Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-13-11, 12:11 AM   #1
P4D 
Paceline Lead Blocker
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 672
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My First Century - Amtrak

I'm the very proud finisher of my first century - the Amtrak Century that goes from Irvine to San Diego, CA. Going into the ride, I felt I had trained and after the ride I think I did train but know I can always do more. So, here are my impressions:

We got rolling at about 6:45, which was a bit later than I had hoped for. First 10 miles, and a couple of guys had to stop at MickeyD's for a pit stop. The first 15 miles have a moderate climb as we do some local mileage to make the full trip 100 miles. Not too bad, one little stretch that was a good wake up.

At the top of the hill, at about mile 17 or so, the skies opened up. Shooter marble (not the small ones) sized hail, rain, sizzling lightening and booming thunder. There were about 40 of us in a group, and everyone had squealing brakes and took it easy as this all came down on a good long downhill that I couldn't call a descent. It was dark, and it was cold, and once the thunderhead blew off, the head wind started.

We stopped at the first rest stop, and spent too long there. I quickly stiffened up, and needed another 3-4 miles to get loose again. Wind wasn't too bad at this point, as we hadn't hit the coast. Pretty uneventful until about mile 30 (sort of guessing here) when we hit the coast. There, we got the gusty little head wind that never left, and made the ride slower for everyone.

From the coast to mile 50, the second rest stop, I was just turning miles. We rode through a few of the coastal towns there, and the topography was rolling. I found the lights to be annoying, but it reminded about getting the gearing set before it was time to push off the line. If it had been sunnier, and less windy, I would have loved this part of the ride.

Just before mile 50 we went through the San Onofre campgrounds and past the power plants. I stopped a couple of times to wait for the rest of my guys, so by the time we got to stop 2, the SAG was ushering us along so we wouldn't miss lunch. I ate a dash of trail mix, refilled the bottle and off again.

Miles 51-61 were Camp Pendleton to Oceanside and lunch. This section was the just get through it section for me. The saddle barking, or maybe that was me, and the legs felt heavy. Pendleton has a rolling track, and I thought it was pretty scenic actually. What I didn't like was the traffic, lots of big 4x4 trucks honking with drivers in close cut hair yelling at the bikes to get off the road. There wasn't a huge shoulder through there, and I thought the bikes were giving room but the trucks didn't seem to think so.

I was happy to get through Oceanside to lunch, because our route had lots of stop signs and everyone was warning of unfriendly police officers who liked to give citations. Lunch was a lightly turkey'd sandwich and some mix, with a bit of watered gatorade (that's how I prefer it if I am going to take it...it give me heartburn so bad). Spent too much time here again, because I got really stiff in the lower half and it took me about 5 miles to get loose again.

Miles 62-81 are all coast line. I just loved it. I loved it, riding along seeing the surf, riding with a big group, feeling the progress as the miles ticked off. However, there was about a 6 mile stretch were we went off the coastline and along the train route, and that part was just hard. The wind was pretty tough, the road a bit rough, and I noticed SAG was all over this part of the trip. I met a new friend in here, no idea what his name is now because honestly, I forgot it. Still, it was nice to have another person to chat up as I find that helps the miles turn.

Just before the fourth rest stop at mile 81 is Torrey Pines. Its a climb. For me, its fairly long, its kind of steep, and its the place many folks have trouble. It's the "climb" of this ride, and whenever I talked to someone who has done this ride in some for or another, they had warning words about Torrey Pines. As you approach it, you are right on the coast line, coming down a little roll and it curves gently off to the left. You can get glimpses of the road as it goes up between the pines, and as I looked up I could see the bikes spread out and...small.

I was impressed, honestly. It looked majestic shrouded in a bit of mist from ocean spray, and the pines really framed the climb and made it look like I could do. Well, I did it. Little chainring, big rear gear, sit and turn the pedals. I got all the way, no stop, no help, no bonk, minimal pain. In fact, the worst part was my helmet...my head got so hot and this was about the only place we had no wind..it was blocked. Too bad my helmet fell off my pack on the train home and I have to get a new one...that vents better. Yeah, too bad.

