On October 11th and 12th I rode the MS100 "Bay to Bay" tour with Team NetApp! The team was comprised of people with a link to NetApp from Keith Davenport, NetApp Vice President Systems Engineering to Joe Manisco, Robert Ehlbeck's "Big Brother" to David Rhodes, a NetApp customer. Our nine person team did a great job with fundraising, raising $5,731 prior to the ride with more donations still coming in! Itís not too late if you want to give us a donation, just click on the Team NetApp link! Top fundraising honors went to Joe Manisco who qualified for an MS "Bronze Top Fundraiser" jersey by raising over $2,000! We also had some personal records on this ride! David Rhodes was our only teammate to complete the 150 mile route, riding 107 miles on Saturday (his first century length ride!) and 43 miles on Sunday. Keith also set a personal distance record with the 58 mile route on Saturday. But most impressive to me was Russell Balzan who's longest ride prior to this event was 20 miles. He just about tripled that distance by finishing Saturday's 58 mile route! Great job to all!
A quick side note before I get into the ride report.. I recently "upgraded" to on-bike navigation with a Garmin Edge 705 computer. I've been using it for a few weeks of training, but this was my first "event" ride with the 705. I was able to get a copy of the route details spreadsheet and used Garmin's MapSource software to create routes to transfer to the 705. For some reason on each day the MapSource software created two routes instead of one complete route. I'll have to figure out how to merge routes or modify a route to correct that issue. The spreadsheet also showed that we would be routed onto bike paths (not listed in the Garmin mapping software) so I had to guess on appropriate roads in those spots. The 705 worked pretty good overall. It was REALLY nice seeing how far it was to the next turn. I only have a couple complaints about it. First, the device shuts itself off when a route completes. Since each day was broken into two routes I had to watch for the end of the route so I could turn it back on. The first time it shut off was pretty confusing. "What the..?!? My Garmin just shut itself off!!" My bigger complaint is that I can't seem to transfer the rides to the Garmin Connect website, MotionedBased website or the Garmin Training Center software on my computer. I have an email to Garmin Support about that... But several of my teammates had other Garmin models (Forerunner 305 and 405s), so here's a link to Saturday and a link to Sunday from one of their devices. Put the map in motion to see exactly where we rode. That's just too cool!
David Rhodes left at 7am for the Century Challenge. The rest of us planned to meet at 9am and leave at the 9:30am start time for a nice social paced 58 mile ride. We were waiting for Dave Hempy when someone came up and said it was "last call" to start ... but it was only 8:30! So much for official starting times... Apparently everyone else had already left so they started taking down the start barriers! Dave got there about 8:40 and we headed to the start line. But just as we got to the line, there was a loud hiss and Russell's rear tire went flat. We waited a bit while he had the guys at the bike tent fix it. Luckily that was his only flat of the day! We got off the start right around 8:50. It was a pretty nice day overall --sunny with a really nice tail wind. We stayed together for the first 10 miles or so riding at a nice warm up pace then got split up a bit by lights, but we regrouped at the rest stops. We stopped briefly at the first rest stop at mile 12, but the lines were pretty long, so we continued on. Most of this ride was within view of the Pacific Ocean, often riding right along the coast (check out those Garmin links!). I can't think of a ride I've done that has been more scenic. The tail wind we had at the beginning just got stronger as the day progressed. It wasnít long before it felt like I had no chain and started really enjoying the ride!
About 25 miles into the ride we were supposed to "stay to the right" and pass under a bridge. Several of us missed that turn. My 705 started telling me to make a U-Turn and I noticed we were on the start of the Pacific Coast Freeway! Crap! So we rode down an on-ramp, went up the street to the next light for a u-turn and got back on track! Shortly after that mishap, we were routed through a neighborhood and the route sheet said to follow the bike route signs. We turned up one hill and found a mass of 20 or so cyclist milling around because the road ended at a "T" intersection with no arrow pointing which way the bike route went. I looked at my trusty Garmin 705 and it said to make a left turn, so that's what I did. I didn't notice, but Robert said the entire group followed my lead and we were back onto the official route after a couple 705 guided turns! It's pretty nice having on-bike navigation! We got to the lunch stop with no other issues. For lunch I went with the blackened fish burrito with some salsa. It was really tasty!
Keith and Dave H. got a bit of a head start from the lunch stop, but the rest of us weren't too far behind them. We got onto a bike path that looked like it was an old road. Having no cars to worry about made for some really nice riding! Robert and Joe decided they wanted to exercise their legs and took off. I rode with Kim and Russell for a while, but started to get that need for speed myself and picked up my pace. With that tail wind, I was riding 26-27 mph maintaining around 260 watts, what a great ride! I called out "on your left" as I approached and passed people. I noticed a couple NetApp jerseys in front of me and thought it would be Robert and Joe, but it was Keith and Dave, so I kept my pace up, called "on your left!" and flew by. Apparently Robert and Joe did the same thing and I got a couple "Hey!" responses as they realized it was another NetApp teammate going by.
