2015 Solo Shadow Giro I

Jim's 2015 Solo Shadow Tour (Giro) I (click here for background)

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UNDER CONSTRUCTION
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NOTE:  Times & distances are placeholders/projections.  Will be updated after each Stage is complete.


Date

Stage
Stage Mi
Total Mi

   Time  
Stage El
Total El
Avg
Mph

Wgt

Route
Sat
May 9
Done

 

    1

152.7
152.7

10:44:13


11,916
11.916
14.2

185

Coast + Julian + Banner Gde + Scissors + Coast
   
    S/F 6:43 A.M. / 5:20 P.M.

     Strava Projected Route:  Tba
     Daily Blog & Photos:  Tba
    Strava Actual Route: Tba
  
Sun
May 10
Done
    2
101.7
254.4
6:38:46
7,277
19,193
15.3

182
Elfin Forest + RSF 15

Date

Stage
Stage Mi
Total Mi

 
   Time
Stage El
Total El
Avg
Mph


Wgt
 
Route
Mon
May 11

Done


    3

101.4
355.8

6:21:38
6,079
25,272
15.9
171
Elfin Forest + Coast



    
Strava Projected Route:  Tba
    Stava Actual Route:  Tba
    Daily Blog & Photos:
  Tba

Tue
May 12

   4
102.8
458.5
6:44:34
7,474
32,746
15.2
174
Harrah's Rincon + Cole Grade

Date
 
Stage
Stage Mi
Total Mi


   Time
Stage El
Total El

Avg
Mph

Wgt

Route
Wed
May 13

Done


    5
101.1
559.70

5:55:41 4,229
36,975
17.1
171
Coast to San Clemente + Camp Pendleton 8



     Strava Projected Route:  Tba 
     Strava Actual Route:  Tba
     Daily Blog & Photos:  Tba

Thu
May 14
    6
110.10
669.8
6:47:41
6.516
43,491
16.2 170 Fiesta Island 33 + Coast

Date

Stage
Stage Mi
Total Mi

   Time
Stage El
Total El
Avg
Mph

Wgt

Route
Fri
May 15

Done


    7
70.10
739.90

 

4:26:58

 

1,594
45,085
15.7
165
Rain Ride! Coast + 12 Bike Path

      Strava Projected Route:  Tba
      Strava Actual Route:  Tba
      Daily Blog & Photos:  Tba

Sat
May 16
    8
116.00
855.90
7:26P:08
8,396
53,481
15.6
165
Rain Showers Harrah's Rincon + Cole Grade

Date

Stage
Stage Mi
Total Mi

 
   Time
Stage El
Total El

Avg
Mph


Wgt
 
Route
Sun
May 17

Done


    9
101.8
957.70
5:59:08

 

5,443
58,924
17.01 171

Fiesta Island 33 + Elfin ForestF

      Strava Projected Route: Tba
      Stava Actual Route:  Tba
      Daily Blog & Photos:
  Tba

Mon
May 18
   10
160.10
1117.80
10:23:00
12,178
71,102
15.54
171 Santa Ysabel + San Felipe Grade + Banner Grade + Julian
+ Coast
Tue
May 19
Done
   11 71.00
1,188.80
4:16:17
3,153
74,255
16.62
169 Fiesta Island 35 + 3 Witches to Camino Del Sur


     
Strava Projected Route:  Tba
     Strava Actual Route:  Tba

     Daily Blog & Photos: Tba

Wed
Jul 16

 Rest 64.51
1378.64
+52.64
4:11:44
3,790
101,534
15.3
171
RSF / Solana Beach / Coast
Thu
Jul 17
Open
    7
121.33
1499.97
-1.03
7:26:24

 

7,640
109,174
16.3
169

Big Coastie:  RSF-20 / Coast Hwy / Crown Valley Pkwy / Trobuca Cyn / Mojesta Cyn (3.5 + 3.5) / Trobuca Cyn / Coast Hwy / CV

1st Century:  6:xx at 10:xx A.M, w/3,xxx ft of climbing
2nd Century:  6:xx at 5:xx P.M, w/6,xxx ft of climbing

S/F:  3:xx A.M. / 5:xx P.M.

