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Old 07-12-10, 10:46 AM   #1
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Deathride Report

No one has started a thread yet, so let me:

Deathride 2010 went well for me. I finished with about 8:10 ride time (8:17 includes 5-10 minutes rolling around at the start, looking for folks). Almost 2 hours faster than last year.



I felt pretty winded right from the start. The altitude affected me much more this year than last. I don't know why, maybe we just arrived a little too early the day before.

On the monitor ascents I was lucky enough to get great pacing from Tim, a Utah U cyclist that had come down for the ride. He was allegedly a cat-5 cyclist, though he said he'd won each race he'd entered so far! He seemed too comfortable, it was unfair that he lived in Park City and was used to the thin air. He dropped me just before the summit of E. Monitor, but it was nice riding with him for 5k+ elevation gain!

I brought the camera this time, and recorded some of my ride. Here's my first attempt at this sort of thing:


(if anyone has music suggestions, let me know and I'll audioswap them on there. right now all you can hear is road buzz and SRAM clicks)

Ebbett's was better this year as I knew what to expect. This was also where Chris Phipps overtook me. I started 25 minutes earlier, so by my accounts I was doing well! (I tried to ride with Chris and his friend for a bit, but after maybe 2 minutes I was about to blow up, so I dropped off and hyperventilated for 10 minutes)

The good news this year was the descents. The work on Monitor got me ahead of a lot of people, meaning I had open roads to ride down. It was a lot better than last year, where I was descending in fear of the weeble-wobblers cutting me off.

Descending Ebbett's was still crazy though. The entire road was taken up by ascenders as I was heading down. I'll work that video next. It felt like a dangerous obstacle course!

The trip up from South to North went much better this year as well. I was able to hold a comfortable pace with a strong group the entire way. We were making such good time that I had to skip my planned stop at my car. That kind of backfired when I had to resort to drinking cytomax.

The cytomax lead to some stomach issues, which made the climb up Carson pass the death march it should be. Still, I was lucky enough on Carson to catch and ride with Rob, a guy from Milpitas, for the second half of the climb. Having someone to trade pulls with into the wind on those false flats made life MUCH less miserable. I tried to do my share, but in reality it was probably 35/65 me/Rob doing the work. I was cramping a bit along with the gut pain, and he was nice enough to not say anything when I needed to sit in. We picked up another Wells Fargo rider nearer the top, and the 3 of us finished that climb strong.

It was EMPTY up there! I know not everyone signed the board, but I counted 18 signatures on the skeleton when I wrote my name down. I had my choice of location, and went with the R, center and eye-level!



My video of Carson was corrupt for some reason, but I maxed out around 52mph. It was 1:30pm, so I think I (lucked out) missed the huge tailwinds I had last year. I'm not complaining, 50+ still feels too fast for me, so I was happy to descend safely without wind gusts!

On Sunday, Donald, Ramon, Michael and I hit up Kingsbury grade from NV towards Tahoe. I'm glad we rode it, but it was long (8 miles/ 2500ft), and the descent wasn't as fun as I'd hoped. Still, if you want to add a 6th pass to your weekend it wasn't a bad choice!

Congrats to everyone who finished. It's a really tough ride at elevation! I've never felt so winded.
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Old 07-12-10, 10:57 AM   #2
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Awesome and congratulations! Is there a link for the pictures? Would love to check them out.
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Old 07-12-10, 11:03 AM   #3
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Gee... that's a pretty decent time. Congrats!
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Old 07-12-10, 11:17 AM   #4
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Was there with my buddy...great time. The heat & headwinds on Carson's were rough but better than swirling rain/hail.
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Old 07-12-10, 12:01 PM   #5
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Thanks! I've been anxiously awaiting reports on this ride. Congrats!
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Old 07-12-10, 12:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
Thanks! I've been anxiously awaiting reports on this ride. Congrats!
Your jersey design got a handful of compliments as well! I'll have to update once the official pictures get published.
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Old 07-12-10, 12:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
The good news this year was the descents. The work on Monitor got me ahead of a lot of people, meaning I had open roads to ride down. It was a lot better than last year, where I was descending in fear of the weeble-wobblers cutting me off.

