Archive for June 12, 2012

Out west – days 19, 20, 21 – Tulsa Tough Race Report

Watching the Friday night fireworks as the pacecar zooms by near the end of the race

Friday, Blue Dome Criterium, 38th
This was a great kick-off race for the weekend of racing at Tulsa Tough. I didn’t know how my legs would feel after a 750 mile drive on the heels of two days of HC climbing in Los Alamos. But it turns out they felt really great. I didn’t anticipate how early our Pro/1 field would try to line up for the start immediately following the 1/2 race — so I ended up starting near the very back of the field. The figure-eight course was super fast, but not very hard. You could always carry your speed through each corner – and because the race never really slowed down much it was hard to pass anyone since there would always be a corner coming up. Eventually I figured out that the short stretch of road between turns 4 and 5 was the spot to pass – but as I found out on the next to last lap, it put you in a bad spot for turn #6. I was moving up really well from near the back of the field to the top 30 or so when I got cut off on turn #6 having to slam on the brakes to avoid colliding with the rider coming from outside to inside on that corner. I lost 10 spots immediately and a lot of momentum going into the final lap. The last lap was so fast that there wasn’t much passing. I ended up getting 38th. The best part of the race, though, was the fireworks (literally) from a nearby baseball game that started with 15 minutes left in our race lasting until the next to last lap. It was a really psychedelic experience as the fireworks were in plain view in front of us on two stretches of the course. Plus they were so loud that you didn’t hear the normal sounds of a bike race. I was disappointed with my result, but the race was very fast and fun, and I knew my legs felt great for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday, Brady Village Criterium, 25th
Josiah and Analise both raced the kids race with Josiah cruising to a 2nd place finish in the 6 and under category. The video below is of Josiah getting 2nd in the kids race. Analise had a rough start, but finished strong in the 7 and older category.

Josiah shows off his 2nd place medal, and Analise shows off her ribbon

Our race was an L-shaped course starting out very flat with two quick lefts. Then after a long straightaway, the course had its only righthand turn followed by a long uphill. This hill was lined with tons of people from nearby restaurants and bars. Then we turned left to continue up a frontage road next to an interstate overpass. People climbed way up on the concrete to watch the race and scream/cheer for us. Then we turned left to fly down the hill into the final turn. Even with a very strong headwind, the hill was steep enough that we went screaming through the last turn fast every lap. I started towards the middle of the field and fought hard to stay there eventually moving up to 25th by the end.

Sunday, Cry-baby Hill Criterium, 32nd
This was the marquee event of the weekend and has to rank as one of the coolest criterium experiences ever. The long 10% hill on the course was lined with so many people packed in so tightly that it felt like what I would imagine riding a grand tour climb through throngs of people would be like. On some laps, you could only fit two or three riders at a time together through the people spraying water with garden hoses, super-soakers, and water bottles. I started at the back again after getting lost on my warm-up. I only had a few minutes to find water, find and kiss Kristine, and make it to the start line. Then there was a somewhat lengthy call-up so I actually had a little more time than I anticipated. In any case, I was at the very back.

The course started out flat along the Arkansas River before narrowing from four lanes to a one lane off-ramp at the base of Cry Baby Hill. The average gradient for the climb is about 10% with half the climb on the off-ramp, and the other half once you make the righthand turn onto W 13th St. This is where it got really crowded with so many people yelling and screaming and many of them dressed up in different costumes. Super-soakers, water bottles, garden hoses were all used to douse us with water, which was really important because the race temp was well into the 90s. Imagine an Athens Twilight crowd on a narrow road without any barriers separating the crowd from the racers – it was absolutely awesome.

Once you crested the climb, you went down a short steep hill to a cross steep with a hump across the middle. On the first lap when we were flying, I caught air on the hump accidentally. Then the road kicked back up again for the turn onto S Galveston Ave which took you down a steep hill into a 110 degree turn back onto the start/finish stretch. This is when you were hit with a huge tailwind, which meant that the corner wasn’t too bad because the tailwind made it possible to get back up to speed quickly/easily rather than trying to risk carrying a crazy amount of speed through the corner.

Josiah making the most of a small sand pit next to turn 3 (don’t worry, this was a very slow uphill corner)
Kristine got this video of the downhill corner of the first lap of our race (Pro/1) -

I felt really good on the hill and passed people every lap. I would continue to pass people on the downhill into the 110 degree turn. I would then hold my position well until just before the turn to go up the hill, where I would usually get passed by several people every lap. Rinse and repeat and this meant that I very, very slowly worked my way from the back of the field to the front. Just before two laps to go, I surged one more time and moved into the top 20 – but then on the flat stretch leading into the hill, there was a big swarm of people up either side and I lost a lot of positions. I started passing people again on the climb, but the damage was done as I was maybe 40 riders back by this point. I continued passing riders everywhere I could, but I only ended up 32nd. Still, this was an Athens Twilight style race that you were happy to finish. Next year, I will be more aggressive on the flat stretch going into the hill so that I don’t lose so many positions each lap.