So, Torrey Pines has lots of false plateaus, and you can't really tell how far you have to go because it does a nice job of hiding itself and not showing you the top. At about the mid-point you make a little right bender, and you think you will be all done but nope, a little back to the left and the last part of the climb before the crest. I guess its about 1 1/2 miles, and the grade is about 8-10%?

I was euphoric when I was done with that climb. I felt then like I had conquered the ride, and was on a complete endorphin high. Can't really recreate that feeling, and it made it all worth it.

Miles 82-100 are the drop down out of Torrey Pines past the Scripps Institute, through a bike trail bordering the train line that was so much fun to ride with the 40-50 bikes I was with. There was some confusion at about mile 92 and some of us made a wrong turn. No worries, we recovered to get into a group of about 200 bikes and about as many cars in the most confusing intersection I've seen. I think we were there 20 minutes, and I guess after this group got through the SDPD started controlling traffic and giving the riders the right of way.

Around through a residential neighborhood with a short little climb I still had plenty of legs for, and then back, along the SD airport and into the parking lot where we had a small group cheering us into the finish. That was coooooool! Cowbells, cheering, signs, smiles, awesome. It was the combination of completing this challenge, the rawness of being on a bike so long and working so much, but it still makes me feel emotional in a good way to think about that crowd. I won't forget that moment, it was the cherry on a simply wonderful experience.

Total ride time was 9 hours, 25 minutes, but total bike time was 6 hours, 42 minutes. we spent too much time at stops, but that's ok. As I was riding along and coming to red light stops, new faces would come up and thank me for being a wind block for the last stretch. I guess that's what you get when you are the bigger rider out there...but no one would take a turn up front for me. No problem, I don't care, I'm just riding my ride. Next time, I go faster, because I know I could have.

I ate 200-300 calories an hour, used Nuun instead of gatorade, got plenty of fluids and was helped by the valve on my backpack bladder that wouldn't stop running so I had to keep it in my mouth and drinking water. I felt great afterwards, I feel great now, and I so want to ride more, get better, get stronger, get thinner, and do more.
P4D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 04:22 AM   #2
Rona
Senior Member
 
Rona's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Groningen, Netherlands
Bikes: Pre-Grant Peterson Bridgestone Mixte, Gazelle Champion Mondial Semirace Mixte
Posts: 289
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
awesome! You make centuries sound so easy
Rona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 07:44 AM   #3
ill.clyde
Senior Member
 
ill.clyde's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Brodhead, WI - south of Madison
Bikes: 2009 Trek 1.2
Posts: 2,523
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 128 Post(s)
I did the climb up Torrey Pines earlier this year on vacation out there ... took the new road, on a rental bike, and was absolutely miserable. Hope to do it again soon on my own bike.

Congrats!
ill.clyde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 08:48 AM   #4
goldfinch
Senior Member
 
goldfinch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Minnesota/Arizona and between
Bikes: Trek Madone 4.7 WSD, 1969 Schwinn Collegiate, Surly Long Haul Trucker, Terry Classic, Serotta Classique, Giant Liv
Posts: 4,005
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Thanks for the story! A century is still out of my league, especially if hills, nasty truckers, and wind are involved.
goldfinch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 09:03 AM   #5
Street Pedaler
Senior Member
 
Street Pedaler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NW Louisiana
Bikes: 2011 Trek Madone 5.2 (RIP), 2013 Trek Domane 5.9
Posts: 732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Great story and sounds like an awesome ride. Congrats!
Street Pedaler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 11:47 AM   #6
P4D 
Paceline Lead Blocker
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 672
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was pretty tired when I wrote that last night, and think I could have been more descriptive overall. A few points I left out:

I used a top tube mounted pouch I have seen called a bento bag by others....I loved it. I made sure to queue up my next food items in there as I had time, and it worked flawlessly. I really appreciated having it, and will use it all the time now.

