Newsletter Archive
Message ID    9
Subject Ride Report: Winter Solstice Century - 2009/10
Entered Jan 12, 2010
Modified Jan 12, 2010
Well, after a rain delay on the regularly scheduled date, we finally clicked this one off.

We ended up with a bit smaller peloton than 2008 and smaller than the originally slated number of riders for the rained-out Dec 12 event, which had about 28 riders and three support volunteers. Saturday's ride started with 19 riders and three support volunteers.

Start List:

  1. Bill "Sledge" Nowlin     MVV (2007 Points Leader)
  2. Brian "Flying Scotsman" McLean     (LGBRC)
  3. Michael Ahern     (LGBRC)
  4. Kyle McElroy   (SJBC)
  5. Kurt Webb     (MVV Guest)
  6. Alexander Garza     (MVV)
  7. Rick "The Closer" Adams   (LGBRC)
  8. Mike Aberg     (MVV)
  9. Chris Paxton     (MVV)
  10. Calvin Darling     (MVV) (2008 Points Leader)
  11. Steve "Hammerschlagen" Stewart     (LGBRC)
  12. Craig Larsen     (MVV)
  13. Mark Fischer     (SJBC - 2007 Sprinter Points Leader)
  14. Boris Foelsch     (MVV)
  15. Jackson Stewart     (BMC Racing Team)
  16. Kevin "Energizer" Fox     (LGBRC)
  17. Mark "Switch" Jongsma    (MVV)
  18. Unknown  (SJBC)
  19. John Paveza (SJBC Guest)


  1. Sarah "The Director" Nowlin  (MVV)
  2. Mary-Ellen "The Crusher" Ash  (LGBRC)
  3. Paul "Any Beer" Hartrey     (MVV)
  4. John Paveza (SJBC Guest)

First things first: a massive thanks to the above support folks; Sarah, Paul, and Mary-Ellen were awesome. Mary-Ellen was originally registered to ride but caught a cold a few days before the start. A day or so before Saturday I put out a notice that we were short a sweeper car and Mary-Ellen graciously volunteered for that much needed position--a BIG thanks M-E!

This year's event would be the same as last year with a no-drop rule and eight points segments and evenly mixed for the sprinters and the climbers. As last year there were four sprints and four KOMs. MVV was the biggest squad (as usual) with about nine riders. LGBRC was next with just five riders. SJBC sent three or four and the BMC Racing Team sent one.

The start was as always with a mellow pace all the way out to Shore Rd before getting up to speed. The weather was fabulous relative to last year and what it would have been like on the originally scheduled date. We had a couple of flats early on, which slowed the field and our overall time down a bit. The team cars were off buying some delicious Subway sandwiches so we were on our own until just before the first sprint.

The first sprint is ~21-miles into the ride so you're nice and warmed-up when it comes. None of the sprints are terribly long (to suit a particular riders abilities) so they are usually pretty close and rarely involve an team tactics. The first sprint was easily taken by LGBRC with a jump from the corner all the way to the line. MVV had at least two riders in tow but could not come around the blazing LGBRC rider.

Sprint #1 Results:

  1. Steve Stewart (LGBRC)
  2. Calvin Darling (MVV)
  3. Craig Larsen (MVV)
  4. Unclaimed
  5. Marc Moisson (MVV)
Sprint #1 Winning Stats:

---------Selection Stats---------
Dist:        0.17 mi (0:00:28)
Energy:      17.5 kJ
Cals Burn:   16.8 kcal
Climbing:       7 ft
Braking:      0.0 kJ (0.0%)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power     197  626.2   995  W
Aero        0  193.9   366  W
Rolling    38   52.7    67  W
Gravity    65  223.3   385  W
Speed    17.0   23.3  29.8  mi/h
Wind     14.1   19.2  23.9  mi/h
Elev       65     67    73  ft
Slope     1.1   2.75   4.1  %
Caden      78   91.8   103  rpm
HR        167  176.3   188  bpm
CdA: 0.390 m^2; Crr: 0.0065
175 lbs; 1/9/2010 9:48 AM
48 degF; 1013 mbar

The second sprint comes just 2-miles later on Santa Ana Valley Road, which makes it a bit harsh. This sprint is very nearly the same distance and setup as the first and is usually won with a come from behind tactic. However, LGBRC positioned their sprinter well for the corner and LGBRC's sprinter--again--jumped early and stayed out in front all the way to the line--again--ahead of some hard charging MVV sprinters.

