Archive for the 'Sports' category

Franz Finished LoToJa Race

| September 14, 2015 8:49 pm

Franz finished hisy first Lotoja 204 mile race (Logan UT to Jackson WY) as a 2 man relay team with his brother. Franz was assigned the two back to back sections where there was all the climbing. This event is very different than the many double centuries Franz rode in California or the 500 mile relays he rode for Furnace Creek 508 or Hoodoo 500. Unlike all those, this had the feel of a real race and by far the most professionally put on event he have ever ridden in. You can ride it solo, which most do, or as a relay team. We entered in the USA Cycling sanctioned race category but they do have a citizen class category also. We saw neutral support vehicles often, following the fast packs and several officials on motorcycles monitoring you. They had well marked feed zones and relay transition zones. There were also neutral feed zones where you would take on a new water bottle or some gel on the fly from volunteers so need to stop. Also no need for any route sheet since every turn had volunteers flagging you where to go. The finish line was like being at a pro cycling event with barricades and a big screen leader-board. Riders names were called out as they came across the finish line. Overall it was quite an amazing experience. I understand now why this event is hard to go into. We were lucky to have Anne and Deanna crew for us and they did a great job.

How I Did

I think I did reasonable well, but was a bit disappointed that I was not able to do my two sections faster. It was quite different for me to be climbing a hill and being passed by so many. Nevertheless, I had a goal of finishing in 6 hours and I barely met that goal unless you count the time when I stopped at the transition to change water bottles and take on food. When I look at my performance after the fact, I was near the limit, with an average heart rate of 150. I was able to average 15.6 mph over the 93 miles, that included nearly 6,000 feet of climbing.

What hurt my time was that I had to ride most all of the miles solo. They started the race relay teams first, followed by the CAT 1 racers, then advanced to the slower riders in that order. So when I was riding I was either with Race Relay or Cat 1 or 2 riders. Most of the race relay riders were doing a 4 or 5 man relay so they could go all out on their own segment. The fast racers would come from behind me in a big back but their speed was way too fast for me to latch on, even for a short time. Although you are suppose to only draft behind the group you start with, many took advantage of anyone around, but in my case there was few around me to hang with. On the occasion when I was able to draft for awhile, it made a big difference, but I think I ended up riding 90% of the distance solo. Not having a big guy to follow down the hills really hurt my time since I don’t have enough weight and skill to descend fast by myself.

I was trying to make sure I ate sufficiently and was often drinking, but I forgot to put electrolytes in my water bottle and ended up cramping about 20 miles from the end, on the steepest climb where I should have done my best. I fought with the cramping issues until I finished since I didn’t have the luxury of just stopping for awhile to recover.

Although I did a lot of training for this, too much of the training was at a slower pace and there was not enough speed work, in my opinion. That speed base can take a few months to build up and I was trying to do it in a few weeks. Traveling to Italy for a bike tour was a contributor, although I did get a few days there where I was pushing the pace.

Next Up

Next up is the Huntsmen World Senior Games. I hope to do a bit better there since two of the three events I entered don’t allow drafting (hill climb and time trial). I just wish I had a more optimistic view of how I was doing so I could do a better job of getting ready. I have limited time to train now so it is more an issue of not losing my fitness than improving it.

 

Second Ride in Italy

| August 17, 2015 8:13 am

Today we went with a larger part of the group, starting out on the same route we had taken yesterday but diverting off to see the lake we missed yesterday.

 

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This bicycle tour did not have any established routes so often would kind of make up things as we went along.

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After making a climb we got disconnected from the lead group and stopped to wait for those behind us but after awhile we decided to just find out way back to the hotel using the Garmin GPS.  That proved to lead us on a rather interesting route through some small villages and very narrow roads.

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We ended up with 46 miles and even more climbing that yesterday at 3,800 feet.

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First Ride in Italy

| August 16, 2015 8:03 pm

We decided to come to Italy one day early but so do most all of the other 16 riders.  We needed to find a local ride today from out hotel in Calezano since we were staying at the First Hotel another two nights.  Anne decided to ride with the big boys so she joined me along with Brian, Frank and Rudy.

