Author: Rich

El Tour de Phoenix 2008

Preparation:  Another year and another El Tour de Phoenix.  I almost didn’t do the ride. Six days prior to the ETP, I rode in a GABA sponsored event called “Around the Tanks.”  It was an exceedingly flat ride around the base of the White Tank Mountains, way west of Phoenix.  In scheduling that ride, I figured it either might be a good (flat and easy) tune-up for the ETP, or it might just serve as an end itself, a good solid spring ride to top off the season before the summer heat. That ride was held last Sunday.  After about

Continue reading

ETP 2007: Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned: Pre-hydration and good eating beforehand seemed to help alot. Use of sports drinks definitely helps with cramping. I could have used 3 bottles of Gatorade. I skipped all rest stops by carrying everything, although I was on the borderline with this. Saved lots of time. Consuming 2 Clif bars in this event is difficult – no need to bring more than 3. Regarding my plan, I underestimated my speed on the flats by around 5 mph, a big source of error. Some pre-knowledge of the course is pretty helpful, so you know where to conserve, where to push,

Continue reading

ETP 2007: Race Day

Up at 4:45am. Weighed myself at 172.2 lb. Breakfast of cinnamon shredded wheat and milk. Popped 2 Tylenols plus 2 of the Vantage tablets. They recommend 5 beforehand, but I stayed conservative, not knowing if it would agree with me. Grabbed an apple on the way out. Glad I only had to drive 4 miles to the start. I had originally planned to ride there, but then eventually realized it would still be dark! I brought 2 water bottles of medium strong Gatorade, my Camelbak filled with water, and 6 clif bars in my jersey pockets. At first, I considered

Continue reading

ETP 2007: The Day Before

Rest day. Stopped at Pat’s Cycle Shop in Mesa to pick up a tube repair kit, just in case. Talked to Don in there a long time about bicycle stuff. He said out-of-towners had been coming in all day buying stuff for the race. He lamented that a couple of loud Air Force guys from Colorado were bending his ear about how bad the roads are here in AZ, full of thorns and gravel. Was going to get some of those air cylinders, too, but the mechanic talked me out of it. Says my frame pump will do just as

Continue reading

ETP 2007: Two Days Before

Played golf in the morning (hit some dandy tee shots but couldn’t putt a thing). Rode 30 minutes after I got home, and I probably pushed too hard on the hills. Came back with leg fatigue – great! Picked up some pre-ride supplies at Basha’s, e.g. clif bars, gatorade. I know they’ll have stuff on the course, but I’m going to try to skip a few rest stops if I can.

Continue reading

ETP 2007: Three Days Before

Rest day. Wiped down my bike really well with orange cleaner, degreased and re-lubed the chain, and adjusted the brake cables and alignment a little bit, since the front tire was rubbing. I think the bike is good to go. Just for fun, I checked out the route map, and made this little table of expectations. I assumed a flat pace starting at 16.5 mph, sorta slowing throughout the ride, up steep hills around 8 or 9, and down them around 23. I then adjusted the numbers to approximate a finish at 5 hours, which is my goal for the

Continue reading

ETP 2007: Four Days Before

After learning that my friend Jack couldn’t ride in the El Tour, I decided, since the El Tour is a timed race, I’d occupy myself by establishing a personal time. Started out by reading my (mostly unread) copy of Joe Friel’s The Cyclist’s Training Bible, particularly in how to prep for an event, what to eat, etc. Learned some things about carb intake, electrolytes, etc. I read an interesting chapter on eurogenic dietary supplements, and ended up ordering some online. The one I got is called Vantage and it contains some vitamins (B6 and C), minerals, phosphates (Mg, K) that

Continue reading