Sunday, November 20, 2011
Grant, Chris, Jeff, Paul & Kari, Patrick & Brandi, Vince, Robert, Bryan, Katie & Thad, Lauren, Michael, Scott, Michael, George, Pete, and Dave Hagen and the FLC crew. If anyone has any feedback on the day I’d appreciate your thoughts. Considering the conditions, I think we managed pretty well, and I have received a lot of positive reaction from riders.
Vince & Bryan – I did not get a chance to see you at the end of the day, and I have some volunteer schwag for you both. Let me know how to get it to you – mail, coffee shop, bar, undisclosed corner in a brown paper bag, whatever.
Results are now up on the Ciclistas blog and posted at USAC. For those competing in the Four Corners Cyclocross Series, Dave will have the results included in next week’s update after the FLC race today.
‘Till next year, see you out on the road!
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Cold morning which is why it was good that it started out up hill, by the time I got to Pleasant View was feeling pretty good though never did take off arms and knees. At Pleasant View made the mistake of taking CR CC instead of BB. Turns out the pavement ends on CC about a mile prior to CR 10 and CR 10 is dirt between CR CC and CR BB. That said as dirt roads go it wasn't bad.
CR 10 (CO) and CR 413 (UT) was in reasonably good condition made even better by the by the lack of traffic, not a single vehicle passed me and only saw about 6 coming from the opposite direction. Essentially had the whole road to myself which is good because the view was spectacular and somewhat distracting particularly given that route at this point was mostly down hill and fairly fast. Once I hit 401 there was fresh Chip Seal though not the Colorado kind that leaves a lot of loose gravel all over the road.
Next route finding problem was at the intersection of 401 (though it is labeled as something else) and 407 where the signs indicates Cortez to left at 32 miles and Aneth 9 mile to the right road. Must of been tired because it took me awhile to realize that it was McElmo canyon. It may also have been because it did not look at all like the McElmo Canyon road I remember, it had a nice new layer of black chip seal.
UT 162/CO 41 to 160 is best described as rollers with a steady uphill trend. Surface in Utah was chip seal but with a wide shoulder, in Colorado the surface was a little smoother but had to share a narrow shoulder with a fair amount of vegetation. Once on 160 about 2 - 3 miles of old pavement and you hit the new stuff which was wonderful (and) fast though still had a pesky cross head wind. The nice thing is this wind turned into a nice tail to push me back to Cortez. Total time a little over eight hours, ride time a little more over seven hours.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Found Fred, Julie and Colin, with lots of hugs all around. Shower and 90 minute nap, and much was right with the world again.
|Michael & Colin - very happy campers after finishing PBP|
|Can you tell Fred and Julie are happy to be done?|
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Arrived back at the hotel in Fougeres and scarfed down more food. I was able to take food and water on the bike again, but made sure I stocked up at the van. Colin had not slept too much, but was well enough to press on to Paris unsupported, leaving Julie and Fred to support me. He was clearly stronger than me at this point, and waiting for me would not have done him any good. And I was fine with it as I could go at a slower pace without feelilng guilty! Turns out for most of the day I was matching Colin's pace anyway, as I was feeling so much better - the endurance training and also living at altitude were paying dividends today. My average speed increased, and though sub-60 was out of the question, it looked like sub-70 was still in the cards.
However, between Villaines-La-Juhel and Mortagne-au-Perche, the nausea started to creep back, and I couldn't eat much on the bike. I took advantage of the food and drink in the villages along the way, but it was soon clear that I was not over my cold. After Mortagne, I started to crash pretty hard, feeling sleepy and nauseous. About 11pm I was climbing through a dark forest with no moonlight, and it seemed like I was the only person on earth. At the top of the hill, there was a crossroads with a war monument, and a handful of cheery villagers were offering coffee, tea and biscuits - "Gratuit! Free!" I stopped for a cup of tea, and decided I really needed to be horizontal for a few minutes, so I took off my helmet and curled up in the shadow of the monument for 20 minutes of sleep. I had left my rear lights blinking, and someone kindly came over and turned them off. I imagine I looked like so many other riders that I had passed, lying comatose by the side of the road like so much PBP flotsam and jetsam.
