Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2014: Happy New Year!! The season begins with some awesome hill training and Triple Crown Double #119

January 2014 is starting out to be a great year for cycling. 

I usually take it easy over the holidays and feel like a slug when I get to the first endurance ride of the year which is the Camino Real Double Century.

This year, I didn't let myself rest much. I did a double century at Thanksgiving time and still kept my mileage up over the holidays. I did eat too much though and gained a few pounds but that just slowed my climbing down.
With The Hoodoo 500 coming up in August I figured I better stay in base mile shape most of the year.

I started off the year with a nice ride on the 4th up in the San Gabriel Mountains with friends. My friend Ken organized a ride up on Hwy 39 and to Glendora Mountain Road from our usual meeting place at Encanto Park in Duarte. We all had a great time.
Bob and Teresa on Hwy 39

Getting ready to head down the hill to meet up with the others on Glendora Mountain Road.

I took this video with my new GoPro camera that I got from Santa. My friend Teresa bombing down the middle section of Glendora Mountain Road. Teresa used to race mountain bikes and is a very good bike handler. This was an e-ticket tide!!!

January 11th: Dawson Saddle
 Ken organized another ride. This one up to Crystal Lake and Dawson Saddle. Close to 10,000 feet of climbing in just over 70 miles and up to one of the highest places on the Angeles Crest Hwy.....Dawson Saddle. Just under 8,000 feet in elevation.
I asked Teresa if she wanted to do it on my tandem bike since we had been talking about doing the Adobo Velo, Tour De Francis century on the 18th. We both thought it would be good training for that ride since it had 10,000 feet of elevation gain in it. This would also be good training for the Mulholland Double in the spring which we hoped to do tandem style.
We didn't tell anyone we were doing the ride on the tandem and just surprised everyone. Ken and a few others left early and we caught up to them in Crystal Lake. Ken, Terri and Teresa were my support crew on the Inyo Ultra 466. It was great to all be back together.

My awesome support crew from the 466

Descending the road out of Crystal Lake

Teresa and I climbing to Dawson on 39

We did it. 39 miles straight up... on the tandem.....wheewwww!!! And of course....the traditional....hold the bike over your head at a summit....Pose.
After doing that climb, I thought it would be much easier doing the Tour De Francis. There are breaks between the climbs. The one to Dawson was all up at once and that was tough on a tandem bike.

We just flew down the hill and back to the park. A great day on the bike!!
Here is our ride data for the day:

January 18th: Tour De Francis....Adobo Velo Club event.

This is the first time I have done the Tour De Francis. As a new member of the club, I was excited. This club event is considered to be one of their toughest. Whether it is the winter or summer edition you better know it will be tough and have allot of climbing.
As part of my training on the tandem with Teresa, we wanted to do some real tough tandem rides in training for my "bucket list" ride on the tandem......The Mulholland Double. Mulholland has 16,400 feet of climbing so it is one tough puppy on a tandem. We will conquer it!!!!! (with the right training of course)
Dawson Saddle and Tour De Francis were training rides for Mulholland!!
Climbing above Lake Castaic at the start
We started the ride a little before 7am for the long climb to the Leona Valley and first check point at Lake Elisabeth.
Climbing Lake Hughs road at sunrise

John and Malinda Clare took care of us at Elizabeth Lake

Large moose sighting

Teresa and friends
We made good time to the lunch stop at Quail Lake. The late starting real fast climbers started catching us about there. Thy made up the 45 minutes on us in about 50 miles.
Teresa with TJ and Kevin

We had a nice ride back with some real great climbing. The majority of the climbing was in the first 50 miles so we did not have to gain quite as much on the return.
 Climbing Pine Canyon on the return. You can see the road we came up off to the left.
There were some real grunts though especially with about 10  miles to go and a final climb to the finish that was about 12%.
Kevin Walsh rode with us much of the way back and stayed behind us on the blazing descent back to Castaic Lake.

Kevin rolling ahead of us.
 The descent back to Castaic Lake and over the steep kicker hill in the middle of the descent.    Notice Teresa's comment about being in cardiac arrest. We were really hammering the little hill at the end of the descent to keep up with Kevin!

Click Here for the video of the lower fast drop to the lake.

Grunting up the final 12% grade up to the park above the lake and a great picnic put on by Adobo Velo

 Here is the ride data for the day:

January 25th:
I rode from home to meet up with "The Mulholland Prelude" by Planet Ultra and join some of my friends doing it for some of the ride. I did about 74 miles of it with almost 9,000 feet of elevation gain. Another great weekend training ride for early season base miles. Here are some pics from that ride.

Super Climber Karen Johnson on Mulholland Hwy

Video of Karen and Debbie finishing off Mulholland Hwy

Super Climbers Rick Jacobson and Debbie Pearl on PCH with Leo Carillo State Beach in the background

The 17% lower Decker Canyon wall. Karen, Debbie and Rick grinding up!

