sage Rd for 6.5 miles. It would be appropriate if it were for 6.66 since this road is the devil! 4 plus of those miles are the climb. Here is what is strange about Sage Rd; the climb starts mundane 3-5 percent, a false flat, 4-6 percent, a false flat, but when Sage is at 6 percent is feels like other climbs at 8. Then Sage gets you, with some 9-11-and 13 percent spikes. Add to that, my Garmin is showing its 111 degrees! Not long, but enough to put some bit into the legs. For those that do California Triple Crown Doubles, Sage wouldn’t come close to making the top ten in hardest climbs. I don’t know if it is because it is on a ride with minimal climbing overall, or if it’s the condition of the road (poor) or what, but it seems harder than the profile it leaves. Anyway, finally over Sage, a modest downhill until we turn on Benton, then a nice downhill, but be careful! Lots of sand on the road, especially to the right hand side, you don’t want to wipe out cornering at 40 MPH! Benton then smacks you in the face with a long roller that hits double digits.

We roll into the Temecula valley wine country, a rolling road to our next aid station at a winery! But, water and Cytomax, no wine for the bottles. Just as well, I don’t think wine would be good for hydrating in the heat.

Heading out toward Lake Elsinore for the second time today, and I’m rolling with another rider. I know he’s stronger than I, but he hangs back and we chat for a bit, but mostly just ride. He pulls off saying he needs some fluids, I agree as my bottles are about empty and we have 11 miles until the next stop. Funny, Keith was riding with another guy, I can’t remember his name, but they had passed us, then Keith came on me again, he and his riding partner were out of water and stopped in the same shopping center we did. They went to Ralph’s, we went into Starbucks. I think with the conditions, we could have used a water stop in that area. I’m sure we weren’t the only four that needed more fluids.

Finally to the Lake Elsinore stop. I needed some time here to cool my core down, and to try and get some food in me. I wasn’t eating as much as I usually do, or need to on a double, nothing tasted right in the heat. I nibbled, but mostly just had an extra Cytomax.
Only 18 miles to the last aid station, refuel, and head out for the finish. One wee bit of a climb, we came up to some road construction which confused me, because I thought the road was closed, but they were just warning you that it was closed up ahead, which is where we turned. After the turn we finally got a bit of a tailwind, and no more climbs! Time to rock and roll! Antelope to Keller to Menifee to Domienigoni! I got this! 23-28 MPH, hammering and feeling pretty good. How, why? I don’t know, I’ll take it. Where is Domienigoni? Menifee just ended? I know I didn’t miss it. Two other riders come up. I shrugged and we headed back. I was pulling out my phone to look at a map when they asked a local. It seems Newport, which we passed about a mile ago becomes Domienigoni. I was really mad for a few minutes. I was feeling good, hammering, and that took some of the wind out of my sails. I picked it up again for a little bit, but ran out of steam with about 4, maybe 5 miles to go. I came in doing intervals, not intentionally, but I pushed when I could, but couldn’t sustain it anymore, so I had to recover in between.

Overall it was a fun day, a good ride, and it was nice not to get rained on, or be shivering. I’m pretty pleased with how I handled the heat. Considering it has been chilly, and even last summer was cool, the biggest issue I had was post Sage Road, to Lake Elsinore. I was slower here, and struggled here, but was pleased with getting a second wind.

Thanks to Jim Watrous and his volunteers for putting on a good ride for us. The volunteers had a bunch of enthusiasm and kept us going.

On deck: May 1st – Koz Spring Sprint Triathlon, Mission Bay.

Thanks for reading, I check for comments, so feel free to leave one if you have a question.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Solvang "Spring" Double Century OR an Ode to the Spring Classics

The title has spring in quotes. Why? A look at the calendar and, yes, it is spring. Yet the morning temperature was 42 degrees with cloudy skies. By 10:45 it was raining, and with a healthy breeze out of the south, the overall day was wet, chilly, and breezy. More like one would expect in January. Throw in some rough roads, no cobbles mind you, but some sections of bumpy, lumpy roads and you see how this ride can be dubbed an ode to the spring classics.

