Seattle to Portland – STP done!

Team Rogue colours have been magnificently represented at the epic STP ride – the 204-mile Seattle-to-Portland journey that is the latest jewel in the Rogue Crown.

Four of us sported the Rogue kit at the start of the ride – after losing Gen. Mike Vipond to a training crash. Gen. Mike – in true team spirit – surprised us all by showing up at Seattle Friday night, with Sharon at his side.

We were a spry crew meeting at 4 a.m. to get to the 4:45 a.m. start. Evil Eric Amey, Andrew Freckles Brink, Delicate Don Gray and I were among 2,000 riders to launch bids for the coveted 1-Day Rider badge. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Team Rogue at Penticton GranFondo

Team Rogue colours evident at Penticton GranFondo this weekend. From left Deb Westendorp, Cary van Zanten, Dale Anderson, Karl Cantner, Rick Fraser and Greg Scott (kneeling).

A crew from the Semiahmoo Pentinsula donned the Blue, Green and Gold for the second Penticton GranFondo this past weekend.

While we were enjoying taper and 90 miles over two days, these lot braved big heat of the South Okanagan, and the challenging route for the Valley First GranFondo Axel Merckx Okanagan-Penticon.

For the STP crew, we finished off our training with 60 miles Saturday, and 30 miles Sunday. Sunday was a blast – we started at 8 a.m. and hooked up with a bunch of Rogues out for their Sunday ride. Jim Millington, Pete Schrauwen, Pete Lesyk (I thought he’d sold his bike!), Layne Stanyer, Taryn Boivin, Kelly Rowson – it was relatively crowded on the road compared to the sparse numbers we’re used to.

Sunday 30-mile taper Garmin Connect – Details.

We broke off after 20 miles, they were bound for a 60-mile ride, and though we felt great, discretion won out, and we headed for home.

We’ve only got a 20-mile ride mid-week before heading to Seattle for Saturday’s STP.

Anxious? Who? Me…?

 

B.C. Randonneurs Cycling Club has cancelled the 2012 Canada Day Populaire.

The club’s website announced the 145-km recreational ride was canceled due to the risk of flooding along the course, which runs near the swollen Fraser River.

There’s still plenty of opportunity – and dry roads – for Rogues to get in weekend rides. Saturday at 7 a.m., we’ll leave the pool for a 50-mile ride; Sunday we’ve got a 70-miler on tap.

Ride safe – we’re just 15 sleeps from STP.

Paperboy13 at Garmin Connect – Player.

A mildly depleted but certainly enthusiastic group of 4 riders headed south into Washington State Sunday for our last 100-mile ride of the Seattle to Portland training session.

Don Gray, Gary Loosemore, Andrew Brink and I cut through fog for the first couple hours, and got a bit of sun for the last few miles – a super ride punctuated by some challenging hills.

Check out the player link above – the hill at 42-miles east of Bellingham is long, relentless and has some interesting pitches. Very cool stuff.

Scout threw some interesting twists into the day – we did the H Street hills at the outset rather than finishing the day. And that kinda set the tone with a reasonable pace, but threw a wrench into our bearings – we got turned around and lost in the fog near Lynden; and did a segue into Lummi Indian Reservation for a few miles. That turned out to be a blessing, with some beautiful flat riding in mashlands with absolutely not a hint of traffic.

And the espresso milkshakes at the end of the day – fabulous!

And now, just 19 sleeps until STP. Let the taper begin!

50-miler to Townline Road

50-miler Townline Road Garmin Connect – Details.

A fairly leisurely ride with Andrew Brink for 50-ish miles out to Townline Road near Abbotsford.
The weather threatened all morning, but we got through it without rain. My heart rate monitor is still not working, so I gotta go on the hunt for a new computer to collect data.

But the highlight of the day was the Gardening Party at Gen. Vipond‘s in the afternoon.

A goodly posse of Rogues showed to bring chaos to the order of Mike and Sharon’s wonderful backyard gardens. Mike (he of the busted-ass shoulder) needed a hand getting some azaleas into the ground, and some other stuff out.

So the Lovely Miss Vickie and I, John Forsdick, Meg Peters, Smilin’ Brian Lewis, Dale Anderson, Freckles Brink (in a brilliant supervisor role), Karl Cantner and Prancing Bill Liang got a little dirt under our nails Saturday. It was great fun, and count on Bill Liang to provide the biggest belly laughs, showing up just in time for clean up, with coffee, cakes, and two left gloves.

