Monday, August 24, 2009

Stage Race Analysis

Using total distance of 625 miles (DMD 206, CCD 218, Tam 200; plus fractions of a mile at each ride, adding up to approximately another mile), my average overall speed, including off the bike time, was 13.987 mph.

My stage times were
DMD: 16:42
CCD: 14:47
Tam: 13:12

3:30 difference between DMD and Tam -- pretty shocking. Almost as shocking as the 1:55 faster time at CCD than DMD on a course that was 12 miles longer. I give much credit for that to the sock-full-of-ice neck tie.

At DMD, that was the best I could do that day. I was undertrained and overheated and overextended myself trying to ride with Hornig, Forsman, Hebenstreit (all of whom rode 14:04 or faster), and god knows who else was in that paceline through Livermore to the 580 overcrossing. I skipped mini stops at Mines before lunch and on top of Hamilton. I spent lots of time at other rest stops it was out of necessity.

Off the bike dawdling cost me 20-30 minutes at CCD. I had good legs and often rode fairly close to the limit. Also, I could have shaved 3-5 minutes in the last 20 miles, I imagine, had I not ridden with the Latvian guy because I had to slow down for him, before finally riding away.

Tam was the perfect storm of good legs, great weather, minimizing off the bike time, and riding with a purpose. I have no idea how much time I spent off the bike because my computer died five miles into the ride. I think the difference between CCD and Tam times was due to the shorter distance and off the bike time.

If I decide to do the stage race in the future, I'd like to finish closer in time to the winner than 8:21, whatever my final place in the standings. I think that's a better measuring stick of fitness, though I'm still thrilled to have finished where I did this year.

Tentatively, next year, I'd like to do the Solvang Spring (promised an overweight friend to ride with him), DMD (want to break 16 hours or even ride a 15:30, if all goes well), Alpina (I've never done the Death Ride, so I might as well do the Mother of the Death Ride), and Borrego Springs (description is very scenic and I have family in the Palm Springs area, so I may be able to combine the ride with a family visit). Perhaps a faster time at Terrible Two as well.


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