Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Year In Review 2012

2012 was a great cycling year.   There were 4 highlights:

1. After 3 years of planning (Year 1 I broke shoulder blade a month before, Year 2 crapped out with altitude sickness on the 5th pass) I finished the 200 mile, 8 Death Ride pass, 20,000' climbing ALTA ALPINA DOUBLE.  Finished near the back (53rd of 70 finishers) but 35% of the 107 starters couldn't finish it.  Weather was perfect and Toby joined me for his first Double, and as he got lost he may be the only 8 1/2 pass finisher. 

2. After 7 years of being booted out of the El Dorado County,  THE SIERRA CENTURY returned to Plymouth and reclaimed its mantle as the world's greatest Century.   Great support and the BEST route.  I was sky high for the double metric version and great that I was joined by Ward, Toby and Dr. Dave--with Dr. Dave making friends along the way.  Perfect weather for me--maybe a tad to warm for normal folks.  I was stoked for 6 hours that seemingly passed by in 6 minutes.

3. My last doubles race was on my favorite doubles course, THE MT TAM DOUBLE.  I've finished in the 20's and 30's before, and was shocked when midway at a water stop I was told I was in the high teens.   So I had to ride hard the rest of the way--only passed by one person when upright and ? when down on the ground.  I rode this one solo but was lucky to team up with many good people, especially Ish who used to live around the corner from me--and would joyfully talk about the crazy long distance rides he did while I did 20 miles max on a hybrid.  While following Ish up the Coast a car took us out but still managed to finish (t)16th of 239 starters.

4. My original plan was only to do DEVIL MOUNTAIN DOUBLE, formerly tied for hardest double until Alta Alpina came along, every 3 years--but I did it three years in a row for Alta Alpina training.  Cisco Dave decided to make this his first double (I know some crazy people) and we rode much of the front side and end together.   Except for a tough last two mile up Mt. Hamilton-the "other shoe" never dropped.  My training buddy Ward waiting in Sunol to take photos and he said "you guys are here early."  Shit yeah--down Niles Canyon-up Palomaras-up Crow Canyon in the daylight.   Finished 32nd of 132 starters. 

All told #35 (hoping to get in #36) century rides* or more (*century ride counted as 90 miles or more--as Chico Wildflower 95 miles and Solvang Double 191 miles.  Seems ridiculous to ride around the parking lot 78x to get 100 miles.  The ride is the ride.  In any event, a 200 mile ride just counts as 1 century ride)

Two Part Video of Seminal Ride Highlights
HD versions on You Tube at these links


Biggest Bust
Sequoia Century.  After hearing how great this ride was we kept running into long-long lines at rest stops, with the official slogan being "oh, we ran out of that."  ("That" being basic things like bananas.) 

Worst product
Garmin/ Strava--I may be the last person to get this .   Do I really want to race an unseen Freddie Rodriguez one day, and someone 80 lbs overweight the next.   No--I don't care about your Strava segment putting you 1st on your buddy's driveway.   Just do an fn interval to catch up to the person who really passed you or is ahead of you.  Sign up for a timed Double--your time for the whole 200 miles is what is important, not that you were 2nd on a 1/4 mile stretch.

Best product

This is an independent collaborative effort between WI and PC.    I added a subtle modification.  I'm still wondering how WI did such a good job pasting in CA Mike under Kate Upton who was reclining on the bench in Berkeley.
Photoshoppe Elements-This is addictive.  On most rides there are about 50-150 photos taken and some movie clips.  Then some photographs call for "modification."

Funniest Quote
Sacto I Doug's Friend To Ward at the End of the Sierra Century
"Oh, are you in Doug's church group"

Feed The Homeless Cyclist Quote
Salivating Cisco Dave at the top of a cold Mt Hamilton when I break out a peanut butter/ pumpkin butter sandwich
"Are you going to eat all that?"

Brave Moment
Fredrick eating a 7-11 hot dog before shooting up Sierra Road

Biggest Regret
No Dr. Dave Cabin ride-sleeted out

Bowlers or Shuffleboard Players welcome.
Newcomers kicked our butt all year.  Especially Toby who once did 5 full triathalons (and was leading) in 5 days.  And Rebecca who won a marathon, and rode with a usual 174 h.r.   Luckily training with them and the rest of our Club made the crazy rides easier.

Hope They Are Having Fun
Guy who finished 2nd in Alta Alpina  indicates he would have finished first but needed to take a dump.

Guy who finished in top 10 in Mt Tam Double indicates grams from rear light flasher caused exertion of needless energy.

Part of Devil Mountain Double I Never Have To Do Again
Sierra Road

Part of Devil Mountain Double I May Did Again if Pleaded With to Join In
Patterson Pass--the @12 mile run in is the best East Bay ride.

Clearance Items
Livestrong Helmets from the "most successful doping program sport has ever seen"

Growing Old Is The Shits
Combating vein problem most of the year and back mysteriously went out for a month (a record.)  After this year culminating in the best results on endurance rides, maybe next year is time to cut back.  They're getting too damn hard.

Athlete of the Year
Michelle Jenneke

Socialist Government Handout of the Year
Sudden and rapid paving of the crater strewn road at the Southgate entrance to Mt. Diablo State Park.  Even the Tea Party may agree that the government should pave the roads.

Shoe Carving in 2012
Seems so long ago now, but started off the year with brand new cycling shoes.  OUCH.  Someone decided to move the top strap back 1 cm so it digs into the ankle.  Solution--cutting fringes along the top strap.