Coming out of turn 3

Here is all my power and heartrate data from the three races:

Tulsa Tough Friday – Blue Dome Criterium

Tulsa Tough Saturday – Brady Village Criterium

Tulsa Tough Sunday – Cry Baby Hill Criterium

Tulsa Tough Friday – Blue Dome Criterium

Tulsa Tough Saturday – Brady Village Criterium

Tulsa Tough Sunday – Cry Baby Hill Criterium

Tulsa Tough Friday – Blue Dome Criterium – Pedal Force / Pedal Velocity

Tulsa Tough Saturday – Brady Village Criterium – Pedal Force / Pedal Velocity

Tulsa Tough Sunday – Cry Baby Hill Criterium – Pedal Force / Pedal Velocity

Tulsa Tough Friday – Blue Dome Criterium – Power Map

Tulsa Tough Saturday – Brady Village Criterium – Power Map

Tulsa Tough Sunday – Cry Baby Hill Criterium – Power Map

LAP DATA / SPLITS

DAY 1, FRIDAY BLUE DOME CRITERIUM
Lap	Time	Avg Pow	Max Pow	HR	MPH
1	01:37	304	901	155	25.5
2	01:23	255	897	164	28.3
3	01:21	309	923	167	29.5
4	01:20	302	911	171	29.4
5	01:19	311	959	173	30.3
6	01:16	292	888	174	31.1
7	01:20	266	883	171	30.2
8	01:20	266	835	169	29.9
9	01:18	304	914	171	30.7
10	01:21	290	705	172	29.2
11	01:24	263	952	169	28.2
12	01:27	267	857	168	27.6
13	01:24	280	792	168	28.7
14	01:20	286	752	167	30
15	01:27	232	728	161	27.8
16	01:21	283	775	161	29.9
17	01:26	256	898	164	28
18	01:22	274	769	165	29.4
19	01:22	298	919	166	29.5
20	01:20	261	939	165	30
21	01:21	247	675	164	29.8
22	01:22	284	878	163	29.5
23	01:21	280	744	168	29.1
24	01:23	233	708	163	28.9
25	01:19	292	844	164	30.1
26	01:21	248	779	166	29.3
27	01:20	307	880	168	29.6
28	01:22	253	963	167	28.8
29	01:23	275	862	167	29
30	01:19	283	744	169	29.9
31	01:21	275	841	171	29.4
32	01:24	261	936	167	28.2
33	01:20	291	841	170	29.6
34	01:21	276	843	172	29
35	01:21	318	959	177	29.4
36	01:21	293	973	176	29.6
37	01:19	284	981	179	30.7
38	01:18	294	870	180	30.8
39	01:19	304	907	185	30.2
40	01:19	328	940	184	30.1
41	01:18	356	976	187	30.9
42	01:14	363	765	190	32.2
DAY 2, SATURDAY BRADY VILLAGE CRITERIUM
Lap	Time	Avg Pow	Max Pow	HR	MPH
1	01:57	295	880	151	26.1
2	01:42	287	839	166	29.1
3	01:43	270	888	168	28.3
4	01:40	246	958	164	29.4
5	01:44	262	821	165	28.2
6	01:41	279	894	170	28.9
7	01:41	257	913	170	29.5
8	01:37	300	909	170	30.3
9	01:46	262	814	172	27.9
10	01:42	279	990	170	29.3
11	01:38	296	998	178	29.7
12	01:39	263	976	175	30.1
13	01:41	270	949	173	29.4
14	01:41	275	941	173	29.5
15	01:42	242	773	174	29.1
16	01:42	245	768	165	29.3
17	01:42	263	853	170	28.8
18	01:43	275	876	173	28.7
19	01:45	268	796	171	27.9
20	01:44	278	937	171	28.3
21	01:42	235	826	169	29
22	01:43	254	890	170	29
23	01:45	266	735	169	28.5
24	01:43	259	767	171	28.6
25	01:40	260	781	172	29.7
26	01:43	275	805	172	28.8
27	01:43	261	716	170	29
28	01:44	250	729	170	28.5
29	01:47	237	892	173	27.7
30	01:46	263	912	171	27.9
31	01:44	244	737	171	28.6
32	01:46	256	754	172	28.3
33	01:47	278	868	173	27.4
34	01:46	247	773	173	27.9
35	01:42	270	862	172	29.2
36	01:41	266	864	176	29.4
37	01:40	284	888	178	29.8
38	01:46	273	884	175	28.1
39	01:43	263	821	175	28.7
40	01:43	291	882	180	29.2
41	01:44	281	860	181	28.6
42	01:41	287	880	181	29.3
43	01:44	248	901	181	28.2
44	01:43	272	806	181	28.4
45	01:47	274	954	183	27.7
46	01:42	297	927	189	28.9
47	01:37	379	990	193	30.3
DAY 3, SUNDAY CRY BABY HILL CRITERIUM
Lap	Time	Avg Pow	Max Pow	HR	MPH
1	02:09	310	847	152	23.7
2	01:53	279	826	163	26.1
3	01:56	259	909	163	25.5
4	01:52	267	819	165	26.7
5	01:54	280	907	166	25.8
6	01:57	279	928	173	25.3
7	02:06	222	803	165	23.4
8	01:56	262	784	165	25.1
9	01:56	265	960	167	25.4
10	01:50	318	1042	176	26.9
11	01:53	314	928	180	25.7
12	02:05	261	818	170	24
13	01:55	263	879	173	25.3
14	02:03	218	755	170	24
15	02:04	233	891	167	24
16	02:00	249	705	168	24.9
17	01:57	252	926	170	25.5
18	02:01	250	873	171	24.7
19	01:58	227	783	171	25.3
20	02:03	226	805	166	24
21	02:03	223	679	168	24.4
22	02:04	246	758	166	23.8
23	01:57	266	816	173	25
24	02:05	238	877	165	23.8
25	01:56	257	815	173	25.6
26	02:04	225	870	167	23.8
27	02:04	243	729	168	24
28	01:58	264	785	174	24.6
29	02:09	221	760	167	22.8
30	02:01	248	801	169	24.3
31	02:03	237	739	171	24
32	02:04	252	768	170	23.7
33	02:01	247	912	173	24.1
34	01:57	279	855	174	25.4
35	02:00	259	879	174	24.3
36	01:56	273	931	178	25.6
37	01:43	373	1041	188	28.3

