A few months ago a training buddy had mentioned this ride and wanted to see if I was interested. At the time I was focused on my two half Ironmans and my full Aquabike. After last weeks Aquabike, I felt empowered on the bike. Rob reached back out to me on Tuesday and I said I would try to get in. Kudos need to go out to the Marin Cyclists, as they have a great transfer program. They created a site for people looking to sell their entry and it was easy.
I called coach on Tuesday and of course he thought I was crazy again! I was able to get in a couple easy spin rides in on Wed and Thurs keeping rpm’s above 95. For the most part, I was still in recovery mode.
I dusted off my fairly new Scott road bike and packed up for the early morning departure. I wore my classic Enron jersey and got quite a few comments on it throughout the day! Once I got there, I met up with Rob, David and Frank. We could leave anytime between 6-8am. In talking with my buddies, I knew that they would have an advantage on the steep hills, while I had them on the rollers and overall endurance. Given this, I lead us out over most of the first 50 miles. I just powered on the front and this also allowed them to keep a higher avg then usual. The first climb was about 600ft in elev gain and wasn’t too bad. With my initial lead out and the climb, we warmed up quickly. At mile 16ish was the first rest stop and I didn’t know how to handle this. My buddies made a quick stop and I just waited patiently. This was actually my first century ride and I’m not used to rest stops. I definitely didn’t want to sit down and knew I had my nutrition locked down.
The next 16 miles or so was great. There was a gradual climb with some short steep climbs. I continued to lead and our train grew to about 6-8. As a triathlete, I tend to train alone so it was great to be exposed to the the rules of the game. It was still frustrating at times. There was this one stretch where I was leading out train out at 23mph. Another train passed right as we started a climb. the leaders disappeared, but most of the 10 person train slowed down to 13mph. The roads weren’t closed, so it was a challenge to pass them…
I love the rollers, so I pulled away from my buddies with the intention of waiting for them at the next stop. I got to the next stop and once again didn’t get off my bike. Five minutes turned to almost 15 and I was starting to get worried about them. They finally showed and it turns out Rob had a blow out on one of the declines and David had a mechanical with his handlebars. Luckily, no one was hurt and we moved on.
Miles 30-50ish were great for me. The rollers continued and I spent the majority of the time out front. We arrived just past the halfway point having averaged 18.5 on the way out. I loved the ppj sandwiches and soda! I also used this opportunity to fill up my bottles with water and my EFS powder I had in ziplocks.
Between miles 55-62 there were three short steep climbs that took the wind out of me. All three had 300ft elev change and I started to feel all that hard work the first half. I settled in behind the boys and just spun. Luckily, 62-70 was back to rollers and along the water. I was mentally preparing to take on the days longest climb that would have us climbing 900 ft. Here is the elevation chart:
I was also fueling up and once again hung off the back while the boys did their thing on the hill. Rob has been training exclusively in the Marin headlands and David trains down in the hilly Southbay. I started to feel some power coming back on the second half of that climb. The next rest stop was at the very top of this climb and was much needed for everyone. This is where my buddies were feeling the pain. I felt I was recovered and excited to push hard the rest of the way. I did eat about 100 grapes at this stop and they were my secret energy source!
I really enjoyed miles 72ish to 90. I pulled my buddies for a while and then joined a couple faster guys and we rotated leading out. I was feeling great even with a 400ft climb thrown in there. I knew there was one last stop just before mile 90. That is where I waited for my buddies. They weren’t too far back, as they had also caught their second wind! A couple more grapes for me and we were off again.
The three of us worked hard the last 12 miles switching off on lead. That included a pretty mild 3.5m climb with just over 300ft in climbing. At this point we were pushing hard to get to the food and the hope of a beer at the finish! We had different total ride times, but mine ended up at 5:52. That works out to 17.38 average over the course! My goal was under 6hrs, so I was excited with a strong finish!!!
These past 8 weeks have been a blast. During that time, I’ve completed two 70.3/Half Ironmans, a full Ironman distance Aquabike and now a century ride. Coach has been very patient with me in helping to keep me on track. I wish that I could keep this level of fitness right into the new year! I’ve decided to be a one sport guy for the next 6wks in prep for next months Tahoe Century. It’s a different route than I biked this past June and has that memorable climb from the Donner Lake Triathlon…ouch!
100 Mile Route: 6,800′ vertical gain. After leaving Squaw Valley, ride along the Truckee River to Tahoe City, then enjoy 13 beautiful miles along the shoreline of Lake Tahoe before climbing up to Brockway Summit. Next, it’s a long descent into Martis Valley, then a strenuous 8-mile climb into Tahoe Donner. Stop and take in the vistas from the top before descending back into Truckee for a 5-mile cruise along Donner Lake. Climb Old Highway 40 over Donner Summit, then descend to our lunch stop at Cisco Grove. Head back up to the Summit and enjoy an exhilarating and beautiful descent back to Donner Lake. The last 15 are flat miles alongside the Truckee River back to Squaw Valley.