Saturday, March 07, 2009

Tour de Palm Springs 2009

The Tour de Palm Springs is a century ride around the Coachella Valley. The ride starts off with a gradual climb to about 1,700 feet, a few rollers along Dillon Road, and a very nice descent into the city of Coachella. From there the ride is relatively flat, but there's always a headwind heading back to the finish in Palm Springs. Total ascent just over 3,200 feet. The pace line forms on Garnet Avenue up towards Windy Ridge. It was a tough early start with a Northwesterly blowing about 10 knots. It was so windy that trucks seemed to float in mid air along the I-10. Brand new paved road on the way up to Indian Avenue and Desert Hot Springs. The city of Coachella should take note. Dillon Road rest stop with the snow capped San Jacinto Mountains as a backdrop. This was a first. Cheerleaders at a bike ride. "Go bikers, go bikers, go bikers!" There was also music at every stop, courtesy of the local schools. "We will, we will rock you!" At mile 88, Steve and Matthew Schmidt were kind enough to feed me with a baked potato and chili from Wendy's. Took a nice 45 min break, recharged the legs and cruised into the finish.6 hours: 11 minutes, average speed 16.1 MPH, average power 148 watts, energy used 5561 kcal.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Stage 6 - The Solvang Time Trial

The Solvang time trial is a 15 mile course over slightly hilly terrain. Riders go out individually at one minute intervals and ride the route in the fastest time possible. They usually average 25-30 MPH. Carlos Sastre, 2008 Tour de France winner, better known for his climbing skills, placed 82nd - 3'30'' behind the winning time. Tyler Farrar in his Garmin skin suit. In indivudual time trials it's about being aerodynamic, maintaining the highest power output throughout the entire course, and getting to the finish line in the quickest time. All while trying not to get a heart attack! Yaroslov Popovych takes a neck break or maybe his helmet slipped. Michael Rogers taking the "high road" above his support car, placed 4th-22 seconds off the pace. Phillip Gaimon experiencing a major sugar rush - visions of jelly beans dancing in his head. Pedro Horillo about to make use of his snot pad on his cycling glove. Lance Armstrong had his own personal photographer during the Tour of California, and his own personal driver. Jason McCarty, foaming at the mouth, will not win the neatness award, but did come in 8th - 41 seconds behind the winner. Are those chocolate stains on his left sleeve? Big Tom Boonen struggles to get aero. "Paco" Mancebo could be in a Cadillac comercial here. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit. Chris Horner (32' 19" for 24th) being cheered on by the Mavic wheelmen. Christian Vande Velde (12th position) and his support argyle BMW. Chris Baldwin sports the golf ball time trial helmet. Floyd Landis 54th overall grips at the aerobars as he heads downhill. Winner Levi Leipheimer (30 min:40 sec) shows his "praying mantis" style, making himself small and cutting through the wind like an arrow. L3VI!