Descending Ebbett's was still crazy though. The entire road was taken up by ascenders as I was heading down. I'll work that video next. It felt like a dangerous obstacle course!
I remember that from the one and only time I did the Deathride (2006)

Next time: http://www.altaalpina.org/challenge/6pass/index.html

All the fun. Less hassle. Fewer chances of a nasty head-on with someone tacking up the hill in the other direction.

And Alta Alpina rocks.
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Old 07-12-10, 12:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
Your jersey design got a handful of compliments as well! I'll have to update once the official pictures get published.
Hey i think i saw you fly by. I was at the bottom of the return from Monitor in the mini rest area waiting for my buddy to catch up. i was wearing the new jersey. i saw someone fly by in the new jersey. I pointed and they looked back. Was that you?
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Old 07-12-10, 12:27 PM   #9
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DR 2010 has been redeemed. Last year I finished but it was my most hated ride to date and I've never felt good about it. This year went much better. I was slow (I have never climbed well) but an early start and taking the first four passes at below-max-effort left me with enough to do Carson without stopping this time. In spite of having prostate removed three months ago and only getting back on the bike six weeks ago this years took less time and I finished with a avg HR ten points less than last year.



Highlights:

- The first big descent down the back side of Monitor remains my favorite descent anywhere. The road is straight enough and smooth enough that I can really enjoy both the ride and the scenery.

- Markleeville court house - I love the attitude of the locals towards this ride. People sit out all day long cheering riders. It doesn't matter if you are in the lead or the tail, they'll be out there cheering.

Low points:

- Lots of injuries out there. One girl wiped out on descent on the return from Ebbetts and only the fact that she wrapped her body around a metal post at 35 mph saved her from going over the cliff. I think she was med-evacced out. Towards the end of Carson there was a bike parked on the side of the road with half of a front wheel and pool of blood. My buddy says when he went by there was a guy on the ground there and a red-neck in a pickup yelling at him to get out of the road. I saw lots of road rash on other riders. I'm still amazed there are no head on collisions on Monitor and especially Ebbetts.
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File Type: jpg Carson..jpg (32.7 KB, 11 views)
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Old 07-12-10, 01:22 PM   #10
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Hey i think i saw you fly by. I was at the bottom of the return from Monitor in the mini rest area waiting for my buddy to catch up. i was wearing the new jersey. i saw someone fly by in the new jersey. I pointed and they looked back. Was that you?
yes, I saw you there. tried to wave, but no time to stop!
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Old 07-12-10, 03:00 PM   #11
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Got some time to see the video. Very nice!
What camera did you use, the image quality is good and vibrations are rather well controlled.
I am impressed at your pace on the first climb up W. Monitor.
The descent to Topaz reminded me last year experience when I started earlier than in 2008. It makes a huge difference to have an open road. Half an hour later it would have been very crowded and much more dangerous.
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Old 07-12-10, 03:05 PM   #12
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Great to hear everyone else's accounts of the DR! 8 hours is definitely an impressive time compared to my 10!

