Archive for April, 2009

Devil Mountain Double

| April 27, 2009 12:18 pm

by Deborah Hoag

ACTC had a showing for Devil Mountain Double 2009, which included eleven riders; Art Cruz, Barry Schwartz, Barely Forsword, Peter MerillI, Jeff Urnes, Ken Emerson, Steve Saeedi, Udi Yuhjman, Man Fai Tam, Paul Ries, and Deborah Hoag, and four supporters Ben Waters, Ken Holloway, Rick McCaw, Brian Chun.

DMD is the first leg of the Stage Race (three hardest 200 milers) for 2009. DMD route starts in San Ramon and heads up Mt Diablo North, up Mt Diablo Summit and then descends down Mt Diablo South to Morgan Territory. From there the route heads up Patterson Pass, up Mines Rd, up the Back of Mt Hamilton, down Mt Hamilton, up Sierra Rd, up Calaveras, up Palomares and finally up Norris Canyon for 18,500 of climbing and 206 miles. We rolled at 5A with about 190 riders with cool temperatures and clear skies. I had a great Devil Mountain Double and had met the two cut offs (Mines Rd and the junction) with time to spare.

I had been the rabbit for Art all the way to the Junction. I reached the top of Mt Hamilton at 5:50P with my best time out of the three times on DMD. I was looking at 12:30 to 1A completing the ride. I usually love the Mt Hamilton descend on this part of the ride, because I know I am there. However, descending Mt Hamilton my lower back started spasming and I had a deep pain in my right shoulder from an injury in Feb. My lower back spams were from not spending enough time training on climbing for the last six months. My shoulder was an injury from loading 3 1/2 yards of dirty into a rise bed in Feb. I reached the Crothers rest stop and laid on my back and stretched for 20 minutes. I knew going into the ride that I had not spent enough time climbing. I had struggled with my training since November,

In January, I assigned up for DMD to force myself to train, but I struggled on all Long Distance Training Rides. In Sept of 2008, I had joined San Jose Bike Race Club to do their Winter Series to increase my speed on the flats and climbing. I had a great time and I was faster than I had ever been climbing. However, in November my biggest joy in my life was gone. What I thought was important was not important anymore. I had gain fifteen pounds, which I have not dropped. I thought I was not working hard on the training rides, so in January, I started wearing my heart rate monitor, and found out I was working hard. But, my times were slower. What I learned is there is different types of injuries. I had an injury, but it was not visible. Once I realized this and started wearing my heart rate monitor, which helped me to focus on my training and not be so frustrated. However, by February it was a little too late to start training for DMD. I went into DMD, knowing that I would finish, but my time would suffer.

After the Crothers rest stop, my back spams were gone, then I was on to Sierra. At mile 150, Sierra was a hard climb. By the time I reached the top of Sierra it was dark, but I was still looking at 1A finish time. So, it was on to Calaveras in the dark to the Sunol rest stop. Art and I left the rest stop together at 11:15P down Niles Canyon, and I could not hold a straight line. When we reached the Palomares turn off, I was so out of it that I geared up, instead of down. I climbed Palomares as if I was drunk. I was all over the road and could not think straight.

By the time I hit the Palomares descent, I thought of DNF, but I had already paid for the Central Coast Double and Mt Tam Double. And finally I saw the stop sign to get off of Palomares. And I was okay and I could hold a straight line again. After all of this climbing, then there is Norris Canyon to climb. The last 25 miles were a big struggle for me, and first 130 miles I had a great ride. I reached the finish a little after 2A. My recovery on this ride was surprising. My body felt pretty good the next day, but my mind was gone for the next few days. A week a later I was able to climb Mt Hamilton at a good pace. So, on to Central Coast Double. By Mt Tam, I thinking I should be in the same shape I was in 2008. I plan on doing the Winter Series in 2009.

All pictures are on top of Sierra.

Steve Saaedi & Ken Emerson

Steve Saaedi with goat

Steve Saaedi

Deborah Climbing Sierra

Ken Holloway & Deborah

Ken Holloway & Deborah

Deborah & Goat

Art Cruz

Deborah & Goat

Ken Emerson & Steve Saaedi

Ken Emerson

Art & Deborah getting ready for the descent

Tierra Bella Worker’s Ride 200K Plus

| April 11, 2009 8:22 pm

by Vince Cummings

I decided to make the Worker’s Ride my big training ride prior to  doing the Davis Double in one month.  I knew I needed to get an early start so I could have time for breaks and still finish 140 miles or so before the barbeque ended.  So I decided to start near Bernal Ave. at 4:00 am and ride to Los Animas Park to meet whoever was planning on doing the 200K route.

The alarm went off at 2:25 am.  I did have enough time for a cup of coffee and some breakfast and to put the air in my tires etc.  At 3:40 it was time to drive to Santa Teresa.  I got to Chantilly and Santa Teresa at 3:50 which gave me some time to put the bike together and lock up the car.  I was riding at exactly 4:00 am.

I had my ipod and a new light so I wasn’t too bad off for the 20 mile ride in the dark to the park.  Only one car passed me going south for the whole ride.  I was even able to ride away from the bike lane in the road to avoid all the flat tire causers that pile up in bike lanes near busy streets.  I thought I was moving pretty slowly but when I got to the park and checked my average speed it was 16.1 which surprised me since I was going more slowly than I would have in the daylight so I didn’t run into a skunk or something.

