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Thread: Foxy's Century

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    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Foxy's Century

    Wife and I did Foxy's Century (Davis, CA) yesterday. This was by far the toughest ride we had done in 20+ years. Of course we just restarted riding after 20+ years in August 2008. The weather was absolutely perfect. Started at 0730 with arm warmers and down to Jersey at the first rest stop. Got a bit warm at our 1500 finish time. Virtually no wind which apparently can be the real downside of this ride.

    Finished the 106 miles at a 15.7 mph average which was about what I figured we could do. Definitely more climbing than we expected. The Foxy's website proclaims "2000' of climbing". You be the judge (profile attached). My trusty Garmin came up with 8313 of elevation gain. Now the Garmin is very fastidious about counted rollers and such, but unless you step way, way back from the profile and only count gains of over 100 or 200'? My Wife and I call this character building. We walked about 100 yds up the end of one hill when my HR was through the roof so I guess our actual mileage was 106 -300/5280.

    ChiChi (George) picked us out at the finish as the only Davinci around. Really good to meet one of the other inhabitants of this forum.

    Lessons learned: (1) Don't depend on rest stops for nutrition. The rest stops were fine, but we need to consume some calories on a more regular basis. (2)Maybe start out a bit slower? (3) Figure out why only my right leg is cramping. (4)Work on climbing more. (5)Work on standing more. (6) Loose more weight. (7)Don't ask your stoker "What's going on back there?" during a climb!

    We've certainly exceeded my goals for this short year of cycling. My wife and I can't wait for Spring to arrive.
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    Rick T
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    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    No way 8000'+ of climbing. It's called jitter and it adds lots of gain. While 2000' might be a bit low, I looked at the profile and 3000' would be a plenty for this ride.

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    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    Lessons learned: (1) Don't depend on rest stops for nutrition. The rest stops were fine, but we need to consume some calories on a more regular basis... (3) Figure out why only my right leg is cramping.... My wife and I can't wait for Spring to arrive.
    When you get into endurance rides, all sorts of issues come up that you don't have to deal with on shorter rides. Your intuition, experience and tips you get from others will only get you so far. People will tell you "Drink lots" or "Eats lots", but it isn't that simple.

    I had problems on longer rides of cramping and bonking. I overcame these by following the precepts in Hammer's free download:

    The Endurance Athlete's Guide To Success.

    I'm not sure everything in that guide is completely correct, but from where most people are, it is definitely in the direction of correct. Download Hammer's tome and follow the plan they set out, and I'll bet you do a lot better on those centuries next Spring what you are looking forward to.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
    No way 8000'+ of climbing. It's called jitter and it adds lots of gain. While 2000' might be a bit low, I looked at the profile and 3000' would be a plenty for this ride.
    The Garmin just spits out raw data noise and all. Given all the geekiness in this sport (nutrition, CF, titanium, Powertab, DI2, ....) it would be nice if route descriptions were standardized. Wouldn't be hard to use a standard elevation database with a standard smoothing approach to compare rides (or just standardize on one of the routing websites). A ride once done is a ride remembered, but the first time becomes a bit of an adventure.
    Rick T
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    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    The Garmin just spits out raw data noise and all. Given all the geekiness in this sport (nutrition, CF, titanium, Powertab, DI2, ....) it would be nice if route descriptions were standardized. Wouldn't be hard to use a standard elevation database with a standard smoothing approach to compare rides (or just standardize on one of the routing websites). A ride once done is a ride remembered, but the first time becomes a bit of an adventure.
    I know what you're saying. If you load a route into MapMyRide and then Bikely you'll get two very different elevation gain totals. My friend uses a Garmin 705 and he loads the data into Training Center or Motion Base which have some smoothing algorithms and whichever one he uses seems fairly accurate. It is very common for ride organizers to choose to publish data from whichever program gives the highest total. Often the climbing data is way overstated. Of course there are rides that are the real deal like the Everest Challenge or the Death Ride to name a couple out your way.

    Edit. It seems the stated gain for the Foxy was understated a bit by the ride organization. The truth is somewhere between the minimum and maximum values for sure. LOL.
    Last edited by BikeWNC; 10-18-09 at 05:21 PM.

