Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fast Porsche Bike X ride

The last five days have been a mix of cycling workouts. Sunday was very long and moderately paced, Tuesday was short and super slow and today was a grindingly fast 25 mile ride.

The purpose of mixing up my rides is to get a combination of endurance and speed workouts with a little recovery ride in between.

This is the last week of training before the rest week prior to the big Death Ride event. So I'm cramming in the last efforts before resting up.

I rode out to Donner Lake and back as quick as possible. On the way out I had a nice little headwind. I used that to get a good workout. On the way back the tailwind allowed me to fly home.

Tonight's ride also served to test the final bike configuration of the 2004 Porsche Bike X for the Death Ride. This final configuration has two water bottles in SKS bottle cages, one SKS CageBox to hold a spare tube, patch kit and other bike supplies and the SKS Tour Bag XL hanging off the seat post to hold my cold temperature and rain clothes.

This final configuration holds all the stuff I'll need and a top mounted water bottle that is easy and quick to get at. I'll test this set up again Sunday on my last long ride.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Easy Porsche Bike X recovery ride

After Sunday's grueling 85 miles with over 11,000 ft of climbing, I rode a super slow and easy 11 miles this afternoon for a leg-stretching recovery ride.

Legs, back and butt felt fine. I felt like I could have ridden further. But today's goal was healing and stretching. This Thursday I'll ride further and faster.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Porsche Bike X mini Death Ride

Today was my longest training ride before I start tapering to the July 8th Death Ride. I rode from Glenshire to Truckee, up highway 89 turning into Tahoe Donner, Tahoe Donner back into Truckee, then along Donner Lake and up and over Donner Summit and then descending to Cisco Grove. That was just over 40 miles and two mountain passes. Then I turned around and rode back the way I came.

The 8-hour ride ended up just over 85 miles with a 11,519 ft ascent. If you look above at my ride chart and compare to the Death Ride chart below it, it looks like I rode the first 85 miles of the Death Ride.

Once I completed the ride, I felt like I could have gone further. It was hot and I was getting tired, but I felt like I could have continued. The recommendation on the Death Ride website is to have at least an 8-hour ride completed this year. Today was 8 hours. I probably should have ridden longer, but I didn't want to over do it and get injured before the Death Ride.

I planned my food and liquid intake today just like the Death Ride. I made four food and drink stops today. At the Death Ride I'll probably do 6-8. So a little more "off the bike" time and I'm hopeful I can finish the entire 129 miles with the 15,000 ft ascent.

Today was also the first time riding with the SKS Tour Bag XL hanging off the 2004 Porsche Bike X seat post. The Tour Bag XL was purchased to allow me to bring two water bottles, one for drinking and one for pouring on my head when it gets hot. That two bottle strategy worked for me today. The Tour Bag XL looks small, but fits a lot of stuff. The bottom even unzips and expands downward.

Today was a tough ride. I have no illusion that the Death Ride will be anything but harder. I think I'm in just good enough physical shape to make it. Now I just need to prepare myself mentally.

The next week will be yoga stretching, some much easier rides, hot tubbing and then next Sunday a moderate 47 mile ride before really resting the week of the Death Ride.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Porsche Bike X heat test ride

A friend of mine drove to Markleeville last Sunday and test-rode both Monitor and Ebbetts Pass in preparation of the upcoming Death Ride. He reported back that he overheated and had to stop riding, laying in the shade until he could start again.

Hearing this I freaked out a little. He was riding in temperatures near 90 degrees - same conditions I'll likely face on July 8 on the Death Ride.

Overcoming my concern I made a game plan and tested it out in today's upper 80 degree temperatures. The 2004 Porsche Bike X has three places for water bottle cages. So I headed out to ride to Donner Lake and back with one water bottle for drinking and the other for pouring a little water through a hole in my bike helmet on my head.

I remembered from my old running days if I cooled off my head, I didn't overheat. Sure I'll need ample amounts of sun tan lotion for the body, but a cool head will prevail in hot conditions.

