Long ride yesterday into red neck territory. Note bullet holes in sign.
As coaches it is our duty to test out new sports products that come on the market so we can give our athletes geniune feedback.
Wow. All I can say is that I was glad I didn't have any others stimulants circulating when I put this down the hatch. POW!
...it was yummy.
Venturing further out (note no bullet holes in this sign) into the mythical landscapes of Edward Abbey.
This is out on the Arizona Strip. It is beautiful. You get that far out and away feeling pretty quickly once you start pedaling.
Far out places often contain far out people. Usually of the red neck variety in this region. Historically I have done all of my long rides solo, so erring on the side of personal safety I stick closer to town. Now I have a long ride buddy this whole area has opened up for exploration and is calling loudly.
On the way we crossed this dry wash. It was dusty.
Random funky white rock that looked like snow sitting out in the middle of a brown and black burn area. Approaching it I thought it looked like a Polar bear lying on its back in the desert.
Next week we are headed to Moab to do Rim Ride. SS, HT or FS - that is the question. All good choices when it comes down to it. Life is good. Dave said he is looking forward to a weekend in the desert. I told him he lives in the desert now - "oh yeah so I do..."
It is warming up here. I switched the sprinklers on and the kinders dashed in for their swimsuits to run through them. It really isn't that warm yet - they are fueled on something I am not...
In an effort to get more veggies into their bellies I let them choose what we were planting this year. They had a great time putting in seeds and little plants. We put in lettuce, eggplant, pumpkins, squash, peas, tomatoes and strawberries.
After dinner they went back outside to see what had grown yet - LOL.
I'd set my bike up to race this one. From all the locals I'd heard it was a challenging and fun event. It was challenging and ironically it was the Vision Quest part that was the challenge not the racing part.
A vision quest is a rite of passage, similar to an initiation, in some Native American cultures.
I had trouble with my vision all day. First it was getting ready in the dark without a light, then riding up a narrow rut filled racer choked road in the dark and fog with no light. This put me in a borderline panic state until it got light. When it did get light my glasses were too mucked up to wear and the fog put visibility at 30 feet sometimes. After narrowly missing a rut at 20 mph I slowed waaay down. Muck in the unprotected eyeballs added to the Vision challenge.
I'm not sure what I was supposed to be learning but lessons were all over the place. The course was not marked! This did not actually occur to me that a race I paid $128 to enter would not be marked. It was a complete surprise... Throughout the race I waited up at intersections for someone to catch me from behind who knew the way... Another vision challenge. Hmmph. My racer head was switched off and I found some joy looking at the scenery and riding along some fun trails on my bike. The course was open to the public and I met many hikers out on the trails. I dislike being uncourteous so slowed and thanked each one for letting me by. Towards the end of the "race" there was a fun single-track section with two way racer traffic, hikers, dogs and I even saw a deer! The 2-way single-track racer traffic was confusing. Having that as part of a race course was so outside the realm of what I though was probable I was sure I had missed a turn and was riding backwards on the course. I didn't know where I was - in SO California somewhere?
But I kept plodding along and reached the finish-line 3rd SSer in 6:22. Good enough for a female SS course record.
On the way home we met up with the fella driving this car. Head on.
He greeted us from the oncoming direction at 80 mph doing donuts after losing it in a corner. He tagged an F350 pick up truck in front of us turning it sideways then spinning in the air. I saw its roof-undercarriage-roof-undercarriage a few times in the space of a second.
Then BAAAM, the asshole rallying his little souped up Subaru with fake decals to make it look like a higher model than it actually was, hit us head on. It was most violent and shocking.
On this little corner of the road where it happened there were 5 memorials presumably of people who had died there. The lame yahoo who disregarded everybody's lives on this public road was on the way to see his friends finish Vision Quest of all things! In our car were my 2 kids, me, Dave and Carol Ann driving. Four in the pick-up. No serious injuries. Wes and I have some nice seatbelt burn and we all have an assortment of bruises but are ok. Poor Carol Ann now has no car.
2 min power is still heading in the right direction. 321w for me this week, which is another PR - nice...
Next week is Vision Quest. 56.5 miles with 11.5k of elevation gain - wow.
