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View Full Version : Look who my wife spotted in Harrisonburg Va this weekend.



SteveTheTech
09-17-2012, 09:24 PM
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-9VhmS97RahA/UFfMluKMP5I/AAAAAAAAuLo/fv72kbpoZVQ/s867/IMG_0048.jpg
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-66glC8UcmDA/UFe6k9AFx1I/AAAAAAAAuCU/vLfozd9Ibeo/s989/IMG_0340.jpg

I was going through her images of the crowd before and after the Jeremiah Bishop Gran Fondo and I stumbled upon a local legend.

I'm pretty sure we were at the fourth rest stop at the same time but after that crap there is no appropriate way to exchange pleasantries.

I think there was a time when I was behind Tim Kelley going into the first dirt climb, where I proceeded to break my chain and bend my carrier within the first half mile of uphill work.

That was an awesome event though. I have many regrets about my training and equipment, but I'm glad I made that my first mountain Fondo, although I think the gravel might keep me from doing that one again.

How did the other members here who did the Fondo fair?

Here's me and my aluminum sled on her last century.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-pKDvK0yuRq4/UFfXhFX4J0I/AAAAAAAAuMI/iGpuuthnDGE/s988/IMG_0025.jpg

vvill
09-18-2012, 07:30 AM
It was a tough ride alright. Tim, Mark and culimerc had to drag me home after they waited for me at the top of Reddish Knob. I knew with the elevation it would be challenging but the off-road sections pushed it a bit beyond my abilities (I don't ride off-road much these days and I'm not the best technical rider/bike handler in the first place). I did have close to the right equipment (carbon fork, 34-28 low gear, sturdy 25s), but with the exposed rocks, gravel, etc on the dirt climbs/descents I just couldn't keep any momentum. Checked out mentally around 68-70 miles I'd say.

Dirt and skreaminquadz had amazing rides! I briefly caught up to Dirt at the first rest stop and I rode with skreaminquadz most of the way up the first dirt climb, and until the base of the Reddish climb. The first dirt climb was really tough but it was also a lot of fun - I counted 4 riders in front of me who fell over trying to mash up/over gravelly parts. I stopped twice to avoid hitting them, and so I could pick a different line. The paved part of the descent after that climb was really steep and a bit narrow I thought. I was riding the brakes the whole way.

I talked to a guy at the hotel I was staying at the next morning, and he'd asked Jeremiah about all the rocks, etc. after the event - apparently when that second dirt climb was first scouted out it was in much better condition, but heavy rain in August washed it out.

That said, I enjoyed the day immensely and couldn't fight the urge to go home via the C&O yesterday. Riding that on a road bike seems much easier now! My favourite part was probably the first major climb. Nice long steady paved climb with sunshine and beautiful views. Actually the scenery throughout the ride was great.

Dirt
09-18-2012, 07:30 AM
That kit is just adorable. :D The white compression tights really make the outfit. ;) Thanks for the photos.

That was a lot of fun! I finished better than I expected to. My back had been bothering me most of the week and it finally loosened up a little bit before the climb up Reddish. I ditched the whole group I was riding with on purpose (don't tell them I said that. I pretended to them like it was an accident) and rode the whole day solo.


Just kidding about the ditching part. Someone had a mechanical, I thought the group was ahead of me, so I hammered to catch up... turns out I was leaving them behind. Says a thing or two about my ride leading skillzeses.

The bike and wheels were right. I could have used one bigger cog for the first dirt road climb. My low gear was 39x25 and that wasn't quite low enough for me to keep the pedals turning over at a pace that I like. I made it up the climb well, but my feet were moving pretty slowly.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8302/7991574670_c39d6b0e3c_b.jpg
Mark and Tim shopping for used cars

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8448/7991568657_0fa251f7d1_b.jpg
Top of the second climb.

Great day on the bike. Can't wait for next year's ride.

Dirt

TwoWheelsDC
09-18-2012, 07:47 AM
Ooooh, this may be my big ride for 2013. I've got 12 months to prepare, so I better start now!

Tim Kelley
09-18-2012, 08:42 AM
Steve--you should have introduced yourself!

