Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Calvin's Challenge

Jeff Rogers

Calvin’s was handedly one of my most gratifying one-day rides. Yes, the 186.5 miles in 11:30 felt good, actually really good; but the gratification was much more about all the little things that I learned and changes that I made between Calvin’s 2010 and Calvin’s 2011.

For starters I had never “raced” and actually didn’t think, in 2010, of Calvin’s as being a race. Yes, I knew it was timed, but...just naive, I’d say. So, in 2010 I didn’t think racing strategies. Just showed up to ride.

2011 I was thinking ‘race’ and showed up early at the start along the HS driveway semi-circle that served as Loop Counting and Start/Finish and staked out a golden spot for my cooler full of non-allergenic goodies to sustain me through the ride and into the long evening at the Awards Ceremony.

2010 I was still getting sick, sick, sick in the stomach, every time I rode and didn’t know why. Who woulda’ thunk that Hammer HEED was a performance stopper. But, shortly after Calvin’s 2010, thanks to a hot tip from Sandy Earl, I eliminated HEED and I eliminated getting sick! So, what’s in my bottles now? One scoop of Hammer Sustained Energy and 2 scoops of Clif Electrolyte Replacement Drink--a winning combo for me.

Embarrassed to say, but I’ve also become a fan of RedBull; I’m otherwise, compulsively attentive to what I put into my fuel tank. But April 30th at Calvin’s 2011 three small cans of Red Bull were in my cooler--my special treat after each 50 mile loop.

2010 I rode my Lightning P-38, my steady friend for 7 +/- years and 80,000+ miles. But in 2011 I showed up on my new-to-me Bacchetta Ti Aero. Don’t think I was imagining things, but what a HUGE difference this bike did make. I’m a believer in the B!!!

Added a new Bent Up Cycles Aero Seat Bag which allowed me to carry 2 more water bottles, in addition to the 2 mounted on my carbon seat frame. Clearly helps to be able to go twice as long without having to change out bottles.

That the weather was PERFECT, even by non-Calvin’s standards--no rain, decent temp, but yes, some wind, along with no mechanicals added to the days gratification.

My goal was to ride a 300k (186 miles) in 12 hours. That seemed quite attainable given my times for several round-trip jaunts to Milwaukee and a recent 300k. I made my goal at 11:30. I chose not to ride another 7 mile loop, although I had plenty of time to do so. Somehow 193 just didn’t have a ring to it, and I didn’t have time to do 2 more loops and hit the coveted 200 miles in 12 hours.

Had I 4 bottles on my bike and 4 more bottles pre-filled, so all I had to do was swap them out, and had I known that, if all conditions were right, a 200 was within reach, I’m confident I could have hit that mark, as well.
While there will not be another Calvin’s in my future, since we’re moving to Tucson in the Fall, there will be lots of WARM 300k’s, 200 milers, and 12-Hr’s out in AZ and Southern CA which will be fun opportunities for me to push my limits.

Thanks Calvin’s!!

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