Friday, December 12, 2008

Date with Death

In a fit of madness, I've signed up for the 2009 Tour of the California Alpes, AKA the Death Ride. I've also enlisted biking partners Keith and Bob to join me on this mad quest.

The Death Ride is a 129 mile, 15k feet of climbing, monster of a ride. This is as hard, if not harder, than any single Tour de France mountain stage. Total madness.

Registration was a disaster. They opened registration at 10am on Dec 11. At 9:45 the registration site was already returning Java server errors and "too busy" pages. It took 30 minutes of the three of us clicking reload to get though. No Linux browser support apparently.

Today I spent some time doing research on the route. The 2009 route has about 56 miles of climbing, 52 miles of descents, and 19 miles of "flats." I figure if we can average 8mph on the climbs, 18mph on the flats, and 25mph on the descents, and with about 50 minutes of stops that is 11 hours total. Ouch. Those averages are aggressive, but doable. Faster would be better of course, fewer hours in the saddle. The best way to make up time is climb faster. Simple eh? :)

I'm using the Motion Based site to research previous years routes. Good for looking at the ride profile, speed on the climbs and descents.

Needless to say, training is going to be tough. I'll need to loose some weight, work on endurance, and most importantly get my climbing legs. I'm looking forward to it.