Wednesday, July 16, 2014

June Lake Triathlon

This past weekend, RiderTurbo busted out a quick triathlon to stay competitive and mix it up:  The June Lake Triathlon near Mammoth Lakes, California. 

Billed as the "toughest race in the most beautiful place."  Olympic distance "plus" consisting of 1500m Swim, 40km Bike, 6.5mi Run.  High altitude hematocrit-builder at 7000-8000 ft elevation.  Hilly time trial bike leg with no drafting and plenty of climbing.  Grueling run with a mix on and off road plus 1100+ft. elevation gain on rocky single track trails. 

Great cross-training for the upcoming Haute Route Alps.  RiderTurbo results: Time 3h 6min. Rank 38/150 overall and 6/13 Men Age 44. Struggled on the swim, strong on the bike, gritty on the run. Just the way it should be given the recent focus on cycling preparation.

All followed by three more days of mountain cycling, kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, picnicking, waterfall hunting and frolicking in the mountains with the wife, kids, aunt and nieces!

1500m Swim: 35min
Swim @ 8000 ft. and Gasp for Air!
Ear Plug Out!
40km Bike: 1h 14min w/ Hills
32.2km/h avg speed

6.5mi Run: 1h 14min
Hot, Tough Mountain Trail Run

Monday, May 26, 2014

Teamwork - Felice Gimondi 2014

 Sharing the work, watching the road like hawks...
 Ranch Spirit, sprinting to victory after 128km together as a team...

I can tell you this much about the experience of racing as a team.  I know in few years time, I will not remember, how fast I rode, what was the timing I clocked in the race, were the climb hard or not, was it hot or cold, sunny or rainy; all that I know it will be anecdotical but, without a shadow of doubt; I know I will remember and more importantly, that it will bring joy to my soul and surely a big smile,  crossing the finish line with fellow rider no- Show.

And that my dear friends....  is priceless, for everything else there is master card... Be well- rider Eazy-E

Monday, May 19, 2014

Huge May Opener - Summer's here - Let's Roll!

Ranch West Coast has kicked off the summer racing season with a bang.  Starting on May 4th, 2014, where RiderMama "Ran the Verdugo."

Eager to get back on a racing schedule three years after the birth of Rider Sasha and a handful of races last summer, Mama kicked off the racing season in May as RiderTurbo took babysitting and spectating duties.

The Verdugo is known as the toughest 10k trail race in Southern California.  It is an up-and-back on dirt fire road with 1735ft elevation gain in the first 5km followed by 5km down.  Despite severe cramps forcing 3-4 minutes of walking on the descent, Mama clocked a respectable pace given course conditions and punched 8th place out of 45 women finishers age 40-44.

Verdugo 10k Results 2014: F 40-44

Next up on May 17, 2014, Mama took on the Xterra Renegade off-road triathlon.  Following the one-shot-wonder performance of RiderTurbo winning the recreational division three years ago, RiderMama set out with high expectations.  A severe shortage of training time prior to the race due to work demands meant Mama had done only one swim set all spring.  Woefully unprepared for the water, Mama choked up and went into familiar anaerobic panic mode in the first 200m of the 1/2mile (800m) swim. Somehow she pulled it back together and finished with the help of mental fortitude and last-ditch, save-the-race breast stroke mode.  Despite the worst swim of her triathlon career, Mama managed to get out of the water in one piece and salvage the race with a stomping 7.5mile mountain bike and snappy 3.3mile trail run.  The result: VICTORY.   Mama won the recreation division beating all-comers, both women and men!  She finished just in time to rush off to the hospital to perform weekend call duty at work, which is the principal reason she did the rec. division rather than the longer competition division in the first place.  45 minutes shorter in length made the rec. division the difference between doing the race and not, giving time to make it back to work.  Still no complaints.  Clock a victory, jump in the race van and head back to work!  Now that's a victory, Ranch style!
 Renegade Xterra Rec. Division: Results

Mama Descends en Route to VICTORY in the Xterra Renegade Recreational Division 2014

After the excitement of the Verdugo and Xterra, we moved on to May 18, 2014 where the team enjoyed a very special moment.  The final stage of the final day of the Amgen Tour of California passed directly behind the backyard of RiderMama and Turbo in the Westlake Village suburb of L.A.

The Tour of California is America's biggest cycling race. The title sponsor Amgen is the proud patent holder of EPO and somewhat fittingly, the Tour ended near Amgen headquarters in Thousand Oaks, CA.  RiderMama and Turbo managed to get in an early morning Double Decker Training ride for the Haute Route Alps ( while catching the peloton near the summit of the climb (video below).  Team Sky lead the peloton protecting GC leader Bradley Wiggins.