My experiences -

GarminConnect data - http://connect.garmin.com/activity/39955503

This being the first time doing the DR, it did live up to expectations. I had initially decided against doing the Death Ride when I first heard about it several months ago, but as I kept on doing longer rides involving more climbing, I considered it a possibility, and about two months ago I decided to sign up. I had driven up to Markleeville to stay with a couple friends of mine in a rented vacation home (Woodcreek High School's MTB racing team) on Friday (they had been there since Wed, I came later because of work). We left at 4 AM, and I have to say, riding in the dark, even with some ridiculously bright headlights and tail lights, it was eerie indeed (i.e., Blair Witch Project). Out of the 6 of us (2 adults, myself, and 3 high schoolers), I went with two of the high schoolers ahead as we went up Monitor. Monitor was definitely a good start in that it seemed very open, not too steep. Going down definitely was a joy. We came back down to the intersection between the 3 passes, dumped our lights, arm/leg warmers, and headed up Ebbetts. It was at Ebbetts #1 that the air was starting to get to me, as I was trying to pace myself, not being acclimated to the air. From Ebbetts 1 to 2 is where the two high schoolers that I had ridden with pulled ahead of me, so I told them to go on at their pace (they had been riding a few days already to get used to the thinner air). I do commend the volunteers at the Ebbetts 1 stop, they were very composed and helpful in making sure everyone was off the road and notifying when riders were coming from either direction. I rode by myself from Ebbetts 2 back to Ebbetts 1 for the 4th pass, and then waited for the rest of the group to catch up, and from there we headed back down Ebbetts 1 towards Carson. Going down Ebbets 1 was extremely scary, as I was not used to going down steep grades on the switchbacks. I nearly ran into someone going the opposite direction as I took a wide turn to avoid a pothole! Carson was the real challenge, as I was burnt out from the previous passes and it didn't help that it was particularly windy. I do appreciate the fact, though, that it wasn't raining/hailing, as I had heard that was the case last year. Slowly but surely I made it up Carson, got my 5th pass sticker, and as a group we headed back towards Markleeville. I heard numerous people talking about the Folsom Bike rider whose front wheel taco'd while going down Carson, but did not witness it. Did see the motorcycle support vehicle driving by with the bike though, front wheel literally looked like it was bent at a right angle.

Afterthoughts:
- I did see both of the riders on the ellipticals, the one in blue had MASSIVE quads... was quite scary, and what's even more impressive is that he passed me once, though I managed to pass him later on.
- I have done only a couple centuries, but was used to seeing the usual teams out there - team revolutions, kinetic cycle, UC Davis (MAN those guys were booking it up Carson), etc, one odd thing I noticed is that I saw only one person from Victory Velo. Maybe they were all just going super fast for me to notice
- I apparently am still not comfortable going downhill at high speeds on unfamiliar roads. I made sure to relax and make sure my weight was spread evenly (i.e., turning right - weight on right hand and left foot at 6 o'clock position), feather the brakes, but there were still some moments where in my head I'm screaming "STOP!!!!" and also worrying about the possibility of a blowout from excessive braking.

All in all, the Death Ride definitely was an experience of a lifetime. Got to meet some great people from the California area (and see the red/block NorCal jersey, very cool!), saw some beautiful scenery, and test my limits. As I chatted with a couple cyclists, I told them "There's a fine line between enjoying a ride and hating life, and I was WAY on the hating life portion", but now that I look back I am glad that I took the opportunity. I am still a firm NO for doing this next year, but I have a little less than a year to reconsider.

Once again, was great seeing everyone, and maybe I'll see you all next year! I will be probably wearing the same kit as what I wore this year - a black Louis Garneau kit with red logos.
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Old 07-12-10, 04:39 PM   #13
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I had an ok ride, about 8:30 riding time. I didn't drink enough on the early passes, got really dehydrated by Carson and went a lot slower than normal. The ride back down from Carson was very slow. Getting stuck behind a big travel trailer that was dragging his brakes on the fun part didn't help but mostly I was fried. I drank about a gallon of water on the drive home and still weighed 4 lbs less than normal the next morning.

The weather was nice and I met some interesting people, so it wasn't all that bad. They even had decent ice cream at the top. I didn't see any accidents this time but the guy who had laid his bike down across the descending side of the road on east ebbets probably caused some.

Yugduf, that's a good time. I hope I can talk you into doing the EC, if you can do that time and then go for a ride the next day you're ready for it.
Cat 5s who win every race aren't uncommon. They are usually mtb racers or ex-runners, and move up fast once they get through their 10 cat 5 races.
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Old 07-12-10, 05:14 PM   #14
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Thanks, I'm leaning towards yes on EC.

Power-wise, my ride up Kingsbury grade on Sunday was the best pass I put together the entire weekend, but knowing that it's 1 and done will do that. I did have a debilitating stitch in my side during, though, I've never had to completely stop on a climb because I couldn't breathe before.

http://www.strava.com/segment_efforts/1589176 - note the graph about half way up where I let the power off for 2-3 minutes, then give up and stand there until the lung-cramp goes away.
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Old 07-12-10, 06:43 PM   #15
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I sucked out loud

Hope you didn't have any difficulty getting around me on Monitor, Ygduf.