I rolled out right about 6:00 AM, a pretty easy warm up east on route 246 before diving into the Santa Ynez Valley and the mostly uphill trek up Foxen Canyon. I felt pretty good under the chilly cloudy skies. After the climb, and initial descent there is a long stretch of a slight downhill to flat roads, where I was holding 22-23 MPH. After the first aid station at mile 41, I continue to roll at a brisk pace. Before I knew it, some rain had started to fall. (10:44 to be exact) Soon after I rolled into the second checkpoint at mile 86.

The rain continued more on than off, varied between mist, sprinkles, showers, and rain. As usual, in conditions like this the cyclist gets wetter and dirtier from road spray than from the rain that is falling. The other thing you notice is lots of cyclists stopped to fix flats. My turn came as route 1 makes a 90 degree turn to head uphill; I felt the familiar thunk, thunk, thunk from the rear. I see a cut out about100 feet ahead, so I roll up a bit, pull over, and look for a semi-clean place in the mud to set my bike and work on the flat. I pull the wheel, unseated the tire and a SAG vehicle pops out. A man pops out, floor pump in hand, takes my wheel and proceeds to complete the tube change and flat repair for me. I thanked the very nice Planet Ultra volunteer, but forgot to get his name. He said he had helped tons of folks with flats. It’s always nice to catch a break and not have to do your own flat repair.

I proceeded up the modest climb, and saw three other riders with flats within a quarter of a mile of mine. There must have been something on the road camouflaged by the water. After the climb, the road continues mostly up at a fairly steady one to two percent gradient plus a head wind for several miles. My pace was slowing considerably, and despite a good start, and a real good first 86 miles, I realized I wouldn’t hit my goal of a sub 13 hour day. In fact, as I calculated my pace going into the wind I was thinking 14 to 15 was probable.

After Guadalupe the rain was light, and looking west it seemed a bit clearer. In fact, for the first time, a slight hint of sunshine. No blue in the sky, but a glint of light. Looking to the left, a bright, vibrant rainbow. So close, I felt like I could touch it! God was showing off. I admired the rainbow for several miles before the sunlight disappeared not to be seen for the rest of the day.

Mile 168 is the final aid station. I took in some hot cup of noodles, and filled my bottle with my favorite final aid station fuel, room temperature coke. I also put on a pair of dry gloves that I had put into my “dry bag.” When I do a long ride with rain in the forecast, I bring a gallon size Ziploc bag that I keep an extra pair of gloves and socks, and other stuff that needs to stay dry. The fingers were happy, and I headed back out. So much for the clearing skies, as it was raining again; we crossed onto a private road that belonged to a vineyard. Thank you to the owners of the vineyard for letting us use their road. It paralleled the 101 at this point, and I saw a sign on the 101: Buellton 16 miles. Ugh! I’ve got almost 30 to go! Soon it was back to Foxen Canyon Road, and the final real climb of the day. My legs were toast! I had nothing for this climb. Finally, the summit and what would have been a sweet descent. But it was dark, wet, and my vision was terrible. I wear glasses which is a challenge in the rain. My eyes are also light sensitive, so whenever a car passes coming at me, I’m practically blinded for a few seconds. So I took the descent slow, safety first! Tons of riders went by me like I was standing still. I came up to a cyclist pulled over and stopped to see if he was okay. It was Alfie on his fixie, and his chain had dropped descending, so he was fixing that. I stayed there and focused my helmet light on his repair, as his girlfriend explained he skidded for 50 feet. Yikes! Glad he kept the rubber down, and got control to fix the chain. The final road before returning to 246 is Ballard Canyon. This road is part of the Tour of California Time Trial, and with a short technical climb, and a technical descent you can see why Levi, a strong mountain biker, dominates this time trial. Finally, the finish!