Here's my audio/visual take on the ride: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXX5dh7R6o8

While my moving time ended up being pretty good, my total elapsed time had a poor showing. A mechanical at mile 3 dropped me off the back of the pack and I just couldn't make contact with the big group again after that. I ended up riding with some wonderful people, but we took a little extra time at most rest stops and on some of the climbs.

I don't think that I've ever done a Category 1 climb before, and this one just happened to be on dirt and rocks. I wish I had better prepared by having a something larger on my cassette than a 25 and surprisingly it was my back that ended up being the most sore. More deadlifts in prep for next year and it'll be a much different story!

SteveTheTech
09-18-2012, 09:16 PM
I'm glad to see everyone here made it out of WV in one piece. I'm sure Dirt got some funny looks while riding over the those private roads in some of that really rural countryside.

It really was just some beautiful scenery and the opposite of that for road conditions.
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-r3qyY_O6yQM/UFjv9IuyniI/AAAAAAAAuNs/EikOenKY7fI/s908/IMAG0365.jpg
Top of the first KOM
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-1zx_YYcRnYM/UFjwNsYfJNI/AAAAAAAAuNs/mNtX7rXOhFA/s908/IMAG0367.jpg
Top of the dirt road...right past the cattle catcher
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-6kw01Ov6nns/UFjw1O-Nq2I/AAAAAAAAuNs/RunfkjijBmU/s908/IMAG0370.jpg
Bout 10 miles from the end, middle of Mennonite country.
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-YgAH2cOCO88/UFjxAd3ywqI/AAAAAAAAuNs/EpiUfIogt0E/s543/IMAG0372.jpg
The reason I signed up.

I had done some training with a 32-12 rear with an SLX but I did not really care for the way it shifted so I replaced it back to the OE 25-11...a move I later regretted. I would have taken a slow weak shifting 32 over a decent feeling 25. There was a point on the first KOM climb I was cranking it out and felt a bang from the rear I checked it out at the peak and didn't see anything and heard nothing else from it until the first dirt climb when I realized what I had actually done was begin breaking my chain, which did eventually let go. Carrying and extra power link and chain tool totally saved me out there. After fixing that it rode fairly well for the remainder of the day. There were many people out there without even a compact saddle bag...that is just brave. There were some points out there were I was totally alone...there is something I like about riding alone but there is always a backup plan to get help...out there that may not be the case. The drop off the side of the road was several hundred feet and there were no houses within sight. If you go over the edge or something bad happens you are as SOL as you could possibly ever be.

There was another point there I learned that it was indeed possible to stay upright at rpms as low as 30....28 though and it is all over. I recall at least two occasions when I said to myself...My wife was right...maybe I shouldn't have done this....maybe the medio was the way to go...I can't do this. I was reassure when I hit the time cut site and they said we were still an hour ahead of the cutoff time.

I know I will own the fact that I wore out my cleats walking parts of that ride. I had to give the hammies a rest for a moment. I wore them out despite having covers in my back pockets...I was having trouble standing on one leg.

Kudos to everyone who volunteered there, I left my First Endurance baggies, a $20, and my drivers license either at the second or third rest stop...they were returned well before I arrived, and my wife was a little worried to get a bag full of things that I had kept on me and she had not heard from me in hours. There were some of those

Now my next question...where do the rest of you all find areas around here to train for such long grinding climbs...training on the rollers in our area is nothing for a 3 or 4 mile climb.

I do not know that I will do that again (but I will most likely have to try again) but I'm planning on Mountains of Misery double next year.

skreaminquadz
09-19-2012, 07:27 AM
It was a great ride indeed. Like Tim, my back was surprisingly sore compared to the rest of my body.

Steve - were you walking down the dirt climb after breaking your chain? If so, I think Will and I saw you as we were climbing and you were walking down.

Tim Kelley
09-19-2012, 08:12 AM
Now my next question...where do the rest of you all find areas around here to train for such long grinding climbs...training on the rollers in our area is nothing for a 3 or 4 mile climb.



Since there isn't any long climbing in Arlington, doing intense repeats on some of the steeper hills would probably be best if you can't make it out to Shenandoah to train.

Here are Dirt's Top 3 Five Favorite Hills:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pedrogringo/sets/72157625204127690/with/5099618268/

Try sprinting up 41st street a few times--and make sure to get Kill Bill on your ride schedule too!