I got up feeling better, but it was clear I wasn't going past Dreux tonight, despite wanting to finish sub-70. I reminded myself that Goal #2 was to have fun and get the most out of the PBP experience - and those last 40 miles in the middle of the night, feeling sick, were going to be miserable and not accomplish anything, certainly not Goal #2. And right after I had made up my mind to sleep in Dreux, I got out of the saddle to strech my back, and the extra effort put the nausea over the edge - I quickly had to skid over to the side of the road, dismount, prop my self over the bike, and wretch for 10 minutes. Definitely sleeping in Dreux.
Made my way as best I could to the control where Fred and Julie were waiting. After all my good time earlier in the day, this last leg was desperately slow. Got a change of clothes, and told Fred and Julie to go to the hotel at the finish to sleep (Colin had arrived just a couple of hours earlier, finishing in 66 hours or so) and meet me there tomorrow morning. And literally seconds after they left, as I was walking into the gym/dormitory, I had to wretch again. The attendant was very nice and sent one of the staff EMTs to look after me. They had a full infirmary set up to deal with all kinds of physical problems, mostly saddle sores, and they had a few cots set aside there, so I got a 'private ward' instead of the huge dormitory, which looked like a scene from Alien, with cocoons of snoring cyclists stretching away into the gloom.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
We set out a little afer 2am, and joined a throng of red lights making their way west. It's hard to tell at night, but it seemed that Loudeac to Carhaix was very hilly. Good time to Carhaix, where we found Fred and Julie by the blinking red glow-lights they attached to the flag pole. Throat did not feel good, but the body was holding up, so I still had hope.
There was no rain, but soon after Carhaix, climbing the coastal hills toward Brest, we encountered a mist/fog so thick and persistent it soaked us as well as any rain would. That may have been the last straw, as I started to feel pretty poorly with the cold coming on and the lack of sleep. About 17 miles from Brest, we stopped to call Julie and let her know we'd probably be needing 20 or 30 mins of sleep in the van. Despite how we were feeling, we made Brest is good time, a cumulative 29hr20mins, pretty much right on track to break 60 hours.
|Support van in Brest - don't know if we're coming or going|
At this point, I could not stomach much food or liquid on the bike, and that's simply a death spiral for endurance riding. I would eat and drink as much as I could at the support points, and force down small quantities on the road, but it's a loosing caloric battle. Caught back up with Colin at Loudeac, and as well as support food, we had some pasta and soup provided at the official control. At this point, Colin was recovering well from the lack of sleep, but my cold was getting worse. Luckily, many of the villages we passed through set up big tents and sold all kinds of local foods to the riders, so I was able to stop a couple times for nutrition.
At Tinteneac, I made the decision to call it a day. We had a hotel at Fougeres for the night, but I decided I needed some real sleep to kick the cold - so Colin rode to Fougeres while I took the van. Hopefully I would sleep well and wake up refreshed, go back to Tinteneac, then pick up Colin in Fougeres, and we'd be off. But in trying to take my electrolytes and other supplements, the gag reflex kicked in, and suddenly I was emptying what was left in my stomach in the hotel sink. It was going to be a long final 3rd of PBP.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
So Julie and Fred were providing support for Colin and me. They had a minivan loaded with supplies, registered and labeled as an official support vehicle. In PBP, because of the large number of riders, you are allowed to provide support within 5km either side of the control point. We decided that we wanted to have all our support before the controls, not after. And we had heard that it can be pretty chaotic, so we wanted to be a few km out, not right close in. To help identify the van, we heard that a distinctive flag was they key, so Fred took a Colorado state flag and adorned it with some PBP flair. He turned the central "C" of the flag into a coat of arms, with "Partager La Route" (Share the Road) inscribed in the "C", and a pair of spear-wielding marmots on either side. It was destinctive to say the least, and got many stares and comments from cyclists as they rode by.
|Support van with infamous flag|
Somehow, Colin ended up in a ditch between Villaines-la-Juhel and Fougeres. We're not sure how it happened, but he overlapped wheels with me, I moved to follow the wheel in front of me, and he went down on the chip seal (yes, they have chip seal in France, too). Luckily it was still very wet, and he slid quickly into the grass, but not without a nice hole in the knee and road rash on his hip. The Frenchman we were riding with stopped and helped us back up, and the three of us continued on to Fougeres.