Official times aren’t up yet, and I didn’t think to ask at the time, but based on when I started, I think I was just under 16 hours. My average pedal speed was 2 MPH less than last year, but I think the ride was successful. There is something to be said for finishing in tough conditions. A huge thank you to all the volunteers, you are always appreciated, but more so for being out during a day more suited for ducks! I saw SAG vehicles loaded with bikes, so I know the attrition rate was high, keeping the volunteers busy.

Next up for me is the TCSD club race on April 9th, then the Hemet double on April 16. Gear used: Specialized Roubaix Expert, Shimano RS80 wheels, Conti 4000S tires, Defeet wool baselayer, Pearl Izumi Lobster gloves, Showers Pass Double century jacket.

See the ride here on Garmin Connect

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Camino Real Double Century and Poker Run; Kayaks Optional!

I am a bit of a weather geek, so I pay attention to the forecast and fronts as a normal course of my day. When I have an event, I pay closer attention, especially in the winter.

For the past week, the forecast for the Camino Real Double had been pretty grim. Rain, and possibly a lot of it was heading to Southern California including Orange and San Diego Counties where the event would be held.

Since our deluge in December, we have had great weather. A La Nina weather pattern means a weak southern jet stream, which makes it hard for storms out of the Gulf of Alaska and Pacific Northwest to make it this far south. This one had enough punch and a strong cold low pressure system to overcome anything in its way.

When I went to bed Friday the forecast for the 12 hour period for Saturday from 6am to 6pm was for a 90 percent chance of rain. Precipitation totals were to be from one third to one half an inch. The forecast high was 56 degrees, with gusty winds to boot.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I woke up Saturday morning at 3:30 AM to see a drastic change. A 50 percent chance of rain with totals less than one quarter of an inch. Way to go La Nina!

I get my gear on, or “kit up” as we cyclists like to say. Load the van and begin the 76 mile journey to Irvine. I arrive at 5:20, watch the 5:30 group head out and check in. Get the bike ready under partly cloudy skies. It had rained heavily overnight so the roads were wet. It had also been quite windy so there was a tremendous amount of debris, including the usual branches, twigs, and road crud. I also had to avoid two downed trees, and a street sign. All was going well. Going out with the mass start at 6:15, I was able to sit in with the front group comfortably for about 12 miles. The road went up and the speedy lean guys were gone. Still, I felt pretty good, and felt like a good day was in the works. After a brief run down the coast, we ventured back toward inland Orange County. A right turn on El Toro road, and pffft. The dreaded flat tire. As I am removing it, SAG pulls up, so I had a floor pump which is always nice. Thanks SAG dude! Off I go. Back to the coast, and close to the first stop. A right turn on Green Lantern. If you are not familiar with Dana Point, several streets are named X Lantern, X being represented by a color. Somehow I missed Green, and doubled back. A bonus of four miles. What I didn’t realize was the first stop was not a check point, just a water stop. I could have skipped it. Oh well, I fueled up, and headed out, charging down the coast. The first real stop was at mile 54, or 58 for me. I caught a few riders which made me feel better. Topped the bottles and drilled it coming out. From here through mile 112 was the best part of the day. Intermittent clouds with sunshine, and occasional sprinkle, but nothing too bad, and I was making pretty good time. I was on pace to be right at 14 hours including stops. Mile 112 was flat number two. Again, I had assistance right of way, this time even with a tube, which was nice since I had one, but with the debris, you never know. Up and running. Turning to go south on I-5 we pick up a pretty good tailwind. I wish I had hit the lap counter on my Garmin for the I-5 run, but I bet I averaged 24 MPH for the 7 mile run, including a slow down for a car pulled over. Exit I-5, onto the old 101 path, under the tank tunnel, which, after a rain storm becomes a cyclocross pit, up through the campground to a control. Refuel time.