Sprint #2 Results:

  1. Steve Stewart (LGBRC)
  2. Calvin Darling (MVV)
  3. Craig Larsen (MVV)
  4. Bill Nowlin (MVV)
  5. Unclaimed
Sprint #2 Winning Stats:

---------Selection Stats---------
Dist:        0.16 mi (0:00:22)
Energy:      15.8 kJ
Cals Burn:   15.1 kcal
Climbing:       0 ft
Braking:      0.0 kJ (0.0%)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power     241  719.6   897  W
Aero        0  327.0   488  W
Rolling    44   60.8    69  W
Gravity    67  128.3   185  W
Speed    19.4   26.9  30.7  mi/h
Wind     16.9   23.6  27.5  mi/h
Elev      268    270   271  ft
Slope     0.6   1.37   2.1  %
Caden      80   96.7   103  rpm
HR        174  180.1   187  bpm
CdA: 0.390 m^2; Crr: 0.0065
175 lbs; 1/9/2010 9:56 AM
50 degF; 1013 mbar

With the first two nearly back-to-back sprints in the books, the first KOM comes pretty quick after Sprint #2 and you can see it way off on the horizon. It's really an uphill sprint but classifies as a KOM due to its slope and slightly longer distance than the sprints. After narrowly losing the first two sprints to LGBRC, MVV decided they'd better get on the stick and win some points. As we headed towards the KOM MVV moved towards the front and LGBRC's Kevin Fox took up chase. The start was fast and furious since it's a relatively short climb. Kevin Fox looked to be in a good position to win as we approached the summit but backed out of it with about 100-meters to go. MVV bagged the first KOM's top three spots just ahead of two hard-charging LGBRC riders.

KOM #1 Results:

  1. Calvin Darling (MVV)
  2. Bill Nowlin (MVV)
  3. Craig Larsen (MVV)
  4. Steve Stewart (LGBRC)
  5. Kevin Fox (LGBRC)
KOM #1 Stats (4th Place):

---------Selection Stats---------
Dist:        0.21 mi (0:00:39)
Energy:      21.5 kJ
Cals Burn:   20.5 kcal
Climbing:      50 ft
Braking:      0.0 kJ (0.0%)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power     137  550.2   741  W
Aero        0   51.8   132  W
Rolling    43   45.5    48  W
Gravity   -97  439.2   664  W
Speed    19.1   20.2  21.1  mi/h
Wind      4.8    9.7  17.2  mi/h
Elev      363    387   415  ft
Slope    -1.3   6.27   9.6  %
Caden      77   89.1   106  rpm
HR        167  177.0   186  bpm
NP 602 W; IF 2.142; TSS 5.0
CdA: 0.390 m^2; Crr: 0.0065
175 lbs; 1/9/2010 10:04 AM
51 degF; 1013 mbar

The ride starts getting pretty beautiful at this point and winds through some pristine cattle ranch land. The second KOM starts about 2-miles from the first and is much less of a climb but longer and leads off with some painful rollers. Media coverage of this KOM was obscured by serious lactate overload by our WSC reporter and is provided by second-hand news accounts. In any case, it was a major battle as the key MVV riders and LGBRC riders launched aa bit too early for the rest of the field to watch. MVV bagged KOM 2 with some hard charging efforts over the rollers ending with Mark Jonsgma taking the top points. To my surprise, Rick Adams of LGBRC managed to score some KOM points here with a very nice 4th place finish.

