The Road to Sebring, Around Sebring and Back again - Part 1

Discussion in 'Cruzbikes at Speed (Racing: Events & Reports)' started by ratz, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. ratz

    ratz Wielder of the Rubber Mallet

    The Road to Sebring, Around Sebring and back again.

    If you are looking for a race report you probably should look elsewhere. I am only ever interested in measuring myself against myself and my self-perceived limitations; and this trip was not even about that. But it was fun none the less.

    So…. it is Tuesday Feb 14th, has it been almost a week now? I guess so. I am sitting here to write down my thoughts about bike Sebring 2017. Technically I should be in the garage unpacking the Truck which is still full of bikes and gear from when I rolled in to the driveway at 5am this morning from the trip back.

    The last 7 days where without a doubt, a long week of rolling with wheels

    Total Ground Mileage: 4036 (3813 in the truck, 234 on the bikes)
    Total Rolling time: 83 hours (70 in the truck, 13 on the bikes)

    Why in the world would you do that?

    Well… it all started out as a lark back in September. After going down with our bikes to Iowa for some “how fast can I ride on a flat race track” fun… Tanya and I were suddenly left with the fact that, a super busy Fall and looming Winter where about to come crashing down on our northern riding season. The end of the season is never fun because riding provides an excellent escape from the daily grind and crazy jobs.

    Confronted with 5 to 6 months of getting out of shape or riding goal-less on the trainer; I decided we could use some motivation (fear of failure if you prefer). Something was needed to ensure we would get off the couch, and go down in to the cold basement and exercise daily. (We have 5 kids and jobs, so “off the couch” is figurative here, but you get the idea).

    Enter Bike Sebring, sure why not.

    Tanya and I are experience with the big summer social events in our area of the country. There are usually 15-20 bike events to choose from all within 1-4 hours. These summer events draw 500-3000+ people and you get told 20 times it is a “ride not a race” and then the gun goes off and the 100+ subset of the riders, entered in the century ride “race” off down the road to see who will win with no rules, safety, or race timing that you get at a proper race. After you weave your way through 100’s of regular riders you can actually enjoy some very fast riding on mostly closed roads; but it never quite seems worth it for those of use that can ride steadily over 18mph. Chasing a sub 4 hour group century is the only real carrot.

    Sebring, meanwhile, is about just those 100-150 like minded people showing because, it is a “race not a ride” and all the official stuff is handled professionally assuring most anyone of any skill level can take their personal measure. With nothing shorter that 100 miles and positioned so early on the calendar; only the go-long go-fast bike nerds are going to show up for this event.

    Now I will admit that it is my opinion that the Sebring event as a premier ultra-race event is too early in the year for most riders in the U.S. and it is a bit of a challenge to get to it for people more than 15 hours travel away. Basically, you need live close or want to go to it; true of many things. Never the less, you should want to go to it at least once. Sebring feels part season opener, part beginner’s event, part “A” event for special records as such it has a bit of a blended flavor to it. If none of that appeals to you; remember it is in Florida and the weather is always great in February in Florida. (no spoilers for the uninformed).

    There’s time to get fit right?

    Because of the timing, training to not embarrass or injury ourselves at Sebring was going to be a challenge. From a cycling fitness and training standpoint; If you are going to be truly in competitive shape you need to train. A period of 12 weeks of based training is usually required followed by another 8 weeks of building strength to reach a solid 20 weeks’ foundation. That approach leaves about 8 weeks of peak form to fine tune your training during which your top competition events can occur.

    If you want beat your competition or find you person limits against that clocks; that’s how you go about it. May – Sept are the racing season in the northern hemisphere and most people start a training program in late November with the goal to be race ready by late spring.

    Given that we finished our previous peak in September, the timing for Sebring did not make much sense for the “I am going to beat you approach” nor the “I am going to set a person speed record.” Because of the timing I almost let the idea drop. But the I decided to accept that this was not going to be “the” big event for the year, and that it would be rather expense to get to. I talked to the wife and we decided that it would be a nice place to break her through the 12-hour barrier. That alone is a milestone worth shooting for, and one that pays dividends in a long-lasting adaptation for the cyclist, it was achievable and the effort to do it might accomplish other things in the process. Game on.

