Sunday, July 30, 2017

Porsche Concours d'Elegance

Today I drove the 2006 Cayenne S to Reno, Nevada to participate in the Sierra Nevada Region of the Porsche Club of America's annual Concours d'Elegance. I also brought the 1998 Bike S to display and let people take for a spin. It was a beautiful day to admire our cars on the green grass. I entered the Cayenne S in the full concours category and got a trophy. Second trophy for my daily driver.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Great Donner Lake run

My best run this year! Well, that's not saying much as I just got started. But today did feel great! I jogged the entire 7 miles - no walking this time. I just maintained a nice 11 minute mile pace and felt good the entire loop around the beautiful Donner Lake. I'm getting my running form back and my legs are quickly getting back into the groove.

I think I'm ready to go from 3 days to running 4 days a week next week.

These Porsche Design Endurance Boost running shoes are without a doubt the best shoes I have ever run with. I need to buy a second pair!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Track time

I took the Porsche Design Endurance Boost running shoes (and the 986) to the track for the first time this morning. This was my first time back at the track in many years. So I took it easy. I jogged a mile to loosen up. Then ran a 1/4 mile at about a 7 minute per mile pace, then walked a 1/4 mile to cool down. Then repeated the fast and slow quarters again and finished with another slow mile jog. So, only 3 miles. But I need to ease back into this.

It was also perfect weather to drive the Boxster with the top down. Lower 70's with no wind (and no smoke!)

And perfect day for some speed work with the Endurance Boost shoes. These shoes at a 7 minute mile pace felt like heaven on the track. The running shoes are lightweight and have good grip. They also look great on the track.

Tomorrow, I'm planning to run around Donner Lake again. So I kept today to only 3 miles to save a little for the 7 miles tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Another easy 5 miler

Tonight was a slow and easy 5.5 miles along the Truckee River Legacy Trail. I ran, jogged and walked. The running felt a little stiff but the walking while texting, taking on the phone and running into a friend all gave me quite a few breaks.

I think I'll try to do a few more miles tomorrow night.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Donner Lake morning run

I ran around Donner Lake this morning. All 7 miles around the beautiful lake wearing the new Porsche Design Endurance Boost running shoes. My legs and bones are getting stronger. I can feel it. I was able to maintain a quicker pace over much of the distance. I did stop and walk a bit, particularly on the downhills. I'm trying to avoid shin splints this early in my conversion from cycling to running.

I know I've posted this before, but these shoes are awesome. Light and comfortable. Running in them feels like floating on air.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Another Porsche enthusiast

I just met, through this blog, another Porsche enthusiast as crazy about all things Porsche as I am. He emailed me requesting the factory manuals for his 1998 Porsche Bike FS. He also sent photos of his Cayman S and 914. The 914 was a Formula 1 pace car - very cool. I'm glad I'm not the only person with a garage full of Porsche cars and bikes!

Easy Thursday jog

With clearing fire smoke, I jogged a super easy 5 miles this afternoon. It got warm, but not too bad. I ran along the Truckee Legacy Trail, my old bicycle route of choice. I'm still running super slow right now. But that is part of the plan. Years ago I ran a lot. For years. It took awhile, but I built up to a point where I could run a marathon every month and even ran a 5:15 mile. But that took years. After all the Porsche cycling, I am at a starting over point. Today's easy 5 miler is part of the plan to rebuild my running muscles and strengthen my bones after years of low impact bike riding.

This time though, the running adventure focuses on running with Porsche Design shoes. Today's easy miles were way beneath the new Endurance Boost shoes I just purchased. They are way too fast for these slow miles. But I'll get faster. Happened before, will happen again. Sunday I'm hoping to run a cool morning easy and slow 10 miles.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

No running today

Fires in California and elsewhere are blowing smoke into the Truckee area. So, I stayed inside watching the movie Le Mans and drank German beer. I'll try to run again tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


The Porsche Design Endurance Boost running shoes I just purchased and now running with in my attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon were manufactured by Adidas. Adidas is a corporate partner of Porsche and feature the unique Boost technology. 

Boost is based on a groundbreaking development process created by Adidas partner BASF, the world's leading chemical company, a solid granular material (TPU) is literally blown up and turned into thousands of small energy capsules which make up the footwear's distinctive midsole.

The Porsche Design Endurance Boost running shoe features this midsole. You can see these little foam capsules in the midsole and feel them when running. They are ultralight and provide a massive amount of cushioning. 

