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Death Valley 100 and 200 - CycleCentury


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Death Valley, California
United States
Adventure Corps
88F / 31C
Sunny
Total Time = 8h 54m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Drove up on Friday via Trona, one of the weirdest/saddest little towns I've seen in these parts. Up at 6:00 AM on Saturday. Started hydrating right away. Mixed my first batch of Perpetuem. Packed up some food and gear and went out to watch the double century riders start off for the day.
Event warmup:

Stretched a little bit and checked over my bike one last time. Fired down three Clif blocks about ten minutes prior to the century start.
Bike
  • 8h 54m
  • 108.4 miles
  • 12.18 mile/hr
Comments:

This was my first successful century (second attempt). Things could not have gone any better. Showed up healthy and injury-free this time around, which made a big difference. Also benefitted tremendously from my improved nutrition plan. The course was a good one for relatively inexperienced riders like me. A challenging front half (3000' climbing, including 2000 fairly grueling feet between miles 40 and 54), then lunch, turn around and enjoy the flats and downhills that brought us there. Did extremely well on the climbing portions, which I'm starting to see as one of my strengths. Felt comfortable in the saddle all day. A little soreness in my knee after 70 miles, but nothing serious. Started feeling gassed at 90 miles, but took some fluids and a few more Clif blocks to get me home. What a great ride!
What would you do differently?:

It wasn't the fastest centry ever (about 7:20 ride time; 8:54 start to finish), but it was a great experience. Paced myself well and made good decisions with respect to nutrition/hydration. Other than continuing to build my training base, I don't think I would do anything differently next time around.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around and strecthed for a few minutes. Sat down with some V-8 juice and a sandwich. chatted with a couple friends and watched other riders coming in.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I don't put in big miles, and I haven't really entered the world of speed work yet. But the gradual approach seems to be working. I'd like to incorporate interval training and weight work into my regimen eventually, but I'm in no rush. Hope to stay healthy and pedal for years to come.

Event comments:

Exceptional setting with plenty of experienced and supportive volunteers.




Last updated: 2006-10-06 12:00 AM
Biking
08:54:00 | 108.4 miles | 12.18 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: For those who know the park: Furnace Creek to Scotty's Catsle and back.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2006-10-30 11:20 AM

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Expert
658
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Central New York
Subject: Death Valley 100 and 200


2006-10-30 3:02 PM
in reply to: #582941

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Pro
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Orange Park Florida
Subject: RE: Death Valley 100 and 200

100 miles in Death Valley sounds kind of scarey.  I guess that is why it is in late October and not August.

Nice ride!  Congrats.

2006-10-30 3:23 PM
in reply to: #582941

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Champion
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Atlanta, Ga
Subject: RE: Death Valley 100 and 200
Puts my century locations to shame!  Awesome job.
2006-10-30 3:55 PM
in reply to: #582941

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Master
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San Mateo, CA
Subject: RE: Death Valley 100 and 200
Nice ride!  That century sounds very interesting - I might have to give it some consideration next year.
2006-10-30 5:39 PM
in reply to: #582941

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Expert
658
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Central New York
Subject: RE: Death Valley 100 and 200
It was a great event. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a challenging century ride in an unconventional setting.

Forgot to mention my "celebrity" sighting (this being California):

Working my way up some of the steepest terrain, I came up on a behemoth who was looking awkward as hell (Can you really look graceful at 7'2"?) and seemed to be struggling to keep a smooth cadence going. Said hello to him as I passed, and got a look under the helmet: Bill Walton, legendary b'baller and current commentator for the NBA. Saw him again at the turn-around, but don't know whether he bailed at that point or kept riding.

Edited by Xan 2006-10-30 5:41 PM
2006-10-30 5:53 PM
in reply to: #582941

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Master
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San Mateo, CA
Subject: RE: Death Valley 100 and 200
Approximately how many riders were in the century?


2006-10-30 5:56 PM
in reply to: #582941

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Expert
658
5001002525
Central New York
Subject: RE: Death Valley 100 and 200
The organizers cap the event at 300 riders. It looked to me like the field was split evenly between century and double century. Lots of tandems and recumbents out there to keep things interesting.
2006-10-30 5:59 PM
in reply to: #583586

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Master
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San Mateo, CA
Subject: RE: Death Valley 100 and 200

Xan - 2006-10-30 3:56 PM The organizers cap the event at 300 riders. It looked to me like the field was split evenly between century and double century. Lots of tandems and recumbents out there to keep things interesting.

