Lauren’s 15 hills of Kirkland (and one in Ravenna)

15 hills of KirklandThis morning, I got up literally at the crack of dawn and got on the road at 6am. I made it to Kirkland (via the 1 hill in Ravenna and the Juanita/Seminary and Market hills of Kirkland) in 1hr 11 minutes and signed up for the “7 hills of Kirkland.” I LAUGH at 7 hills.

Silvia showed up and we got started just after 8am. Hill #1? back up Market hill (210ft), to Juanita Hill (285 feet), then Seminary Hill (455ft). Then Norway (475ft), Kingsgate (412ft), – food stop with yummy peanut butter on everything – Winery hill (“Only 390 feet, but a 21% grade at the bottom AND my gears wouldn’t go down into the granny – I had to stop and fix that). We stopped at the food stop again for more peanut butter and cookies.

Here’s where dorky Lauren apparently turned off the GPS for 11 miles – skipping 1000+ ft of elevation gain)… For next was Education hill (410 feet), Redmond Ridge (617 feet), (the GPS was back on here) Mc Whirter Hill (266 ft), Education HIll (part II – 330 ft) and finally Rose Hill (a VERY long 525 feet).

Silvia did fantasticly well on the uphills. The only reason why she didn’t have to wait for me was that I was really good at catching up on the downhills. If you ask me, she’s ready for the Victoria 1/2 iron 🙂

After the Best Strawberry Shortcake ever, I went back up and over Market and Juanita/Seminary hill.

Total – approx 91 miles, 7000ft elevation gain. This link will show most – some is missing. The weather was perfect – cloudy so not too warm – just a little cool in spots until around 2pm on my way home. I met up with Ruben at U village and we walked the bike back up the hill to the house. I just couldn’t get myself to do that last 200 ft gain with a frappacino in my hand 😉

RAMROD – CTS Training Series

MotionBased CTS RAMROD BellevueMan I am glad I went biking yesterday as opposed to today.

As I managed to get myself a ticket for RAMROD, I am currently trying to get a lot of long hills in on my rides. Fortunately, Cascade Bicycling has a Saturday morning ride for people training for RAMROD.

The ride (70 miles, 5000ft) yesterday was gorgeous and took me downs some roads and parts of Bellevue that I had never ridden through. The weather was perfect, as it was partly cloudy and appropriately cool on the uphill and warm on the flats. The faster part of the ride was when we formed a pace-line for the final stretch from Maltby back to Marymoor park. Unusually, I was borrowing Lauren’s bike today which was _REALLY_ good since she had a triple which I had to use once on a particularly nasty uphill, and had the nice psychological effect of knowing I had a bail-out gear if I really needed it. In talking about this with the other bikers, I was able to get from most people that a triple would be a good thing to have esp at 6500 feet 🙂

The interesting part is that every stop people mentioned other interesting rides to do like the Bluett ride today, and another ride called the “Death Ride”. I will let you read the details for that here:

-Ruben ” Back to your regularly scheduled memorial day weekend …. ” Ortega

Scouting Ravensdale-Cumberland

Ravensdale - CumberlandA few fellow Winos and I scouted next week’s race, Ravensdale-Cumberland. This is a nearly 60 mile course (at least for Cat 4/5 men), comprised of two laps around a two-loop course with a nasty, short, steep 20% grade wall half-way through. We had a good time through the course; the weather was warm but not too hot, the scenery was gorgeous, and the company was good as always. We made great time, even with a couple stops (such as a recovery right after the hill!) and averaged over 20 MPH for the three and a half hours we were on the course. Come race day, it’ll probably be closer to 3 hours, but I suspect the pace will be the same given the rolling hills.Anyway, I’ll see if there’s some interest for doing this ride either for STP or perhaps post-STP… given the undulations, it’s probably a reasonable RAMROD training ride as well (2000 feet of climbing Ruben!)