June 12, 2012 at 10:40 am Leave a comment

Out west – days 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Day 17 – Inside the Valles Caldera
Day 17 – View of Los Alamos from the Pajarito Ski Hill

Sunday, Day 14 – Flagstaff, AZ
Bike to work week kick-off parade, Garmin search and non-rescue, Lowell observatory Saturn rings
We slept in a bit on Sunday having a leisurely morning before Kip and I took all the kids on a bike ride down to the “bike to work week” kick-off parade and bike swap while Kristine relaxed at the house. We made it just in time to tag onto the back of the parade. Lots of people were dressed up in costumes, and there was a competition for the most creative human powered vehicle — the winner ended up being a bike with trailer adorned with butterfly wings that flapped as the bike was ridden.

Day 14 – human powered parade

One guy did tricks on his BMX bike that Josiah really enjoyed, including standing up on the back pegs of the bike and letting the bike coast downhill no-handed. When he started to pick up a lot of speed he hopped off the bike and started running beside the bike while the bike continued on alone. Then before the bike fell he grabbed it and hopped back on again. My favorite part of the parade was the Alpine Pedaler (see video) with up to eight people lined up in two rows facing each other pedaling hard to move the large vehicle. The driver navigated at the front like a stage coach. After the parade we went to the bike swap where we got two helmets to replace the kids old helmets. Analise got one that exactly matched Eliza’s new helmet.

Day 14 – matching helmets

After lunch at the Beaver Street Brewery, we headed out to look for my Garmin – driving along some of the forest roads that were part of the race course before parking in a shady spot so I could bike the rest of the way to the area where I thought the Garmin had fallen off. After nearly two hours of searching, I couldn’t find it. There was so much loose pine straw and tall grass in the section where it came off that it would have probably taken many people and hours and hours of careful scanning to find it since my search didn’t turn up anything. C’est la vie.

We headed back and had a really nice chicken taco dinner with everyone including Beth who was back from work. Frozen yogurt for dessert, but the real after-dinner treat was heading up to the Lowell Observatory to explore the museum and look through the 100+ year old 24-inch Clark telescope at the rings of Saturn. The kids loved it, although they were a bit tired.

Monday, Day 15 – Flagstaff, AZ
Road bike ride with Kip, Lowell Observatory revisited, primitive camping on the side of 12,356′ Agassiz feet
After Kip’s kids were off to school, Kip and I went on a 3 hour ride that headed out one of the more popular road riding roads – Lake Mary. On the way back in, we saw a HUGE bald eagle fishing in one of the lakes. Then we headed up a popular climb up the Campbell Mesa to the research telescopes for the Lowell Observatory.

