Wednesday, June 29, 2005

RAO Race Recap!

I think it actually took me longer to write the race recap then race RAO, but here it finally is. I will try and add some photos as time allows..

2005 Race Across Oregon

109 - Kenneth Philbrick (Solo Racer) - Rookie
Support Crew:
  • Ben Larson, Crew Chief
  • Cathey Philbrick , (Mom)
  • David Philbrick , (Dad)
  • Larry Philbrick , (Uncle)


I arrived at my parents place, on Wednesday. My plan was to spend three relaxing days getting prepared. But, between trips to Costco, gluing tubulars, and trying to be in bed each night by 9:00, the days were anything but relaxed. So much for all that reading I was going to do. On Friday, about 2:00 in the afternoon, Team Tartan, clad in our Sport Kilts and team tee shirts, rolled into the Portland Airport Holiday Inn parking lot. Over the next three hours, we completed the final bike and vehicle prep. At 5:00, crew Chief Ben and I went in to grab a quick pasta dinner at the Holliday Inn Restaurant; my last real solid food meal for the next 48 hrs. Then it was on to the rider meeting- I popped my sleeping pills. After the rider meeting George took Team Tartan aside for a little last minute words advice, “No Sympathy!”

Portland Airport Holiday Inn to Time Station 1 (Maupin)

At exactly 5:00 AM we were off. George Thomas (Race Promoter) led us out, the first 10 miles are completely neutral and no one is supposed to pass George. While we were chilling along Marine Drive, two time RAAM champion and previous RAO champion Allen Larson came up, and started to film us. I slid over, and was talking with Allen when I suddenly noticed, I’d inched my front wheel a cm or so ahead of George’s! Tapping my breaks softly, I slid back behind George and in the process earned some well-deserved ribbing.

Ten miles out, at the base of Buxton road, George yelled “Go!”; starting the race! Buxton deserves special mention not because it’s the end of the lead out, but because it is one of the steepest grades on the entire course! Everyone seemed to hit it quite hard, and I slid back a little. Drafting was legal till Troutdale, mile 18, so there was no way I was going to work any harder than I had to before then. I crested the hill near the back of the field grabbed a wheel and just chilled.

The Time Trial Starts

All the field hit Troutdale, mile 18, at about the same time to cheers and cries of enthusiasm from all our support crews. The RAO rules stipulate that Troutdale is the first spot where riders and their support crews can link up. From here on the time trial had officially started and it would be just my crew and I, with only 520.9 miles left to go. From Troutdale, the course intersects a highway and proceeds over a rolling but climbing through Sandy up MT. Hood. A little outside of Rhododendron the course starts to climb dramatically towards Government Camp.

Riding along the highway, I wasn’t very aware of my standing in the field. At Troutdale, I had seen my crew and hadn’t exchanged anything, but at this point I had consumed my entire bottle of sustained energy, and felt like it was time to eat again. We had planned to use Motorola radios to allow us to communicate more easily. Pedaling out towards Sandy, I repeatedly called out, “Gold Leader, to Red 5, come in Red 5”, but got nothing but silence. Other crews were doing exchanges, and still no Team Tartan. I grew concerned. I reached back to check the radio, and stupid me, it was off! Switching the radio on, I called out, and was soon greeted with a response from the crew. Bottles were exchanged and all was good. After the race we learned that other riders listened in to our radio communications and often heard them more clearly than Team Tartan!

I’d ridden with rider, 119 Wade Baker, at two cycling camps. Wade is a very strong rider and especially good at climbing. While at PAC Tour, in AZ I found I was faster on the flats and descents but on the climbs, at least in AZ, Wade caused me difficulty. Climbing up Hood I caught Wade! I had hoped to catch Wade, but it wasn’t supposed to happen this early in the race. My crew was even more alarmed than I, and I got repeated reminders to pace myself, questioning if I was riding within my limits. I radioed back that the heart rate looked good. Trusting in my pacing plan, and feeling good I pedaled on.

