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!

1 comment:

  1. Bravo !!!!! T'es un champion...
    La prochaine je la fais avec toi... ou pas ! ;)