Friday, March 31, 2017

Porsche Bike X half mile hill repeats

It's time to get serious about the Death Ride!

Following my plan, I decided to do some elevation training. I didn't have much time today so I opened my garage door and did 10 half mile repeats up my steep street road. Grinding for a half mile up and then flying back downhill.

Riding the 2004 Porsche Bike X uphill was a dream. The lightweight frame, extra gears and the wide-stance handlebars makes ascending so much easier than the 1998 Porsche Bike S I've been riding more recently.

My GPS shows the ten ups and downs in 10 miles and also states a 2,375 ft ascent. Not bad for a quick hour training ride.

This weekend I am planning to get a couple longer rides and more miles on the Bike X.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mission Death Ride: Training

How the heck does someone prepare to ride a bicycle 129 miles over 5 Sierra mountain passes and 15,000 feet of climbing?

Lots of training! I'm in that process of preparing for the 2017 Death Ride in early July. And I'm excited about every part of all the training, pain and suffering that goes along with riding a 2004 Porsche Bike X in one of the most challenging bike rides in the United States.

So, to pull off this extreme effort, I've created a training plan that includes riding, strength workouts, yoga stretching and two additional "training rides" I've signed up for. I created this after talking to two friends that have ridden the Death Ride before and a good friend who is an excellent personal trainer.

I hope this helps my chances of completing this mega ride on my first attempt!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Porsche Bike S Springter ride

Years ago, my youngest son coined the phrase "springter" when he tired of the never-ending winter that ran right into spring. Technically, it wasn't winter anymore and it sure wasn't spring either, was his point.

It feels like Truckee has a fifth season this year. Springter is in full force. But even with the windy, cold and snowy conditions heading again toward Truckee, I needed to keep up my training schedule. I selected the 1998 Porsche Bike S again since the roads are still wet and muddy and decided to ride the 25 mile route out from Glenshire to Donner Lake and back.

Bundled up in my warmest riding gear, I rode along the Truckee River with some intermittent periods of clouds and sun until the sun gave way to the oncoming storm. Once out to Donner Lake I could feel rain drops on my face and jacket. The cold headwind was brutal. 

But turning around at the end of Donner Lake provided a nice tailwind that pushed me home ahead of the approaching storm. I ended up with a 25.41 mile ride.

I really love riding the Porsche Bike S. I enjoy riding the newer Porsche Bike X, but the Bike S is way more fun. It's kinda like comparing the Cayenne S and the Boxster. I really like driving the Cayenne, but anytime I get to drive the Boxster I remember how much I LOVE driving it.

The Bike S handles like a dream. It is a downhill monster. The unique frame geometry lowers the center of gravity and the frame stiffness improves handling and control during hard cornering. The Continental Speed King 2.2 mountain bike tires provide extreme grip and the Magura hydraulic brakes stop this bike on a dime. Riding 25 miles today reminded me how much I like riding this bike.

The Porsche Bike X is a good road bike and good for hill climbing, but the Bike S is a screamer on descents, rough terrain, sharp corners and hard braking.

I like having the option of the two bikes. But I'd choose the Bike S most of the time. Just like the Boxster.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Porsche Bike X hard Sunday road ride

A cycling neighbor of mine invited me out for a little bike ride to explore Truckee to see how much snow was still blocking some of the roads.

Since we planned to stick to open roads, I decided to ride the Porsche Bike X road bike. My neighbor showed up on an ultra light road bike.

We rode the three miles down to Hirschdale and got to Boca Lake to find snow covering the road. So we turned around and headed back to Truckee up a few steep hills.

Getting into downtown Truckee we decided to ride out to Donner Lake and back to Glenshire which ended up getting us over 30 miles.

The best part of the ride was trying to keep up with my neighbor bike rider. He rides all the time and is super strong on the uphill riding. I pushed myself to keep up for 30 miles getting an amazing workout.

Now my legs are sore. But I feel good. Good training ride today!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Saturday Porsche day

Another all-day Porsche-fest. Taking a rest day from biking, I'm watching the 12 Hours of Sebring streaming from my laptop to my giant screen TV. I'll be taking a break in the middle of the race to attend a Sierra Nevada Region, Porsche Club of America Concours meeting. I'll probably drive the Boxster to the meeting. This will be the first 2017 outing for the Boxster. I miss driving that car! The meeting is the first planning meeting for the club's annual July Concours d'Elegance event.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Another Porsche Bike S ride

This afternoon, I took the 1998 Porsche Bike S out for another amazing early spring ride. This time I stayed on the roads to avoid the mud and snow. 15 mile ride from Glenshire to Truckee, out around hwy 267 and back through downtown Truckee. Easy and short ride. I plan to ride 40 to 50 miles this Sunday. Tomorrow though, I'm watching the 12 Hours of Sebring and attending a PCA meeting. Should be a fun Porsche weekend.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Porsche Bike S snow ride

With the warming weather, I ventured outdoors for a ride. Since the snow is melting and temperatures above 40 degrees, I thought getting a little sun would feel nice. I elected to take the 1998 Porsche Bike S mountain bike for the trip. I thought the roads would be too wet, dirty, muddy and snowy for the 2004 Porsche Bike X road bike. I was right.

