Cycling Camps San Diego – CCSD

I will be heading out to the Mammoth Lakes High Altitude Endurance Training Camp this weekend. ¬†The good folks at Cycling Camps San Diego are putting on a camp with full SAG support, mechanical support and coaching. ¬†Some of the best climbs (longest and hardest) in the world are in California. ¬†Using John Summerson’s books as a reference, I tackled the Ten Toughest Climbs in California¬†(more climbs here).¬†¬†¬†These California climbs are so tough that five of those climbs rank in the nation’s top ten toughest climbs. ¬† ¬†Come join me beginning this Thursday for a fully supported cycling camp. ¬†Email me if you are interested

details can be found here

Mammoth Lakes High Altitude Endurance Training Camp (Register)
Tackle the climbs of the Eastern Sierras: Rock Creek, White Mountain & South Lake. Perfect training for those considering Everest Challenge, Furnace Creek 508 or other long endurance or multi day rides.

New Athletes $499 + reg fee / Returning Athletes $449 + reg fee
Hotel/Condo    ~$250*
Roundtrip Flight ~$400*
Bike Transport ~$150*
Cash (in hand) ~$200*
Estimated Total ~$1,499*
*Costs for these items are approximate.

  • Camp fee includes SAG support, mechanical assistance, unlimited energy drink, energy gels and bars, handouts, talks, and coaching.
  • Hotel rate is based on having a roommate and spending 4 nights‚ÄĒincludes continental breakfast buffet each morning.
  • Flight price is based on roundtrip flight from NYC to San Diego International Airport/Lindbergh Field. Prices may vary. Please check airline cost for traveling with your bike.
  • Bike transport is an estimation of baggage charges for transport of bicycle on airplane.
  • Cash (in hand) is a high approximation of money you may spend on lunch, dinner, and snacks over 4 days of riding.

What a difference a day makes…

I rode two days in the Palomar Mountain area. ¬†Both days were lackluster but today was slightly better. ¬†Yesterday was such a shitty day I turned around and went home. ¬†I started in Escondido and climbed the lower portion of Palomar Mountain on Hwy 76 (approx 4.4 miles 1,500 gain) I couldn’t get myself motivated to climb the second half of the mountain. ¬†I was tired from the work week and I hadn’t had a good night’s rest. So I turned around yep, I DNF’d on a training ride ūüėČ ¬†It was still a 50 mile ride with almost 4,000 feet of gain which is a good enough ride for most people.

Today I started in a different part of Escondido and climbed all the way to the top of Palomar Mountain, albeit slowly.  I felt so much better today.  In fact, I even descended a couple of times to pick up my straggler.

Epic Training Tip: ¬†When the day isn’t going well go home, eat and rest. ¬†Your body is telling you something. ¬†Take care of it and go back the next day and try again. ¬†It’s ok to miss or quit on a training day to have a better training result on another day.

Living up in Orange County I haven’t been going to Palomar Mountain as frequently I used to when I lived in San Diego County, ¬†On a regular basis, typically once a week, I would make the 100 mile 10,000 feet of climbing round trip from Encinitas to the top of Palomar Mountain. ¬† Palomar is a great climb beginning in Pauma Valley about 1000 feet elevation topping out at 5,200 feet.

There is much debate as to how long and how much gain is attained on the climb. Most people time themselves from “store to store”. Which means from the Stage Stop and Liquor at the bottom to the Mother’s Market at the top. ¬†That distance is about 11.7 miles with about 4,200 feet of gain. ¬†Some like to time themselves from Harrah’s Casino which is understandable because it is the very bottom of the valley. ¬†The store is on the left hand side of Hwy 76 when you make the right turn onto Hwy 76 from Valley Center Rd. ¬†You can see it in the Google Satellite image I have included below.

March 15 not a good day (notice low normalized power)

March 16 a little better (notice much higher normalized power)

March 16 just the major climbs — 40 miles with 7400 feet gained

Alright and now for some good things to take away from these two uninspiring days. ¬† ¬†On Thursday when I made the right turn onto Hwy 76 I saw a rider alongside the road, just across the road from the Stage Stop store, wearing a Furnace Creek 508 jersey. ¬†I had to pull over and ask who he was. ¬†I asked “What’s your totem?” ¬†He knew who I was but I didn’t know him. ¬†He was David Nash¬†a two-man finisher from 2011 with my friend Steve “Desert Duck” Teal.