Stage 7:

     Strava Projected Route:  Click here (tba)
     Strava Actual Route:  Click here (tba)
     Daily Blog & Photos:  Click here

Fri
Jul 18

 Rest 54.58
1554.55
+23.55
3:32:33 3,246
112,420
15.4 166 RSF / Coast / Solana Bch
Sat
Jul 19
Open
    8
200.44
1754.99
+48.99
14:20:21
19,989
122,261
14.3 165

Big Bear Lake Day 1:  Big Bear Lake / Onyx Summit / Angelus Oaks / Yaciapa / Beaumont / Banning / Idyllwild / Lake Hemet (3.4+3.4) / Idyllwild / Banning / Beaumont / Yaciapa / Angelus Oaks / Big Bear Lake

1st Century:  6:xx at 10:xx A.M, w/8,xxx ft of climbing
2nd Century:  7:xx at 7:xx P.M, w/11,xxx ft of climbing

S/F:  3:xx A.M. / 7:xx P.M.

Stage 8

     
Strava Projected Route:  Click here
     Strava Actual Route:  Click here (tba)
     Daily Blog & Photos:
  Click here

Sun
Jul 20
 Rest 20.21
1754.61
+49.20
2:11:25 2,143
132,693
14.1
170

Big Bear Lake spin

Mon
Jul 21
Open
    9
200.06
1975.26

+49.26

 


12:09:24

 

9,861
143,682
16.4
166

Big Bear Lake Day 2:  Big Bear Lake / Onyx Summit / Yacaipa / Beaumont / Banning / Idyllwild / Hemet Lk (7 + 7) / Hemet / Sage Rd / Aguanga / Warner Springs / S-2 / Julian

1st Century:  6:xx w/7,xxx ft of climbing
2nd Century:  6:xx w/8,xxx ft of climbing

S/F: 3:xx A.M. / 7:xx P.M.

ue
Jul 22
 Rest 45.49
2,020.75
+74.75
3:11:56
3,227
146,090
14.2 169 RSF / Santa Luz / RSF / Solana Bch / Torrey Pines / CV
Wed
Jul 23
Open
   10
200.69
2,221.44
+133.44
13:16:47

 

12,330
159,239
15.1 166 Coast & Highland Champagne Stage:  RSF 20 / DM / Coast Hwy / Camp Pendleton / Coast Hwy / CV Home / DD / VRP / Ramona / OJH / Hwy 78 / SY / Hwy 78 / Ramona / HVR / VRP / DD / CV

1st Century:  6:xx at 11:xx A.M, w/6,xxx ft of climbing
2nd Century:  6:xx at 7:xx P.M. w/6,xxx ft of climbing

S/F:  3:xx A.M. / 7:xx P.M.

Stage 10:

    
Strava Projected Route:  Click here (tba)
    Strava Actual Route:  Click here (tba)
    Stage 10 Daily Blog & Photos:
  Click here

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Jim's 2014 Solo Shadow Tour Daily Blog


Stage 1:

Welcome to my 2014 Solo Shadow Tour blog.  This year, I'll try blogging more meaningful insight, rather than just reporting the play-by-play. The challenge for me is to remembering interesting tid-bits from a 15-hour bike ride, and/or explaining their significance.  Will give it my best shot.

The 2014 Shadow Tour opens with four 200 mile monster "Stages".  Cyclists call 'em "Double Centuries".  Most public "Doubles" have fairly easy routes, since Event Organizers know that making them too difficult drives away prospective riders.  Knowing this, a few years back, I decided to include 200 mile Stages in my Shadow Tour.  But not just any route would do. I designed each stage to include the most difficult ride I know--Palomar Mt.