 

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It turned out to be a bigger ride that we thought, with a total of 3,500 feet of climbing, some of it rather steep.  We finally made it to the cute town of Montepiano and would have liked to stop and explore but this group of guys were out for a fast ride.

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Travel to Italy for Bicycle Tour

| August 15, 2015 8:07 pm

We took a flight from Salt Lake to Charles DeGaule Airport where we made a connection to Florence, Italy.  The hotel was only 6 miles from the airport, and quite appropriately called the First Hotel.

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After getting some dinner (pizza of course) we embarked on the task of putting the bikes together.

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The Richey Break Away bike frame breaks into two sections so you can stuff everything into a travel case that is checked as regular luggage.  It took a couple of hours to put both bikes together.

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New Richey Break Away Bike for Anne

| May 12, 2015 8:47 pm

With our upcoming bicycle trip to Italy in August, I decided to get a Richey Break Away bike for Anne. I ended up ordering the frame/fork from BicycleDoctorUSA.com. They were very helpful getting me to pick the right size since you can’t really test ride them. I ended up ordering a size 48 cm frame, which was just right. I moved the DuraAce 7800 components and my wheels over to it from my Richey Break Away bike since I had DuraAce 7900 components left over from my Trek Madone, which the factory kept the frame and gave me credit on my new Domane. Here is a photo form Anne’s first test ride, but she complained about that hard saddle I had put on there to test.

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Sierra to the Sea 2011

| June 27, 2011 10:05 pm
Sierra to the Sea 2011

Franz and Anne just completed a 425 mile bicycle tour, called Sierra to the Sea.  This tour starts high in the Sierra mountains and transverses much of California, ending in San Francisco.  Being on the staff of the tour, we have done in a few times before but this was the first time for Anne to ride it on her single bike.  See individual entries for each day where you will see some photos.

 

 

Combining the GPS files from each day into one file, shows some interesting information.

  • Total Miles: 425
  • Total Climbing: 22,000 feet
  • Average Moving Speed: 14 mph
  • Total Biking Time: 30.5 hours

This is what the overall map and elevation profile looks like.

 

Sierra to the Sea Day 7 – The Finish Line

| 1:34 pm

Day 7

The final day of Sierra to the Sea is the shortest route, but with some significant climbing.  From Olema we headed down the coast on Highway 1 to Stinson Beach, where we made a stop for some hot chocolate.  That tasted good because the air was crisp that early in the morning.  Then we had our final major climb, up to the Panoramic Highway.  At the beginning of the climb they stopped us to warn us to be careful, because a couple of cyclists had been hit by a car.  While stopping at Stinson Beach we saw a large group of Ferarri car club owners driving their gas wasting vehicles by us so we supposed it might of been one of them, trying to drive up the windy climb at too fast of speed, especially considering the large number of cyclists, not only from our tour but local cyclists.  Also on this day was the Double Dipsea, a 15 mile cross country run. So not only were there runners on the road but also cyclists.

After riding along the Panoramic Highway, we descending down to Sausalito.  From there we made our way up to the Golden Gate Bridge.  This proved to be the most difficult part of the ride because the one side that is traditionally only open to cyclists was closed for maintenance.  So all the cyclists and pedestrians walking along the bridge were together.  The pedestrians were not too bad, but those tourists and the rental bikes were the real hazard.  We were glad we made it over the bridge without hitting anyone, but we did have some close calls.

From there it was riding through San Francisco to Golden Gate Park. We finished our journey, with 425 total miles and 22,000 feet of climbing.  It was a great adventure and despite the wide swings in the temperature, we had a wonderful time.

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Sierra to the Sea Day 6 – Along the Coast

| 1:24 pm

It was cool in the morning when we got up, before 6 am.  The fog had rolled in and the temperature was now in the mid 40’s, a huge change from only a few days ago when it was very warm even early in the morning.  Franz dressed light because he knew the ride to Occidental would be a little climb and also more inland.  Anne decided to wear tights, like most of the other riders were wearing.

