Sunday, July 11, 2010

Death Ride: done!

Death Ride 2010

I arrived on Thursday night at the campground. After a long and restful night, I had the entire Friday to relax and warm up for the big day on Saturday.

First I decided to go for a quick mountain bike ride at the Kirkwood ski resort to get used to the elevation. The entire death ride takes place at 7000+ feet.
Mountain Bike warm up (7 miles and 1000 feet elevation)

Then, I went to the Death Ride starting point to pick up my rider package.

The carbs diet started at lunch time with my 2 day food ration of tuna pasta (thank you Mai Ly :)

After a short nap, I decided to go for another short bike ride. Cellular reception is the new water, I had to bike 6 miles to make a phone call.

Road Bike warm up

After this day, I took a bath... in the lake. There was of course no shower at the campground. Pretty nice bathroom I must admit though.

Then, I set up my bike and all my gears for the next day. 1553 was going to be my number for this long day.

I took another load of carbs (thank you Mai Ly :), set my alarm for 3:30am and went straight to bed. Unfortunately, someone in the campground had decided to have friends over for a bbq until late in the night. I was not able to sleep until midnight. 3:30... that was a short night.

3:30am. It is still dark outside. I take my breakfast in the dark. There would be a bear next to me I would not know. Time to hit the road to get to the starting line.

At 5:00am I am all set. The good news is that it is not too cold and I don't have to bring layers of clothes I would have to throw away later. I had brought ski socks with holes for the pedals clips.

At 5:02, I start. It is still dark but the sun is rising on the mountains.

I felt great on the first pass. I was passing most of the crowd. Second pass was harder but I still felt ok. I took my first break there: restroom, 2 bananas, 1 orange and back on the saddle.

The thrid climb was steeper. I stopped on the top and ate an entire fruit basket. I did not check the distance going down and over heard somebody saying that it was 4 miles. It was about a mile more, endless I am telling you. I did not stop on the top and went straight downhill.

Back in the valley I had 60+ miles on the counter. I was half way with one last pass to go. Far far away. I stopped for another fruit basket and decided to pursue and skip lunch. I was ahead of the main wave and wanted it to stay that way. Going downhill in a peloton is no fun and dangerous.

When I said the fourth pass was endless, I am telling you, the fifth was beyond endless. It was so far away and so hot. Moreover, the last pass is not close to traffic... I slowly made it up to the fifth pass, got my complementary ice cream and went back on the saddle. 20+ miles of downhill and pseudo flat and I was done. My legs were back (of course it was downhill!) and I rode at a speed up to 45mph. I was flying, last few miles and I was done!

3:30pm, 10 hours and 30mn after the start and after 9h and 20mn of biking I was back to where I parked the car.

Elapsed Time: 10:33:00
Moving Time: 09:23:31
Resting Time: 01:09:29

I made it in less that 11h rest included which was my goal. Given that I had never ridden more than half of this I am pretty happy of the result. Worth mentioning also, this is a beautiful ride, even though I did not enjoy the landscape too much, counting every yards staring at my gps :)

Take away's for next year:
1. Camp on the road next to the starting line to save 1h30 of precious sleep and enjoy the activities around the event.
2. Include longer rides in my training. Past 60 miles, I was in the unknown. I did not know what I could expect from my body. I still thing that mental is really important, pace yourself, go slow but never give up.

I want to say thank you to all of you who made a donation to Livestrong to support my ride. For ten and a half hour, I knew I was not allowed to give up, it forced me to keep going. Thank you!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

J - 3

I am leaving tomorrow night for Lake Tahoe. I took Friday off to get acclimated with the elevation. I start realizing how long this ride is going to be...

It is not too late to make a donation to LiveStrong if you haven't yet.

I will post my result on Sunday night when I will be back online.

Wish me luck :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

20 days left

Pretty active week end. Maybe not enough biking... oh well... this should not be that hard right?

