Tour de Francis Ride Report


First off I would like to thank the Adobo Velo gang, and in particular Francis Ignacio, for inviting me to the Tour de Francis Summer Edition- Frazier Park. As usual, they put on a great event and I had a great time participating. Thank you Adobo Velo.

SUMMARY

100  miles approximately 9,000 feet of climbing

Long sustained climbs

Beautiful scenery

Very low traffic

Cities visited – Lebec, Frazier Park, and Ventucopa

Counties visited— Kern County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, and Ventura County

Climbs– Lebec to Frazier Park, Mount Pinos and Apache Saddle. Lockwood Valley to Heartbreak Hill then back down to Lebec

Video may found here

THE WEAPON

Felicia, my Felt F2 with Di2, got the nod.  After 2,500 miles on the first charge of the battery I decided to charge the battery the night before the event.  In that 2,500 miles I had never missed a shift, I had never dropped the chain and I never experienced chain rub from cross-chaining.  For wheels I used my Zipp ZEDTech 2’s with ceramic bearings.  Now that I finally have a wireless SRM I can use them.  They had been collecting dust, figuratively speaking of course. They worked beautifully.  They are light (1060 grams confirmed) aerodynamic and stiff on the steep grades.  Drive train was 53/39 crankset and 11-28 cassette.

THE RIDE

The first climb from Lebec to Frazier Park is about 12 miles of slightly undulating terrain.  It isn’t steep in any section that I remember.  The only difficult part is that it comes after a .25 mile warm-up 😉 which isn’t really a warm-up.  As soon as you leave the parking lot of the Best Rest Inn you begin climbing!  I felt good on the climb so I set a medium pace for myself.  I thought for sure there would be other riders coming up on my wheel but no one followed.  The climb is about 2,000 feet of gain in 12 miles– your data may vary. Summit first climb 1:00:00 total time about 7:20am.

The second notable climb was a little over 3.5 miles and gained about 1,000 feet.  I was still feeling good and worked hard to keep my tempo up.  I do remember a few steep pitches and I was glad to have the 28T cog on my 11-28 cassette.  I am working the 39T chainring and the 28T cog so that I don’t have to switch to a compact crankset (I could only afford one SRM 😉  for the FURNACE CREEK 508. Summit second climb 1:35 Total Time about 7:55am.

Next up is the long grind up to Heartbreak Hill.  As I was descending and heading towards the lunch stop I remembered the last time I rode this course.  I was doing the double century and Brandy was doing the century.  I had completely over-heated and was in really bad shape.  So bad in fact that on the last few miles to the lunch stop I was trying to stay on Brandy’s wheel and she was dropping me.  She was giving me the countdown of miles to go just as I had done many times in the past for her.  But on that day I just couldn’t stay on her wheel.

When we arrived at the lunch stop I dunked my head in the spigot of cool water and drank a Coke and got back on the road without eating lunch (rarely do I eat lunch in a 200 miler).  I recovered really well as the day went on.  Incredibly, even with the heat meltdown, I finished 5th that year with a time of 13:28! Race Report can be found here.

Today was different!  Today I was feeling great! I was only doing a 100 miles.  I also hadn’t been riding with faster guys that would have worked me over before reaching this section.  The weather was cooler, albeit a little windier.  I was moving through the course quickly.  The goal was to begin the Heartbreak Hill climb or Lockwood Valley, before 10am.  I was only five minutes behind this goal.  What was my reason for the haste?  I know how hot it can be in those lower elevations (2,500 feet).  It’s important to get through the hottest part of the course before the heat kicks up.  The next concern was the afternoon winds.  As the afternoon wears on, the winds can get really strong. Those were my two primary concerns for maintaining a fast tempo through the valley and the whole day for that matter.

No matter what the temperatures though, Heartbreak Hill will always take a lot out of your legs.  The 39T chainring and 28T cog were perfect for the last couple of kickers.  It was hot (95F) even at elevation (5,000 feet) but it was tolerable.  Summit Heartbreak Hill 4:31 Total Time or 10:53 am.

The big rollers you see in the graph above are always the toughest portion of the course for me.  The winds are stronger and the grades are steeper.  You roll up and down through beautiful wooded and shaded areas and eventually end up in wide open spaces where the wind can really put a wrench into your plans for a fast finish.

I was going as hard as I could because I was looking at a sub 6 hour finishing time on this course.  I had never done just the century.  I didn’t have a personal best time to shoot for.  But I thought sub 6 hours would be a good goal, especially with all the climbing and all the solo riding I had been doing. Summit last roller and begin descent 5:25 Total Time 11:45 am.

Looking at 2009 Heartbreak Hundred results I would have slotted in Top 20 with my 5:49 finishing time.  Considering I rode solo the whole day with no one to pace off of I am quite pleased with the result.  I’m quite sure many of the riders in the top 20 were in  pacelines throughout the day.  Not too mention chasing other riders on the course always makes me work harder and produce better results.

All in all I had a great day on the bike.  I actually enjoyed the scenery much more than I ever have on my double centuries on that course.  The weather was not a factor in my estimation.  Sure there was heat and some winds but hey you can’t ride 100 miles and expect the wind to be at your back the whole time…right? Total time 5:50:39 with only 3:16 off the bike all day.

Yesterday’s fast tempo century gives me hope since my last 155 mile ride to Palomar Mountain wasn’t promising.  I need to do something a little longer this week to see how my fitness is progressing.  All for now and thank you for reading my blog.  If you care to make a comment please do.  I love interacting with my readers.  Your questions are welcomed as well.

And then there is the food at the finish.  These guys ride to eat 🙂  I thoroughly enjoyed the Chicken Adobo and rice.  My son loved the Chicken Enpanadas!  Thank you Adobo Velo for feeding us so well!!!

2 thoughts on “Tour de Francis Ride Report

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