Pulling out of the control, I look over the ocean and north. The sky has become ominous. Rain is coming. Hopefully just some sprinkles or a light shower.

The better than expected weather ended abruptly and rudely in San Clemente. It started to pour, and then it started to hurt. I realized it was hailing! I see a gas station and pull in and under the canopy.

I seriously considered calling it a day. The rain was coming down so hard, my thoughts were the roads would be rivers, and too dangerous to continue. About that time, it eased off some, a couple of riders passed by, and we headed out and continued north.

We made the turn inland where we were treated to various methods of getting wet and cold. The wet from a sprinkle, a shower, a downpour, and by now, a constant flow coming up from underneath the bike. The cold from; a short downhill, a harsh gust of wind, or an inopportune stop light.

Notice I said a short downhill. There were a few of those, but we turned inland at mile 150, which meant the next 30 miles were mostly uphill. Rarely over 5 percent, but with tired legs 3 and 4 percent gradients ware you down.

Driving along, I feel like I fishtailed a bit. Wet road, yeah, that must be it. This is called denial. Because we all know why a bike goes into a fishtail. Yes, flat number three. While I was fixing this one, a very nice, very young person pops over and provides a floor pump. He also offered nutrition; he practically had a bike shop in his car. Based on his t-shirt, I assume he worked for Rock and Road cyclery. I wish I had gotten his name to thank him.

Finally we get to Trabuco Canyon, the final aid station. Hot soup, heaters, facilities; everything a cold, hungry cyclist needs.

I left with a bottle of water and a bottle of room temperature coke. Freezing on the downhill, then back up. Two riders ahead touch wheels and fall. I stop just in time. The riders are okay. Restarting was interesting. My bike immediately went left; I stopped and found myself facing the wrong way. Along with two others. The road must tilt that way as well as up. Finally, we go, another descent. Ordinarily I love a descent. Not tonight. It makes it cold, and with the wet gritty roads, bombing down them is not an option.

Onto Santiago Canyon road for the next 12 miles of torture. Going through an intersection I see a median, I go left, and has the median ends I go to merge back right, except the median hadn’t ended, I hit it and crashed. Hard. I bounced right back up, stood there for a while, then walked the bike. A nice couple on a tandem stopped to see if I was okay. Their friend came up also, and after talking to them for a couple of minutes, and looking at my bike, I decided to proceed. I took it easy for a bit, shifted through the gears, and seemed okay. Actually, suddenly I felt better than I had in a few hours. I’m guessing adrenaline kicked in. The last 15 miles was uneventful. More rain, more wind, more wet. Finally the finish line. 13 hours and 47 minutes of pedal time, 16 hours total time.

I crawled into my van, cranked the heat, got out of wet cycling clothes, into dry clothes and headed to Denny’s! It was time for a well earned meal.

So what kept me going on this ride? I mentioned one point where I thought about giving up. Honestly there were probably five such occasions. I felt like I was being tested. But then, was it a test of persaverence? Or a test of common sense? Every situation that really challenged me, something or someone was provided with what I needed to keep going. I had assistance of some kind on every flat. There was a canopy available when the hail started. Foster and Linda from the tandem where their to help me realize I was okay after my crash. This told me it was a test of perseverance. How can you give up with all that help? It would have been for nothing. For some reason the late Jim Valvano’s saying kept popping into my head as well. “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tour de Palm Springs and Palm Springs Half Marathon

Tour de Palm Springs, the Return

In 2007 the Tour de Palm Springs was my first ever cycling event. The 25 mile route. Angi and I decided to return this year. I signed up for the 102 mile route, and Angi the 55. We both signed up for the half marathon.

First the bike. The century kicked off at 7:00 AM. There were so many riders I didn’t start pedaling until about 7:30. The first several miles were very slow with way too many riders and frequent stop lights.