I ate a combo of fig newtons and GU, and never felt any kind of bonk. I did have one Bonk Breaker just after mile 50, and between that and the Nuun and water, nutrition and hydration were not an issue.

I wore a light blue Twin Six kit, and I'm not so proud of the photo of me. It's here if you really want to see it....Amtrak Century photo. I'm chewing on the baldd bite value because it wouldn't stop flowing no matter what I did and I was wet enough already. One thing about that kit and the rain...I got a nice road grime stripe from the rear wheel....

I found a big part of this ride was the mental challenge of getting myself through some parts. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes my legs were tired, sometimes my toes got a tad numb...so getting my head through that was the biggest accomplishment for me. At 250lbs, I'm not "winning" any races, but finishing is winning to me when 10 months ago I could barely do 15 miles. I am definitely reinvigorated to keep dropping weight and getting strong on the bike.

Thanks for all the kind words. I'll post some more photos when I get them from the other guys.
P4D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 11:55 AM   #7
chefisaac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: cherry hill, nj
Bikes:
Posts: 6,147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
pd: do you have a pic of the bad you mentioned? Couldnt find a pic on line.

Also, would you change anything for your next century?
chefisaac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 11:59 AM   #8
ill.clyde
Senior Member
 
ill.clyde's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Brodhead, WI - south of Madison
Bikes: 2009 Trek 1.2
Posts: 2,523
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 128 Post(s)
This is the one I have ... not trying to speak for the OP, but adding my enthusiasm for my "bento"

http://www.rei.com/product/780462/no...draw-bike-pack

Extremely handy ... keep my phone in it on short/training rides, food and misc on long rides like a century
ill.clyde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 12:03 PM   #9
chefisaac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: cherry hill, nj
Bikes:
Posts: 6,147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
me like!
chefisaac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 12:13 PM   #10
P4D 
Paceline Lead Blocker
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 672
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here is my Garmin Connect file 2011 Amtrak Century
I forgot to restart it coming out of lunch, and caught that a few miles later. Looks like I missed 3-4 miles.

Here is a link to the bag I used, which was a gift from one of the guys I ride with: Schwinn Accessory Bag
P4D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 12:19 PM   #11
Pamestique 
Shredding Grandma!
 
Pamestique's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: So Cal
Bikes: I don't own any bikes
Posts: 4,803
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
P4D - great ride report! Pretty good time as well... next time spend less time in the rest stops! My motto - Get in! Get out!

OK so next century - Cool Breeze, in August (starts in Ventura). Scenery is way better than Amtrak. Routes are quieter; less traffic. And weather is generally cool... a plus over Amtrak (although this year everyone got lucky with the weather). It's a little hillier than Amtrak but with the scenery, you will hardy know it!
__________________
______________________________________________________________

Private docent led mountain bike rides through Limestone Canyon. Go to letsgooutside.org and register today! Also available: hikes, equestrian rides and family events as well as trail maintenance and science study.
Pamestique is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 12:54 PM   #12
TrojanHorse
SuperGimp
 
TrojanHorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Whittier, CA
Bikes: Specialized Roubaix
Posts: 11,573
Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 316 Post(s)
I keep meaning to sign up for that Amtrak century (never done one)- how many people did it? Was it the official one or did a group of you just do it?

I periodically rode up that nasty Torrey Pines hill when I lived in SD and I assure you, it counts as a Hill.

Congratulations on your accomplishment.
TrojanHorse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 01:26 PM   #13
Pamestique 
Shredding Grandma!
 
Pamestique's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: So Cal
Bikes: I don't own any bikes
Posts: 4,803
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
The Amtrak Century (the real one) was this past Saturday... typically the ride is filled by the first day signs up are opened.

Torrey Pines is indeed a good, nasty hill. Especially when it comes 80 miles into the ride and generally by then the temperatures are high!
__________________
______________________________________________________________

Private docent led mountain bike rides through Limestone Canyon. Go to letsgooutside.org and register today! Also available: hikes, equestrian rides and family events as well as trail maintenance and science study.
Pamestique is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 01:48 PM   #14
ericsday
Senior Member
 
ericsday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TEXAS
Bikes: FELT Z5
Posts: 119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
nice
ericsday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 02:03 PM   #15
Mr. Beanz
Banned.
 
