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Old 11-10-13, 11:32 AM   #1
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Ride Report - Rapha Gentleman's Race in LA ~long

Two weeks ago I got a text message from a team mate that I need to do this epic ride with him. Without much homework and said yes. We got our team of 6 ready out of 24 teams that got invited to race/ride this event. We got the route on Thursday, I went over the map pretty well and also uploaded it into my garmin 800 for turn by turn stuff needed to get through the city.

Race started at Golden Road Brewhouse in Glendale. I woke up at 3am to make the drive from San Diego, picked up a teammate at 4 along the way. After getting stuck in non moving traffic for 50min, our buffer went out the window. Arrived at 6:50 with a 7:56 roll time. As we got all thing together the team assembled at my truck. With the sun starting to warm the valley I was in debate on the arm warmers but figured if anything I can us them on the long decent off the mt. The route had had us snake through the valley on false flats before hitting the real climb at mile 18, I felt slow at the start and being the team navigator I had to stay near the front but finally legs came around about 10 miles into it and stayed on the front to set the pace.

As we hit the bottom of Little Tujunga Canyon we swelled the group with two other teams. I was still feeling good and settled into their easy pace of 10ish mph but couple miles into the 10 mile paved climb half my team was hurting already. We dropped off the group and hung back to asses the problems. We let them fight their battles in the back at their our paces, Kevin and I were up near the front, he was spinning 39x27 as his low and I had 34x27 as my low. He was saying that he can only spin so slow before it stresses his knees. I told him that we all agreed to climb as fast as the slowest guy or gearing allowed. I just paced him most of the day.

There was a small sag stop 28 miles just before we turned off into the gated forest/dirt/F'd up road. From there, no support to we get back on real pavement at mile 60. 30 miles.....sure how hard can it be LOL....understatement of the day!!! Looking at the course map, this segment is were we gain the most elevation and it didn't disappoint. The garmin pegged 12-15% more time then it ever should. Average being around 8-10% Then it happened....the team cracked hard. One of our guys had double leg cramps less then 35miles into the ride, 7 miles of steep paved with scattered landside rocks sorta climb. We waited at mile 38 for him where the turn off goes from F'd up roads to dirt fireroads. Gave him salt tabs, I topped of his 3rd bottle w/ mine. There was a ranger station that was at mile 42, mostly climbing but some very nasty/sketchy decending. We regroupped at the ranger station, there was water there at least. Mike was still cramping hard and he was running 39x26 as his low. More salt tabs and made use he had enough fuel for the next section. But the station was in the valley and 9 mile dirt/dusty/rocky/ climb to the peak of 6400ft. This section broke 2 more team mates, 1 got 3 flats, 1 started to cramp. Kevin and I was still riding strong picked off other teams but spent allot of time trying to waiting for the team.

We laughed pretty hard as we finally got to mile 50 and had 9300ft of climbing under our legs already. We got near the peak where there was an intersection. We waited here for the team and admired the view in the valley. two guys where there before use and one was bonking hard. I gave him half a water bottle and a nun tablet. Poor guy couldn't even clip in w/o help to the legs lung buster 15% section to the peak. We waited about 15 mins til one of out team showed. He was cramping a few miles back and ran out of water already. Next sag wasn't for another 9 miles. Few other guys shows, their team was scattered on the mt. One guy was walking his nice disc brake spesh crux. He had FIVE flats on 28c tires. two other team mates where there with us already. He said he needed to patch a tube to get rolling. as he had all the used tubes wrapped around his shoulders and neck. I offered him a fresh tube and he was hessitant. I told him I'm tubeless and had 3 tubes that never got used. He took a tube, offered two but only took one. Later found out he flatted again and walked/rolled down the mt for a ride back to the brewery. Two more teammate showed, said Mike was walking most of the way up and told them that he was going to get a ride back at the sag point. After some debate we moved on to try and make it back before sunset.

The decent to mile 60 was nasty as hell, bunny hop holes mid hairpin put me wide and into a fallen tree TWICE. Somehow kept it upright. Mile 60 sag we were told to refuel as fast as we can, 2 cokes pounded, 1 banana and 2 small PBJ sandwiches done. We paced lined the decent, took the easier fork that cut off 8 miles and 3k ft of more climbing. I still felt sketchy on my decenting but damn REAL PAVED roads felt so good. We pace lined the 5 of us hardly hitting brakes on the decent. awesome times but those efforts started to burn matches quick in my legs. Few more climbs out of the valley and I think we're all feeling it as my garmin read more then 10k ft of climbing. And we're still climbing...As we dropped back into the city we hooked up with the men and womens Rapha teams and followed them back to beer. Sun had already set we rolled into the parking lot. Found out Mike's bike was already back and he was 5 mins behind it. We got some free beer coupons and a Rapha cap. I had a burger, 2 beers and few waters before the 2hr drive back home.

