Archive for August, 2009

New Squaw Peak PR

August 31, 2009 8:11 pm

After I finished putting the mountain bike gearing on Anne’s bike, I headed out on my bike with the new compact crank I installed yesterday to climb Squaw Peak.  That is a hill of about 1,700 feet of climbing that is less than 5 miles from our Utah home.  With a total of 4.3 miles distance, the grade is not too bad, except at the top, where it gets well in excess of 10%.  I was able to set a new PR.  The compact crank was not really a factor during most of the climb since I had a couple of gears left, but at the top I went to the lowest gear and was able to keep up the cadence to a reasonable level compared with my double crank where this portion was a “grind it out” job.  I kept my heart rate in the 158-162 range for most of the climb, but let it go into the 170’s during the last half mile.

Squaw Peak Climb

Distance: 4.3 miles, Climb: 1,700 feet, Avg Grade: 7.4%
Date
Who
Bike
Time
Weight
Max HR
Avg HR
Ft/Min
8/31/09 Franz Single 31:18 139
7/28/09 Anne Single 42:58
8/11/08
Franz and Anne
Tandem
38:47
138
168
158
43.9
8/10/08
Franz
Single
31:51
138
171
155
53.4
8/12/07
Franz
Single
34:22
136
164
150
49.5

Mountain Bike Gearing on Anne’s Road Bike

6:49 pm
Mountain Bike Gearing on Anne's Road Bike

Yesterday I wrote about putting a compact crank on my road bike.  Today I changed the gearing on Anne’s road bike so she would also have lower gearing.  She already had a triple crank with a 12-27 cassette so the only way to get lower gearing would be to add a mountain bike type cassette on the rear, which means also the need to change to a mountain bike rear derailleur.  There was one complication because Anne had 10 speed shifters on her bike and all mountain bike components are 9 speed.

You can not just use a 9 speed cassette with 10 speed shifters because the cable pull between gears is different.  When I bought my new compact crank for my bike, I also purchased an XTR rear derailleur because it was also on sale at Performance and there was also a 12 hour period with 20% more off.  Cost for the XTR was only $80, a steal.  From my prior experience I knew that I needed a “top normal” type.  Newer mountain bikes use a “low normal”.  Derailleurs are defined by the normal position of the derailleur (that is the resting position), either the top gear (smallest cog) or the lowest gear.

I checked with the bike club for recommendations.  Most of those responded recommend using an IRD product. They make a 10 speed 11-34 cassette.  I was not too anxious with this approach for a couple of reasons.  First I had tried that cassette, on loan from a friend, on my road bike before last year’s Everest Challenge.  I was not happy with how it shifted so I took it off and did the event last year with my double crank and regular road cassette.  Second the price for this cassette is about $170, which is a lot more than a Shimano XT cassette that would shift better.

When you have a triple crank having 10 speeds is a bit overkill because you get a lot of duplication in gearing.  I feel that most people with a triple who also want mountain bike gearing would have been happy to stay with 9 speeds but Shimano didn’t go that route with their road components.  There is talk that they will come out with a 10 speed mountain bike group, but that is not yet the case.

One club member suggested I look at a product from Jteck Engineering, called the ShiftMate.  I emailed the company and got a reply to my questions within an hour.  After studying the concept, it seemed like a great way to go so I ordered online from them, cost of $35 plus $6 shipping.  They shipped to me by priority mail.

This device is two concentric pulleys that the derailleur cable routes around.  The difference in the diameter of the two pulleys is such that the cable pull from the 10 speed shifters is increased to match what the cable pull from 9 speed shifters would do.  This allows you to use a 9 speed cassette.  The device arrived last Saturday.   I took a look and it seemed to be a clever approach to a common issue.

Today I decided to tackle this project.  I started by removing the cable from the existing Shimano 105 rear derailleur.

Next I removed the chain from the bike.

After I removed the existing 10 speed derailleur, I attached the new XTR derailleur in it’s place.

