A tough day on the bike

I didn’t have a good day on the bike today.  I call these rides — CBR (Character Building Rides).  Allow me to breakdown the day for you.

Only 90 miles and 7,000 feet of climbing.
Entire workout (154 watts):
Duration:   6:11:38 (7:16:37)
Work:       3427 kJ
TSS:       313.6 (intensity factor 0.713)
Norm Power: 196 (2.9 w/kg)
VI:         1.28
Pw:HR:       -3.43%
Pa:HR:       -4.32%
Distance:   89.443 mi
              Min Max   Avg
Power:       0 559 154 watts
Heart Rate:   81 183 152 bpm
Cadence:     30 206 75 rpm
Speed:       2.2 36.8 14.6 mph
Pace         1:38 26:49 4:06 min/mi
Crank Torque: 0 958 179 lb-in

1.  I awoke late and had very little motivation to ride.  It was my only day off and I felt I HAD to ride rather than WANTED to ride.

2.  I drove to Glendora Mountain Road (GMR).  On the drive I thought I needed to do something different maybe that was why I wasn’t motivated to ride. So I changed direction and headed towards Angeles Crest Highway (ACH).  With no plan in mind I just figured I would go UP.

3.  As I’m getting ready to roll out a group of 5 cyclists turn onto the residential street I am on.  They tell me ACH is closed due to the recent rains.  They led me around in a very circuitous route through the neighborhood.  I was completely turned around wondering how I would ever get back to my car.  They were on a birthday ride for one of their riders.  They eventually launched me on a path towards Chantry Flats.

4.  I climbed Chantry Flats.  It is a great climb just shy of four miles.  A little steep if you are riding an 11-23 cassette and no motivation.

5.  Not content with sucking on just one short climb I decide to ride to Hwy 39 and climb in that area.

6.  I am having a lackluster day and Hwy 39 proved it again.  At least I kept ahead of the triathletes though. Why was I continuing to climb since I was sucking so bad?

7.  I climbed little GMR from Camp Williams.  Now it is really evident that I sucked today.  I climbed the 4.92 mile climb in a stellar time of 34:06.  More than 6 minutes slower than my PR.  From mile one of the climb I just wanted to turn around.  I was counting down the tenths of a mile.  I just couldn’t get my butt in gear. I wasn’t putting out any power to speak of and I looked longingly at the top just hoping I could be tele-ported up.  Yeah I sucked that bad.  My legs felt like lead.

8.  I descended big GMR towards Glendora.  I’m having a good descent — yeah I know it’s easier than climbing right?  I’m “flying” down the mountain at over 35 mph on a curvy road having a great time and then BAM! I hit a rock.  Front tire punctures and goes flat almost instantly.  Light touch on the front brake and handfuls of rear brake.  The tire is flat and I’m riding on the rim and still going 20+MPH skeery!  Now I’m in a rear skid heading for the berm on the side of the road.  I was proud of myself for making such a graceful emergency stop– probably the best part of ride.

9.  As I start changing the flat I realized I didn’t have an inflator chuck for my CO2 cartridge.  I have plenty of them at home but none right now!  I have a tube,a tire lever, two CO2’s a patch kit, and a tire boot but no chuck urg!!!

10.  I resign myself to sitting on the side of the road and waiting for another rider to come down the mountain or up.  So I get comfortable and turn up the volume on my iPod.  Surely there will be another ride soon.  I only had to wait two techno songs… oh about 14 minutes lol!  John comes down the mountain and rescues me with his frame pump.  I guess I need to carry my own eh?  Maybe I’ll get one of these from here

11.  I  followed John to his home and used his floor pump to top-off.  John and Tammy were gracious enough to give me directions back to my car.  Remember my car is parked at the base of ACH.  I don’t have a spare tube –but I have two CO2’s lol! Oh but no inflator chuck so I really don’t have “flat repair”. It’s not usually a concern but with the day I have been having it would have been nice to have some insurance.

