Archive for June, 2008

Four 6’s and a Taste of Death Ride

| June 29, 2008 6:22 pm

by Franz Kelsch

I didn’t try to get into the Death Ride this year but was planning to do the Climb to Kaiser. With the high fuel costs and other things I lost interest in doing CTK and decided to try to do something equivalent with a club ride. There was a long distance training ride posted for Saturday, June 28th, led by Dave Zajac, that looked just right. ACTC is special amongst bike clubs because of the weekly rides that are often over 100 miles with a lot of climbing.

The group met at the Park N Ride in Los Gatos for a 7:30 start.  Brian C. grabbed a quick picture before we departed.


I moved out to the front for the gradual ascent along highway 9 from the parking lot. Suddenly David H. went whizzing by. So fast so soon? I pushed on and was able to catch him as the road leveled off and where his pace also leveled off. But that was enough to leave the rest of the riders behind so the two of us rode together until Russ S. met up with us on Foothill. The three of us climbed Page Mill for our first climb of the day. After reaching the top of Page Mill, David went his own way so Russ and I rode together for the rest of the ride.

When my family lived in Japan we noticed that they never sold things like tableware in groups of four but always in groups of five. We later learned why. In Japan the numbers 4 and 9 are considered unlucky. The number four is pronounced “Shi“. The word for death in Japanese is “Shin“, which sounds similar. So the thought came to me if I wanted something like the Death Ride we needed to do four of something and what better thing to do than climb four billy goats that had a rating of “6”, the most difficult rating. Page Mill is only rated a “5” so that would not count towards this goal.

Our first two rating “6” climbs were on the route, Jamison Creek followed by Alba. Jamison Creek was no problem but when we hit Alba that was a different story. I had brought my bike with a double crank and the climb up Alba with a 39/27 was killing me (appropriate for our taste of death ride). After descending back down Jamison Creek, we did the climb up China Grade. That gave us three “6’s”. At the beginning of the ride I had thought about doing Bolhman at the end to get the climbing on the ride that would be similar to doing the Death Ride. But the climb up  Alba gave me second thoughts. I have climbed Bolhman before with my double but that was when I was  a bit more fresh. Russ and I discussed it and each was hoping the other would bring some reason into the decision. So we took the easy way out (if there is such a thing on such a ride) and climbed Sanborn for our fourth “6” rated billy goat. I think that is the first time for me to do four “6’s” on one ride. I am sure others in the club may have done even more.

I ended up with 113 miles and 12,500 feet of climbing. The Death Ride is about 12 miles longer and another 2,000 feet of climbing so I would call this a taste of death ride. No drive to Markleville was needed and no entry fee required. Where else, other than ACTC, can you do such a club ride?

This shows the profile for the ride and the 6 billy goats we did.  Click to enlarge.

Terrible Two Report

| June 24, 2008 6:47 am

by Jeffrey Urnes

The short story (mine)  I finished right at 10 pm,  the last “I did it” rider this year.

I did not feel bad at all during the ride, accept for severe “hot foot” climbing the Geysers.  This was do primarily to having  new orthodics in my shoes.

I did the first 100 miles in 7 hrs 03 minutes.  Left the lunch stop at 1330 hrs

I figured (correctly) that it would take me about three hours to get to Camp Gualala, and I arrived right at 1630.  I stopped before Gualala for about 10 minutes to render medical aid to a rider who fell and was injured.

The section from lunch to Gualala was very tough.  I did not feel bad or over-heated, but I either need to get stronger or a lower gear or two if I want to do this event again (questionable!).

I was gaining ground passing riders the rest of the way in.

Ft. Ross in at 1840, out at  1900
Monte Rio in at 2043 out at 2100
Finish at 2204 hrs  NOTE:  I had told myself that if I was within 10 minute of the “official” finish time that I would appeal the finish time to allow for my stop to render medical aid.  The event organizers saw it my way and marked my finish time as 2200 hrs.

Terrible Two – 2008

| June 23, 2008 3:56 pm

by Deborah Hoag

My goal for the year was to complete the stage race (the three hardest doubles). I had completed Muholland (the first one) when there was more than a 40 percent DNF. I then went on to complete Central Coast, and I had a great ride. But, I knew going into the Terrible Two, this double will be the breaker. I knew my weak points on this ride. The heat would add time and the last 17 miles I would be a struggle. I was prepared to deal with last 17 miles, I knew I needed to focus and push through it. And I needed every minute. Breaks would be 5 to 7 minutes, lunch would be under 20 minutes.

After training since Oct 2007, I was as ready as I could be. We had been checking the weather all week. The weather Gods said the temperatures would be around 80 to 90 degrees. However, that evening we heard there would be very high temperatures on Saturday. The morning started great, we left early to the ride start. What happen next, we realize we had made a big mistake by not driving to the ride start the night before. David and I could not found the ride start (the road to turn on to the school). The start time was 5:30. We left the hotel at 4:50. It should have taken us 15 minutes to get to the ride start. We finally found the start location at 5:45. We finally rolled at 5:55 AM. We missed the mass start.

I was willing to take the chance to DNF. A no show was not in the cards. I chose to ride. I knew I need every minute and the heat was going to be bad. But, I needed to take the chance. I focused and rode very hard. I did not waste any energy on thinking about the late start. I was just surprise; this was last thing I expected. I passed 3 people on the first climb (Trinity). I was counting them down. We hit the first rest stop 2 minutes before closing time. We missed the first rest stop, which took us a few times to find it. David and I had a great ride out to the Geysers, I was on and working hard. The last two weekends of training rides before TT, I tone down my drive. It was great I could turn it on when I needed to. By the Geysers, I had passed 15 people. However, on the Geysers it was very hot (107 degrees). Geysers is like climbing several Los Trancos in a row. When I reached the top at 12:15 PM, I knew I was not going to meet the lunch cut off time of 1:45. The year I finished TT I hit the Geysers at 11:30 and the heat was not an issue then. With a 12:15 time, I backed off and enjoyed the ride. I realize the pain was going to end early today. We reached lunch at 2:10. I may have gotten in at 2 PM, if I focused and rode hard. I had completed 110 miles in 8 hours with 14 minutes off the bike. But, between the late start and the heat, TT was not going to happen this year.

We had a great ride back with 4 other cyclists from lunch. So, we did 150 miles, and saw some very pretty country. Well, I am checking out fixed gears (Pake a screaming green). I want to have fun for the rest of the year. Next year the Stage race? And four of the hardest doubles? TT is what makes the stage race. Next year TT?????