Once the road starting going up there was some separation. One of the big differences between a century with thousands of riders versus a double century? I was passing far more riders on the climb than riders passing me. The first aid station was at 15 miles, with another at mile 27 I didn’t plan on stopping at the first SAG. but I did stop; not for food, drink, or even a nature break. I stopped because the entire road was filled with stopped cyclists meandering through the aid station. This was really poorly designed. Too many cyclists with no clue, or so self absorbed not to think others might like to keep riding. Finally I get through and enjoy a nice long downhill. Not steep; the downhill was right on the boarder of tuck and go, or keep pedaling for maximum speed. But going 30 plus for seven or eight miles was fun! Between the second and third aid station I got into a couple of pace lines, but always had some squirrels, so I dropped back on one, then jumped out in front of the second, which wound up meaning I pulled the group for a bit. No worries, I didn’t blow myself up, I just held what I would have if I were going it alone. After the third stop I got into a good pace line. How do you make friends with people you don’t know? When a rider from a group looses contact, bridge the gap and bring her back! Then take a pull. After that I reaped the benefit and sat in at 21 MPH for several miles.

The fourth stop was at mile 71. Now we were in the desert cities, and lots of stop lights. This was a bit frustrating as every time we would get up to speed a light would change. I skipped the final rest stop at mile 91, I had enough fluid to go the final nine, and really didn’t want to stop.

I crossed the finish line, got my sticker and t-shirt, grabbed a water and some electrolytes and headed back to the motel where wifey was waiting for me. She did the 55 mile route and was already showered and recovering.

I checked my Garmin and downloaded the ride. I averaged 17.7 MPH. This is a PR for me over a century. Only 3,500 feet of elevation gain, so flat for a California century, but I was pleased since even with that little elevation gain I consider 16 a pretty good effort. Maybe this working on getting faster is paying off? Need to recover quickly because tomorrow is the Palm Springs half marathon, my longest ever run!

Sunday morning, 6:30 we parked the van and got out into the chill of the morning desert air. A short walk to Ruth Hardy Park where the race was to commence. It didn’t seem long before the announcer said GO! It was about a minute later when I passed through the starting gate. It was time to run. I hadn’t really made a plan since a strained hamstring had curtailed my training. I didn’t know if it would cooperate, I’ve run without it bothering me just the last week and a half, and four miles was the most I tested it. I settled in the first couple of miles about 20 strides behind a group dressed in costumes singing. One guy even had a guitar. I think they were San Diego area residents since most of them had Nytro hats on. (A local tri shop) Around mile three they stopped and set up at a corner to play. Ten miles to go.

There were several rolling hills on the course, and I was worried on the climbs that my hamstring would balk. Climbing puts more stress on it, and I strained it doing hill work in training. I shortened my stride and increased my turnover up the hills. It seemed to work.

The course looks like it was plotted out by someone who had a few too many, see my Garmin Connect map here. Up down, turn, turn, turn, eventually back the way we came.

Mile 10 and I’m feeling better than expected. I am not at the pace I had sort of wanted, pre hamstring, but I am not too far off, either. I’m guessing I’m going to finish around 2:40 at this point, and when my training had been going well and I had made some improvements I was thinking I could break 2:30.

Mile 11 and some folks on the side of the road were cheering us on. One says, “looking good!” To which I replied, “Thank you, you lie, but thank you.” Somewhere in the 11th mile I hit the wall. Hard. Mile 12 to 13 was beyond challenging. I gave it more effort than I had all day, and the legs just wouldn’t go. It was my slowest mile of the day.

Finally mile 13, just a bit to go, I decide whatever I had left, I was going to give it to at least look strong coming in. One final turn, and the finish line is in sight. The announcer calls my name, I give a fist pump with my right hand, cross the finishing mat, stop the Garmin, and for the first time in 13.1 miles, I walk. Actually stagger would be a better word, I stagger to the volunteers that remove the chip timer from my shoe and give me my finishers medal. My first running medal, my first half marathon. The official time posted was 2:40:24. I’ve got some work to do to get to where I want to be.

