Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Vashon Training Ride

I had a good time riding around Vashon Island with team Kaibigan Lagi, Saturday and I look forward to riding with them this weekend on my second Courage Classic. 
It's interesting how each new challenge I conquer, be it Flying Wheels, Seattle to Portland, Courage Classic, etc, places me on the outlook for the next big challenge. I'm not even actively looking but I just got a flyer for the High Pass Challenge and I found myself wondering if I could do it. Then how much time I could do it in. Then spending about an hour scoping out the logistics of the thing. High Pass Challenge is 114 miles with 7500 feet of elevation gain but it looks like a fantastic ride. I'll put some more serious thought into it after this weekend.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Seattle to Portland 2013

STP went well this year. The weather was fantastic, just a little hot on the second day. Virtually no knee pain. I raised my average speed from 13.1 in 2010 to 14.6 and I was riding with a much heavier bike. Same frame but loaded with the fenders, generator hub, front & rear rack and the leather saddle bags. I also took the ipod and little stereo speaker. The music was nice to have and a lot of people also enjoyed it.

The first day went relatively quick and the last 5-10 miles I broke into haul ass mode. I do got hungry early in the morning and we were a little late getting to the first free food stop. The REI stop. They didn't have much left and I found myself hungry over and over again before the lunch stop. I was a little angry about that. I paid my fee. They should have food for ALL the riders. My salvation until lunch was bananas from Tim and some energy chews from Traci. Here I was giving Tim a hard time for carrying all those bananas. Determined not to have that problem again I loaded up my jersey with plenty of the free snacks. Cliff bars, bananas, crackers etc.

This year we spent the first night in Centralia. Eleven of us in a rented classroom, camped on the floor. I didn't sleep to well but it was nice to have an indoor bathroom near by. The rental of the room provided us with shower tickets at the gym. Yes, this year the shower wasn't ice cold. Beer garden on campus and some food vendors, however nothing here was free like on Courage Classic.

While I only drank a few beers, maybe 3 (ok maybe 4), I was a little hung over the next morning. I blame this on dehydration. I'm pretty sure I didn't drink enough water that first day. I watched the crew pump up their tires and lube their chains again, noshing on a Cliff bar and chuckling to myself. Then the group of us rode out seeking the donation accepting/all you can eat pancake breakfast in Chehalis, where Tim and I camped in 2010, hitting up an espresso stand along the way. The pancake breakfast was officially closed. Late start again but they had a few leftovers they gave us. Pancakes and patty sausage of the same size. I love those sausage. I believe this was a Rotary club breakfast and the donations went to the same Children's hospital that the Courage Classic raises money for but I could be wrong. Anyway a few bucks in the bin. Thanks for the grub!

The "rollers" I hated so much in 2010 weren't so bad this time. Many times I was actually amazed that I was cranking up the hills in such a high gear. I credit this to a pretty strong tail wind. I sure am glad we didn't have to ride against that wind. That morning, riding on those country back roads, was probably my fondest part of the entire ride.

Late in the morning we all stopped at the turn near Vader, WA where I again watched the crew pump up their tires after their morning flats and pondered the cold beer sign on the side of the building. To early. We crested another hill and I started this beautiful long sweeping downhill, only to receive a phone call at the bottom from Traci. I missed a turn back at the top. Guess I'll be climbing that hill twice.

No flats this year, of course, however I did have a slight mechanical problem. I noticed a slight clicking as my right pedal traveled passed it's lowest point. At the next stop I had Tim hold the frame. Suspecting my bottom bracket, I grabbed the pedals, put them in the 6 and 12 o'clock position and tried to rock them side to side. Yep, a little play there just barely noticeable. I rolled over to the mechanic tent and sure enough, my bottom bracket was slightly loose. I'm not sure how long this would have gone on before I noticed it just doing my daily commuting. Volunteer mechanic, you get a nice tip.

Day 1 - 

99 miles
Time - 06:50:35
Elapsed Time - 09:48:53
Max Speed - 35mph
Average Speed - 14.5mph
Average Heart Rate - 124
Max Heart Rate - 161
Calories ~ 4870

Day 2 -

107 miles
Time - 07:03:00
Elapsed Time - ?
Max Speed - 38mph
Average Speed - 15mph
Average Heart Rate - 121
Max Heart Rate - 163
Calories ~ 5000

Side note - I reached my goal of fundraising for the Courage Classic. It's just next weekend. My friends I met last year have inducted me into their team and we are doing a training ride this Saturday on Vashon Island.