Am I Really Ready For DMD

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Well, I’m not sure if I know the answer to that question.  With one week left, any massive epic training ride probably won’t make too much difference, so I probably should just re-acquaint my legs with one of the major climbs, and cutoff points, the backside of Hamilton.

I was originally going to do both sides of Hamilton plus Sierra, but I don’t think that extra suffrage would benefit me … Besides this would already have 7000+ feet climbing already.

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I’m not sure we was with me today, but I was hanging in there with Ramon almost to the full climb on the front side of Hamilton.  In fact, I was able to get  PR of 2:05.  My previous best was 2:07.  I wasn’t even trying to get
a good time.  I was trying to get a smooth cadence, a good rhythm with my pedal strokes going up Hamilton.
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After a brief stop at the top of the observatory it’s down the hill on the backside to the bridge, then a 5.5 mile grind back up the hill. I forgot to bring my heart rate monitor, so I couldn’t tell hard hard I was working, so I had to rely on rate of climbing, in ft/min climbed. I figured if I maintain between 1000-2000 ft/hr, that would still be a good pace, but it wouldn’t be killing me.

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Toughest part is probably between the 3-4 mile marker point. One thing I like about this climb is you see the mile marker clearly marked. You could even see it from a helicopter up above.

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With 1 and 2 miles left to go, I figured the hard part was done, but no. It was still up around 9-11% grade. Yeesh, glad I did a final reconnaissance climb here one more time. This was hard.

But getting to the top, we get the reward … Fantastic view
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By the time we got up here, we figured we knew Sierra well enough, we didn’t has to do that after this … I mean we already had 7000 feet of climbing in our legs. Recover time. Keep in mind, we still have a little annoying climb on the way back on the descent. Our legs were heavy.

So I guess I’m either ready or I’m not. There’s nothing more I can do at this point. I’ll just have to pace myself and not over extend myself. Just make the checkpoint and then let it all hang out at that point. My goal is just to finish it. And if I don’t make the cut off, it’s not a big deal … Just as long as I enjoy the ride, that’s the important part of it.

Stats for this ride, 50.7 miles, 7355 feet climbing. Now to find a cool down ride.

http://app.strava.com/activities/132052820

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Good Monday Morning

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Time to Visit So Cal – must Mean Crystal Lake Again #30daysofbiking

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Time for my monthly visit to see dad but I couldn’t get Friday off, so I had to fly down instead. That means riding my heavy, ~25 lb Pink Diamond Back, 53-39, 12-26. Karen is leading another Crystal Lake ride, so I gotta do that, but on this heavy bike? Well, I am training for DMD, so I figure it would be good training … Weight training.

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As with my previous hard rides, I came with a little nap sack on my back. Karen couldn’t find a way to carry her jacket (needed for the cold descent), so I offered to carry it in my bag. That just means that she’ll have to wait for me to grind it up the hill, and most likely have to wait for me.

The lead group was fast.  There was no way I can keep up with them, even if I did have my Volagi with me.  I was able to hang in with Karen up to the first re-group, which was a little past East Fork Road.  We re-grouped, with just enough time to take my dork shot:

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… and a photo bomb!

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After a short rest, we’re back to continue the climb. However, as in past rides, this is usually where I get dropped. It was even more amplified with the fact that I’m on a heavier bike, and without mountain gearing. And yes, I do get dropped here. I continue grinding it up along, and catch up to Rick, who started out about 5 minutes before we did. We rode up together for the rest of the climb to Crystal Lake.
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Chatting with Rick while slogging up this long climb definitely helped pass the time away.  Since I’ve done this climb a couple times before, just remembering all the points of interest also helped me gauge how far up along the climb I am.  I do remember the Crystal Lake turnoff was a little past the 5000 foot elevation level, and that helped too.  However, I noticed the 4000 foot elevation level sign was missing.  What happened there?

 

Descending back down Hwy 39, we turned off on East Fork Road, on the way to Camp Williams, and onto climb Little GMR.  I was Rick all the way to Camp Williams, but after we left there, I was dropped again.  I think I just had a little too much climbing, and too much distance in my legs, on this heavy bike, so I just went ahead and limped along back down front side of GMR, then back to the park.  Meanwhile, the rest of the group continued onto Baldy Village, and back.  My legs were just not into it.

Great day, great ride, great group.  I had a lot of fun, and great to re-unite with old friends.

Total Stats, 65 miles, 7871 feet climbing.  It was a hard day, but excellent day.

http://www.strava.com/activities/127279479

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It’s April and That Means Another #30daysofbiking

It’s April, so it’s another 30 Days of Biking.  They hold this twice a year (in April and in September) where cyclists around the world pledge to ride every day in the month of April.   Why do it? Everyone has their reasons, but I do it just to show up everyone else that I am choosing an alternative to pollution via gas guzzling cars.  Plus, there’s the health benefits.