    By the time all of this was decided we were deep into fall, we had taken our 2 weeks off and let our fitness drop and we were just wrapping up some strength training. There were only 9 weeks left, not even enough time to even complete full base training period. So, I crafted a compressed 8-week plan (10 hours per week) to get in shape for the event. If you are interested in what that looked like; it is well documented in a daily journal on the Cruzbike community forum. That thread covers pretty much the level of training we put in and all the crazy planning for the wide range of possible weather Florida can offer up in February.

    Read Set Go

    Tuesday Feb 7th - Time to pack up the truck, that entailed about 5 hours of triple checking the piles of gear; and then about 1 hour of loading it all into the truck for the trip. Fortunately, last year’s trips made the actual truck loading go fast as we had previously solved most of those problems. Got everything packed; had dinner; than worried about the weather and when to leave.

    IMG_5988.jpg IMG_5989.jpg

    Wednesday Feb 8th – Woke up after about 5 hours of sleep and rolled out with the truck at 4am to try and beat the winter weather that decided to blow in at the last minute. I would drive down and Tanya would fly to avoid missing too much work. I would meet her at the Airport in Florida. I would like to say the drive was uneventful, but it is after all winter. In the end, I saw 30 cars in the ditch and 3 or 4 semis’ like the one in this photo.

    IMG_5995.jpg IMG_5997.jpg

    Thursday Feb 9th – I arrived in Sebring around noon; drive time was 27 hours with about 5 hours of sleeping at the rest stops. I decided to take a slightly longer route and completely avoided the mountains; turned out to be a good trade, much less stressful with a truck full of bikes making the vehicle heavy and hard to stop. I gained back some of the extra travel time on the drive by eating pretty much the same way I do on long bike rides with light and portable foods. This approach saved time and got me mentally ready to do that on the bike. I was planning to ride the race on a fat adapted diet so we had more than enough food packed to cover the travel time. In the end, stops were limited to getting gas and sleeping.

    I was fortunate that when I got to the hotel they let me into the room ahead of time so I could unpack the truck and setup Bikes.


    By the time I finished it was 3pm and Tanya was due to land in Orlando at 10pm. So, since I had gone to college in the Orlando area I contacted my all-time favorite professor (newly retired but still in the area) and was lucky enough to be invited to the weekly poker game. Excellent way to spend the time. Unfortunately, no one warned me about the road construction on I-4 and the trip to Orlando that should have taken about 2 hours; turned into another 5 in the car in rush hour construction disaster traffic.

    After displaying my complete lack of knowledge of poker games (sad for a kid that grew up playing cards every Friday from age 6-16). I head over to the Airport and picked up the real athlete in the family and we drove back to the hotel arriving about 12:30 in the morning.

    Friday Morning Feb 10th – Slept in a bit on Saturday, then headed out for the classic Florida breakfast with the bluehaired. It was about this time that I discovered that I had completely failed to dodge the stomach flu that has been raging around our part of the country. A quick trip to CVS for some medicine made sure that was not an issue for the weekend; but for a bit I was rather worried.

    After breakfast, it was closing in on 10:30 am, as planned we drove the long loop of the race course. Having never been to the event this seem like a good idea, but it was a pretty big time investment with the clock ticking down. We were out on the route about 2 hours looking at intersections discussing the “hills” (cute little things) and planning how we would ride it. The entire time we did it I felt like it might be wasting too much time; but when the ride came on Saturday I was glad we did it as it allowed for confident cornering and climbing of the few hills on the course. That scouting was worth every minute invested as it lower any ride time uncertainty.

    Friday Afternoon Feb 10th – By the time we got back, the Cruzbike tent was going up; and preparation for a group ride on the 11 mile loop was getting under way. We spent most of the time between 1 and 4pm hanging out at the tent; fine tuning bikes while getting to meet many longtime online friends in person for the first time; and adding to the list of new acquaintances. As is the norm for me I spent too much time on the bikes and chasing loose ends and not enough time on the people.

    Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 1.16.48 PM.jpg

    After this photo, we went for a ride on the loop and got to stretch out the legs a bit; which was welcome after 2 days in the car and no riding. I quickly realized I had two problems. First I had forgotten that to get my bike into the car I had collapsed the headrest and had to fix that on the side of the road. All hail the Rojo Clamp. Second, I had modified my boom length this winter on the trainer; but never had weather that would allow a road test. Five minutes into the road ride it was obvious that my handle bars were too far back into my body and the bike was twitchy and would not hold a line as until I fixed that. Fixing the handle bars was going to have be left for a night tasked in the hotel room.

    When we got back there was not much time to waste the pit area at the track opened and we moved the vehicles in and picked out our spots. This was when I made our first mistake. We had planned on having to support ourselves during the ride since it was impractical to bring friends and family down for the event (older kids in school; and little kids too little for the trip). It was clear that the Cruzbike team had planned to help us, I knew this going in; we had even emailed about the concept, but I am always reticent to inconvenience others by expecting them to help me so and I like to plan for things not to workout. As such I did not think it through and I completely missed the chance to brief Robert on what was in our truck; and where it was, but worse we had not at that time figure out the schedule and plan for water and food on the bikes. So even if I had taken the time to explain what we needed it would have been incomplete on the most important topic. Being new to the event I figured there would be plenty of time in the morning to cover what amounts to 3 minutes of info (mistake #2 – there is never plenty of time).

    Friday Evening Feb 10th – After reviewing the pit area we moved the bikes back to the hotel room, and went down to the Registration area and handled all of that. Turns out I was famous as I had accidentally registered for two events when I tried to update my registration. So much for keeping a low profile. Back in our room I fixed my v20’s boom (no time to test it, but we got lucky on that one) and began to arrange things to put in the truck as a supply room for the race; and did final prep on the bikes.

    We made our food and fuel plan for the ride. This was organized chaos; but we came up with a great plan to label bottles with “obvious” codes so we would know what was what and numbered our food bags as well. Piece of cake to find stuff in a hurry during the race and it should be easy enough to explain to someone else. (mistake #3 – write things out long hand. Codes are dumb when the pace is fast)

    Figured out our clothing plan; I hate being cold; I would rather be a tad warm and drink more water than be cold. So, I opted to wear my sub 55F riding coat, wool socks and full fingered gloves. I wisely skipped the warm leggings and arm warmers and went with the sun/uv protection ones; the forecast was for 80-85F before the century was done even if it was only 54F to start width. We would go with warm stuff in layers and then right before the start ditch the extra coat layers at the pit and hustle over to the start line. Note to future self; lips need sunscreen too.

    Finally, around 9pm we moved the truck back to the pit row ready for the race. Tanya wisely crashed before 10pm and of course I stayed up too late to about midnight getting the last of the bike computers setup the way I wanted them. About 1am I went to sleep as I realized Tanya had been smart and eaten some food for dinner and I had forgotten and had only snacked a little.

    Saturday 4:00am Feb 11th - <<Insert loud and annoying alarm sound>> (This is 3am back home mind you) Time to get up and go race. We got up and got kitted up. Had a light breakfast of nuts, almond-butter, coffee and, by 4:45 we were rolling the bikes over to pit-row.

    This is where time gets funny; We are at the truck at 5:00am-ish and the race does not start until 6:30am. We worked on getting everything exactly like we wanted it; finalized the bikes and waited for others to show up. The more experienced people who knew what to expect or had people that would be staying behind to setup their pit area after the gun came much closer to the start time. Next thing I know Larry’s ready to race and reminding us to ride down and test our timing chip in the gate. What? It is that late already? Ok so we ride down; still wearing all of our cold weather gear; and we go through the timers and test.