The Death Ride has nine rest stops, so my strategy will be to refill one bottle with Gatorade, Powerade or whatever they're serving and the other bottle with cold water.

I think this will work well. They'll enough stops to add water and I should have enough to stay cool over each mountain pass.

On my ride today I tested this out. Pouring water through the hole in my helmet the first time, I was leaning my head forward too much and all the water ran down my face and into my eyes. Lesson learned. So the next time I tilted my head back and water ran down my back. This cooled my head and back - perfect!

I'll try this again this Sunday when I ride another 70 miler in the heat.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Porsche Design Endurance Boost

I have a massive uphill battle on my hands in July (pun intended) with the incredibly difficult 129-mile Death Ride that transverses five California Sierra passes. But that doesn't stop me from thinking about what might come next after my current challenge.

I just ordered a pair of Porsche Design P5000 M Endurance Boost running shoes on eBay. These new shoes are last year's model - which saved a bunch of money on the very pricey PD product. The eBay delivery information says the package should arrive by June 29.

The shoes are manufactured by Adidas (a corporate partner of Porsche) to Porsche Design specifications. The soles are Adidas Boost material. I have two other Adidas trail running shoes with Boost underfoot. Boost is Adidas' most responsive cushioning. The one piece upper is a breathable material with a really cool reflective pattern underneath. Best of all, the soles have a rubber tread made by the Continental tire company. I have German-made Continentals on my cars, bike and my shoes!

My next adventure will be centered around running. But I'll keep the goal to myself until after the Death Ride!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Porsche Bike X easy 12 mile ride

Today was an easy recovery ride on the 2004 Porsche Bike X along the Truckee River. Since I'm riding much longer mileage these days, I haven't ridden the amazing Truckee River Legacy Trail in a while. It was very enjoyable to just ride slowly and take in the views. Temperatures were in the lower 80s and the river is flowing strongly. It was a beautiful evening.

Next Porsche challenge?

I haven't finished my current Porsche-related outdoor challenge yet, but I'm a dreamer and can't help but think about what my next goal could be. This link is a hint. I need to finish what I've started for this year ... riding the 129-mile, five mountain pass Death Ride in the California alps on a 2004 Porsche Bike X. But once that's over, I'll reveal my next Porsche endeavor!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

SKS Tour Bag XL

I ordered a larger saddle bag yesterday and it should arrive around the end of next week. Riding early one cold morning, I needed a light jacket. But as the temperature rose, I stuffed it in my saddle bag - it almost didn't fit. On the Death Ride I'll need to bring even more clothes and biking stuff.

So I ordered the SKS Tour Bag XL. The Tour Bag XL should hold all of my biking clothes for the Death Ride. There is no bag drop at the Death Ride, but even if there was, I'd want to keep my extra layers. The early morning can be cold there. Afternoons can get warm - and have occasional rain. So having, and storing, extra clothing layers is important.

SKS is a German cycling accessory company. I purchased their Anywhere bottle cages and a CageBox. So the saddle bag is a nice addition. The CageBox holds the spare tube, patch kit, tools and pump. The Tour Bag will be reserved for clothing. 

The coolest thing about the Tour Bag XL is the bottom of this saddle bag unzips and extends to fit more stuff. This will match my all-German 2004 Porsche Bike X road bike and be effective for the upcoming Death Ride.

Death Ride training is difficult

In the last nine days I have covered 209 miles riding the 2004 Porsche Bike X all over Truckee and Tahoe. All those miles hurt my riding performance today. Well, the miles and staying up most of the night watching the 24 Hours of Le Mans. My annual tradition of connecting my computer to the 60 inch flat screen to stream the twice around the clock classic sports car race couldn't stop me from my scheduled training for the July 129-mile, 5 mountain pass Death Ride. But staying glued to the TV all night did take it's toll.