One climb up Mount Diablo on Saturday:
Distance: 23.2 mi
Elapsed Time: 02:12
Total Elevation Gain: 3,748 ft

Then on Sunday, a short MTB ride with quite a lot of elevation though:
Distance: 13.4 mi
Elapsed Time: 02:17:56
Total Elevation Gain: 4,502 ft

And not sure it will help in any way but of course a bunch of kitesurfing sessions. Much more fun than climbing a hill on a bike:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

So long...

Hi everyone, finally some updates from the front.

On the food front:

Home made snapper:

Cheese fondue (merci Cathy et Eric):

Sardines, finally! I had been dreaming about it for a while but now we have a garden and bbq this is finally possible.

On the training front:

Mount diablo with Arbi:

And some other rides as well but not as beautiful...

56 days left!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday ride around San Francisco
Distance: 21.6 mi
Moving Time: 01:25:31
Resting Time: 00:15:20
Total Elevation Gain: 1,989 ft

It is so great to work in San Francisco. I feel like I have two days within a single one. To celebrate the beginning of the week end, I decided to go for a ride around our great city.

Starting with the usual Twin Peaks. I confirm, 17th st is a really hard (but short) climb. The view is beautiful as always.

Next step is ocean beach after crossing the Golden Gate park.
The view from the Lincoln Park.

And then, me, kind of lost in this small park. I ended up off trail with my road bike.

The view from the Palace of the Legion of Honnor. This place almost makes me want to play golf...And finally, a quick picture of this amazing neighborhood on the sea cliff. Houses must each be worth tens of millions of dollars ... but it is stealing, it's foggy there :)

Enjoy your week end. On our side, it is time to pack since we are moving out next week (moving in date is not clear yet).

Monday, April 5, 2010

Up and down Twin peaks

Since I now work essentially from the San Francisco office (yeah \o/) I have a lot of spare time I did not use to have. After work, I decided to go for a small ride on Twin Peaks. If you want a short city challenge, go up 17th from market. Your legs will love it.

So, I parked on Beaver st (which will become an important street for us if everything goes well) and I went up and down twin peaks for the east side to the west side, I think 4 times. Beautiful view as usual:
  • Distance: 12.3 mi
  • Moving Time: 00:55:21
  • Resting Time: 00:05:20
  • Total Elevation Gain: 2,030ft
A nice sunset on the twin peaks antenna. Of course almost no cellphone reception. AT&T is first on my list of company I admire the less (weather forecast guys are second as you know)

And last night's food :)
Goat cheese tartines, green salad and tuna gratin. Yummy!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Less than 100 days left!

Time flies by. There is less than a 100 days left before the D day. I have to stop doing flat rides and practice my climbing if I want to finish that ride.
With that in mind, I went up mount Tam yesterday. The forecast as usual in San Francisco was wrong. It was supposed to be cloudy and it was absolutely beautiful.
I think they should just give up on trying to foresee the weather in the bay area. Their models are not even correct 2 hours ahead... I think the website should display "Not a clue" when you ask for next day's forecast and "look outside your window" for today's weather. That would surely be more accurate. If you think about it, one would fail that much on predictions in a financial institution, one would not stay long. Anyway... the pattern "sunny everyday, foggy in SF, windy after 2pm NNW" is coming back soon so it will become easier for these poor guys.

Coming back to Mount Tam, here are a few pictures:

As you can see, pretty bad weather!

On the top, I met a guy who had done the Death Ride a couple of times and he gave me some good advices, like don't be competitive, just keep your own pace. Good advice! Also, weather can be 90F and then pouring rain an hour later (imagine how lost our poor guys from the weather forecast would be...).

Ok, now is time to go home. SF is on the horizon, where the car is parked. 40mph downhill. Life is great!
Distance: 43.1 mi
Moving Time: 02:47:51
Resting Time: 00:15:59
Total Elevation Gain: 5,616 ft (one third of the death ride...)

Happy week end everybody. Thanks to all of you who have already donated.