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  #101  
Old 08-26-2016, 02:48 PM
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Veronica, don't listen to Larry. I'm trying to hold on to my lead here.

Was just up in Colorado Springs for a wedding/reunion. Biked (stationary), played wheelchair tennis, and kayaked. But now I'm back home and back on the trike and putting on the miles.
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  #102  
Old 08-28-2016, 12:09 PM
Veronica Veronica is offline
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Dave, you are safe for awhile, is all I will say. Just do me a favor, and top out at around 10 mph average, ok? I am VERY slowly increasing my average, but boy, is it a work in progress. Progress being the operative word here!

Had a very fun, novel ride last night...yeah, last night. I was part of a renegade crew of 3 trikes and 7 diamond frames who broke the local trail rules and rode at night. With all our headlights and tail lights we were quite a sight...for all the critters along the way! Just a real hoot... did about 15 miles...10 of which were in the pitch dark. It was GREAT for not obsessing about my speed as I couldn't even SEE my odometer reading. And we didn't even have any run ins with the ATV patrolling cops.....darn....would have added to the adventure.. but glad I didn't have to worry about Bail money And riding a trike allowed me to also star gaze... had a wonderful view of the Big Dipper.... Just delightful....
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  #103  
Old 08-30-2016, 08:04 PM
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Veronica, your nighttime ride sounds fantastic. 15 miles is a pretty big day for me, as my distance PR is 19.25 miles (set Saturday). I can go way longer, but the 20 barrier has been tricky. As soon as I get close, we need to finish the ride to get ready for dinner or some darn thing. Next time I get close I'm just going to ride in circles in the driveway, darn it.

As for Larry's suggestion to go down the steeps, I will say he is crazy considering my proneness to visit the ER. Speaking of which, how did Pedal los Pueblos go??? Sorry to miss you. I want the full story!
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  #104  
Old 09-03-2016, 03:13 PM
AMFADVENTURES AMFADVENTURES is offline
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Default Pedal Los Pueblos

Pedal Los Pueblos, Best Supported Ride in the USA period! And still a challenge.

It was a spontaneous decision on my part to do the ride this year. I'd thought about it a couple of weeks before the event and if Dave had taken me up on my offer I'd have committed prior to the day before the ride, but I felt good Friday morning so threw the bike and some things in the car and took off for Santa Fe. I got to registration, saw a few old friends, declined a couple of invitations and headed for the hotel for an early evening. Those trips do take a toll and I wanted the max mileage on the first day so an early bed time seemed prudent.

Saturday was gorgeous, perfect riding temperatures almost all day. I'd decided I wanted to finish the days 90+ miles in a good time so I took off at what I thought was the highest sustainable pace I could manage.

Once out of the urban congestion, it's not unusual to find yourself pedaling through the beautiful high desert country on your own, maybe another cyclist just visible ahead or behind and a support vehicle passing by every 15 or 20 minutes. The beauty and solitude in that area is never lost on me, it verges on a spiritual experience every time, it is the most consistent experience of this ride for me.

I covered the first 50 miles to the lunch stop, mostly uphill and into a slight headwind, in less than 4 hours, a very good pace for me. Shortly after the lunch stop, the road turns South, goes mostly down hill and generally has a tail wind accompanyment at least until the last 15 miles, but not this year. I made the turn back to the finish line and was appalled to find myself pedaling downhill into a strong headwind! Arg! Treachery! I was seriously doubting my ability to pedal the 40 miles back in the face of a 15 to 20 mph headwind, even if it was mostly down hill.

More than a little dismayed, I began to evaluate how to deal with the situation. I decided to consult the Bullet, a Denver riding buddy, for advice, because she can cut through a headwind like a hot knife through butter. I got down in the drops, chest nearly on top of the handle bars, elbows tucked into my sides, knees as close to the bike frame as possible, and put the hammer down just lIke the Bullet would do. Lo and behold if that wind didn't mostly get out of my way and let me pass. I was amazed! 10 miles or so down the road the source of the headwind became apparent. An enormous black storm cloud covering 2/3 of the horizon, pouring down rain and spitting lightening, lay about 10 miles dead ahead.

