Friday, August 27, 2010

The Gravel World Championships

first of all, i'd like to thank all all the PCL folks for putting on an event that was: 1) well organized 2) challenging 3) fun 4) didn't cost an arm and a leg and 5) full riders who were skilled and friendly. special thanks to Cory for putting on the event and thanks to CVO for providing some mobile oasis action to riders on the route.

rafal and i headed to lincoln on friday night for rider check-in and enjoy some yia-yia's pizza with the PCL crew. after that, we ready the bikes and hit the hay. 4am, we are up and at em for the 515 rider check-in and pre-race meeting. we make small talk with the folks who we met the year before. 6am we are on the road. a flurry of bike lights hit the road in search of gravel glory. pretty soon the really fast group pulls away around mile 3, followed by the fast group around mile 5. the high dew point and fast pace quickly soaks your kit. no worries though, the low 70s temp makes things aight.
i pull into the first checkpoint feelin great! 38 miles down in under 2.5 hours. the really fast guys have come and gone. i fill up the water bottles and am back in the saddle. everything is going well until mile 50. hello cramps. i take it easy, push some electrolyte tabs and continue on. the temp continues to climb, but im feeling great. i arrive in in malcom, around mile 70 in under five hours. im feelin great. i push some calories and some fluids. miles 70-80 are cake and im cruising with a north wind. the oasis location at mile 80 proved to be a very welcoming place. shade, cool water, and friendly folks. i fill up two more water bottles, take a double shot of gatorade concentrate, enjoy some tasty tomatoes, make some small talk about oasis-host Jane's garden and am back on the road. Miles 80-100 were so so....and then...pain. my pace up to this point was somewhere around 14-15mph. From mile 100-111 the pace slowed down as the temps rose. it was at that point i realized there's no shame in walking up a hill at 4mph when you can only ride up it at 5mph. my strategy was to sprint down the hills, coast for a bit, and try to maintain as much momentum as i could on the uphill portion of the rollers. that works great for hills that are close to each other. not so much for the long 1/4mile hills. i pull into some shade, drink some water and some electrolyte tabs and assess the siuation. only 10 miles left to hickman, water supply is going down, and im starting to get headaches. the breaks are getting more frequent and longer. i know something wasnt right when i kept refering to my cue sheet every few minutes, stopped sweating, and started getting goose bumps. this is not good. i gotta hand it to CVO. that guy was crusing down the road and was filling up everybody's waterbottle. i fill three water bottles and hit the road again. the gas tank was empty. the last 10 miles took around 90 minutes. i pull into hickman and see jamie and fenway relaxing in some shade. jamie said i looked like hell and wasnt speaking in very coherent sentences. with 90+ temps and high humidity, i decided to pull the plug with 40 miles to go.

the takeaways from this are to maintain a better hydration plan. although i drank 14-some bottles of fluid, i should prolly pack a camel back for an extra 100oz of cold water. one positive takeaway was that I got to 111 miles faster on this ride than to 100 miles on the dirty kanza 200. This trend of DNF's will have to stop if i want to maintain any type of gravel glory. or maybe i just need to get some more training rides in hot weather or race when it's cooler weather.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

a long way to gravel glory

well, the DK200 was a hard day of cycling. here's a quick recap.

RD, EB, and I rolled into a windy, hot, and humid Emporia, Kansas during the middle of Friday for the pre-race check in and orientation. We met the race directors Jim and Joel, both high-class guys who know how to put on a top notch event. registration and orientation went well and it was time to hit the hay. i didnt sleep too well. pre-race jitters make sleeping the night before these events a little difficult. i may take a page from RD and sneak a little nightcap in before hitting the hay.

raceday started with a 415 wakeup call. the 'stach crew pounded some food and liquids prior to rolling out with the lincoln guys at around 530. the lincoln guys are great cyclists, pretty laid back, and fun to hang out with. everybody is there to have fun and take care of business on the bike when it's time. we rolled to the starting line in front of the Granada theater and watched the riders accumulate. there were about 160-some riders at the start line when we began the neutral roll out with the emporia police escort. i hung out in the middle of the pack as we started to hit the gravel and the race was on. then, on like the first bump, and my two rear water bottles pop off. snap! 500 feet into the race and im already in last place. i secure the bottles in my jersey and play catch up.

