Cycling Camps San Diego CCSD St Paddy’s Palomar Punishment Plus and more


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I had a great training ride on March 16, 2013.  The St Paddy’s Palomar event has two options A.  68 miles with 6800 feet of gain B.  92 miles 8500 feet of gain but what does an ultra cyclist choose?  Option C none of the above 131 miles with 11,600 feet of gain.  I brought my REV Cycling teammate Lori Hoechlin, and met a few other endurance cyclists Jim Knight, Bob Bingham and Bob “Rock Lizard” Andrews at the Starbucks in Del Mar.  We rode to and from the event and added a few extra miles.  Lori had two slow leaking flats and probably worked harder than she needed to on such a long day.  I had a great day on the bike. I had great legs and felt like I was holding back all day.

A quick word about the event. It was a fun time with more low key people showing up.  No organized start just a steady rolling out of riders.  Left to themselves riders know that a wave of 100 riders wouldn’t be safe 5 miles down the road as you climb Lake Wholford.  You crossed your name off of a roster at the checkpoints and at the finish. Huge spread of pasta dishes salad and bread at the finish.  I would do this event again!  Thank you Jo and Rob of CCSD!

I used my SRM power meter to keep my power within preset ranges on all climbs.  A power meter is ESSENTIAL for proper pacing in endurance cycling events.  I felt great all day having paced my self properly.  I am an authorized SRM dealer shoot me an email– revcycling@gmail.com if you wish to discuss purchasing an SRM Power Meter and pursuing a personalized power based training program from from me.

Calories burned 5,500 Calories consumed 2,100 calories in 10 hours

Below is a great shot taken of my by Mike Kurtz

In this picture Skins CY400 compression cycling jersey bib shorts SPY Performance Pink Screws Swiftwick 7″wool socks Serfas Helix tires, Serfas Pro Series cycling gloves, Serfas pink bar tape and Suplest Supzero cycling shoes SRM Dura-Ace power meter and PowerControl 7 – thank you to all of REV Cycling sponsors!

This was also the longest ride in my new Suplest Supzero cycling shoes supplied by REV Cycling sponsor Serfas. I have a full product review coming soon.  For now I’m putting in the miles and the hours.  This was a long ride of over 130 miles with over 11,000 feet of climbing and lots of time in the saddle and my feet were quite comfortable.   Shoot me an email with “Suplest Shoes” in your subject if you have any specific questions.  Stay tuned for full product review on Suplest Supzero cycling shoes.

Below are screen shots from Garmin for the map and summary and screen shots from Training Peaks WKO 3.0.

Entire training ride

Lake Wholford great climb bottom half then ran into friend that was having gearing issues and paced her up a bit and then pulled over to adjust her rear derailleur.

Palomar Mountain Lower Section Goal maintain 3 – 3.5 w/kg

Palomar Mountain Upper Section- Goal maintain 3 – 3.5 w/kg

Cole Grade at 90 ish miles into our day I holding back and pacing my REV Cycling teammate Lori Hoechlin who was fading-  she recovered nicely for the last 40 miles of the day.  Goal maintain over 3.0 w/kg but had to hold back

Product Review Serfas Thunderbolt Tail Light


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Here is my product review on the Serfas Thunderbolt Tail Light.

From Serfas’ website

Serfas Thunderbolt (UTL-6) Taillight gives you style and safety in one high-powered and affordable package.

Being seen on your bike at night never looked so good with Serfas’ Thunderbolt (UTL-6) Taillight. This USB rechargeable gem comes with 35 lumens of firepower while giving riders’ several different rear facing mounting options.

The 30 micro-LED strip will let your presence be known to cars and bikes alike. And with 7 different color options, your bike will definitely find its match.

Charge up, light up and get riding safely with the Thunderbolt.