In a few more miles I hit the next rest stop, where ride organizers were holding the riders up to see what the storm was going to do. For 30 minutes we watched the storm huff and puff, throw down torrents of rain and lightening and barely move at all. When a sag came by and a couple of folks jumped on I decided to join them. Dodging lightening on a bike isn't really my thing.

Dinner was served back at the tent a few hours later but before the after-dinner festivities could commence, another storm appeared. The wind picked up and the rain and lightening came down and the party moved into the nearby casino. I went back to the hotel for another early night to rest up for the hill climb the next day.

Day 2 started out just as nice as the previous day and it stayed that way. I was riding with one of my wife's relatives and we were determined NOT to set any new land speed records. We rode the first 30 miles to the base of the hill at a leisurely pace. Once on the hill I threw my bike in a low gear and commenced to spin slowly up, the better to observe the rather unique climatic change in vegetation over the relatively short ascent to the Puye cliffs. As you ascend the 1500 ft or so you go through at least 4 distinct settings ranging from dry desert grass to scrub brush to pinion and finally end up in a pine forest. It really is unique.

And of course, there is always a section of hill that is nearly vertical. I mean it is Pedal Los Pueblos, a ride for those who dare, how could there not be? That section came after the first three miles of hill and was about a half mile long. I was begging for air and strength shortly after starting up that section and about to stop for at least a short break when I thought about how Leggs, another Denver bike buddy, would handle the situation. Leggs and I have a no nonsense relationship when it comes to climbing hills. I knew what she would say and in her gentlest, most encouraging voice, it went like this, "We've been training on this stuff all year! So, quit your whining and get your butt up the hill."

Well, it works nearly every time. I strengthened my resolve, sat a little more upright in the saddle, felt my heart rate drop a beat or two, my breath steady and some strength return to my legs and pedaled over the top of that steep mother of hills. Oh, and, wearing my I Ride With MS jersey and my ActiveMSers pro bike shorts, I pedaled past the people walking their bikes up it.

There was no Puye Cliffs this year, the course had been shortened to just past the top of that last steep pitch. The rumour was that there was a movie crew filming at Puye and apparently they didn't need any sweaty extras on bicycles. So after a short break and some refueling, I started the descent. You should have been there Dave, it felt like free fall. In a crouch, hitting cadences I didn't know I was capable of, hoping my tires held together, I blew down that hill as fast as I could, faster than most. What a rush!

We commenced our leisurely ride back to the finish with the help of police motorcycles escorting us across the major intersections, sirens wailing. I do believe we may have been DFL across the finish line, although for no particular reason other than we just weren't in a rush. Well I was DFL anyway, my buddy may have taken the penultimate position.

Pedal Los Pueblos, for those who dare

Last edited by AMFADVENTURES; 09-03-2016 at 05:31 PM.
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  #105  
Old 09-06-2016, 08:47 AM
Marinadca Marinadca is offline
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Awesome recap Larry, it sounds like you had quite the time! I am glad no major mishaps for you!

Dave - very nice how you keep trucking away. Life does tend to love to meddle with riding though!

Veronica that sounds like so much fun!! What kind of lights are you using? I dont have any and have decided that I really need some - especially a back light for when I am on the streets to be as visible as possible. But I also was a front light so I can see when dusk is coming or if its dark.

As for me the Indian Head 100 was yesterday. I decided to do the Indian Head 70 instead. After only being outside 3 times in July, August and being 15K feel under for climbing for this year over last year it just seemed like a better idea. Turned out to be a huge challenge to do the 70 with almost 3K feet of elevation. I eeked it out at just under 12 mph as an average. Slower and less miles then last year but I gave it my absolute all.

I have decided I need to temper myself to the heat more next year. I hid inside all year and it bit me in the end. Either that or I need to learn to be a morning person and get out there at 6 am. I need to do something for next year as I dont want to be slower with less miles again!

Coming up for me in the beginning of Oct is my last large ride for the year. The seagull century - a flat 100 that sometimes gets fun wind. A tropical storm canceled it last year so I hope we have nice weather for it this year
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  #106  
Old 09-07-2016, 05:45 PM
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What a recap, Larry! It was like I was riding along with you, even into that darn headwind. And Marina, for me to average 12 mph would be a miracle, and on my leg trike pretty much impossible these days. I can't keep up with Laura briskly walking, ha!