Apart from that, the rest of the day was fast and we arrived in Loudeac ahead of plan, about 9:30pm That's 280 miles in 16.5 hours. It was a great start for us, despite Colin's crash, and now it was necessary to get a few hours sleep in preparation for Day 2. We had a good hotel near the course, which catered to PBP riders by setting aside a conference room for all the bikes. Shower, recovery drink and a bite to eat, and it was lights out for another middle of the night wakeup call.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
As for me, I definitely saw the woman stamp mine and write 11hr and some number of minutes (eyes not working so well at that point). So my final time will be 78 hours and change.
Right now we've arrived in Nice, where it is a pleasant 75* at 11pm. Five days of r & r on the shores of the Mediterranean, maybe day trips to Monaco and Italy. The bike is securely packed away in the basement of a Paris hotel.
Further updates on the ride tomorrow...
Friday, August 26, 2011
This is the group Colin and I chose, mainly because the start time is similar to many of the rides we do here in the US, that start in the wee hours of the morning - so it was familiar territory. Riders are sent off in pelotons of 300 at a time, 10 minutes apart. Colin and I decided that we wanted to be in the first or second group to leave, so we figured we had to get there about 4am. A 2:15 wakeup call had us at the Gymnase des Droits de l'Homme at 3:50 and we were with the first 50 riders. Perfect.
|The first riders arrive for the 5am 84 Hour start|
Eventually, I looked around and counted about 25 or 30 lead riders, and we had left the rest behind. I was being careful monitoring my heart rate to make sure I didn't start too fast, which has been my downfall in the past, but also I had been practicing faster starts. Hit my pre-set limit a couple times on some of the longer rises, but not for long, and the pace felt really comfortable. I saw Colin take his turn on the front for a while, and thought that I'd like to do that too. Made my way up and eventually the last rider ahead of me pulled off at the end of his turn, and here I was, behind the motorcycles, leading our start group's peloton through the French countryside in one of the oldest bike races around. It was a pretty sureal feeling.
As dawn broke, we could start reading the jerseys of our fellow riders, and we had a nice diverse group. Prominent was a group of 4 or 5 Austrians in their country's special randonneur jersey, a similar number of Germans, at least one Brit and a Dutch, a handful of Italians, and many French and probably a Belgian or two. Colin and I represented Randonneurs USA.
As you can see from the data at the first checkpoint, we rode pretty fast, 30kmh for the first 200km+ (that's 18.5mph for the first 137 miles for the imperially-minded). In fact, at 100 miles, I saw our time was 4:58 - my first sub-5 hour century. But in a large group with no long or even steep hills, it felt easy. And that average includes a 5 minute resupply stop at 80 miles.
OK, gotta go have dinner and catch the highlights at the Louvre this evening, will continue later...
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Anyway, it turned into an epic which I shall detail in the next day or two. It started perfectly with the first day going to plan. What was not in the plan was getting no sleep the first night and catching cold at the same time. So that put the sub-60 out of reach, but sub-70 was still possible after I thought I had recovered on the morning of day 3. That was not the case, it caught back up to me that evening. Stayed an extra unplanned night at the last control point before riding in this morning in 78 hours and change.
I'm a little upset at not riding the fastest I could, but I'm very excited to have finished despite the obstacles. Finding ways to overcome the problems along the way is what randonneuring is all about, and I did that in spades. Hope to have some time to begin recounting the details tomorrow...
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
The Death Ride was event #2 in RMCC's Triple Crown Challenge Series. My primary goal was to break 15hrs, with a best-possible-outcome of 14:30. Also, I was riding the event with a crew for the first time, and this was to be practice for PBP in August.
The 2am start in Ridgway saw 4 no-shows. So the rest of us headed off to Ouray with the temperature in the 50s, hoping that Red Mountain Pass was also warm. I started out too fast with the front 2 guys, and when my HR monitor told me I was overdoing it, I backed off, settling in to a comfortable 3rd place up to the pass. The summit saw temps in the low 40s, much better than last year's sub-freezing temps.
