Thursday, June 9, 2005


(June 9, 2005) The Death Ride, 5 passes, 125 miles, 14 avg, 5:30 to up Carson at 2:38. Bike Mike, Ca Mike & Jack on this ride but hard to ride together.

Yahoo Geocities dumped the site this report was originally on--recreated from email & notes.

-Temp -Warm in Morning to Markleeville, Partially Sunny on Monitor but clouds moving in, cool on Ebbets, clouds picking up—prediction of thunderstorms. Partially sunny back in Markleville—felt like 80 but much cooler. Switched from sleeved jersey and DC vest (ditched arm warmers) to sleeveless jersey and clear vest. Cooler by 10 degrees up on every pass but OK.

-Kirkwood-got to switch to one bedroom-nice place ($100 more for 3 days)

-Ate at Kirkwood Inn, built in 1890’s—nice place.

Instead of cheezy Lake Tahoe Motel made a good move staying at Kirkwood Ski Resort Condo. Yup--that's snow in the hills in JULY!.

-Mike came in at 11:45. Had dozed off when he called, had to flash lights on balcony, in car to find place. Beautiful-- pitch dark outside.

-Friday Big Mike, CA Mike, Jack and Donna and I did Blue Lakes Road. Really nice 24 mile out and back at nice pace. Later in day would get Blue Lakes headband for Donna and Mike. At 7500 feet drinking like crazy-note a little SOB when pushing hard, slight headache. But notice that when it is 60 degrees it feels warmer than where we live-when 80 it feels cooler.

Day before the gang went up last year bonus pass Blue Lakes Road for a warm up.
-Went to check in at 2:30. What a zoo. 30 people on K-L line, no one on other lines at end of alphabet. Then long long line to pick up preordered clothes. By the time we finished didn’t want to look around. Donna told that spaces would be opened, for $100 cash, at 10pm. (Had to park on road, Turtle Rock Park stuffed)
-CA Mike comes over for pasta, sausage dinner. We drive over at 9:45—wait in line-Donna & Mike get in—packet only has number-no patch etc.
-Sleep 114:45, wake up 12:30, alarm clock 3:30—leave Kirkwood 4:30—park on road about ¼ mile away. People camping on shoulder of road. Long trek to bathroom—I’m barely ready at 5:30-Donna going to leave at 6:00. Pass both Mikes at start who are milling around. CA Mike rides downhill with me but I’m out to BEAT LAST YEAR BY 1 HOUR. Figure I can get to Carson with 30m less rest stops and 30m quicker.
-Warm-warm warm down to Markleville on speedy downhill, feel good. Think it is going to be a 90 degree day. At the end of Blue Lakes Road, Donna and I pose in front of what CA Mike dubbed the Big Mike Memorial. After saying that we saw CA Mike quickly leave the area.

