Monthly Archives: August 2012

Climbing comparisons and Rapha Rising goodies!

Prizes from the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race – big belt buckle and full zip jacket. Mt Massive is annotated in the background. (click to enlarge)

Prizes from the Rapha Rising climbing competition on Strava – circle of death jersey and rapha bib shorts. The Shades Crest ridge line is annotated in the background. (click to enlarge)

Close-up of the collar of the circle of death jersey … embroidered on it are the four climbs and their height in meters. Awesome! (click to enlarge)

Nothing like a trip somewhere else to make you see your own backyard in a whole new light. I recently returned from Leadville, Colorado and have been drawing comparisons between the climbing in the high mountains of Colorado vs the climbing in the really low mountains of Alabama. I came back to Alabama to find the prizes I won on the queen stage of the Rapha Rising competition (Read my ride report here – Rapha Rising Wednesday Mega-ride). I’ve been thinking about this topic for quite a while – so I’m going to let my annotated screenshots illustrate some conclusions I’ve reached from a quantitative perspective, but from a qualitative perspective I have to conclude that neither is better than the other. Climbing big mountains is just so radically different than climbing smaller hills that it really is like comparing apples to oranges. Fortunately for me, I like them both.

2012 Leadville heartrate data and wrap-up

Hear is my heartrate data from this year’s Leadville race (read my race report).

Heartrate summary – note the lack of any time at all in Zone 5
2012 Leadville Heartrate data (click to enlarge)

A few things to note about the heartrate data … first, there is no time at all in Zone 5! I think this is mainly because of the altitude because my legs were fresh. Also, I think I may have been a bit intimidated by the length of the race – thinking that I needed to be really conservative. Next year (hopefully), I’ll have at least a few minutes in Zone 5, and spend a lot more time in Zone 4 and less in Zone 3. I know I can crack the top 25 in this race!!!

Here is the annotated map showing where we made a wrong turn that ended up costing me an extra 1.9 miles (exactly) and 5’32”. Note that would have made my time 7hrs, 30minutes, and a couple seconds – which surely would have bumped me up a couple places. Note that the 1st and 2nd place female riders would have still probably beaten me. Sally Bigham was in my group that missed the turn whereas eventual winner Rebecca Rusch was farther back and did not miss the turn. No arrogance or offense intended, but wow those women are world class fast!

Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race – google map terrain view annotated

And here is our annotated road trip data:

  • Day 1 Wed – Hoover, AL to Wichita Falls, TX (795 miles)
    plus 43.9 mile ride in Hoover, AL
  • Day 2 Thu – Wichita Falls, TX to Salida, CO (593 miles)
    plus 30.0 mile ride from Raton, NM to Trinidad, CO
  • Day 3 Fri – Salida, CO to Leadville, CO to Silverthorne, CO (117 miles)
    plus 32.0 mile pre-ride of Leadville race course
  • Day 4 Sat – Silverthorne, CO to Leadville, CO to Silverthorne, CO (89 miles)
    plus 107.7 mile race
  • Day 5 Sun – Silverthorne, CO to Leadville, CO to Hoover, AL (1486 miles)
    plus 7.8 mile recovery ride on Leadville Mineral Trail
  • Day 6 Mon – Arrive back in Hoover around noon after driving all night

Grand total: over 3100 miles of driving!

Road trip map annotated for our drive to/from Leadville (click to enlarge)
24 hours of driving took us from Leadville all the way home to Hoover – almost 1500 miles in one day! (click to enlarge)