View Larger Map

12.  I left John and Tammy’s house and then it started to rain URG!  Does it have to rain only on my days off?  I swear I’m going to grow gills and webbed feet. Read 300km Brevet Race Report.

13.  I get “lost” several times trying to follow Foothill in a westerly direction.  It seems the street starts and stops several times and you have to jog North and West to stay on it.  Did I mention the headwind?  Yep there was a good stiff headwind and it sucked.

14.  I’ve been out of nutrition and water for the last couple of hours.  I ran out of “food” at the top of GMR.  I’m purposely denying myself the nutrition.  I’m sponsored by Infinit Nutrition and they take care of me very well but I am determined to totally drain myself. Funny how I find that people just don’t like to suffer when training.  I prefer to ride really hard, or in harsh climates (heat, cold or rain) to toughen up.  I don’t think people like suffering as much as I do.  I guess some riders would rather DNF in their races than suffer enough in training.

15.  On one of the times that I was off course and on Walnut instead of Foothill I came upon Pasedena Cyclery and asked for directions.  Really cool guys and all of them were very helpful.  It sucks that they had to work on a Sunday but I’m glad they were there.  Being the store manager of the Newport Beach Bike Religion I work my weekends as well.

16.  After what seems like a full day of eventualities I arrived at my car completely spent and depleted.  I needed FOOD and right away!  Finally the ride  was over!

17.  Seven hours on the bike is not usually a big deal for me.  And typically that would be at least a 100 miles and more climbing.  But I was not having a good day at all on the bike.  I forced myself to ride thinking one day I will wake up on race day and have to ride whether I feel up to it or not.  I thought of Grand Tour racers getting beat down day after day in a 20 day stage race and wonder how difficult it must be for them to get motivated to ride EVERY.DAY.

Well that’s all for now and thank you for reading my blog.   I do have a request though.  Many of you that read my blog have come up to me and introduced yourself at an event.  I think it’s great that you folks follow my blog.  I would like to hear some comments or questions from you my readers.  I like being able to answer questions and direct the information so that you the reader my benefit from my posts.

Ta Ta

My Solo 175 miler (282 kms)- Dawson Saddle

On Sunday I went out to do 175 miles (282 kms) solo. I rode from Huntington Beach to Dawson Saddle (7901 ft) in the San Gabriel Mountains. The ride has 8600 feet (2621 meters) of gain. The largest chunk of it comes in a 33 mile 7,000+ feet of gain (2133 meters) in a remote closed road section. No cars and no people for hours and hours just the way I like it. I love doing long solo rides.

The ride took me North on the Pacific Coast Hwy to Seal Beach then Northeast on the San Gabriel Bike Trail. Hwy 39 up past Crystal Lake (where I went two weeks ago)to the junction of Angeles Crest Hwy then continuing up to Dawson Saddle.

Meet Rebecca, my climbing bike. It is a Cervelo R3-SL. Very light very stiff and unbelievably it has a great smooth ride. It is dressed out in a Dura-Ace kit with Velocity Arrowhead rims on a Powertap Wireless 2.4 SL.

Rebecca before the Fred Pump

After the fred pump

Flat repair- notice Park Tool Patches

18 gel packets stuffed into my shorts

Three bottles in my jersey pockets with powder mix NO WATER yet

Beginning of Hwy 39 climb

9 miles into the climb East Fork Turn Off

11.5 miles into the climb the road is closed

Nearest Mile Marker to the first gate

15 Miles into the climb 3,000 feet


Looking down

About 4,000 feet (1219 meters) elevation about 18,8 miles (30.3 kms) into the climb there is a stream. It has been really hot lately so I usually dunk my head in the icy cold water. It is very refreshing. Some folks drink from it.

About 21.2 Miles (34 kms)into the climb the 5000 ft (1524 meters) sign

Crystal Lake Turn Off if you read an earlier post you will recognize this as the destination point in that post. You may also recall it is a veritable ghost town.

About 27.8 miles junction to Angeles Crest Hwy

Destination Dawson Saddle 7901 ft (2408 meters) 33.3 miles (53.1 kms) of climbing.