http://www.strava.com/activities/94198093

All photos taken w/ gopro3 in burst mode which died before we got to the peak

G0032303e by jsig1, on Flickr


G0032305e by jsig1, on Flickr


G0042309e by jsig1, on Flickr


G0052314e by jsig1, on Flickr


G0082338e by jsig1, on Flickr


G0092341e by jsig1, on Flickr


G0102351e by jsig1, on Flickr


G0182377e by jsig1, on Flickr


G0202394e by jsig1, on Flickr


G0222400e by jsig1, on Flickr
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Last edited by jsigone; 11-10-13 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 11-10-13, 11:35 AM   #2
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G0072335e by jsig1, on Flickr


G0142362e by jsig1, on Flickr


G0242434e by jsig1, on Flickr


G0262442e by jsig1, on Flickr


G0262445e by jsig1, on Flickr


1422497_10200832992619521_1534946796_n by jsig1, on Flickr


1456072_10200833209104933_1142145931_n by jsig1, on Flickr
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Old 11-10-13, 11:58 AM   #3
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fuel consumed b4 and along the ride

no breakfast, lost that window to traffic but had 2 travel coffee mugs
5 clif bars
8 Gu
tube of Nuun Tablets
2 cookkies
2 bananas
2 sm PBJ sandwiches
2 cokes
7+ water bottles

Mechanicals = ZERO but one dusty ass super6
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Old 11-10-13, 12:40 PM   #4
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wow... just reading that makes the legs burn... lol!
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Old 11-10-13, 12:55 PM   #5
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Whoa, that is an incredible ride. Like webfootfreak, I'm hurting just reading. LOL
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Old 11-10-13, 07:34 PM   #6
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Well done! Thanks for the ride report. Too bad the camera gave up on you. Would love to see more of the ride.
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Old 11-10-13, 07:56 PM   #7
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Sounds like you had a good time, in a severe, cycling kind of way. The weather and scenery look great.

Too bad that your buddies had a hard time of it. Next year you'll know how to help prepare your buddies so they aren't so surprised by the FUN!

My hat's off to you for even CONSIDERING a ride like that.

Last edited by 2 wheeler; 11-10-13 at 09:40 PM. Reason: heck if I know!
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Old 11-10-13, 08:23 PM   #8
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No mechanicals! Give your mechanic a 6 pack of beer... 2 six packs if it is you. I'm guessing you're completely sold on stans now too.

Say, I thought I read something about you guys being cut short somehow? The race director cut a few miles out of your route? What happened there and what place did you guys end up in?

Regardless, I think this officially makes you a Rapha Manimal. I tried to kudo you twice but Strava is having none of it. You'll just have to make due with my unending admiration.
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Old 11-11-13, 12:12 AM   #9
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Well done! Thanks for the ride report. Too bad the camera gave up on you. Would love to see more of the ride.
Thanks, I wish I could have taken more pics as well. I had the gopro in burst mode but the battery life is pretty weak. I did have my cel phone too but no way to hold the phone and take pics at the same time with riding through the mess. As much physically demanding the route was, it was mentally too. As with most fire roads/jeep trails, there are always two lines where the truck tires roll over. But usually only one has the best traction, less debris ect. I had to scan the road in front of me for land slide rocks, optimal lines and keep the bike upright. Through the sloppy stuff you have to spin the legs faster and never stop pedaling even if you get off the line or roll over crap, momentum. Hard to do with the gopro in my hand...I dropped it twice Another was stopping too much/long my legs would get cold quick so just had to keep the rhythm going and minimize the stopping, At the end all those stops waiting for the team added to about 2 hours

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Sounds like you had a good time, in a severe, cycling kind of way. The weather and scenery look great.

Too bad that your buddies had a hard time of it. Next year you'll know how to help prepare your buddies so they aren't so surprised by the FUN!

My hat's off to you for even CONSIDERING a ride like that.
Thanks, weather was awesome 80* in the hills. Talked with allot of guys out there, from all over the US ie colder parts and loving LA. Seriouslly where else can you ride in the middle of November and not really need a jacket all day



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No mechanicals! Give your mechanic a 6 pack of beer... 2 six packs if it is you. I'm guessing you're completely sold on stans now too.

Say, I thought I read something about you guys being cut short somehow? The race director cut a few miles out of your route? What happened there and what place did you guys end up in?