Later when I was about 3 miles from finishing my ride back in Escondido, I see someone flagging me down.  I pull over and start chatting with the gentleman pictured above.  Apparently, Roland has been reading my blog for about a year.  He recounted his progression from racing as a young man, coming to the states, having a family and now riding again.  He had just completed his first double century in Death Valley put on by AdventureCORPS.  Good work Roland I hope to see you at an event sometime and thank you for reading my blog.  You brightened up my day which was otherwise a total wash.

UPDATE  3/17/12

A question came in from one of my readers. ¬†He asked if my Performance Management Chart reflected the lack of motivation or over-training that I felt on Thursday March 15th. ¬†Well the graph above is from November 14 through March 15. ¬†You can see the pink line is the stress I put on my body and yellow line is how much rest or recovery I give my body– in layman’s terms. ¬†I don’t see anything unusual when compared to other times I have stressed my body more and still been able to put in a good training workout.

Thank you for reading my blog and please refer a friend.

Please consider AdventureCORPS in your 2012 ride calendar! ¬†I hope to see you “out there”

Crestline Climbing Day

I spent Thursday afternoon (010512) in the Crestline area visiting a friend.  I began my ride in Crestline and descended down Hwy 18 to San Bernadino.  I then climbed about 2 miles on Hwy 18 until I turned right onto Old Waterman Canyon Rd.  I had a really hard day of climbing. I never felt like I got in my groove.

Then to add insult to injury…Waterman Canyon Rd. was one steep bugger. ¬†I have been riding around Orange County on my 53/39 and 11-23 cassette because it is so flat and there I was struggling on 10-12% grades. ¬†I muscled my way up and it hurt.

Old Waterman Canyon Rd. Three miles and about 1,300 feet of gain for about an average grade of 8.2%

About three miles of pain and suffering and for what? ¬†Well it’s redeeming quality was it’s serenity. ¬†Just off the from the main road (Hwy 18), Waterman Canyon Rd had all the quaintness of a mountain road, quiet, tree lined and some times completely shaded because of the canopy created by its many trees branches ¬†There were a few houses along the road but mostly it was secluded.

I then continued on Hwy 18. ¬†The road was a little too narrow for my liking. Here are a couple of photos of the climb up Hwy 18. ¬†If the images are a little blurry please forgive me. ¬†I take the pictures with a point-and-shoot camera while I’m still riding.

Below is another photo of the climb on Hwy 18. ¬†Notice the road behind the bike as it curves up the mountain. ¬†The green sign you see to the left of the bike is the 4000 feet elevation sign. ¬†And yes I’m riding Sarah again. ¬†Sarah is a custom steel Serotta CSI bike from 1998 time frame. ¬†It is one of my all-time favorite bikes.

Running Springs was the final destination on this ride. ¬†Notice mile marker 29.70 on Hwy18. Next time I’m up in this area I would like to continue on to Big Bear.

                                         21.5 mile climb gaining 5,300 feet

And just for fun “COVER YOUR LOAD!”


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Week in Review December 5 – Dec 11, 2011

Week Four of Base Miles (Recovery Week)

Performance Management Chart last 28 days

Ending—Dura—–Dist—- Weight— HR— TSS—- kJ——1min—-5’w—-20’w— 60’w¬†


12/4—— 11:18—–207——-155——159—–529—-7167—-337—–279—-239—–204

11/27——8:39—–151——–155——-157—- 427—-4970—- 466—- 317—-211—-188

11/20——6:14——-99——-155——-154—- 292—-3458—- 468—- 286—-213—-180

This concludes my fourth week of a three-week build and one week recovery period.  This week the focus was on maintaining the fitness gained in weeks one, two and three.  I rode easy this week so that I would achieve full adaptation from week three.   While my hours and mileage were more than last week the intensity was still low.  You will notice a significant portion of my hours was spent in the Endurance Zone (lighter Green).

