Northern California - 2010 MS Waves to Wine
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07-13-10, 02:29 PM
Hello all, I'm fairly new to riding, and I hope you can help me. I originally got into cycling to lose some weight, and as I became more fit decided it would be cool to ride a century. Well, it turns out a couple of friends are riding in the MS Waves to Wine event, September 29-30, so I decided to ride with them. Total ride is 175 miles, 100 first day and 75 second. In my training, I've gotten to the point that I can ride 50+ miles fairly easily, and I'm sure I'll ride a century before September. My concern comes in with the elevations involved. I've been working on hill repeats as much as I can, but I'm still not that great a climber. According to the ride map, there is ~4000 feet of climbing over the first day, but the highest hill is only ~800 feet. I'm not sure I understand the elevation percentages and all that, so will someone please look at the map, http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-states/ca/san-francisco/112127569365746984 , and confirm for me I'm looking at a lot of rolling hills, as opposed to steep ride around Folsom lake hills? Thanks for the help, Vince
Caveat - I don't know the roads, so someone who's done it before/knows the area may correct me, but that profile doesn't look too bad at all. Two 1-2mile stretches of ~6% seems to be the worst of it, so hopefully that won't be too much of a task for you - also most of the climbing is done by mile 65 or so. 4000ft over 100miles isn't a lot of climbing when you average it out.
I'd wager that the biggest challenge you have is endurance. Relatively easy hills can become a lot tougher after a few hours of riding if you don't pace yourself. Definitely plan on getting some longer rides in first (although you might not need to go longer than say 75-80miles before hand), and make sure you have a good eating/hydration plan and that your backside, hands, feet, back etc. are as comfortable as you can be. More often than not it's not your legs that give you trouble over longer distance so much as one of those other areas, or your tummy.
07-14-10, 08:11 AM
Here's a blog post on our MS Waves to wine
Better yet, here's a link to the audio report, recorded as I rode. It was part of the Fredcast cycling podcast
The ride is harder than it looks on paper. There is a lot of climbing, but it's not that hard, and really worth it.
Day two was hard for me in the morning as I'd really worked day 1. Day 2 has a lot of very short hills that really took it out of me.
Advice: It was super cold the morning of day 2. I wasn't really ready for that, and hurt a lot. Take long golves and warm clothes just in case. The organizers will let you drop them and bring them to the finish.
07-14-10, 10:48 AM
Distance, elevation, cadence/gearing (or simply mph), heart rate... those are all variables in the equation that equals time. In other words don't get to wrapped up in the distance and elevation numbers as much as you should in result.. time. How long would you guess a ride like this would take you? Have you ever ridden even close to that amount before? Have you ever ridden for long periods of time on back to back days? How well do you recover, or do you do anything to help recovery like stretching or using a foam roller?
If you've struggled to answer any of those questions, you might consider answering these instead. What happens if you decide you want to bail out in the middle of the ride. What if you complete day 1 but can't start day two? What if your pace is much slower than your friends, or for that matter a majority of the other riders?
As long as you have options to protect your safety, I'd say go for it. That's a beautiful route. I'd recommend spending a morning one weekend to drive parts you might be concerned of. If you know you can make it 50 miles, I would want to be sure I would have cell phone access in those last 50 miles in case I couldn't complete. 10 weeks is a pretty good amount of time though to build up your time in the saddle.
07-14-10, 01:28 PM
From what I understand, the ride is really well supported. There is a SAG wagon, and stops every 15 miles or so. I'd riding with a group that has a little more experience than me, which should help with the unknown. I've ridden 55+ miles before, and actually felt really good the next day. I know 55 isn't a hundred, but I think with 2+ months of training I should be up for the ride. Thank you all for the suggestions, especially the past experiences. cccorlew, are you going to ride again this year? Did you get stuck in the hail last year?
07-14-10, 02:44 PM
I've done this ride for the last two years and I have to say that it's a VERY well supported event for a great cause. Definitely go for it--you have plenty of time to keep training, and you'll have all day to do the ride. If you want motivation--talk to some of the people with MS who do the ride every year!
Also, there's usually different route variations on each day. Day 1 (from SF) has most people do a 75 mi option, with a loop tacked on later in the day for the 100 mi option. Day 2 usually has a 50-ish mi option if you're too tired from Day 1. Day 2 is MUCH easier elevation profile-wise but Day 1 really isn't that bad--mainly just a climb over to Stinson and then one out of Bolinas Lagoon.
07-17-10, 01:17 PM
Sounds like you're on the right track. As long as you keep on riding you'll do fine. I procrastinated. Riding sporadically with a longest ride of thirty miles the week before the 2007 Waves to Wine. But I made it the 150 miles.
IMO the rides moderate enough that stubbornness/determination will allow an out of shape and unprepared rider to finish. But it will be more fun and less painful for fit and prepared riders.
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