The first checkpoint at Silverton was swift, and so were the climbs up Molas and Coal Bank, with dawn arriving about the top of Molas. In to Durango at 3h10m, so already had a good jump on my goal. Finally was able to ride Durango Hill with no problems unlike previous years when there was always something affecting me. Made it to Dolores before 10am. Not only was I slowly catching up to 2nd place, but my times were well ahead of last year. Strong ride to Rico where I chatted briefly with Andre (2nd) before he left - but I had him in my sights!
Grabbed vest and arm warmers for the looming thunder showers, and took off after Andre. That long drag to the Dunton road was perfect as I could see that I was gaining. Passed him just after the Dunton road and felt really strong up the steep part of the canyon towards Lizard Head.
Just as the road begins to shallow out after the trailheads up there, disaster struck. Within 20 strokes, the left side of my right knee, where the quad muscle attaches on the inside of the leg, gave out, and I couldn't apply any pressure to the pedals. Same thing happened to my left knee during the Last Chance 1200k last September. By the time I reached the summit, I was cold and had to put on my vest, and Andre passed me there. I got colder still as I couldn't do any work to stay warm, and the thunder showers soaked me through.
Got down to Telluride Junction shivering, and sat in the car with the heater on full blast for about 15 mins. The goal went from 2nd place and possibly breaking 14hrs, to surviving, trying to hold on to break 15. Took 3 ibuprofin and 2 aspirin and put on all the clothes I had for the wet descent to Placerville with temps in the 50s. By the time I hit Saw Pit, the drugs had kicked in and I could pedal again. So at least I knew I'd make my original goal. Arrived at the top of Dallas Divide with my jacket around my waist, still wearing leg warmers and neoprene booties while the temp had climbed to 83*!
Kept the leg warmers to protect the knees, but otherwise stripped down for the blazing descent to Ridgway. Finished with a time of 14:33, while Andre in 2nd was 13:39! So while I'm psyched with my time, I know I was on track for sub-14hrs. First place, by the way, was 12:29.
|Happy to be done in Ridgway!|
A big thanks to Fred for crewing, what a difference that makes. Perfect practice for PBP.
Monday, June 13, 2011
The start was at the park-and-ride off of C-470 in Littleton at 4am. The climbing starts immeidately, covering 7000' in the first 50 miles to Kenosha Pass. I told myself to take it easy to start, and I did for a while, but I was feeling really good. 2nd in to the checkpoint at Conifer, and 2nd at Kenosha Pass. (1st place was long gone, he was trying for sub-10 hours). The next 60 miles through South Park to Buena Vista were tough - two smaller passes and strong headwinds the whole way. I was wishing I had gone a little slower just to ride this section with some other riders. Dropped to 3rd when I had to get some water in Fairplay, and maintained that position to the check point in Buena Vista.
Then I slowly started to run out of gas. At least there was a tailwind up the Arkansas valley, and I traded pulls with Steve until the Rte 82 turnoff to Twin Lakes. Really bad westerly headwinds off the lakes nearly stopped me in my tracks, and unfortunately I had to let Steve go. Needed to regroup at the Twin Lakes checkpoint.
Again I was overtaken for 4th place by the day's 2nd place women's finisher. She had just been clipped on the helmet by a camper's wing mirror! Thankfully she stayed upright, but the camper did not stop, and she was rightfully both shaken and extremely pissed off. She stormed out of Twin Lakes and went on to finish 4th, a half hour faster than me.
I'd had enough of Perpetuem, so after a Mountain Dew and Hostess Cupcakes, the endurance fuel of champions, I headed for Independence Pass. I was not feeling good, but recovered on the long rollers to the base of the pass, and found to my surprise that I was enjoying the climb. Alternating headwind and tailwind depending on which switchback you were on, but a really nice steady climb, topping out over 12,000'!
|Final break at Independence Pass|
30 downhill miles to the finish at the Woody Creek Tavern, one of Hunter S. Thompson's former hang-outs. Final time of 12:49, 5th place, and first in my age group. And the back felt strong!
OK, that's two 5ths in a row - time to step up a spot or two at the Death Ride, the next round in the Colorado Triple Crown series on July 3rd!
