Archive for the 'Century Rides' category

Cache Valley Century

August 23, 2008 9:20 pm

Great roads, great weather, and friendly riders sum up our experience with riding the Cache Valley Century. On Friday we drove up to Logan Utah to stay the night. After a lousy experience at an expensive Italian restaurant in the town, we returned to the motel to get an good nights sleep.

Before 6 am, we got up to get ready. The Best Western motel we were staying at had a great breakfast buffet so we fueled up before heading up the 12 miles to Richmond for the start.

We started at 7:30 am, along with two other tandem riders we knew. We rode with them for maybe 15 miles until we had a long gradual climb, where we pulled ahead. Since we had to get back home for a party that day we decided to proceed without them.

We were zooming along and would continue to pickup riders as they would join the long train of riders that were following us. At times we would take a break and move back in the pack. At mile 40 we made a stop at the second rest stop (we skipped the first one). After a short stop we were back on the bike, skipping the 3rd rest stop, and stopped at mile 71 for the lunch stop. They had a great lunch for us.

After lunch we started to form long pace lines again. We were doing much of the pulling, but did move to the back of the pack to get some recovery. About 10 miles from the finish, the rider in front of us did not have time to signal a bad pot hole. Although he was able to miss it himself, without any warning we hit it straight on. It was a real jolt. One of our water bottles flew out. As we came to a stop we saw we had flatted on the front.

After changing the tube we were off again. But when I had to touch the brakes the first time I felt some grabbing, realizing that that pot hole had done some damage to the rim on our front wheel.

We rolled into the finish averaging 20.2 mph, a total of about 5 hours riding time, and about 40 minutes of stopping time. It was a lot of fun. Except for the flat, which could happen on any ride, it was a very enjoyable century and one we would like to do again in the future.

Here are the stats:

Cache Valley Century

Distance: 100.3 miles, Climb: 2,080 feet
Date
Start
Finish
Total
Avg. Speed
Max HR
Avg HR
8/23/08
8:34 am
1:10 pm
5:36
20.2
163
133

When you can compare this with how we did on the recent Ulcer Century, you can see we averaged almost the same overall speed, but my average heart rate was significantly lower. Must be the clean air up in Cache Valley.

Ulcer Century

Distance: 111 miles, Climb: 1,320 feet
Date
Start
Finish
Total
Avg. Speed
Max HR
Avg HR
8/09/08
7:22 am
1:14 pm
5:52
20.3
167
148
8/11/07
7:26 am
1:39 pm
6:13
20.7
176
155

Ulcer Century 2008

August 9, 2008 8:00 pm

We finished the 111 mile Ulcer Century today. The teams that were doing the team time trial went off at 7:20 AM and we left soon after that. Unlike last year, this year we saw a lot of riders go down. One rider was down at mile 5 as we passed by. He had a very bloody face standing on the side of the road surrounded by his teammates.

We initially stayed in a big pack and found it took a lot of concentration because some of the riders were less than experienced riding in a pace line than they should be for those 24 mph speeds we were going. One of the riders to the right of us hit a cone in the road when going through a round about and swerved to the right nearly going down and taking the rider to his right down too. It is a good thing that we left some extra distance and stayed on the side of the pack because at about mile 20, several riders went down at the front of the peleton we were in. We heard later that the front rider thought there was a right turn but then then suddenly corrected himself to go straight and someone touched a wheel.

We had enough of that so we decided to only pull, ride by ourselves or draft with a small group. We started to pass a lot of riders, including the teams and a large peloton formed behind us. We kept pulling for many miles until the rollers convinced us to slow the pace down and the riders went ahead. We saw a couple more riders who had gone down as we passed by. A bit scary.

Our first 62 miles was faster than last year, averaging 22 mph hour up to the lunch stop. I think we went out too fast because we had to slow the pace after lunch, but still finished with a total time of 5:52, so we met our goal of doing it under 6 hours. We arrived at the finish line at 1:14 pm, compared with 1:37 pm last year. Ann had some cramping starting at around mile 70, but she kept working through it. But you can see Ann looked great at the finish!

Franz’s average heart rate of 148 was significantly lower than last year;s 155, showing that Ann had really improved.

This table shows a comparision with last year.