Mama and Turbo descended Rte. 23 Decker on the Westlake Village side moments after the broom car passed only to be stopped half way down the canyon behind two ambulances where two pro riders had launched over the guard rail on a steep, high-speed descending turn.  Fortunately, neither were badly hurt and both later rejoined the peloton.

Later that day with Mama again on call at work, Turbo took kids RiderZoe (6) and RiderSasha (3) out on the Trek Mystic Girls bike and Optibike/MT202 trailer rig, to watch the finishing loops around the village and to watch the grand finish.

Wiggo Whizzes by Turbo and Mama's back yard 
Bradley Wiggins won the Overall and Mark Cavendish won the finish line sprint on Stage 8 to cap off three weeks of great racing in May for the Ranch.  The summer has started with a bang and its going to be amazing!

Amgen Tour of California 2014 Results

Tour of California Final Stage Passes By Turbo & Mama's Back Yard!
AMGEN Tour of California Stage 8 - Last Kilomters HD

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Felice Gimondi 2014

Big weekend for the Ranch going back to Italy to ride the hills on the outskirts of Bergamo. 4 riders, The Show, Eze, The Wolf and Cah Li, arrived for the weekend's challenge.  We could go through the details of VAMs, power outputs and the rest of the noise that we usually go on about....  These weekends have become more about an escape from city living and the noise and the nonsense that comes with it.... I wish I had more fotos to upload and more weekends like this past one with the boys. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Biting It

Saturday, August 31.  Morning training ride.  Martigny climb to Col des Planches.  Steep ramps.  A manly climb.  In the background, Rider Sharkbite gassing it.  Oblivious to anything behind him.
In the foreground, some Bradley guy.  Out of the saddle, working hard to reel in the 'Bite.

Ranch Respect!

By the way, when he passed me, I had no idea what hit me. He smoked me.  Said "Good morning" as he passed.  I had no idea there was anyone coming, no idea who it was, and was stunned in incomprehension for 3 solid seconds that some guy had come by me that quick in a section that steep.  "Nice speed" I forced out of my lungs, at the wheel pulling away in front of me.

I am pretty good up a climb.  But that man is truly faaaaaast.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The wanna be pro.......

At the end of July RiderZinni joined a fantastic ProAM event in the Alps called "The Trois Etapes".. The "wannabe pro" is getting a bit of publicity these days check it out here...

The good thing is that RiderZinni did it for Charity and managed to raise more than GBP 10,000 for EMPower UK. The fundraising site is here in case you want to chip in more money :-) If you want more fun you can watch this video as well ... Vive le Ranch, which got me into cycling few years ago... So this post is a little "thank you" to all the lunatics in the Ranch..

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Rocky Mountain High

Lizard Head Pass
 As July passes, fine weather prevails, sunny days smile, and summer challenges abound.  This is prime cycling season.  On June 9-15, 2013, Riderturbo and Ridermama made their second annual pilgrimage back to their native State of Colorado with family in tow for Ride the Rockies.  This 500+ mile tour with over 2000 riders every year traverses the finest alpine road cycling routes through the Colorado Rocky Mountains over seven days riding.

Home state to Rider Turbo, Mama and Lone Wolf, whose youthful roots lay in Boulder, Snowmass and Aspen, respectively, the tour is not only beautiful and challenging, but also nostalgic in that it provides the snow-capped mountains, evergreen trees and high-altitude landscape that we grew up with in this part of the world.

The tour itself consisted of 7 consecutive stages, each day averaging 73 miles over several 9000-10,000ft mountain passes including Lizard Head, Wolf Creek, Hesperus Hill and Poncha Pass.  Because of unexpected wilderness fires closing the route in the Royal Gorge area, the 6th stage was redirected from Salida to Canon City over 9000+ ft  Hardscrabble Pass with and additional 33 miles added in distance.  This brought the total route to 545 miles with four consecutive 84+ mile days averaging 78 miles per day with 22,000+ vertical feet of total climbing, all comprising the longest Ride the Rockies route ever recorded in the event's 28 year history.

Flying the Ranch Aircraft into beautiful Telluride on the first day, Turbo and Mama met up with the grandparents who shuttled the 5 year old RiderZoe and 2 year old RiderSasha during the first three days from start to finish line.