As for me, I just set another distance PR! But the curse of 20 miles reared it's ugly head again, damn it. Was having a fantastic day and stopped halfway—I was 10.5 miles into the ride—for lunch and a boozy shake... perhaps not the most brilliant idea, but I was feeling great and confident I'd break 20. On the way back, we passed on the slightly longer off-road section of the trail, but I was still sure I would make it happen. Made it to 19.5 miles before a bathroom emergency (uh, thanks MS) required ending the ride just a half mile short of the big two-oh. (And I was planning to do circles in the driveway if push came to shove, but alas.) My quest continues.
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  #107  
Old 09-09-2016, 09:04 PM
AMFADVENTURES AMFADVENTURES is offline
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Glad you all liked the story, trust me though, the actual ride is soooo much better.

Veronica, so glad to see you're still out there having way too much fun! Better luck on encountering the patrol next time, I agree, that would really have made for an exceptional addition to the adventure.

Marina, I recently compared training years with a friend and we each agreed the hill climbing worked well as far as strength improvement but that we needed to include more long rides in our schedules to improve our endurance. Intervals alone just aren't enough to prepare for the long rides. As far as increasing heat tolerance, it usually takes me about 3 weeks but you'll only know by trying.

Hey Dave, how about going out for two rides in one day to break the 20 mile wall? That should count shouldn't it?

The Bullet is threatening me with Pikes Peak Monday I hope it rains/snows.
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  #108  
Old 09-10-2016, 02:09 PM
teena marie teena marie is offline
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Hello all,

Great recap, Larry. Congratulations, I felt like I was riding along with you.

Marina, I hear you, weather conditions make gettying outside a challenge. I have hardly been out all week except to swim. I plan to make it my priority this autumn.

Veronica, night riding is so fun. Keep on having fun!

Suebee, thanks for your kind words post triathlon swim although I am not sure it is deserved.

Dave, the usual inspiration for us all. Such progress on your bike.

I am back in Montreal and pool training continues. I also do a series of exercises in bed including some isometric exercises, crawling and modified balance and sit to kneel manoeuvers at my headboard. I plan to start working again with my trainer. Walking farther and more frequently is a goal. This summer I increased my deck walks from twice back and forth to 12 times.

Take good care, all,

Teena Marie
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  #109  
Old 09-12-2016, 11:09 PM
Veronica Veronica is offline
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Hey all, I figured it was time for me to put my two cents in here again.

Just to comment on all the recent updates:

Larry: as others have said, you write and we all are riding right along with you for sure! A very thrilling adventure....Now, I don't think it snowed on Pike's Peak today, so did the Bullet drag you screaming up the road today???

Marina: I know you wanted the century, but 70 miles with the summer having been what it was here in the NE is very admirable as far as I can see. I hope the Seagull Century is a fun ride for you. Concerning my lights, there are alot of choices out there that are inexpensive, and effective. Cateye has some combinations of headlight and tail lights. I always use them, even in the daylight, as since I am low, on the trail, if oncoming riders are passing others, they often don't see me right away as they are looking for other DFs, not trikers. I don't remember the brand, but I tried a rechargeable set, but found they just didn't keep the charge well, so I've just gone back to batteries that will need replacement.

Teena Marie: You've got good goals there, and nice to read of the progress that you have made with the deck walking. I am intrigued with the sit to kneel exercise that you do...

Dave: I feel your angst with getting SO CLOSE to a new benchmark. But most important is that I love hearing of the great fun and satisfaction that you are getting out of that handcycle. And all kidding aside, it must be really working your arms...
Your tan that you shared on Twitter/Facebook is a badge of honor, for sure. Back in the days when most bike gloves had openings on the back of the hands, I prided myself with that wierd tan to prove just how much I was out there riding. Of course non-cyclists often asked me what was wrong with my hands..