My plan was to ride four mountain passes and 80 miles today. But riding up the second pass, the 8,900 ft. elevation Mount Rose, I felt a slight early cramping that I didn't feel the last time I rode up this mountain pass. So, instead of continuing to ride further from my Glenshire base camp, I turned around on Mount Rose's summit and headed back - basically doing the same route I rode last Saturday. But to get some extra miles I rode through Truckee and out and around Donner Lake.

I didn't achieve the four mountain passes but I did get just under 77 miles and my longest ride to date on the 2004 Porsche Bike X. The temperature reached into the 80s today. I needed warm weather training as temperatures at the Death Ride can get into the 90s. So today was good practice. I also rode about 9,900 feet elevation gain today. Another good training for the 15,000 ft of elevation gain at the Death Ride. I also burned a ton of calories - 4,300.

What I learned today is rest is important. So I'm going to take some recovery time the next three days and then one more long ride next weekend and then rest up for the Death Ride July 8.

* Note: I, again, turned off the Adidas GPS mid-ride and had to restart it.

Porsche wins Le Mans!

Porsche wins its 19th 24 Hours of Le Mans and third in a row!

Again this year, I watched most of it. Didn't sleep much since all five of the leading LMP1 cars had trouble and the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid came back from well down the order to win. Very exciting!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Tahoe Donner Porsche Bike X ride

Ramping up for the Death Ride, I rode 40 miles late today adding to the 30 miles I rode Tuesday. I headed for Tahoe Donner to the infamous Skislope loop that gets up over 7,000 ft elevation. Screaming downhill from Tahoe Donner, I went out to Donner Lake and back too to add a few miles.

The weather today was in the mid 70s with some wind. I met a headwind on the first half and a tailwind on the way back. If I have to ride in the wind, that's my preferred direction.

The 2004 Porsche Bike X performed well again and my legs are feeling stronger than ever. Sunday (after watching the 24 Hours of Lemans) I'm planning to ride 80 miles. Sunday will be the ultimate test for the upcoming Death Ride.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Boxster passes smog

Annual trip to the California smog inspector. 2001 Porsche Boxster passes again. I had fun driving around today. I did have to leave the top up though. Pine pollen season is in high gear. Can't have all the yellow stuff on the full leather interior. A couple more weeks and it's top down time!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Another Donner Summit ride on the Porsche Bike X

Preparing for the Death Ride means a lot of hill climbing. After last Saturday's 60-mile Mount Rose ride I wanted to keep pushing myself. So instead of an easy ride today, I decided to ride hard up to Donner Summit. Donner Summit is my go-to ride with amazing views of the Sierra and Donner Lake. This time my legs felt even stronger. I'm gaining confidence for the big July 129-mile Death Ride event. And the 2004 Porsche Bike X is still holding up well.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Piddling in the Porsche garage

What do I do with a day off from riding? Play in the garage with my toys! Today I'm adding air to the Continental tires and conditioning the leather - on both the cars and bikes. Good times!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

60 mile, 3 pass Porsche Bike X ride

This weekend's big ride was scheduled for three mountain summits and 60 miles. I needed to step up my game, so I chose Mount Rose as one of the summits. Mount Rose tops out at 8910 ft elevation, which is higher than any of the mountain passes on the Death Ride. 

I again started in Glenshire and rode through Truckee and over Brockway Summit. Brockway Summit's 7179 ft elevation doesn't stack up to the Death Ride summits, but it's a good workout. From Brockway I rode to Incline and up Mount Rose. The wind was rather brutal today with gusts to 30 mph. The summit of Mount Rose was crazy windy - at the top is where I turned around. When I got back to Incline, my face and hands were frozen.

