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Old 04-09-12, 06:00 PM   #1
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Help, I'm skeered.

A lot of general training questions on the forum. That's good. Now, a specific training question: will I survive this ride?

In two weeks I will attempt the Redbud Ride, Green Monster variety. The route may be seen here:
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/922344

My training history is here:
http://app.strava.com/athletes/180773

I'm not sure much detail Strava will let you see, but my most ambitious ride this year has been the St. Patricks Populaire, which had a lot less climbing. At mile 55 I had run out of gas and just limped on in to the finish (I did make it within RUSA guidelines).

My goal is to a) finish, and b) within RUSA guidelines, although this is not a RUSA event.

I can climb a bit and I can go distances but I don't have much luck combining the two.

Any recommendations on what kind of riding to do until then?
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Old 04-09-12, 06:11 PM   #2
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Your ride is two weeks away? Just taper.
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Old 04-09-12, 06:19 PM   #3
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Old 04-09-12, 06:22 PM   #4
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Don't be intimidated. The profile looks much fiercer than the figures indicate, because of the scale of the graphic. But less than 4000 ft of climbing in over 60 miles isn't too horrible.

Not much time to prepare in any special way if it happens in two weeks. I'd try to do plenty of climbing this week, partly for fitness but more to accustom yourself to managing your effort in the hills. A lot of climbing is in your head, IMO; if you can get used to focusing on your effort levels rather than worrying about how long or steep the climb is, that helps a lot. You simply take it slow, and keep reassuring yourself that you can sustain this level of effort, so just plugging away will get you to the top.

Next week I'd keep the mileage low but the intensity quite high, and then do nothing for the last couple of days except maybe a gentle spin the day before.

You know about hydrating and fuelling and starting slow and all that stuff... . Don't be skeered, you'll be fine.
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Old 04-09-12, 06:23 PM   #5
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This will do it.

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Old 04-09-12, 06:53 PM   #6
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Don't be intimidated. The profile looks much fiercer than the figures indicate, because of the scale of the graphic. But less than 4000 ft of climbing in over 60 miles isn't too horrible.

Not much time to prepare in any special way if it happens in two weeks. I'd try to do plenty of climbing this week, partly for fitness but more to accustom yourself to managing your effort in the hills. A lot of climbing is in your head, IMO; if you can get used to focusing on your effort levels rather than worrying about how long or steep the climb is, that helps a lot. You simply take it slow, and keep reassuring yourself that you can sustain this level of effort, so just plugging away will get you to the top.

Next week I'd keep the mileage low but the intensity quite high, and then do nothing for the last couple of days except maybe a gentle spin the day before.

You know about hydrating and fuelling and starting slow and all that stuff... . Don't be skeered, you'll be fine.
Pretty good. I'd add that I would try to replicate the ride this weekend...or shoot for two hard days. When you're familiar with being tired it's easier to deal with. For perspective on the climbing I did 3200' in 90 minutes Sunday.
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Old 04-09-12, 06:59 PM   #7
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For perspective on the climbing I did 3200' in 90 minutes Sunday.
LOL. And for added perspective, with a recently broken back.
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Old 04-09-12, 07:25 PM   #8
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Things I've considered:

-jettisoning unnecessary weight from the BrainBag. With SAG stops every 15 miles, I don't really need to drag the Camelbak up those hills, do I?

-walking up bad hills. Two years ago I would never dismount for a hill, even if blood was streaming out of my ears. But my DF weighed 18 pounds. My Giro weighs over 30. Once I blow, it's really hard for me to recover.

-blood sacrifice to the Mayan god of my choosing. Rabbits, squirrels and cats are all potential candidates.

-I also have some of those Lance Armstrong FRS specials that contain veetamens, antioxidants, and who knows what else they put in there. I took two this AM. It didn't work.

I'm open to suggestions.
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Old 04-09-12, 07:26 PM   #9
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Huh, I've never ridden in Ky. This ride is only 3.5 hours from me too. Huh.
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Old 04-09-12, 07:49 PM   #10
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Did I miss something? I did not see total feet of climbing in the stats.... only that it starts and ends at about 3700 ft elevation. There is a 21.9 % grade somewhere, which is pretty fierce... but we don't know how long it goes on... probably not far.