I had a great time. Thus endeth my lame attempt at the Death Ride.
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Old 07-12-10, 06:57 PM   #16
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I came. I saw. I completed 5 passes.

I had a score to settle with this ride. Last year I DNF'd after some bozo knocked me over and I landed on my wrist. Whatever.

There would be no racing the clock for me. The game plan was simple: keep the HR < 150 bpm as much as possible.

Monitor ascent = no sweat. Monitor descent = less fun than I remembered. Maybe the novelty has worn-off for me.

Ebbetts ascent = I admit to turning-up the tempo a little here as this was the scene of my accident. I'm agreeing with everyone else here regarding the descent: road too narrow, sketchy pavement and a lot of people all over the road. No fun.

Lunch stop included a little pep talk as I knew the temptation to stop at the car, and pack it in, would be strong. I said to myself: "self, you need to put your head down, STFU, and get this thing done."

Reaching Woodfords was a little more than demoralizing as they had the elevation profile posted for everyone to see - I could tell that the last pass would be a long, hard slog. Survival mode kicked-in as I shifted into my granny gear (34x28) and kept my HR < 130 bpm.

You have no idea how much it pained me to go that slow. My butt felt every nook and cranny on the road and it took every ounce of self control to not get off the bike and fling it off the side of the road a la David Millar.

I made it to Pickett's Junction but have absolutely had it with this ride at that point. I found out that it was only (only) 8.5 miles to the finish so there was no way I could quit now. Believe me I almost packed-it-in right there. It took me a good 35 minutes, of sitting at that rest stop, to just reason with my self. I couldn't live with myself if I quit. I hopped back on the bike and began the final leg of my death march.

I saw that poor fellow hit the deck as he descended Carson. It wasn't pretty. It really affected me after a long, exhausting day in the sun. I hope he's ok.

I made it to the top, made absolutely sure that the staff registered my bib number and got my sticker. Imagine all this pain and discomfort for a bunch of stickers. Crazy.

Now here's my absolute favorite part of the ride. Ice cream sandwich in my belly, feeling good about myself, I just let 'er rip all the back to Turtle Rock.

You know that crazy good feeling when you've got up to speed, you're big-ringing it like Spartacus and it all feels so effortless? You're flying - downhills, flats, attacking the rollers - it doesn't matter what comes your way. Pure bliss. This is why I ride. This made it all worth it.

So I'll buy that 5 pass finisher jersey and wear it with pride. Will I do Death Ride next year? I don't feel the need so much. I'm the type of guy that will try anything once, but now it's on to the next thing.

Congrats to my fellow Death Ride finishers - 5 pass or otherwise. Thanks for reading.
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Old 07-12-10, 07:07 PM   #17
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Congrats on completing it mellums.
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Old 07-12-10, 07:42 PM   #18
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This was my second Deathride attempt. Last year I did 4 passes and was very happy with that. I trained with Al Painter and IPF a lot over the winter and this spring doing a lot of high intensity hill repeats but without doing any 10K+ ft days, no triple (or double) Diablo repeats.

So I didn't think I had a shot at 5 passes. Started at 4:10 am with lights, headed up Monitor, got my sticker and shot through without stopping. Coasted down not pedaling at all, not passing anyone, but conserving energy. At the bottom of Monitor East, tried their potatoes which were terrible this year, filled bottles, and headed up. I found some new muscles that had never hurt before which got me worrying about whether I could make even the 4 passes that I did last year. But somehow got to the top and headed down. Felt sorry for the people who were already walking up the first pass, clearly over-matched.

Started up Ebbetts, hit Scoccas rest stop and then started really struggling up the 11% grade. Could barely make the wheel go around. No way I could make it to the top. Was I really going to have to turn around after 2 passes? Then someone passing me said "I think your rear tire is low", right away someone else said "its flat." Must have been that way for a mile or more. I guess I should be relieved it was a flat and not my muscles. Made it up and over and back. Again coasting on all the downhills. Took Ebbetts down easy. A big pack was following an ambulance. Skipped the lunch stop to save time. Then at the bottom just made it before they shut the roads to land a helicopter. Headed back to Turtle Rock. I was at least going to try to make the Woodfords cutoff. The crowd was amazing - yelling "one more pass." How could I not try.