    About this time, I spot Lucia talking to Maria and I manage to give Lucia a super brief heads up about where our water bottle spares are (so her and Robert can take some up on the course). This is not a big worry as our bikes are rigged for Solo Century riding and we carry 5 bottle and do not need to refuel the bikes at those distances (Mistake #4 bikes heavier than they need to be). This conversation lasts for about 2 minutes and then I realized we need to line up at the start now; it is show time.

    Saturday 6:25am Feb 11th - So, we are in the gates and I am now stuck with my coat there is no place to toss it, guess I am doing a century wearing it. We line up with Larry beside Jim, and me and Tanya behind Larry. (Mistake #5, I should have gotten behind Tanya). I was not sure how the start would go; but adrenaline won out.

    We roll out and Jim gets going right away; and Larry has trouble clipping in so I went around him and floated in the space between him and Jim. I have now lost track of Tanya in the sea of people at this point; but she's good at taking care of herself. I stay with the lead group with Larry and Jim; knowing that she will either be in group 1 or 2. The plan had been to see if we could get in the lead group and ride with them for at least part of the start the race. We knew that might not work for long if Tanya had trouble finding the draft which is not something we get to do a lot where we ride.

    The track is dark at this point and it is hard to see what is going on. I am slotted in at the back 3rd of the lead group, and I am cold still, I do not like cold; and the only way I am going to get warm is if I work a little bit. The pace of the group is ok, but not fast, I am not getting enough work to warm up. So I move out to the side and spot Larry and the strong riders who have moved forward. Right then I thought about going backwards to find Tanya’s group and pull her up to speed but the track is super crowed and I do not think that it will work to go backwards nor would it be safe. (Yet another Mistake, per Strava flyby data she is right behind me and I cannot see her in the dark). So, Plan B it is; help the get the lead group animated and moving and see if we can split the fast contenders free of the rest better to sort that stuff out early. Then drop back to group number 2 where she will be and start to ride our ride.

    So I moved up by Larry; that was better, a little effort and the knees started to warm up. I see a few of the other strong riders including Barefoot Biker on a V20 (at the time I don’t know it’s him but I have a suspicion based on who he is not and where he is riding) and the Schlitter team. After the first ¾ of the lap I moved to the front a couple of times and raised the pace which is of course when Tanya got popped off the lead group, my fault (I’ll stop number the mistakes the count is getting too high). I chatted with Jesse, Larry and a few others; while the pace continued to rise.

    I much preferred it up front with just the pace car, I do not know the track at all. They did not let us on it the night before and I need to see something like that on a map after I ride on it, not the other way around. So, behind the car was much more fun just follow the light and pick a good line around the corner; visibility was better and I did not have to worry about what other sleepy riders were doing.

    I was with the front of the group as we headed out pit row; I thought about stopping and getting rid of the coat on pit row, but I was still cold and so I elected to keep it. I wished the people in the group fast group that I know a good day of racing, made my apologies for not going with them, and then drop out the back to go find Tanya.

    Saturday 7:15am Feb 11th - I slowed down to about 20 mph and dropped back and out of the group, expecting a second train to show up. Now what surprised me was that a second group never formed behind the century / fast-11h group. Everyone got so strung out on the track and they stayed that way. The largest group after the lead group was about 5-6 riders strong; and of course, all the no drafting riders mixed in for good measure. It took about 15 minutes for me to realize the other group was not going to be happening period. So, I took a strategic break at the Start of Riverdale Rd. 10 Minutes later Tanya came around the corner pulling along several DF riders along with her for good measure. At that point, we started riding our 2-person pace line per the plan backup plan.

    Not much eventful stuff happened on the rest of the century for us. We settled in and just put down a steady pace. The turnaround at Frost Proof was silly. People were in the street and the tubs were positioned in such a way that rides pretty much had to come to a complete stop to throw their chips in and then turn around in cramped quarters and re-accelerate.

