Monday, August 20, 2012

ROTD

Today's ride was a fifty mile out and back up Burke-Gilman. I wore the heart rate monitor today and the caloric burn is comparable to what Endomondo says. About 2700 calories. So I guess Endomondo is doing a pretty good job in that regard. According to the heart rate monitor 50% of that was from fat. Yea! My max heart rate was 169 with an average heart rate of 122.

For the I-10 challenge I've made it to Texas and I'm about 50 miles away from Houston, according to Mapquest.
Time to change the chain again. Only got about 1500 miles out of this chain.

Odo - 6610

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tour de Peaks

On a spur of the moment I signed up for the Tour de Peaks ride. It's a 100 mile ride starting in North Bend and traveling up through Snoqualmie, Fall City, Carnation, Duvall, and almost up to Monroe, then back. It's all full of beautiful country roads, farmland, rivers and views of Mt Si. http://veloroutes.org/bikemaps/?route=87238# The Tour de Peaks website claimed it had only 600 feet of elevation gain but in reality it's closer to 2300. The first 50 miles were outstanding. The second 50 I was feeling pretty beat. I wonder how much fatigue was influenced by the Courage Classic just a weekend before or the fact that I only slept for about 4 hours the night before the ride. This ride was in no way supported like the Courage Classic. There were water/snack stops but I can only eat so many cookies. No SAG vehicles. Not that I was expecting any. The whole thing took me about 8 hours. Three days of commuting later and my legs still feel tired. In the last 12 days I've rode over 380 miles. Hey at least my knees feel OK. In fact, no real pain anywhere except for fatigue and slight soreness.

As for the virtual I-10 Challenge I'm only 30 miles from the Louisiana/Texas border having rode a total of 730 miles since it began in July.

At about 7800 miles on my Brooks B17 saddle I've given the tension bolt it's first adjustment. 1/2 a turn.

Odo - 6515 (17,847)

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Courage Classic - Post 4

The ride is over. It was grueling, hot, long but also challenging, full of great support, food and people. Rest stops about every 15 miles, sponsored by local Rotary clubs, offered tasty food and treats. UPS transferred our bags, each day, to the next camp. There was always a mechanic tent. Fortunately I never needed them. Also plenty of SAG cars out on the road which had their job cut out for them with all the flats people were having. I heard of people having 3 or more flats in one day! Cloth rim strips and puncture resistant tire liners people! I can't say it enough. People are so caught up in bicycle weight they won't add a few ounces and would rather change 3 tires a day. Of course, you know, I'm now the polar opposite. I left everything on my bike for this ride. The racks, fenders, lights, and the bomb proof wheels with the generator hub. My bike is probably, on average, 15 pounds heavier then everyone else's. It also stuck out as one of the most beautiful. I got compliments constantly and many people took pictures but I digress.

The first day started out with perfect weather but got pretty heated by noon during the final climb to Snoqualmie summit. This day was a mix of country roads and I-90 freeway. The freeway had a decent shoulder of about 6 to 10 feet so we generally weren't to close to the cars/trucks but was full of debris. Although I noticed that even though the cyclists would complain about the debris they would still add to it with their flatted out tubes. Lunch at the summit was spaghetti. Unfortunately we didn't get to descend off the summit because of construction and were shuttled for about 10 miles or so. After this was more I-90 and then back roads of rolling hills up into Cle Elum and the campground. I discovered on this day that when the bottom of my feet start burning all I need to do is stop for about 5 minutes and I'm good for at least another 10 miles. I didn't push it to hard this day as I wanted to conserve my legs for the next two. I didn't want a repeat of the STP ride. Here is the first leg to the summit - http://veloroutes.org/bikemaps/?route=86940 and the finish for the day to Cle Elum - http://veloroutes.org/bikemaps/?route=86943