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So you would ask what if it rains?  Well it is possible to ride in the rain, you just need the right equipment and gear.  What if it snows?  Again, right equipment and gear, although sometimes you will have to consider if it’s safe.  I cannot vouch for conditions on the east coast or in Canada, but in California, I don’t see any excuse not to.

As it turns out, we’ve had a pretty strong storm here in Northern California for the beginning of April.  Yes, I got dumped on and it was really wet, but I still persevered through it.  I am happy to say I successfully completed my first day, with the pouring rain.  One down, 29 to go.

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Social Double Century Becomes an Adventure

A social double?  Well yes, that is possible, with the right, fun crowd.  This is an event I love to do not just because it is pretty, and not incredibly, but it’s fun to reunite with my double friends from So Cal.  So I coined this a social double

My friend Curtis over to pick me up.  It didn’t start off on a good note.  We had issues mounting my bike on the Yakima rack.  We end up having to call their tech support for help, and eventually got that all squared away.  What a stressful way to start the weekend.

Was trying to get a group together for dinner early, but just couldn’t arrange that.  Plan was to eat, then register, then sleep.  Just couldn’t get that all set up.  Original plan was sushi, but the local place was too expensive, plus it didn’t seem to be
a good source for carbo-loading.  We ended up at Andersen Split Pea restaurant, and I loaded up there … Mmmm

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Got everything all squared away, and ready for the 5 am start.

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Met Debbie, Sharona, Rory, and Less at the start and off we roll.

Three first 35 miles was just to get into a groove, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t blow myself out, and get into a nice comfortable pace.  I ride with Les and Rory for that stretch.  We basically rode together till the first rest stop.  Less went on ahead, while we re-grouped at the first rest stop.

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We continued on from there but Rory was going at a brisker pace so I decided to hang in with the gals.  Besides, it was more my pace.  :)

We were now three, myself, Debbie, and Sharona.  We went ahead and traded leads, riding together for the remainder of the ride.  This made for a much more enjoyable double century, and yes, fun!

Sharona, Ron, and Debbie

Sharona, Ron, and Debbie

In past years, when we got to Morro Bay, we would head straight over to Los Osos Valley Road, but they changed the route last year, to go through some lush hillsides on Turri Road.  This was a much more scenic option, and boy was it pretty.

Onto lunch stop … a left on Los Osos Valley Road, then … a tandem train comes.  Whaddayaknow … my friend Steve, hanging on to the tandem train.  I’m gonna slip in, and enjoy the fast train … woohoo.

After lunch, we travel through one of the most scenic sections of the ride, Shell Beach.  It kind of reminds me of Palos Verdes .. words, and pictures don’t do it justice

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By the time we rolled into the Guadalupe Rest Stop, which was about mile 136, I was feeling a bit fatigued.  Back was beginning to ache, I just attributed this to lack of riding miles, translating to a weak endurance.

We continued on, picking up a couple extra riders to help lead the pace. Up to this point, I was leading our small group, but now I was just tired, and I was just hanging on from the back … hanging on with the claws of my hands. I had taken ibuprofen and endurolytes, but they just didn’t quite seem to help. Then, all of a sudden, I realize I have a flask of hammer-gel in my pocket.

Took a swig of that, and now I’m fine. Got my energy back just in time for the next rest stop.

Everything was going so smoothly, we all are in a great mood, anticipating finishing this in daylight.  Then, all of a sudden, we have a flat, and this is just 6 miles from the next rest stop.  Well, the tire was deflated to about 50 psi, so we figured, just CO2 it.  Well, that only lasted < 1 mile, and we had to go ahead and replace it.

Damn, this tire is hard to pry off

Damn, this tire is hard to pry off

I checked the tire but couldn’t find anything indicating a puncture, or any other debree that caused it.  Roll into the next rest stop, and fill up on tubes and CO2.  And oh, gotta take in the cup o noodles … gotta do that as a tradition at the last rest stop of the double.

Ok, 30 more miles to go, and we all feel good about finishing this before dark.  While we are at it, we probably should plug in our external power, just to make sure we don’t run out of battery power on our Garmins (and record it as one ride, instead of separating into multiple rides).  We plugged in our external power at 6 pm, and we figure that after about 40 minutes, it should have enough juice to last us the rest of the ride.  All seems good, except Debbie’s Garmin seems to have been reset to 0.  Noooo!!!!!  Damn, and using the same cable seems to work on Joshua Tree, but why did it not work here.  Phooey!  Well, my external power seems to work, so I agree to give Debbie my fit file, after we finish the ride, since we all rode together, at the same pace up the hills.

