Archive for March, 2013

Garmin Edge 810 or 510 to Strava Without Computer

March 30, 2013 5:58 pm

Updated 10/2014:  The work around shown below is not needed now if you have a Garmin that supports bluetooth upload to Garmin Connect.  Just configure your Strava account to automatically upload your activities from Garmin Connect.  This new addition to Strava is a big time saver.

One of the many near features of the new Garmin Edge 810 or 510 is the ability to upload your ride via an iPhone or Android phone to Garmin Connect. This particularly useful when doing a ride away from home, such as a multi day tour, without a computer. However there is currently no support from Strava for such uploads. Here is a work around.

1. You need some method to save a file to your smartphone. For the iPhone I installed the program “File App”.

2. After your ride is uploaded open Garmin Connect and select the ride.

3. Select to export the ride as a TCX file (GPX will also work but won’t include heart rate data).

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4. Select to open the TCX file in the File application (or which app you use).

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5. Using the Files application, email the TCX file, as an attachment, to upload@strava.com. Strava will match up your email address to your account and post your ride. All done!

2013 Solvang Spring Double

March 24, 2013 10:00 pm
2013 Solvang Spring Double

Early this year I realized that the Solvang Double Century would be a great way to celebrate turning 65 by biking 3 times my age in miles.  With our traveling to Japan in February, I only had 4 weeks of training going in, so I knew I was not going to be as fast as prior times.

It turned out to be another cold start for the Solvang Double.  It was 39 degrees so it was hard to know how to dress for it because you don’t want to carry too many clothes as the day warms up.  I settled on a base-layer, vest, knee warmers, double arm warmers and a skull cap.  I lined up at the start area just before 7 am, looking to get with a group.

P1000452

No group seemed to be forming so I decided to go with a tandem with two male riders.

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That might not have been such a good idea because they were stronger than I expected, even on the short climb up to Solvang.  Nevertheless I was able to stay connected.  We passed several other riders who had started early, picking up two other riders, David and Marc.  The three of us drafted behind the tandem, and I even went out to take a short pull.  About 15 miles into the ride, there was a short downhill with a sharp turn that the tandem ripped through much faster than we could and a gap formed.  We wasted too much energy trying to close the gap and finally we mutually decided to give up the chase and the three of us rode together much of the rest of the course.

I knew my training for Solvang was not as complete as prior years and there was no way I could keep up with the fastest riders, which is why I started at 7 am instead of 7:30 am with the fastest group. Still I was feeling in pretty good shape and would go ahead of Mark and David on the climbs up Foxon Canyon and they then would pass me on the descent side.  When we were approaching the first rest stop at mile 41, I passed Art Cruz, which was a surprise because I thought he started 2 hours earlier than me.  I usually skipped the first rest stop but David wanted to get water so I thought it would be good to stop.  The temperature had dropped as low as 34 degrees so I was not drinking that much, but on the other hand I was glad I had now worn a jacket because I was feeling fine and even took off the glove liners at the first stop.

At that rest stop, Art Cruz arrived before we left and he told me he started at 5 am, but had missed a turn and had already ridden an extra 22 miles.  What a bummer.  While we were at the rest stop the 7:30 fast group came zipping by.  I had thought at one time of jumping on their wheel after Foxon Canyon when it was more flat and easier for me to stay connected but in hind sight that would not have been a good idea.  Once we started riding another group came by with a couple of tandems and I told my new riding partners, lets get on the train.  The headwinds were getting rather strong.  With no wind I would probably have been okay to stay with the paceline but the strong winds raised havoc because I could not get the full benefit of drafting.  I started to get worried about burning out so I told David and Marc I was dropping off, and they did also.  I was glad they dropped back because I drafted behind them as we kept moving through the head and cross winds.   Even with their help the winds were so brutal to me while they did not seem to affect the bigger guys as much.  Around mile 75 I was wondering if I would ever be able to finish this ride.

Knowing the rest stop was around mile 80, I just kept plugging away, often dropping off for awhile, then working my way back up.  The rest stop was not until mile 85 and I needed some time there to recover.  I knew that this was not going to be a sub 12 hour ride like in the past and I would need to take more time at the rest stops.