TwoWheelsDC
09-19-2012, 08:58 AM
Now my next question...where do the rest of you all find areas around here to train for such long grinding climbs...training on the rollers in our area is nothing for a 3 or 4 mile climb.



I'm not a master climber or anything, but Anacostia (well, EOTR, but most people just refer to that whole area as "Anacostia") has some pretty long climbs that you can make into some pretty fun loops. On weekend mornings, the traffic is light, the drivers tend to be much more tolerant of cyclists, and there are a surprising number of bike lanes and wide roads.

One good climb is Ridge Road SE, which is about 1.5 miles long and maybe 3% grade average. The middle of the climb is flat, but it's bookended by .5 mile climbs of about 7-10%. Not crazy or anything, but it's one of the longest uninterrupted climbs I can think of in the area, as there's maybe one stop sign on the entire stretch. It is also super wide, with very little traffic (just watch out for the seams in the concrete!)

Good Hope Road is another good one...it's about 1.2 miles long with about a 4% grade average, but it's deceiving because the beginning is very easy, but the last .5 miles it kicks up to almost 7%.

Again, nothing that'll kill your legs, but I find it's a great area to ride to get some longer, more moderate climbs that are harder to find in VA.

Here's a fun route I just did recently...looping through the hills, then over into Md to cross the Wilson Bridge...

http://connect.garmin.com/course/1791291

vvill
09-19-2012, 09:03 AM
I'm curious to know how many people attempted and completed the full loop. ~230 registered, ~180 finishers. Some registrants didn't start obviously (e.g. Joe D), and some switched to the medio route.


There were many people out there without even a compact saddle bag...that is just brave.

Brave, or just foolish. I had my usual stuff for punctures, a 2nd spare tube (although I lost it somewhere), a printed map of the course, and multitool though I didn't bring an extra chain link.

I only slapped on a front 25 a couple days before the event - I was toying with the idea of using my standard 23 (which I've never flatted on) - very glad I did that, although the raised profile of the particular tire (Panaracer RibMo) made me feel a bit less confident on the descents. I'd also put on a new 11-28 cassette and new chain a couple months earlier in preparation, and a new Gatorskin on the back a few weeks ago. I could've probably used a lock-out front shock though too :D


training on the rollers in our area is nothing for a 3 or 4 mile climb.

Agreed. And the dirt climbing is really different to anything I'm used to. On paved surfaces, if you get tired, you can mash a bit more or drop down to a lower gear and still go up, just slower. On dirt/gravel, you are constantly trying to make sure you have enough traction, and also avoid holes, sharp rocks, etc so there is no respite at all - you have to watch where you going much more closely, and you get much less momentum. If you stop it's harder to get on your bike and clip in again. I'm definitely more used to riding as a "rouleur" than a climber. My wrists and especially left elbow (never quite been the same since my crash last year) were as sore as my legs after the event. My legs actually weren't all that bad.


I recall at least two occasions when I said to myself...My wife was right...maybe I shouldn't have done this....maybe the medio was the way to go...I can't do this. I was reassure when I hit the time cut site and they said we were still an hour ahead of the cutoff time.

We hit the time cut offs with plenty of time to go but I knew I reached my physical limit around 68 miles - there were a few times later on the Reddish climb where my vision was getting "grainy" and a few times when I was riding solo later on when I was letting my eyelids close for a couple seconds at a time. I think I experienced my first true "suffering" experience on a bike on the last miles of that climb up Reddish. Looking down at your mileage progress is always a mistake when you're going 5mph! 68.1... 68.1... 68.1... 68.2...


I do not know that I will do that again (but I will most likely have to try again) but I'm planning on Mountains of Misery double next year.

Immediately after the ride I thought to myself I'll never try that one again, but now I think I could be persuaded, especially if there's the same great group of people to ride with. The scenery was indeed beautiful. But I'd like to be able to ride up something like Reddish or at least this segment (http://app.strava.com/segments/731021) a few times to train if I was going to ride it again. And I'd spend less time at the rest stops - I spent 1hr 20mins stopped during this ride - including 20 mins at the first rest stop alone.

