Sounds like its going to be fun and challenging. I have been working the hills here in Clermont Florida. I spoke with some one from Austin at the LBS and he told me if we could manage these hills we should be okay. We wil see in October. My friend who is riding has been riding much longer than I and he is going for the 90 mile ride, I myself am going for the 60 miler. I feel pretty confident in completng the ride. I feel I could do the 90, but due to the hills I chose the 60 mile ride. We are getting there a couple days early and will most likely drive out to dripping sprngs and do some of the ride a day before or so. Were still deciding if we are driving or if we are going to fly instead. Thanks for the heads up Cardiac, about how far apart are the rest areas going to be, did not see them marked on the map.
Ah yes Hills you either love them or hate them. I don't particualrly like the hills but I have been doing them every weekend. I did 60 miles Saturday. Looking forward to the ride.....See you in Austin...
Hey everyone! Just wanted to give you an update and let you know how the 60 mile route is for the Livestrong Challenge. Right off the bat I have to say it is a beautiful ride! The scenery is so nice and unlike when we ride around Austin, not one single driver honked, flipped us off, or told us to “Get off the damn road” so that made for an even nicer ride. Hills? Yes, lots of them. However I do not mind hills so it was not too bad for me. There are some great flats and the backsides of the hills are always welcome. A lot of the hills are rolling and you don’t really realize how long the hill is until you are about half way up saying to yourself “This hill sure seems a lot longer than I thought!” I do have concerns about the roads themselves. Once you turn onto Creek Road (two miles in) there are tons, and I mean tons of potholes. This is probably going to be an issue for several reasons. The biggest reason is the amount of cyclists that will be flying down the road. People are going to need to be very aware of other cyclists around them so they do not swerve to miss the potholes and get in someone’s line. I lost count of the cattle guards but they should not be too big of any issue as you can just “roll” right over them. Only issue with them may be that someone slams on their brakes as they approach them so just be aware. There was one low water crossing that had water flowing over it and my buddy bit it in the middle of it when he hit the algae. Luckily he knows how to fall so he walked away from it fine. Last issue was several of the roads are missing the street signs, but I am sure the LAF will put out arrow signs. All in all this is going to be a great ride. Dripping Springs is a great town and the people are very friendly. We saw several other riders out there and they too seemed to be enjoying the Hill Country. I cannot stress enough that you need to do some hill rides before the Challenge. We will be riding the 90 mile route in two weeks and I will let “y’all” know about it.
Last thing in my long ramble. Make sure you read the Road Etiquette and Safety page. I know most everyone knows the rules of the roads, but it never hurts to brush up. And be biker aware. If you are a slower rider it is very important that you stay to the right! I rode in the Hotter ‘N Hell a few weeks ago and I cannot tell you how many slower riders were in the middle of the road forcing the faster riders to pass on the right (which is asking for trouble). I saw a horrific accident between a slower rider in the middle of the road and a fast rider that tried to pass him- one of them was taken to the hospital by a helicopter!
Can’t wait to see everyone there and hopefully you will have as nice of a time as we did!! Livestrong!
I cannot stress enough that you need to do some hill rides before the Challenge. We will be riding the 90 mile route in two weeks and I will let “y’all” know about it.
I live in a perfectly flat area, and can't see riding laps over interstate overpasses to get some hill training in. I think I'm going to drop my plans of doing the 40mi. I'll just do the 10mi. 40 was a stretch for me anyway, and I hadn't really thought about the hills. I just figured Austin was as flat as southeast Louisiana.
I would hate to see you not do the 40 miler! I can tell you one thing regarding the hills- the 60 and 90 have a lot more than the 40 and below! Also, they are rolling hills- not just straight up. Hopefully you will rethink not riding the 40- in the end I am sure you will be happier if you ride 40 miles. Good luck!
Thanks for the regular updates! I am getting more excitd about the ride as it draws closer to the date. I am feeling pretty good about the ride and uped my ride from the 60 to the 90 miler. (feeling pretty good) Been doing 50-70 mile rides every weekend here in the rolling hills of Clermont. Including the 12 percent grade of Sugarloaf and a few 6-8 percent grades along the route as well. Pushed it a bit today so the legs are feeling it a little bit, but feel pretty good. Can't wait!
This past Saturday I averaged 15.56 for the 51 mile ride I did. That was a personal best for me. I am hoping to complete the ride in under 6 hours. My wife just bought me an early Birthday present, a Garmin Edge 205. Pretty nice, its nice to get some elevations on the hills around here. I think it said my total elevations was like 3275 feet climbed. I am night an day better than when I started riding in February. Back then I was only averaging about 11-12 mph. I can hold a 20-23 mph on the flats for several miles now.
Your improvement is awesome!! I know several guys that have been riding for years and they have not even come close to your mph change. That's great. Keep doing what you are doing! And pass some of it my way My buddy has a Garmin Edge as well, and I had to beg him to bring it out. I love to analyze every aspect of life so having the Garmin has helped.
It's tough to get out and ride over on beballer's side of town regularly and still get all of our weekend chores done. But we have done the loop that includes going up the steeper sides of "The Wall", "Buck Hills" and "Sugarloaf Mountain". We know a number of other tandem riders and a few singles that have never done this loop without walking some of it. Some others are too intimidated to even try.
We usually do flat 40 mile training rides on Sat/Sun, holding 19-22 most of the time, and sprinting up to 30, but the only way to get good at hills is to do hills.
We did back to back metrics in flat to small rollers on a very hot Labor Day W/E in Sebring a couple of weeks ago.
And we just got back from the Southern Tandem Rally held this past w/e in Chattanooga, TN.
Saturday's STR ride route profile forecast just under 4800 feet of climbing, but the not very accurate barometric reading on my Garmin 305 showed less than 4000 in 54 miles. Maximum grade measured was 20%, on the hill where we broke our drive side chain. We only had 40-50 feet to the crest and would have made it over if not for the mechanical. Luckily,the owner of the tandem dealership that built our bike was right behind us and got us back on the road in record time.
We had plenty of miles in the small ring at 4.5-6 MPH and a 43.1 max MPH on the longest descent.
I think we're in good enough shape not to get hurt too bad. We'll probably do "The Hills are Alive" route this w/e as our final strong training ride before going to Austin.
I have done the previous rides to Elgin area (70 miles last two years, which was actually 75.) For someone who hasn't done much hill training, do you think I should do the 60? I had a triple before, but it got stolen, now I have a double...will I be in trouble?
You bet you can do the 60 miler! I don't want to freak people out by saying "hills", I just wanted everyone to know if you only ride flats you better work in some hills. Again, I love hills, my riding partner hates them. When we rode the 60 miler he made several comments about the hills, but then again he makes comments about everything!!! It will probably take you longer to ride the 65 miles for the Livestong ride then it takes you to ride 70 miles out in Elgin.
Hey Monza, I know you rode the 60 mile route and were planning on riding the 90 before hand. You wouldn't have amy grade information on the hills? Like percentage grades or such? Just curious. Clermont's grades on Sugarloaf and the Buckhills punch out at about a 12 percent Max and another hill I ride in a development maxes at a 15 percent grade. There are also a few 4-6 percent grades that are longer than the short tall climbs.
I am running a 12-25 , I have heard from some folks that have riden out that way say that as long as we are doing the hills in Clermont we should be fine. Hope that is the case. I emailed the LAF to see if they have the grade percentages for the hills or not. I will post them if they have them.