Like all racing pacing is critical. The general idea is to go as hard as possible, while not touching any reserves. If you blow your glycogen in the first 100 miles your toast. Part of training for ultra’s is training the body to recover and burn fat at higher then normal intensities. In any race especially time trials the adrenaline rush early on makes it all to easy to ride too hard to early. The first time I road the three day camp, George, offered this advice on pacing, “It’s a parade to Prineville, after that you will feel toast but go as hard as you can.” While it’s not quite a parade, the sentiment is certainly correct.

At Government Camp the course passes right by the turnoff to Timberline Lodge, riding by the turnoff was surreal. It was bizarre to think that if everything went well I would be back in this exact spot in a little over 30 hours.

The course zipped down then climbed back up passing Mount Hood Meadows. Passing from the western side of MT Hood to the eastern side the weather changed. On the western side, it had been a typical northwest morning; cool, overcast, not raining but damp. On the eastern side, the skies were clear, it was sunny, and even though it was still morning, things were starting to heat up.

HW 44 came quickly and after climbing over a series of challenging rollers, the course headed down towards Dufur. Flying off the mountain a tail wind kicked up, and I began to seriously motor towards Dufur. At one point, Ben my crew chief attempted to hand off a water bottle. But at 25 mph it just didn’t work and I knew that this rare tail wind was something to cherish and ride as long as it would hold; the hand off was put on hold. Right at the base of the decent, I caught rider 125, Kelly Hagger who was stopped on the side of the road.

Riding towards Tygh Valley the course goes on rolling over a few extended climbs, Kelly and I exchanged positions a few times. Right before the first exchange, Ben, said over the radio, “Don’t worry about it, your riding great, and there is a lot of race left.” Ben was right, we hadn’t even hit time station one yet! Kelly came by, not looking so good, said something about cramping. Then a few miles later, I passed him on the side of the road with his crew. The curving decent down into Maupin was a total blast! Maupin, had come out in force to support RAO! Balloons were flying.

Maupin, Time Station 1

120.7 miles, 7 hrs 9 min, average speed 16.88 mph, 4,128 Calories Consumed

Having ridden the RAO course three times at training camps, the next section of the course is the part I feared the most. The tricky part of the Maupin to Fossil leg is a series of difficult climbs, Bake Oven, Clarno, and Fossil, totaling around 8,000 ft in climbing. There isn’t a flat section to be had. To compound matters, many of the climbs are very deceiving, especially Bake Oven where the land rises at a constant rate, giving no context to the climb. This makes it even more difficult as it’s impossible to judge progress and road grade. If all this wasn’t enough Bake Oven was again going to live up to its name, there is absolutely zero shade on it and I was hitting it mid-day.

My plan for the Maupin to Fossil section was very simple, to ride my own race and just survive. Pacing off my heart rate monitor I started the climb up Bake Oven. Part way up Bake Oven I was joined again by my crew, who had stopped in Maupin to report in and purchase gas. About 2/3 the way up Bake Oven I started to see the crew vehicles for Saunders, and Ricky I was very surprised to be catching these riders at this point. Saunders, is from out east, and made a serious name for himself setting the Boston Montreal Boston 1200k course record. On the final day of the four-day camp I’d ridden with Ricky, whose background was in 24hr mountain biking. I had expected that if everything went very well I might see them late on day two. The crew inquired again and I did a mental check on my pacing, was I going to fast? Everything seemed fine, so I just continued on. Passing Rickey he asked as to the whereabouts of the nefarious Wade Baker, I said I hadn’t seen Wade since Hood, at that point Rickey wished me a good race. At the top of Bake Oven after track standing for yet another stop sign it was on to Shaniko. I was now riding in third place, and we hadn’t reached the second time station! The plan had been for me to be mid-field until at least Long Creek.

At Shaniko the crew stopped for gas and restrooms, I thought to myself that I too would like to stop for a bit, but the thought was quickly replaced by the thought of the up coming decent. After Shaniko, the course takes a short fairly twisty decent down into Antelope then from Antelope it begins climbing almost immediately up to the decent into Clarno. Over the last year my descending skills have improved , due in no small part to some coaching from a number of the masters riders on the Aurora Cycling Team. Dropping down the descents, I swear I could hear Don Perry an excellent master’s rider from the Aurora Team talking me down like a scene from Star Wars: counter steer, extend the outside leg, DON’T BREAK, and use the force.

