Urban Training-50 Miles Rosarito-Ensenada-Slime Tube Yes & No's

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Got Millked, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. Got Millked

    Got Millked New Member

    Aug 19, 2005
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    Hi'yalls, I'm a former BMX'er many years ago from New York...... got back into bicycling earlier this year and decided to push the (speed) limits; I've gotten me a time-trial bike a couple of months ago and I'd say that this cycling thing has consumed me considerably. 8 hours per day for work, 8hrs/day for food preparation and fitness and home chores (including cycling of course) and 8hrs/day for business-development/ventures. 24 hours a day just ain't enough! I need 36 hours per day!!! The fact that I WORK A REGULAR JOB for a living and work on business aspirations on my computer before bedtime make me essentially a night-rider. Not much of a farmers tan on this cycling fanatic; not until the Rosarito to Ensenada 50 mile bike trek that is (i'll get back to that)!

    I've been improving my personal "urban time-trials" (meaning lots of slow-downs and/or stop'n'goes) as best I can through the urban Los Angeles landscape. I ride 30-60 miles from near the Pasadena area to return-destinations such as Long Beach (via Rosemead Blvd/route 19),Clairemont/Ontario (via Valley Blvd), Santa Monica (via Pico Blvd/by way of Pico Union-"Cardboard City"), Mount Wilson (this is more of a climbing excercise), etc 2-3 times a week plus shorter "urban time trials". I really don't know how this will play upon my actual time trial performance, I think it help the fitness, but not the endurance, but I'll eventually find out; anybody know?

    On my last Angeles Crest Highway ride, I took it all the way to Mt Wilson summit, I didn't realize until later that it's over 5,700ft above sea level. Well, it did take me almost 2-1/2 hours to cover the approximately 23 miles from Devils Gate Reservoir to the top of Mt Wilson. In fact, my climb up Mt Wilson proved to be a somewhat a death-defying experience (riding Angeles Crest mountain highway at night always seem like being a bit on the brink of death-defying). Since cycling extra-long distances and elevations is new to me, I did not properly prepare for exporsure in the mountains at night. Wearing only Sugoi shorts and a Pearl Izumi short-sleever, I felt the weather was getting pretty darn cool as I pedalled my way to the top, but GOING UP GENERATE MUCH BODY HEAT, and I wasn't concerned as much about the windchill as much as reaching the Mount Wilson summit. When I finally made it to the top, I gawked for a moment at practically the entirety of LA down below. I then realized just how chilly it really was and then feasted my last energy bar, then proceeded back down Mt Wilson/Red Box(?) Road. That's when the worry of hypothermia struck me hard! I was really beginning to shake and shiver on my egg-beaters and bullhorns. I grabbed my Carbon Stryke aerobars and tried to assume a minimum aerodynamic profile in effort to keep my body heat from being stripped-off too fast, but then I wasn't able to control the brakes at the bullhorn bar-ends! It was way too dangerous to go fast in the virtual pitch-darkness of that windy road down; and there was no lack of vitamin A on my part (25/15 vision!), yet, I couldn't see the next bend until about maybe 10m/30ft away (no moonlight/hardly any stars out). And the wind was screaming! COLD!! And that caused a whole bunch of rocks to roll down the mountainsides as I tried to keep moving ahead. Then.... BOOM!!! PSSSSSTTTTT!!!!! I think I hit hit sharp rock or something, and it totally slashed through my Michelin Pro Race 2 and the Slime tube underneath. I didn't have tools or a patching kit with me on this trip because I was still confident about my Slime tubes, which were working since my Rosarito-Ensenada ride on 9/24/05, albeit at only a max of 60psi; I believe the Slime acts like a pressure-release valve in those high-performance/high pressure race tires that once punctured even within safety limits, it won't hold as much pressure anymore unless the Slime tube is patched. Anywaze. It was a few more miles back down this desolate mountain road. The windchill wasn't as bad as actually riding the bike though, I walked and then jogged when I felt too cold. But then there were the rocks were tumbling down onto the road; YOU CAN'T SEE THEM, YOU CAN ONLY HEAR THEM!!! This one big rock came tumbling down to my left and sounded like it weighed about 25-30 pounds; I was coasting slowly at that moment on my flat tire and immediately started pedalling hard, and the dang thing seemed to roll across the uphill lane and immediately right behind me and my bike..... I couldn't see anything; maybe that rock had better eyes than I. I finally made it to the continued desolation/wilderness of Angeles Crest Highway and eventually I was able to hitchhike back down to Devils Gate Reservoir/JPL in Altadena where I parked when there was still daylight for a cyclocross meet (LA-area cyclists interested in CX-training meets, contact Keli at [email protected]). There was SLIME SPLATTERED ALL OVER THE BOTTOM SIDE OF MY BIKE. The driver that I hitched the ride from was a gentleman by the name of Jeffrey, who happened to be headed back into "civilization" from a lone restaurant up Angeles Crest Hwy called "Newcombs Ranch(?)" where his bro David(?) works. Thank goodness for that!