I found some water, then meandered back to the finish line to cheer wifey (Angi) on in. She did Carlsbad in 2:58, so I was thinking I'd see her soon. I chatted with a nice man who was waiting for his wife when I saw Angi make the turn, she was going to break 3:00 hours after riding 55 miles the day before. Way to go wifey!!

Finishers Medal, my first running medal.

A few notes on the weekend. I could not believe the number of residents that were on course for both events cheering the participants on, some even with cow bells. That was awesome. Thank you, greater Palm Springs. The cars were really courteous to cyclists, too. A real treat, again thank you. These events took a tremendous amount of volunteers, and I thank them all, also the police and civil air patrol that helped with traffic control.

I think the ride organizers may want to consider a limit on the number of entries. There were points on the course and at aid stations where it was really chaotic. Overall, though it was a fun ride and great scenary.

Ride – 102 miles at 17.7 MPH, top speed 39.1, 3,500 feet of gain.
Run – 13.18 miles in 2:40:24 bet mile at 11:34.
Ride: Bike, Specialized Roubaix Expert, full Ultegra compact crank, 11-28 cassette, Shimano RS 80 wheels, Continental 4000S tires, Specialized RBX bibs., Garmin Edge 500

Run: Shoes, Nike Vroomero 5, Skins compression shorts, Nike run top, Nike run hat, Garmin 305.

Upcoming events:

February 19 – El Camino Real Double Century
March 19 - San Diego Randos 400K
March 26 – Solvang Spring Double Century.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

SD Randos 200K, 2011

In preparation for the first brevet of the season, I cleaned and lubed my bike on Friday after work. I had fresh tires, two tubes, two CO2 cartridges, and a mini pump. I didn’t want flat issues to cause undo delay or a DNF.

With the bike ready I went to bed about 9:00. I set the alarm for 5:00 AM so I would have time for breakfast, kit up, and make the short drive to Doyle Community Park for the start.

I pulled in at 6:15 and there were already several riders in the parking lot. Looks like a good turnout for my first event of the year, and first since October. Keith J, @cyclewarrior pulled in right behind me. More and more pulled in! Our RBA had 47 registered as of Thursday night. I’ll bet we had at least 60 roll out at 7:00 AM.

It promised to be a nice day, but it is still January 15, so the start was cool. I left my jacket in the van; as I didn’t want to have it stuffed in my jersey for seven hours. The quick descent into Sorrento Valley was downright cold, but I warmed back up on the modest climb up Vista Sorrento Road, and knew I made the right decision to leave the jacket behind.

A look back at a stoplight, and our group looked like a peloton! Riders as far as I could see, in a variety of colorful jerseys. Most from events like the Solvang double, Grand Tour, and breathless agony. Some, like mine were in California Triple Crown jerseys. I saw at least one Furnace Creek 508 jersey. I shared quite a few miles with Kirstin, @cyclelobo, in his Heineken jersey. What did he have in his bottles?

Around mile 20 the ride gets your attention for the first time with the ascent up Del Dios to the Lake Hodges Dam. The ascent continues off and on all the way to Via Rancho Parkway. Right before Via Rancho I thought I was alone when I hear ding-ding!! I about jumped out of my skin. It was a cyclist from the Seattle Randos. I know this, because he had a classic styled wool jersey that said Seattle Randonnuers on the back. One look at his bike, and you could tell he lived in rainy country. A classic Rivendell with full fenders and a mud flap. He kept it old school and had pedals with toe clips. No, I didn’t take all that detail in the first time he passed me. We passed each other several times throughout the day.

