Long roads behind me…
and long roads before me…
and even more long roads in before me…
Stage Two: California City to Trona, 70.25 miles. Elevation Gain: 4212′.
Arrived Saturday 18:09, 11 hours 9 min Avg. Speed 13.8 mph
From the 508 website.
“From California City, head north over flat desert terrain to the Johannesburg climb at mile 110 (Mountain Section Three). You’ll climb 1500 feet in seven miles; the desert climb is steeper than it looks and grows progressively steeper. After Jo’burg, you’ll ride over a series of pesky rollers before a long fast descent to the road to Trona”.
Most of this section went well with many nature breaks. It seemed I was always bursting at the seams with my hydration. It should be noted that I was using CarboPro1200 and Sustained Energy as my primary fuels and hydration. I wasn’t eating any solid foods and felt great. The hand ups continued including my Vantage Vo2, Recover and electrolyte supplements in little zip lock baggies.
Everything was going well. I remembered how last year I began to feel nauseous after leaving California City and this year I was feeling great. I was a little dismayed that after working so hard to pass racers on the climbs I would be dropped on the descents. But this would be my frustration for the next 40 hours. I had to continue to console myself that the big picture was I was going to enter an exclusive club of cyclists who took on “the toughest 48 hours in sport” and made it tougher by riding the 508 on a fixed gear.
I remember struggling up the climb to Randsburg and the rollers afterward. Every time I hit a pitch steeper than 8% grade it was be a real struggle to keep the cadence up to reasonable levels. This early in the race there were still plenty of solo racers around me. But slowly and inevitably the teams start to catch me and leave me behind for good.
I wanted to make it to Trona before 6pm which is when you must put lights on your bike and use the follow vehicle as direct support until 7am the next morning. We had to stop just short of Trona to put lights on my bike, a slow moving triangle and yellow strobes on the van. I didn’t want to have to make two stops– one for the safety lighting and then again for gas in Trona. My goal next year is to make it past Trona before 6pm. I like direct support especially at night. The constant drone of the engine is comforting. Besides far too many drivers are not expecting a rider out in the middle of nowhere.
I’m still feeling good regarding my nutrition and hydration. 153 miles done but I know the next 100 miles to the next time station are going to hurt.
Here is the link for the rest of the pictures.
153.9 miles and 10,388 feet of gain completed and only 355.97 miles to go
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