As for me, I went back out for a longer ride on Sunday. Had been focusing almost too much on sprint work, or at least with pushing my speed on a shorter ride. Listened to Larry's advise about the value of a longer ride and just did my 13ish mile circuit twice, and at a comfortable, but not leisurely pace. Total ride was 26.75 miles, and I was so tempted to blow past the turn off to the bike shop where I start, to have a good fast ride down a long descent on the trail....would have added about 5 miles, but really didn't feel like ending the ride climbing back up it...so I was happy with the 26.75...longest ride I've had all season. I was happy with my speed, too. While it is not increasing as fast as I would like, it has stabilized at higher than earlier this season.
Only had two runners pass me on an incline... Progress!! (They were the ONLY runners on the incline, but, hey.....) AND I got to finally say "On your left" to two other trikers.... was afraid they would then pass me by on the first incline.... They didn't... I felt very smug.... Have to work on this competitiveness!
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  #110  
Old 09-14-2016, 07:32 PM
AMFADVENTURES AMFADVENTURES is offline
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Ha, advantage Veronica, 26.75 miles to less than 20! Forget the speed!

Pikes Peak, been there, done that! Alright, alright, I only did 9 miles by bike. The other 10 we drove. But let me just say, that is one mofo big steep mountain.

Initially, I was in shock that the Bullet was holding me to my threat to bike up this hill. I had to pull myself out of it though when it became obvious she wasn't going to let go of it. I'd trained well for shorter hill climbs this year and I knew I had gotten stronger too, so if there was ever going to be a chance, this was it. I reasoned that 9 to 12 miles miles from the base could just be possible.

By the time Monday rolled around I was getting pretty upbeat about trying it, even discovering a flat tire the morning of didn't phase me. It was a beautiful morning, the temperature was in the low 60's, the sun was out, we had food and water, the Bullet had even prepared a recovery drink for me, we were both pretty excited by the prospect of doing this.

When we got to the entry gate, we were met with the unmistakable smell of burning breaks. As I got out to unload the bike I noticed the smell strengthen with each passing car coming down the hill. I know that forboding smell well, it invariably means there's long steep hill near by and indeed, the maps and elevation profiles I'd looked at said that the first 3 to 4 miles were going to be tough.

In hind sight it may have been a good thing that the worst came first because the legs were fresh so I was able to get up the multiple 8 to 12 % grades in that first three miles. Of course, my heart rate shot up to red line within the first 20 minutes and I had to stop for a minute or two and recover. That 15 to 20 minutes of pedaling followed by a minute or two recovery turned out to be the repetitive sequence of the day.

3 or 4 short rests later I had conquered the first three miles and the hill had begun to relent a little, like maybe to 6 to 8% but I still was stopping every 15 to 20 minutes to let my heart rate recover. Apparently I'd burned a lot of whatever matches I had available on those first miles because when the grades fell further, like to 3 or 4%, I was still only good for about 20 minutes. Even a short downhill section didn't help much.

It went like that for the next 4 miles or so before the hill began to steepen back up a little. Now I found I was counting breaths and not getting very far before taking another break. By mile 8, I was only getting about 500 feet before having to stop again.

The Bullet stayed near by, surveying the road ahead then coming back to report to me, always giving me lots of encouragement along with a little food and water when I needed it. By about mile 8.5 I was down to 250 feet between rests and that was when the Bullet came back to report that the hill went more or less vertical in another half mile. I told her I'd make the next half mile but that would probably be it, she didn't argue.

She went ahead and parked right at the base of where the hill went all switchbacky and near verticle. I approached at a rate of about 250 feet between rests. When I finally made it to the car, it took me 5 minutes just to get off the bike. She drove us the rest of the way to the top.

We saw two other guys on road bikes. Both of them had sag vehicles accompanying them. One of them might have made it to the top, but I'm not sure.

The cars on the road were extremely courteous, some even stopping ahead to yell out encouragement as I slowly passed. At the top, some drivers came over to congratulate me on my effort even if I didn't ride the bike all the way.

A couple of motorcycle riders came over also, to compare notes on the ascent. If I hadn't been quite so hypoxic, I might have thought to ask them how they felt about having to descend. There sure wasn't any way I was going to go down that thing on a bike, not this day anyway.

So that's the Pikes Peak hill climb for this old MSer. My legs were mostly ok, it was my cardio that was the weaker link. I think I could finish the last 10 miles if I took it a mile at a time, like at a speed of a mile a week, maybe, but I'm really not ready to think about that right now. Maybe next year one of the girls will make me try, well see.

In the end, my computer reported 9.4 miles at 5.3 mph moving speed, with 2,575 feet of ascent.

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