DSC07592-Edit-Edit

I was glad when we reached the northern part of the ride around mile 100 when the winds would be either a cross wind or tail wind.  By now my legs were feeling over stressed and I was afraid I was going to cramp.  I was taking a lot of electrolytes and drinking a lot but you can also cramp from fatigue.  Somehow I made it to the lunch stop at mile 113.  I saw Deb Hoag there, and she was getting ready to leave when we arrived.  I ask Marc and David to not slow down again for me and if I dropped off the back to just go ahead and that I had decided to ride a slower pace.  I took advantage of the stop to plug my Garmin Edge 810 into the external battery supply so it would start to recharge since I knew it would not last the entire ride.

After eating a subway sandwich I started off with David and Marc but within 5 miles I made the decision to drop the pace a bit and make sure I did not cramp.  Soon it started to cool off from the high 70’s it had been at the lunch stop, because we were near the coast.  That would be a good thing since I usually don’t cramp when it is cooler.

At the next rest stop, mile 141, I arrived before David and Marc left but told them I was going to ride solo.  I was there for some time, again recovering. I decided to swap the external charger to my iPhone but then I realized the  LiveTrack feature of the Garmin 810 was not working.  I saw a text from Anne that LiveTrack was not working since the beginning and she had been worried.  I sent her a text to let her know where I was and tried to get LiveTrack to work again.

The combination of the cooler weather and more resting worked, and I was feeling much faster after that and even thought I was riding by myself, I was moving along very quickly.  I arrived at the last rest stop once again to find Marc and David.  I told them I would ride with them again since I was no longer on the verge of cramping.  Marc was now the one who had the issue and was dropping back.  David wanted to move on because he wanted to finish before 7:30, so I said I would wait for Mark.  That gave me a chance to work on the LiveTrack from the Garmin to my iPhone and get it working fully.

Marc had a bit of a hard time on the hills but would catch me on the descents, then he seemed to get his second wind.  He wanted to finish before 8 pm and I promised him that I would ride with him to get him to the finish well before 8 pm.   About 15 miles from the end we passed Lonni, who had started at 5 am.  She said she was having a tough last 30 miles, but since I had promised Marc to help him finish early, we plowed on.  A few other riders had latched on to us.

It was just getting dark as we were going down through Foxon Canyon.  I was glad I had some light, the period between sunset and civil twilight, as we were descending because I had only taken a smaller light.  We finally made it down to the highway and I knew that it would be a short couple of miles to finish.  We finished at 7:38 pm.

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I probably looked a bit ragged but I was feeling fine, much better than I was at mile 75.

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At-Finish-Groups

It was great to finish.  It was the first time that it took me over 12 hours on this particular double century, but in 2011 they changed the course so it was 5 miles longer and another 2,000 feet of climbing.

 

My biking time was only 50 minutes longer than the Solvang Double in 2009.  That was rather good since I was clearly not in the same condition and we had those strong winds, plus the extra 5 miles and 2,000 feet of climbing.  My stopping time was quite a bit longer, but I was not trying to win any race and that stopping time helped me from cramping like I did on the Knoxville Double last fall.  This is how it looks compared with the other double centuries I have done.

Double Centuries

Year Event Miles Feet
Age
Bike Time
Total Time
Avg. Speed
Avg HR
% Stop Notes
2003 Solvang 193 7,200
55
9:55
11:18
19.2
12% First
2004 Davis 198 8,300 56 11:12 12:45 17.7 148 12% Cramped
2007 Solvang 193 7,200
59
9:50
10:42
19.6
137
8% Paceline
2007 Devil Mtn 205 18,600 59 14:31 18.12 14.1 136 20% Cramped
2007 Davis 198 8,300 59 10:55 12:30 18.2 144 13%
2008 Solvang 193 7,200
60
9:36
9:59
20.3
145
4% Paceline
2008 Devil Mtn 206 18,600 60 14:25 15:32 14.3 136 7%
2008 Davis 203 8,300 60 11:10 13:00 18.2 143 14%
2009 Death Vly 197 9,400 60 12:23 13:22 15.9 136 7%
2009 Solvang 199 7,200
61
10:36
11:16
18.6
149
6% Paceline
2012 Knoxville 201 13,000 64 12:43 14:23 15.8 138 12% Cramped
2013 Solvang 198 8,600 65 11:26 12:38 17.3 136 9% Windy

Solvang Here We Come

March 22, 2013 7:43 am

The training is over so whatever condition I am now in, is what will have to do for the Solvang Double.  This time I skipped the Metcalf Mauler ride on Thursday because that is fast paced and last time before the Knoxville Double I was only going to ride it easy, but got caught up in the chase.

