Category Archives: Racing

Race Across America 2015

I’m so excited to be racing the Race Across America this summer. I created a separate blog for all of my RAAM posts, and “Cycling Adventures” blog will remain idle until the race is over. Here is a link to the RAAM blog where I will be posting all things cycling since everything I’m doing at this point is in preparation for RAAM. Check it out here if you haven’t seen it already! - click to visit my RAAM blog

The Inaugural Birmingham Baker’s Dozen

Eddie Fryer and a host of volunteers put on an amazing event today as a fund-raiser for the Alabama NICA high school cycling league. I helped scout out the route with Mark Fisher, and it turned out to be pretty much perfect for this type of event. Below, I’ve linked to all the videos I got from bikecam along with a narrative of what I remember from the climb. Enjoy!

Before the videos, though, just a few quick stats from the Baker’s Dozen today:

Distance:   27.63 mi (2:36:18)
Energy:    1161.4 kJ
Cals Burn: 1110.3 kcal
Climbing:    4340 ft
Braking:   -576.5 kJ (-49.6%)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power       0  123.8   786  W
Aero        0   55.6  1437  W
Rolling     0   20.4    68  W
Gravity -1643    1.8   667  W
Speed     0.0   10.6  35.6  mi/h
Elev      358    633   873  ft
Slope   -24.9   0.06  29.5  %
Cadence     0   69.0   124  rpm
HR         75  132.4   180  bpm
NP:270W IF:0.90 TSS:211 VI:2.18

The most interesting stat to me is the difference between the average power (124W) and the normative power (270W) – a difference of 146 watts. Normally, the difference on my rides is on the order of 50 watts or so. This is nearly 3 times that amount!

Here are the numbered climbs, with 11 of the 13 of the climbs hitting 20% or higher, and four climbs hitting 25% or higher – although given the fact that I was racing through some of the steeper sections, the iBike accelerometer may not have had enough time to pick up some of the steep, short gradients.

List of climbs numbered on the data graph (click to enlarge).List of climbs numbered on the data graph (click to enlarge).

Climb 1 – Southcrest
Oops! I forgot to turn on my camera for the very first climb. Darrell O’Quinn had a radio to communicate with Eddie at the top of the climb, so when Darrell got the all clear, he said “go” and we took off fast. I clipped in quickly and proceeded to do what I always do in time trials – go out way too hard. Fortunately, I realized it pretty quickly and eased up again just until the first person behind me was about to catch me. Then I panicked a bit and hit it really hard again to stay just barely ahead of him the rest of the way up the climb. Justin Prior was the rider who caught up to me and so we finished 1st and 2nd on this climb. I’m not sure the rest of the order.

Climb 2 – Southhall
I kid you not, on the way back down after the first climb I was pretty much ready to be done and not sure how on earth I would survive 12 more of these efforts. Fortunately, I could tell within a few seconds of the start of this climb that everyone else had also gone way too hard on the first climb. Justin Prior hit out on the first attack and I was able barely to hold his wheel. Towards the top though I was able to come around and take 1st followed very closely by Justin. Here is the video:

Climb 3 – Trinity/Montclair
Fortunately, this climb was a mile or so away from the end of the previous one so we had a bit more recovery before the start of this climb. This one is an interesting one because of the steady increase in gradient all the way to the very top where it maxes out at about 22%. Also, an interesting factoid about this climb – I was born in the hospital on the climb 38 years ago! This one played out very similar to climb 2 except I couldn’t come around Justin at the top of this one. We were side-by-side and then he pulled ahead of me at the very end. I held on for second. Here is the video:

Climb 4 – JCC Water Tower
In my opinion, this ended up being the hardest climb of the day. It is the longest of all the climbs with the most vertical diff at almost 400 feet. But what made it the toughest today was the battle that played out on the last part of the climb, which is the steepest part approaching 25+%. Justin hit out first again setting a pretty brutal pace. But because there was a stiff headwind blowing down the mountain (unusual), it didn’t seem quite as hard as the other climbs had been. When we made the final bend to the super steep part, I came around Justin on the inside, while Omar came around him on the outside. Omar put a couple seconds into me just crushing it. But fortunately for me, that final steep section was just long enough for me to catch him at the top. I had to dig really, really, really, really, really deep though and for the second time I thought “that’s it, I’m done, how on earth am I going to be able to go hard on the rest of the climbs?”. I ended up first with Omar 2nd and Justin 3rd. Here is the video:

Click the link below to see the rest of the videos.

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