    My last "big-ride" was to Santa Monica Pier days ago; which was about 26-miles from where I started in Monterey Park/Montebello; average speed was 20.5mph, and took about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let me tell you that the direct transition between from the east of Los Angeles/San Gabriel Valley towards the Pacific Ocean involves riding through the commercial-industrial metropolitan area of downtown LA, which can be more scary than bears or mountain lions in the remote mountain roads. Avid San Gabriel cyclists: DO NOT TAKE THE MOST DIRECT TO PICO BLVD TO SANTA MONICA ROUTE!!! Unless you like to add THE UGLIEST AMERICA HAS TO OFFER on your scenic-cycling traveling package! I rode through part of skid-row near the south of Little Tokyo (3rd/4th street?) that had this invisibly-massive vapor-cloud of death and disease odor at an already breath-taking pace of 26-27mph, and I couldn't get away from it; it felt like 45-60 seconds before I finally escaped from having to vomit and that two-blocks of biochemical hazard which seemed like a concoction of urine, feces and decaying blood. But once I finally made it onto Pico Blvd and past the Staples Center, it was all quite very nice with surprisingly little traffic almost all the rest of the way to Santa Monica! (ok, i cheated that night. I actually rode back to SGV in my friends motorcade; they were playing a gig at Rusty's Surf Ranch on the Santa Monica Pier) THE BEST, SAFEST AND MOST DIRECT TRANSITION from eastern LA/San Gabriel Valley for a cyclist I have found is to catch Cesar Chavez Ave at the Monterey Park/East LA juncture and proceed westward where Cesar Chavez become Sunset Blvd at the downtown Chinatown juncture. Then it's quite easy to any of the main arteries to the Pacific Ocean and southwest to Rancho Palos Verdes/San Pedro/Torrance, etc.

    In my personal training the last few months (initially on a 38-pound $80.00 bike from Targets), I decided to try something semi-competitive; that when I signed up for the 50 mile Roasarito to Ensenada bike ride. In fact, it was this event that I decided to buy a professional-quality road bike. I chose a time trial bike by Specialized on sale for $1,100.00 (weighs like 19-20lbs). I simply wasn't able to spend $2,000.00 on a 17lb racer or $3,000.00+ on a 15lb carbon or titanium road rocket. I never in my life had anything near a fancy road bike like this before, and it totally felt weird and cumbersome, but I had to get used to it and it's "only 18-speed" in the 3-weeks before the Rosarito to Ensenada event. Anyhow, I showed up 2 days before the Rosarito-Ensenada bike ride, and drove the 50-mile route with my bike in the hatchback, and I primarily focused on the vaunted "Mesa" that starts with a 2-mile 7.5% graded climb. It's seems quite dangerous riding that old-highway over the Mesa, because it's a narrow two-lane highway with no shoulders, and big 18-wheeled tractor trailers come screaming by all the time; the lack of emissions control south of the border over there adds to the peril, and maybe UV and IR exposure (maybe that explains my farmers tan, actually a farmers SUNBURN!). Anywaze, the 2-mile 7.5% grade wasn't what hit me hard, it were those shorter but steeper climbs ON TOP OF THE MESA (the top stretches for another 6-8 miles) that really began draining on me. The downside of the Mesa was wonderful and seemingly not so dangerous as some people would say at 35-40mph. It was the first time in my life I was able to ride for miles (50 miles to be exact :eek:) without having to stop for traffic or anything! It was frustrating that my front tire pressure can only be maintained at about 60psi, and at that time, I had no idea what was happening to my tire pressure (@*&*^#~< Slime Tube!). Slime would be perfectly fine in the BMX/Freestyle and off-road/mountain bike discipline where tire pressure ain't as high as road racing. I was hoping to finish in less than 2 hours and 15 minute, but I did manage 2 hours 21 minutes. I definitely can improve! There were reportedly up to 6,000 riders for this event, but I signed up to start with the self-seeded Elite Corral of riders (for $10.00 more); my guesstimate was that there were about 250-300 riders in the "Elite" group. I happened to be the top-10 or top-20 riders who crossed the finish line; we beat the medals to the finish line. The bib-numbers on affixed to bikes have a claim ticket for finisher's medals, and we had to wait a long time before those finally arrived in Ensenada. USE SUNSCREEN FOR THIS EVENT!!! I had an incredible farmers tan by the time I crossed the finish line; if there were a "BEST FARMERS TAN CONTEST" at the FINISH LINE FIESTA in Ensenada, I'd would've won Grand Prize! It literally looked like I had panty hose on! Check it out! www.RosaritoEnsenada.com

    I'd like to meet on occasion at this time, cyclists in the Alhambra/Monterey Park/Montebello, etc area (I usually ride from home/no bike rack on my car yet/trying to spend dough very carefully because of business prospects). Ideally, riders who can do approximately 30 mile urban rides in about 1-1/2 hours, or better, so I can be pushed to the greater limits and taught a lesson. How's about nighttime mountain rides in near pitch-darkness? Haha, nah..... just a cycling friend for an occasional easy-paced ride would be very nice! Maybe put together a team-effort for future Rosarito-Ensenada bike rides? Maybe a sub-2-hour performance from Rosaritio to Ensenada? That'll be hard! I've yet to attempt a century ride.