Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rollers to Bonsall 200K - The Rehydration Ride

Arriving at the start around 6:30 AM on Sat July 18th and there were plenty of people getting prepared for our departure. Our newly fearless RBA, Dennis, gave us some last minute instructions, and off we went!

Riding our way through Mission Bay. Not much traffic, just getting settled in.

We made our way through Pacific Beach, then up through La Jolla and on our way to Miramar.

Typical Mira Mesa traffic

Entering Rancho Penasquitos

The budding metropolis of Olivenhein
Encinitas - it's starting to get warm out.

Carlsbad - getting warmer!!

On the way to Control #3 at mile 44.6, I got royally dropped on a climb to the Aspiration Learning Center. The guy was riding a beach cruiser, with a bucket of golf balls, and a few drivers in his rack. I wasn't simply passed on a hill, I was totally dropped - much like Alberto Contador can do to Mark Cavendish on a climb! Once he goes clear, I hear this high pitched whine! Oh, it's an electric assist bike!! Whew...

Cal State San Marcos.

The temps are starting to climb! I'm dumping as much water over my head and back as I'm drinking. It's easily approaching triple digits. For once, I feel really strong. In my previous rides, riding in the heat hasn't been good to me. Leaving Control #4 up over Jesmond Dene, it's extremely hot on the Dene climb. It's easily triple digits, it feels like I'm riding in an oven. I stay hydrated and dump some water over my head. Luckily, there's a slight headwind to help keep me cool.

Old Highway 395, alongside the 15 heading into Murietta Hot Springs


Taking a left off the 395 to head towards Bonsall.

I stopped under the 15 freeway bridge to chat with a couple of riders. They told me the temp on their bike computers was 106! I knew it was hot, but oh my!

Almost there!

Once again, I didn't get any photos of a Control. I'll have to remember next time. I'm thinking it was the heat and the fact that wearing a helmet is really just a grade or two below of just riding with a styrofoam cooler on my head.

Leaving Control #5 - very slow moving traffic on the 76.

Simulating what my vision looks like after riding in 106 temps!

San Luis Rey bike path. Plenty of headwinds to contend with, but it's way cooler.

Riding with Mike.

San Luis Rey River

5 freeway and beach traffic.

Leaving the bike path and riding past Oceanside Pier. Must be a 20 degree temperature drop.

After all day feeling like a hamburger under a heat lamp, the beach feels fantastic.
Leaving Oceanside, I rode through the coast towns of Leucadia, Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar. Probably not in that exact order! :)

Torrey Pines hill. The last hill of any significance on this brevet.

Torrey Pines didn't seem so bad this time. I'm pretty much toast by now, just doing whatever it takes to keep turning the pedals. I'll have to ride through La Jolla, then back through Pacific Beach.

Almost done! About 5 miles left.

Once again, I didn't take a photo of the final control! I'm blaming it on the heat! I'm done, that's for sure. I don't feel totally hammered like I have in the past and I think I have the reason why.

Post Ride Analysis

I'm an IT Professional, I have to analyze, it's part of my genetic code! :) When I first started riding brevets summer 2008, I used a rack and trunk bag to carry stuff I thought I needed. After a couple of DNFs, I had a couple of people tell me I was carrying too much stuff. I wore a camelbak too, great for hiking the Grand Canyon, not so good on a bike. Here's the analysis of my previous total riding weight:

Previous Config
Surly: 29 pounds
Rack/Trunk/Fuel: 5 pounds
CamelBak: 8 pounds (100 oz + weight of backpack)
2 waterbottles: ~2 pounds.
Rider: 203 pounds
  Total weight: 247 pounds going down the road!

New Config
Surly: 29 pounds
2 waterbottles: ~2 pounds
Rider: 196
Fuel: <1>
Total Weight: 228 pounds.
So, 19 pounds less! I lost another bike worth of weight, or to put it into perspective, I stopped riding a tandem alone! I think the main reason why the heat didn't bother me as much is I bought a rusa.org jersey. It's very thin compared to the jersey I used to wear and made a huge difference. Cycling has been a surpise for me body weight wise. Since I started commuting daily to work, 28 miles per day, I've gained 17 pounds since I used to run marathons. After the DNF on both the 400K and Loop 1 on the 1000K, I changed my diet to use fruits and veggies as my main source of carbs. I then heard about the Paleo Diet for Athletes, and gave that a read. Seems I've discovered that on my own. I does work to loose weight. I've not had any issues commuting daily and doing a brevet. So, time will tell to see how much weight a can drop. I do have a record of weighing 179 a few years ago. I'd flip if I could reach that once again. I also changed my ride day fueling too. I've read all about Hammer Nutritionals and their guide to fueling, but I must say, I've not had great results by following their directions. I like their gels and Heed, but Perpetuem eventually leaves me nauseaus. I had Perp with me, but by the time I got to Swami's I tossed what I had in the trash. I drank water for the rest of the ride. My pre-ride meal consisted of a regular egg muffin sandwich and and iced coffee within 30 mins of departure. Talk about jet fuel, I rode without any issue for almost 5 hours. I grabbed a similar snack at 7-11 too. I should have refueled in Bonsall, but I didn't feel like I needed to. Skipping the fuel made itself very evident once I got back to La Jolla and was riding to the finish. This was by far my best ride to date! I chopped off nearly 3 hours of my previous 200K time. I know brevets are not races, but it's nice to ride a 200K briskly. Thanks for all the help from Mike B, John M, Kelly D, Robert L, and George V on how to improve my riding! Also thanks to Dennis for his first Brevet. Great job!
Up next in Aug, 300K. I might stretch that out and try to break 200 miles in a single ride.