Back story:  My Palomar Mountain Respect & Fear relationship started a month after I arrived in CA, in 1993. A friend, Dan Rock, showed me the South Grade Rd, an 11.6 mile fearsome climb, starting at 1,100 ft el, and finishing at about 5,300 ft el. It's a no-nonsense, continuous climb. No relief anywhere. The first 5 miles are on SR 76, with wide, lazy S-turns, and long straights, about 6-7% grade.  At "The Turn", mile 5, begins the brutal 6.6 mile ascent on South Grade Rd. It has slightly steeper inclines, 7-8%, with seemingly endless switchback turns. Again, no down sections at all.  It's so hard, there are San Diego riders--even good ones--who've never attempted it.  In ideal conditions (cool/no wind) it will make one question their faith. In July heat, it's Demonic.

All of the above is what appeals to me. There's nowhere to hide. Either you've got the juice, or you don't. South Grade Palomar Mountain (SGPM) is the equintessential "Earn it" of aggressive cycling on a righteous mountain grade. I love it, because I fear it. Respect it, because it's incorruptible. And ride it often, because its a gut-check for my self confidence. I typically ride from my home on the coast (Carmel Valley) to the Harrah's Rincon Casino, about a mile from the base of the climb. That's a 41 mile ride due east (inland).  Then up the South Grade to the Summit, usually adding the extra 9 miles to the Palomar Mt Observatory, then back to the coast, with a 7 mile detour to bring in another gnarly climb named Cole Grade. All of that's about 116 miles.

I knew including the Palomar Mt beast in my Shadow Tour would raise the difficulty bar. But just to make sure I wasn't holding back, I also added an additional climb to the top of Palomar Mt, via the slightly more gentle, East Grade.  Palomar Mt is actually a gigantic North-South wall, separating the mild Coastal environment from the much drier, and hotter, inland desert highlands.  The far East side of Palomar Mt, around 2,500 ft el, the is dry, brown, and harsh.  It's sparsely populated, with few services, such as gas stations, or restaurants.  In the July heat, it's so hot even the locusts leave town.  Naturally, this area was my choice for adding the extra 80 miles to stretch out the distance to an honorable 200 mile Stage.

Back to the 2014 Shadow Tour: COMING SOON.

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  Stage 2:

xxxxx More fierce high temperatures awaited me inland on Stage 2.  If that wasn't enough intimidation, I was still jaded from the Stage 1 joust with Mother Nature.

Rolled off at 3:44 A.M.  xxxxxx



 
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Stage 3:



 

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  Stage 4:

xxxxx Stage 4 pushed back hard.  In previous Shadow Tours, the 4th Stage on Palomar Mt has been the best day.  I had high hopes for a repeat. 


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  Stage 5:

xxxxx Got going on Stage 5 at 3:47 A.M. xxxxx

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  Stage 6:

xxxxx Another heavy legs day in the mountains.  Got a 4:00 A.M. start and felt okay xxxxx 
                                   




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Stage 7:
                                               
                                                                                            
 

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Stage 8: 

xxxxxThe capstone high mountain stage blasted off at 3:46 A.M.  Temps were in the low 50's F, which was fine for cycling.  On the first 6 mile segment along Big Bear Lake, I had the road to myself. 
 

                                                                                   

 
   
 
 

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Stage 9:

xxxxx After a miraculous recovery from the Stage 8 crash, I rearranged my last two stages.  Decided to do a Double Century on the Coast to minimized difficult terrain.  Rolled at 3:58 A.M. with a 20 mile warm-up through Rancho Santa Fe. xxxxx



 


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Stage 10:

xxxxx The Champagne Stage got underway at 3:57 A.M.  I needed just 67 miles to match the total distance of the 2013 Tour De France, so naturally, I decided to ride a Double Century.  xxxxx

 
 
 

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2014 Solo Shadow Tour Recap







         



              
Total Avg 
Climbing  
Elev.