KOM #2 Results:

  1. Mark Jongsma (MVV)
  2. Bill Nowlin (MVV)
  3. Craig Larsen (MVV)
  4. Rick Adams (LGBRC)
  5. Kevin Fox (LGBRC)

So the next KOM is the "Big Mondo," but it's quite aways into the ride at 46.6-miles. The route to the base of the climb is quite undulating but very fast. The group did a wonderful job pacelining but not too many rotations as Jackson Stewart maintained a pretty good tempo and clearly was well on his way at that point to his second or third "WSC Longest Pull Jersey."  This segment--at least for me--is one of the hardest since it has plenty of rollers and sometimes strong winds. And, of course, can be fast and furious as different hammers take their shots on the front. This year many of us were thankful that we were missing a few of the typical hammers that we've had in previous years. Even Kevin "The Energizer" Fox was relatively tame on this section. With the climb fast approaching we still had a very nice group together and started the climb with nearly everyone. As always, the usual KOM suspects came to the front and quickly separated from the main group as it also begin to split. This climb is the longest and, though not terribly steep, is actually pretty tough. LGBRC's Kevin Fox came alive on this one and was nearly successful in taking the top points. Craig Larsen of MVV had other plans and managed to take the top spot just ahead of a charging Kevin Fox. The points were big on the last two KOM's so the battle for the top 5 spots were very fiercely fought for. 

KOM #3 Results:

  1. Craig Larsen (MVV)
  2. Kevin Fox (LGBRC)
  3. Bill Nowlin (MVV)
  4. Mark Jongsma (MVV)
  5. Calvin Darling (MVV)
KOM #3 Stats (7th Place)

---------Selection Stats---------
Dist:        1.70 mi (0:09:18)
Energy:     129.2 kJ
Cals Burn:  123.5 kcal
Climbing:     437 ft
Braking:      0.0 kJ (0.0%)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power       6  231.5   352  W
Aero        0   18.1    55  W
Rolling    11   24.8    47  W
Gravity    23  189.1   316  W
Speed     4.7   11.0  20.8  mi/h
Wind      0.0    8.4  15.3  mi/h
Elev      690    944  1129  ft
Slope     0.6   4.95   7.7  %
Caden      13   75.1   100  rpm
HR        152  178.5   188  bpm
NP 254 W; IF 0.904; TSS 12.7
CdA: 0.390 m^2; Crr: 0.0065
175 lbs; 1/9/2010 11:06 AM
67 degF; 1013 mbar

So after a tough climb we regrouped at the top and then rode mostly together to the Pinnacles campground/store where our illustrious support crew had a massive and scrumptious feast waiting for us. Sarah, Paul, and Mary-Ellen had a picnic table full of goodies and deliciously fresh sandwiches ready for us. It was better than any organized century ride I've ever done--sweet!

The Pinnacles stop is always the longest and the weather was very pleasant. The sun never really blazed but did pop-out slightly most of the day. The temps were encredibly warm for a partly cloudy January day and the wind not really a factor. Everyone looked good and the ride back on Highway 25 pretty uneventful with some nice pacelining and evenly shared work all the way to the turn-off into the hills at Old Airline Road.

It was at this point when I realized that a number of riders were really having a good day. Mike Ahern of LGBRC was certainly having a personal-best and looking strong on the ride, which would certainly be his longest ever. Mike didn't just hang-in either, many times he was at the front taking pulls and pushing the pace. Boris Foelsch of MVV also looked very strong and was having a great ride.

Sprint #3 comes a few miles up Cienega Rd and is another uphill thrasher. The pace always gets pretty high so this one is typically only contested by the five riders who will earn points. LGBRC again went for the win but the MVV boys were a bit quicker on the jump and finished one-two with LGBRC taking third and fifth. Calvin Darling easily took the sprint with a very nice effort well ahead of a charging Bill Nowlin and Hammerschlagen right on his wheel.