1. Mark Lowe 10h 4min
2. Andrea Koenig 11h 39min
3. Steve Rudolph 12h 5min
4. Diane Benoit 12h 17min
5. Michael Henderson 12h 49min
Thursday, June 9, 2011
I’ve been busy with training, racing and other events, and will be through the July 4th weekend. But that doesn’t mean you all can’t get together for the usual Sunday ride! I’ll try to join in when I can, I think I can make it June 19th.
Anyway, I’ve added the 9am Sunday Ride to the calendar on the blog through the summer. Feel free to use the e-mail list to set up any rides you wish, including Sundays.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
After 54 miles is where the race is decided - over the next 18 miles you have a huge Cat 2 ascent, a descent, then the final Cat 4 climb to the line. We got to the base in good position (front 1/3 of the peloton), Vince attacked with the lead group, and I adopted my usual "dial-it-back-and-reel-'em-in" pace. I passed EB and the other DWC boys, and felt really good. It flattens a bit near the top, and I had the power to keep cranking with a couple other guys. I left them on the last incline to the top, but I could hear EB's distinctive cough behind me. We traded pulls on the descent, pulling away from a couple more riders. EB slowly distanced me on the last climb by 30s, but I crossed the line in 30th with another personal best, 3h48m, only 14m off the winning time. Vince put in a strong ride, finishing 19th, 9m down.
Overall, a good showing - Vince ended GC in 21st, and I jumped 10 spots to 36th. I think we did Ciclistas, Montezuma County, and Scotland proud!
Saturday, April 30, 2011
DAY 1 - Inner Loop Road Race.
This race starts with a 10 mile long Cat 3 climb, and I have never made it over the top with the lead peleton. Same this year, but closest I've ever been - maybe 1/2k. That 1/2k makes all the difference, though, as the peleton disappears on the ensuing descent.
Vince made it over, and ended up 24th with Eric Burris from DWC. I hooked up with a group of 5, left them behind on the final climb, and came in 47th, about 28mins down. Still, my fastest time for this course, 3hr23m.
DAY 2 - Tyrone Time Trial
Can you say windy? As in ~40mph with gusts. Very scary during warm-ups, but I felt comfortable on the course. Stayed in the aero bars the whole time except the climbs, passing a lot of people who were having a hard time in the wind. Again, my best time, 48:59 for 16.5mi, 34th. Vince came in about a minute down. Overall, Vince dropped 2 spots to 26th, I gained 3 to 44th.
DAY 3 - Downtown Criterium
15 laps of a 1.1mi course with a kicker hill on the backside and an uphill finishing drag. I have never finished this crit before, always getting lapped and losing time. Not this year, though! Finished in the lead peleton - psyched! Eric B top 20, Vince 20s back. No change in GC.
One more day to go, 72mi 'Gila Monster' - always a fun time.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Kristin McGrath, riding for the US National Team, 10th
Carmen Mcnellis Small, riding for TIBCO, 19th
Way to go!
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
Sunday should be ok for a ride. A few of us are doing various rides on Saturday, so Sunday will be at recovery/base pace. If you haven't ridden yet this season, it'll be a good way to ease into it.
If anyone cares to join me, I think I'll be doing hill repeats on Saturday. Reply if you want to join in, we can make a plan.
Otherwise, 11am, Park de Vida, Sunday.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
On Feb 25, 2011, at 9:40 PM, Michael Henderson wrote:
> Hola Ciclistas,
> Well, we've dodged the bullet so far - two days of predicted snow and the roads were still clear to commute today. Try for a Sunday ride, see if our luck holds out. 11am, Park de Vida north lot. Cold I can handle, wind I'd rather not, snow is a deal-killer.
> Ciclistas del Rio
Friday, February 25, 2011
Well, we've dodged the bullet so far - two days of predicted snow and the roads were still clear to commute today. Try for a Sunday ride, see if our luck holds out. 11am, Park de Vida north lot. Cold I can handle, wind I'd rather not, snow is a deal-killer.
Ciclistas del Rio
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
She is now a pro with HTC-Highroad. Check out the article from the first day of the Women's Tour of New Zealand, where HTC dominated and Ally spoke for the team:
Way to go Ally!
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
How about some base miles on Saturday? Assuming of course that it has dried out by the end of today, which it looks to be doing. Cortez to Mesa Verde, or Mancos, or whatever.
Please let me know by reply e-mail – I was thinking 11am Park de Vida north lot.