Don’t worry guys. I’m here. I wasn’t here before cause I was busy riding my bike out in the desert with my team. What does 40 college/graduate students spending the weekend in the bowels of the Mojave look like? Well to quote a wise, wise lady, “you guys look like really athletic, attractive hobos.”
Everything got started Friday after work, when I worked up a sweat with some furious packing. I guess let’s back up a bit. I’m a co-race director for races the UCSD Triathlon team puts on. I found out at 12:30AM Friday morning that I had to have final results from our most recent race submitted to USA Triathlon by 5PM. An hour later, results were done, but my plan to wake up early to pack was shot. Since my friend, our team captain, and general old man Bill was in my car, I couldn’t push back our departure time because we can’t be arriving past Bill’s bedtime of like 8PM or something. So after a long day of work, I snuck out at 4:00, threw my bike and camp gear together, and was out the door by 4:45PM.
First stop: Ralph’s to pick up firewood and some food for the weekend. As I’m walking to check out, I spot this glorious outfit:
Weekend is off to a great start.
Day 1 of bike camp brought an AM run and a 12:30PM ride. The run was relatively straight forward. 20 minute warm up, some drills, then 2 out and backs on an 1.5 mile “easy” trail. First time easy, second time building. Turned out that the trail was a mix of loose sand and short technical trail segments. I did one lap, hit an hour of running, and called it a day to go stretch and eat. Good thing I did because multiple folks who went out for round 2 came back with tweaked ankles and scraped knees. Not what I need.
Then it was time for the bike. 1 hour out toward the Salton Sea, 1 hour back. Easy ride. And I really excited to see the Salton Sea for the first time since it’s somewhat of a geophysicist’s nerd place. Piece of cake, right? Well yeah, except for this:
So here’s what that looks like when you’re riding:
We’ll call this ride “character building.” I’m very happy I was on my commuter road bike and not my triathlon bike. I would have been tossed clear off the road on many of the gusts on my tri bike. Not to mention I looked pretty fantastic riding a steel frame around the desert. Kinda like old school Tour de France riders, minus the spare tires around my chest. (If you want to see some more silly pictures of the Tour, here are some.)
Anywho, some stats from day 1: 56 mile ride, 2400ft elevation gain, 1:10 out, 2:10 back (whoa), 16.6 mph average (yikes), 140 bpm (recovery ride!). Then it was back to camp for dinner, some refreshments, and much needed sleep.
Day 2: Montezuma Grade. My first Hors Categorie climb. Here’s what an HC climb looks like:
I wanted to keep the climb nice and steady since I knew there were 40 more miles after getting to the top. I backed off anytime my heart rate started to stay over 160bpm, finishing just behind the first group in 68 minutes (9.6mph). After a quick water refill, the lead group was off to finish the ride, starting with what could be the straightest 5 mile descent on the planet. We got to the stop sign at 5 miles and the most senior rider of the group commented that we just nailed that section. Turns out he was right:
After riding with the lead group for awhile, my glute seized up right as a headwind smashed the group apart. Without my butt working correctly, I juster couldn’t produce the power to bridge back up to the group and ended up riding the last 25 miles by myself in no-man’s-land, with ~7 in front of me, ~4 behind me. It wasn’t too bad though since the ride profile looked like this:
The totals for the weekend were 1hr running, 6:30 in the saddle. On the drive home I realized that an Ironman bike is both rides from the weekend plus another 6 miles. In one day. With a marathon after. Crap. Well, hopefully with less wind and climbing. With Bike Camp 2012 over, my first full week of training came to a close:
Swim: 2:30. Bike: Run: 2:15. Bike: 7:20.