Sprint #3 Results:

  1. Calvin Darling (MVV)
  2. Bill Nowlin (MVV)
  3. Steve Stewart (LGBRC)
  4. Craig Larsen (MVV)
  5. Brian McLean (LGBRC)

Okay, the a nice an relatively mellow pace to the final KOM of the day. This one is on Cienega Road and starts just after the Hollister Hills SVRA (Motorcycle) Park. SJBC's Mark "Fletch" Fletcher, came out of his shell and launched an attack about a half-mile before the start of the climb. Not really a massive attack but did serve to get the speed up and the field awake for the impending battle. Unfortunately, Fletch ran out of go-juice as we started the climb and the pace slowed a bit as the peloton waited for the first move. As he does often, Big Bill Nowlin launched a massive attack from behind while the rest of us were dinking around. Hammerschlagen was the first to counter the attack and jumped out of the field and took chase. Big Bill's attack was pretty harsh and Hammerschlagen burnt an entire book of matches just catching him. As Big Bill continued to turn the screws, Hammershlagen had difficulty staying on his wheel and a gap opened up. BMC rider, Jackson Stewart, took over the chase as Hammerschlagen took inventory and assessed his gap. The gap looked pretty good very near the top but Calvin Darling (MVV) roared by Hammerschlagen just at the top of the climb for second place. Hammerschlagen took a close third well ahead of the rest of the chasers. Always the most exciting KOM, this one doesn't disappoint. When you get to the top you're looking down on the northwestern Hollister valley, a beautiful ride down, too.

KOM #3 Results:

  1. Bill Nowlin (MVV)
  2. Calvin Darling (MVV)
  3. Steve Stewart (LGBRC)
  4. Craig Larsen (MVV)
  5. Mark Jongsma (MVV)
KOM #4 Stats (3rd Place):

---------Selection Stats---------
Dist:        0.65 mi (0:01:51)
Energy:      43.9 kJ
Cals Burn:   41.9 kcal
Climbing:     110 ft
Braking:      0.0 kJ (0.0%)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power      20  395.2   997  W
Aero        0   92.9   316  W
Rolling    34   48.3    66  W
Gravity    58  256.2   578  W
Speed    14.9   21.4  29.4  mi/h
Wind      4.9   12.7  21.2  mi/h
Elev      432    487   544  ft
Slope     0.9   3.45   6.8  %
Caden      71   88.2   106  rpm
HR        141  175.2   186  bpm
NP 447 W; IF 1.590; TSS 7.8
CdA: 0.390 m^2; Crr: 0.0065
175 lbs; 1/9/2010 1:12 PM
56 degF; 1013 mbar

Okay, so now you take a nice fast descent down to the valley below and it's all flats and just one more sprint to finish off this epic ride. You may be asking why BMC's rider, jackson Stewart, isn't scoring any points. Well, this year MVV took control of the points tracking and excluded Jackson's results from the talley. Jackson didn't go for any sprints but was in the top three on nearly every KOM. He typically pulls out of the pace close to the top and lets others take points ahead of him but sometimes crosses the line ahead of the fourth or fifth placed riders. In any case, it's very nice to have him along since he does a lot of work in the pacelines and clearly gets the Longest Pull Jersey again this year.

So we're at about 87-miles into the ride and, of course, we're all digging the fact that the lactate inhibitors are close and the course is getting pretty flat from here on out. The highlight of the ride back was another massive pull at the front by Jackson. Notr sure, but I suspect it was about 4- or 5-miles and at a very nice pace. After that, we turned onto Highway 25 from Highway 156 and ran into a lane closure, which forced us into a single-file group and unlucky rider, Mark "Switch" Jongsma was on the front. He pulled a long ways before the rest of us realized that Sarah "The Director" Nowlin had been blocking the traffic for us the whole way!  I went to the front to relieve Mark but it was tough and I didn't stay there long. Can't believe he was up there for so long.

