Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Well, my official posted time for the 106 miles I finished Saturday was 6 hours 11 minutes. I'm not positive that it's right, but it would make sense, my on bike time was 5 hours and 50 minutes. That's 21 minutes at stops. Which now that I type it, seems short, especially since we stopped to change a flat along the way. I'm pretty sure that the guy who I was riding with was named Brian (sorry, Brian, I'm horrid with names) and I think the only Brian on the list is at 6:41, which is the time that I remember hearing when I checked in, I'm going to go with that, seems more realistic.

I don't like seeing the DNF after my name. Looks like, as expected, I'm not the only one, though. Not that that makes me feel all that much better about it.

Monday, August 25, 2008


So, I guess before I start stating all of the reasons, I should first say that I failed. I quit 105 miles in, after lunch. And I've been beating myself up for it ever since. Though, arguably, it was the right thing to do I'm still pissed. I'm upset. I'm heartbroken. I'm dejected. I'm depressed.

All because 96 more miles just seemed like it would be too much.

The excuses:

1. My right foot, which I think I mentioned here before, started, at about mile 70~ish, to kill me. It starts like a hot spot, and within a few miles it feels like I'm stepping down on a hot spike every down stroke. And it starts to move up the leg until my knee hurts as well. It really sucks. I iced at lunch, which kept me there longer than I planned; which left me there alone after the guys I'd been riding with (thanks, Brian, and I mean that sincerely for the 1st half company) had all left already. When I did decide to start again, no one else was leaving. And when I pulled up before leaving the parking lot because the pain was already back, no one else was there to force me to suck it up.

2. Lack of sleep. I didn't fall asleep until probably close to midnight Friday night. I know this about myself, I have a hard time sleeping in hotels, especially if I'm alone. I should have taken my own pillow. I should have shut my mind down better. I should have dealt with the nerves better.

3. Lack of motivation. Sounds weird to say since I've been planning on this ride since, well, probably over a year. But when I got it in my head that I wasn't going to be able to do it, really got into my head. The thought of being 20 or 30 or 40 miles into the second half and having to bail freaked me out. One, because, though the website claimed that there'd be SAG, I never saw any out on the course, and other riders suggested that I would have to call my wife (who was in SLC, 4 1/2 hours away). Two, because of the second part of number one, Robyn was in Salt Lake, I was really on my own and would have no one to call if / when things went bad. Not that there would be cell service anyway. Anyway, it got in my head and I let it. I was weak.

Now for the possible good side. Me quiting prevented me from having another blow-out an hour or so later. I wrote about how my rear tire blew apart while I was at work a week ago, splitting a two inch gash into the tread. Well, an hour or so after getting back to the hotel, my front wheel blew. Same thing, about a two inch gash. I would potentially have been stranded with no tire, anyway.

The only other positive is now I'm truly going to obssess about this ride. The first half was amazingly fun and beautiful and I hear that the second half is amazing, if you can catch the view while suffering up the climbs. I will be riding next year. And you can be damned sure that I'll finish.

I'm going to call in a while to get an appt to discuss the details of the foot surgery I need with my doctor, and to get something scheduled for soon after I get back from Guatemala in September. It's supposed to be six weeks of recovery. I have to try to decide if I'm going to try to talk him into going ahead and fixing the left foot too, since it's progressing, just at a slower pace. I'd hate for it to flare up this time next year.

More later, when I'm not kicking myself so hard.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Four days

So, it's now four days until the big Dual. I'm getting nervous. I should probably be out riding right now but, well, there's always a but, isn't there?

I came out from work yesterday and walked over to where the bike was parked and noticed a very flat back tire. Cursing myself for having just a couple of weeks ago bragged to my friend that I've never had a flat on the rear of this bike, I started to remove the wheel and dig out the tools. When I got the wheel off, I noticed a two inch rip in the seem where the bottom, thicker rubber part of the tire was bonded to the rest of the tire. Well, I thought, that looks like failure to me, not my fault. I figured that once I got to the LBS, I'd mention it and maybe get a 10% discount. Kind of a bummer since they're $55 tires (Specialized All Condition Pro). Well, I went in and picked out a replacement, walked up to the counter and mentioned what had happened. The guy asked if I had the tire, I said yes and went out to the car to get it. He took one look, rang something into the register and handed me the new tire. No charge. Seems that Specialized has a satisfaction guarantee and as you can't be very satisfied with a blown tire, they gave me another one. Very cool. This may be S.O.P. for this kind of thing but it's cool nonetheless. I was prepared to spend the money and happily so since the tire blew on Monday and not on Saturday, somewhere on a 200 mile loop outside of Panquitch, UT.

I'm still nervous.

If anyone's out there, wish me luck. I have every confidence in the world that I can do this ride but the usual pre-ride doubts are kicking in early. Probably since I don't know anyone else doing the ride (yet) and since I've never traveled so far for a ride. Or maybe it's just the fact that riding 200 miles in one day is starting to sound a little nuts.

That's probably it.

But, I have to tell you, I'm already thinking of LOTJA...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Long time

It's been over two months since I posted here. So much for keeping up with things. Not too much has been going on. I haven't ridden as much as I'd like, or need to for training for the Dual on the 23rd. Let's see, since June 4th I've ridden the MS150, where I rode the century (100 mile) ride on Saturday followed by the 75 mile option on Sunday, making it my biggest mile weekend ever. More exciting for me on that ride was that Robyn rode 75 miles on Saturday, her longest ride ever! Did some training rides in July, but nothing big.

Just yesterday (August 9), I rode the ULCER, 111 mile epic century. To challenge myself further, and to see if I think I can actually do the 200 miles in two weeks, I decided to ride to the event and home again as well. This added 27 miles on either end of the trip, and included crossing over Point of the Mountain for a grand total for the day of 163.1 miles, averaging about 16.8 mph (on the bike time, I didn't include the rest stops) Total time was about 11 1/2 hours, I think. I crashed pretty hard last night. We decided to meet some friends out at the Bayou since Gary (Robyn's brother) is here visiting. I was starving, so I was all on board. About halfway through the meal, though (and halfway through my second beer), I hit the wall, as would be expected. I slept very well last night and actually feel not really that bad today, which gives me great hope that I will not die on the Desperado! The weather there should be slightly cooler than here because of the elevation, so that's good. The climbing, though will probably be my (and everyone else, I'd think) biggest challenge. I've gotten pretty ok at climbing, much, much better than this time last year but the climbs on the way home yesterday were painful...and slow. I think I was averaging about 17.2 mph before having to climb home over the Point again...
And most of the big climbs, from what I can tell, on the Dual are in the second half. Fun times. They limit you to no more than 17 hours. Jason did it in 13 hours 40 minutes in 2006. I'd like to come in sometime around that time. There are fewer rest stops (about six plush lunch), which is a good and bad thing. Good because it'll make me stay in the saddle longer, bad because I know I'm going to have to work extra hard to keep myself fed and hydrated. And the longer space between stops means longer periods without kicking my shoe off for a minute, which with a foot like mine, may be a problem. I'm honestly more worried about that than any other part of the ride. The burning pain that starts up when it does is amazing, and not in a good way. This ride may be the determining factor on when I go for surgery, since the doctor said he would do it at my convenience. Convenient was going to be in October of November, so I can keep cycling for the summer and be healed in time to try more skiing in the winter. This may make me want to push that up a few weeks.

Anyway, enough of that. Other big~ish news, we're planning a trip to Guatemala for September, looks like we'll be there for my birthday, which is also their Independence Day, I think, so that'll be fun.