I rocked off the Shaniko decent and though the city of Antelope well over the posted speed limit. I felt good, better actually than I had earlier in the day, and started the next climb, Clarno. Right before heading up the Clarno climb the course passes one of my favorite parts of the course, the “Clarno Unit” of the John Day Fossil bed national park. The Clarno unit consists of the reminats of a prehistoric pyroclastic flows from which fossilized plants and animals dating back to the ice ages are regularly unearthed.

After the Clarno climb comes the Fossil climb. The last epic climb for a while; thank goodness! On arriving at time station two, Fossil, the crew could now stop leap froging and begin to follow directly behind me. From Fossil the course levels out for a few miles then climbs over the very short but steep Butte Creek pass before descending down a long decent into Service Creek, the first stop on the three-day camp. I’ don’t think I’ve ever ridden a course with as many asymmetric climbs as RAO. Riding by Service Creek, I knew the pacing was paying off; I’d never passed Service Creek feeling quite so good!

Fossil, Time Station Two

190.8 miles, 11 hrs 47 min, average speed 16.19 mph, 6,160 Calories consumed

At this point I set a personal goal to try and get as close as I could to Long Creek before sundown, so up the valley I raced towards a town and climb called Monument. A few miles outside of Monument, I caught Tom. I’d ridden with Tom on the three-day training camp. From what I’d seen there I knew Tom was a strong rider with a lot of determination. Like everyone else racing RAO, RAO wasn’t Tom’s first big endeavor, Tom is currently one of the record holders for the very challenging Seattle to Spokane (S2S) bicycle race. Yet again, I was catching a rider much earlier then expected. I momentarily held off passing Tom till, the road dipped down. Then I road up and passed. Tom said, “Have a good race”. The Team Tartan pace van came around and on we went from 3rd to 2nd place. Head winds began to kick up, it was now officially nighttime, so I was running with lights.

Tom upped his pace. Climbing Monument I would open a gap, Tom would close it, I would open another gap. This went on over and over again up the climb. By the time I reached the summit of Monument, it was very dark. The evening was overcast and on top of that there was no moon, making a dark night even darker. For the rest of the night my riding would be illuminated via lights from the van. From the crest of the Monument climb the course descends down to Long Creek. The decent is short, but was the first we were to take in darkness. Descending in the dark even with a van lighting the way is not easy. It was easy to see the general course of the road but it was quite difficult to see any details on the actual road, rocks, cracks etc. In a car, a slight crack in the road is inconsequential, but on a bike, with small sew up tires, cracks are a totally different animal. Dropping down, towards Long Creek I hit speeds in the low 40’s with my crew doing their best to illuminate the road ahead.

Long Creek, Time Station 3

270.2 miles, 16 hrs 27 min, average speed 16.43 mph, 8,270 kCal consumed

At Long Creek, we took a very quick break. After riding all day, my jersey had become soaked with sweat. The crew ripped it off, threw on a dry jersey, a vest, and some gloves. They checked in, and we were off. The crew all said they thought we might see Tom again at Long Creek, but we were back on the road before his team showed. Climbing up the next hill, to the 2nd highest summit on the course, we were passed by a 2-man team positioning a rider for an exchange. Then, I road by another vehicle off on the side of the road. At the time we thought this was another team; we later learned it was Graham. Over the top of the unnamed but second highest summit on the course I descended again.

Descending with the van, was truly the one part of RAO I really didn’t like. Thankfully there were only a few major descents. If I had been touring, I would have taken them much more cautiously, but RAO was a race so I took them all out as fast as I could. The temperature quickly began to drop, and at the base of the 2nd decent, we briefly stopped. The crew yanked my shoes off and threw on tights and put the shoes back on. While we were doing this transition, Ben my crew chief saw out of the corner of his eye, a solo rider pass us, it was Graham! We had been momentarily in first place!

