Thursday, August 19, 2010

A subjective comparison

A few weeks ago I wasn't going to do D2R2, fearing I didn't have enough miles in my legs to make it worth while. After some solid rides, I figured I might as well at least do the 100k loop since I already paid for it before breaking my ankle. Fitness is still coming back. I'm not far off anymore, maybe less than 5% in a one hour effort. Five minute effort, probably still have a lot more ground to make up. But this doesn't matter much for D2R2. It is all about metering out your kilojoules steadily. So I'm committed to doing the whole thing now, rolling out at 6am with hundreds of others.

After a two hour solo hammer ride at lunch on Tuesday (Uncanoonuc/Chestnut loop), I backed down on intensity for the rest of the week. I have this rule I follow when seeking an honest recovery ride. If I have to open my mouth to breath, I'm going way too hard. I have a very narrow nasal passage, so nose breathing puts a strict governor on intensity, well within conversation pace. It works better than a power meter or HRM. You can only go as hard as oxygen supply permits.

Wednesday I did my typical semi-flat 14.4 mile recovery loop on my Dean road bike. It has 23mm racing tires on with aero wheels. The loop took me just over 46 minutes. I had reservations about bringing beefy knobby tires to D2R2 this year, as I fear they roll so much slower than the 28mm road tires I've used the last two times at D2R2. The course is expected to be very loose and bumpy this year though, and organizers pleaded with roadies to reconsider 25mm road tires. I have 35mm Schwalbe Racing Ralph clinchers on my CX bike right now. I successfully raced these last fall at Ironcross. They seemed fast on that course, but that is such a subjective thing. Thursday I rode my D2R2 bike on my recovery loop at the same "breath through my nose" pace. I was stunned to finish the loop within seconds of the same time on my road bike. I expected at least 2mph slower. The Schwalbe's were inflated to about 70psi. Of course, there could be wind variations or I could have breathed a little harder on Schwalbe's. It wasn't exactly a blind study.

If I'm giving up little at low to moderate speeds on pavement with these balloon tires, I will probably gain a lot of net speed vs road slicks over the D2R2 course this year. My primary concern is is total energy expenditure, not how fast I can complete D2R2. Done that a few times now. I do want to finish without extraordinary suffer factor. I suspect this year folks riding skinny road tires will suffer more than usual.

I will be going new school style, not in the spirit of randonneuring. A GPS will be my guide. It appears this year's route is identical to last year, so I scavenged a promising looking 2009 track from Garmin Connect, down sampled it on GPSies, then loaded it up on my Edge 705. Not sure what to make of the five mile "bonus" loop at the end. Who plans on doing it? It will bring the ride total up to about 185km.

10 comments:

solobreak said...

I think cx tires are faster overall. You'll have way more fun, or at least be able to relax more, on the downhills. There is not much pavement anyway. But I don't compete with others or try to hang on any wheels here anyway. I am looking to start closer to 6:30 like I always do, enjoying the tranquility of the scenery in the first two hours, watching the sun rise through the mist. That is my favorite part of D2R2. The loop at the end just brings it back to the distance it used to be. We'll see...

solobreak said...

BTW, I have read some reports that say the roads are fine.

Mookie said...

I was having tire anxiety as well but opted like Solo for the Jets. I did a dirt loop last night and on one of the descents I wasn't wishing I was riding anything less. I think the roads are going to be very difficult this year given the excessively dry conditions.

What do you plan on running for pressure? I'm thinking somewhere in neighborhood of 55-60.

Also, Doug, how exactly do I upload GarminConnect D2R2 route?

PatrickCT said...

Doug - I've been trying to find the best route for my 705 too...did you take a peek at the routes (out and back) that Sandy mentioned in his email to us (posted alongside the cue sheets)? Patrick

Hill Junkie said...

Alex, the GPS data posted on D2R2 website is not readily usable by most people. It is route data, containing only a few points, and saved in .XML format. GPS's expect .GPX format. I suspect some of the roads used in D2R2 won't show even on detailed base maps, so you're GPS won't know how to route to the provided data.

In GarminConnect, find track you want (I used one from Brian ? in 2009), lower left click download button, save to desk top. Plug GPS into PC, wait for device to open up folder window, go to courses folder of GPS (I think, going by memory here), then drag .GPX track to that directory. Then turn GPS on, go to courses from setup menu, select the track you just loaded, select setup (may take while to read in), then set show on map box. I don't navigate to tracks. Big nuisance every 10 seconds cue pops up. I just zoom in to 0.2mi and follow "popcorn" trail. Note there are so many track points in some files that Garmin's puke on them. I down sampled this track to about 1000pts. I'll email that version to you.

Hill Junkie said...

Oops, I'm not going back home before leaving tonight and I don't have GPS cable. If you have cable and laptop tonight, I can get you the file.

Doppler said...

Just spoke with Franklin Land Trust exact wording on road conditions were "dry, washboardy, and gravelly" for what it is worth.

solobreak said...

You should remember the route by now. Must be spending too much time in oxygen debt.

Hill Junkie said...

Must be spending too much time in oxygen debt.

Agreed. I was riding crosseyed with DaveP and others in '07 and '08. I missed it for Mt Washington last year. From what I can tell, there are only two minor changes from '08. I plan to slow down and smell the daisies this year. I'll see if Kevin and others are interested in a 6:30 start.

Anonymous said...

I could be swayed to go with the group that's forming. About 9-10 hours riding time? Call me at the hotel. I'm pretty sure daisies are past season, but you can always spend time with the farm animals if you want to take it slow.