“I was going to bring my gardener,” he deadpanned.

The sun came out, the Keiths were cracked – we coulda been a beer commercial.

Be safe – The Canada Day ride is this weekend.

Cultus Lake ride – Century #3

Cultus Lake ride – Century #3 Garmin Connect – Player.

Our third century training ride in preparation for the Seattle to Portland Classic July 14.

Weather was cool, and the course was dry for the most part – though we did hit some heavy mist for a couple miles near Cultus Lake.

I hadn’t been to Cultus in about 15 years, and man has it ever changed up there. Big props for the new, paved road from Vedder Road right to Cultus, including a nice bike lane.

Plenty of riders on the way back along Vye Road and especially 0 Avenue – we didn’t see anyone on the way out, but starting at 6 a.m. will do that.

The power of the group ride was evident again – we maintained an average moving speed near 20 mph for the first 4 hours.

After more than 210 miles last week, we drop down this week for recovery – a total 150 miles on the schedule, with 30 Saturday and 70 Sunday.

Just 33 sleeps until STP…

65 miles, and The Hill… check!

 

 

The Hill – Garmin Connect – Details.

The ride along the Fraser River from Fort Langley to Lefeuvre Road is an excellent piece of riding. We got turned around a bit and went past Lefeuvre in our search for The Hill, but did find it eventually.

My heart rate monitor is on the fritz, so I’ve got no readings from the climb, but I’m pretty sure it’s the steepest sustained climb I’ve done. Looks like a wall on my Garmin’s elevation chart. The last time we tackled it, I had to get off my bike and walk.

Not so today, I’m pleased to say. Me, Andrew Brink, Don Gray, Eric Amey, Mike Vipond and Pete Schrauen all made it to the top – a bit breathless to be sure, but I got it done.

But what was the most fun today was the look on DD’s face when we saw Gray Loosemore walking DOWN the hill with his bike on his shoulder – he’d busted the hanger arm on his dereiller half-way up the climb.

We chatted with Gary for a bit – putting off the inevitable climb – and then forged ahead. I’m really pleased to have slayed that dragon…

Next week, we have our biggest total mileage week in the run up to STP – 210 miles, including our third century of the training. Cultus Lake?

20 miles, and some hills

20-miles with hills Garmin Connect – Details.

Thursday after work, Double Ds and I challenged some new hills for a set of 4 repeats.

The hills, just east of Hazelmere Golf Course, are between 8 and 0 Avenues, along 184 and 188 streets. They aren’t long, but they do feature some challenging pitches. I’d been up the 184 hill before, and expected the 188 hill to be tougher, so we did that one first. But the 184 pitch is definitely sharper. It was a fun grind. We did two of each, and totalled something just over 20 miles on the night.

119 miles, capped by H Street rollers

119 miles Garmin Connect – Details.

I suppose the longest ride of my life should include some of the strongest headwinds we’ve faced…

I was barely 40-miles into this thing, in Bellingham, and ready to pullout plan B and limp my way back to White Rock. But the lads would have none of it.

I thank them for it. Eric Amey, Mike Vipond and Andrew Brink – what a train. We rolled through the Tour de Whatcom route, or big chunks of it, and around a few gorgeous lakes. Before I knew it, we were at H Street with nothing but the rollers between me an the promised espresso milkshake.

That milkshake made the ride worth it… Check the data, we hit 27 miles an hour on some of the flats when that wind was behind us. Very nice…

I gotta admit, I pulled out a few of the marathon late-miles head fakes to get me through this one. Breaking the ride into 10-mile bites, promising myself a bite of a bar after my next leadout ended (and those were carefully timed, and mercifully short).

The lads are extremely strong and it takes much of my effort to stay with them, even getting pulled. So I’m going to adjust my mid-week training rides to build endurance, and then continue to adjust my pacing on the long rides to avoid going so deep into the tank. It may mean letting that strong train get away from me, but we’ll see how things progress. I don’t want to make hasty decisions after an extremely challenging ride.

It is, after all, training! And Seattle to Portland is just 48 sleeps…

Tuesday 22-miler out the valley Garmin Connect – Player.

Found this neat feature at Garmin Connect – a player that tracks the route and shows elevation and speed along the way.

Here’s my Thursday ride – another 22-miler to 216, with a variation on the hills and pace. I did 3 sets of 10-minute tempo, trying to keep my heart rate in Zone 4 (about 150+).

216 and a few hills Garmin Connect – Player.

I look forward to running this one after our 110-miler Sunday.