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    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Nice to get back to riding after 20 years. You two done good!
    Rode with Grandpa 'Foxy' Delano on a 200 miler in Michigan back in the 1970s. He was quite the rider!
    We tend to take along our own favorite food sources to supplement what the sag stops have to offer (hey, I don't like PB&J!).
    As for Garmin, Google or the organizers we always take the claims of hills/distance with a couple grains of salt.
    We tend to keep a steady pace no matter what riders pass us . . . many times we'll pass them toward the end.
    Did a back-2-back century in Ohio that turned out to be 125 miles the first day and 100 the second day.
    Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    Lessons learned: (1) Don't depend on rest stops for nutrition. The rest stops were fine, but we need to consume some calories on a more regular basis. (2)Maybe start out a bit slower? (3) Figure out why only my right leg is cramping. (4)Work on climbing more. (5)Work on standing more. (6) Loose more weight. (7)Don't ask your stoker "What's going on back there?" during a climb!
    On the climbing camp I took before the Death Ride (Near Death at Kirkwood) the coach's advice for an endurance ride, especially with hills, was "start out like it's a marathon and then slow down". The goal is to finish strong and not blow up on the way. Other advice on HR was to average no more that 72% of your max and never go anaerobic (which you evidently did when you had to walk). Standing is very helpful to change the stress on the muscles and relieve the sore parts towards the end of the ride! You just might have one leg longer than the other (it's quite common) that could explain the right leg cramping.

  8. #8
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    We've done this ride 3 times now, and the Lake Loop ( from Vacaville, roughly the 2nd rest stop) to Lake Solano and down Pleasant's Valley Rd.) is a regular ride. I believe it's 3800+/- but YMMV.

    We did it yesterday with a number of BF friends: Spamnrice, JoelS, shiz702,Wolfpack, Cccorlew, mylilpony, dauphin. After Stevenson Bridge we turned onto Putah Creek Rd. and went rogue to avoid the boring flats and the overcrowded 1st stop. We were ahead of the crowd at the Lyon Rd. stop but lost some time to helping WP with her flat just east of Mankas Corner.

    As veterans of many race-training rides we've learned to pack the food/drink we need, as well as to know what stores along the way offer food and restroom stops. I don't remember the last time I depended on the ride organizers to provide my favored nutrition. The only ride that offers better food than Foxy's is the Marin Century, and you work for it as it is 8000'+ climbing. The stop at Petaluma is worth the ride.

    Welcome back to the long rides. Hope we can meet up with you & ride with you one of these days.
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    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Mick,
    Good put on the longer leg - my right leg is slightly longer since I broke my left ankle at the growth plate when I was in high school. I'm also very right-sided so I think that leg is a bit stronger. I used to run marathons so I know exactly of what you speak. I was managing my HR fine in the flats, but on the climbs above a certain grade the only options are stopping or living with the high HR notwithstanding the ill effects of the latter. We're going to keep working on this climbing thing and my wife has been sneaking out and doing some good rides while I'm on travel.

    I'm sticking with my 13-30 cassette if it's the last thing we do. If we can't get strong enough to climb with a 24-30 combination we should pack it in.
    Rick T
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    Riding Heaven's Highwayson the grand tour
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    Congrats on getting in the Century...after seeing you guys ride so strong at the Lighthouse there was no question you were ready. Very cool!
    Bill J.

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    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rider View Post
    As veterans of many race-training rides we've learned to pack the food/drink we need...I don't remember the last time I depended on the ride organizers to provide my favored nutrition.
    I don't know if I'd bring along all the caloric intake I'd need on a supported ride. If they have bananas and PBJ and the usual stuff, you're not going to go to wrong using it. Its all ends up as glucose, and your body doesn't know how it started out.

    What you can't count on the organizers providing is electrolytes and drink mixes. I was cramping up something fierce on the Death Ride 2007, and at the rest stops they had no electrolytes save for what was in Cytomax. I'd double up on the Cytomax and then get nauseated from all the sucrose swill in my stomach. I ended up DNF after 4 passes. I learned from this, and in 2008 finished all five passes before the rain.

    You definitely want to carry electrolytes, an example being Hammer Endurolytes. These are helpful to keep you from cramping up (which is often in only one leg, btw). The Hammer endurance guide reccommends around six pills per hour.



    If you find a drink powder that agrees with you, you can carry that too, because what they have at the rest stops may not. On the Climb to Kaiser (155 miles, 13,500 ft climbing) in 2007, all they had at one stop was Hammer Perpetuem, which has soy protein. I wasn't digesting it, and I was really nauseated. Last year I carried HEED with me, which I know causes me no problem.

    Electrolyte tablets are helpful, such as NUUN. These are easy to carry along, you simply pop in the water bottle. This helps spending too much time in line at the rest stop to fill in the powder.



    This is all fodder I guess for the Training and Nutrition forum, but what I've discussed are the basics. Download that Hammer guide!