-Woman drafting off of me to checkpoint, we get on Monitor I think I’m going to ride away from her-wrong-she just jumps out—breathing a little labored in coolness of morning but no way I’d catch her. LOOSE WEIGHT NEXT YEAR.
-Passing lots of people, but passed by lots of people also (10:1 ratio) but tons of riders on road. When do they start? 5:00?? Again have to pass people close to yellow line. See Steve on way up. EZ to Monitor 1.
-MONITOR 1 6:51 (last year 6:55) +4 min
-Real long shadows down Monitor. Sunny but some clouds in sky. Comfortable. Can see riders come by from shadows before they pass. No one says on your left—which is scary when I’m passing a slowpoke on right and someone screams by. Suddenly 4 bikes in front of me hear POP-blowout, everyone jams brakes and slows down. Unbeknownst to me Steve had passed me on downhill and was behind the guy.
-Topaz Rest Stop (mile 25, first rest stop+10 minutes)—no Cliff Bars but mini Cliff Builder Bars.
-Start climb up and scores of riders now coming down with whining gears and occasional screech of brakes. CA Mike arrives when I’m leaving. Small stones falling off rocks in right. Soon pass Big Mike who had not stopped yet. Pass Steve—then he digs to get back to me, which helps on headwind when we get close to Monitor top. Took advantage of running water guys who did a great job. Saw Donna coming down when near top—only about a dozen riders followed, but then after 5-10 minutes lots of other riders on the road coming up.
-MONITOR 2 8:37 (last year 8:48) +11min
-On way down feel really good. Actually start by munching mini Cliff Power Bar but sits in throat—toss in bushes after one bite. Settle in behind some medium speed downhillers. Get to a roller, ready to power over when some chubby person yells “I’M ON YOUR LEFT” and zooms by me—rest of downhill I stay behind them and on part I could get to 50 they were blocking road so I couldn’t pick it up. As soon as we swing to climb I pass and say nicely “ON YOUR LEFT. “
-Have been standing a little to much so going to cut back a little. Stop at Centerville for serious bathroom stop #2 and drink. Guy at sink says clouds, still very high and white but covering much of sky, means that thunderstorms may be moving in. Oh shit. Impetus to ride harder, Women (who supposedly looked like St Pauli Girls) yelling from house on Ebbets but I had pushed past without looking around., Start up Ebbets and feel good. Half way up start riding w/ Colnago rider from Auburn who Big Mike zoomed past at Sierra Century. This year they had kilo markers on road which was cool. Speaking of cool-it was cool outside. Get near top and worker singing a folk song-called out to get him to sing Doors, sang a little “Light My Fire. Arrive at cow grate very quickly.
-EBBETS 1 10:23 (last year 10:38) +15min .
-Very quick down to Ebbets 2. Not to many people coming up-road narrow enough so not to many people passing. Mentioned to someone that road was knarly-someone else surprised that I said it and found out until the end road isn’t bad at all—a great road compared to Morgan Territory or the crap found on the terrible Twos. Saw a few people with new Terrible Two jersey and always talked about lousy downhills there. Hermit Valley stop great—someone had pre sliced bananas as they said that in years passed loads of banana wrappers in bushes-trees after event. Here they had massage therapist also, as well as packets of hammergel. Serious potty break #3-fig newtons and wheat thins. Jack pulls in when I’m leaving, Big Mike and CA Mike seen while climbing. But real cool (not cold) and overcast-started climb with arm warmers and vest—though quickly taken off. Passed by guy on Bianci with SPD shoes that resembled hiking boots—had to repass him (as earlier in day young guy with mountain bike shots and button down shirt.) Usually stayed as far over to the right as possible as loads of cyclists screaming down unlined road—one or two passing very far to their left. Nice tree lined road. Very quickly to—this pass only 6 miles compared to 8-12 miles of other passes (and 14 for Carson later on) Remark to someone at top that we now have two downhills but only one climb to go. Chuckles.
-EBBETS 2. 11:24 (last year 11:38) +14 minutes but in reality all rest stop time saved--26 minutes of rest stops thru Hermit valley this year, 43 minutes last year so 17 minutes less this year.
-Best downhill on ride (12 miles-ez turns that turns into rollers) marred by hordes of people coming up. Hoards is right word and you can’t set up on a sharp right handed turn as most likely 3 cyclists across road so one is over enter line. Sometimes 4 across. I yelled at two cyclists coming down—had to check behind guy in black Pink Floyd Jersey who slowed every time we passed a 3 across---and lucky he did as after a blind right turn some ass in a YELLOW TRIPLE CROWN JERSEY weaving on our side of the road. I yelled at guy and later some other cyclist bsing 4 across.
When we hit rollers I tried to get into paceline, but with wind aid I couldn’t pedal fast enough to catch group in front of me, so took it easy and flew into lunch. Mile 80—11:49, +16 last year) Thought I might see Donna but she missed lunch stop completely. Like Terrible Two lunch—one slice bread, 1 slice roast beef (no turkey this time, in case you do get sleepy) and one slice ham. No diet soda so ½ can of Coke. Only at lunch stop for 18 minutes (last year 23)—Jack and Steve pull in-Steve stays for lunch, Jack just grabs banana and fills water bottles. Jack and I ride back together, no headwind into Markleeville this year. On downhill rollers we catch paceline—on an uphill I go to the front but other guys want to pull so happy to let them. At Markleville lawn filled with people cheering. Steep uphill from Markleville to Turtle Rock park-Jack says he may get rain jacket—to Jack’s amazement I tell him I am changing jersey, shorts and may take rain jacket. I get to car-mile 90-12:42, 24 minutes ahead of last year.
After checkin relaxing on the lawn of the Alpine Courthouse, the next day this will be full of people cheering when we ride through.