Mutual of Enumclaw Omnium – Road Ride

Enumclaw Omnium RR Although I wasn’t planning on it, earlier this week I decided to ride in the Mutual of Enumclaw Omnium road race. An omnium is a multi-event race, similar to a normal stage race. However, rather than scoring the winner of the GC – general classification, e.g. overall winner – based on overall shortest time, the omnium is scored on points. Points are awarded for each event; in this case, a time trial, criterium, and a road race. I ended up registering late (online only), and by that time Cat 4/5 was full. Thus, I ended up registering and racing Masters C/D. Masters C/D is similar to Cat 4/5, with the difference being Masters is 35+ (35 as of Dec. 31, 2007, so I just made it!). Also, Masters is typically previous Cat N-1… so Masters C/D is really more like older Cat 3/4, mostly Cat 3. Oh, and they’re all still pretty much in shape. Needless to say, I knew going in I was going to get my legs ripped off.

While the race bible said that the course would be a loop around Mud Mountain and then another loop north of Enumclaw, on the day of the race it ended up that the race would instead be 3 laps around Mud Mountain, similar to previous years. Mud Mountain is a about a 650 foot climb over 2 miles. There’s a short steep section, followed by a flat, followed by a medium not-so-steep section and a longer flat, followed by a long slog uphill. Then, it’s a fast, fast downhill on Route 410 back into Enumclaw.

Today, the hill kicked my ass. I was able to do OK on the first two parts of the hill, but I wasn’t able to keep the pace of the main group on the third hill and started falling behind. At the top of the hill, I regrouped with another teammate and two others and we tried to chase back on. While we made great time, we were still 200 yards away from a chase group a bit ahead of us and probably 400+ yards away from the main peleton. I had been thinking of just bailing after the first lap, but I missed the turn to the finish and ended up going onto the second lap. I let the group I was working with get ahead, as I was out of gas right before the hill. Well, some food, water, and active recovery, and it was back up Mud Mountain again. I did OK, a little slower than the first time through, but a much better heartrate. I made the summit solo, and had an enjoyable time bombing downhill. Only downside was that it had started to rain a bit, so it was getting cold and rainy. But hey, it was still nice and downhill.

I did make the right turn (literally) to the finish, and ended my day at two laps, about 1:40 into the ride. I was a bit disappointed I didn’t keep with the pack on the first hill and get some downhill peleton practice, but overall I was reasonably pleased with the two laps I had under me. I definitely need to work on my climbing though!

For your enjoyment, my HR chart from my Polar:


70 miles around the lake (through Issaquah)

Now we had always said “Issaquah (70 miles) and now I understand – 70 miles is the U district to Issaquah and back. That’s not what we did today. This is:

70 miles around the lake (through Issaquah)

Scott and I met up at UZ at 9, then we headed out. Right in Woodinville we suddenly had someone tailing us. It was ERIK! Riding to work. Very cool.

We met up with James around 10:30 in Redmond and continued to cycle south. Erik peeled off to work. We took West Lake Sammamish – which is busy with loads of cars (more than 12 years ago for sure!) but a nice wide shoulder.

The only problem is south of 43rd, it’s a 4 lane road, but no bike lane. There’s the bike TRAIL but it’s gravel. Where do they expect cyclists to cycle? I wonder what Cascade says about that. And why the decision to make East Lake Sammamamish trail gravel.

Anyway, a bit of traffic through Issaquah, which used to be a lovely place to stop for lunch. We didn’t though. We plowed on. We also found that it appears the Bellevue bike map is not up to date. At least the one I got from on line. We found the I-90 bike trail through signs – you pick it up right near Sunset school and it takes you UP the twisty windy switch backs (a beautiful wooded area) – towards the highway. It dumps you out near Eastgate – for about a 2 mile not-so-fun stretch – but again it’s busy but plenty of room for cyclists.

Right at Factoria, you pick up the trail again and it dumps you out right where the split off at Lake WA Blvd. From there we just did the south end of the lake – stopping for quite a bit at Kidd Valley in Coulon Park.

At Montlake, Scott peeled off and went home. By the time I got back to the U district I was only at 66 miles. Bound and determined to hit 70, I followed James back all the way up to 97th – to try a route to Meadowbrook that Greg recommended. It did quite the trick Greg. Thanks. James continued on the trail home.

