This morning I headed up to Tehachipi for my 2nd Gran Fondo 100K ride on my Elliptigo! (Here is the post from last year.) Clay joined me on his Elliptigo Arc. I own and have been riding an Elliptigo 11R.
The Arc, on the left, sometimes called a short stride most closely resembles a running motion… Clay says it is like constantly running uphill. The 11R has an adapted elliptical motion, a longer stride. I was thinking I was going into the ride with a mechanical advantage. The Elliptigo literature says that the 11R is much better for longer distance rides.
We got there early, and checked in. The course, which they call a 100K is a little short, just over 59 miles. Clay wanted 100K for a Strava challenge, so we rode slowly around the Tehachapi area for a while and accrued 2.5 miles and waited for the race to start.
We started with a nice leisurely ride up Tehachapi Blvd, but as we began to climb, Clay could not resist. He saw lots of riders ahead and he began to pass them. He got so far ahead that he stopped, took off his jacket, put on some sun block and got going again and still beat me up the Tehachapi Willow Springs road grade. He was coasting the downhill waiting for me and I swooshed by him with some other bikes. I pushed the downhill and he couldn’t catch me. It turns out that Clay was much better at climbing with his Arc than I am on the 11R. Not sure weather it is the bike, or the rider…. probably both.
As we rode through the middle miles, there were a lot that were flatter. Clay was feeling fatigued and he spent a lot of time drafting me… unless there was a hill and then he took off up it. As the ride went along it seemed like it was going quicker than last year. We got into the last 15 miles and I was still feeling pretty good. As we head back toward Tehachapi we had a pretty good climb, Clay got ahead and looped back a bit to take a picture.
Now that I think about it, he did the same on the Cameron Rd hill by the windmills..
After climbing the ridge west of Tehachapi we head to the left and got to go through a fun, mostly downhill section. We rode past the final aide station and started the last 5 miles into town. This year I knew what to expect. The last five miles is mostly uphill and all into the wind. Last year I got into this section and I felt like I was dying. Today, it went much better…. of course Clay was pulling ahead. The last mile into town, into the wind I got myself into position and drafted him.
We got to the last block and started sprinting, making a left turn and driving toward the finish banner. The announcer spotted us and announced here come the Elliptigos! He mentioned both of our names and everyone was cheering our photo finish. I can’t wait to see it..
Turns out my feeling, that the ride was faster…. was right… It was hard to tell DURING the ride because those 2 1/2 miles before the ride were REALLY slow. Breaking it down to the actual ride – my official time was 5:02:23, Clay’s btw was 3s slower (because he was ahead of me when we crossed the start line matts. My moving time was 4:38:23, average speed 12.7 mph. Last year my total time was 5:11:19, moving time 4:52:01 with an average speed of 12.2 mph