Donna waiting, she did 2 passes, feels great, but argued w/ sheriff when he wanted to send her to lunch stop/ Ebbets that she wanted to get back. Additionally her cleat was lose. But she had a great time. Jack pulled up, said he had changed his mind-I told him I was going to take 5 minutes so he pushed on, saying I’d catch him. In 8 minutes (last year 12 minutes) left behind arm warmers, changed socks, jersey (to tri top) and shorts, and took thin clear vest instead of Diablo Cyclist one. Left mess behind that Donna said she’d take care of. New Hammergel and Jojo nut bar grabbed and I watered a bush.
Fast downhill (oh shit, well have to come back this way) to Woodford. No sign of Jack-but I figure better stop here to top off with drink—and I have since give up on Cytomax so fill with water and grab a few wheat thins while still on bike. While starting to ride pop some endurolights. Great-hammergel apple cinnamon instead of chocolate/ banana mix.
Two guys pass—one doing lots of work in the front and I hop on the back. At first a real effort to stay with them but with headwind—really string from the beginning, I work to stay on. After 5 minutes I go to the front and tell guy I’ll do work, but unfortunately pace them of my wheel. Guy going downhill shouts a greeting—must be Ish. Get in terms with Asian guy going towards Pickets Junction—at first he does work and then I take over, don’t know if I paced him off wheel or he stopped, but no need to stop at Pickets so I pressed on. Jack was in Pickets as I found out later—but I thought he was up the road. I looked back and in the near distance, no cyclists to form paceline with—on flat portion from Pickets to Blue Lake much worse headwind than last year. Cool but working so hard was real comfortable in tri top.
After Blue Lakes road steepness picks up. A few cyclists passed me but going at too fast a pace for me to stay with. I passed dozens of cyclists basically crawling in the cross/ headwind. No one remotely going my speed for me to tag team with. Nobody. The wind was brutal—at one point I got into the 27 for the first time all day. Couldn’t believe that I hadn’t come across Jack—he must be flying with his end-o-ride energy. See smiley face indicating 4 miles to go—4 mile is ez—but not on an uphill battered by a relentless wind. AT least no signs of thunderstorms.
Two guys whiz by—Terrible Two jersey and Pinnarello guy. Can’t let these two get away but I am sapped of all energy trying to catch them. Actually they aren’t riding together-Terrible Two guys surges on ahead. I get in back of Pinarello guy and he does all of the work. Smiley face on road-1.2 miles to go-I can hang on. Phil Liggets’s “he never gives up-never” reverberates in my brain. We hit the wall and make the turn—battered by side wind—comment to Pinarello guy how we never get tailwind—suddenly we do, for about 500’, but this allows me to recover 1/ 2 way up turn and I go to the front. Now just have to get ½ way up wall and final turn. We catch Terrible Two guy, and I now start standing and kicking it into 2nd gear while leading the climb. Catch a few slower cyclists who are blocking an unofficial cameraman, then see the real cameraman and the visitors center and start of downhill to Carson Pass stop. Cameraman is urging a fist pump but no need to elicit an exuberant response from me.
-CARSON PASS 2:38, +33 minutes faster than last year.
-I exchange stoked congrats with Pinarello guy as we thank each other for the work. Make sure I get crunch pop from cut kid-not a fudgeicle. Here they are handing out 5 pass pins—trouble is one of my stickers fell off (actually at car two others were coming off, due to the humidity—Jack would also be missing a sticker.) Funny banter with guy checking for 5 stickers but got pin. Looked around for Jack, didn’t see him. Grabbed some wheat thins, banana, filled bottle (it was almost empty) and sat in lounge chair—in cover wind was blocked and sun was shining down strongly. Wound up sitting next to Pinarello guy who was from San Jose. Didn’t care if Jack was going to rush through this stop, after rushing though rest stops all day long, and rushing out of this one last year when doing bonus pass, I was going to enjoy this one. Jack arrives about 5 minute s later—and he is of same mind frame—to sit around and relax at this rest stop. We don’t leave for 34 minutes—later CA Mike tells us he “pulled a Jack” and when he got to Carson just grabbed a banana and split. Hee hee hee. New Steve pulled in about 20 minutes after I did, he enjoyed the ride.
-Start going down and Jack passes. Terrible crosswind and I get huge case of bike shimmy—brake and it still goes on—forgot to hold top tube with legs. Ready to pull over but wind is fierce where bail out is so I keep going and shimmy subsides. Passed by loads of riders screaming downhill—a few cautious ones. Love when I get back to flat section by Blue Lakes Road and have to actually pedal. Steep down to Woodsford but wind has subsided so fun—sign posted 35mph, and that is what I’m doing so I can stay in middle of road. A few guys pass on downhill, when road straightens out I dig to catch up with them. Two guys really strong and I just sit in the back. We hit first series of sharp uphills and I spot Jack ahead—tell people that I’m with that I need to make junction, so I pull back to Jack. “Hey, want to get into a paceline.” Then big steep uphill where my legs cracked last year, this year didn’t crack but one guy takes off, I stand and though putting out a comfortable pace can’t come near to what guy is doing. Donna at car-I’m back at 4:04, 11 minutes ahead of last year (if I deduct Blue Lakes Road) but 12 less minutes of breaks. 14.0 average speed-slightly higher than last year.
Finishing the Death Ride--the last climb back to Turtle Rock Park.

Donna and I go over to fest. Sign death ride poster-pumpkin in lower right corner. Donna gets patch. , we wind up (2nd year in a row) at table in front of speakers. Music OK but it is like sitting in a bar where you can’t her anyone. Jack joins us. Good bow tie pasta salad-GREAT chicken. Big Mike comes in 30 minutes later-CA Mike in about another 20 minutes. Band takes break—everyone sounds jazzed about Death Ride.
After doing 5 passes for the first time the day before--CA Mike &Big Mike both jazzed--I'm pretty happy also.

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