I cut the cable housing shorter so it would fit better, then threaded the cable back through the housing and then through the ShiftMate.

Next I removed the road cassette from the rear wheel and replaced it with a Shimano 11-34 cassette.  I had purchased a new XT cassette for our tandem during the recent sale but was not planning to use that until later this year.  Since we use our tandem more than Anne uses her single bike, I decided to do a swap and put the new cassette and chain on the tandem and move the tandem’s rear cassette and chain over to Anne’s bike.

The final step was to connect the cable to the rear derailleur and make the final adjustments.  Since the shifter has 10 stops and the cassette has only 9, I used the low stop on the derailleur.

A short test ride on the street showed that things were shifting smoothly, just as you would expect if the bike had 9 speed shifters.  Since I used some components from our tandem, the total cost was only $80 for the XTR and $35 for the Shiftmate, for a total of $115.  If Shimano does come out with a 10 speed 11/34 cassette, I can always switch to that and most of my investment will still be used.

Later in the day, we went for a ride to make sure that it shifted okay while actually climbing.  Anne reported that it worked just fine.

New Compact Crank

August 30, 2009 3:29 pm
New Compact Crank

After the experience of cramping going up Snowbird at the end of the 1000 Warriors race, I decided to order a new compact crank.  I had already put a SRAM 11-28 cassette on the rear and that was working, so I would be able to still get a fairly high gear (50/11) with a compact crank.  I was lucky because Performance had it on sale for almost 40% off retail and then there was a 12 hour extra 20% off coupon.  I bought it and a new XTR deraulier for Ann’s bike and had them delivered to our Utah home so no sales tax.

I decided to do the swap today. I first removed the existing Dura-Ace double crank by looseing the two bolts using an allen wrench.  I then removed the cap using a special Park tool.  You then flip up the plastic tab that keeps the crank from coming off, then pull off the fright crank arm.  I could see that I had a press fit bottom bracket that came with the new frame.  Since this was brand new, there was no reason to replace it.  I pulled the crank assemble out of the bottom bracket and reversed the procedure.  I could not get the plastic lock stop to engage properly so I thought maybe my crank arm was no in all the way.  Finally I swapped the plastic tab with the one from my double crank and it worked just fine.

I had to move the front derailuer down a bit but my new frame has a clamp-on type so that was easy enough to do.  My frame that ended up breaking had a brazed on derailleur and I was always worried about the amount of adjustment.

I realized I also need to also shorten the chain.  The prior chrankset was 53/39 and the new compact is 50/34.  So the large chainring has 3 teeth less and the small chainring has 5 teeth less.  The chain goes around slightly more than 50% of the chainring,  So for the large chainring that means 3 * .5 = 1.5 links and with the small chaingring 5*.05= 2.5 links.  You can only remove links in multiple of two so I took out two links and checked the chain when it was cross chained in both directions.

So how much lower gear will I get?  The compact crank with a 11/28 cassette gives you the range of a stock triple since 53/12 is about the same as 50/11 on the high end and 34/28 is about the same as 30/25 on the low end.  Of course it will not be as low a gear as a triple with a 27 or 28 tooth cassette.

My next project is to add mountain bike gearing to Anne’s single bike.  On the same order with the Dura-Ace compact crank, I ordered a Shimano XTR rear derailleur that was also on sale.  But she has 10 speed shifters and most mountain bike cassettes are 9 speed.  I had to either get a special 3rd party 10 speed cassette or try a device that changes the cable pull.  I decided to try the later.  But that is the subject for another blog entry.

Suncrest TT and Sports Zones

August 27, 2009 10:20 pm

Many people use heart rate zones to do their training.  I wrote an article on the subject and how there are several approaches, including some simple 3 zone approaches and more sophisticated four or even five zone approaches.

