While BCC'ers gathered at timmies, I rode 80km of the pacific coast half iron. Now the profile on the computrainer looked relatively benign until about 55k at which point there was a solid climb. But that was just outright misleading, the run to 55 was almost all uphill (not material but still uphill) while the start of that climb was 8.6% and stayed above 5.5% for most of the 25 minutes it took to climb. The good news as outlined in the ride description below is that once you crest that nasty mountain it is all downhill from there!! I completed the 80k in 2:42:50 and averaged 234 watts for the ride.
This type of riding certainly reinforces the fact that those who are lighter on the bike have some huge advantages in climbing. Wattage per kg is critical to your speed. In a recent cycling article, this was laid out in a very matter of fact way. If a pack of six riders climb a hill for 3 minutes at an average speed of 15mph, the pack is about 35 feet long and it takes 1.6 seconds for all of the riders to pass a particular spot. So from first to last there is only 1.6 seconds of separation or 0.5%. So if you weigh 170lbs all in (bike, rider, tool kit, water bottles - oh how I wish!!) then only 0.8lbs is enough to cause a rider to drop from the front of that peloton to being 10ft back of the group and out of the draft - a huge issue in racing. So the heavier rider (read ME) needs to put out that much more wattage to stay with the group and benefit from the draft as we crest the hills. While there is no drafting at Wattsup, certainly it becomes clear that strong lighter riders have a tremendous advantage. I guess i will just have to keep building the strength, because it seems hard to imagine peeling off sufficient weight to catch Jordan Kremblewski!!
ELEVATIONS: The first climb begins just past Elk Lake resort, approximately 27 miles into the bike. Just north of Elk Lake you will begin to climb for approximately 650 ft, passing Devils Lake before reaching a flat spot, then climb again to Todd Lake (elev. 6,150 ft). You will experience another flat spot, at about the 35-mile mark, before the final climb to the entrance of Mt. Bachelor (6,500 ft, about 38 miles into the ride). You will then enjoy a 14 mile + downhill ride, the first 2.5 miles being steep with a sharp 90 degree turn onto FS Hwy 45 (*see caution note below).
inspiration: "the faster I ride, the quicker this will be over" "You haven't failed till you quit trying"