So far I am really enjoying running in these shoes. With another run tomorrow, I hope this comfortable and cushioned ride lasts a long time.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

5 mile jog

Today I took the Porsche Design Endurance Boost running shoes out for a 5 miler. It's only my 4th run after over two years of cycling. My legs felt heavy and slow during these first outings. But there were moments today when everything felt good and a little faster. I'm glad to see improvement so quickly. So I'll rest tomorrow and run again Thursday and hope for a little more progress.

Again, these shoes are amazing. Very smooth running and ultra comfortable.

Monday, July 17, 2017


I thought it was very cool that my bib number for the 2017 Death Ride was 937. The Porsche 924 Carrera GT had the internal code number of 937. And this 924 variant just happens to be one of my favorite Porsche sports cars. Seemed fitting and lucky for me!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Porsche wins Nurburgring!

Porsche 919 Hybrid won the 6 hour WEC Nurburgring race in Germany today. Porsche dominated, finishing first and second. As usual I watched the entire race streaming on the television.

Sierra City

It was a beautiful day yesterday and I had some business in Sierra City. So I put the top down and drove the 986. While flying along highway 49 I noticed this neat little pull out and waterfall. I just had to turn around and park for a photo. The two hour round trip was an incredible drive. 89 and 49 are fun driving roads.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

First run

This morning was a first on several levels.

Since I have been in cycling mode, I haven't run in a while. Today is my start to getting in a lot of base miles to rebuild the lower leg muscles and bones for faster running ahead. I walked a mile warming up then did 7 miles of 90 second jogging and 30 second walking, followed by a one mile cool down.

Today's outing was also the first miles on the Porsche Design Endurance Boost running shoes. They felt awesome! Light and comfortable, even for a guy that hasn't run in a while. I'll post more on them later.

And lastly, today was my first run with the new Adidas owned Runtastic iPhone app. Adidas is shutting down the app I was using prior. Adidas bought out Runtastic and I ended up with free lifetime premium membership as a result. So I'll be tracking all my training miles with this app.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

New goal!

Now that I've completed 100 miles on a Porsche Bike S mountain bike and the 129 mile Death Ride on a Porsche Bike X road bike, I'm ready to start my next challenge: The Boston Marathon with Porsche Design running shoes and clothes.

The Boston Marathon is the only 26.2 mile race that requires you to achieve a challenging qualification time prior to registering for the annual April race in Massachusetts.

I will begin training this weekend and continue into the fall of 2018. My plan is to run the qualifying race at the California International Marathon in Sacramento December 2018.

The shoes I'll wear for training, the qualifying race and the Boston Marathon are the Porsche Design Endurance Boost. These shoes are made by Adidas and designed to Porsche Design specifications. The shoes have a breathable lightweight upper that is also reflective, with Adidas Boost cushioning and a Continental Tire rubber sole for traction. This running shoe is lightweight, neutral support and very comfortable. 

The next year and a half, I'll be posting training updates as well as an ongoing shoe review.

Monday, July 10, 2017

2017 Porsche Bike X Death Ride

If the 24 Hours of Le Mans is the ultimate endurance test for Porsche race cars, then the Death Ride is the ultimate endurance test for a Porsche bicycle.

Last fall I set my sights and wanted to be the first person to complete this grueling ride on a Porsche bicycle. The Death Ride is a 129 mile, 15,000 feet evaluation gain bicycle ride that started in 1981 in the small town of Markleeville, California. The Death Ride is more than a clever name, with extremes at every corner. The course rides over five Sierra 8,000 foot mountain passes, starts early in bitter cold, continues into temperatures over 90 degrees, and with treacherous high speed descents.

The ride takes much of the day and is more of an endurance trial than a bike ride. People with Century ride experience would be surprised how much more difficult the Death Ride is.

For all of these reasons, I fully committed myself to this 2017 endeavor last fall, preparing a bike and my conditioning over the winter and into spring for an attempt at finishing the Death Ride in only one try.

All of my previous bicycle riding was completed on the 1998 Porsche Bike S, including the 100-mile world record on a Bike S mountain bike last October. The Death Ride is much better suited for a road bike, so last November I purchased a 2004 Porsche Bike X and spent the winter rebuilding and preparing for this hill climb event.

The Bike X is a "hybrid" bike Porsche commissioned the German bicycle manufacturer Storck to build for an European cycling market. The Bike X is a touring bike, utilizing a lightweight aluminum road bike frame fitted with mountain bike gears, straight commuter bike handbars, front shocks, a suspension seat post and mountain bike-type treaded tires. This bike was built to go anywhere comfortably.