My Polar heart rate monitor software allows you to setup what it calls sport zones.  The default is 5 zones all based on maximum heart rate, with the maximum intensity zone defined as 90-100% of maximum heart rate, hard intensity zone of 80-90% of maximum heart rate, and so forth.  With a maximum heart rate of 180 bpm, that would give me a range in the maximum intensity of 180 x 0.9 = 162.  On a recent 95 miles race, with 9,500 feet of climbing I used my Polar HRM and had reset to use the defaults.  But the 7 hours during the race showed 2 full hours in that red zone.  Since this red zone should be above your Lactate Threshold, it indicated that such a range was too wide.

One heart rate zone calcualtor that is more sophisticated because it also uses your resting heart rate.  You calculate the difference between your resting heart rate and maximum heart rate.  For me that is 180-45 = 135.  Now instead of using just 90% of maximum heart rate, you use 90% of that difference plus your resting heart rate (0.9 x 135 + 45 = 167).  That small change from using 162 and 167 results in a reduction of time in that recent race from 2 full hours down to 45 minutes.  Use this handy calculator to use this approach for your own zones.

Today I needed to take my bike into the shop to have the steerer tube slightly cut because when the Trek Store built up with the new frame, they didn’t cut it quite enough so the LBS needed to add a spacer on the top of the stem.  I thought this would be a good chance to do a time trial up Suncest.  All my other times up that hill were part of a long ride, including the recent Warriors race.  It took me 21:15 to make the climb, more than two minutes faster than my previous best.  I was in the “red zone” for 16:30, or most of the climb.  I had an average heart rate of 166 during the climb with a maximum of 176.  That indicates two things.  One that my maximum heart rate is indeed close to 180 and that using 167-180 bpm as the “red zone” is about right.  Below is the heart rate curve from the Suncrest time trial.

suncrest_tt

Suncrest Climb

Distance: 3.9 miles, Climb: 1,060 feet, Avg Grade: 5.1%
Date
Who Bike
Time
Weight
Max HR
Avg HR
Ft/Min
8/27/09 Franz Single 21:15 139
8/27/08
Franz Single
26:03
138
157
146
8/20/08
Franz Single
23:54
137
163
158

Warriors Race Results

August 23, 2009 4:52 am

John and I competed in the 95 mile, 1000 Warriors race that covered the very tough course of stage 4 of the Tour of Utah.  I had done the same race last year.  This year they had more than twice as many riders and it was a USAC sanctioned race.

Anne was kind enough to provide support for myself and John.  That involved  driving us to the start and meeting us at some hand off places along the route.  We had to get up early and were in the car by 5 am.  John’s start time was 6:10 and it was still dark when he was getting ready to head to the start line.

I started with the Masters 55+ group at 6:45 am. It was now getting light.

As soon as we lined up I could see that there were several serious racers there, with $2000 racing wheels and PowerTap meters.   18 of us started right on time at 6:45 am.

There is a short climb in less than 2 miles and the group seemed to be off to a slow start so I went to the lead.  I thought that would be easy.  But they were just warming up and then we went to a fast descent and my speed reached 43.5 mph just staying in contact with about 6 other riders who had now split off from the rest of the group.

We then went into the second climb, not a significant grade, but still about 700 feet of climbing.  I was staying with the other 6 riders, one of them started to fall off the back.  My heart rate was creeping up and I made the first mistake of the day by letting my heart rate go to 174 in a vain attempt to stay connected.  Since we were near the summit I kept pushing hard but finally decided I was just setting myself up for failure later in the day so I fell off the back.  After cresting the summit the rider that was behind came down fast and I got on his wheel as he was trying to catch the riders ahead.  My speed got up to 45 mph until some sense came to me.  Why was I going down a hill with a heart rate of 160 bpm?

I was now riding solo through Kamas then down by the Jordanale  Reservoir.  On the last series of climbs before descending to Midway a big group of riders came by me and I jumped on the back.  By now John was already reaching Midway.

I was about to stay with 3 other riders to Midway.  When I reached Midway my average speed was 21. 7 mph, a bit faster than last year.