    I did realize during this stretch that I do not get to ride roads enough with Tanya and I have never taught her to how to brake late in a corner and hold speed on a line (Mistake). That over-sight cost her a lot of wasted energy on all the turns throughout the day as her bike slowed too much and then had to climb back up to speed as our drafting would break. Where we live, you must ride that way. The gravel and sand debris from the winters make every corner a wash-out trap. But as clean as the corners where on the Sebring route it was unnecessary. I thought about trying to point that out during the ride and then decided she had enough on her mind at the time. Battles for future days.

    Saturday 8:08am Feb 11th -The road near frost proof was awful; that wound-up costing us some time. I had not noticed how bad it was when we scouted it; so, I took on fuel while descending to the turnaround; By the time we were climbing back out; all the bumps had agitated my stomach and the lights went out for a few minutes and we had to slow to 17mph for bit. After we got back up to speed we crossed paths with Ken rode for a good chunk of the way back with him on his modified Quest Aero Beast.



    Saturday 9:00am Feb 11th
    - Around mile 60 Lucia and Robert where all set with water and supplies we did not need any at that point but it was great to see the friendly cheering faces just waiting to do anything we needed. This when the bottle error become obvious; with them there, we had not needed to have carried the weight of extra bottles on the bike. I also did not think to stop for 10 seconds to give them my coat which at that point I did not need temp as up to 74 and I wound up wearing it for 25 extra miles.
  2. ratz

    ratz Wielder of the Rubber Mallet

    The Road to Sebring, Around Sebring and Back again - Part 2

    The Good and the Boaring

    Saturday 11:30am Feb 11th -The original goal was to finish the century in under 5 hours if we wound up doing a two-person train; and we wound up beating that by just a little bit. 20.3 mph average. We could have gone faster, but everything after hour 8 was going to be uncharted territory so I did not want to push it without at least 4 bikes to split the work. We also found out about Jim’s win and Larry’s big pulls at this time so that made some good cheer.

    IMG_1383.jpg IMG_1382.jpg

    Saturday 11:31am Feb 11th
    – Let the boredom and the mayhem begin. We took a quick bathroom break, changed out the supplies and ditched my coat. I was not thinking too clearly at this point. Once we got going I did not want Tanya to have to stop during the next 7 hours unless it was for bathroom or foot problems. So, I started a protocol of keeping her water bottles supplied and each lap I would just get want she needed to stay supplied. Due to brain fog to me that meant keeping 4 of the five bottle on her bike supplied (Mistake again). It was not for about 7 or 8 laps when she started to fade that it dawned on me that she was carry all this unneeded weight. Only needed 1 bottle with water and 1 with fuel; and empty bottle has the same aero effect behind the head as a full one. Yes it obvious now. We dumped out all the extra water and the riding got a good deal faster. We did see Larry and the fast 12 hour group once or twice. We Saw Hardy and Connie Twice; and Maria well she was always kind enough to slow a little and pretend she was not passing us we like we were standing still.




    The Bad that ended the Boredom

    I am sure many of the race participants would agree with me that it is annoying that the course has to loop over and over on Hwy 98 and that there was so little officiating on that part of the course. The Location of the race track forces the use of that road, there is no real way around it. However, officiating is a decision and an opportunity for improvement.

    Hwy 98 road was busy and when one RAAM Qualifier decided to disregard the rules, we were all exposed to unneeded risks. Yes, the rules say no “whining” but this was my justified complaint.

    The unnamed rider was running a car around the loop to supply his needs (Dude do you really needed a foot-long hot dog on the bike?). His team never used the pit road instead preferring to provide him live hand offs from a moving rental truck so he could sprint through the pits.

    Because of this selfish behavior we would catch him on each lap as he could barely hold 18 mph. We would follow him, his crew would do something stupid that would block our riding; we would pass him, then he would get ahead of us in the pits and we then we would do it again. On one lap the SAG car cut me off and blocked my route, on the next lap when I was passing him being careful not to draft him; they buzzed my shoulder to get to their next position. The next lap they botched a water bottle hand of so bad it went flying straight at Tanya’s wheel at speed almost dumping her, and then to cap their performance they ran hazard lights and slowed to 10 miles per hour on Hwy 98 in the 50mph zone; with the final time causing 8 cars to lock their brakes with the final car skidding and sliding straight towards Tanya and her bike. Yes there were about 15 other instances too but you get the idea. At that point we gave up; on the next pit-stop we simple stopped for 4-5 minutes to ensure he was far enough up the road that we did not have to deal with him. That cost Tanya a full place in the standings. There are other ways to play that but when you are not contenting for any records that was the mature and smart one in my book.