I've never ridden the course on my bike but there are some very cool pre-ride tools available for this one with gps data from an actual rider racing the course along with course photos. A virtual pre-ride. Watching this guys speed as he races has been helpful in figuring out what gear to come with.
We have been looking at the course using topofusion to see the gradients of the climbs to figure out what gear to come with. Along the way are sustained pitches of over 15% - wow! I've been practicing standing up a lot on my single speed!
So what gear should I come with? It is a whole new part of race strategy having to choose one gear.
Along with the usual:
Tires Specialized Adrenalin or Maxxis crossmark in the front? The Crossmark rolls faster, the Adrenalin rails corners.
Power Power meter or no power meter? The Power-Tap is heavy and requires V-brakes. I think I'd like less weight and my disc brakes for this one. But post race power analysis is so fun and the power meter will keep my pacing on track on the first big climb. But if the power meter is on board not working right it will drive me crazy = make me slow. blah, blah
Heart rate The heart rate strap bugs me and I feel lighter and can breathe more easily without it. If the HRM isn't working right it will bug me. I know how fast my heart is beating in a race by the sound of it pounding in my ears. Hmm, heart rate is off the race plan too.
Speed Definitely. Speed has turned out to be a keystone metric on the single speed. I watch the mph and know when to come out of my tuck to pedal, know what speed to do the bursty accelerate and tuck pedaling style and when it is more efficient to pedal at a smooth constant cadence.
Time Yup I need to know when to put scoobie snacks in my mouth. I also have some time goals that will motivate me to go to that deep place near the end of the race if I am close to them.
Distance Yup, it will tell me where I am on the course
Altitude Yup. I like knowing where I am on the climb and how many feet it is to the top. Helps me pace the end of a climb faster knowing there is some descending recovery on the near horizon. There are three big climbs and I'll put the top out elevations on a sticky on my stem.
The call for this race looks like my simple old Garmin 201, with a pair of nice light race wheels, some fast rolling tires and a disc brake.
Guess I'm racing this one then :-)
See y'all there. I'll be on a green Kona Explosif. 26" wheels for me now.
It was exciting checking in on the live timing at Old Pueblo this year. With 5 athletes and multiple friends circling the course I spent far more time than I probably should have at the computer. Luckily my 2 handsome dinner guests on Saturday evening were just as eager as I was to get lap splits and updates.
The women's solo race was a nail biter with the lead changing hands several times and the final winner making a pass for the win in the 24th hour of the event - wow! Kudos to Mary coming in 2nd and Terri pulling in 3rd in the women's solos. Sarah put down impressive splits to take the fastest female day and night laps before pulling out of the game.
Krista anchored her team Kenda-Titus-Hayes to 1st place in the 4 person open women scoring the fastest lap in her division at 1:11and pulling off 7 laps. I estimated her TSS score as 629 - whew! Jeff scorched a few laps himself helping his Ergon 2 team to the win in the 5 person open division.
In the friends dept duo team of Dave Nice and his partner Nat rode their fixies 14 laps. I am always awed by Dave on his fixie!
Up in Phoenix Jim held strong and finished an impressive 3rd in the GC at Valley of the Sun stage race in Phoenix.
Up north even further in the nation at the Susitna 100 DaveB hauled his snowbike through the best mother nature had for him until his survival instincts beat out his racer boy verve and he bowed to her ferocity scratching after 11+ hours.
Kudos to all who raced this weekend. I can't wait for my turn March 1st.
A full weekend in the arm chair. Well not quite I did get out for 556 TSS myself. Twas very nice here this weekend.
This is the first President's Day weekend in a looooog time I haven't raced myself but I have a ton of athletes all over the country toeing the line this weekend. Exciting armchair racing for me this weekend.
I decided not to race this weekend being the one year anniversary of shattering my collar bone into a gazillion pieces, surgery and ensuing precipitous decline of my marriage.
JimK started off the LW Coaching team Presidents Day weekend onslaught with a fantastic third place at the opening TT at Valley of the Sun road stage race in Phoenix yesterday. Nice work Jim!! Folks came from all over the country for some AZ sun and were rained on during the TT...
Mary, Sarah and Terri are down at Old Pueblo mixing it up in the solo women's field. Krista and Jeff are on teams. OP has live timing this year!! Check out their progress here. I know I will be.