Tandem Cycling - LOTOJA tomorrow on the tandem
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09-07-07, 09:54 AM
206 miles, expecting maybe 11 hours, its gonna be sweet! After racing this a few years on a short bike, I convinced my wife that we'd do fine on the tandem. She's stepped up to the plate and we've trained hard all season with two close friend couples in town. The three tandems will be sticking together start to finish. Guaranteed to be an epic ride. Here are the course and elevations if you're curious.
09-07-07, 10:13 AM
The race bible is very nicely done!
Enjoy the ride, it looks like alot of fun. What is the grade to Strawberry Summit? It looks to be about 2700' in ~30 miles. Unfortunately it looks like an overall 2k' elevation gain for the day.
This ride looks really interesting. How much is the entry? How do they work support cars following the riders? Block oncoming traffic, block a lane on multi-lane road for riders and allow traffic in other lanes, alternate route, other? How many riders are in the ride? Is there a rider number limit? Does the ride fill up and when if so?
Maybe this will be one of my/our long term wanna do's :)!
Best of luck to you....and your rears, lol!
Good luck. Which tandem pack are you in? Are you planning to race in the tandem pack or only with the two other tandems?
How was the race? I am trying to convince my wife to do this event in the near future.
09-10-07, 02:30 PM
I'm not "Born2pdl", but here are the results for the licensed and citizen tandems:
(click on the pull-down).
Looks like 9 tandems started in each class, and only one of the citizen tandems was a DNF.
Highest-placed tandem was only 19 minutes behind the first-place rider.
Looks like there were some ringers in there, as apparently some Cat 3s were fastest
at ~9H 15', with the fastest tandems about 10-11' behind at 9H 25', or within
a minute of the fastest Cat 1s. Cat 1s must have been watching each other for
a group sprint as 6 of them came in within 2s and another 5-6 over the next 10
09-11-07, 01:02 PM
Wow, that was hard! If interested, here's a write-up. Ours results are under Dan Minert, Cit Tandem on the Milliseconds site. BTW, the two overall fastest finishers were Masters 45+ racers and they were fighting it out, not working together. New course record, 9hrs 6 min! Mark Zimbelman (48), the winner is my teammate, super nice guy, never even rides on Sunday (Hey, we're in Utah, we're Mormons, we go to church instead, its what we do).
In March our friends and local tough tandemers Theon and Stacy Rawlings and Sam and Sheila Knight suggested to my wife Debbie and me that we ride lotoja together on tandems this year. Deb thought that would be cool but unreasonable. So I signed us up, then told her about it. After a couple of days worrying, she decided to tackle it head on, and she ordered me to buy a nice, lighter tandem (rough life). Los tres tandems started training in April, typically with Saturday 6:30AM, 4-5 hour high effort rides like sardine, black smith fork, old snow basin road and trappers, 35 mile Wednesday night rides, and 2or3 more solo rides per week. Doug and Susan White also joined our training team (not the race) and did great on their first season of tandeming.
We decided we would stick together in the race to make sure each of us would finish OK. Nine tandems started in our Cit-Tandem/Cit 35+ group on race day. Pace was a quick 23-24mph to Preston. We were separated during the feedzone, but we had planned to meet at the Strawberry neutral feedzone so each of us started up the 24 mile Strawberry climb. The Debbie motor was humming and Sam said that he was worried that we were passing tons of short-bikes on the climb. I said “What’s to worry about? We feel great!” Los tres tandems came together right at the false summit, perfect timing.
Used the neutral feed zone up there, then the tandem freight train descended at 50+mph, continued rolling at ~29mph almost to the next highway. Once it flattened out we saw 30-40 short-bike tapeworms dangling off the back. I dropped back and encouraged and shamed 1/3 of them into a paceline that we kept until Montpelier. Stopped for a quick bottle and food exchange and rolled immediately out again.
The climb to Geneva summit was at medium pace as we could feel the toll of the early efforts. A 55mph descent quickly got us to the turn for the next climb, and we started up Salt River pass with a slight tailwind. The last mile was at 6mph in our lowest gear (30-23), it got really hot, and Theon was suffering through bad leg cramps, but we quickly regrouped at the summit, the first cit-tandems there, and bombed downhill together again.
By 150 miles Deb and I were both shot and sick, and drafted into the Alpine feedzone where we pulled onto the grass and laid down. We told our friends to go ahead, that we’d be OK and come along later. But Sheila was sick too and said we should get back on the bike and be sick together. After quite a bit of boosting and encouragement from team and pit crew, we reluctantly followed them back onto the course.
Our friends moderated the speed up front to keep the tandem train together. Debbie was feeling pretty bad but never stopped pedaling and continued to have a positive/ hopeful attitude. Another tandem was five minutes back. Just before Hoback, Theon had to sit up for a bad cramp, and we were shot, so I told the Knights to go defend our honor and try for 1st while we stayed with the Rawlings to make sure they finished alright. After a minute the Rawlings motored up and it was all we could do to stay in their wake and “help” them from behind as they pushed the headwind through Jackson. Debbie repeatedly dug deep to keep us going. We finished the 206 miles,1-Knights, 2-Rawlings, 3-Minerts. It was a very hard but good experience (now), each of the three girls were superwomen, my two buddies supermen. Our marriages are better, not worse, because of it. But I definitely wouldn't recommend a tandem lotoja to everyone. -- Dan
Congrats to you and your stoker and nice report. :beer:
It is great to work with other cyclists with whom you have a relationship at races no matter who wins. Working with others yields better results.:)
It took some time to find the winning time. It was not surprising to see it in the masters 45+ since that age group is very tough.
09-13-07, 07:28 AM
Yes indeed, very nice writeup. Plans to do it next year ;)?
09-13-07, 08:11 AM
For anyone crazy enough to want to try this, there is a 1000 rider limit, registration usually opens April 1st, and is full and closed by April 3rd. Entry was $170 and has gone up every year. You have to provide your own support, though they have neutral feeds with water, gatorade and banannas. Support and bikes are on separate roads for the first half of the course. You can find more details at http://www.lotojaclassic.com./MainPage.html
I'm not going to bring up next year's lotoja with Debbie right now. Maybe in a couple of months I'll have one of the other girls talk about how great it will be next year and see what the response is.
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