BUT: If it's truly 3200 feet of climbing, it is nothing to sneeze at, but not horrible either. I agree that the graphs make it look scarier than it probably is. Just don't fry your legs trying to go fast uphill and take "more gear" than you think you will need. Stop and rest going up the hills if necessary.

Edit: I can't see very much on the Strava (not a member I guess) but apparently you haven't been building a base for very long, so easy does it.... as Hermes said, don't use up your legs early. Make sure you are well rested before the ride too. You can't do much to prepare in the last four or five days, so rest.

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Old 04-09-12, 09:15 PM   #11
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That ride profile looks challenging, but not fear-worthy. A few decent hills, but good recovery sections between them. Yeah, walk a hill or two if needed to avoid blowing up. Main thing, stop worrying and get ready to enjoy a great ride.
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Old 04-10-12, 01:38 AM   #12
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Things I've considered:
-blood sacrifice to the Mayan god of my choosing. Rabbits, squirrels and cats are all potential candidates.
.
Difficult to find virgins in that neck 'o the woods?

If sag is 15 miles apart a couple of bottles will be plenty. Eat a good meal three hours before and fuel moderately during the event. Most folks can only uptake 300 or so calories per hour, stay away from stuff that will be slow to digest. More than 300 cals just sort of sits there. Bring some Endurolytes and take a couple every 30 minutes or so after the first hour.

Grab as many wheels to draft as you can in between the climbs. I approach long races trying to conserve every pedal stroke I can. Keep an eye on the wind an save some if you've got a headwind coming back.

Drop all the weight you can off you and the bike. If you need lower gearing on the bike, do it.

Don't blow up
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Old 04-10-12, 08:59 AM   #13
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Aw, you can do it Dudelsack! Just be sure to work on your slow-speed balance for those short steep climbs, and try to carry as much speed as possible into those hills. Shift early and shift down!
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Old 04-10-12, 01:12 PM   #14
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I believe the correct terminology is: "Ima skeert"
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Old 04-10-12, 01:42 PM   #15
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Old 04-10-12, 01:54 PM   #16
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Was I hallucinating? I could have sworn Hermes entered some comments ("what the heck is a Giro?") that I thought were pretty good. Flashbacks from the 60's? Bad acid haunting me now?

Anyway, I will be riding a Bacchetta Giro 26 ATT, a "rugged" recumbent "designed for touring" which means it's heavier than Hades and climbs like a dying duck.

Actually that's a great name for a bike: the Dying Duck, with a nod to Mort Canard.

I appreciate the advice. I've ridden over 90 miles in the past three days, and ahm jest tired.
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Old 04-10-12, 03:30 PM   #17
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Find a couple of real hills before the event. You may walk them but at least you will find out if your heels blister

Not going to say it will be easy but there is nothing there on grade that will trouble you. The accumulative effect by the end might get you but take it steady enough and don't blast any of the hills and you will be OK.

Good Luck.
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Old 04-10-12, 04:20 PM   #18
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I deleted my comments since I have no experience riding recumbents or with recumbent technology and their power profiles and training. I think you received great advice to work on your balancing skills when the bike is going very slowly and get off and walk if the climb is too steep.
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Old 04-10-12, 04:46 PM   #19
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-blood sacrifice to the Mayan god of my choosing. Rabbits, squirrels and cats are all potential candidates.
I'd gladly give you all my local squirrels, but with postal rates as they are, I guess you'll have to settle for your neighbor's cats.
I hope you just go and do it. Recover for a day or two, see how you feel, run a few more 30-40 milers, and just take the course as it comes. Good luck!
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Old 04-10-12, 06:07 PM   #20
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I deleted my comments since I have no experience riding recumbents or with recumbent technology and their power profiles and training. I think you received great advice to work on your balancing skills when the bike is going very slowly and get off and walk if the climb is too steep.
Well, since you brought it up...