Regardless, I think this officially makes you a Rapha Manimal. I tried to kudo you twice but Strava is having none of it. You'll just have to make due with my unending admiration.
I guess I get a 12packer then. If you are ever in the area Golden Road Brewery up there on top of the list of beer to drink. Place was absolutely slammed after the ride from wedding party/ rapha party + locals. Had an smoked IPA and awesome American Porter.

And yah Stans Alpha400 is the BOMB. I learned allot of what the bike can handle, but allot is rider and not trying to be cocky. A mess load were on cross bikes and lots had disc brakes w/ fat tires and getting hung up on rocks or getting flats in weird places. Lots and lots and lots of flats. When you pass people and they had 4-6 tubes wrapped around their shoulders like OG TdF days...you know they had a hard day. One of the few scary moments I had was on the decent before we got the ranger station at 42. On one of the 10+% decents, it went from jacked rocky paved road to a sand wash, there was a 2-3ft rut at the transition but was doing 20+ there and followed the tire lines in front of me, jumped the gap fine then set teh bike up for the deep sand section,I smashed the front rim on a rock HARD that I heard rim and wheel was still straight (20h). After I clear the sand I looked down to see if the rim was touching the brake pads, NOPE..might have a flat spot but not out of true. That could have been a bad crash was off the saddle already so the bike just took the hit solid.

So the cut off..... We were at near the peak around 6100 ft for over half an hr waiting for the team and the damage done on that 9mile climb. It was just about 3:30 when we rolled off the mt and down to Hwy3 at mile 60 (real paved road). This is where Sag was at the gate, since were wouldn't make is up 4kft climb before sunset we had to stay on Hwy3 all the way to it meets highway2 (Angels crest). At mile 66 there was a Fork for the Upper Big Tujunga canyon that would ride up the Mt more and pass the Red Box before the final decent into the valley. Even the shorter route we took still had over a 1000ft of climbing to get from the ridge we're on, through the valley and up onto Angel Crest.

Our position next to Celo Pacific will be DNF cuz we didn't have all 6 and didn't make the cut off time to do the complete route. I really wouldn't be surprised to see 1/3 of the field as DNF...Incomplete teams were split all over the mt ridge. I heard of a few bad crashes as well.

Would I do it again, YES in a heart beat if I'm anywhere near my current form. I felt really really good....shockingly good, never got my HR above 170 (192max), no reason to. Just spin my own game and keep going forward, in the back of my head I kept a power reserve zone where I was thinking will be more steep walls but they never showed 20% for more then a bleep. Somewhere around 8k ft of climbing I was starting to get tired of climbing already and stayed in the 27t more, but still had a few more miles of grinding through the soft dirt and 6-10% grades. The knuckle punch was I was starting to cramp up as we were paceline bombing the decent on Hwy3, the 5 of us broke into the top10 on that strava segment so we were moving at a good clip

Thanks for your two kudos and everyone else to gave kudo or read my story
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Old 11-11-13, 04:08 PM   #10
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Looked like an awesome ride. I'd love to do it minus the dirt bit.
115'/mile Century is my kinda day.

What gearing you got on your Six? I 'borrowed' TrojanHorse's old mid-compact crank rings and are loving them... until 12% or higher grades then it's 'what was I thinking, give me my 34/28 back!'
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Old 11-11-13, 05:18 PM   #11
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Looked like an awesome ride. I'd love to do it minus the dirt bit.
115'/mile Century is my kinda day.

What gearing you got on your Six? I 'borrowed' TrojanHorse's old mid-compact crank rings and are loving them... until 12% or higher grades then it's 'what was I thinking, give me my 34/28 back!'
I threw on my heavier shimano 105 12-27 cassette with 50/34 front. I saved the 27t for steep mother F'in pitches and loose sections that needed more RPMS then power. Kevin, the strong guy on the team I was pacing was 39x27 for his low. To pace him I was 1-2 gears higher then full granny (25t & 23t I think)

This one was one of the nasty sections...good thing it was PAVED so we can get out of the saddle. Little can be said for other sections that were as steep but just not as long but in the dirt http://www.strava.com/segments/5474927 I cleaned it at 6.2mph ave pace and was in the 27 for sure here, Kevin paced up at 7.1 dropping me off his wheel.