After a very quick stop to get more water (although I had not drank very much) I headed toward highway 189.  This is a busy road so I wanted to ride with others.  I could see one other rider far ahead and I pushed hard to catch up, maybe yet another mistake.  I finally caught him after we were on the highway and he was one who had started with me.   About half way on the busy highway, a large group of riders came by and we got a easier ride down to the Alpine Loop.  I reached the start of the climb with an average speed since Midway of 22.2 mph, better than last year’s 21.5.

I was feeling that I had been pushing too hard so I decided to back off on the climb up Alpine.  It took me only one minute longer than last year but looking at the data showed my average heart rate on the climb was 160, a bit high.

I watched my speed on the descent and was amazed at how fast some of the riders were coming down past me.  I didn’t want to take those type of risks.  When I reached the Timp Cave headquarters, they were motioning us to slow down.  The traffic had stopped ahead.  We slowly went into the other lane and rode down past about 2 miles of stopped cars with no cars coming up the canyon.  We finally reached the site of a serious cycling accident that involved 5 cyclists and a SUV.  The seriously injured riders were already gone in an ambulance but it was still a frightful feeling.

After carrying our bikes over the glass at the scene of the accident we biked down to the mouth of the canyon where they had stopped all the riders.  The highway patrol was letting groups of about 30 go at a time. I had some delay there but eventually was on my way.  I got to the feed zone and Anne told me that John had mentioned the accident.  I was glad to hear he was not involved.  Later John told me he reached the accident soon after it happened and the seriously injured cyclists was laying on the group in a pool of blood. According to the news reports, the injured rider broke every bone in his face…

I made the climb up Suncrest about 1 minute faster than last year.  I should have been backing off a bit and more focused on hydration.  When I met Anne at the feed zone on Wasatch, I did take the time to grab a half a PBJ and a banana but I started to ride and eat them on the bike.  It was now getting very warm and I was not drinking as well as I should have been.

I reached the start of the climb up Snowbird, now 11 minutes ahead of last year’s race.  I was figuring I would make the climb as fast as last year so I would do better overall.  As the grade started to increase I felt I needed to drink more but the grade, the heat and having only a double crank made it difficult to reach down to drink.  I could feel some cramping start in my left leg and I was getting worried.  I finally decided to make a quick stop to drink more water and take some endurolytes.  That was a mistake because as soon as I stopped major cramping set into both legs, so significant I could not move due to the pain.  It was too late to be able to ride easily up the hill.  After a few minutes, I made it back on the bike for about a mile, then I had to stop due to the pain.  Then back on the bike for awhile, then stop.  The pain was so great now that I had no choice but to walk because every attempt to get back on the bike was so painful I could not even get started.   I knew that Anne might be worried  since I was taking so long.  I had left my phone in the car so I could not call her.  All I could do was to keep moving.   I ended up walking over a mile until the grade started to ease up and I was able to get back on the bike by starting into the center of the road and riding toward the edge, allowing my legs to get going before starting the climb.  I rode the last mile to the finish.  I figured it took me an extra 35 minutes on the climb due to cramping.

John had finished long before me but it turned out he also had cramping.  I guess there were several that did because when I was walking my bike I saw many others do the same.  Last year I had a great climb up Snowbird but it was a terrible experience this year.  I was stupid because I know better to hydrate more and take sufficient endurolytes before I need to.  Still I was glad I was able to finally get back on the bike and not need to walk across the finish line.  When I was cramping one rider in our group passed me.  He finished in 6:18 and came in 8th place.  I probably would have been ahead of him without the cramping.  I ended up coming in 12th place.  This was one race I was very happy to finish.

Franz after finishing race

Franz after finishing race

We then waited for awhile to watch the pros come in.

Anne and John

Anne and John

The first pro came across in 4:07.

Stage winner Alex Howes

Here are our time splits and how they compared with last year.