I decided to ride the Truckee River Legacy Trail and avoid the cars on the main roads. The Legacy Trail is an amazing little paved path along the Truckee River from Glenshire to downtown Truckee. It's a short ride, about six miles, but absolutely beautiful scenery.

Driving through Truckee the last few days, I could the trail off in the distance and it looked clear. So I thought with the warm 50 degree afternoon I'd wear shorts and enjoy the sun. With all the rain and snow this winter, the Truckee River is really flowing.

Jumping on the Legacy Trail in Glenshire I instantly realized I was in a for wet and wild ride. The trail was mostly clear. Mostly. The rest was water, in some spots large pools of standing water, and sand, mud, dirt and even stretches with snow and ice. 

At first I tried to avoid the wet areas. Serpentine pattern down the trail. That didn't work very well so I just started riding through the water which caused a rooster tail behind the bike and all over me. Water spray from the front tire all over my face, back tire covering my backside. With the sunshine, however, the water didn't feel too cold.

Before I knew it I was playfully riding through the puddles and jumping over the little streams crossing the paved path. 

Then I hit the snow. You don't jam on the brakes in snow, you just plow through peddling hard. At this point I was glad I selected the 1998 Bike S mountain bike with the ultra fat Continental Speed King 2.2 tires. Speed King tires are built for these conditions.

The Porsche Bike S performed perfectly in the mixed conditions. I didn't set any new performance records today, but I did have fun and did my Legacy Trail 12 mile course in under an hour. So I was pretty happy with that.

The weather is supposed to hold tomorrow before more rain and snow this weekend continuing into next week. So I may take the Bike S out again for another ride before the weather turns.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Porsche Bike X LeMond Loop

While on business today, I took the afternoon off to ride the 15-mile LeMond Loop in the Grass Valley/Nevada City area. The weather was a perfect low 70 degrees with light overcast clouds to filter the bright sun.

This short loop ride was made famous when American cycling star Greg LeMond rode it to warm up prior to winning the Nevada City Classic bike race.

I love this short ride. Some fast and fun corners, great downhills and challenging ascents. All in a neat short little ride.

Today I brought the 2004 Porsche Bike X. My first LeMond Loop with this recently rebuilt bike. I also rode with a good friend of mine. A friend that introduced me to the Loop.

Riding it with him a year later on a road bike, instead of the Porsche Bike S I rode last year, was amazing. The Bike X is way faster on the uphills and nearly as fast downhill as the Bike S. And my legs are much stronger now. I was powering up the hills much easier than a year ago.

Another great ride and another good training effort, all building to the Death Ride.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Longest Porsche Bike X ride to date

Today I drove the Cayenne S an hour and a half to Folsom to start riding the American River bike trail at Beals Point. I usually start at the downtown Sacramento end of the trail, but with the recent flooding, I decided to start at the other end just in case downtown was still flooded.

My goal was 60 miles today which would be the longest ride on the recently rebuilt 2004 Porsche Bike X. I almost hit my goal, ending up with 59 miles. But it wasn't an easy 59 for sure.

From Beals Point the trail heads downhill with some fun high speed corners. But before I rode very far, the paved path was blocked with a giant concrete barricade. Apparently in the last set of storms, a dirt and rockslide covered the trail in three places. Since I just got started, I didn't want to turn around so early. Picking up my bike, I crawled over the boulders with the Bike X on my shoulder. Having to scale three mounds of rubble wasn't easy and took it's toll later after mile 45.

After the scramble, I was able to open up a strong pace for 30 miles enjoying the views and great Sacramento, California weather. From Beals Point to Sacramento the trail is a net downhill ride following the American River. With all the rain and snow in the Sierra, the river is flowing very well.

I was hoping to ride the 32 miles to Discovery Park in downtown Sacramento and turning around to achieve the 60 miles. But getting within several miles of Discovery Park I ran into the same flooded area I did last time I was there a month ago. So turning around I knew I would be short of my 60 mile goal.

Heading the slight uphill back my legs were running out of gas. I haven't had a chance to ride outside much due to the harsh winter. I wanted to push myself - I got my wish. With legs getting tired I decided not to climb over the boulders on the way back, instead rode around the other side of Lake Natoma when I got there. The little detour actually added a few miles which got me back up to the 59 miles. Getting back to the Cayenne I was worn out. Glad I rode 59 miles. But not able to go much further. In the end, a great ride and a lot of fun.