But I didn't want to go anywhere. I wanted to ride straight up mountains quickly and very quickly back down - all day long. The road bike frame and mountain bike gearing were the perfect choice for this type of challenge.

I found a Bike X for sale on the German eBay site. However the seller said he'd only ship within Germany. Armed with Google translation, we emailed back and forth haggling until he agreed to ship this bike to the USA. I've only seen two Bike X for sale on the internet and this one was my size - large. The other Bike X also sold quickly and that seller said only 250 were produced. So this is an ultra rare bike among the rare Porsche bicycles.

The Bike X took over a month to ship from Germany. It sat in customs for sometime before arriving in Truckee, California. After taking the bike for a short cruise, I immediately dismantled all the touring and mountain bike components. The seat, seat post, front shocks, tires, handlebar grips all came off.

To keep the bike as original as possible, I replaced all of those parts with German-made lightweight road bike components. The seat and handlebar grips and bar ends were made by Ergon, the seat post and handbars by Syntace, the front forks were carbon fiber by Quantec and the water bottle cages made by SKS.

After much research I ordered all these German-made components and reassembled the bike during the winter and then started training diligently for the upcoming Death Ride.

I had a good base of high elevation training last year with the 1998 Bike S. Truckee is the ultimate base camp for such efforts. With the rough winter I did have to spend some time riding the stationary bike in the garage though.

But once this spring hit, I was outside riding the purposely rebuilt Bike X up and down the local Tahoe/Truckee mountains to simulate the terrain of the Death Ride.

The Death Ride is in early July each year, so the spring training went by too fast and before I knew it, the time to head to Markleeville snuck up on me. My longest training ride was 85 miles and 11,000 elevation gain. That is an epic ride on its own, but considerably short of the Death Ride stats.

Checking into the Death Ride Friday night, July 7 and getting a room at a Markleeville lodge provided comfort and time to prepare for the long following day riding. My plan was to start early, ride a comfortable pace, don't delay at the rest stops, take two electrolyte pills per hour, eat one high calorie energy bar per summit, a good lunch, relax on the downhill stretches and power on until completing the entire course.

That was the plan.

I did get the early start, heading out from the start line at 5am in the dark. I didn't bring any lights and was planning to wait until sun up, but I was too excited to wait. I followed a couple other riders with lights until I could see on my own. Not the best choice, but at the end of the ride proved very important.

The course headed back through Markleeville and towards the first mountain pass - 8,314 ft Monitor Pass. In the early light, me and over a thousand other riders winded our way south east on Highway 89. At first the road didn't seem too steep and after a short ride I saw a group of cars and people and thought that might even be the summit - oh, was I wrong. The road and ride kept going and getting steeper and steeper. Just about when I thought it was never going to end, I finally crested the summit. That was a hard uphill ride and only the first of five summits.

At the top, a course worker placed my first, of five, summit stickers on my event bib attached to the back of my custom bright yellow Porsche cycling jersey.

Keeping to my short pit stop strategy, I only stopped to add water to my bottles and use the porta potty before starting to head down the backside of Monitor Pass.

Screaming downhill at over 30 miles per hour was so much fun after the slow grind uphill. But my plan again was to cruise the downhills, taking my time, to rest the legs. But at my height and weight I still gather a lot of momentum and passed many people.

Getting to the back side of Monitor which ended almost at Highway 395, only took maybe 15 or 20 minutes. But I could tell at the steep pitch and speed that riding back up this mountain was also going to be tough.

At the bottom, after collecting my second summit sticker, I immediately turned around and started riding back up, bypassing the rest stop since I just refueled minutes ago.

You get the second summit sticker at the bottom, even though you haven't really earned it yet. I suppose that prevents people from only riding a little ways down the hill and turning around.

The ride back up to Monitor Pass was even steeper than the front side - and this is supposed to be the easiest summit! As the sun came up, so did the temperatures. The high was supposed to be in the mid 90s. The earlier forecast of clouds and maybe rain changed to all sun and hot the morning of the event. I started peeling off layers on the second summit attempt.

The switchbacks to the top were steep and slow going. But once to the top, and another very quick stop to remove my leggings, the fast descent back to where I started the Monitor portion of the trip.

At the bottom of Monitor all the riders turned left and started uphill to the infamous Ebbetts Pass summit. At first the grade wasn't too steep. Just a gentle ride along the river. The air temperature was still cool but continued warming slightly.