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Looked like an awesome ride. I'd love to do it minus the dirt bit.
115'/mile Century is my kinda day.
Your number is skewed with the downhill. By mile 52 when we hit the peak we're at roughly 9600ft of climbing already so 184'/mile
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Old 11-11-13, 06:13 PM   #12
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looks like I lied...even have photo to prove it....172'/mile and still had few hundred ft more vertical to go before going over the highest point


almost to the peak by jsig1, on Flickr
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Old 11-11-13, 06:40 PM   #13
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looks like I lied...even have photo to prove it....172'/mile and still had few hundred ft more vertical to go before going over the highest point


almost to the peak by jsig1, on Flickr
Love it. Like laps in my neighborhood.
Well done lad.
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Old 11-12-13, 02:39 PM   #14
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Well done sir!

And to think I got all hacked off on my ride yesterday because I got TWO flats, lol. Note to self: HTFU!
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Old 11-12-13, 04:54 PM   #15
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I think I'd be bringing my 28x36 along for this ride...along with some serious lights because it would have taken me a lot longer to finish
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Old 11-12-13, 05:12 PM   #16
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I think I'd be bringing my 28x36 along for this ride...along with some serious lights because it would have taken me a lot longer to finish
28X36 isn't slow. It's only 2 teeth lower than the 11-26 X 50/36 that I'm running.
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Old 11-12-13, 05:26 PM   #17
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Um Fred I meant 28 in the front and 36 in the back
It's about as slow as you can go without falling over
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Old 11-12-13, 05:39 PM   #18
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Um Fred I meant 28 in the front and 36 in the back
It's about as slow as you can go without falling over
in many of the dirt sections, the slower you went actually made it harder to get through the rocks n sand. Momentum is key....both bike speed and leg speed.
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Old 11-15-13, 01:06 AM   #19
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Crazy. And awesome. And crazy.
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Old 11-15-13, 09:16 AM   #20
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Crazy. And awesome. And crazy.
thanks Erwin8r, I keep having some flash backs of the ride, the views, the sketchy sections, the feeling of timing flying by as I was focused only on the road ahead of me. For me, I had an awesome time, great event and riding w/ good group of guys. It really changed my aspect of road riding and what my super6 can do
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Old 11-17-13, 12:53 PM   #21
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Looks like an awesomely fun ride. Since you've done it once, what would you do differently next time (team tactics wise)? You're event was different than the one I did in the fact that we didn't have any dirt and being out of Davis, didn't have much for hills either. We kept everyone together and only went as fast as the slowest guy. Sometimes that meant that person never pulled or we (litterally) gave them a push to keep up. Don't know how that would work with the steep off-road sections you did.
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Old 11-17-13, 01:44 PM   #22
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yah I tried to push my buddy but it's hard enough for a single bike to get on the right lines through the sand and rocks while on 6-12% grades, it was almost impossible for two bikes to share the line and maintain traction and not cause a crash.

Things I'd change, time of notice for the event. 2 weeks is VERY VERY hard to get everyone together on the same page and no time to train. If you're not doing long 6hr rides already then you're already going backwards. Which was the story w/ half the team, two cramping, one coming off a broken arm (hit but a truck couple months ago on a ride). We're forced to roll the dice and hope no one has a bad day. I read blogs where other teams had a month or 2 notice for the event. That would have been AWESOME timing. And those teams did really well for not having ringers on the team aka Cat 1/2s
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Old 11-17-13, 02:56 PM   #23
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yah I tried to push my buddy but it's hard enough for a single bike to get on the right lines through the sand and rocks while on 6-12% grades, it was almost impossible for two bikes to share the line and maintain traction and not cause a crash.

Things I'd change, time of notice for the event. 2 weeks is VERY VERY hard to get everyone together on the same page and no time to train. If you're not doing long 6hr rides already then you're already going backwards. Which was the story w/ half the team, two cramping, one coming off a broken arm (hit but a truck couple months ago on a ride). We're forced to roll the dice and hope no one has a bad day. I read blogs where other teams had a month or 2 notice for the event. That would have been AWESOME timing. And those teams did really well for not having ringers on the team aka Cat 1/2s
Yeh, 2 weeks isn't much time to go on long rides and determine where the weakest link(s) thresholds are. I know I can keep up with much faster riders from 80k than I can for 120k. Obviously it would be key to have as evenly matched a team as possible. But, also to know what order to be riding in and what effort the front should be riding at on any given terrain. With the exception of that loose climbing, once you're seperated you're slowest rider is going to be even slower.

I would love to put a similiar ride together for around here. However, we don't have much in the way of unpaved anywhere near Aucklandia. But, the quality of some of our chip seal could more than make up for that:-)

Would you do it again?
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Old 11-17-13, 07:21 PM   #24
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I'd do it again next weekend if I had the opportunity
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Old 11-17-13, 10:39 PM   #25
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I'd do it again next weekend if I had the opportunity
Nothing stopping you, tough guy.
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