Debbie still looking happy on Stunt Road
I dropped down Stunt Road and headed home while the rest went on over to Piuma Road and down to Mulholland to return to the finish in Agoura Hills. A great and fun day on the bike with friends.

The ride data for the day:

January 31st: The Camino Real Double Century....."Recon Ride".

I again this year decided to staff the Camino Real Double Century. This would be my 119th Triple Crown Double Century.
Teresa was going to do the event, with my good friend Roland, on his tandem bike but Roland had to cancel.
Teresa expressed interest in doing it on the tandem with me on a staff ride and staffing the ride with me. She loves riding a tandem bike and I...of course....said yes and the plans were made.
We worked out a day to do a recon ride of the course a couple of weeks prior to event day. We would then send the info of our findings to Planet Ultra so they know how the course conditions are.
We were going to do the event "Self Supported" meaning that we would not be relying on rest stops with all the goodies and water. We would have to take care of all that ourselves. This is not an issue on a course like this which is not too rural. It is only an issue on an event where there are no places to stop for food or water.

The Camino Real goes from Irvine to Oceanside along the coast. It then goes inland for a little loop around Bonsall and the Fallbrook area before heading back to Oceanside for the return north. We then head back through San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Ranch Santa Margarita and Trabuco Canyon. Up next is a long climb out of the canyon and descent down to Santiago Canyon where we climb north before a nice downhill descent back to Irvine.

The morning started off with some rain. It took us a little while to get to the start location due to some freeway closures but we started rolling a little before 5:30am.
Our friends Colin and Julie rode from home to meet us. They had some pretty good rain on their way over.
Right to left: Colin and Julie Stokes

Off we go
We rolled through Irvine and Newport Beach before heading to the coast for a ride up Laguna Canyon.

Heading up Pacific Coast Hwy

Heading up Laguna Canyon, we meandered through the hills and back to the coast before heading into Dana Point Harbor.
Dana Point Harbor

In Dana Point Dave Elsberry joined us. He rode from home. He lives in Vista which is in San Diego County to join us.
Dave is a two time finisher,  of RAAM (Race Across America). One of the top finishers in the 60 plus category.  A very strong rider.

Left to right: Dave, Julie, Teresa and Colin in San Onofre

We rolled down the coast to Oceanside on a beautiful morning.

While riding on the very large and safe freeway shoulder I came apon a very nasty, bad, piece of asphault on a bridge. At high speed, I instinctively tried to jump the wheels over it, forgetting I was on my tandem bike. Teresa's head hit me in the back and we had a comical moment until the OH....Sh*%!#t moment where my front tire instantly went flat at 25mph with semi trucks passing me on my left at 70mph!!
We fixed it and headed back out for an uneventful roll into Oceanside.

Now came the nice part of the ride.
From Oceanside we headed through Bonsall and Fallbrook.

Dave with Julie and Colin in tow

We rolled through the hills with avocados and citrus. It was really great. 
We had a great descent on the tandem bike down old Hwy 395 from what we call "Rainbow Bridge".
It was a gas!!!

Tandem descent Here

We then heading back to the coast for some headwinds on the return.

Colin Stokes (The Wyvern). Colin won his division in RAW , Race Across The West, last year
We headed back to Intersate 5 again. We flew up to the offramp this time for an exit at Las Pulgas road. We then went back on the bike path to San Onofre.

Here is the video of us heading trough the tunnel and to the ocean side of the freeway chasing down our friends.

We rolled back to San Clemente where where Julie and Colin stopped for something to eat. We said our goodbyes after taking a short break. They headed on home and we headed into the Friday afternoon traffic for some climbing to Rancho Santa Margarita, through Trabuco Canyon and Santiago Canyon.
We had one more flat along the way while it was getting cold. It was a tough one to fix and took me awhile to fix. I am glad I had my stoker along for the support because I was getting frustrated and cold. Tourettes syndrome was setting up and she reeled me back in.
Not a happy camper

Teresa's friend Evan came out to watch over us for the rest of the ride after sunset.
He had a floor pump which really helped after the flat tire.

Home we rolled through the canyons after dark to the finish in Irvine.

Sunset on Antonio Parkway

Blazing down Santiago Canyon Road at about 30mph.
We got finished at about 8:45pm.

Our ride time on the bike was 12hrs 27 minutes.
Overall time was not good since there were so many traffic lights, the flat tires and many other stops.

Here is the GPS data on our ride from Garmin Connect

Here are my ride stats for the month of January. All that climbing on the tandem was a tough one.

Count:17 Activities
Distance:828.10 mi
Time:57:57:43 h:m:s
Elevation Gain:67,753 ft
Avg Speed:14.3 mph
Avg HR:142 bpm

Calories:30,755 C

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