A friend that rode this event before told me this summit pass wasn't too bad. Pretty easy until some short switchbacks. So I cruised along and when I got to some switchbacks I thought this one is easy. But again, I was wrong. The road kept going and going. Getting steeper and steeper. Warmer and warmer.

Ebbetts Pass is 8,730 ft. high and I felt every foot. Other riders were telling me, "the top is just around the corner," only to be wrong. I started seeing riders hiding in the shade resting. Some laying down, some walking their bikes. The steep climb and increasing heat was starting to takes its toll - and this was only the third of five summits. But I knew this was coming and I had a strategy. I brought two water bottles. One to drink from and other to pour on my head and back to cool down. So while others bonked, I poured water on myself and kept going.

However the steep riding and heat still took a lot out of me. Finally reaching the top, a way harder climb than I was told and even Monitor Pass, I was wiped out. I collected my third summit pass sticker and doubted I could ride any further. I seriously thought my ride was over. I was done. Hot, tired and miserable I thought the Death Ride claimed another victim.

But then I abandoned my quick-stop strategy and got some food, ice water and sat down, thinking "I'm not going anywhere." The guy next to me was eating a cup of chicken noodle soup. Asking about it, he said the carbs and salt were most helpful. So I got one for myself. It was yummy. The best styrofoam cup of chicken noodle soup I have ever had.

Resting, refueling and cooling down, I started feeling better. So I was at a crossroads. Head back downhill to the starting line and quit or continue down the backside of Ebbetts for another sticker - knowing I would be forced to ride back up another summit. After hearing the descent and return trip was only 5 or 6 miles down and then back up, I thought could make that since I refueled and cooled down.

The ride down was very fast and short. Getting my sticker and riding back up immediately again I started passing more riders having trouble with the increasing heat. Again they stopped and didn't look good as I continued to pour water through my bike helmet on my head. I started wondering why anyone would even do this ride. It truly is the ultimate test of endurance on a bicycle.

Getting to the top and quickly refilled the bottles with ice water and started downhill. I remember thinking that resting again didn't matter much if at the bottom of this mountain I just quit. I could ride down coasting to my lodge room in Markleeville and call it a day with four stickers. 85 miles and four mountain passes is pretty good, right?

Well, flying down the long front side of Ebbetts Pass a funny thing happened, the steep and fast descent cooled me down and my legs loosened up. Arriving in Markleeville I thought I might be able to make it to the top of the fifth summit, the 8,580 ft. Carson Pass. I really doubted I could complete the entire 129 miles, but five mountain passes would be awesome. So I rode by my 2006 Porsche Cayenne S and continued uphill waving at all the cheering roadside spectators. This was also said to be an easier climb. But now in the hottest part of the day, the long uphill was miserable. More and more riders were stranded on the roadside and I kept pouring water on my sweating head and swallowing the electrolyte pills.

The day was wearing on. The course has a cut off. Get behind and they won't let you continue. At first I was fine. Monitor passes one and two and Ebbetts one, I was ahead of the cut off. Ebbetts number two the crowd was thinning. But when I arrived at the Picketts Junction rest stop on the way to the final Carson summit it was about 4:30pm. The cutoff was 5:15pm. I was again totally spent. So I sat there, drinking Gatorade and eating potato chips trying to cool down in the shade.

At 5:05pm I thought I'll make the attempt to get to the top of Carson Pass. I had until 8pm before they close the course. I thought I'll go for it knowing I could always turn around and coast back down if I bonked. I really thought there was no way I'd finish the total 129 miles.

Riding a relatively flat stretch followed by a big uphill again was hard. But this time the sun was getting lower and it was starting to cool down a bit. The final switchbacks again a rider incorrectly said, "the summit is just around the corner." Finally getting to the top and achieving my fifth and finally summit sticker I was out of gas. I drank some water and had the celebratory ice cream and felt good about riding 105 miles up five mountain passes. I hung out there for awhile.

Then I realized I'm stuck there. Unless I ride back down the mountain until I can get cell service to call a ride. So I rode up the short uphill to start the long descent.

And once again a funny thing happened. The fast downhill in the cooling evening I started feeling better again. Fueled on ice cream and my final electrolyte pills, I jammed down the Carson Pass. I was averaging over 30 miles per hour easy. At 7:09pm I started to do the math in my head that I could get back to the finish line before the 8pm cut off.

The fast and cool downhill felt good and provided motivation, but I knew there was another short uphill to the finish line. Hoping for the best I pressed on.

