Monday, March 25, 2013

This week in Tuttle

First off, I'm posting the Strava maps because I do have several readers who enjoy looking at them... and some who do not, so if you don't just pass over them. This blog is also my personal cycling journal. And one day I do hope to connect up with George Mannus (Who is with me in the photo from 1983) and ride with him again. This is my journal of life and cycling. OK so that's out of the way.

This week was Monday OFF, I could have and wanted to ride, but it was a busy weekend last weekend. Then Tuesday and Wednesday was rain and I just commuted, and worked. Then came cool and sunny Thursday. PR on Claremont! Yea, it's a pretty hard little climb but I've learned how it needs to be climbed. It was still quite cool out because of the rain and on the decent on Pinehurst was a bit damp and there was one corner that I was just a wee bit "hot" going into it... but I amaze myself on my bike handling (humbly I say this) and just made the corner... but was expecting the worse. And in the shade on the "dark side" of that Berkeley ridge BURR... its just cold.

Friday was a Friday and I was tired but when the weather is just SO nice that all you want to do is be outside... Plus, Sunday was planed for Hamilton Mountain, and Saturday was laundry, packing and moving to San Jose, so this was just a quick and easy ride... and I posted the photo on Facebook because the weather back in Brantford is not quite as nice (I hope spring shows up in two weeks... Stupid ground hog what does he know?)

And Like I said Saturday was a busy day of packing and laundry...

Sunday... was a bit more laid back in the a.m. and I had a good breakfast, and then began working on some AutoCAD drawings. Chatted with a friend, caught up with all that happened back in Brantford via Facebook and watched Gent-Wevelgem, chatting with my Scottish friends on Twitter during the race (btw, only time I tweet is during pro-races).

Finally... after cleaning the bike (with baby wipes), and checking all my bolts, and everything that the bike's fit and ready to go, I'm out to take on Hamilton Mountain, where the Lick Observatory is located. I think this  climb is "easier" than Mt Diablo... but it only took me twenty minutes to get to the climb where as at Mt Diablo it was 2:15 before I was on Mt. Diablo road... what makes this climb difficult is the two dips where you go down, which one might think is a rest but what it does is it throws your rhythm and once I started climbing again it took a good 10 minutes before I could get it back again... so that was a new experience for me. One thing that I have noticed with climbing... when I was in Denver, we just climbed and when you were at the top you were at the top, you just did not know when you were there... Here both at Diablo (you could see the station at the top) and Hamilton (you could see the observatory) it makes it harder because you can see your goal, and it just does not get closer very fast. This week I had planned my climb and I had an ETA so I kept telling myself it's 30 minutes away, its 20 minutes away... and that really helped. 

Once I got there I had to see the observatory, I made the tour for the historic Lick observatory, from 1800's and the wood work in the place is cool, and the mechanics of the system is very cool.  And the obligatory photo of me at the top... (it is my blog)

The decent required arm warmers the whole way down, and my MEC wind vest half way down which I took off very "pro like" passing another cyclist... yea I'm cool... but only when on a bike... Util I got to the last part... stupid cars go so darn slow... I was behind two BMW Motorcycles who were be hind a mini van and car that were just SLOW! Really pull over and let us by! Then on the ride home I hit every city traffic light red... AGRH!

I got home worked a bit more on my drawing while supper was cooking... a nice cracked peppercorn roasted chicken with green beans in a balsamic vinaigrette, al fresco, you have to have a good recovery meal...

All ready for a long day of work tomorrow... Mondays!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A lazy Sunday

I woke up and watched Milan - San Remo, and I was very glad I was not there! It was a good race to watch from the sofa.

I then headed over to San Rafael to do the Point Reyse ride for a recovery from yesterday. This area is pretty, I made a loop where the first round was open, at 68°F which is a bit too cool for me to have bare arms but I thought I'd go for a tan line today (kind of wish I took the long sleeve jersey), and then on the way back Major California forest, these trees are MAJESTIC! (could not get a good photo, camera phone just did not want to deal with the canopy and light shining through.

I was surprised and happy how well my legs worked after yesterday. I'm getting in shape and this should be a good year for riding.

The weather is so amazing that it's hard to take a nap or rest... one just wants to be outdoors!

Tonight I'm going to go treat myself to a pizza and a beer, I do believe I earned it and the place I'm going is pretty "economical"

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My week back in California

And Mt Diablo is DONE!

I arrived Sunday morning and the weather required a ride, and I wanted to get back on Claremont for some leg strength. I had a good recovery when I was back home so I got a few PR's

Monday was nice too.. So I went out for a bit easier ride. I wanted to see more of Skyline, and just enjoy the weather.