the first 10 miles of gravel were flat and easy going. after that, the steady diet of climbs, rocky flint, and wind chipped away at your morale. the humid morning air was not too bad because the headwinds and crosswinds cooled you off. however, the winds were relentless. after finishing some climbs you were totally exposed to the wind that tried to push you over. 15-20mph winds continued all morning long. oh well, glad RD and I got some training in on some windy days in early may, otherwise that would'a been much more difficult of a day. i was passing lots of the slower riders but not making too much ground on some of the faster riders. i think i try much harder when there's an element of a pursuit, like there is in the wednesday night ride. anyways, i was fooling myself, the fast group is really fast. they were pushing a 17mph pace where I was maybe pushing 13 the first two or so hours. at around mile 40 the headwinds and crosswinds finally turned to a tailwind as the next 20 or so miles would be with the wind at our backs as we cruised to the first checkpoint. things were going well until flat-city. around mile 42 there was a great descent. i was rolling a little too flat and hit a cattle grate and heard a hissing sound. arg...first flat. luckily there was some shade that the cows were not occupying. i try to fix the pinch flat but abandon that because i couldn't locate where the hole was. too much wind made it difficult. i fix the flat and then hop on the bike. at about the same time i noticed none of my four water bottles had any contents. thankfully some riders shared a bit of their commodity before i spotted a farm house and filled up again.

i hit the first checkpoint feeling ok. a little dehydrated, but ok. i stocked up on fuel and then hit the road. the next 40 were with a tailwind, so that was nice, kinda. tailwinds make it hard to cool off and the temp had climbed into the 90s. Ouch. Around mile 80 i began to question why was i doing this. in all of these races, there's a little voice in your head telling you to keep going and to not quit. that voice was telling me to take it easy and not kill myself. i switched to a long sleeve collared shirt to protect me from the sun. it helped, but i was beat. the breaks became frequent and there was no drive to keep going. at checkpoint #2 i called it a day. my head hurt and my legs were cramping.

there were many folks who called it quits at that point in the race. it was 3pm and i still had a 100 miles to go. no mas. luckily, i ran into a guy who i rode with on the Good Life Gravel Adventure and he was able to give me a lift back into Emporia. Ahh, air conditioning...

I spent the next few hours eating and enjoying some nice tallgrass wheat beer with some construction guys.

it's a long way to gravel glory. i'll be back. no DNF next time. better training means a better chance to cross the finish line.

****photo credit to Corey Godfrey for the Best Western greeting photo

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

ridin' dirty!

the Dirty Kanza 200 is right around the corner.

i may have put in <750 miles since march and am a little nervous about the race... but who knows how it will go.

you never know until you go out there and give it your best effort.

my primary goal? finish. secondary goal? average ~12-13mph over the 200 mile stretch. even though my miles may not be where they should be, finishing a tough century ride during a gusty weekend provided confidence and progress. we'll see about this heat we are supposed to get, but if i ride within myself, i'll be there to cross the line. special recognition to RD for setting a tough pace to follow and the trek store's wednesday night rides to see what it's like to pedal with the big fellas. cheers!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

ridin' dirty

rafal and i have been doin some pretty sweet gravel routes this spring. who knows, i may even get into the dirty kanza 200...keep your fingers crossed. more news to come

Monday, April 26, 2010

Big News!

New Edition to the Peters Family!

Meet Fenway!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Where does the time go??


it's been quite a while since the last entry in the ol' blogo
here's a quick recap of what's been going on.
  • mucho landscaping and earth moving to get the garden in
  • riding to work every day since 1 March
  • ive started riding bikes with guys who know how ride bikes reeeealy fast. the only thing i know is that if you dont keep up, you'll never catch up...
  • work has been exactly
  • 1/2 iron man is coming up hoping the hammie is up to the challenge
  • were gettin a dog pretty soon
that's all i got...until later!