    Finishing line in Sight

    Saturday 5:30pm Feb 11th – The final laps begin. We got on the track at 5:30pm right with the first wave of riders; this was good and bad. I knew the time so I had eased up; so, that would happen and avoid one more road loop. What I didn’t realize was that we were both out of water and we wouldn’t see any pit crew on the track for at least 45 minutes, they shuttle you on the track without letting you go through the pit; it was not a logistic issue; it seemed like racesmith didn’t have enough timing mats to do it any other way and get the correct mileage tracked. At this point Tanya was ready to finish up. Had she suspected she was close to moving up a few spots in the rankings she might have gone a little harder; but we had good mileage so we rode out the remaining time at 18-19 mph.


    Saturday 6:30pm Feb 11th – finish up with 221.9 miles on the official score board. I figure my newbie mistakes cost us about 25 miles from carrying unneeded weight on the bikes and possibly another 10-15 miles for not spotting Tanya on the opening moments right behind the lead group if we could have tucked her in there for a while that would have been some free mileage.

    Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 7.04.08 PM.png

    Saturday 7:30pm Feb 11th – Put the bikes on the car, congratulate my wife on an outstanding first attempt at something of this scale and effort.

    Saturday 8:30pm Feb 11th – Help Crew the 24 hour with Jim, Robert, and Lucia. (Robert and Bob talking bikes unsupervised is asking for trouble).

    Sunday 3:00am Feb 12th – My Shift over on the 24 hour crew; off to bed. If you haven’t watch what one of these 24-hour attempts and what the riders go through; that alone is something unbelievable to watch. I do not have words for some of the courage I saw.

    Sunday 6:00am Feb 12th – Back up and over to the track to watch Maria the finish of the race

    Sunday 8:00am Feb 12th – Breakfast

    Sunday 9:00am Feb 12th – Pack the bikes and all the gear back into the truck.

    Sunday 11:00am Feb 12th- Drive to Orlando

    Sunday 1:00pm Feb 12th – Drop off Tanya at the airport and start driving home.

    Tuesday 5:00am Feb 14th– Backup home after using the rest-stops across America to catch up on 3 days of missing sleep.

    Footnote for those following the Keto thread: My fuel for the race, 1 cup of coffee; a handful of nuts; 1 package of almond butter; and 2 – 500ml bottles of UCANN about 25g of carbs each. If I had been riding hard with Larry and Jim and probably would have had to double at. End of race body fat down 5%.

    Thank you to everyone that’s been involved in this journey It’s a long list

    Thom Ollinger and the International Recumbent Training Group for getting us started and always chiming in at the right time with the right observations. Credit there first or we would be riding trikes on the backroads of MN

    Jim and Maria Parker the incredible well of support, encouragement, trust and friendship.

    Lucia Parker, Robert Holler, and James Chickos for being support crew for us and keeping my brain engaged in the 24 hour PIT when I was wiped out.

    Jacob Bouchard for continuing to innovate on the bikes even if Maria gets all the cool stuff first.

    Hardy and Connie Swinson, Lanier Meeks, Harry Campbell the pure joy and energy of group bike events they infused into the event. Need to spend more time hanging out with you all next time.

    David Heslop for proving that Spain is not far enough away to stop a Cruzbiker. Even when the Airlines hold you bike hostage for a week.

    Paul Gagnon for proving to me that you can ride with a beard and keep your arm muscles and still crush the 24 hour mileage.

