Thursday, May 16, 2013

2013 Tour of the Unknown Coast

Sorry TUC fans, but I have stopped updating this blog.  It will remain an archive of older tours.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

2012 Tour of the Unknown Coast

The big news this year is two local women broke 6:00 hours in the 100 mile tour! Congratulations to Alyssum Cohen (5:49:57) and Laura McNulty (5:53:00) for great times. Their achievements are even sweeter considering the windy conditions we experienced out on the beach this year. What blew me away was how smart and strong they road for the first 40 miles. We were flying through Bull Creek Flats Road and I looked up the road and saw them both still with us.

Below Alyssum makes the endless hill look easy and with a smile!
(Photo Courtesy of Jason Barnes Photography)

Brian Ecker came back and finished first for the men. He and three others riders basically finished together. How do you sprint for first place in the TUC? The ride really isn't set up for a sprint finish. Usually, the difficult course splits everyone up before Ferndale. We know this is not a race, but everyone wants to end up on the winner's plaque. This resulted in an awkward situation with the riders funneling into the finish line. Brian Ecker, Casey Ehrman, Courtney Wood, and Patrick Means all deserve recognition for a strong ride.

The ride started off fast but a little slower than last year.  We had a large peleton regroup in Scotia.  This resulted in a nervous group all the way to the bottom of Panther Gap.  I believe we were about 5 minutes slower than last year.  The climb really broke up the group.  Five riders, including Brian, Casey, Courtney, Patrick, and Matt cruised off the front.  It appeared like Matt and Courtney were setting the pace most of the way up.  Their pace was just a little to fast for a few of us.  I want to thank the 7 or so other riders in the second group.  We worked really well together and it was by far the easiest tour I have ever completed.  With 8 riders we were able to work as an efficient team on the beach.

Top Finishers
1. Brian Ecker, 5:11:41
2. Casey Ehrman, 5:11:42
3. Courntey Wood, 5:41:43
4. Patrick Means, 5:11:56
5. Matt Schiff, 5:20:11
6. Jim Robbins, 5:23:01
7. Rob VanKirk, 5:26:44
8.  Rusty Dodge, 5:29:04
9. CJ Johnson, 5:29:56
10.Orion Thompson, 5:30:22
11.Seth Knight, 5:35ish

1. Alyssum Cohen, 5:49:57
2. Laura McNulty, 5:53:00

Jason Barnes Photography has great photos on the endless hill.

Noble Sports has photos from the Wall.

XP2 Aerial: Tour of the Unknown Coast 2012 - Avenue of the Giants

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

1977 Tour of the Unknown Coast

Start Location: Jonny's Cookhouse, Fortuna
Number of riders: 17
Tour Organizer: Northcoast Wheelmen, Ron Barager

Fastest Time: 6:50

Here is a great article from The Union, Arcata, CA, Thursday, April 14, 1977-Page 9

Here is a text version that I typed up which is easier to read:

1978 Tour of the Unknown Coast

The number of riders grew to over 150.

If you have any information for this year let me know.

1979 Tour of the Unknown Coast

Fastest rider was Sid Noyes, 5:42, with a new course record.

If you have any additional information from this year let me know.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

2011 Tour of the Unknown Coast

Saturday May 7th, 2011
Director: Vic Armijo
Number of Riders: 918

If you notice this post has changed this week because Blogger experienced technical difficulties which deleted my most recent version. I had to recreate the post.

Here are the results from this year. The tour has posted the official results with some corrections. I'm not sure what happended after 9th because I wasn't at the finish line. I don't think Brian Dowd was a 100 mile rider. I do know that Michael Davies-Hughes would be the next rider after the one they show as disqualified. You can pick Michael out in the sequence of photos that Jason Barnes and Jay Fox took. If you know any different let me know. I've also just shown the first two women because I would have to speculate on additional riders.

Remember that this is a tour and not a race where you would expect more accurate results. My recommendations for next year is to stop at the finish line and announce you are a 100 mile finisher. When we finished there were a lot of riders from other distances finishing at the same time. We appreciate all the volunteer support that makes the tour a success every year.

1. Teri Kolder, 6:16, Haiku, Hawaii
2. Laura McNulty, 6:34

1. Brian Ecker, 5:13:36, Bellingham, WA
2. Anthony Ferretti, 5:19:56
3. Matt DeShazo, 5:20:39
4. Courtney Wood
5. Rob Van Kirk, 5:22
6. Jim Robbins, 5:22
7. Greg Willard
8. Chris Carroll 5:30:17
9. Kevin Johnson, 5:34:59

Lots of great pictures this year from Jay Fox posted at Noble Sports and from Jason Barnes Photography . This year Jason took pictures all around the route from his motorcycle.

The pain begins on the Panther Gap climb. You can see the pain in my face (4th rider). Rob Van Kirk set a real steady but hard pace up the climb. Matt Dashazo spinned along all day and appeared to be the strongest in our group. Brian Ecker pulled away on Avenue of the Giants with Todd Flackus and eventhough we could see him at times, he was just too strong to catch. Photo courtesty of Jason Barnes Photograpy.

