17 July, 2010

Death Ride 2010 | onetough ride series - almost 1,000 miles and 100,000 feet of climbing

The 2010 Death Ride was the 5th of the onetoughride Series which is my personal fund-raising effort to raise funds in the fight against Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases. With the end of the Death Ride the tally of miles and elevation over this series of five of the toughest ultra endurance cycling rolls up as follows:

- Mulholland Double Century (Stage 1 of the CTC Stage Race Series): 211.68 mi / 17,568 ft
- Devil Mountain Double (Stage 2 of the CTC Stage Race Series): 206 mi / 20,000 ft

- Tour de Starbucks (guest rider with Nicholas): 6.88 mi / 75 ft

- Alta Alpina Challenge: 200 mi / 21,000 ft
- Terrible Two
(Stage 3 of the CTC Stage Race Series): 200.97 mi / 18,470 ft

- Death Ride: 124.01 mi / 15,386 ft

Total (for the season to date): 949.54 mi / 92,499 ft

We arrived in Kirkwood (approx 20 mins from the start of the Death Ride) on Wednesday and planned to do some activities with the family on Thursday and Friday preceding the event. The weather outlook seemed to change day by day as it often does in the mountains but the day of the actual event would once again be clear, warm, and without the threats of the isolated thunder storms that were in the forecast.

I decided to take a later start this year rolling at exactly 5:30 AM (DR 2010 stats) and my pace from out to the bottom of the first pass (Monitor) was better than last year (DR 2009 stats) rolling into check point 2 at just under 1:47 (just under 25 mi.). Deciding to skip the rest stop with enough water to refuel back at the top of Monitor I started the climb. Back at the top of Monitor the clock reads just under 3:09 and it's a quick stop and a refill of the water bottles before descending the front side of Monitor to head for the 3rd of the 5 passes. At 3:28 on the clock I am at the bottom of Monitor and heading for Ebbetts Pass and the one part of the course that I consider the toughest of the event.

At just under 5 hrs on the clock and 55 miles behind me (check point 3) I am at the top of Ebbetts with 3 passes down and 2 to go. The back side or West side of Ebbetts is my favorite descent with great pavement and gentle turns for the most part. It's a great descent until the last mile or two when I am stuck behind a couple of riders that just won't allow me to pass and with the number of riders ascending it's just not safe to get around these guys. I hit the bottom of the back side of Ebbetts and there's another 12 mins on the clock with about 61 miles down. It's now getting warm and I decide to refill the bottles and grab a Pepsi and a handful of orange slices with the hope that I can keep rolling and grab a sandwich during the last climb up Carson around mile 90 where Paula, Rachel, Nicholas, and Bruno will be waiting with sandwiches and a serving of inspiration. At the top of the climb of the back side of Ebbetts with roughly 66 miles down there are 6:05 on the clock and after another topping off of the bottles it's a fast descent down the front side of Ebbetts and then a fairly flat ride into Markleeville with a climb past Turtle Rock Park and then a nice descent into Woodfords before starting the last climb up Carson.

Sticking to the original plan of reducing stops the plan is to grab lunch during the Carson climb. As I head into Markleeville I spot my friend Amy and make a quick stop to say hi and I am also able to shed my jacket and arm warmers that won't be needed for the rest of the day. As I roll out about 12:45 I have a good pace on the climb past Turtle Rock park rolling into Woodford's just after 1:00 PM. There's now about 6.5 hrs on the clock and a sub-10hr DR is still a possibility. As I leave Woodford's I soon realize that delaying my lunch stop is going to cost me and as I climb Carson to meet Paula and the kids at the junction of Luther Pass I am not feeling well. After sitting down and parking the bike, I down two more bottles of water and a half a peanut butter sandwich and put the other half in my jersey pocket.

It's just before 3PM with 91 miles down and Paula snaps a couple of photos of the kids with me and I am off. Paula would prefer that I abandon the event but I am going to finish this thing off. After reaching the summit of Carson and checking in, I put down 3 juice bars and congratulate friends and take advantage of another photo op with the kids. It's now time to descend and head for the finish and as I make the second wide sweeping right turn there's a rider down in the middle of the lane with the medics attending to him. All traffic is at a stop and the local authorities are directing the riders around the accident.

After descending Carson it's a hard right onto HWY 4/89 and a climb back into Turtle Rock Park. I rolled in 15 mins ahead of my 2009 time at 11:51:57 as my total time. My actual riding time was less than a min from my time in 2009 at 10:09:20.

We have now raised over $8,000 with the onetoughride project and as promised I have added a 7th ride to the series with another of the toughest double centuries on the circuit this season, the Mt Tam Double Century. I want to thank all of you that have made a donation and ask that those that haven't to consider making one right now using the Donate Now button on my blog or by using this link onetoughride - donate now . With the Mt Tam Double and the Furnace Creek 508 still ahead of me, my new goal is to raise a total of $10,000 or more. With the Jeffrey Modell Foundation committing to matching all donations this would be a total of $20,000 or more going to this very important cause.

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