    Larry Osland and Ken (250 mile) Holzhausen for being mad powerful riders and reminding me just how slow I really am. You guys keep me laughing and smiling. Proud of both of you for sticking with your training plans

    Kyle Larson for Joining in on the Tribe vibe and fitting right in on the spot. If I have to lose to the only other guy in my age group; thank goodness it was another IT guy that believes that if you crash you get back up and punish the road for daring to get in your way.

    My folks Pete and MaryBeth for coming and watching the grand kids for a week

    And finally my Wife Tanya Pankratz for finding enjoyment in what I like to do and never once asking what the bill for the bike really is as long as there are two sets of parts in the box one for her bike and one for mine and for cursing my name in hour 11 quietly enough that I could not hear her. Love you my dear.

    As far as a “race” report the results are what matter…...

    Century (101.5 miles)
    Jim Parker 4:17:36
    David Heslop 5:10:26

    Larry Oslund 264.9 miles
    Kyle Larsen 245.3 miles
    Robert Pankratz 221.9 miles
    Hardy Swinson 214.3 miles
    Lanier Meeks 202.6 miles
    Harry Campbell 194.7 miles
    Tanya Pankratz 221.9 miles
    Connie Swinson 210.2 miles

    Paul Gagnon 360.6 miles
    Ken Holzhausen 251.6 miles
    Maria Parker 460 Miles
  3. ratz

    ratz Wielder of the Rubber Mallet

  4. BJ686

    BJ686 Active Member

    Great write up Ratz. Really enjoy hearing about some of the behind the scenes action. Congrats to you and Tanya for a great race.

    Doing the math on the days leading up to the race, that is pretty amazing to do a 12 hour race with such little sleep over the preceding 4 days!
  5. 1happyreader

    1happyreader zen/child method

    OUCH !!!! ,, The Ultimate I4 project is the ultimate incentive to make use of the toll roads around Orlando, if you can.
    Jerrye likes this.
  6. ratz

    ratz Wielder of the Rubber Mallet

    yeah the toll road from 27 to the airport and then again up to sanford didn't exist when I lived there. Imagine my surprise when I found it going back south.
  7. ReklinedRider

    ReklinedRider Zen MBB Master

    Great write up. Great job by all. And great incentive!
  8. jond

    jond Zen MBB Master

    All class. Superb. Thanks for sharing makes me want a passport.
  9. DavidCH

    DavidCH In thought; expanding the paradigm of traversity

    I am kind of curious, what tire did you finally ride with?
  10. ratz

    ratz Wielder of the Rubber Mallet

    Schwalbe Pro Ones 23c on the front 25c on the back.
  11. DavidCH

    DavidCH In thought; expanding the paradigm of traversity

    Interesting, Pro One 23c up front, Reduction in drag , did Tanya ride this configuration as well? I couldn't believe how bumpy the road was up at Frostproof, I thought marshaling was poor. I would have preferred to have seen cautionary signs on the roads like the one on airport road that says "CAUTION: BIKE RACE IN PROGRESS". With all those STOP signs, is it worth playing devils advocate? If you slow down to take the sign and accelerate sure it's a waste of energy. Well if I do it again, I will use a ventisit pad. At the end of the race my stomach felt very empty and jellyfyed with all the vibration. If you are with the lead group do they have a motorbike blockade go thru to stop the traffic briefly or do they just bite the bullet?
    joy likes this.
  12. Great write up. I spent one week in Minnesota two weeks before the race and I was worried how that would affect my training - would I get enough rest? just kidding ;-) ... I forget that you had to do ALL of your training there!

    I was on the fence about scouting the route and decided to skip it. What saved me was that I had mindlessly watched Larry Oslund's video's in the background during long meetings and memorized the Sebring track by playing Xbox.

    It was great meeting you. There are many improvements I want to make to my bike - whatever were the bars you mentioned, under the seat, tail box, and wheels. I'm already looking forward to the next one!
  13. ratz

    ratz Wielder of the Rubber Mallet

    Yes both bikes; when mounted on the Reynolds rims the 23c pro one widens out to 24mm just slightly narrower than the rim; so max aero. On the rear wheel it's a touch to wide but it doesn't matter as much as you are in the air wash and turbulence at that point.