Here Brian Ecker climbs the wall several minutes ahead of the chasers. Photo courtesty of Jason Barnes Photography.

Times Standard article May 8, 2011
Click on it for a larger view:

Tri-City Weekly Article - May 3, 2001

Click above for a larger view or click the link below for the online article:

Race gets rolling Ferndale welcomes Tour of the Unknown Coast - Times-Standard Online

Tour Flyer:

Here is the GPS data from my ride. You can see that our average speed was pretty fast to the base of Panther Gap. It took us about 4 hours to get to the base of the wall. Click on "View Details" to see all the data.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

2010 Tour of the Unknown Coast

Date: May 8, 2010
Tour Director: Vic Armijo

Congratulations to Carl Hesselein for being the first finisher (5:21) this year and a local rider! Teri Kolder was the first ladies finisher in 6:29.

There are some great pictures here at noble sports

Another local, Matt Schiff, placed second. Here is how he described the day:
"From the avenue of the giants to the end of the day Carl was at the front, taking pulls with a tempo just a little faster than the rest of us. We found ourselves at the endless hills, not actually racing, but still tapping out a tempo maybe even talking a little. Carl showed an almost apathy towards pulling away. When he realized he had a 100 foot gap on me, he actually slowed down and waited! I had no problem showing my cards and told him I'd be descending like a demon. Aside from being nauseous, cold, and a little lonely on those treeless hills, scaring myself as I ride down into Ferndale is part of the ritual. Carl's ambivalence ended when we received word that Fig was making a massive attack (out of nowhere?) and would be joining us soon. So yeah, hats off to Carl for not only finishing first, but doing it with class. "

Matt is heading off with some friends on a huge tour. Check out their site: BIKE49

Fig gets the iron will award. He flatted badly near the dump and worked his way back for third. According to the support car he was big-ringing the top section of the endless hills and just flying! I know from personal experience that he never gives up. He's 51 and getting faster and fitter every year.

Here is a Times-Standard article published May 8, 2010, by Ray Aspuria:

Here is a Times-Standard article published May 9, 2010:

Tour Poster:


The tours website described the double century "for the sickest of the sick." Now how am I to avoid this challenge? During the fall of 2009 I heard rumors that Vic was going to bring back the double. As this blog's author I knew well of the doubles history. I couldn't imagine doing the double, but could I? I had experience in longer randonneuring events and had a couple of doubles under my belt. I also had challenged the 100 for the past three years and scrapped together a couple of top 5 finishes. I felt I was pounding my head against the wall with the century. Every year an outside pro would come along a blast all the locals on Panther Gap and I would blow up on the endless hills. Everyone I asked about the double thought it was a crazy idea so I didn't really tell anyone I was going to do it. In fact a week before the event I signed up for the century. But, while surfing the web I came across a great quote. "Never regret the things you tried, but the things you wished you tried."

I had trained hard all winter and felt I was in the best shape of my life. So Saturday, May 8th, I lined up with 4 other brave souls. My Giant OCR was fitted with aero bars and a giant cassette for ultimate comfort and anti bonk prevention. I had my jersey pockets stuffed with food and I was ready to go. I had no idea we would have a support car. David Bradley had his mini van stuffed full of food and water. I decided to keep my stash of personal food since I had trained with it for the past couple of months.

We headed out in the dark. I took the lead and set the pace I would keep the rest of the day. My trusty Garmin Edge kept my heart rate in check and I cruised through the Ferndale bottoms chatting with another rider. We soon hit the first of the three sisters and I maintained my personal pace. At the top of the climb I notice I was ahead of everyone and decided I would have to solo the ride. My randonneuring experience had taught me to ride at my own pace, keep stops short, and be self sufficient.

I could write forever, but there really isn't much more to say. I had one of the best days on my bike ever! My goal was a time of 13:30. I completed the first lap in 6:15 and the second took me a full hour longer. The second lap was slowed with a stop at Dyerville for real food. Thanks to my wife for the awesome chicken and rice burrito. I flatted just past Albee Creek campground and played with my wheel too long trying to get the Stan's sealant to fix the hole in my tubeless tire. I never bonked, but I did have a few euphoric miles between Honeydew and A.W.Way on the second lap. A long stop at A.W.Way and some real food fixed me up. I decided to not stop at the bottom of the wall but blasted the last 20 miles as if I hadn't ridden 180. To my surprise a small group was waiting for me at the finish. The whole Adventure's Edge Crew cheered me on as I finished! I would like to thank Jennifer and Chris at Adventure's Edge for sponsoring me. I would also like to thank my family for supporting my endless hours of training.

I have the utmost respect for Kevin Hodge(12:04:52), David Berstein (12:16:05), and David Andersen (12:26:58) who all road a full hour faster than me back in 1995.