 

  • 35 lumens
  • USB rechargeable
  • Features a light silicone body
  • Features 30 micro-LED strip
  • Modes: 1.75 hours (high beam); 7 hours (low beam); 3 hours (high blink); 9.5 hours (low blink)
  • Unique mounting system that allows for endless mounting possibilities
  • Highly Water resistant
  • Weight: 50 grams
  • Comes in 7 different color options

 

 

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2013 Stagecoach Century Ride Report


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Specialized Venge – Shimano Ultegra, Dura-Ace SRM power meter Zipp 808’s

Yesterday I did the Stagecoach Century. It’s was a great training ride in the sense that it was held in a remote area with very little traffic.  But even more important for a rider like myself, is I was able to do the whole hundred miles without stopping for any reason including fluids or food.  Basically, this is the only century I know of where I clip in at the start and clip out at the finish 100 miles later.   The century has approximately 4600 feet of climbing with five actual climbs — each of which have steep grades.

Right from the very beginning I knew I was going to have a good day on the bike.   You leave the start on a slight upgrade – and yet I wasn’t feeling it. My power numbers were indicating that we were going uphill but I didn’t feel it on my legs.  I was feeling so good I was catching solo Time Trial (TT) and 4-person TT teams.  I didn’t think I was in race shape before starting the event so I decided to ride without a timing chip.

I’m glad I rode without a timing chip.  I was very disappointed with the lack of integrity of the  riders on the course.  So many solo TT and four person TT were forming pacelines and riding down the road as one huge 20-30 rider unit.  It would be impossible for the organizer to enforce the non-drafting rule hence I put it on the riders.  To those riders who resisted the temptation to take the easy way out and draft a paceline passing you by I respect your efforts out there yesterday. I saw many examples of of great team work between of some 4 person TT teams and great individual effort by solo TT riders! That should have been the norm not the exception.

When I did the Furnace Creek 508 (508 miles non stop bike race with 35,000 feet of climbing through the Mojave and Death Valley Deserts) on a fixed gear in 2007 or here , there were many times when I could have unclipped from my pedals and let the crank arms spin freely to allow myself some recovery time.  For the layman, on a fixed gear bicycle you have to pedal at all times uphill and downhill.  But my personal integrity and my willingness to do the event under the same restrictions and endure the same hardships as the only other 7 fixed gear riders who had gone before me kept me in check.  By the way, the Furnace Creek 508 is a 508 mile Time Trial!

I was a free-agent yesterday.  If I wanted to join a paceline I did.  If I noticed my power was dropping below my training goal for the day I would ride next to them in the wind.  I didn’t join the back of 4 person TT team because I could see they were serious about doing the event under the rules.  Mainly I rode alone – about 70 miles if not more.

In the end, I ended up with a finishing time of 5:05!  That is very fast for me 5 hours and 5 minutes for a 100 miles.  I haven’t been keeping track of my century times but I definitely think that is a new Personal Record for me.

Just for fun I did a little surge 1/4 mile from the finish.  Below you will see a power graph from Training Peaks WKO.  The power line (yellow line)  and then the dotted line is 500 watts.  I actually could have surged much stronger than I did but it was just a test to see how my body would react after 100 miles and 5 hours in the saddle.

Thank you Shadow Tours for a great event.  The weather forecast called for below freezing temperatures but luckily it was, in my opinion perfect.  I wore a base layer, jersey, vest, arm warmers, knee warmers and felt perfect.  Within the first hour I removed my vest and rode without it the rest of the day.  The volunteers were plentiful and very gracious.  Thank you all that volunteered you made it possible for me to ride and have a great time.  By the way, the Dum-Dums strawberry lollipop in my goodie bag was awesome!

It’s no wonder I felt great on the bike today.  Notice how the Pink line and Yellow line are approaching each other?  What this tells me is that my acute training load  was down enough and my training stress balance was up enough to feel trained and rested.

Below is a chart showing the progress I have been making during my long training rides.  I have been slowly increasing the intensity as my fitness has been improving.   Notice how the Normalized power continues to increase on my 5+ hour training rides.  I am getting fit and able to hold higher average wattage for longer periods of time.  I am also loosing weight.  I have lost 8 lbs since the Furnace Creek 508 debacle in October of 2012.