    This mixed configuration is becoming pretty common on TT bike as a balancing of CdR and CDA and comfort. Over the next few years you see rims be wide enough to take a 25c or even a 28c at max aero; Right now such a rim would not fit on most legacy bikes; as they don't have the clearance on the frame. That will continue to evolve.
  14. super slim

    super slim Zen MBB Master

    Ratz thanks for the great write up, and explaining how to be able to keep buying the newest toys for your bike!
    Did you mention your methods to anyone from Mooseland?

    I would also like to thank you, from the Cruzbike community, for all the work and design effort you put into the indoor training program, as I think it helped increase the numbers of riders in the Sebring event, as the riders were motivated, AND had a structured training program, that gave them confidence to compete in the event at a non embarrassing level, if fact I think the results were very good for the whole group!
    Cruzbike Chris likes this.
  15. super slim

    super slim Zen MBB Master

    Did Team Cruzbike and Bachetta ride together in a line, to leave all the DF riders in their wake, then battle it out over the last couple of laps?

    How did the Encores and Bachettas go?
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  16. LarryOz

    LarryOz Zen MBB Master

    Just got home last night from my long racing trip around Florida and back.
    Finally managed to create and upload the Century portion of the 2017 Sebring event.
    Enjoy it on your long 4 hour training sessions, or sit down in front of the TV with about 6 bowls of popcorn:

    Hopefully I will finish up my "ride-report" before the end of Feb! :)
    jond, Mixerman and Don1 like this.
  17. LarryOz

    LarryOz Zen MBB Master

    That would have been nice, but no - For some reason there is some "bad blood" in this mixture, much to my amazement!
    It is sad, there are so few bents out there compared to uprights, you would thing we could band together against that common enemy instead of each other! o_O
    Makes me sad and angry at the same time! :(:mad:
    super slim likes this.
  18. Doug Kline

    Doug Kline Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the video Larry, so that's what it's like to ride a bike. It's been so long I don't think I remember any more.

    What length were you running your cranks at? Looks like you retapped them without trimming down. Do you use both positions? You also had a bit of trouble re-clipping in at 2:13, were you running a new pedal setup too?
  19. ratz

    ratz Wielder of the Rubber Mallet

    The video of that guy riding in a winter coat clearly shows how a :cruzbike: can't hold a straight line; those MBB bikes are dangerous...
  20. I'm new, but from my perspective this was the result of race strategy. No one in the 12 hour race was going to put out a big effort in the first hundred to break away no matter what bike they rode and the two real contenders in the hundred couldn't have survived by themselves until we were closer to the end so it had the affect of keeping the group together. And by "all" that was only 16 riders by mile 85 (7 of them on recumbents with most of the 7 toward the front). After the hundred, the eleven mile loops allow for those that strategically saved energy in the first hundred to pick up riders up a lap or two. So, if you're smart, your team is supplying fresh riders to pull the designated winners whenever possible. The riders with the best strategy won in both of these races. It wasn't a race against the uprights. It was a race to win the category.

    Jim won the hundred on the Vendetta. Alex and Sandor won the 12 hour on the Encore. They're both fast bikes. They're both faster than any upright for the same amount of power. I guess I'm a bit like Sheldon and I'm never quite sure what people are feeling - if there is "bad blood" or whatever, but to me nobody won their race by accident. I saw a ton of great team work at Sebring. It's a part of the race that is a bit like chess, and for me, it was the opposite of sad or angry - it was a blast! I've ridden with Alex and Sandor several times. They're strong and they know how to work together. My strategy for next year - and I'm just going to put this on the table now: to not crash (see 2:42:30 above)!!!

    Thank you for the video. One thing I did do to prepare for this race was watch your 2015 video of the long loop. Huge help. When I saw the "Family Dollar", I knew we were turning because I had the course memorized. The people at the front for that turn clearly had not watched the video. So, if you're wondering what to watch. There it is. Thank you Larry!

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