1000 Warriors Race

Distance: 95 mile, Climb: 9,500 feet
Race 8/22/09 Race 8/16/08
Section
Dist
Avg. Spd
HR
Avg/Max
Climbs Elapse Time Avg. Spd HR
Avg/Max
Climbs
Elapse Time
Start in Park City
0 0
Main Str. in Midway
31/33 21.7 156/174 1:24 21.5 147/165 1:32
Start of Alpine Loop
45/47 22.2 151/166 2:04 21.0 143/164 2:15
Alpine Loop Summit
54/56 8.0 160/166 1:06 3:11 8.1 154/160 1:05 3:20
Start of Suncrest *
70/71 24.6 139/168 3:54 25.1 130/153 3:58
Suncrest Summit
73/75 8.8 166/171 0:26 4:20 8.5 156/164 0:27 4:25
Start of Snowbird
88/90 16.3 151/171 5:14 15.6 151/158 5:25
Snowbird **
96/98 6.1 142/157 1:40 6:54 5.7 155/162 1:05 6:30
Overall – Franz 14.6 154/174 6:54:52 15.1 148/165 6:30:36
Overall – John 16.3 148/170 5:52:10
* Major cycling crash at mouth of AF Canyon stopped traffic and caused delay

** Significant cramping required stopping and walking caused a loss of 35 minutes

The table and graphs below are from the Polar HRM for both myself and John.  You can see that while John avoided spending too much time in the red zone.  I was in that zone too much for this year’s race.  The faster time I was obtaining to the base of Snowbird was coming at a high price.  The heart rate zones are based on the maximum and resting heart rate using this calculator.

1000 Warriors Race

Distance: 95 mile, Climb: 9,500 feet
Heart Rate Analysis
  Franz John
Maximum HR / Resting HR 180 / 45 187 / 142
Time in HR Zone
Range
8/22/09
8/16/09 Range 8/22/09
Maximum 166-180 10% 2% 173-187 4%
Hard 154-166 52% 44% 158-173 49%
Moderate 140-153 23% 32% 144-158 19%
Light 90-139 14% 21% 90-144 28%
Average HR on ride   154 148   148
Maximum HR on ride   174 165   170

1000WarriorsHR2009

T-1 to Warriors Race

August 21, 2009 5:17 am

It is now only one day before the 1000 Warriors race.  Tomorrow morning Anne will be driving John and I up to Park City for the race start.  We will need to leave here at 5 am.  Anne will be providing support at the feed zones but will not be following us on the course.

Every time I approach a big climbing even, I am always concerned about my weight.  There are two ways to climb faster, reduce the weight (of the rider or the bike) or output more power. Being 61 years old I am not sure I can output much more power. My bike is about as light as it is going to be without spending a lot more money. So I can only work on my body weight. Training has helped and I am now down to 138.5 lbs (63 kg). So there is nothing left to do but pray.

We are close enough that the weather forecast is getting to be accurate.  Rain is no longer in the forecast, which is a good thing.  But instead we are going to have hot weather.  Last year at the start it was 42 degrees, rather cold.  Tomorrow it should be around 58 degrees at the start.  That is nice biking weather, but the climb up Snowbird is going to be a cooker.  I start up Wasatch around 11:00 am, and it should be in the high 80’s.  The climb up Snowbird will be in the mid 90’s.  I hope it cools a bit as we climb to a higher elevation.

Training a few days before a race does not provide any benefit and may cause more harm if you get injured or too tired. So we all try to taper down but that is not much fun.  I really finished my last real training ride on Tuesday, although Anne and I did go out for a 25 mile ride yesterday (Thursday).  She beat me up South Fork by over 4 minutes, because I was determined to take it easy.  Some pains in my Achilles tendon today makes me think maybe I should not even have done that easy ride.

Looking at my training log, I see my mileage over the past 8 to 9 weeks has been quite similar to last year before the same race.