No sooner were we back on the road than I caught Graham. Now I was in first place, I felt great! At camp the decent from Fox, to Mount Vernon seems to take awhile but in the actual race with the van hot on my heels, it felt like no sooner had I started the decent then I was at Mount Vernon. At camp the next section of road is one of my favorite sections. It’s relatively flat and fast with gorgeous mountains running along one side of the road. But at night, the next section was a totally different beast. I couldn’t tell where I was, and with a constant head wind the miles seemed to just drag on and on and on. On reaching Dayville, mile 321.6, I quickly stopped when it started to rain to throw on more clothes. At this point the second 2-man team passed me. From Dayville the course goes through a magnificent Gourge before heading up Key’s Creek climb.

I had dreaded Key’s Creek climb, at camp it always feels long and tough, but after 19 or so hours in the saddle the climb was definitely not easy, but also not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. With lots of coaching from my crew, I spun over the top. At the top of Key’s creek, it was time for the final and hairiest nighttime decent down past Mitchell to the base of the climb up Ochoco. By this point I’d gotten fairly used to riding with the van.

Starting up Ochoco, I was passed by two four-man teams. The sun crested the mountains just as I reached the summit of Ochoco, right at the top there were a number of 4-man teams preparing transitions. The 4 man recumbent team looked incredibly lethal, with an aero-shelled recumbent on the back of a trailer. I’d heard numerous stories about people taking lots of time on the top of Ochaco, so instead of stopping to put on some warmer clothing, I just pointed the bike down the mountain; Prineville here I come!

The decent off Ochaco was very cold, and in hind sight I should have stopped at the top to put on warmer clothes. I didn’t feel like I was going anywhere quick. About an hour after the sun came up, I began to feel very tired. We stopped briefly part way down, the crew threw warmer clothes on me and I downed some caffeinated Hammer Gel. I still felt very tired, but the Gel did definitely help.

Prineville, Time Station 4

406.4 miles, 25 hrs 41 min, average speed 15.82 mph, 12,595 Calories consumed

On hitting Prineville, mile 406.4, I knew I was in the lead, but I had no idea by how much. The crew phoned in from the van via cell phone, and with a little luck the stoplights were all green and we rolled right through the city. The next section of the course was a short jaunt from Prineville up to O’Neal and from O’Neal up to Terrebonne. I wouldn’t be too surprised if you haven’t ever heard of O’Neal, Oregon. O’Neal, consists of one house, and it is for sale. This section of the course was a difficult one for me, my back was beginning to hurt, there was a head wind, and I was still “waking up” to my next day on the bike. A little outside of Terrebonne, we passed “Smith Rock”, a serious climber’s destination.

At Terrebonne, mile 426.8, I track stood for another stop sign, and then turned right to head up the highway toward Madras. Night riding protocol had ended at 7:00 AM, and I was no longer required to be tailed by the van as I progressed down the course. The crew took a brief pit stop, used the facilities, and bought gas.

No sooner had I lost my crew, than out of nowhere George and Terri, race promoters, showed up in an official van! Still riding totally blind to my lead, and I had been assuming the worst, a 3-minute lead, I inquired as to where I stood. George shouted out that I was doing great, killing the field, and was a little over an hour up. On learning that, something happened, I suddenly felt great! Sure I was a little tired, but other than that I felt absolutely fantastic! My back no longer hurt, and I got down into the aero bars and did ~30 mph up the highway. The wind at this point was cutting quite strongly right across the highway at a 90o angle. George and Terri continued following me, until my crew caught back up.

I learned after the race that inside the van I gave my parents, who thought they had somehow lost me, a very real scare over this section of the course. The last time they had seen me, I had been doing ok, but not great, they had expected to catch me not far out of Terrebonne. Well, while they had stopped I’d opened up a sizeable gap and they eventually wondered if they had passed me, for surely there was no way I could be that far down the road. Thankfully crew chief Ben knew they hadn’t passed me and just kept urging the van on.

I zipped through Madras, mile 445.9, with no incident, and then a few miles outside of Madras, turned into the now ever increasing wind to descend down into the Warm Springs Indian reservation. This should be a very fast decent, but even with pedaling the best I could do was something in the mid 20’s. In the three previous times I’ve been on the course I’ve just dropped like a rock down this decent. The canyon floor in the Warm Springs reservation did offered a little shelter from the wind.