A Markleeville local was handing out watermelon slices as I passed, such a sweet touch. Stopped at the car to get some cold Heed and another gel flask. Made it to Woodfords with 45 minutes to spare. Kept going and going and going. Near the top, I was stopping every mile or so to rest. But I made it! I made it! I made it! They were out of ice cream by the time I got there at 6:15 but I did get my pin, the fifth sticker, and signed the poster. What more could I want!!! Headed down and was off the course shortly before 8.

I am envious of those who made it in 8 hours. It was 15.5 hours from start to finish for me with the Garmin saying I was actually moving for almost 14 hours. But I made it! And this is by someone who is 60 and started cycling 3 years ago. The pageantry was wonderful, something that I hadn't been able to appreciate last year, so many small details. I am still on cloud 9.
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Old 07-12-10, 07:56 PM   #19
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Well, I also finished my second Death Ride. After getting caught in a storm going up Carson last year, I said I would only do 4 passes if I did it at all this time. But I liked the jersey design, so decided to go for it. I got an entry on CL the day before, drove up and slept in the car. Woke up to the loud band playing at 4:15 or so, hit the road at 5:30. I had not done much training since the Davis Double, just one hard ride with hill repeats the weekend before, so I took it easy from the start. This time I knew what to expect, still Ebbets felt harder than I remembered. Stopped for a quick lunch, then slugged it up slowly after Woodfords. I saw the downed rider a mile or so from Carson summit, the ambulance arrived as I was passing him. They blocked the road after letting another couple riders after me. He looked bloody but hopefully not too badly hurt. This time I actually enjoyed the ice cream and had a long break to rest my feet.

I had to leave after the ride in a hurry, as I needed to leave for a business trip. I still haven't had a chance to download my data, will do it next week when I am back home. It took me a little over 12 hours total time, similar to last year, but I feel not as spent. I thought the riders were more careful this year (could be because I started a little earlier and avoided some of the crowding at the end), yet there seemed to be many ambulances this year. I had a great time at the first 4 passes as well as the Carson descent, but will probably skip this next year and do something else.
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Old 07-12-10, 07:58 PM   #20
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I'm so impressed by all you DR riders. I try to avoid any ride with "Death" in the title, as a closet wussie, yet I'm drawn to read about your suffering as a moth to a flame. Good job and a chapeau to you all!
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Old 07-12-10, 08:06 PM   #21
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Always enjoyed reading others' reports after a memorable event like this. Alamere, I hope that I'll be riding with the determination that you had on this Death Ride when I reach 60. You are inspiring.!

There is also a thread on the Road Cycling forum with a few reports, which may or may not be all here. Here is my report; I really hope to find a 30-year Anniversary Death Ride mug to buy. Anyone?
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Old 07-12-10, 08:20 PM   #22
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Congrats to everyone who did it. By all accounts it was brutally hot this year - nicely done!

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Old 07-12-10, 08:21 PM   #23
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good job guys/gals?, had no idea there were so many friendlies out there

first time for me and i enjoyed it - great support and the views were breath taking! Plan on doing it again next year... 20 lbs lighter ha!

next year we shall have a bike forums get together to rub elbows a bit prior to the suffering

i saw one rider in the black and red kit and grunted out "bikeforums?"

keith
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Old 07-12-10, 08:32 PM   #24
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Congrats to everyone and thanks for the great reports, especially Michael - glad you made it through. I know I should have been there this year, but it wasn't to be. 2011 for sure.
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Old 07-12-10, 09:26 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Alamere View Post
I made it! I made it! I made it! They were out of ice cream by the time I got there at 6:15 but I did get my pin, the fifth sticker, and signed the poster. What more could I want!!!
Great attitude! I'm glad you finished, and I hope you're able to do it again, easier, next year.
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