I've thought about that Mountains of Misery double too (I think I mentioned it to Megabeth who replied something like how fun sounding a name for a ride it was - of course this was only a few hours after the Fondo.) I think after the Alpine Loop, Mountains of Misery would actually be easier even though it's longer and more feet in climbing - assuming it's paved.

SteveTheTech
09-19-2012, 10:01 AM
I think I had to walk to a flat clearing on the non drop off side of the climb to fix it. It took everything I had not to toss the bike over there. It was highly possible you passed me heading in the opposite direction. Did you happen to see the poor guy who snapped his rear derailuer clean off the back of what looked like a new Ridley?

Tim- I do something similar in the Belle Haven area of Alexandria I was hoping you guys were hiding a good 10+% grade over a mile climb. I'm thinking I will have to jump on the Kill Bill ride this go round.

I would have like to watch JB take to the dirt climb like a pro MTB rider would...as a recreational roadie that was well beyond my skill level. Totally bit off more than I should have.

SteveTheTech
09-19-2012, 10:41 AM
http://connect.garmin.com/course/1791291

I like that a lot. Any reason to do the WW is fine by me. That actually looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing.


I'm curious to know how many people attempted and completed the full loop. ~230 registered, ~180 finishers. Some registrants didn't start obviously (e.g. Joe D), and some switched to the medio route.

I wish I had at a few points there.


I only slapped on a front 25 a couple days before the event - I was toying with the idea of using my standard 23 (which I've never flatted on) - very glad I did that, although the raised profile of the particular tire (Panaracer RibMo) made me feel a bit less confident on the descents. I'd also put on a new 11-28 cassette and new chain a couple months earlier in preparation, and a new Gatorskin on the back a few weeks ago. I could've probably used a lock-out front shock though too :D

I was going back and forth between my beloved 4000s in 23s and my older set of Ultra races in 25. If I were to do that again I would seriously hunt down a set of 25c CX tires or go with the closest thing Continental makes. I saw several people struggling with Gatorskins, but Conti only makes CX tires as small as 32c so I might have to come up with a solution that involves customizing my roadie or winging it with some 25s.



Agreed. And the dirt climbing is really different to anything I'm used to. On paved surfaces, if you get tired, you can mash a bit more or drop down to a lower gear and still go up, just slower. On dirt/gravel, you are constantly trying to make sure you have enough traction, and also avoid holes, sharp rocks, etc so there is no respite at all - you have to watch where you going much more closely, and you get much less momentum. If you stop it's harder to get on your bike and clip in again. I'm definitely more used to riding as a "rouleur" than a climber. My wrists and especially left elbow (never quite been the same since my crash last year) were as sore as my legs after the event. My legs actually weren't all that bad.

My favorite part of that was standing up to give your legs a break...a mistake I made twice.
My legs are a little sore still but I think that may have had more to do with wine touring for several hours in the car the following day.



I think I experienced my first true "suffering" experience on a bike on the last miles of that climb up Reddish. Looking down at your mileage progress is always a mistake when you're going 5mph! 68.1... 68.1... 68.1... 68.2...

That sums it up perfectly.


I've thought about that Mountains of Misery double too (I think I mentioned it to Megabeth who replied something like how fun sounding a name for a ride it was - of course this was only a few hours after the Fondo.) I think after the Alpine Loop, Mountains of Misery would actually be easier even though it's longer and more feet in climbing - assuming it's paved.

I got an email from Mrs. Bishop this morning about a jersey question. I straightened it out, thanked her for all her hard work and said I would sign up now if there were to be a little less gravel. I would keep the first climb in gravel to skip Reddish, that is just overkill. IMO there is a difference between being difficult and being a poorly equipped.

I feel like the moutain climb at the end of MoM would be easier...not easy by any stretch just easier.
http://www.cyclingdoubleheader.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/mountains-of-misery-double-metric-elevation-profile-790x205.jpg

skreaminquadz
09-19-2012, 11:52 AM
Did you happen to see the poor guy who snapped his rear derailuer clean off the back of what looked like a new Ridley?

Okay - it was him I saw then and not you. Now I remember the walker did have a broken derailleur. Poor guy, that was a sweet Ridley.

