It’s been a couple of weeks since I returned from my Divide tour and there’s still a bit of resetting going on, but for the most part I’m gaining energy and focus again.
My Whoop scores were not the greatest after I returned, so there were lots of e-bike rides to the studio( a great recovery tool if you live in a hilly area) and a slow return to strength training, which after a month catabolizing muscle is greatly needed.
I did feel well enough to pick up a last minute entry to Rose To Toads last weekend and head to Tahoe for 100 km on rugged singletrack trails at elevation.Heres a few takeaways I had-
- I targeted an optimum power number at my Carbmax using data from an INSCYD test completed just before the Divide ride. I was able to hold this normalized power for over 9 hours, although the terrain made it difficult with all of the muscular demands of technical climbing over rocks and the constant climbing and descending. I ate 90-100 grams an hour of CHO both in liquids and bars, with some chews and gels for variety. I never ran out of energy.
- I had 2.8 liters of fluid on the bike, a liter bottle of Maurten sports drink and 1.8 liters of water in a racing vest. With the aid stations spaced about 20 miles apart, I should have been fine. I also brought a water filter and used it towards the end of the ride at an awesome spring south of Freel Pass. I did a poor job of drinking enough early on, especially with a fast descent and cool temperatures at the start. I got to the first aid station with about 1.5 liters of fluid still on board. Not great and this would come back to bite me in the end.
- I did much emailing and chatting about tire choice and pressure beforehand. I ended up riding Maxxis DHF front and Aggressor rear at 24/25 psi. This was great on the descents although I got a nail in my rear tire on the Flume trail of all places, which was distracting. The sealant held and I just left the nail in there clattering away all day.
- I was concerned about cramping, so I brought two shots of pickle juice ( which was disgusting) and six electrolyte pills from Precision Hydration. I ended up cramping on the penultimate pass of the day( Freel Pass) and having to walk most of that climb. Any short rise and the cramping would return. This was a bummer as I really wanted to finish the entire route with one more climb and a hard technical descent, but I was seriously concerned the cramping would move into full body cramps on the descent which are agonizing. I am going to deeply address this limiter with a sweat sensor or patch analysis ( if you have used one of these systems I would love to hear about your experience) this fall. I lose about 61 oz or 1.8 L an hour during hard exercise ( it’s not uncommon for me to lose 6 lbs after a decent hilly 3-4 hour ride) and getting behind on this early really walloped me at the end.
- Descending Armstrong Pass, Armstrong Connector,and Corral Trail was wonderful. Fun, fairly flowy, and shaded. I cramped riding the 50 feet uphill to my car at the end so I think I made the right decision to bail.In the end I still rode 60.7 miles and climbed 7677 feet, so a nice day!
- I rode the Lily Lake trail on Monday before heading home. This short trail was completed by TAMBA a couple years ago and I have been wanting to ride it ever since. The rock work and use of the natural slick rock faces at the end were amazing and I’m glad I took the time, even on some somewhat tired legs!
Be well and ride bikes!