adrian is rad



Filed under: — adrian @ 12:13 am

So, I’ve talked a few times about doing the Tahoe Century and now I’m done, so here it is.

On Saturday morning, my friend Dave (not Franusich) and piled our bikes and our gear into the back of my car (gotta love hatchbacks) and we headed up to the Lake Tahoe area, just outside of Stateline*. The other people in our group included my coworker Dan and a former coworker of his, Scott. Scott had gotten us this pretty nice house for the weekend about six miles from Stateline, just off of the route.

Saturday afternoon we registered for the race; ate some no-guilt burgers, steaks and pasta (when you’re riding 100 miles the next day, there’s no guilt in pounding some serious calories); and going to bed fairly early.

Sunday started early with the alarm going off at about 5:30am. The bed gravity seemed awfully strong. We all had some breakfast, got in our embarrassingly tight-fitting clothes, did some last minute tune-ups to our bikes and headed out at about 6:30am. Because we were staying along the bike route, about 6 miles from the beginning, we just started on the route and after we hit the finish line, we’d have 6 miles more to go at the end.

It was pretty cool to start with, probably around 40 degrees. Once we started going, I wasn’t too cold, though I actually kept my arm and knee warmers on until lunch. The first of the two major climbs is pretty early in the ride—even earlier for us because we were starting 6 miles in—and all of us just seemed to gun up the hill. I think it was mostly adrenaline.

At the top of the hill, there was the first of the rest stops. They were spaced out about every 13-23 miles along the route and had water, fruit and protein bars and the like (and bathrooms). They were definitely nice places to refuel, rehydrate and just take a couple minutes off of the bike.

After that there was a nice fast descent with some sweeping curves where I got to about 45mph before we hit the flats and some rolling hills. Up until about mile 40 I was keeping up a pretty fast pace. Once we got to Truckee, CA, I realized I should probably hold back a bit so as to not blow my legs out. Truckee isn’t on the loop around Lake Tahoe, but they add a loop out and back from Truckee in order to make it 100 miles in total. Coming back from Truckee there was a pretty good head-wind and a slight ascent that required some work (though drafting off of the stronger riders in our group certainly helped). After that was just a few miles and a couple minor hills to the lunch stop.

It was around this point why I realized they call this “America’s Most Beautiful Ride.” Lake Tahoe is really gorgeous and I hadn’t been up there before.

After lunch we had about 20 miles to the next rest stop at Spooner Junction, the second half of which was up the longest, and biggest of the climbs of the day. It’s actually a pretty gentle grade for most of it and probably wouldn’t have been a big deal at all, but after 75 miles, it was something. I just put the bike in the lowest gear and kept my legs moving fast and got up to the top.

After that it was just 12 miles to the finish. The first part was a descent that should have been a lot of fun, but there was a strong head/ cross-wind (but it was still pretty good) and then some rolling hills to the end. We hit the finish and then the 6 bonus miles (from the finish back our place) were rough, mostly because of a head-wind.

Overall, I think I prepared pretty well and besides the climbs, I didn’t hurt too much; I definitely hurt more during some of my rides to get prepared for the century than during the century. Today my muscles were tired but they didn’t hurt. Timing-wise, I think the overall time was about 8.5 hours with 6-6.25 hours of actual ride time.

*My friend Andy wrote this great song with the first line “crossing the state line/ the bridge across the bay.” Because of the start line of the race being in Stateline, NV, I had this song in my head for most of the race. Unfortunately, I only remembered little bits of the lyrics. After the race the group talked about it and it seems that all of us had songs that were in our heads for large portions of the race.

3 Responses to “finished!”

  1. Patrick Says:

    That’s great you completed the century ride. It sounds like a pretty place to bike. Did you not ride your fixed gear? Do you have another bike?

    As a sidenote, I’m thinking about buying a road bike soon. Any suggestions? I don’t think I’ll buy a fixed gear.

  2. adrian Says:

    No, no. I wouldn’t ride a fixed gear for a) a long ride and/ or b) a ride with serious hills.

    I’ve had a road bike for a couple years: it’s a Lemond Zurich from 97 or 98. Specialized, Canondale and Treks are all good bikes. Componentry makes a pretty big difference. Shimano has different grades to its components with Durace being the best and Ultegra, then 105 being the next best, I believe.

    I just found this decent buying guide for bikes. It raises a lot of the basic questions you’ll want to answer.

    My bike’s Reynolds 853 Steel and has Shimano 105 components. One thing I’d recommend is that if you want to tackle hills of any seriousness, get a bike with a triple chainring up front.

  3. adrian is rad » page mill ride Says:

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