I reached the finish sometime around 2 or 3 and got a perfect camp site in the middle of the field. In the late afternoon shade, away from the trees so I could watch the stars and the moon come up, close to the bathroom, dinner and the beer garden. Oh yeah, free beer garden put on my Redhook. Thank you. My plan was to shower and take a nap, then get up and bike into Roslyn to The Brick to watch a raggae band I had heard about but this didn't work out. I went to the beer garden, started talking to people, hit the shower, dinner and finally crashed at about 7pm. I woke up at 9, brushed off the whole idea and fell back asleep. I really didn't know where it was anyway and my smart phone, which I would have used for the maps, was running out of juice. Maybe next time. (Did I say next time?!) Turns out it was only about a mile and a half away.

Several people mentioned that day two was the best day and I completely agree. We rode from Cle Elum to Leavenworth on two lane highways with little traffic through farmland up into the mountains and over Blewett Pass. It was a long climb to the pass but, looking back, it didn't seem as difficult as the first day. The 10+ miles of descent after the pass was my favorite. Fast enough but not to fast. I kept it around 30 mph because of the winds blowing up the canyon and gusts coming off trucks passing. Frozen Icy Pop rest stop at the bottom where I met up with a new friend (who I met the day before at the beer tent) and his team who generously let me ride with them for the rest of the event. They are good people. Fun, easy going. They even asked me if I was going to join their team for next year. Let's see if I'm up to this again first. Anyway we all took a plunge in the river about a mile after the Icy Pop stop. It was HOT this day. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Here's a map for this day - http://veloroutes.org/bikemaps/?route=86944

Set up camp, shower, wander around Leavenworth for the afternoon then dinner and the 7-10 beer garden with my new friends. Free shuttles back across town to camp.

Day three was a long day of climbing. Up in the mountains to Steven's Pass. It was rough. The hardest day of the three. At the last rest stop before the final ascent (the cookie stop which I ate a lot of) I heard it was only 4 miles to the top. I had nothing to lose. This was the last 4 miles of the last big climb of the weekend. I got my second wind, turned on the "steam engine" and pounded my way up. It was STEEP! At the top was probably my favorite lunch of the tour. A fantastic baked potato bar. I was looking forward to the descent but I admit I found it a little intimidating. Very steep and fast. The shoulder was to rough to maintain speed on and I didn't want to be that close to traffic so I kept it slow to around 25-30 mph. Towards the bottom the route took us away from traffic a little while on the Old Cascade Hwy and then it was gentle rollers right into Skykomish. Then maybe an hour and a half bus ride back to the start. Here's a map for day 3 - http://veloroutes.org/bikemaps/?route=86962.

Day 1 -
  • Distance - 54.49 miles
  • Time - 4:47:27
  • Average Speed - 11.37 mph
  • Max Speed - 37.38 mph
Day 2 - (Including riding around Leavenworth)
  • Distance - 60.95 miles
  • Time - 4:53:40
  • Average Speed - 12.45 mph
  • Max Speed - 36 mph
Day 3 -
  • Distance - 61.85 miles
  • Time - 5:05:51
  • Average Speed - 12.13 mph
  • Max Speed - 34.02 mph
Total Distance - 177.29 miles
Odometer - 6300 (17,632)

Elevation profiles for day one -
Elevation profile for day two -

Elevation profile for day three -





A little side note here - My legs feel pretty good after this ride. There's only a little pain behind my left knee and I believe this could be relieved if I actually stretched and used my foam roller on a regular basis.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Courage Classic - Post 3

I signed up for the Courage Classic on July 16th. As I stated before once signed up each rider has to raise a minimum of $750 for the cause. The ride was just 3 weeks later and I was sort of freaking out but not only did I meet my goal, I managed to raise another $255. Yeah, $1005. I know it's not a lot to some but it's a good job for me. It helps working in a department with over 90 other people. So far the entire Courage Classic has raised over $430,000 this year. Thanks again to all who sponsored me.

Now . . . the ride.