Mr. Beanz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Upland Ca
Bikes: Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
Posts: 20,030
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Dude, you been wearing the same outfit for two weeks?....Nice write up!


PD by gulpxtreme, on Flickr


Mr. Beanz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 02:04 PM   #16
ill.clyde
Senior Member
 
ill.clyde's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Brodhead, WI - south of Madison
Bikes: 2009 Trek 1.2
Posts: 2,523
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 128 Post(s)
+1 for wearing baby blue ... you've got more nerve than me LOL
ill.clyde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 02:38 PM   #17
P4D 
Paceline Lead Blocker
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 672
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I washed it......I think

I wore it because its the most comfortable set-up I have and the padding is just good. If I had known it was going to rain, I would not have worn it. It got dirty, fast. The day you saw me it, Mr. B, was the last long training ride I did so I set myself just like I did for the century day.

And I kid...I did wash it.
P4D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 03:31 PM   #18
Mr. Beanz
Banned.
 
Mr. Beanz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Upland Ca
Bikes: Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
Posts: 20,030
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by P4D View Post
I washed it......I think

I wore it because its the most comfortable set-up I have and the padding is just good. If I had known it was going to rain, I would not have worn it. It got dirty, fast. The day you saw me it, Mr. B, was the last long training ride I did so I set myself just like I did for the century day.

And I kid...I did wash it.
Yeah, baby blue, I figured you washed it. You've come along way since the days of doubting 40 miles on SART, I knew you could. I do think most clydes are selling themselves short. Of course if I say anything, I'm automatically a pushy arrogant SOB.
Mr. Beanz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 03:34 PM   #19
chefisaac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: cherry hill, nj
Bikes:
Posts: 6,147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
SOB for sure!
chefisaac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 03:35 PM   #20
P4D 
Paceline Lead Blocker
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 672
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Not for me. I pushed along and took on this challenge because of the encouragement of people like you. So thanks! I'm not quite ready yet to tackle GMR, and a 39/26 gearing combo isn't really suited to that climb I don't think. But, soon enough.
P4D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 03:41 PM   #21
IL Coke Addict
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Chicago's NW Suburbs
Bikes:
Posts: 98
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
P4D - great ride report!
+1 , I felt like I was there. It's probably a noob question, but what's "GU". Thanks.
IL Coke Addict is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 04:04 PM   #22
P4D 
Paceline Lead Blocker
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 672
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Gu is an energy gel of sorts, I like them for bigger events like this. Here is their site:

https://guenergy.com/

Some people love them, some hate them, some think they are worthless, some find them helpful, some think its marketing, some think they work....I used a combintation of GU and Roctaine because I wanted some long-branch aminos.
P4D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 04:34 PM   #23
Mr. Beanz
Banned.
 
Mr. Beanz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Upland Ca
Bikes: Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
Posts: 20,030
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
SOB for sure!
......
Mr. Beanz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 04:46 PM   #24
Mr. Beanz
Banned.
 
Mr. Beanz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Upland Ca
Bikes: Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
Posts: 20,030
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by P4D View Post
Not for me. I pushed along and took on this challenge because of the encouragement of people like you. So thanks! I'm not quite ready yet to tackle GMR, and a 39/26 gearing combo isn't really suited to that climb I don't think. But, soon enough.
A compact would be nice as well a triple. A double, takes time to build up to it comfortably but you "could" do it. GMR is a ride too many riders stress. Every rider I've taken up is amazed at how hard it isn't.

I won't sweat you about trying it but will say it does wonders for one's fitness level and cycling abilities. Gina does it then gets back on the trail and says "whoa!".

39/25 but who's counting?
Mr. Beanz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-11, 04:56 PM   #25
P4D 
Paceline Lead Blocker
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 672
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
39/25 but who's counting?
Someone is a stronger rider than me at this point.....;-)
P4D is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:25 PM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.
I HAVE A QUESTION