In theory, a bent would climb as well as a bike if they could design a light, affordable, laterally stiff frame. In the bent world you can only have two. I was a poor climber on my bike, so on the bent I'm no worse (and slowly getting better) except for very slow speeds. My lowest gear is a 30X34 on a 26" wheel, so I should be able to take it up a cliff, except when I get that slow I can't maintain my balance.

If I wake up tomorrow and feel full of urine and acetic acid, I may cycle out five miles to a very steep grade and see how I do. Of I might be as tired tomorrow as I am now, and I won't.

I did myself a favor and installed M324s so if I approach a scary steep grade I'll flip them over and use the flat side. Of course, you lose power that way but at least I don't have to worry about a likely painful Tombay. But if it happens, I'll be sure to submit the proper forms to the magistrate across the pond.
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Old 04-10-12, 06:21 PM   #21
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You got some good advice from Racer x and I would add in next week just do one long ride with some climbing in it and taper off in both miles and climbing. the last week, do a little spinning the first few days and nothing for three days before the event. This has worked for me for years, your results may vary but I don't think so. You will not sleep the night before the event most likely. Don't worry about it, you will do fine. Don't over eat. Take a gel 30 min before you and once an hour with water. If its goin go be hot, be careful to stay hydrated. Good luck, you will be fine.

If your event is two weeks away
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Old 04-11-12, 09:32 AM   #22
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In theory, a bent would climb as well as a bike if they could design a light, affordable, laterally stiff frame. In the bent world you can only have two. I was a poor climber on my bike, so on the bent I'm no worse (and slowly getting better) except for very slow speeds. My lowest gear is a 30X34 on a 26" wheel, so I should be able to take it up a cliff, except when I get that slow I can't maintain my balance.
So, just what is the slowest speed you have been able to maintain balance on, on that ATT? I can go down into the 4's, and my gearing is the same as yours. What is the stock weight of the ATT? I think mine is 33# for the all-steel Giro. And with all the gear (aka crap) on board, it probably weighs 40#. I keep trying to convince myself that it is making me a stronger rider, hauling that much weight around! And remember Steel is Real!
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Old 04-11-12, 09:54 AM   #23
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The problem is that when I'm climbing a steep grade I tighten up and tend to pull myself forward, an old habit from my MTB days. There always seems to be a diesel pickup truck behind me and that always makes things worse. It's as much a technique thing as anything.

The Giro ATT is aluminum I believe. I've never weighed my Brainbox but I'm guessing it adds another ten pounds.

When I rode the brevet-lite (100K), I carried everything, given the spirit of randonneuring. On a fully supported ride I might just see how much I can jettison to lighten the load. My Camelbak carries 70 oz. of fluid. I'm not sure that's necessary with rest stops every 15 miles. Ditto for my emergency thermal blanket, three replacement tubes (probably can cut that down to one) and 5-6 CO2 cartridges.

The Marathons run pretty harsh. I'm going to see how low a pressure I can run in them without pinching or feeling like I'm cycling in molasses. Unfortunately, I don't have that much time to experiment.

Finally, I've ridden as hard this year so far as I ever had, and I was truly exhausted yesterday. Wednesday mornings are usually free for me, so I slept in. The fact that it was under 40 this AM may have also influenced my decision.
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Old 04-11-12, 11:50 AM   #24
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Now, my personal rule is that you should never walk a hill, but riding up it at 2 mph and stopping to rest 8 times is okay. (The difference is that you can say "I rode this route" instead of "I rode most of this route, but not the parts that were too hard for me.")

(Seriously, I rode some steep hills on one ride last year. One of the ladies on the ride was under-geared and had to walk some of the hills. That meant she walked up them at 3 mph while I rode up them at 4 mph, not a heck of a lot of difference there! If you anticipate walking, consider cleat covers if needed.)

Personally, I take a camelbak if it's hot, regardless of how close the rest stops are together, as you're likely to lose more time refueling there than you would from toting the extra 100 oz of water.
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Old 04-12-12, 08:50 PM   #25
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I'm doing that ride. We might see each other "limping" in.
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