Wow!  Were there any stretches of road where you found yourself all alone?  That happened to me in my last century and it was actually pretty cool, almost surreal in some of the rural areas. 

2006-10-31 11:38 AM
in reply to: #583590

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Expert
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Central New York
Subject: RE: Death Valley 100 and 200
betyoursilver - 2006-10-30 3:59 PM

Wow!  Were there any stretches of road where you found yourself all alone?


I rode with a friend for much of the day, but I'd say we were by ourselves without a glimpse of other riders for half of the miles. Death Valley is HUGE. Against that backdrop, it's easy to lose track of other people.

I like the feeling of isolation, although it was nice to see SAG vans out on the ocurse helping people with their gear and mopping up after mishaps.
2006-10-31 11:46 AM
in reply to: #582941

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Crystal Lake, IL
Subject: RE: Death Valley 100 and 200

Congrats and that sounds like a great ride! 

Did you do most of the ride in aero or on the hoods or mix it up?  I'm curious because you said you didn't do a lot of big miles leading up to it.  Fitness for the ride is one thing but endurance for holding the position is also a concern.  How was that part of it?

 

 

2006-10-31 2:38 PM
in reply to: #584286

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Expert
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Central New York
Subject: RE: Death Valley 100 and 200
hangloose - 2006-10-31 9:46 AM

Did you do most of the ride in aero or on the hoods or mix it up?  I'm curious because you said you didn't do a lot of big miles leading up to it.  Fitness for the ride is one thing but endurance for holding the position is also a concern.  How was that part of it?

 

 



I have no aerobars as of yet, so that wasn't an option. I ride most of my miles on the hoods in the #2 position, but I try to mix up hand positions throughout longer rides to avoid over-taxing the ulnar nerve. (I always know when it's time to switch position because I start to experience tingling and numbness in my pinky and ring finger.)

As you say, fitness and stamina are definitely two different things. I'm still trying to improve both. My longest training ride leading up to the event was 60 miles. That's well short of the 75 mile goal I'd set for myself, but illness in September persuaded me to revise the plan. Surprisingly, my legs held up quite well to the mileage and climbing. The only difficulty I had (minor really) was some stiffness in my shoulders and a sore from the saddle.

Hopefully, my health will remain good through the (So. Cal) winter, and I can continue to build my base. It was a surprisingly good experience, though, and a very well run event.


2006-11-08 10:23 AM
in reply to: #582941

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Master
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Santa Clarita
Subject: RE: Death Valley 100 and 200
I can just imagine the scenery . Despite its name Death Valley a very beautiful place. I imagine it got a little hot during the day.
How much water did you take in?
Good job on the ride Xan .
2006-11-08 11:28 AM
in reply to: #592822

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Expert
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Central New York
Subject: RE: Death Valley 100 and 200
Temps were not as bad as you might guess. High near 88 after forecasts had called for 93-95. The wind stayed calm for the most part, too, despite relativel high pressure over the area. I don't think we could have asked for better conditions.

Can't emphasize enough how spectacular the scenery is. Some people find it bleak, which I suppose I understand, but there is so much incredible geology happening there, and the desert critters are so perfectly adapted to their environments, it's pretty awe-inspiring.

As far as water goes, I was pretty diligent. I maintained 20-25 oz. per hour via my bottles, which had Perpetueum mixed in them as well. On top of that, I took in about a litre of H20 with electrolytes from my Camelbak AND a couple cans of V-8 at rest stops (miles 54 and 90). Probably could have taken in a bit more liquid (no port-a-potty breaks at all after mile 40), but things returned to normal within a hour of finishing.

Edited by Xan 2006-11-08 11:29 AM
2006-11-08 12:30 PM
in reply to: #582941

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Extreme Veteran
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pinoy city
Subject: RE: Death Valley 100 and 200
funny, how do you do a bike fitting for a 7'2" guy?
2006-11-08 1:00 PM
in reply to: #582941

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Subject: RE: Death Valley 100 and 200
Congrats.  Very cool ride, may look into that for next year
2006-11-08 1:11 PM
in reply to: #593034

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Expert
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Central New York
Subject: RE: Death Valley 100 and 200
cdom - 2006-11-08 10:30 AM

funny, how do you do a bike fitting for a 7'2" guy?


He has his frames custom built, I'm told.

Update: According to the event website, Mr. Walton finshed the event near the back of the pack. Although I find his TV personna obnoxious, I give him credit for taking on a ride like this with knees that are visibly gnarled and arthritic. He rides, by the way, with cages rather than clipless, and in running shoes, which like the rest of him, are utterly gigantic.


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