Tuesday Cam and I went out for a "Tuesday night ride", back in Brantford these are quick and hard... and with a 25 year-old "carrot" in front of me on the climbs we got a really good workout with  a bit of climbing. This is one of the rides my friend from IKEA Emerryville had suggested, and the bottom loop with the climb was just fantastic. Loads of great places to ride just out of the back door!

Wednesday was "warmer" 75°F but I needed a day off so I would be ready for Saturday.

Thursday I wanted to climb easy and just have a good ride, But I had forgotten to charge up the bike computer and only the climb got recorded, Doh!

Friday I had to take Cam to the airport early in the a.m. and work in East Palo Alto store, I took the opportunity to go and visit Palo Alto Bicycles. Back in the '80's they had a catalogue before the days of the internet, and Bike Nashbar was in its infancy, it was one of the few places you could get hard to find bike parts (which back then was almost everything needed for a bike).

Saturday was sleep in a bit, and have a good breakfast, Mt Diablo is getting conquered today!
I knew this ride would take at least 5 hours and any ride I did last year over 4ish hours I was dragging myself home the last bit, so I planned my fuel. Once I found out that Mt Diablo was the penulimate stage of the Tour of California and it was within "reach" of where I was staying I began planning for this day!

Hammer nutrition has several products but I never fully understood what they all did, and I'm a cyclist who rides mostly 3 hours and if decently fueled I have no problem, but after 4 hours fuel is a huge issue, so I talked to some of my Ironman friends and phoned Hammer help line. This is the result, to start off with I had one 3 hour Perpetuem bottle and two bottles of Heed with Endurolites, I also had enough Endurolite fizz to make up four water bottles, and I had 6 Perpetuem solids. The idea is that the Perpetuem has so much good stuff in it that a bottle over three hours starts to go "rancid". In the end I went through the 3 hour bottle and the two Head bottles, and four bottles of Fizz, and this is the first 5 hour plus ride (early in the season too) where I was tired at the end from all the climbing but not dragging myself home! So I now know how to fuel myself for really long rides.

I prefer not to drive to a ride if I don't have too, so I picked an easy pass over the ridge by me and then headed off to Mt Diablo, which when your half way there you can see it looming in the distance, just waiting for you....

I still had a way to go at this point but it is big. Just before I got to the base of the climb there was a community center and I filled up with water, I did not know what was before me and I wanted to be prepared. The grade is 4% average, as per the literature at the top so it's not really too hard, but it just keeps going, you come to the ranger station which is the park entrance and to that point it's not that much climbing, then it goes, when you get the the next station which is just before the turn to the summit, your feeling pretty good about yourself... But the summit climb is the second half of the climb and about half way through if you look up you can see the station at the top, and it's not getting closer very fast... several switchbacks and then the last bit is the WALL and it's a gift, it's not long but you've been climbing for almost and hour and it can only be done standing, then your there and Diablo is in your back pocket!

The decent is always the best part and I've gotten much more confident on descending so its just pure fun! I did not pick the best route home, and I had to make it up staying close to the 24 till I got to roads I recognized from earlier rides. The final climb before home I was a bit slower than the last couple of time but I made pretty good time, and I got a PR on my decent into Berkeley. Then home for Recoverite and "supper"

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Where I've been

I know that the last post was leading up to the weekend, but my bike computer crashed, and once I got home I spent an hour with tech support. Basically I had to reformat it and do a factory reset... technology is great until it fails.

That weekend was a pretty good weekend, I attempted Mt Diablo, but my legs were not into it. Being a person not to waste great day enjoed the day and ride. On Sunday I went out to Alameda which is flat, it is also the home of the abandoned Alameda Navel complex where the Myth-busters do there car smashing. This was intended for a spin and an active recovery (it's hard to find flat here). Monday Robert and his son Cam arrived and we rode for a good 90 kms with good climbing.

Then I went back to the frozen tundra of Brantford... weekday riding was motivated by my friend Greg where we got on our bikes in his basement a couple of times to keep/get our legs moving. The weekend was some good roller work for me. Yesterday was supposed to be a fairly nice day in Brantford, but at 9:00 a.m. it was pretty darn chilly (0°C) and it went up to 2, I bailed and planed to ride on rollers in my sunroom, I had wanted to do the Sufferfest's Blender using Trainer Road but alas I wimped out.

Then today with daylight savings I got up very very early to fly to California... and when I got here it was +18°C  and very sunny, so what do you do with a Sunday afternoon? Go riding. No great photos I was just out to enjoy myself clear my head and put in some klicks.