WarriorsTrainingMiles

The feet of climbing per week shows a different story.  Part of this was due to traveling to Washington state where it was just flat riding and part was focusing on getting Anne ready for the Ulcer flat century.  My climbing was not at the same pace as last year, except in the last couple of weeks were I nearly caught up.  I am not sure if more climbing toward the end will be better than if it were spaced over several weeks.  We will see tomorrow.  Week 9 is this week and I have included in tomorrow’s ride.

WarriorsTrainingFeet

1000 Warriors Time Estimates

August 17, 2009 10:00 pm

This year’s Tour of Utah should be the best yet, with 6 stages and contenders including David Zabriskie, Floyd Landis and Tour veterans Oscar Sevilla and Francisco Mancebo.  As part of the pro racing, there are some events that are open to amateur racers.  One is the 1000 Warriors, a USA Cycling certified race, where over 600 racers will compete in stage 4, which starts in Park City Utah and has a hill top finish at Snowbird ski resort.   Riding in the event will be guest wounded warriors, purple heart recipients from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

I did a similar event last year with nearly the same course.  This year John will be flying in from Atlanta to join.  Here is the best current estimate for both myself and John to reach each point.  My estimate is based on doing the same as last year and as confirmed by recent training rides where I completed the entire course on two different days.  Since John will be starting 35 minutes before I do and will be riding faster, the gap between when we arrive at the SAG stops will increase.  Anne may not have time between after I arrive at the last hand off to drive to Snowbird and park before John finishes.  For this day, civil twilight is 6:15 am and sunrise at 6:44 am.  Last year I started at 5:53 am and it was dark.  That made it a bit spooky on the first descent where I reached speeds of 41 mph.

1000 Warriors Time Estimate

95 Miles, 9,600 Feet of Climbing
Clock Distance (miles) Avg. MPH
Franz John Segment Total Franz John
Start 6:45 am 6:10 am 0 0
Midway Hand Off 8:17 am 7:34 am 30.4 30.4 19.7 21.5
Start Alpine Loop 9:03 am 8:15 am 14.9 45.2 19.2 21.5
Sundance Hand Off 9:21 am 8:32 am 2.3 47.5 7.8 8.5
Summit Alpine Loop 10:09 am 9:17 am 6.6 54.1 8.2 8.8
Westfield Hand Off 10:48 am 9:53 am 15.8 69.8 24 26
Start of Suncrest 10:50am 9:54 am 0.5 70.3 20 20
Summit Suncrest 11:17 am 10:20 am 3.9 74.2 8.7 9
Hidden Valley Hand Off 12:01 pm 11:05 am 12.7 86.8 17 17
Junction Hwy 209&210 12:09 pm 11:12 am 1.7 88.5 13 13
Finish 1:14 pm 12:17 pm 6.1 94.6 5.7 5.7
Total Time 6:29 6:07     14.6 15.4

This shows the elevation profile. The steepest grade is 9% but you can see that the Snowbird climb is at around 9% for several miles (click graph to enlarge).

TourOfUtahProfile

Here is the race route. The pros start at 11 am will finish around 3 pm.

First Half of 1000 Warriors Route

6:36 pm

Two days ago I rode the last 50 miles the 1000 Warriors route (which has most of the climbing).  Today our daughter and her family, who are visiting, wanted to go to Park City so I thought it would be a good chance to ride home and get in the first 45 miles of the route.

Some notes from today’s ride.  There is a small climb right near the start. After a short platueau another climb of about 600 feet.  Then a very fast descent, where my speeds reached 41 mph.  I remember doing this last year in the dark because we started at 5:54 am.  Then another long climb, but not steep.  Then another descent down to Kamas.  Watch out for the rumble strips.  There is a nice shoulder on the road but if you hit the rumple strips you are in for a surprise because they are deep and rough.   After some flat riding, a series of 3 climbs before plunging down toward Midway.  None of the climbs are steep (I did them all in the big chain ring using a double crank).