Notice in the graph above how week four has a significant portion of the overall training time in the lower two categories (Blue and lighter Green) My endurance zone is between 165-223 watts.  I feel comfortable riding at that intensity.

Above is a graph depicting hours ridden with Bars and mileage ridden by the Line.  The increase over the last four weeks has been moderate and consistent.

Above you will see how even though I did more mileage on my fourth week my IF (Intensity Factor) is much lower than any of the previous weeks. This type of building takes discipline and training with a purpose. My SRM Power Meter is the best tool for proper pacing.

Nutrition and rest are two very important components of a successful training program.  I use AminoPure after every workout.  It ensures I maintain good health as it boosts my immune system and helps me recover quicker.

I also increase my protein intake to ensure good muscle recovery for the next day’s training effort. ¬†Interphase from Sportquest has 34g of protein with only 190 calories. ¬†If I have been training really hard I make a smoothie before bedtime so I can sleep through the ¬†night.

I rode five straight days with no rest days for a total of 14 hours 24 minutes and 237 miles. A little more than three additional hours and 30 more miles than last week.  Training Stress Score was down from  529 to 516 and kilojoules was up from 7167 to 7577.  Remember the kilojoules is closely related to calories expended.  Notice how on the Performance Management Chart my Acute Training Load (stress over 7 days)  is up from  72.6 to 79.5 and the Chronic Training Load (stress over 42 days) was up from 39.2 to 47.9.  Two items of notable mention:

1.  A good 4.5 hour endurance ride in San Diego

2.  Followed by another good 3.5 hour endurance in San Diego

Just for fun how about these statistics for the last four weeks of training:

I rode 737 miles burned 24,000 calories,  43 1/2 hours and averaged just over 17 miles an hour.  

Thank you for reading my blog.  Please pass it to a friend!

Week in Review November 27- Dec 4, 2011

Week Three of Base Miles

Performance Management Chart last 28 days

Ending—Dura—–Dist—- Weight— HR— TSS—- kJ——1min—-5’w—-20’w— 60’w¬†

12/4—— 11:18—–207—– 155.0——- 159—-529—-7167—-337—–279—-239—–204

11/27——8:39—–151——155.0——-157—- 427—-4970—- 466—- 317—-211—-188

11/20——6:14——-99—–155.0——-154—- 292—-3458—- 468—- 286—-213—-180

This is the third week of a three week build period.  I will now have a recovery week.

I rode six straight days one rest day and then rode a seventh day for a total of 11 hours 18 minutes and 207 miles. A little more than two additional hours and 56 more miles than last week.  Training Stress Score was up from  427 to 529 and kilojoules was up from 4970 to 7167.  Remember the kilojoules is closely related to calories expended.  Notice how on the Performance Management Chart my Acute Training Load is up from 53.2 to 72.6 and the Chronic Training Load was up from 30.8 to 39.2.  Two items of notable mention:

1.  A good climbing ride Santiago Canyon, Silverado Canyon and Santiago Canyon

2.  A good climbing ride in North County San Diego Old Castle, Couser Canyon, Rice Canyon

113011 Wednesday ride Santiago Canyon Silverado Canyon and back Santiago Canyon

Twin Oaks, Old Castle, Couser Canyon, Rice Canyon Hwy 395

Garmin Download here

Week in Review November 20-26, 2011

Week Two of Base Miles

Performance Management Chart last 28 days

Ending—Dura—–Dist—- Weight— HR— TSS—- kJ——1min—-5’w—-20’w— 60’w¬†
11/27——8:39—–151—–155.0——-157—- 427—-4970—- 466—- 317—-211—-188
11/20——6:14——-99—–155.0——-154—- 292—-3458—- 468—- 286—-213—-180

I rode three days for a total of 8 hours 39 minutes and 151 miles. Two additional hours and 52 more miles than last week.  Training Stress Score was 427 and kilojoules 4970.  Two items of notable mention:

1.  Peak 5 minute wattage on the inside of Torrey Pines about a 10% grade.

2. ¬†Max wattage on a couple of “sprints” on Saturday’s Bike Religion shop ride Max of 1140 watts and then an additional sprint of 1082 watts.