So there you go. 73 miles. 5.5 hours ride time (7.75 total time with stops). My butt is sore.


Pacific Raceways CCW with S-curve

May 15th – Counter-clockwise with the S-Curve. This is the most technical course at PR. On the downhill, rather than bombing through the “escape route” the peleton rides around a S-curve at the base of the downhill. This requires some breaking and handling, and is great practice for cornering at speed. Of course, for the 4/5s, it’s slow as we all break and then sprint to catch up to the folks who were in the front of the peleton and took the S-curve with more speed than the rest of us did.

I managed to botch the 2nd lap. I was towards the back of the peleton, and let it get away on the downhill so I could zip along with momentum. I’d then catch up to the peleton on the uphill. This kind of worked, but I got gapped on the flats and burned up a lot of energy catching back up to the pack. I was able to stick with it for another lap, but then just got dropped on the next lap. Michael, one of the 1-2-3s, was also riding solo (recovering from the flu), so he gave me and an Oberto junior a wheel for a lap. We stopped at the finish, which was a lap earlier than the rest of the 4/5s, but I was done… just blew out too much energy early on, and the hill took care of the rest. Moral of the story: stay up with the pack, don’t yo-yo on the middle!


PR S-curve

Pacific Raceways Flats (2nd Time)

May 8th, Pacific Raceways held the “flats” course. This is a speedy flat loop around the course, and tends to have a big field. Today was no different. We raced around the course for 8 laps, or about 40 minutes. At the end of the last turn before the final straightaway, the field squeezed itself into an arrow, with a long single-file line of maybe ten riders. I had swooped around on the outside, and decided to sprint a bit early to either give one of our guys a leadout (a Wino was leading the peleton) or go for it. I had some momentum, and found myself sprinting for the finish. So, seeking a new all-time Max HR, I busted out.

Sadly, about 50 meters from the finish, the rest of the pack caught up and started to pass. I was just unable to hold the speed, which was about 33 MPH. So, as riders passed, I let up, knowing my race was over. I finished with the pack as they overtook me.

So, lesson learned… I can’t hold a sprint for 400 meters yet. Gotta work on that. 😉


PR Flats

A tale of three rides

It’s a weekend for a ride around the lake, and the sun even started to peak through the clouds!

On Saturday, Lauren wrote:

Greg, Elizabeth, Sean, Anthony, Emma and I did a loop around the lake today. Here’s the data from my Garmin. I forgot to turn my garmin back on after Coulon Park, so I’m Motion Based interpolated the mileage from there to south Bellevue. Basically that means the totals (including the moving average) is off, but probably not by much. GPS log on MotionBased

On Sunday, we had two concurrent routes clockwise around the lake. First from Ruben:

Sunday morning’s ride ended up with a 9am start at Blakely and 25th near University Zoka. Sylvia, Erik and I met with his bike team to do a lap around the lake. However, Sylvia and I ended up taking a different path and diverged at logboom park to take Juanita, Kirkland and Medina hills to get through Bellevue. I highly recommend the route since it takes you by Bill G’s house and you can easily identify his because of the unusual (and pretty) gate that marks the front of his house. It was my first time through that section and liked the lack of cars and the wide roads. Given it was just the two of us, we ended up settling into a nice groove of chatting and occasionally sprinting off to climb hills and fly down the downhill sections. The weather was cool and overcast with no rain and a minimum of cars on a Sunday to pull you off the road. Sylvia and I were worried we would keep slowing each other down as her training for the triathalon included a 40 mile bike ride + run yesterday. Yikes!

Here is the obligatory route map, and the recommendation to go out biking soon.

GPS log on MotionBased

Sadly, I don’t have a MotionBased log, but for what it’s worth:

As for me, I and 4 other Winos also rode around the lake clockwise. Ruben & Sylvia passed us while at a pee break at Logboom, and then we headed south along 96th Ave, taking the back way into Kirkland. We cruised along Market St. in Kirkland and did the standard loop around. We made good time with plenty of chatter; about 3:15 for the loop. We were in a 5-person group, so riding mostly in a double line, keeping to between 18-22 MPH.

Next week: Whidbey!