Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Smarter planning - May 31, 2011

There has been a change in plans recently.  I won’t have to test myself, possibly physically unprepared with too few big rides, as early as initially planned.  With concerns around how my recovery time could impact the vacation and with my main support person (Trisha!) battling through an exhausting pregnancy, we decided to push my ride out until the fall, maybe September.
I will still ride over to Leavenworth and tackle the mountain pass before Trisha picks me up on her way by and we continue to Plummer that way.  Over the summer I should be able to get in a number of midsized rides in that could include Hurricane ridge, maybe an STP type ride (only solo) plus some rides with Tom Meloy and possibly Chris Ragsdale on HOWC.
With those types of rides in, Sebastian here and less pressure to get training in and not combining a recovery period with another family function, a ride in September to Idaho would be a great way to end the main part of the riding year. 
If I ever hope to race in ultra-endurance events then I need to be successful in this ride and choosing an optimum time as opposed to a convenient one is important.  I hope to tackle both the West/East and North/South Washington state crossing records over the next couple of years, so this will be a good lesson in planning appropriately.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Here I sit - 05/29/2011

Mind any errors as this is getting posted from my phone. Never again will I tempt the gods of cycling. Getting ready for my first big ride of the year I commented to Trisha that I had enough equipment to handle anything other than a broken spoke.
The plan had been to do about 150 miles today with about 9000 feet of climbing. I made 20.
I was having a good ride on a clearly marked course. I had only been riding for a little over an hour in beautiful riding weather (not too warm or cold) when the course took me down a hill.  Is was a nice long, smooth drop and I was hitting about 45mph.  A came around a long corner and shifted my weight to the back or my bike in anticipation of an upcoming stop, when my front wheel started clicking and jerking. I brake as hard as I dares with my rear brake and managed to stay both upright and get stopped.
Yup, broken spoke. WTF!!!!
There had been nothing to indicate that was going to happen. So here I sit at a little after 8 in the morning once again waiting for my wonderful wife to rescue my ass while I watch streams of bikes going by.
Hey at least I get to try out my handy new app.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Planning - May 26, 2011

The end of the month will find me way off my hoped for miles.  With the un-May like weather, some ugly saddle sores and a life to live I will be a few hundred miles short of my goal; but that is ok.
I was a little worried coming up on the middle of June quickly and having not managed to put in a single big ride, much less two or three.  I had hoped to get a couple of centuries in and maybe a double century.  I may be able to get one of each before June 11th, at least that is my goal.  I look at my bike fitness last year compared to this year though and even without the long training rides I am probably 4 to 6 six weeks ahead in my overall fitness.
With Bike to Work month nearly over I can plan a couple of rest days before the two weekends in June and get a couple of monster rides in before I taper before the following weekend.  Knowing in my head that I may not be as fast as I want on the ride, but that my goal is simply to finish the distance, makes planning easier.
A lot of my performance will be weather dependant.  If, like last year, we get the first heat wave of the season the day I’m riding or alternately there is a huge storm brewing, then I know I will be slower by need.  Hopefully I will have good winds that day as well.  If not my bailout plan is to get to Spokane if time is not on my side.
Plans so far: leave around  am – without the drafting that I had last year, I anticipate being to the top of Steven’s Pass around 7am (I may be later depending on how much the additional equipment weight slows me down). 
I should get to Orondo around 10am or 11am depending on wind and weight again.  Unlike last year I will take my time getting down the other side of Steven’s Pass and not worry about fighting gravity.
Coulee City and I should find each other around 2pm.  This includes the climb from Oronda to Waterville and then out of the canyon east of Waterville.  Maybe 3pm.
Then there is the long slough to Spokane.  Little climbs and drops, lots of flats and just the right amount of sunshine (I hope).  I am hoping for about 9pm.  Depending on how close to this time schedule I am and how long of a day it has been for my wonderful support crew at this point I will make the decision to continue onto Plummer.
Spokane to Plummer should be about another 3 hours or around 12am.  I may be slightly faster, but again I need to make sure that I pace myself well.  Again a lot depends on weather conditions and support conditions.  I plan to be self-supported to Orondo and if I’m doing well probably for the last stretch as well.  It will still be a long day, but a lot more manageable I think.
Weight is going to be an issue.  I will be bringing a minimum of 2 spares plus flat kit, a spare tire, folding tool, spare batteries, heavy duty lights, extra water bottles and carrier, plus I think I’m going to try the Camel-Back this year.  My thought being, my bottles can carry all of my mixed water and my clean water will be on my back.  Also if it’s hot or cold I can adjust the temperature of the water against my skin to help combat it.  All told, I expect that I will have nearly an additional 6 lbs on the bike.  OUCH!
I can’t wait!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I know, it's been awhile - May 19, 2011

It’s been a bit, but apparently May is shaping up to be a quiet month; and that’s not necessarily good.
I had hoped to get a big training ride in last weekend, but the monsoon that plagued the area made that impossible, maybe this weekend (mow the lawn, ride my bike, mow the lawn, ride my bike).  With rain likely Sunday it means a Saturday ride which isn’t an issue, it just means that I won’t have a day of rest from my commute week before a long ride.  I was initially thinking something in the 200 mile range, but I think I will go half of that.
I am a little concerned with the lack of big rides so far this year.  While I am way ahead of training compared to last year, the ride I’m doing is also a month earlier.  Last year I had a number of 80 mile rides in and a couple that were longer.  I also had some very intense 60 mile rides.  This year I have a lot of commute miles.  Darn weather making things so difficult!
I’m not worried about finishing my big ride I have the power to do it, but I won’t have had a chance to try out my new food/liquid methodology and make changes if necessary.  Ah well what’s a little adventure.  At the end of the ride is a vacation.  Even if I’m a little worse for wear I will have a chance to recover nicely.  And really I should be able to get two bigger rides in between now and then.
I also started a new book called “Hell on Two Wheels” by Amy Snyder.  It covers the 2009 RAAM that saw the current champion unseated for a race.  She does a good job of “covering” a race that stretched out over hundreds of miles.  I got a good sense of what the riders and crew were going through physically and emotionally so far, without getting drilled down to many personal tangents; so the book in that aspect is balanced.
What it really needed from what I can see so far is a better editor.  She describes the same riders in the with the exact same phrases, over and over and over until I rolled my eyes every time I hit what I came to think of as “the descriptor”.  Little errors that stop you cold as a reader where she is talking about a female rider and then refers to her as a “himself”, this happens at least a couple of times.  This is not a fault of the author, more a fault of the editor.  There are other things as well, incomplete sentences and what not, but that is typical of a first edition.
I know how the race turns out, but the book is still very captivating and I look forward to finishing it.