The group stayed together well for the remainder of the flats and up to the final sprint segment. As in previous years, things got a bit hectic going into the final sprint as Jackson decided to speed things up a bit. As we turned on Bolsa Rd at mile 107.4, Jackson went to the front and launched what felt like a charge to the line. I jumped on his wheel but quickly realized there was no way I was going to stay on it all the way to the line. And, it was also against the rules to attack the field until the points marker. Well, as in previous years, the MVV boys were overloaded with testosterone and over-reacted to Jackson's effort and blew by, leaving the peloton well ahead of the specified marker. Since Jackson initiated the attack we couldn't very well blame MVV for their jumping. And, given the fact that LGBRC rider, Ricky "The Closer" Adams smoked them in the sprint, the officials looked the other way and ignored the rule violation.

It was clearly the hardest fought sprint of the day and while the MVV boys raced themselves, Ricky was able to sit on and blow by them at the line--sweet!! 

Sprint #4 Results:

  1. Rick Adams (LGBRC)
  2. Calvin Darling (MVV)
  3. Craig Larsen (MVV)
  4. Bill Nowlin (MVV)
  5. Steve Stewart (LGBRC)
The rest of the ride is pretty mellow as we head back on flat roads to Christmas Hill Park. Once again, our killer support team had a full-on feast waiting for us, complete with dual Mr- Heaters, lactate inhibitors galore, and some very welcome hot chili and turkey dogs.

Again, I want to thank Paul Hartrey, Sarah Nowlin, and Mary-Ellen Ash. They were wonderful and clearly a fantastic part of the event. Paul would have been riding but, as many know, he was seriously injured in a biking accident sveral months ago. He's doing fine but obviously not ready for something like the WSC just yet. He's working on his form to be ready for Solvang, which may just have a Masters category this year. Marc Moisson (60+ category) clicked off this year's WSC in fine form and also bagged some sprint points--very nice!

Okay, so the overall looks like this:

  1. Calvin "The Spanish Climber/Sprint" Darling  (MVV)
  2. Bill "Sledgehammer" Nowlin (MVV)
  3. Craig Larsen (MVV)
  4. Steve "Hammerschlagen" Stewart (LGBRC)
  5. Mark "Switch" Jongsma (MVV)

KOM Results:

  1. Bill Nowlin (MVV)
  2. Craig Larsen (MVV)
  3. Calvin Darling (MVV)
  4. Mark Jongsma (MVV)
  5. Kevin Fox (LGBRC)

Sprint Results:

  1. Calvin Darling (MVV)
  2. Steve Stewart (LGBRC)
  3. Craig Larsen (MVV)
  4. Bill Nowlin (MVV)
  5. Rick Adams (LGBRC)
I have to give LGBRC rider, Brian McLean, a mention here for the runner-up spot in both the sprints and KOMs. He actually bagged one sprint point and was always close or just one spot away from points--nice riding, Brian!

Of course, every rider rode well and worked hard. It was another great event and definitely memorable, in many ways, not just the pain. :)

Overall Ride Stats (Hammerschlagen's iBike iAero)

Dist:      111.52 mi (5:54:09)
Energy:    2774.0 kJ
Cals Burn: 2652.0 kcal
Climbing:    3831 ft
Braking:    -47.5 kJ (-1.7%)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power       0  130.5  1007  W
Aero        0   79.2  1268  W
Rolling     0   42.7   187  W
Gravity -1741    1.0   664  W
Speed     0.0   18.9  82.5  mi/h
Wind      0.0   12.1  36.7  mi/h
Elev     -199    340  1187  ft
Slope   -13.7   0.02  10.5  %
Caden       0   76.5   142  rpm
HR         88  152.2   190  bpm
NP 196 W; IF 0.697; TSS 286.8
CdA: 0.390 m^2; Crr: 0.0065
175 lbs; 1/9/2010 8:43 AM
58 degF; 1013 mbar

Next major fun ride event is Solvang in mid-March. 

Okay, Shut-up and Ride!


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