Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Maupin ho!

I conquered Maupin this weekend. I've been trying to contain the "bents cant climb" hysteria. Really, truly, last weekend's ride SHOULD have been plenty for me to go with on this - but I decided that I had to see for myself that I'd not be facing the Worst Case Scenario of recumbent self-pity - a cold start from a dead stop, heading up a steep hill that gets quite a bit steeper just before you get out of sight of the start line - and having to get off and walk the last 50 feet of it.

Long story short, I made it around the Maupin loop TWICE without even remotely approaching the Walk of Shame. The town was buzzin' with the rafting crowd, big buses and vans pulling trailers, etc - good reminder that these folks will also be out during the latter part of the race.

The weather was pleasantly hot (ok, it was hot) - another good reason for a race simulation - so I was able to make good use of the new race bag on my bike - it holds the water bottles where they're easy to get to.

Climbing speed was adequate. Not quite as fast as the Fuji, but overall I'd say not enough slower that repeated bike changes would work out as an advantage, at least over the distances I was climbing last weekend.

For those who must know - i.e. anyone who's signed up for Ring of Fire, you'll be gratified to know that we'll not have to suffer the indignity of a Race Across Oregon event without the benefit of fresh chipseal. Highway 216 (at least the eastbound portion) has all been freshly "sealed" - so no worries about excessive speed (okay, maybe in the corner before the guardrail...) - the road surface will absorb all that energy for you.

My out-there goal is 168 miles in 12 hours. That's a day loop, 2 short loops, and 4 "bonus" miles. That would be 14 mph, and about 13000' of climbing. Energy output estimate: 7200 kcal, or 600 kcal/hour. That compares to roughly 550 kcal/hour output during the 47:43 effort at Race Across Oregon this year.

The difference? I'll be ALL BENT, which is more efficient on level or downhill grades, so I'll not expend as many kcal/mile. And there ARE some level and downhill grades in Ring of Fire. Hopefully not all of them will have wicked headwinds - though I noted with amusement that during my trial I was riding into the wind for 20 of the 26 miles on the loop.

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