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Oh, BTW, we have a second flat.  Nooo!!!!!  What’s wrong with this tire … it’s brand new.  So here we go again, same routine as before, but why did it fail again.  I pry it open again, and still, don’t see anything wrong.  So put on another tube, but this time, the tire is much harder to put back on.  We pump it up, but there is no air going into the tube.

At this point, Lisa, one of Debbie and Sharona’s friends, comes along, and we are now 4 riding back.  However, we still have the tire issue to deal with.  Robert, Sharona’s hubby, who also happens to be SAG’ing the ride, comes by to the rescue, with a full floor pump, more CO2, and tubes.  We get that going, and off we go.  I have no idea how long we spent struggling with this, but I’m now pretty refreshed, other than the energy it took me to put the tire back on.

It’s getting dark, and we need to get our lights on, layer up, and finish this Alisos Canyon climb.  After a right turn, we ascend Foxen Canyon.  Debbie and I are riding in front, and I figured we would re-group when we got to the bottom at Hwy 154 intersection.  We didn’t see Lisa and Sharona in back of us, but in the distance we see some headlights.  We thought it was them … nope.  A few more cars and bikes pass by, and no Lisa and/or Sharona.  OMG … we start to panic at this point.  We gotta climb up the hill to get them.

We climbed only about 1.5 miles before we saw them, and Sharona had just about finished putting it back together.  Dang, what is up with this tire?  What’s important is that we are back on the road again … this time, we’re going to stay together, keep every in sight.  From this point on, I’m sweeping, just to make sure we are not separated.

4 flats?  Damn, there goes our daylight plan … there goes our OCD plan to get to 200 miles.  At this point, the drive to get OCD miles has gone … we just want to get to the finish before 10 pm.  Finally, we made it back to the finish.

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We were delirious at this point

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Am I a lucky guy or what?

WE finished at around 9:30 pm, and here are the stats:

Strava:  194.8 miles, 8,649 feet climbing (even with elevation correction enabled)

Garmin Connect: 194.75 miles, 7,753 feet climbing

This was the most fun I’ve had in a really long time.  What a way to get off double #13.  This was my 14th double, 5th Solvang Double.  Thanks for such a wonderful day, Debbie, Sharona, and Lisa.  All for one, one for all.

 

 

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WE’RE HAVING AN EARTHQUAKE! Watch The Moment A KTLA Anchor Feels L.A.’s St. Patrick’s Day Earthquake On Air (VIDEO)

Originally posted on Global Grind:

[ione_embed src=http://embed.newsinc.com/Single/iframe.html?WID=1&VID=25722647&freewheel=91840&sitesection=globalgrind&height=366&width=650 service=news_inc width=650 height=366 type=iframe]

Early Monday morning, a shallow, magnitude-4.4 earthquake hit the Los Angeles area, shaking slumbering California residents out of their sleep.

Oh, and shaking up surprised reporters too.

During a live broadcast, anchors Chris Schauble and Megan Henderson were jolted to attention when the seconds-long quake occurred. With the best of shocked faces, Schauble stops in his tracks, lifts his hand and exclaims, “Earthquake! We’re having an earthquake!”

Both anchors  jump to the ground for cover. Fortunately, there were no reports of injuries or damage. The quake was felt over a large swath of Southern California, but especially in the Westside and Valley.

According to the LA Times, a 2.7 quake, likely an aftershock, was recorded at 7:23 a.m. in the same area.

As for Schauble, he’s doing just fine. No really, we promise. He’s even being a super great sport about the hilarious faces he…

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Upload From Garmin Directly to Strava

I found an excuse to upgrade my Garmin to a 510 (currently have 500).  I now there have been some new features added to the new hardware, with one of them being able to upload your data wirelessly.

The default method is to upload to Garmin Connect.  You do this by downloading the  Garmin Connect app on either your Android or iPhone (don’t know about Windows phone).  Then you establish a Bluetooth connection between your Garmin and your phone.  Once you do this, when you finish your ride, you hit the save button, and it proceeds to upload the data to connect.garmin.com.

However, if you’re like me, I hardly ever go to connect.garmin.com, and rely heavily on Strava.  What I really want to do is upload to Strava.  It turns out someone else already has done the hard part.

You go to http://www.copymysports.com, and it has a tool, where it will look up details of your account through one of your existing Garmin activities (it authenticates you from Garmin to Strava), and once authenticated, it will now copy your activities to Strava.

This does not happen immediately (the site advertised 15 minutes, but it’s more like an hour or more).  But the cool thing is, I didn’t have to manually upload via a USB cable to the Strava web site.  It just does this on its own.  Let’s just hope Garmin and Strava don’t change its api too much, because it is working now.

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