Archive for the 'Russ Stevens 2009' category

Last ride before the race

| September 8, 2009 7:45 pm

I did my last easy ride before the race today. I started at 7500 feet and biked up to the summit of Mt Nebo at 9345 ft and back down again – 36 miles round trip. I was very careful to keep my heart rate nice and low (in the 90-115 range ) the whole time. Hopefully this ride will help to acclimate me to the altitudes I will experience on Hoodoo: there is a 9500 ft peak and a 10,000 ft peak on the route.

After the ride, Sheila and I went to get massages to celebrate our 15 year anniversary (which is on 9/10).

4 Days to Go

| 12:46 am

I’m in Utah now. Only 4 days, 6 hrs and 14 minutes until the start of my 519 mile bike race. Right now, we are spending a couple of days with Franz and Anne in Orem, UT. Franz is taking us on some short bike rides to some of the nearby mountain peaks so I can get some altitude acclimation before the race. Tomorrow, we go to Zion for a couple of days and then it is on to St George for the race start. I can’t sleep – too excited!
I am so thankful for Franz and Anne for hosting us here and I am especially thankful to my crew: Sheila, Franz & Paul for supporting me in this event. I could not do this without them.

Two weeks to go!

| August 30, 2009 5:47 pm

It’s two weeks out from my race and I have finally completed all of my hard training, culminating in a 400 mile ride last weekend.  I think I am at my best fitness level of my life and feel very confident about this race.  I am in taper mode now.  All I have left to do is get myself to Utah in one piece, eat a whole bunch of calories, and hopefully get plenty of sleep (which is hard to do when I’m this excited).

Thank you so much to everyone who has made a donation to my dad’s tribute.  I appreciate the outpouring of support more than I can express.  Right now, I am only about $500 short of my $5,190 goal ($10 per mile), so I would like to make one last appeal for donations.  Any amount would be appreciated.  To contribute go to:

Rode 400+ miles this weekend

| August 26, 2009 4:55 am

This past weekend, I rode my bike further than I ever have in one stretch.  Between Saturday at 7:00 am and Sunday at 3:00 pm, I rode 403 miles with ~29,000 feet of climbing in 23:40 rolling/25:05 total (not including 7 ½ hours at home for dinner and breakfast). Sheila asked if I could do another 100 miles and decided I probably could, but certainly didn’t want to. Last time I tried this ride, I only did 365 miles and it took me 23:45 rolling, so I have definitely made some improvements in my performance.  I have to say I feel about as ready as I can get for the Hoodoo 500.  All I really have to do now is not get injured before then.

Mt. Hamilton

| August 13, 2009 10:44 pm

I set another personal record tonight climbing Mount Hamilton, the longest climb in the San Francisco Bay Area with 4200 feet of vertical gain.  This is one of my favorite climbs in the entire world.  It’s long and challenging, but not too steep and it offers great views of Silicon Valley and sometimes even of the Sierra Mountains.  My prior best time was 1:24:30.  Tonight, I was able to climb the entire thing in 1:13:37. My power output was ~365 watts on the first two pitches (almost identical to my Montebello and Hwy 9 output) and ~337 watts on the last climb.

I am now feeling pretty confident about my speed and think I am about as fast as I am going to get for Hoodoo. Two more weeks of ultra mileage to build endurance and then I’ll be as ready as I am going to be. Just have to stay safe until then.

Mt Tam Double

| August 1, 2009 7:11 pm

Sheila and I decided to do the Mt Tam double on a tandem this year.  Boy, was that a hard ride.  I thought with all the training I have been doing, it would be a piece of cake.  But let’s face it, double centuries are never easy.  Also, the fact that I came down with the flu two days before didn’t help anything.  My legs were aching so badly at mile 50 that I thought I would not be able to finish the ride.  However, it turned out to be due to muscle aches related to the flu and not so much to being tired.  Once I took a couple of ibuprofen, I felt much better.  The last 150 miles were actually much nicer than the first 50.  The support was very good and the food was excellent!

Sierra Rd in 23:45

| July 16, 2009 7:13 pm

After years of trying, I finally broke 24 minutes climbing Sierra Road today.  My total time was 23:45.  My power output of approximately 350 W was actually a little bit low in comparison with prior weeks.  However, it was fairly warm and I also think I started out too hard.  Still, I’m pretty happy.


A Tribute to My Father

| July 13, 2009 7:27 pm

RussDadI have decided to dedicate this race to my father, Wayne Stevens, who died of cancer in 1993. In an effort to fight back against the disease that took him from me, I have created a personal tribute page to raise funds for The American Cancer Society. Please take a look by clicking here or by using the link below. I realize that in this economy, not everyone will be able to make a donation. However, any support you can give me will be appreciated. As you can imagine, this ride will not be easy. In the end, it will be the knowledge that my friends and family are rooting for me that will keep me riding to the finish and leave me with memories to last a lifetime. Your donation, an entry in the tribute guestbook or even a short e-mail of encouragement will all be of great value as I attempt to complete this challenge and pay a worthy tribute to the world’s greatest dad.

Thank you all for your friendship and support!

If the link above does not work directly, you can visit my tribute site using the copying the following address into your browser:

Highway 9 Hill Climb

| July 9, 2009 8:17 pm

7/9/09: my King of the Mountain series continued tonight with Highway 9 North from Pierce Rd to Skyline Road, a climb of almost 1900 feet in 5.5 miles at an average 6.4% grade.  My prior best time on this stretch of road was about 31:30.  Tonight, I did it in 26:30, shaving five minutes off my prior record.  My power output was about 373 W, which was about 10 watts less than last week.  However, the climb was also 10 minutes longer so I would expect a slightly lower power.

If I can maintain his power output for next week’s climb up Sierra Road, I might finally be able to crack 24 minutes.  We’ll see!

Old La Honda Hill Climb

| July 2, 2009 10:06 pm

7/2/09: after two easy weeks, it’s time to start ramping up the training again.  My goal for the month of July is to improve my speed.  I will still do long-distance rides on the weekend. However my goal on these rides is to tone it down a notch from my normal pace and go for distance, not speed.  I want to make sure I conserve plenty of energy so I can really dedicate myself to speed workouts between my long weekend rides.

Today, I started my weekly Thursday night King of the Mountain (KOM) hill climbs with Old La Honda Road.  This is one of the most popular biking hills in the entire bay area and many people test themselves on this stretch of road through the redwoods.  With 1300 feet of climbing in just 3 miles, this climb is a good test for anyone.

My goal was to beat 20 minutes.  Instead, I finished the climb in just 16:51. For anyone who is interested, I calculated that I averaged 386 watts on this climb.  That’s about 30 watts higher than anything I have ever recorded in the past on a similar length climb.  I guess that two weeks of rest and recuperation after Terrible Two really did me some good. Of course, the new bicycle I just bought (a Specialized Roubaix S-Works) might have had something to do with it.