Ride of my Life

So it's not saying much since I've only been cycling for two years - but this indeed was the ride of my life! A few weeks ago my coach James Walsh and Wattie teammate Chris Masilon talked me into jumping in on a 150 mile ride from Santa Barbara to Huntington Beach. The plan was to take the train up there, stay the night and the next morning make the ride down. 150 miles? The longest I'd ever ridden to this point was 80 miles! However, I knew I was fit on the bike and I can suffer with the best of them so I just took up the challenge and embraced it.

Massi. Dude can ride!
Friday I had a half day at work so I rolled up to Huntington Beach to meet up with Chris at his pad. Something came up for James and he was unable to make it - so it was just Chris and I and then Dusty Nabor (another Wattie teammate) was going to meet us the next morning in SB and ride with us half way. I kind of didn't know what to expect. Chris is one of the (if not, thee) fastest cyclist on our team and Dusty is right up there as well. Freaking fast dudes. I kept joking with Chris that if he rides me into the ground we were going to do a tempo brick run at the end...yea right. Friday evening came quick and we casually rode 18 miles to the train station (averaging 22mph) to ensure we got there in time for a few beers before boarding the train. Jeez, what the hell did I get myself into??

We boarded the train and to our surprise they had a bar, stocked with Stone IPA's and Arrogant Bastards. Our kinda train! The ride went by quick and before we knew it we got off and headed to our hotel. After some grub and plenty of beers we crashed for the night for an early wake up call and a long day ahead of us...

The Crew ready to embark.
 We met up with Dusty at Starbucks who was rocking the brand new Wattie Ink 454 Tattoo IREZUMI Urban Assault Race Kit  - looks bad ass! After some breakfast and coffee we were on our way. It was a gorgeous day. Seriously, couldn't have had better weather for a long ride. I told Chris from the get go that he's going to have to do most of the pulling because I just had no idea how I would handle this kind of load. I didn't want to blow up and slow us down. So Dusty and Chris took some turns pulling and there was no better place I wanted be then flying down the PCH between 25-32mph with good company and some of the most beautiful views I've ever seen in SoCal.

Ride breakdown:

-We hit 62 miles in 2:57 (avg 21mph)
-Dusty pulled off somewhere in here
-We hit 84 in 4 hrs flat (avg 21 mph)
-Lunch at Santa Monica Pier
-Then our average went to crap as we had to navigate on the boardwalk for the next hr+.
-Right around 100 miles we started some climbing through Palos Verdes (one of my favorite parts of the ride - absolutely breathtaking)
-After hitting 112 miles (Ironman distance) I asked myself if I could throw down a mean marathon time. The answer was yes.
-After descending down into Long Beach, it was just a bunch of stop and go - which I'm not used to. Chris is an animal because we'd stop - get back up over 20mph and then stop again at the next light. Repeat this like 50 times....This was probably the toughest part of the ride for me. Just not used to all of the stopping.
-One last stop, one last Coke and we flew back into Huntington.

Final ride stats: 7hrs 39 minutes, 150 miles flat, 5,557ft of climbing - averaged 19.5mph into a headwind all day believe it or not!

-Thanks to The Bike Shop for dialing in my bike.
-Thanks to ism Saddles for getting me through the huge day with no numbing or saddle sores!
-Thanks to Rudy Project for protecting my eyes and my head!
-Thanks to FLUID for the fuel.
-Thanks to Wattie Ink for the support and making us look good! Lots of compliments on the ride.
-Thanks to Chris and Dusty for letting me tag along

About 90 miles in eating lunch
at Santa Monica Pier
This ride was a big deal for me. If you would have told me I could have put up these numbers last week, I would have told you - you are crazy. James mentioned how long rides like these are more mental - and it is so true. Now let's get things straight here too - I did a lot of drafting (as mentioned before). I did some pulling but Chris did 80% of the work on the day. I learned a lot from him about riding hard. 95% of all of my rides are done solo and even though I push hard, your always going to push harder when riding with better riders (same goes with running and swimming). His riding style meshes with mine well too, because like myself he doesn't like taking breaks and he wants to keep the pace up throughout. It was a fun day and something I will always remember. Makes me want to do more big days like this. Big Sur might be next on the list...

The rest of Labor weekend was great. Spending some quality time with family. BBQ's, Beers, Games and of course a little bit of training. Life is good.

Few more pics from the weekend:

Chris let me borrow his wheel with a Powertap on it. Never used power before,
cool to see the results even though I don't really know what I'm looking at!
Pre ride breakfast/coffee.
Earned beers...On a New Belgium kick right now ever since
they sponsored the US Pro Challenge and had sweet commercials.
What can I say, I'm a marketing guy!
Tour de Fat is coming to San Diego, Sept 29th I believe
Enjoying last days of summer
Having fun with family...
And riding bikes.


Damie said...

wow. hell of a ride.

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