Saturday, January 15, 2011

Riding Past 100 miles - 200 km Casa Grande Ruins

What: Casa Grande Ruins 200km Brevet
Where: Casa Grande Arizona
When: Jan 9, 2011
Who: Leonard and Mike Enfield
Description: 200km (125 miles) Ultra-Distance Cycling event hosted by AZ Brevets. Not officially an "ultra-marathon" cycling event until you hit 150+ miles...but still pushed my own limits and had a great time!

"Adventure is reward enough..." I am not exactly sure why I feel the need to find/push my own physical limits but working up to a big event like this and pushing through it is all an adventure to me. Getting out with good friends and completing a goal...Good Times!!!

This is my first event with the new Garmin Edge can check out the details and ride replay at Garmin Connect

The Casa Grande Ruins 200km Brevet is my first time riding beyond 110 miles. I became friends with Mike Enfield several years ago and someone had told me he currently holds the "East to West Cross State" record for Arizona. 342.5 miles in 19 hours 46 minutes...average speed 17.3 mph...!!! Phreaking crazy. The problem with me seems to be...stories like his resinate in me and really get me thinking...what do I have to do to start riding ultra-distances? Over the next 2 years I followed him to a few centuries including the MS150 in CA (2 days 150 miles.) With lots of riding and a new "sport" I found...Crossfit...I felt I could attempt one of these Brevet's and probably not die :)

Route Recorded via Edge 800...great detail and exportable to Google Earth.

 Ride Statistics...was pretty nippy at the start...32 degrees!

Graphs pulled from the Garmin....what a great ride!!

To get physically ready for these rides and all the other things I like to weekly training includes 2-3 short rides per week (15-20 miles) with 3-4 crossfit workouts. If you are not familiar with is constantly varied, high-intensity, and functional movements type workouts. I discovered Leiftime Fitness Feb of 2010...and since then I have had huge leaps in fitness...lost 34 pounds...can bike commute to the gym and complete workouts for time like the ones listed below:

Not your typical LA Fitness...lots of pullup bars, olympic rings, boxes, kettle bells, olympic lifting setups..

Crossfit workouts are typically named and are for go as fast/hard as you can only while maintaining form...includes all kinds of body weight components as well as olympic lifting.

15 mile bike, kettle bells, wall balls, overhead walking lunges, and box jumps :) Good times.

Ok, back to the RIDE!

Mike E. and I left Mesa at 6am to get to Casa Grande intime for the 7:00 am update/ride review and 7:30 start time. It was a brisk 32 degrees and even with all that nice warm spandex...I was freezing.

Susan Plonsky giving us the rundown on the course...reminding us to get our Brevet Cards stamped at the check points and reminding us about safety...

Mike listening in

Got a lot of crap from my non-biking family about my "fluorescent yellow blouse," my "tinker bell" jersey...etc...but I was out here and they weren't. (And I don't think they have ever seen the AZ state flag.)

 I didn't take too many pictures during this ride...I had full finger gloves on and the iPhone screen won't work with them on...I did get a few and stole a few off the web. This is the first and only real hill on the route...about a 3 mile climb at 6% grade or less.

The group started out pretty fast for me as you can see in the charts above...Mike and I followed until this hill and my heart rate went up exponentially :) From here on out is was me drafting off mike...only 110 miles to go :)

 1st stop Casa Grande Ruins...mile 31. Here we went into the small museum, got our Brevet card stamped...both Mike's water bottle and my own were sitting on the counter. While chewing a cliff bar I decided I need to some water to choke it down...I didn't grab my own...but I did let Mike know that his water tasted just as good as mine :) Thanks buddy!

Casa Grande National Monument...Hohokam Indian of the largest prehistoric structures built in North America. Will have to go back and really visit sometime.

Mile 52.6...back at the Round Trip Bike Shop (these guys are great...highly recommend them)...still pretty cold out so we just stopped, dropped our warm hats off...had a banana and some Accelerade then went into the bike shop to get our card stamped...then off to the Rez...75 miles to go.

Long, straight, flat...only traffic out here was the border patrol.

Pretty much the view for 70 miles...was pretty and felt isolated...great middle of nowhere feeling. The only part of this picture missing is Mike upfront in his Aerobars :)

Memorials on the side of the road...quite a few of these along with a possible grave yard.

About mile 80 on the route I started feeling quad/calf cramps coming on. I had been drinking and eating about every 30 minutes but I just can't keep enough electrolytes in the system...Endurolytes turned out to be my savior. At this point in the ride I started taking them 1-3 every hour...completely took care of the muscle cramps...never ended up having a problem.

Susan I love you! Those green tortilla turkey wraps with potatoe salad inside were the best I have ever had!!! Those were great!!! And the coke...priceless :) Yes, this is the turn around on the Rez....mile 88. Time to get this ride done!

Heading back to the bike shop.

 Mike and I the Round Trip Bike shop turning in our Brevet Cards...gott r done! Thanks for introducing me to this and riding Domestique for me rule buddy!!! were supposed to let me win the final sprint! Maybe next time.

Brevet medal for the 200 km

 Lots of dry salt on the face but feeling good. Had a great introduction to Brevets and had a great adventure...WHATS NEXT?

Jan 29, 2011  -  300km (190 miles) Casa Grande to Saguaro National Park.



  1. You did great! Surprised me with that sprint at the finish, but my competitive side came out and you went just a bit early. If you had launched after the corner, I wouldn't have caught you! Looking forward to the 300k. Gates Pass in Tucson is a classic for me, use to ride that when I went to UofA quite a bit. You'll enjoy that climb. Bit steep, but not too long... only a few miles. ;-)

  2. you are my inspiration leonard! I am so happy for you and mike. you both did an amazing job. i may have to join u for this ride next year. I love you lenny and i will do my best to support you in your crazy adventures :) XOXO

  3. I have a Question to my cyclist friends like you that own the Garmin Edge 200.

    I would like to know if is possible to change the units from mph to km on the GPS Garmin Edge 200?

    Thank You,