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Saturday's Stagecoach Century

Posted By: KP
Date: Sunday, 18 January 2009, at 10:16 a.m.

I enjoy getting out in the middle of nowhere and riding new roads. This 100 mile ride qualified. Justin, Julie and I met up at 5:30am and drove 85 miles out to Ocotillo near El Centro. I was wearing an undergarment, a jersey and shorts as weather reports indicated a warm start (60-ish) and a hot finish (80-ish). As we got deeper into the desert the landscape looked more and more like the moon and the temperatures outside dipped into the 30s. As the sun came up things started to look better as the desert heats up quickly on nice days. By 7:00am it was about 61 degrees and we weren't going to need a lot of gear.

Ocotillo is so small that we passed it going east on highway 8. One exit; that's it. There was not another exit for 17 miles so I turned my truck around on a makeshift dirt road between east and west bound lanes and hit the town. There was a few homes, a market and a dive bar named Lizard Lounge. As we made our way through town and out the other side we saw the cars lined up at a park and got ready to roll.

The roads were mostly chip seal and and not quite as bumpy as New Zealand. Some small sections were very bumpy. From Ocotillo the route was from Highway 8 and the S-2 junction all the way to Anzo Borrego Desert, right past the 78 for about 4 miles. Last week I posted these two shots at S-2 and 78. We all rolled passed those views out and back:

The trip out was had more climbing and it was 3hrs to the 50 mile turn around. All three of us took it out pretty solidly. The Bird-man and JD were riding too hot for me out of the shoot and I ended up solo with some early headwinds, false flats and sharp rollers for the entire way out. They both got to the half way water stop in Anzo about 5min before me. I took solace in knowing that the slight descents, flats and headwinds would play to my strengths on the way home. After what seemed like an awfully short stop they were ready to roll. I had put a lot of miles intoy legs recently. As we rode past 78 leading up to Banner Grade I thought how close my home was if I jumped that route. Then I remembered the long climb to Julian and got aero. The next 50 miles were going to quite a bit of work.

We rolled out and Julie went straight to the front. A couple roadies jumped in and the five of us were rolling the big meat. Our new friends dropped off after about 5 miles and a different fellow joined in. With 40 miles to go the roads got flat and into a headwind. The were some slight declines. That kind of riding suits my strengths. Over the next 30 miles Justin, myself and the new guy Russ, were red lining. My HR hung at 150 to 170 as we rotated to the front. With 10 miles to the finish the Brid-man and I stopped for water and Julie rolled up soon after. That is one tough lady! The last 10 miles were tailwinds, flat to slightly downhill and we were able to ride in at 25-30mph.

Great day out there. I never did take a picture as I was just too bizzy working. JB and JD are in great form at this juncture. Both will race Cali 70.3 as an key event. This is a classic route and I highly recommend it. Justin shared on the way home that Norman has used this 100 miles as a TT workout prior to Kona. I can see why. It is very similar to the IM Hawaii course with it's elevation gain to Hawi Town and 30min faster return trip to the pier. As well, the heat and wind are additional Kona style variables.

My data (HRs were high as I think I let my hydration slip) ==>

Entire: 5:30 // NP 213 // avg HR 146 // VI 1.08
1st half: 3:06 // NP 218 // avg HR 143 // VI 1.05
2nd half: 2:24 // NP 206 // avg HR 152 // VI 1.13
TSS for the ride was 341

For the week I ended up with about 17.5 hours on the bike.
Over the last 4 weeks I have ridden 28 straight days and just over 60hrs.
There are some high quality efforts mixed in there. Rollin ....

coach KP

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