Ulcer Century

Distance: 110 miles, Climb: 1,320 feet
Date
Start
Finish
Total
Avg. Speed
Max HR
Avg HR
8/09/08
7:22 am
1:14 pm
5:52
20.3
167
148
8/11/07
7:26 am
1:37 pm
6:13
20.7
176
155

If You’ve Got the Guts

August 11, 2007 1:39 pm

I was not quite sure what to call this blog entry about our 111 mile tandem ride for the Utah Lake Ulcer Century. I thought about calling it “Our Fourth Tandem Ride “since we have only had 3 practice rides before doing this long event. I could have called it “Utah Heat” because it did get quite hot, well into the 90’s. I then thought about calling it the “First Tandem to Finish”, since I think we were the first tandem to finish the long course. At least I am making that claim. I finally decided to call it “If You’ve Got the Guts” since that is what the event used as their slogan. I guess I can use that slogan because, according to my cyclometer, we finished the 109 miles in a total time of 6 hours with moving time of 5 hours 47 minutes and an average moving speed of 20.8 mph. My GPS showed very similar numbers.

Ulcer Century

This was to be Ann’s first attempt at a full century ride so I wanted to make sure she didn’t push too hard at the beginning. I put my second heart rate monitor on her handlebars so she could see my heart rate at any time and then she wore her Polar heart rate monitor on her wrist. I asked her to keep her heart rate well below mine through the ride. I think at times she let it go up higher because we were sure moving fast.

This event has excellent support and a lot of features that I have not seen before in a Century ride. One such feature was allowing teams to compete in essentially a team time trail. My younger brother, Mike, was on such a team so I caught this picture before his team started out at 7:10 am.

Mike at start of Ulcer Century

For the rest of us that were not competing on a team, we started to line up for the 7:30 am mass start. Ann held the tandem while I grabbed this shot. You can see there is a very large field, around 2,000 riders all together.

Ann at start of Ulcer Century

I was a bit nervous because we only bought the tandem 8 days ago and I had not yet ridden it in a group type ride, let alone a big field like this one. I put the tandem off to the side and up near the front of the field so I would not need to go around a lot of the slow riders who should start at the back but don’t.

Right at 7:30 am we were off and we quickly got into a rhythm and soon were passing one rider after another. The first several miles were through some city streets so it was hard to get the speed up as fast as I wanted. The tandem does take wider turns. We soon came by the first rest stop and decided to blow by it. Then the second rest stop we blew by, and the third. We kept passing riders who would jump onto the train. I think we may have had over 50 riders drafting behind us at some point. I found it easier to to pull because the few times I tried to draft I found it hard to control the speed with Ann and I both pedaling.

I saw a set of railroad tracks ahead and slowed down as Ann gave the signal to those behind of the tracks ahead. We had glided over other tracks earlier in the day but these were real nasty and we had a big bump. I was glad we had 700x28c tires on the tandem and that I had fully inflated them last night. I looked to the side of the road now and saw a slew of bikes all pulled over to fix flats, pinch flats I am sure.

It was a lot of fun pulling and soon we had another large group drafting behind us. With a tail wind we cranked the speed up to the 27-33 mph range and soon were passing a lot of riders, including some of the teams that had started early. I was real surprised to pass the team my brother was on. Maybe his team jumped on the back of the train. I slipped the camera in my rear pocket so Ann could take it out and snap some pictures while riding.

Paceline behind us on Utah Ulcer

Franz on Front of Tandem

I suppose it was the excitement of pulling such a big train that caused me to allow my heart rate to go up to above 170 at times. I started to slow a bit and then we hit some rollers. Some of those behind went ahead and others stayed in our slip stream.

We were thinking about stopping at the next rest stop but we finally decided to ride all the way to the lunch stop at mile 67. They had a great lunch spread out for the riders. You could make your own Subway type sandwiches with ham and turkey and all the fixings. Plus they had the typical food you find at other events. We sat in the shade to get some rest.

Ann at lunch stop

I needed to get some recovery because I had not been drinking enough for those 67 miles. I found it hard to reach down and get the water bottle on the tandem. I felt like I needed both hands on the bars to keep it stable and hence put off drinking too much.

After a relatively short lunch we jumped back on the tandem and off again. The rest and hydration really helped. I was having both Ann and myself take Endurolyte tablets which are an electrolyte replacement. That helped because the temperature was quite hot (my cyclometer was reading 109, but it was in direct sun).

I knew I could not go again without drinking enough so we found it worked best if Ann passed me a water bottle while riding. I had installed 3 water bottle cages on the rear of the tandem and that is where most of the water was anyway. The water and Gatorade was great because at the lunch stop they had ice chests so you could feel you water bottle with ice. That was very much appreciated as the temperature continued to rise.

I knew we could not ride the rest of the course without making another stop so we stopped about half way between the lunch stop and the end and sat for awhile and again drank a lot of liquid. Then it was off again because I did not want us to start to cramp. I decided to take the pace down a bit and keep my heart rate more in the 150-160 range for the last 20 miles. Ann did start to get one cramp but I had her keep pedaling with no force while I was keeping us moving and she worked it out.

We finished the 111 miles just after 1:30 pm. This graph shows our speed and my heart rate.