We re-grouped at the rest stop before going into Camp Pendleton, but
didn't stay together too much after leaving that stop and going through
the US Marine Base. I think Joe Manisco was on my wheel going up
one hill, but he dropped off when I got a bit frisky and took my power
to 700 watts for a fast climb up the hill! Just as we were leaving
the base Annette called to check our progress, so I stopped to talk to
her. Everyone went by before I got going again. When I
caught up to Russell he was feeling the effects of 50+ miles in the
saddle, so I rode with him to provide some encouragement and morale
support. He's got great determination and willed himself to the
finish even though he was suffering from quite a bit of neck and back
pain. If you set your mind to it, you really can accomplish great
things! Watching him do that was just awesome!
Watching him do that was just awesome!
Annette (my wife), Danielle, Jacob (my kids), Tyler and Alexis (Robert and Kim's kids) were waiting at the finish to cheer us on. After we dropped our bikes in the overnight bike cage, Robert called David R. and found out he was 11 miles from the finish. We didn't know his course, but the 100 mile option includes a 40 mile out and back past the finish. The last 20 miles he had to come back into a really strong headwind, so it took a bit longer than we expected! Dave H., Joe and Keith were all local, so they headed home. The kids didn't have lunch yet, so Annette took them over over to an Olive Garden across the street. David did fantastic and looked great coming across the line! We put his bike in the overnight bike cage and went across the street to join Annette and the kids for some all-you-can-eat pasta!
Russell's back was still giving him problems, so he decided not to risk aggravating it any more. So he solved a logistics problem instead by driving Kim, Robert, Dave and myself to the start line then shuttling Robert's van to the finish (Thanks Russell!). Our plan for day 2 was to leave at 7:30, but we wound up leaving around 7:15 or so. This time David R. rode with us and he was looking forward to challenging me up the "dreaded" Torrey Pines Hill (a 2 mile climb at around 6-8% grade). The first part of the course was pretty flat, but we didn't have the tail wind we had on Saturday. The course followed the coast line again, so we had more great scenery. At one point Robert had an issue with his chain falling off the right side (by the crank arm). He's had that happen a couple times. Lucky for me, it happened close to a beachfront restroom, so I took a break myself. We kept a pretty quick pace for the first 20 miles, then hit THE HILL.
Ok, so it wasn't as bad as people made it out to be. A bit harder than Usery Pass in terms of grade. I started the hill a bit harder than I should have and had to back off. As soon as I did David R. went around and I jumped on his wheel. We were riding about 10 mph, which is pretty good for that grade. About 3/4s up, he put the screws on and increased his pace to a whopping 12 mph! It was enough to make me crack. I didn't have the running Phil Liggett/Paul Sherwin commentary I've had in the past probably because I was near the top, just one "I do believe he's cracked!" before I dropped off. There was a guy using a speaker at the top to announce people as they reached the summit and I got "There's another NetApp rider!" David and I waited for the rest of the team to get to the top. Dave H. was the next one up, but he didn't stop and we wouldn't see him again until the finish.
Someone said the rest of the ride was flat, but there were still quite a few hills, including a 14% climb and one descent with some pretty knarly cobblestone. But the view next to that cobblestone section was fantastic, so I stopped and waited for the rest of the team so we could get a group photo. We split up again after the picture, but slowly regrouped as we headed through stoplights and completely regrouped at the last rest stop. We rode most of the rest of the way together. There was a stiff headwind along the final stretch, but we were going at a pretty easy pace and enjoyed the finish where Annette and the kids were their cheering for Team NetApp! NetApp's tagline is "Go Further, Faster" and as a team, we did just that!
The Multiple Sclerosis Society has yet to
disappoint me with their logistics and support. Once again, they
did a superior job of ride support and we plan to have Team NetApp out
again for this ride next year, hopefully with a larger team and more a
full team kit (jersey, shorts, socks maybe even arm warmers)! We
plan to be hard to miss! :-)
Multiple Sclerosis Society has yet to disappoint me with their logistics and support. Once again, they did a superior job of ride support and we plan to have Team NetApp out again for this ride next year, hopefully with a larger team and more a full team kit (jersey, shorts, socks maybe even arm warmers)! We plan to be hard to miss! :-)
L-R: Keith Davenport, Russell Balzan, Robert Ehlbeck, Kim Ehlbeck, Joe Manisco, Mike Enfield, David Rhodes, Dave Hempy
Copyright © 2008 by Mike Enfield. All rights
Revised: 11/16/08 17:59:21 -0700.