Turbo and Mama pulled out the old pair of durable aluminum Cervelo Soloists from grandpa's garage in Colorado -- a la Eazy-E -- not the lightest steeds in the peloton, but dutifully equipped with triple cranks and wide-ratio cassettes equally suited to big pass climbs, fast descents, and pace line flats over this state-side version of the layman's "Grand Tour."
Wolf Creek Pass

The daily schedule felt like a professional team: up at 6am to suit-up, grease-up, pack-up, prepare equipment and mix nutrition, followed by 7am family breakfast , 8am ride start, and the finish time between 12-2pm.  After this, an ice smoothie recovery shake, professional leg massage, fun visit, playful swim and tasty dinner with the kids and grandparents before retiring for bed about 8pm only to do it all over again the next day, seven times in a row. That's what Ranchers call a vacation.
2013 Route Summary:
June 8 — Telluride – Registration
June 9 — Telluride to Cortez | 75 miles | Lizard Head Pass – 10,222 ft.
June 10 — Cortez to Durango | 64 miles
June 11 — Durango to Pagosa Springs | 86 miles
June 12 — Pagosa Springs to Alamosa | 91 miles | Wolf Creek Pass – 10,850 ft.
June 13 — Alamosa to Salida | 84 miles | Poncha Pass – 9,019 ft.
June 14 — Salida to Cañon City | 67 miles | Royal Gorge Bridge Park rerouted over Hardscrabble Pass -- 9,085 ft total 93.5 miles
June 15 — Cañon City to Colorado Springs | 46 miles 
One notable activity for the kids were nightly hotel hallway wind sprints that kept fellow hotel guests and bystanders wondering who those rowdy "Ranch" kids were.

Beyond that, grandparents shuttled the kids by car each day and entertained them with mountain hikes, nature walks, gondola rides, visits to the fish hatchery, local parks, horseback rides and dining establishments en route to the next stop, typically about 1-2 hours each day in the car.
Hardscrabble Pass  ---  matching S.U.R.M Jerseys harkening days of the 230km Schwarzwald Ultraradmaraton, in Alpirsbach Germany 2005...the hardest ride we've ever done
Another vital component to mention was the nutrition strategy -- the newly discovered key to success in ultra-distance and multi-day events as deployed, tested and vetted by Turbo and Mama. Here, the Team adopted the vaunted and frequently misunderstood "all liquid" nutrition protocol  following guidelines spelled out in the Hammer Fueling Handbook.   The protocol is based on three pillars: hydration, calories and electrolytes.  At odds with the majority of riders, Turbo and Mama fueled according to formula using precise amounts of water, "liquid food" and electrolyte supplments. First a normal breakfast of waffles/oatmeal, eggs, fruit and coffee was enjoyed each day with a 30-45min time lapse prior to ride start.  For hydration, the first hour of riding was accompanied by only one bottle of pure water 500-750ml each, allowing time for breakfast to digest.  Subsequent to the first hour of riding, for the second hour and each hour following, one bottle of water was consumed per rider per hour.  On the second and each subsequent hour of the ride, Turbo and Mama also each consumed 1/3 of a calibrated three-hour feed bottle of Hammer Perpetuem providing Mama with 200 calories per hour and Turbo 225 calories per hour long-chained complex carbohydrate with a carb-to-protein ratio of 7.5:1.  Three-hour feed bottles were remixed after the 4th hour of the ride using Perpetuem carried in the Ziplock bag of Turbo's riding Jersey.  For electrolytes, the pair consumed one Hammer Endurolyte capsule per hour proportional to water intake for Turbo and one per 1.5 hours for Mama to preclude hyponatremia and the dreaded "long ride" cramping and muscle lock-up.  At the end of each day, a crushed ice fruit protein smoothie for body core temperature cooling and glycogen recovery was consumed within 10 minutes of the finish line followed by a vigorous professional leg massage to flush lactic acid buildup. The strategy worked flawlessly producing abundant energy, zero bonking, zero cramping, zero bloating, zero G.I. distress, near-perfect recovery, amazing energy reserves and tremendous stamina each day of the ride.  After accumulating a 1500-2000 calorie deficit each day on the ride, the team indulged in a massive 1000-2000 calorie dinner each night, giving an adequate 10-12 hours to refuel overnight, clear digestion and following a 4 to 5 am water-chug each night, void all excess waste and weight on the toilet early morning prior to riding the next day.  It took us ten years to figure it out, but if you put the right amount and right mix of fuel into the furnace, it burns clean and pure on these long rides.  

Until next year, when we hope to do it again with more Ranchers who join!  

Finish Line -- 545 miles in the history books. Go Ranch!