After a fun blast through Harmony Grove and Elfin Forest we hit the first control of the day. I filled my bottles, and pocketed a bagel. The three mile climb up San Elijo Road to double peak loomed. This climb just seems to kick my fanny every time I do it. I have to say when I hit the summit today, I thought I did okay. There is a fire station at the summit on the other side of the street. Right in front there were police investigating a bad looking car accident. I said a quick prayer for those involved. Zipped up my jersey for the descent. There is a sign that shows a truck descending with a 9% grade warning. The descent is straight, and non-technical. This makes for a fast trip. Except there is a stop light at the bottom. Which means a work out for the brakes. I hit 49.2 MPH, and would have gone over 50 if there was no light there. After the ride I talked about the descent with Keith, he hit 55 going down!

The pedestrian ride through San Marcos followed by a short climb up Deer Spring road brings us to the second checkpoint. Just 9 miles after the first, but the last place to fill up before the trifecta of climbs known as Old Castle, Couser Canyon, and Rice Canyon.

Before hitting Old Castle, we get about a three mile blast down Old Hwy 395. About a two percent grade down, in a paceline, we were cooking. Then the right turn onto Old Castle, about another mile of flat road before the ascent begins. Old Castle would be a great cycling road, except that it is a through street from the I-15 corridor to Valley Center and the casinos. Drivers sure are in a hurry to go give their money away.

After summiting Old Castle we descend, but keep the speed scrubbed as a left turn onto Lilac is needed while the road is still going down. A short journey with some rollers on Lilac takes us to Couser Canyon. Shift, into your easiest gear right now! Couser greets the rider immediately with rough road and an eight to nine percent gradient. The climb goes for about three miles with several 10-13 percent grades. It is a quad-buster. Then you get rewarded with a technical descent on a narrow road. This is really cool, as Couser has little traffic. Extra caution today though, as several areas were still getting run-off from the hillsides even though our last rain was two weeks ago. Couser ends at Hwy 76, which we are on for all of 500 feet, then a right onto Rice Canyon. Rice starts out tame, but also has its share of double digit gradients. I suffered on Rice Canyon and was thrilled when I got to Eight Street and the end of the climbs. A short trip through Rainbow on flat roads took us to the third control.

We get great volunteers on our brevets. At Rainbow we had soup, bread, even Cytomax available for the riders. Who says rando riding is unsupported? Of course, I was on my plan of using Perpetum, so, other than grabbing a V8 at the store, I just filled my bottles, and departed.

Another short blast down old 395 takes us to Mission Road. A pedestrian climb to Live Oak seems much tougher after the Couser/Rice quad busters. We make a left on Live Oak, which was a challenge for me. There was a huge convoy of military vehicles coming through. Of course, since they go slow, then there was a ton of traffic to wait on. Once on Live Oak, it’s mostly downhill or flat, except for a few rollers all the way to Torrey Grade. We had a pretty challenging headwind on the San Luis Rey bike path, which is normal. I stopped in Oceanside to fill my bottles, and then headed south.

The trip south was aided by a cross/tail wind. I had ridden from Rainbow through Encinitas without seeing another rando, but then in Encinitas I came up on a trio. I didn’t recognize them at first and went by. Then we pacelined for a bit into Del Mar, where I made a light and they didn’t, We regrouped after the summit on Torrey Grade and more or less rode in together. No flats, no mechanicals!

My pedal time was 7:55; my total time was 8:40. 23 minutes better than last year, and a personal best for this route, which I have done 12 times. Really happy that my non-pedal time was under an hour. This includes controls and stop lights.

A huge thank you to Dennis and all the volunteers on this event. It was really cool to see how many riders hung out after they finished and chatted for a bit. I wish I remembered names and faces better than I do. I tend to remember people by their bikes, so once they are off them, I’m at a disadvantage.

Fun Stats:

Average pedal speed: 15.4
Max Speed: 49.2
Elevation gain: 6,978
Temperature range: 46-86

Equipment used:
Specialized Roubaix Expert
Ultegra Drive train – Compact crankset 50/34, 11-28 cassette
Continental 4000S tires
Shimano RS80 wheel set

Fuel used:
Hammer Perpetum
Hammer Heed

Garmin Connect:

Follow me on Twitter, I am @stevecycles200