My latest endeavor is forming a new and completely different cycling organization.    REV Endurance Cycling Team – a cycling organization focused on bringing up the next generation of endurance cyclists. REV is a development team rather than a racing team. As part of it’s rider development strategy, REV is very keen on bringing more women into Ultra Cycling.  REV is about making and maintaining a lifestyle change with personal health, fitness and cycling as priorities.  REV will take the “couch potatoes” coach and train them to complete their very first century or Gran Fondo.  REV will take century riders and assist them in becoming brevet riders (unsupported events) or double century riders. REV will prepare you for “the toughest 48 hours in sport”, the Furnace Creek 508.

REV Endurance Cycling is always looking for corporate sponsors and individual donations.  Please feel free to contact me with your interest in assisting REV Endurance Cycling accomplish its goals.

Follow REV Endurance Cycling on Facebook

Stay tuned for more details…

Stagecoach Century January 12, 2013


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Next Saturday I will kick off the season with the Stagecoach Century.  I haven’t done this event in years.  But since this year is my “come back year” I am “forcing” myself to do more events than last year.  I sacrificed too much to my j.o.b last year and I need to get out more and enjoy my passion.

The last time I did this event was in 2007.

Here is my blog post.

Here is the Polar graph of the elevation profile.

Here is the post from my ride out to the Stagecoach Century the day before.

The ride out was 155 miles with 10,500 feet of climbing and if you know anything about power meter training it was a 5,000 kj day.  That is a huge training workload the day before another century.  Take a walk down memory lane and read my reports from 2007.  I love reading and reliving my own Epic Adventures!

Come Join Me!!  REV Endurance Cycling will be there!

My latest endeavor is forming a new and completely different cycling organization.    REV Endurance Cycling Team – a cycling organization focused on bringing up the next generation of endurance cyclists. REV is a development team rather than a racing team. As part of it’s rider development strategy, REV is very keen on bringing more women into Ultra Cycling.  REV is about making and maintaining a lifestyle change with personal health, fitness and cycling as priorities.  REV will take the “couch potatoes” coach and train them to complete their very first century or Gran Fondo.  REV will take century riders and assist them in becoming brevet riders (unsupported events) or double century riders. REV will prepare you for “the toughest 48 hours in sport”, the Furnace Creek 508.

REV Endurance Cycling is always looking for corporate sponsors and individual donations.  Please feel free to contact me with your interest in assisting REV Endurance Cycling accomplish its goals.

Stay tuned for more details…

Borrego Springs Century


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Lori and I did the  Borrego Springs Century on the tandem.  We made a couple of wrong turns and we had doubts and indecision a couple more times.  With the out and backs and U-turns I think this course could have been more visibly marked.

I apologize I couldn’t get my SPOT Transmitter up and running.  I think it needs fresh batteries.  That’s my fault for not planning ahead.  Most every thing I have has rechargeable batteries and the SPOT is something I have to keep premium Lithium batteries on hand.

Here are some of my graphs.  I hope people searching for information on this ride for next year stumble upon my blog.

This event provided Lori and I with a very good endurance training ride.  We left at 8:14 am which was 14 minutes after the start of the main pack and spent all day chasing.  It was fun doing my time splits at each U-turn.  By the second loop (last 30 miles) we caught the remnants of the lead group and finished with them.  Michael Connor was one of the two riders we finished with.  Michael recognized me and thanked me for my thorough blog.  Seems he has read my blog and done a few of my epic climbing rides of Hwy 395, namely Onion Valley Road and Whitney Portal.

There were only a few stops signs and no traffic lights that I remember.  Vehicular traffic was low as well.  We did the event non-stop and without refueling.  It’s a shame that we pay for the support on these century rides and don’t use it lol!  We were self-sufficient with six hours of fuel onboard and five water bottles on the “Treno Blu” – blue train in Italian.  Lori and I did the 99.68 miles in wait for it… 5:08!  I just can’t get away from that number!!