I haven’t been to Los Animas Park for a few years so I forgot where the parking area was and had to ride around the lawn of the park a few times before I saw a couple cars with racks on them.  John and Clyde were almost ready to go at 5:20 when I got there. It wasn’t that cold where I parked my car but by the time I got to Gilroy it was quite chilly and my feet hurt.  As I stood there talking to John and Clyde I noticed that I was starting to shiver as well. I was mighty happy when 5:40 rolled around and we were ready to take off.  At that point the ride leader pulled up but we were just too cold to sign in so we let Brian and John get ready and the four of us took off.

John, Clyde and a woman whose name I’m sorry to say  I was too preoccupied with the cold weather to ask for took off for the official ride start which is at Gavilan College.  Clyde knew some pretty cool back ways to the college which made for some fun night riding.  Once we hit the real route though I was in a hurry to get some miles in so I took off up the first hill.  The unknown lady kept up with me while John and Clyde hung back and saved some energy.

Once we hit Highway 152 I had an emergency that needed to be taken care of so I went ahead.  The emergency took about 20 minutes to take care of but I felt much better after.  For some reason my average speed was now down to 15.3 which is a little confusing.  I guess riding around the park and going a little slower with John and Clyde took eight tenths of a mile off.

Once I got back on Watsonville Road I felt a little sluggish.  So I had to push my heart rate to plus/minus 150 just to keep a decent pace.  Near Uvas Dam my speed started to pick up and I soon caught the three riders I originally started with.  My plan was to ride the 6 mile round trip off the 200K route to my car to eat some breakfast and take off the warm clothes I wore for the chilly morning.  I explained this to the other riders and pushed on to Bailey.  By the time I got to Santa Teresa I was banging out a decent pace.

It was  about 8:00 am and my odometer said I had ridden 51.7 miles. I didn’t feel at all guilty as I munched down an entire 1100 calorie Baja Fresh Shrimp Burrito. I knew I would need those 1100 calories for the next 100 miles.  I was finished with breakfast and changing clothes and ready to roll at 8:30 am.  My ipod was blasting the Stones and I was banging out a really good pace, still flirting with a 150 heart rate. I covered the miles on Santa Teresa to Morgan Hill much faster in the daylight than I had earlier in the dark.

The half hour breakfast break had a very nice unintended benefit in that the Anderson Rest Stop was just opening up when I got there.  I was able to stuff some food in and talked to Holly and Jeff for awhile.  The food was good and I ate quite a bit even though I had just had the big burrito.

Once again I took off and my pace continued to be satisfactory.  I hit Thomas Grade and my climbing legs were not great though.  On a scale of 1 to 10 I would say I was climbing at about a 5.5.   Henry Coe was a longer version of Thomas Grade and I struggled to push the 34/21 that I usually climb Henry Coe in.  Time wise my climb was good  but I think it took a lot out of me that I would pay for much later in the ride.

The flowers are just amazing after the late rains we had this year.  Everywhere along the route were fields of Calfornia poppies and purple flowers that I think are mostly lupine.  That is one thing that makes the Tierra Bella such a popular ride I’m sure.

I saw Rick McCaw coming down Henry Coe.  Then I saw Deb and Deb but they were focusing on the cattle grate and didn’t see me and flew on down the hill.  When I got to the headquarters Patrice, Peggy and Chuck Shultz were getting ready to leave.  It was so cold up there that I quickly decided to do the same.  The hills that interrupt the descent of Henry Coe were a welcome sight as it gave a break to the cold downhill.

I got back on the flats, heading south, and my speed picked up with the wind at my back.  At the next rest stop were Deb and Deb, Clyde and John and many others.  My average speed for the whole ride was 15.3 (riding time) with about 55 miles left to ride.

Shortly after turning left on Dryden I saw Chuck taking off his windbreaker.  He caught and passed me and I got on his wheel for a quarter mile, the only wheel I sucked all day.   Chuck and I hit the Leavsley climb together and my trip miles hit 100 miles for the day. Chuck was trying to catch the woman he was riding with so he was keeping a good pace.  I was glad when we finally caught her near the intersection with Roop because he slowed and so did I.  I didn’t slow much though as I was able to actually pick my average speed up from 15.3 to 15.4 from the rest stop to the end of the Canada Loop.  The flowers were amazing on the loop especially near the last summit.

Once the loop was done the party was pretty much over for awhile.  It was time to head into the wind for about 25 miles and I was feeling the thrashing that I had given my legs on Henry Coe.  Now the ride got hard for me.  I took a break at Mercado School to eat a cliff bar but it didn’t go down very well.  I was getting a little frustrated when I turned on Oak Glen and was barely able to maintain 15 mph on a section that I usually hit 20 mph on.

Where Oak Glen turned on to Uvas I made a call to Deb who I didn’t  think would still be waiting at the park.  At this point I could have gone right on McKean and called it a ride since it was about 15 miles back to my car from there.  My phone had no reception though so I decided to head to the barbeque.

Now I was heading south (I think) but the wind was still in my face.  The ride around Uvas lake wasn’t that much fun.  Once I got past the lake it wasn’t too bad though and I made fairly good time to Chitkat Park.  Now I had cell reception and Deb was still at the park,
patiently waiting.  The food was good at the barbeque although I couldn’t stay long since the ride had taken much longer than I thought it would and Deb was running out of patience. So we packed up the bike and headed out.

Final stats were 150 miles in 9:23 and a 15.6 mph average.