The Warm Springs Indian Reservation, mile 460.6, is a small version of the Grand Canyon, fairly easy to get into but a total pain in the ass to get out. Climbing out of the Indian reservation basically consists of doing three climbs, the first one’s steep and short, the second feels like you might just make it all the way out of the canyon but then at the apex very unfortunately falls back down to the bottom instead of climbing out, and only then does the course turn back up and truly climb out one final time.

If the climbs, wind, and zero shade, weren’t enough the Warm Springs reservation offers one more extra twist to the RAO course, its open range, and there are packs of wild dogs. Ben and I had made mental notes to all the places we previously had bad encounters with dogs; the first one was on the first short kicker of a climb. It’s nice to know that some things remain the same ride to ride; sure enough the dogs were back. But this time, unlike the previous times, I had a vehicle as an ally. No sooner had the dogs seen me than my crew pulled up along side me to hide me from the canines. Confused as to where I went the dogs paused; encounter adverted. Mysteriously the rest of the course was relatively canine free. Had the recumbents taken them out?

Flash forward to the final climb out of the reservation. This climb is never fast, but on race day, it was horrible. The climb is steep and a total pain in the ass in its own right. But the wind, which had previously hampered progress just, poured down the climb like an invisible avalanche. I shifted down, and pedaled up with all the power I could muster doing 5 mph. It was the slowest I would go at any point on the entire course. At the top of the climb, the course leveled out slightly but just continued on straight into the wind.

Eventually, I hit Wapinita, mile 498. I think it was somewhere around Wapinita that I first started to feel the beginnings of a respiratory infection.from Wapinita the course turned right heading six miles to Pine Grove before starting the final ascent up Hood. These final flat miles were anything but easy, the relentless head wind pushed back relentlessly. Finally on hitting Pine Grove, the road turned up and I started climbing Hood, thankfully the mountain was finally offering some protection from the wind. At this point my respiratory infection had started to grow, climbing the base of Hood I felt like I was hyperventilating. I tried to control, my breathing, but it had little effect.

Mentally, I was climbing Hood in three stages, during this stage, all I thought about was getting to HWY 26. Climbing up, the miles seemed to go by so slowly, and then when I was maybe 2/3 the way up to HWY 26 a four-man team drove by to station a rider! I road by the exchange point, then a few minutes later, I was passed again by the team and their car to stage their next rider. This leap frogging continued almost all the way to HWY 26, I was riding just fast enough to stay ahead of the team. About 2 or 3 miles from HWY 26, I was finally passed by a rider.
On hitting HWY 26, my legs felt good, but my breathing had gotten progressively worse. I have little memory for these final miles up HWY 26. HWY 26, is hardly a bicycle friendly road. It is a major traffic corridor with a steady stream of fast moving cars and trailers crossing the Cascades, but, thankfully unlike during the three-day camp it was only sprinkling and not pouring rain. Two climbs, and two descents later, I reached time station 5. At time station 5, my crew darted in to check in.

Time Station 5

528.9 miles 34 hrs 4 min, average speed 15.53 mph, 15,835 Calories consumed

I learned after the race that my crew had a minor melt down at time station 5. My Mom, who had been a real trooper through the entire race, with all the traffic and bad shoulder on HWY 26, was very concerned about my safety and didn’t want to leave me to stop and check in. The rest of the crew prevailed, and quickly pulled in to report. In the mean time, some other van associated with the race, pulled out and stayed on my rear with its caution lights blinking. I have no memory of any of this, but my crew was extremely appreciative and said the mystery van stayed with me till they returned. My parents still tear when thinking about this section and the special help from the other van..

Right before starting up Timberline I coughed. It was a horrible cough; it felt like I’d ripped part of my abdomen.

At the base of Timberline, I knew it was going to take about an hour to summit! It’s amazing how impossible a measly hour can feel. Like all great climbs, Timberline has mileage markers at each mile, starting with 6 at the base and finishing at 0 at the summit. For better or worse, you always know exactly where you are. The first two miles seemed to go by rather quickly. But then the pain set in and the miles dragged on. I was convinced; I was going so slow, I could be caught. Allen Larson and his wife, drove up, and for the last few miles of the race, Allen sat in the back of his van, filming and coaching me up the climb. Allen, kept telling me there was no way I could get caught, but somehow I didn’t believe him. I was going so slow, and felt so awful, I kept looking over my shoulder expecting to see some one chasing me down. In the last few miles it started to snow. About a mile out the course doubles back on itself, allowing me to look back and see no one! At the summit, 6,000 ft, my chest and lungs hurt so much, I could barely turn the pedals. I had made it! I free wheeled across the finish line.