Day 15 – campbell mesa research telescopes for the lowell observatory

Kristine and I took the kids to the Lowell Observatory where we took the observatory tour. Analise got to move the dome on the observatory and look through a telescope at the sun – the sunspots were really cool. Afterwards, it was a stop by Mama Burger and then on up to the Snow Bowl ski area for a real wilderness experience camping. Ironically, we were high enough up on the mountain gto get 2 bars of a 3G connection probably from a tower back down in Flagstaff. On Monday we hiked up to a meadow to watch the sunset and then look at the stars before the full moon came out. Then on Tuesday we hiked to some cool petroglyphs, where Josiah and I did some rock climbing to make it up high on the cliff in search of more petroglyphs.

Day 16 – petroglyph hike

Tuesday, Day 16 – Flagstaff, AZ to Los Alamos, NM
Meteor crater, transit of Venus, Snow bowl ski resort climb 2x
We started out Tuesday with the hike to the Indian petroglyphs before Kristine and the kids headed back to Flagstaff. I stayed behind to climb the Snow Bowl road a couple times followed by a nice tail-wind ride back to Flagstaff. From there we set out on the first leg of our trip back home to Alabama – driving to Los Alamos, NM where I had spent a little bit of time during high school on a two-week science camp.

Day 16 – observing the transit of Venus from meteor crater

On our drive, we swung by Meteor Crater where we used our solar filter glasses to watch part of the transit of Venus. It was hard to see at first, but eventually you could see the tiny dot of Venus making its way across the face of the sun. Every time we stopped for gas or food on our drive, we would pull out the solar glasses and check out the progress of Venus. Analise and I got to see it the best at a Sonic near Houck, AZ where Venus had moved to about the middle right of the sun. We stopped one more time a little before sunset and it was really, really hard to see but we think there was a tiny dot just below the middle. The transit of Venus in front of the sun won’t happen for another 117 years, so we felt really lucky to be able to see it.

Wednesday, Day 17 – Los Alamos, NM
Bandelier National Monument, Valles Caldera, Pizza Timeout Express
Day 17 – Indian ruins at Bandelier National Monument

Kristine took the kids up to the Bandelier National Monument to explore the Indian ruins while I went on the best ride of this trip so far — a long climb from White Rock, NM up and over the side of the Valles Caldera down into the huge caldera from this supervolcano that erupted a long time ago. The climb was awesome consisting of some long gradual sections as well as some really steep sections, but the best part of the ride was being inside the massive caldera which is now a giant valley with mountains in the middle that are actually huge lava domes. On the way back down, I swung through Los Alamos and stumbled upon the Pajarito ski climb. This was a really steep 4 mile climb with amazing views of the Rio Grande river valley far below. The descent down this climb was the fastest of the trip with several 50+mph sections. Back at the hotel, I met Kristine and the kids where we walked down the street to Pizza Timeout Express for a fun pizza dinner and games.

Day 17 – view of Los Alamos from Pajarito ski hill

Thursday, Day 18 – Los Alamos, NM to Tulsa, OK
Pajarito Ski Hill revisited, Drive to Tulsa
Before we took off on the long drive to Tulsa, I had a chance to ride up the Pajarito Ski Hill again, but this time I started all the way down at the Rio Grande River. The 18 mile climb went from about 5300′ to 9000′ making it an HC climb. It started out gradual with one steeper stretch, before staying gradual all the way to the base of the Pajarito Ski Hill where the road really kicks up for the last 5 miles of the climb. I was trying to go easy to save up my legs for the first day of Tulsa Tough on Friday, but an 18 mile climb is an 18 mile climb.

After finishing up the ride, we loaded up the car and headed to the Los Alamos science museum where we learned a lot about nuclear research and the history of the nuclear bomb. Very interesting and intriguing. Then we took a scenic drive through Santa Fe on our way to the very cool two-lane US highway that took us over to I-40.

That’s a summary of our trip, but the pictures below tell a much better story:

June 12, 2012 at 12:31 am Leave a comment


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Storms north of town. Ride stats and kids ready for trick or treating. Awesome rolling hills southwest of Columbiana.

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Brian Toone

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Quick reference stats

Anaerobic Threshold:
Power:315 watts
Heart rate:180 bpm
Maximums:
Power:1097 watts (5s)
Heart rate:198 bpm (5s)
AT power estimated by critical power curve in Golden Cheetah, which predicts I should be able to maintain 315 watts for 1 hour.

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