We got ready and drove down to Solvang, leaving around 10 am.  That allowed us plenty of time to check into the hotel and go on a nice ride.

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We biked through Solvang and then did the out and back that we have ridden in the past.  On the way back through Solvang we were scouting out a place for a group dinner we had setup for tonight with 6 other folks.  We decided on eating at the Bit ‘o Denmark and made a reservation.

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Before heading back to the hotel we went a few miles up the road where I will be ending the double tomorrow.  It was a nice route and one we will want to bike further along next time.  After getting back to the room we had plenty of time to get ready and head down to check in at 6 pm for the double century.  We saw David and Deb Hoag, Art and Sue Cruz and Lonni Goldmen there and gave them the details for dinner.  It was a great place to eat.

Tomorrow, the day of the Double Century, will be a bit cooler but should still be nice.  It is going to be cold at the start, however.  I am thinking to start around 7 am.

Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 8.37.54 AM

Here is the route for tomorrow’s double century.

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Training for 2013 Solvang Double Century

March 17, 2013 9:44 pm
Training for 2013 Solvang Double Century

After a couple of years of not doing any ultra distance events, last year got back into them but first racing the Hoodoo 500 as part of a four person relay team, then later riding the Knoxville Double.  So I decided, with the encouragement of Anne, to do the Solvang Double in March of 2013.  It will be the 5th time I have done this particular double, but this time it will be right on my birthday, the day I turn 65 years old.  I thought what better way to celebrate such a milestone birthday.

Well it all seemed like a good idea early this year but then we decided to make our trip to Japan in February.  It seemed difficult getting back into training after that trip and I feel I have to cram in a lot of riding in the last month.  I keep a detailed training log and when I am training for a big event I plot my miles and feet of climbing as I progress, and compare it against prior years and events.  This time I didn’t really do that but decided to do it now to see if I might be ready.

SolvangMiles

Although getting off to a good start the first 5 weeks of the year the effect of the travel to Japan is obvious.  The 2008 and 2009 lines are comparable because those were also for Solvang.  As expected the 2012 line is much higher because that included racing the Hoodoo 500 around week 9, then doing the Knoxville Double on week 13 and later in the year at peak training season.  It seems that I am the lest prepared of any double I have done in the past several years.  So I decided to look at only the last four full weeks of training and only for the Solvang Double, which occurs early in the year.  I figure the last four weeks of training are the most critical.

SolvangLast4Miles

Now I am feeling better, but not completely.  In 2009 this four weeks was after finishing the Death Valley Double, a month earlier than Solvang.  I figure training is an accumulated thing so how well we can bike at any given time is based on the past, with the most recent past having a larger influence.

Besides miles, I also track feet of climbing.

SolvangFeet

2012 is a bit of abnormality as I mentioned before.  This was the training for and racing the Hoodoo 500, then coming off of that for four more weeks of training before doing Knoxville, which is a much more difficult double than Solvang.  Looking again at only the last four weeks of full training and only for Solvang it looks like this.

SolvangLast4feet

The distance of the longest weekly ride is the last chart I do.  You can see in 2009, the Death Valley Double in Week 9.  The last 3 weeks, week 10-12, I am close enough to prior years, especially if you consider the past becomes decreasingly less important the further you go back.  Of course that principle does not mean you should be training hard right to the event because you do need to taper, and my last full week of training was about 50 miles less than the prior week.  This week I plan to do short rides and one interval training, more in alignment with tapering.  This will certainly not be my fastest Solvang Double but I feel I can complete it and not DNF.

SolvangLong

Looking at the above charts I can see that in 2008 I did my best training for Solvang and that was the year when I finished the ride in under 10 hours.  I have no aspiration of a fast time this year.

Solvang Double Century

Year
Age
Bike Time
Total Time
Avg. Speed
Avg HR
Note
2003
55
9:55
11:18
19.2
First Double
2007
59
9:50
10:42
19.6
137
2008
60
9:36
9:59
20.3
145
2009
61
10:36
11:16
18.6
149
Extra 6 miles

Solvang Double Century Stopping Time

Year
CP#1 CP#2
CP#3
CP#4
CP#5 All Other Total
2007 2:00 14:15 10:15 7:30 6:30 11:30 52:00
2008
Skip
5:45
7:45
5:15
1:00 3:15 23:00
2009
Skip
9:45
11:45
7:15
3:30 7:45 40:00