The ride, other than the wind, was fantastic. Great views of Lake Tahoe. The 2004 Porsche Bike X is riding great - fast downhill and smooth uphill. My legs, butt and shoulders seem to handle the ride well. I'm definitely tired and sore, but not too bad. Another good Death Ride training day.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Porsche Bike X rain ride

I am not a big fan of riding in the rain. Today was scheduled for an easier 26 miles but with the wind and rain in Truckee I got 8 miles out and turned around. So now I'm in the garage wrapping up my workout on the stationary bike among my extensive Porsche collection. I spent the entire winter on this garage bike sharing at a Cayenne, Boxster and a plethora of Porsche bikes. So I'm used to this.

This weekend is another big training ride. I hope the weather is better.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Porsche Bike X two mountain summit ride

I had scheduled riding two mountain passes and 60 miles for this weekend's Death Ride training. But when a friend told me he had a last minute chance to participate in the organized ride around Lake Tahoe, I thought maybe I could do a little of both.

He started from South Lake Tahoe and I left about the same time from Glenshire. His route was around the lake clockwise. I rode from Glenshire through Truckee, out Highway 267 through Martis Valley and over Brockway Summit (first summit of my two summit training) to Kings Beach heading towards Tahoe City. This is where I started picking up riders. Traveling the opposite direction, I kept an eye out for my friend. Getting to Tahoe City without seeing him at the rest stop, I kept riding south on Highway 89. I didn't see him until almost to Homewood. Turning around, we rode back to Tahoe City, stopping briefly at the rest stop, and continued back to Kings Beach to the lunch rest stop.

From there, we rode together to Incline where I turned around and rode back to Kings Beach and back over Brockway Summit (second summit of my two summit day) before heading back through Truckee to Glenshire.

The ride ended up at 75 miles. Longer than the around Lake Tahoe route by a couple miles. I got to see the amazing Tahoe views as well as my goal to get in two mountain summits. Today's training also including much of what I'll experience on the Death Ride including a cold morning, warmer afternoon, a nasty headwind and of course, uphill!

The 2004 Porsche Bike X performed well, dare I say perfect. Knock on wood, I hope the bike rides this well at the Death Ride.

I should note, this was the longest ride on the Bike X to date. Dare I say a world record on this bike. In all my internet research, I have not found anyone that has ridden a Porsche road bike further. So a world record it is!

Next weekend's schedule is a three mountain pass ride. My entire body feels the pain of riding 75 miles today. But I felt strong even to the end. So a good training day and feeling a little confident about the upcoming Death Ride. However, the next two weekends are the make-or-break training rides. Fingers crossed they go as well as today.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Yet another Porsche Bike X Donner Lake ride

Riding from Glenshire to Donner Lake and back appears to be my favorite cycling route. At least on this blog this ride shows up a lot. Today I needed a short and easy ride before this weekend's long ride out to Lake Tahoe and back. I did change it up a little bit by riding around Donner Lake. Usually I just do an out and back. Today I wanted to see if the back side of Donner Lake was clear of snow and if there was any road damage from the harsh winter - I found both.

My legs feel good, but my lower back has been hurting for a week or longer. Nothing a massage Saturday morning can't fix!

The 2004 Porsche Bike X is still performing well. One pedal arm feels a little sloppy. I'll take a look at that next week. But the Bike X is shifting smoothly and rolling fast. All the hard work over the winter is paying off. 

This weekend starts the beginning of the end of my Death Ride training. The July 8th 129-mile Death Ride ascends five mountain passes. So for my final month of training I'm going to add a mountain pass per weekend over the next four weekends before recovering and resting up for the Death Ride.

Here's my plan:

June 4 - 2 mtn passes. Brockway Summit twice and ride along Tahoe for 60 miles
June 11 - 3 mtn passes. Brockway Summit twice, Mountain Rose once for 60 miles
June 18 - 4 mtn passes. Brockway Summit four times for 50 miles.
June 25 - 4 mtn passes. Brockway Summit twice, Mountain Rose twice for 80 miles

Then the weekend prior to the Death Ride will be an easy 40 miles with just one mountain pass. During the week I'll stick to my Tuesday and Thursday rides in the medium distance length. 

I'm hoping this final push will help me complete the Death Ride in July.

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...