Date Day Stage Miles To Date  
Time Speed Elevation To Date Start Finish











29-Jun Sat 1 200.11 200.11 13:43:51 14.57 15,806 15,806 3:48 6:55
30-Jun Sun
30.58 230.69 2:00:53 15.18 1,756 17,562

1-Jul Mon 2 200.11 430.80 13:32:57 14.77 15,880 33,442 3:44 6:41
2-Jul Tue
30.21 461.01 1:59:34 15.16 1,700 35,142

3-Jul Wed 3 200.13 661.14 13:31:15 14.80 15,585 50,727 3:45 6:36
4-Jul Thu
30.54 691.68 1:56:16 15.76 1,761 52,488

5-Jul Fri 4 200.15 891.83 13:59:03 14.31 15,963 68,451 3:16 6:04
6-Jul Sat
68.44 960.27 4:24:47 15.51 4,724 73,175

7-Jul Sun 5 103.55 1,063.82 7:12:27 14.37 7,128 80,303 3:47 11:09
8-Jul Mon
75.02 1,138.84 4:50:29 15.50 4,644 84,947

9-Jul Tue 6 175.29 1,314.13 12:24:33 14.13 12,797 97,744 4:00 5:41
10-Jul Wed
64.51 1,378.64 4:11:44 15.38 3,790 101,534

11-Jul Thu 7 121.33 1,499.97 7:26:24 16.31 7,640 109,174 4:01 8:54
12-Jul Fri
54.58 1,554.55 3:32:33 15.41 3,246 112,420

13-Jul Sat 8 200.44 1,754.99 14:20:21 13.98 19,989 122,281 3:46 7:24
14-Jul Sun
20.21 1,775.20 1:26:05 14.09 1,412 123,693

15-Jul Mon 9 200.06 1,975.26 12:09:24 16.46 9,861 143,682 3:58 5:12
16-Jul Tue
45.49 2,020.75 3:11:56 14.22 3,227 146,909

17-Jul Wed 10 200.69 2,221.44 
13:16:47 15.11 12,330 159,239 3:57 
7:06














2,221.44
149:11:19 14.89 159,239 
1.3576%

                                                           
                                                           
Shadow Tour Recaps

















Year: 2004 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013










Age: 43 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52
Miles: 2,111 2,274 2,222 2,189 2,140 2,267 2,132 2,167 2,221
Time: 142:06 143:31 149:51 137:21 129:28 135:22 130:46 138:47 149:11
Avg mph: 14.85 15.84 14.83 15.94 16.53 16.75 16.31 15.62 14.89
Ft Climbed: 107,460 126,772 134,970 142,891 150,022 155,485 149,887 162,464 159,239
Gradient: 0.8900% 1.0558% 1.1501% 1.2705% 1.3274% 1.2989% 1.3312% 1.4179% 1.3576%
Start Wt: 190 192 200 188 182 180 178 178 174
Finish Wt: 172 179 186 175 170 167 165 167 166
Wt Lost: 18 lbs 13 lbs 14 lbs 13 lbs 12 lbs 12 lbs 13 lbs 11 lbs 8 lbs
Doubles 0 1 6 5 1 2 3 5 7
Flat Tires: 1 1 1 1 2 3 0 1 1
Days: 23 23 23 22 22 21 19 19 19
Field: JK & LG Solo Solo Solo Solo Solo Solo Solo Solo
 

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Jim's 2014 Solo Shadow Tour Background