At the end, for all my concern, it turned out that no one was close. After the first two time stations, I held the highest average speed of all the riders and was putting time on the field even climbing Timberline. It took me 35 hrs 23 min 23 seconds to complete the 538.9 mile course. Over the entire course, I stopped or was off the bike for a total of 25 min. Two days after the race, I learned I had the course record, besting the prior time by 1 minute, 40 seconds! As the first solo rookie, non-RAAM qualified rider to finish, the RAAM qualifying window was set at 115% of my finishing time. Others to qualify at RAO for RAAM would have to finish within a little over five hours of my time. Tom Jacobson was the only other “rookie” who finished within this window and qualified.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Less then 2 weeks till Fireweed!

All right, it’s hard to believe but there is less the two weeks left till Ben, my parents, and I head to Alaska for the Fireweed 400! Since RAO, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been racing my body trying to recover and get prepared for Fireweed. The first week end I did some intensity but no huge miles, then last weekend I did the third NWTTS time trial, so this weekend it was time to get out and turn the cranks a little. On Saturday, I road out to Maple Valley, did a little cyclo-cross through a construction sight and finished the ride going around the north end of the lake, total miles 94, average speed 18.4. Then yesterday I went out and road around the north end of the lake and then out to carnation via Woodenvill, from Carnation out to Snoqualmie falls and then back via may valley and around the south end. Total miles, 107, average speed 19.4. Any concern I had about fitness for fireweed is all but melted away. Total weekend miles: 201

This weekend was a huge weekend for Ben, who flew down to Santa Rosa to lay some serious smack down tartan style at the Terrible Two. For those of you who haven’t yet experienced the Terrible Two, you must at least once. The Terrible Two, is EPIC, it starts in Santa Rosa, then climbs over to Napa Valley, then Calistoga, then out to the cost and back to Santa Rosa. All and all, the Terrible Two climbs roughly 16,000ft in 200 miles, many of the climbs are well over 12%, and it can be hot too, temperatures well over 100oF are all to common. Ben’s weekend miles, 211! Yeah, I’m the wimpy rider this weekend.

Ben had originally planned to taper into T2, but with its proximity to Fireweed his strategy changed, and T2 became a training race instead of a targeted race. On Sunday Ben called in to report back. And from what I heard given his total lack of tapering, he laid some serious smack down finishing in the top 30!

BTW, Stay tuned for the Team Tartan RAO race write up! Its on its way and should be posted any day now..

It’s Tartan Time!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

3rd Race in the Northwest Time Trial Series.

First off I want to say that I’m still working my tail off to write up my win at RAO two weeks ago. With 538.9 miles of pure racing the write-up is taking awhile to piece together. Anyway stay tuned it should be out some time this next week.

But until then, I thought I’d fill you all in on the 30K TT I did yesterday.

June, 18th, 3rd Race in the Northwest Time Trial Series.
The secret location of this months TT, The Dalles (should be pronounced like “The Bears” from SNL). Anyway back to the TT. With a 10:20ish start, I’d driven out to the day before and was at the course well rested a few hours before the start. I keep fine tuning what exactly I’ll eat before a morning TT, I find I really can’t eat much. Today’s breakfast 3 hrs before my start, triple non-fat late, 2 bananas, 1 yogurt, and 1 Odwalla super food drink. In hind sight I would skip the yogurt next time.

The weather was great; I made some slight adjustments to the bike, pumped the zipps up to 160 psi, and set out to preview the course sucking down some Cytomax. I was going to be the last 4/5 rider to go and the promoters had given me race number “01”, was this by chance, or was this a omen of things to come. Ten min before my start I did a red bull, drenched my head with water, and went over to the line and did some stretching.