The roads through Midway were nice but when you end back on Highway 189, it is not pleasant.  The first part has a fairly good shoulder, but there are at least 5 miles with no shoulder and heavy traffic.  I think last year on the race there was less traffic because it was early in the  morning.  You would think once you hit highway 189 it would be down hill but that was not the case.  It is more like rollers.  Once you finally start to head down you come to the Alpine Loop turn within 2 miles.  So much for the downhill.  Today I had a headwind and of course I was riding solo, so my times were not as fast as the race last year.

I patched together the two separate training rides and compared that with the actual splits from last year’s race.  Because of some changes in the course I did a bit of back fitting on last year’s splits so the climb up Suncrest starts where this year’s route turns onto it and the climb up Sunbird starts from the junction of highway 209 and 210.  Last year we could not take the highway 209 shortcut.

So if I can do similar to my training rides, I will do about like I did last year.  You will notice that today I was slower than last year’s race but my training ride two days ago was faster.  Of course for the later part of the course my training ride started with fresh legs, not 45 miles of cycling.

1000 Warriors Race Training

Distance: 95 mile, Climb: 9,600 feet
8/16/08 Actual Race – Course was 2 miles longer.
8/15/09 Training from Start of Alpine Loop to Finish
8/17/09 Training from Route Start to Start of Alpine Loop
Training Rides 8/15&17/09 Actual Race 8/16/08
Section
Dist
Avg. Spd
HR Climbs Elapse Time Avg. Spd HR
Climbs
Elapse Time
Start in Park City
0 0
Main Str. in Midway
31/33 19.1 140 1:36 21.5 130 1:32
Start of Alpine Loop
45/47 18.5 133 2:24 21.0 134 2:15
Alpine Loop Summit
54/56 8.9 159 1:02 3:25 8.1 155 1:05 3:20
Start of Suncrest
70/71 23.3 135 4:08 25.1 152 3:58
Suncrest Summit
73/75 9.3 155 0:24 4:32 8.5 161 0:27 4:25
Start of Snowbird Climb
88/90 16.0 152 5:26 15.6 151 5:25
Finish Snowbird
96/98 6.1 161 0:57 6:23 5.7 151 1:05 6:30

Pieces of Eight Ride – Second Half of Warriors Route

August 14, 2009 8:39 pm
Pieces of Eight Ride - Second Half of Warriors Route

The Spanish dollar (also known as the piece of eight, the real de a ocho or the eight-real coin) is a silver coin, worth eight reales.  But I think of pieces of eight as a way to piece together a ride from our Utah home using 8 different climbs and at least 8,000 feet of climbing and 80 miles.

Today I did another Pieces of Eight ride and it was my first big ride on my new bike (at least a new frame) and one of my last big training ride before the 1000 Warriors race in one week.  I wanted to get in a ride that went up Snowbird, the final climb on the race.  The race is 95 miles, but the last 50 has most all of the climbing.  I decided to ask Anne to drive me up to the bottom of the Alpine Loop so I could ride the last half of the route since I wanted to focus on climbing.  I started to ride at 8:41 am and it was still a bit cool but I started right out with a climb so it was fine.  It took me 1 hour and 2 minutes to reach the summit, better than my long ride last Monday and more then 2 minutes faster than the 300 Warriors race last year.  But on the race I had already ridden 45 miles to get to the start of today’s ride.  It was then a fast decent down American Fork Canyon.  I was interested in how the new bike would handle.  It handled very well, just as good as my Madone 5.9 frame and probably a bit better.

I followed the route for the 1000 Warriors ride and timed myself going up Suncrest.  Again my time was faster than my race time last week.  I was feeling good as I made my down into the Salt Lake Valley and over to the beginning of the Snowbird climb.  I was worried about this climb because it is so difficult, more than 6 miles with no plateaus to catch your breath.  It is especially brutal at the end of a 95 mile race.  Even though I was only at mile 43 when I started the steep climb, it was still very difficult.  But my climb time was more than 6 minutes faster than my race time from last year.  I am sure most of that was less miles on my legs.