We made the 9 mile ride to Occidental and sure enough it was now sunny and getting warmer, so Anne shed some clothes before the climb up over Coleman Valley, a beautiful route, but with some significant climbing and a few very steep pitches.  It is mostly flat on the summit for awhile, which probably is why they call it Coleman Valley.

After we finished the ride over Coleman Valley, we ended up on Highway 1, right on the coast.   Then the route took us down Highway 1 to Olema, where we were camping. We did stop at Tony’s Sea Food place to have lunch. Clam Chowder, fish and chips and a coke… Really hit the spot. Many of riders had stopped there to eat and the place was packed.

Although the temperature was similar to what we had experienced when arriving at Casini Ranch, we did not have the strong wind so it felt much nicer.  Ken Kennedy had arrived just before we did, so we made a jersey switch so we could get a picture of the 3 of us wearing Caletti jerseys.

After a nice afternoon in the sun, and a great dinner, we entered our tent for our last night of camping, something Anne was happy had finally arrived.

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Sierra to the Sea Day 5 – To the Coast

| 11:38 am

We finally had to say goodbye to Calistoga, one of our favorite spots on the tour.  Usually the ride out of there in the morning is foggy and cool, but today the sun was shinning and it was beautiful as we made our way along a place where Franz finally found himself.

After finishing the climb over Franz Valley School Road, we made a fast pace dash along miles of vineyards.

The first rest stop was 30 miles into the ride so we made the traditional stop at mile 20 at the Jimstown store, and enjoyed a big cookie and a drink.  The first rest stop was a new location, another wonderful place.

This rest stop had a nice garden Anne explored.

From there we rode on one of Anne’s favorite parts of the entire tour, twisting on a country lane through vineyards.  Franz saw some roses and decided to stop and smell them.

After passing through Guernville, near the end of the route, we stopped at out usual spot, the Garden Cafe, to get our favorite Tri-Tip Sandwich and Parmesan Fries for lunch.

It was then only a few miles to the Casini Ranch were we were camping for the night.  The temperatures were very pleasant now, being only a few miles from the coast.  But when we arrived it was very windy and putting up the tent was an interesting adventure.  We could tell it was going to cool off even more so after our shower we dressed in long pants and put on our jackets.

That evening there was a wine and cheese party.  It was getting cool but the location for dinner was protected from the wind so it felt very comfortable.  Before dark we decided to go to our tent where we watched a TV program on our iPad, and then went to sleep as it was just getting dark.

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Sierra to the Sea Day 4 – Cool Down in Calistoga

| 9:58 am

Day 4

It was not until the middle of the night, camping at Lake Solano that it finally started to cool down.  After the heat we had experienced the last two days we decided to get yet another early start.  Up at 5 am to pack the tent and haul out bags over to the truck, we were ready to ride as we made our way down to Breakfast before they opened the line at 6:30 am.  By 6:45 we were on the road, headed toward Calistoga.

It was not long before we started to climb up Cardiac Hill, not real steep but still a long climb.  After 20 miles we made a stop at the rest stop, then headed to Lower Chilles road, up Pope Valley.

We have a new rest stop this time, at a winery before Ink Grade.  It was one of the nicest rest stops of the tour.  We enjoyed a few moments relaxing and playing with our new friend who insisted that we throw sticks for him to catch.

Within a mile of the rest stop we started the long 4 mile climb up Ink Grade.  Not particularly steep and thankfully much of it in the shade.  We were also thankful that the heat wave seemed to be waning and it was not nearly as hot as the prior day.

From the top of Ink Grade it is a wonderful descent down to the Silverado Trail, then flat into Calistoga.  This time we had a nice motel room with air conditioning, but the temperatures were not nearly as hot as the prior day.  We enjoyed a great staff dinner in town and really enjoyed a nice nights sleep.

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