Rod Smith
09-19-2012, 06:46 PM
Nice thread. Inspiring. You guys are hardcore. I don't know if I can ride a course as long and steep as that one but I'd like to try. Maybe next year. I like the gravel/dirt. Definitely makes the ride more appealing to me. I'm not saying those sections wouldn't be hard for me, but I'd like to try. I have very low gearing and 700x28 tires. Getting up the hills wouldn't be a problem, but making the time cuts probably would be tough...

SteveTheTech
09-20-2012, 03:49 PM
Nice thread. Inspiring. You guys are hardcore. I don't know if I can ride a course as long and steep as that one but I'd like to try. Maybe next year. I like the gravel/dirt. Definitely makes the ride more appealing to me. I'm not saying those sections wouldn't be hard for me, but I'd like to try. I have very low gearing and 700x28 tires. Getting up the hills wouldn't be a problem, but making the time cuts probably would be tough...

As the days pass by and my legs get back to normal I am thinking I just might be out there again next year. Although at the time I said I would never attempt that gravel mess again today I am thinking I might be.

Are you running 28cs on a road bike? If so what?

There were many people that were out there that I spoke with riding 32s and even as high as 36s with mtb derailuers. I was thinking it would be considered soft to do that but it is smart out there anything goes.

vvill
09-20-2012, 05:05 PM
My favorite part of that was standing up to give your legs a break...a mistake I made twice.

Yeah you definitely need to used to in-the-saddle climbing to get through those dirt stages.

I do think a bike with wider tire clearances would've been useful too. I made it okay on 25s but I was afraid of getting a puncture and riding conservatively on the dirt sections a lot of the time. A CX bike with 32-35s would've been nice I imagine.

Megabeth
09-20-2012, 06:40 PM
FYI...I can attest, the medio route (77 miles) is no joke. But, well worth it if you think you're not up to the full route.

The medio route is all paved. In fact, climbing Reddish Knob was like butter - a slow, slow, slow, steep butter incline. I had many conversations with little wooly worms running, and keeping pace, with me. But, I made it up the climbs without walking or stopping. Oh yeaaaah.

Dirt
09-20-2012, 06:53 PM
Yeah you definitely need to used to in-the-saddle climbing to get through those dirt stages.
That may be why y'all have sore backs. I definitely suggest mixing it up on long climbs like that just to give your muscles a break. When you're out of the saddle, roll your hips back over the saddle to keep the rear wheel weighted so the rear wheel holds traction. I used 4 different positions on the climbs and that really helped my back loosen up over the ride. Sitting with my hands on the hoods, sitting with my hands in the drops, standing with my hands on the hoods and standing with my hands in the drops. Each provides a different combination of the muscles that it uses... as well as different amounts of arms/shoulders/upper back that are drawn upon to move the bike forward.

Moving around was the only way I survived that ride. I went into it with a very sore back and when I came out, my back was arguably the only part of me that wasn't dogged.

There were enough miles of rolling, smooth pavement that I really wouldn't go any bigger than a 28mm tire for that ride. I did it on 35mm tires last year and that was too much.

Rod Smith
09-20-2012, 06:54 PM
As the days pass by and my legs get back to normal I am thinking I just might be out there again next year. Although at the time I said I would never attempt that gravel mess again today I am thinking I might be.

Are you running 28cs on a road bike? If so what?

There were many people that were out there that I spoke with riding 32s and even as high as 36s with mtb derailuers. I was thinking it would be considered soft to do that but it is smart out there anything goes.

No road bike. Are hybrids allowed? I have smooth tires, Schwalbe Durano on my sporty hybrid, Conti Gatorskins on my work horse.

vvill
09-21-2012, 08:32 AM
You can ride any bike you like. Saw a couple of guys on fatbikes, and a few MTBs.


That may be why y'all have sore backs. I definitely suggest mixing it up on long climbs like that just to give your muscles a break. When you're out of the saddle, roll your hips back over the saddle to keep the rear wheel weighted so the rear wheel holds traction. I used 4 different positions on the climbs

Yeah this is something I need more experience with - riding on dirt/unpaved sections for decent stretches of time. Although I didn't have a back issue myself, I did feel like I wished I had more variation in body position generally.

Same goes for tire width. With more experience I'd probably be fine with the 25-28 range but as it was I felt a little thin.