Ulcer Century HR Graph

To Run or to Bike?

August 5, 2007 4:05 pm

ulcer_logo.gif OR halfmarathonsmall.jpg ?

August 11th must be a popular date in Utah because two events we want to do up there occur on the same day. First is the Provo River Half Marathon that I ran last year and Ann has been training to run with me this year. Then there is the ULCER bike century of 111 miles, which I have not done before but would like to. Ann and I now both registered for both events and are leaning toward doing the bike event on our new tandem. The only issue is that I have been getting Ann ready to run the half marathon and not quite as focused on biking, but I feel she can do either one. I have not trained to run the half marathon at any fast speed because I have been more focused on biking and figure I was going to just run at Ann’s pace which I can do without as much speed workouts as I did last year.

We might just wait to see what the weather is and how we feel. If it is going to rain that day I would vote to switch to the half marathon. I would rather run in the rain for 2 hours than bike in the rain for over 6 hours.

Tour de Cure Ride

June 9, 2007 8:11 pm

Both Ann and I had a great ride today on the Tour de Cure century in Brigham City Utah. We are very grateful for all those that made contributions and helped us reach our goals. Together we raised over $1,500.

Franz at start

I started out on the 100 mile route (actually it was 107 miles) and moved out quick to the front of the pack from the start. I knew the fastest riders would be there and if I was not with them from the beginning, it would be too hard to ever catch them. I found myself in a peleton of about 60 riders moving at an incredible speed, ranging from 22 to as high as 30 mph. Sometimes it was 4 abreast so I found myself fully surrounded by riders. At that speed it requires intense concentration, knowing a wrong move could be disastrous for me and all those behind me. At around 45 miles, I checked our average speed and it was over 23. I don’t think I have gone that fast before for that distance. I was happy to finally see a climb on the road out to Promissory Point. I was the 4th to the summit and found myself grouping with the other 3 on the way down. I could not help to notice the other three guys looked like they were in their 20’s. The rest of the group never caught us before we reached the rest stop.

At mile 72, I reached the rest stop where I met Ann. By then she had completed 48 miles on the 100K loop. She looked like she was totally fresh, so I figure that maybe she would want to switch to the longer loop and ride with me, which she decided to do. I calculated in my head that would mean 80 miles for her. “Hey, that is only an extra 13 miles” compared with the 67 miles on her original course.

Ann on Tour de Cure

Ann said she had averaged over 16 mph so far on her ride so I was holding the pace close to that. She stayed right on my wheel and I was able to capture a few pictures while we were riding together. It was a lot of fun riding together. While in the morning I was skipping most of the rest stops, after lunch we made some brief stops at each of them. At the last stop, we took a bit of a break and told Ann it was only 10 miles to the finish. “Hey, only 10 miles to go”. I guess my calcualations was a bit off becasue when Ann hit 80 miles there was no finish in sight. I said, “it must be right around the corner”. I might have said that several times. Finally we hit 500 west and 600 north and I then could see we had only 9 blocks to ride. But the last mile is always hard. Ann did great and finished with 85 miles total.

Ann at finish

Ann’s average speed for the 85 miles was 15.8 mph. She was riding for 5 hrs, 20 minutes with a total time of 6 hrs, 30 minutes. I was very impressed she rode this distance at that pace considering she only started road cycling in February. It was a lot of fun, especially after we finished!

Tour de Cure Contributions

March 18, 2007 8:48 pm

Between Ann and I we now exceed $1,000 in donations sponsoring us for the Tour de Cure that we will ride in June. I understand now that Greg Lemond is going to ride the 60 mile course instead of the 100 mile one, so Ann will be riding with him. The team captain suggests that Ann just catch his wheel! Greg is a prior winner of the famous Tour de France.

We appreciate all those who have sponsored us.

Tour de Cure – June 9th

March 4, 2007 9:24 pm

Both Ann and I recently signed up to ride in the Tour de Cure on June 9th, in Brigham City Utah. Franz will ride the 100 mile route and Ann is training to ride 60 miles. This event is used to help raise funds to develop a cure for diabetes. Each mile we ride, each dollar we raise will be used in the fight to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. This is personally important to us since our son Greg has Type 1 diabetes. We will be on the Gold’s Gym team and will have a special member joining our team this year, Greg Lemond, prior winner of the famous Tour de France.

No matter how small or large, your generous gift will help improve the lives of more than 20 million Americans who suffer from diabetes, in the hope that future generations can live in a world without this disease. Together, we can all make a difference!

If you would like to sponsor either Ann or I, we would greatly appreciate it. Together we hope to raise at least $750.

Click here to sponsor Franz
Click here to sponsor Ann