The volunteers were so very nice.  Thank you for the great event.  We’ll be back next year!

Lori Hoechlin + George “Red Eyed Vireo” Vargas at the finish of Borrego Springs Century

Stay tuned for more details…

Borrego Springs Century Tomorrow


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I will be doing the Borrego Springs Century tomorrow on my tandem with Lori Hoechlin.  I wish I could give you a preview of the route but the event is poorly documented.  The map for the first 68 miles is a blur and the second loop map isn’t any better.  I guess I will have to document the event better than the organizer right here on my blog.

I will have my SPOT Transmitter so you will be able to follow me along the route.

Stay tuned for more details…

OC Gran Fondo Event Report VIP George Vargas


I’d like to thank the Ride Director for the OC Gran Fondo, Cameron Jackson, for a wonderful experience as the VIP of the event. I was treated with VIP parking, a VIP lounge with breakfast and guests before the event, rolling to the head of the massive group (nearly 1,000), and a shout-out before the starting gun.  All the while, I thought what’s all this fuss about?  But as I reflected for a few minutes just before the start this recognition isn’t unearned or unwarranted.  It is nine years of suffering on the bike and consistently finishing or winning some of the hardest events race director’s evil and twisted minds have ever conceived.

I rode my Pinarello tandem, Penelope, with Lori.  I liked the route.  The OC Gran Fondo took me on streets I hadn’t been on before and that’s hard to do for a guy who often rides centuries for training.  The route made good use of the few hills Orange County has to offer i.e. Cannon, Saddleback Ranch and Santiago Canyon in both directions.

We rolled out with a police escort for a few miles.  When the motorman pulled off the pace picked up steadily and continued to increase on the Santa Ana River Trail.  By MIle 20 the lead group had thinned out to fewer than 10 riders.  And by the time we hit Cannon we were fewer than five.  Cannon (Mile 33) is one steep bugger.  It’s not a long climb but as a tandem we were at a disadvantage climbing the 10% grade.  I let the group go and was more than ok with not chasing them down.

Over the next 40 miles we rode conservatively because of the heat and the climbing.  We blew through the first few SAG stops.  Our first stop was Mile 82. I think Lori and I could have done the whole century unsupported with the water and food we had with us from the start.  I had 1000 calories with me in liquid, gel and semi-solid forms.

The course was well marked.  Unfortunately, there were few “Hooligans” on the course that moved signs and even removed signs off the course.  It was in the last few miles that these shenanigans were taking place.  We lost about 15 minutes trying to figure out where we were and how to get back on course.  But all’s well that ends well.  We finished in about 5 1/2 hours (7am start) and proceeded to enjoy a great recovery pasta meal! I’d like to quote my friend, Richard’s  Facebook comment on my finishing photo “a century before lunch is pretty good going”.  Indeed!

One last note if you took a picture with me either before or after the event please send me an email with the photo so I can post it on this blog report.

vireo508@gmail.com

Thank you OC Gran Fondo for a great day on the bike.

FURNACE CREEK 508

Ok so what’s next for George “Red-Eyed Vireo” Vargas?  My seventh consecutive Furnace Creek 508 solo is next weekend.  The race begins in the Santa Clarita/Valencia area on Saturday October 6th and continues non-stop until all 508 miles and 35,000 feet of climbing are completed.  Please follow my blog and Facebook to stay abreast of my progress.  Don’t expect much since I have not been able to train as I used to in years past.  The Furnace Creek 508 website will also be a great source on tracking me and the other racers.

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George “Red-Eyed Vireo” Vargas with Lori Hoechlin

George “Red-Eyed Vireo” Vargas with Jennifer Koles and Carol Barger

I’m seriously considering the Bianchi Oltre as my next bike!!

Bianchi Oltre as a complete build