The three rides were 40 miles, 45 miles and a 40 miles. I am slowing building my base and motivation to ride after almost a month and half off the bike.

112411 Thanksgiving Day--5 minute effort inside Torrey Pines 317 watts Normalized 355 watts

Bike Religion Shop Ride Map

Bike Religion Shop Ride Elevation Graph

112611 Bike Religion Shop Ride - Two Sprints 1140 watts and 1082 watts

Week in Review- November 14-19, 2011

My training for the 2012 season began this week.  I am easing back into training because I was off the bike about a month and a half after the Furnace Creek 508.

Ending–Duration—Distance—- Weight—- HR—TSS—- kJ— 1 min–5 min–20 min 60 min
11/20— 6:14:58—— 99.48—— 155.0—– 154— 292– 3458—- 468— 286—- 213—- 180

Above is a summary of my training week. ¬†I trained four consecutive days, a little over 6 hours, for about 100 miles, I weighed about 155 lbs (I’m up 5lbs in the off-season), Average Heart Rate 154 Beats per Minute, Training Stress Score 292, Kilojoules 3,458 (closely related to calories) average peak power numbers for 1 minute 468 watts, 5 minutes 286 watts, 20 minutes 213 watts and 1 hour 180 watts.

I did two easy workouts on flat terrain of an hour each. ¬† The goal first day was maintaining a 90 Rpm cadence. ¬†On day two the goal was 95 Rpm Cadence. Below is an image of day two — 95 Rpm.

Cadence Goal of 95 Rpm for the entire workout

I did two hill repeat workouts. ¬†The first day I did repeats on Newport Coast Dr. with the following variations: “First repeat two legs, Second ILT 50 strokes, Third ILT 75 strokes, Fourth two legs” ¬† The second workout was one ascent on each of the following hills Spyglass, San Joaquin, Newport Coast, Vista Ridge, Ridge Park, and Pelican Hill. ¬†Below is an image of day two of hill work which resulted in roughly 20 miles and 2,500 feet of gain.

Climbing section was 20 miles and 2,500 feet of gain

As my training progresses over the next couple of months the elevation gain and mileage will increase significantly.  I have to ease into my training for two reasons.  The first reason is being off the bike since October 9th and the second being the season is really long.  Staying focused from November until October is quite difficult.

Garmin Ride Files

Tuesday 11/15/11

Wednesday 11/16/11

Thursday 11/17/11

Friday 11/18/11

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Back to Back Centuries

Thursday 130 miles with 9,500 feet of climbing (9,000 in the first 50 miles) and Friday another 100 miles on the coast. On Thursday, I hitched a ride to Glendora with some friends. ¬†I climbed Glendora Mountain Road (GMR) descended and topped off my bottles at Camp Williams. ¬† I then cut across on East Fork and climbed from below 2,000 feet elevation to ¬†Dawson Saddle (7901 Elevation) on Hwy 39. My friends didn’t want to climb to Dawson Saddle so I “stranded” myself and I rode home from 84 miles away. ¬†I told my friends that they did not have to wait for me while I kept climbing and that they could go home.

A training note: ¬†This was a 400 mile week. ¬†One of the greatest challenges of riding that many miles is RECOVERY. ¬†Eating enough calories and protein to rebuild your muscles overnight is very important. ¬†Proper hydration during my ride on Thursday was very challenging because of the remote nature of the course (refer to this post on Dawson Saddle). ¬†I spent the rest of the day on Thursday re-hydrating so that I could be ready for Friday’s century. ¬†After Friday’s century I was still dehydrated because I only stopped once to fill my bottles and rode for six hours on four bottles.

Today- another 100 miles with sore legs.

and now for some fun…

Swiftwick Socks

From L to R: Heidi, George Vargas, Johnny, Geno and Chris

Camp Williams General Store- water spigot located at the base of tree to the right backside of Glendora Mountain Road or Little GMR as some call it.  

Dawson Saddle- the summit of a 35 mile climb from Duarte

George “Red-Eyed Vireo” Vargas summits Dawson Saddle

George “Red-Eyed Vireo” Vargas view from Crystal Lake (5200 feet) looking up.