At the summit I turned around to trace the route backwards.  That meant climbing the tough Transverse Ridge.  With over 7,500 of climbing already on my legs it was not a pleasant experience and my time showed it.  At the summit I stopped to get water and gave Anne a call.  Since we have a 50 mile ride tomorrow, with a lot of climbing, I decided I wanted to keep this ride down to 80 miles. If I biked back home, even skipping American Fork Canyon, I would have ended up with 95 miles.  She agreed to meet me at the Bike Peddler, which allowed me to finish riding with 80 miles and 8,840 feet of climbing.

This table shows how my ride today compared with similar rides on the same hills during the past year.   Someday I really need to switch to a compact crank.  Doing these hills with a double crank is getting too tough.

Pieces of Eight Traning Rides

80+ Miles, 8,000+ Feet of Climbing
Alpine Loop
Suncrest
Trans. Ridge
AF Cyn
Squaw Peak Snow Bird
Total Ride
Distance
8.9 mi
3.9 mi
3.5 mi
8.4 mi
4.4 mi 6.1 mi Dist Climb Rolling Avg.
Climb
2,700
1,060
1,165
2,400
1,620 2,440 Mi. Feet MPH HR
PR 55:37 23:54 26:52 59:24 31:51 58:12
8/14/09 80 8,840 13.3 146
Time 1:01:57 0:24:52 0:32:45 0:58:12
HR 158 155 159 163
8/10/09 102 10,900 12.2 134
Time 1:06:31 0:27:20 0:28:44 1:05:46 0:42:45
HR 150 155 160 157 157
8/27/08 84 8,500 13.7 131
Time
0:58:24
0:26:03
0:26:52
0:59:24
HR 159 156 164 167
8/20/08 84 8,500 13.2 132
Time
1:08:01
0:23:54
0:30:28
1:07:20
HR 141 158 156 155
8/16/08 – 300 Warrirors Race 96 9,500 15.1 151
Time 1:04:39 27:15 1:04:51
HR 154 156 155

New Bike – Kind Of

August 12, 2009 6:37 pm
New Bike - Kind Of

Well I didn’t exactly get a new bike. Last week I broke my bike. Heading down American Fork Canyon, after dropping 2,500 feet, we arrived at Mt. Timpanogas Cave National Monument, where we stopped at the snack bar. As soon as I got off the bike, I could tell the rear wheel was not rotating completely free. It was rubbing against the right chainstay. I noticed that the connection between the metal dropout and the carbon fiber chain stay had started to separate, which was forcing the wheel off center. Yikes, what to do?

After making some adjustment, tightening the wheel and opening the rear brake, I was finally able to rotate freely. We then headed down carefully, stopping a few times to make sure the separation was not increasing because if it came apart it would be disastrous. We decided to ride directly to the Trek Bike Store in American Fork. There they confirmed that the frame was broken and advised against riding it even one mile.  They confirmed that the frame was under warranty and that Trek would either replace it or repair it at the factory.   I told them I needed to get my bike fixed as soon as possible because I have the 1000 Warriors race coming up and if they replaced the frame I didn’t care what the color it was.   That turned out to be the right thing to say. A real nice guy at the Trek store said he would do what he could.

I was hoping to get a new frame rather than have the factory try to repair my old one. Well I was lucky because not only did they end up giving me a new frame and fork, they gave me the top of the line Madone 6.9 Red. The local Trek store received the frame only 8 days after I first went to them and today they finished moving my components over.  When I picked up the bike the nice guy there said he never saw Trek do such an upgrade on a frame under warranty.  The new frame has a built in seat post so they could not move mine over and no braze on front derailleur so they had to add some components.  It only cost me $200 for everything.

When I got home with the rig, I did a short ride.  It was not shifting quite as smooth as I was use to so I had to make several adjustments.  I also adjusted the headset angle slightly.  It seems to be working great now.  I can’t wait to get the bike out on a real ride.  It is sure lighter than my old frame.  I just need to make sure I get use to this new bike and that it is working smoothly before I race a week from Saturday.