We were doing 30 second starts. On the starting line, the promoter, George, said clip in, I went to do so, and threw my chain on the line. George said, “Keep it cool, you got time”. I remounted the chain, what a crappy way to loose a few seconds, was on the bike clipped in, George held me, 5, 4, 3, 2 GO! George yelled “Haggis at the finish”! And I was off!

Off the line my heart rate didn’t quite spike up like it has in the past, I think it was the good warm up I done. I settled down and started the groove. I caught, the first two riders at the 1 km mark, then the next two a little after that, and so on. I found that I could cruse quite comfortably with my heart rate in the high 170’s, 177 etc.. But when I hit 180bmp I would go quite anaerobic and just die. It was weird, it wasn’t quite the depth of pain that I’d ridden to in past TT’s, the tachometer on my motor was just topping out at 180. Anyway, back to the race. The course rolled over a series of climbs for the first 10 miles, then climbed up a steep clicker at mile 12, before plummeting back down and to a creek bed, and rolling in to the finish a few miles later. Unlike past TT venues which follow an out and back course, this one was a loop. I caught the next rider up, and the one after that. I think I ended up catching most if not all of the 4/5 field.

Anyway, final results, I snagged the top spot in the 4/5’s by 1 min, 31 seconds, with a time of 48 min 7 seconds..

Its Tartan Time!


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Friday, June 17, 2005

Cycling is on the Sports Page!

The Statesman Journal, the local Salem Oregon newspaper, just published a article on my win at RAO. My dad says we even scored photo space.. Way Cool! Here is a link to the online version:

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Happy Birthday!

It’s my birthday today! My racing age and real age just collided - 27. This week I've been spending a few hours a night on the rollers, trying to spin some life back into my legs. This Friday, I'm going to be heading back down to Oregon, the plan is to do the June NWTTS, race on Saturday, go to a friends wedding reception, and be back in Seattle to do a training ride with Ben on Sunday.

Ben's form is looking really good and next weekend (25th) he’s going down to lay some serious tartan smack down at the Terrible Two.

Then it’s Fireweed. And some one keeps whispering something in my ear about a cool 24hr race. Not sure if the legs will still be alive. But hey! Its summer time! Watch out I might actually get some JMC points after all.

Its Tartan Time!

Monday, June 13, 2005


I’m still working on the big post RAO update. But until then I’ll fill you all in on the last week. I got quite sick with a respiratory infection at the end of RAO and it wasn’t till Wednesday last week that I was back on my feet and back on the bike this weekend. I definitely still am not 100% back, but each day definitely feels better.

On Saturday, I road maybe 14 miles, not much but it was the first time I was back on the bike since RAO. It felt good to get out and toodle around the town. Then that evening, call me crazy but the annual Ballard crit was going down a block away from where I live. And I couldn’t help myself, I had to enter. I lasted ~11 minutes, before I had had enough, my heart rate got a little high and I started to feel less then hot. For still being ill, I think I put up a very respectable fight, closing down gaps at 30 mph, and cornering with the best of em..

On Sunday, I got back into the swing of things for some more normal training, logging ~60+ miles.

Upcoming adventures:

  • Crew Chief Ben is just about to head down to Santa Rosa to race the Terrible Two.
  • I think I’ll do the June NWTTS, more as a fun race then anything else..
  • Then in July Ben and I are heading up north to race the two man at the FIREWEED 400!

    It’s Tartan Time

Friday, June 10, 2005

Newspaper Coverage: Keizertimes

My parents live in the community of Keizer, Oregon and the local paper provided some post race coverage.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

We Won!

Hi RAO Sports Fans! Well, this last weekend I had the race of my life at RAO, riding 538.9 miles in 35 hrs, 23 min 23 seconds and snagging first place in the solo men's field by a little over 3 hrs, with only around 25 minutes of off the bike time. In short team tartan was outstanding! There is no way, I could have done any nearly as well if it hadn't been for the fantastic support from my crew, Ben Larson (crew chief), Mom, Dad, and Uncle Larry. The crew anticipated my every need and was always right where I needed them when I needed them.

I've posted some digi-photo's my Dad shot at the race to:

I hope to get more photo's posted too as they turn up.

Expect a fuller race write-up later this week, and until then!


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