That's when I noticed with all the trouble I was, and others were, having the 2004 Porsche Bike X didn't miss a beat. The ride was comfortable, not one slipped gear, brakes worked great on the descents, handling was phenomenal and not even one flat tire (I saw plenty of riders fixing flats). The Bike X worked amazing. A great bike and all the preparation paid off.

Screaming downhill toward the finish, I kept running the numbers in my head - I could finish the entire 129 mile route within the time limit. It would be close, but doable.

I gave that last little hill everything I had, pushing hard to the end. Just like over the entire course, people were cheering me on at the end. I rode through to the finish with 10 minutes to spare. I was glad I started a few minutes early in the dark at this point.

After spending almost 15 hours attempting to complete the Death Ride, neither me nor the bike looked very good. Both covered in sweat, suntan lotion, water, Gatorade and dirt, both man and machine looked like a Porsche race team that just completed the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

I walked my bike to the finisher's gathering area, showed my bib with all five summit pass stickers and collected my five pass finishers pin - the object of all the training effort and challenge on this hot day.

Does it feel good to complete the Death Ride? Yes. Did it feel good riding the Death Ride. No! But I proved two points. One, I could complete this most challenging ride on my first try. And second, Porsche makes a sturdy and reliable bicycle that can complete one of the most grueling rides in the world. Since I have never read about anyone completing anything like this on a Porsche bike, I'm calling this a new world record for a Porsche bicycle. 129 miles up 15,000 ft in one day. Mission accomplished.

Sunday, July 9, 2017


Having a little celebratory bier at Himmel Haus in South Lake after completing the Death Ride! Full ride report tomorrow.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Death Ride completed!

Today I rode 129 miles, 15,000 vertical feet of climbing across five Sierra mountain passes in the famous Death Ride. I got all five mountain pass stickers and finishers pin.

This was the hardest thing I've ever done. I finished but I'm totally spent. The 2004 Porsche Bike X performed PERFECTLY!

I'll post the entire story tomorrow.

Friday, July 7, 2017

In Markleeville

Arrived in Markleeville this afternoon. Checked into the lodge and got the 2004 Porsche Bike X all setup and ready to go. Tomorrow at 4am I'm up and heading out for a 5am start.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Bike is ready, now getting legs ready

A little afternoon hot tub time loosening the legs for the Saturday 129 mile Death Ride.

It's raining over in Markleeville now. I hope it rains a little on Saturday. That's way better than 95 degrees!

Bike X ready for launch

The 2004 Porsche Bike X is ready for the trip to Markleeville tomorrow. I cleaned the Porsche road bike, waxed it and lubed the chain. It's on the tow hitch bike rack now and ready to go.

I leave tomorrow afternoon on the two-hour drive to Alpine County where the Death Ride will be held this Saturday.

Looking forward to this grueling ride. But scared to death at the same time. Hope all my training pays off. A little luck and good weather will be needed too!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The last training ride...

... next up, the Death Ride this Saturday.

On the 4th of July, I rode a spirited little 12 miler as my last training ride before cleaning up the 2004 Porsche Bike X and preparing it for the trip to Markleeville this Friday. I wanted to stretch my legs and get a last little seat time before the big event. What I didn't realize was this short ride today put me over 4,000 miles on my three Porsche bicycles in preparation for the Death Ride. 1,200 miles this year alone on the Bike X road bike. The balance of the miles were over the prior year and half on the two Porsche Bike S mountain bikes. That's a lot of miles. I hope that's enough training to get me to the end of the 129 mile, 15,000 ft of climbing Death Ride.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Death Ride weather outlook

I better bring my gear for heat and rain!

Final long ride on the Porsche Bike X

My final long ride on the Porsche Bike X before next weekend's 129-mile, 5 mountain pass Death Ride. I rode 85 miles in 8 hours last weekend, so this weekend I wanted to reduce miles and get the legs rested for the big event. I elected to ride the popular Truckee Tahoe Triangle to get a little hill climb and some seat time. Heading out at 8am, I felt good enough to ride quickly and push hard for the entire 47 miles. I didn't even eat anything before or during the ride. I just rode as fast as I could since I knew it would be a shorter ride than I've been doing lately. 

The 2004 Porsche Bike X is still performing very well. I washed the bike and lubed the chain yesterday and it's shifting so smoothly now. I'll be riding one more short and easy 12 miler Tuesday afternoon and then will clean up the bike again and back it up for the trip to Markleeville Friday.

Death Ride in 6 days!

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...