The best part of the entire ride was how well the Bike X performed. It is pedaling, shifting and rolling so smoothly. It turned out to be a great bike. I was averaging over 17 miles an hour for the first 30 plus miles. I am glad I decided to use the Continental Gatorskin tires too. The paved path had a lot of rocks and pot holes which could flat most bicycle tires.

I did adjust the riding geometry a little before heading out. I lowered the front handle bars and rose the seat up providing a more aggressive riding position. I liked this set up so much I plan to leave it this way for all the training and upcoming Death Ride.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Death Ride notes

I went to lunch today with a fellow Rotarian that has completed the Death Ride five times. Last week when he told me of his accomplishment I asked him for pointers over lunch. Today he handed me this list of "Thoughts on how to have a successful Death Ride."

This list is extreme to say the least. I heard this ride is hard, but oh my! This list looks hard! I guess I better get started.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Boxster snow

This is the closest my 2001 986 Porsche Boxster gets to the snow. With the garage open, snow blew in while I was shoveling. It's been a long and cold winter. I miss driving my Boxster.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The rare Porsche Bike ST

The Porsche Bike ST is a rare Porsche bike among rare Porsche bicycles. The Bike ST is a "touring" version of the Bike S mountain bike. If you look carefully you'll notice the frame is the same as the Bike S, except in grey rather than the traditional Guards Red.

But the similarities end at the frame. The rest of the bike is built for touring or trekking. Essentially Porsche changed all the components to produce a more comfortable ride for long distance and commuter travel. The seat and seat post and handlebars are positioned for a more upright riding position. The tires are for road riding and include mud guards. The bike has a rear storage rack. And the bike even included a kick stand.

The Bike ST was built in 2000 by Storck bicycles of Germany. This was the first year Storck took over making Porsche bikes after Votec had the contract.

This bike was never sold in the USA and can only be found on the German eBay website.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

It's not only about the Porsche bikes, part 4

What's more important on a 100-mile bike ride, a reliable and performance-oriented bicycle, the right amount of training, a sharp mental focus or proper nutrition?

Yeah, that's a trick question, they are all important. I've been sharing on this blog for months the 2004 Porsche Bike X rebuild I intend to ride in the 2017 129-mile Death Ride. And this week I'm posting about all the other important stuff that goes into such a long and strenuous ride. Stuff like stretching, mental preparation and today, nutrition.

For me, proper nutrition is simply eating whole and healthy foods and keeping the calorie count in check. Getting serious with my training gets me focused on my eating too. I have been trying to eat whole foods and avoid processed food - staying away from sugar. For breakfast I have been eating olive oil fried potatoes, eggs and a grapefruit. For lunch lots of chicken and kale salads and blueberry and cottage cheese for after ride snacks. Dinner has been lots of homemade soups since it's been a cold winter.

But nutrition is more than just eating whole foods. The balance of carbs, fats and protein as well as micro nutrients are very important. And this balance during endurance training and riding is critical to one's success in cycling.

Getting to the bottom of what's needed on the dinner table, I again went to YouTube to learn a little more about nutrition for cyclists while I did my afternoon stationary bike training spin. The 50-minute video "Nutrition for Cycling: Fueling Your Human Powered Vehicle" I found to be very informative.

In the video, registered dietitian Heather Schwartz takes an in depth look at the nutrition needs of avid cyclists. Watch it to learn how much, when, and what kinds of fluids your body needs before, during, and after your ride. Find out how to calculate your energy needs to fuel your cycling goals on and off the bike.

Good information. I'll probably watch this again closer to the Death Ride and calculate my fluid and food plan for the long ride.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

It's not only about the Porsche bikes, part 3

I mentioned my yoga workouts and training environment earlier in the week, today the focus is on the mind!

You can build the best bike (did that) and do the toughest training (doing that) but if you're not mentally prepared for a challenging long ride you will have a tough time. I learned that last year. So to better prepare myself for this year's cycling goals, I am also training my mind.

YouTube is a great resource for information on sharpening your mind for riding. Heck, YouTube is great for everything from learning how to rebuild a steerer tube bearing, yoga for cyclists to improving the brain cells for biking. YouTube has you covered!

So, this morning I watched "It's All About the Mind: The Psychology of Cycling" presented by Jim Taylor, Ph.D. Dr. Taylor is internationally recognized for his work in the psychology of performance in sport and business. In this video he shares his concept of prime cycling - which in large is determined by the mind.

It was an easy 44 minute video to watch while I was riding my stationary bike this morning. Training the body and mind all at once, not a bad way to multitask. 

I won't give too much away. Just watch the video. But the tools to focus the mind on pain, emotion and confidence are very helpful for cyclists ... or anyone for any sport or life endeavor.

I plan to watch this again prior to my big rides and use what I've learned when the road gets tough ahead.

Recovery week

Last week was a week to forget. Got a flat tire on the Bike X and crashed the Bike S. And in two consecutive days. This week I’m back on the...