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    There are people who specialize in fixing bike fit problems, e.g. Andy Pruitt, but whether there is anyone good locally I'm not sure.

    If my heart rate starts to climb too high I try to force myself to slow down until it stabilizes. Of course, there comes a point where you risk falling over on a tandem! Standing up typically raises your heart rate, so it's not a solution, just temporary relief. I always go to a higher gear before I stand and then drop back to the lower gear when sitting. You're right that you should be able handle all but the steepest hills with the 24-30. We're still running the 24-32 and I'm always (pleasantly) surprised that we don't run out of gears as fast as I do on my single road bike, which has 28-27 as the lowest. We go slower, of course, as my wife only rides the tandem and isn't a strong rider, but we can handle 10-12% and still be spinning at a decent cadence.

    I think you're doing pretty darn well. As I recall, we couldn't keep up with you on the Sonoma Tandem Rally! The endurance will build steadily over a couple of seasons if my experience is anything to go by. I ride my first century in Sep 2007 and have completed 8 double centuries this year. My wife thinks I'm crazy, which is probably an accurate assessment.

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    Senior Member DanRH's Avatar
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    Congrats Rick! I agree, not an 8K ride. It is a great ride though and not the easiest either. Talk about easy, Kath and are doing the Giro De Vino 100K (longest route available) on November 1st in Lodi. here is probably 200' of climbing in 62 miles! It is effectively the last organized ride for the year.
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    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Dan, Sherrill and I had been looking for a "last ride" and I wasn't aware of the Giro d' Vino - looks like and easy way to end the organized ride season.

    BTW, next Sat. I'm taking a 65 mile club ride with my 34 yo son (1 of 2 of that age) on the back. He's a strong rider. If we don't fall off it should be a blast.
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    Senior Member VaultGuru's Avatar
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    We rode it also, but did the metric century. My wife turned 62 on Sunday, so she wanted to ride one mile for each year. It actually ended up being 68.3 miles, but who is counting? Fun ride, but a little boring with the same farmland views for miles and miles. However, the day was spectacular, which more than made up for it.

    I heard a lot of huffing and puffing coming up the first hill after the lunch stop and George (Chi-Chi) caught us at the top. Great to finally meet you George. Sorry we didn't connect at the end of the ride. We were running out of time and had to leave as soon as we finished the ride. I would have loved to see your new disc brake setup. You must have had Craig build you a custom frame because your wile looked like she is really tall.

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    Senior Member VaultGuru's Avatar
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    Rdtompki, it is a blast having two guys on a tandem. I friend of mine and I rode STP on our tandem this summer. My only caution to you is to make sure you have lots of open road before you put the hammer down. People are not expecting a bike to come by them at 10-15mph faster than they are going. Here is the link I posted on the PNW site.
    Seattle-Portland Ride?

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    Foxys fall has been a tradition with myself and a group of friends for about 10 years now. In the past I have been doing it on my single, last year was my wife’s first time doing the 100 mile. This year I talked my 19 & 21 year old children to join us on the metric century. It was their first organized ride of any length. Great ride well supported as always.

    It was a kick to talk with rdtompki and vaultguru. My wife could not figure out why I was introducing myself as chichi. I saw about 10 tandems on the ride including a couple that came into the 80 mile rest stop on singles got married a left on a tandem.

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    Senior Member joe@vwvortex's Avatar
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    We do most of all of the parts of Foxy's throughout the year - and although I've done the ride a few times - we passed this year. I've been doing "Lake Loops" now for about 20 years and together with the rollers between that and Davis - it's about 3200 to 3400 ft of climbing. That one stretch on the back side of Cardiac isn't much fun though. Still a nice ride - especially now that all the boaters have packed it in for the season.
    Administrator and Contributing Editor - Vortex Media Group

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rider View Post

    As veterans of many race-training rides we've learned to pack the food/drink we need, as well as to know what stores along the way offer food and restroom stops. I don't remember the last time I depended on the ride organizers to provide my favored nutrition.
    Except when they get longer, like doubles, it's nice not to lug around a ton of stuff.

    In norcal, the Quack Cyclists put on excellent rides. They are fully stocked with HEED, Endurolytes, Sustained Energy, Perpetuem, etc...

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    Quote Originally Posted by uspspro View Post
    Except when they get longer, like doubles, it's nice not to lug around a ton of stuff.

    In norcal, the Quack Cyclists put on excellent rides. They are fully stocked with HEED, Endurolytes, Sustained Energy, Perpetuem, etc...
    It is a fact that the quality of the rest stop food and drink is generally of a high standard on almost all doubles. If it wasn't people would be bonking left and right.

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