Tehachapi Gran Fondo – 100K

https://www.strava.com/activities/715765868/embed/86879032a7856016eb09dba801adc31daa698b6e

I felt so strong after last week’s 100k in Ventura that I thought I would try it again today. This course was advertised at 60 miles – a little bit shorter, but with about 700 extra feet of elevation gain. That does not sound much but it is a gain of 23% over last week.

This ride was a MUCH bigger event than last weeks. I am sure that there was a thousand cyclists out there. You can see how far back I am from the start… and I am in the middle of the crowd.

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As we started there was a steady stream of cylists passing me. Many had comments and questions. We headed east then south toward the windmills. One guy started asking questions. He veered off the pavement onto the dirt and then crashed onto the pavement. He was not hurt…. but the Elliptigo is dangerous.

When we made the climb up to the windmills on Tehachapi Willow Springs road the pace evened out. Cyclists still passed, but not as many. I started catching a few. I stopped at the top for a picture.

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Then I thoroughly enjoyed the downhill. We made a left and went right up another hill before heading down toward the 58 freeway. I was wondering how we would get back to Tehachapi. I had never noticed a road alongside the freeway. Soon I had my answer.

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Back in Tehachapi, we made our way along the south side of the valley, west toward Stallion Springs. We rode up by Brite Lake and then up a pretty good climb overlooking the valley. This was 32 miles into the ride.

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Once again, there was a fun downhill…

Then we crossed the valley rode over a smallish hill and then started back across the valley back toward Tehachapi. I could see the high road I had come over, but even the “low” spots on the ridge in front of me looked like more than I wanted to climb. But starting at mile 46, climb I did… It was a long grade – 4 miles…. but I actually caught a couple of people going up it. I have found if I shift my feet farther back on the pedals I have more leverage for climbing.

Looking at the elevation profile ahead of time I thought I would be finishing with a nice downhill. There are a few miles mostly down, but the last 4 or 5 slowly climb back into Tehachapi. The morning had been beautiful, cool and not windy… but these last 4 were right into a pretty good headwind. I was no longer catching anyone… A few passed me going into town…

But, I finished!  Yeah!! … I was REALLY exhausted afterward. They had a BBQ… I was semi dizzy waiting in line… by the time I finished I felt a bit better.  I drank a lot of liquids on my way home.  When I arrived here I needed an hour to just lay on my back… It was pretty achy by the time I finished.

I think the climbing, with the shifting of the feet backwards put more weight onto my hands as it put me into a farther forward leaning position.  This increased the strain on the neck and shoulders leading to an achy back….. It feels fine now…. But my legs are clearly fatigued – they’ve been on the verge of cramping all afternoon.

I have to admit that I sort of like the attention I get riding the GO. As I said, lots of people questioned and commented along the way. When I rode across the finish and stopped a girl hung a medal around my neck. The photographer made her do it again so he could get a better picture.

They had professional photgraphers out on the course… they snapped a lot of the GO (and me) as I went by…. I can’t wait to see them. I don’t usually by race pictures… but maybe this time….

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