For 2014, I'll be attempting my 10th unsupported solo replica of the entire Tour De France (TDF) bicycle race. This "Shadow Tour" will be my most ambitious ever, with 10 Double Century Stages in just 19 days.  The TDF is an annual professional bicycle race held in France, crossing into Italy, Spain, Belgium, and England.  The race covers 2,200+ miles in 21 stages, with 2 travel/rest days. The 2014 TDF dates are Jul 5 - July 26. My personal Shadow Tour starts on Jul 5th, covers the same distance, has substantially more elevation, finishes 3 days earlier, and is held entirely in So Cal.  The plan is to ride 10 massive 200-mile Stages, alternating with single 30 mi "rest days".  The 10 x 200 mi Stages represent my spin on the "CA Triple Crown,"  a series of 3 Double Century rides completed in a 12-month period.  The Shadow Tour's first 4 stages, aka 4 Kings, each include 2 ascents of the ferocious Palomar Mt (South Grade + East Grade).  Average speed is a lower priority with this much climbing, heat, and mileage, but I'd like to keep it above 16 mph. All 9 previous solo replicas were successful (2004, 2006 - 2013). If you conclude this is all routine--trust me, it's not. This is extreme ultra-distance, ultra-climbing, in July's blazing heat, in So Cal's inland desert & mountain regions, with many, many dangerous elements; so an important disclaimer: Do Not attempt this!

At my end, I have 27 years of cycling and racing experience in all types of terrain and weather, especially in sizzling desert environments and advanced mountain cycling. I'm a lifelong conditioned athlete. I know every stage by heart, with no need for a map. I've mentally mapped nearly every crease in the asphalt, studied traffic flows of every mile of the route, and know how, and when, to make adjustments, as necessary.

My traditional venue for the Solo Shadow Tour is So Cal, from along the Mexican border to the south, north through San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties, east through Imperial County, and west along the Pacific coastline on Historic Highway 101. The 2013 Shadow Tour will match all the total riding distance and far exceed the total climbing elevation of the actual TDF.

In 2004, Shadow Tour Co-Founder Larry Gitman, and I embarked on an adventure to replicate the entire Shadow Tour as a rigid mirror image of the real 2004 TDF. I discovered that precisely replicating the modern-era TDF format was not challenging enough. For example, in France, pro cyclists start about noon each day, following a huge breakfast/lunch, morning spin, and massage. The pelaton rides at a relatively fast tempo, but well within the capabilities of trained professional cyclists. They average about 180 km/day (about 4-5 hrs). There are 2 rest days. Most stages are about 100 miles in length.

The real TDF has exciting early stage sprint finishes, which cannot be re-created. The middle and late stages separate the leaders from the pelaton on just a few difficult high alp mountain passes. Further separations occur in Team & Individual Time Trials. Unfortunately, the last several years, with 3-4 stages remaining, the final podium rankings were relatively "fixed". Doping has, sadly, continued to plague the event. Both issues I find utterly detestible. In 2009, TDF organizers finally intervened by situating the brutal Mt Ventoux high mountain stage one day prior to the traditional "Champagne Spin" to Paris, along with other measures, to make the race more of a true competition. In my opinion,it needs many more reforms, starting with ethics training and a much more selective process for inclusion of well-qualified riders and teams in the event.

In stark contrast, the original 1903 Tour De France--the one that started it all--had just 5 monster stages of 400 Km each, plus a final gruesome 480 km finishing stage to Paris. The race was spread out over 19 days. They rode on unimproved crushed gravel roads, on heavy steel bicycles, with just two gears: a large ring on one side of the rear wheel and a small ring on the other. To change gears, a rider stopped and turned the wheel around. Outside support was not permitted. They rode day and night in all weather conditions. There were no team tactics, every rider rode to win on every stage. In the late 1960's and early 1970's the legendary Eddy Merckx "The Cannibal" rode with a ravenous Will-to-Win. In his first TDF in 1969, and again in 1970, he scorched the field. He won the Sprinter's Jersey, the King of the Mountains Jersey, and the overall winner's Yellow Jersey. He won the Tour de France five times, the Giro d'Italia five times, and the Vuelta a Espana once, tallying 11 Grand Tour victories. Eddy Merckx remains the greatest cyclist of all time, well beyond the accomplishments of all other multiple tour champions including recent multiple TDF winners.

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