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.


statcxr said...

For 2010 TUC, I plan on riding just the century, and trying for a time under six hours. I've already done the Mulholland and Devil Mountain doubles this past April 10and 24, so I need a rest before the Terrible Two in mid June. Besides, I don't think a twice around makes for a very desirable double, although twice around the TUC course will make it arguably the toughest double century around. Good luck to those who go for it!

claasen said...

Just posted a retrospective TUC video to YouTube. Almost thirty years of clips and pics on the Unknown Coast.

statcxr said...

I just love this century! It's my favorite by far, in spite of the vicious beating my bike took today from those various bits of road along the way.

Seems this year was another one of those snoozy starts, as I, a recreational rider, was able to stay with the lead peloton until I had to stop for a broken saddle bag in Rockefeller Forest. I still had a decent ride, trimming 22 minutes off my last year's time.

Fresh off recent wins of both the Mulholland and Devil Mountain double centuries, my fried Marc Moons was poised to take the KOM and victory of the 100-miler today. However, a group of 7 or 8 guys with local bike shop kits thought it was OK to call for a pee stop on the Panther Gap climb, and then attack once a bunch of riders, Marc included, stopped. Imagine their surprise as he eventually crushed about 5 of them out in the Endless Hills. Dirty poker!

teri said...

aloha ---What perfect conditions this year again!! No wind at the coast was beautiful--could of been a bit warmer, just a bit.

question: what was with the slow start? has ever year had a pace car slowing the the group down? There was more time to be shed in the flats? what was up with that, did they do that last year--don't think so, last year was a banshee start, dropping me right in the beginning. although I did appreciate the warm up.

I had my best time 6:29 but was hoping to break 6-- I need to be on a team---riding more than half the race alone is challenging. I realize how much motivational force comes from riding with other people charging.

anyway question remains: what was up with the pace car?

statcxr said...

This was the third consecutive year I've done this ride. Yes, last year's lead group left me behind right from the start too. But the year before, like this year, the pace was mellow enough for me to stay with the lead group to the base of Panther Gap climb. So, maybe this is an every-other-year thing (doubt it, haha), and next year the pedal will be to the metal right out of the gates once again. I was hoping to break 6 hours too, but fell short. Had my best time though, and a great time on the ride. Love this thing, and plan to do it every year I can. I'll never use my good racing wheels again, however!

Jimbob said...

Last year a few locals had the objective of getting good overall times. A fast start for the first 40 miles can make a big difference. However, that fast start backfired for a few of us, like me. I blew up on Panther because of it.

teri said...

Bummer on the blow up at Panther-- I was counting on a fast start to drop more time--last year due to the boyfriend (now an ex) circumstances we missed the start and that mentally messed me up.
I've said I'm not coming back to do it again, that this would be my last year, but if it possible to fall in love with a ride I have done such. I will be back with better strategy and/or find some team to jump on with. what was the purpose of the pace car? that same suv messed up part of my downhill. I spoke with Vic about getting a Queen of the mountain too (didn't the King get $200 cash?) - he was generous enough to give me a jersey ; ) any way it was sliced it was a great ride again.

and....Did ANYONE do the double??!!!!

Anthony said...

I filmed the TUC, and there are 5 parts that you all might enjoy.
The videos can be found on youtube, searching "Tour of the Unknown Coast 2010, Part 1"
(and also, Part 2, 3, etc.)

yooperjb said...

Any idea if/when the times will be posted? I'm not sure exactly when I finished, and it would be great to see all those who finished.

statcxr said...

Anthony: I saw your five-part series of this year's TUC and enjoyed it. Thanks!

yooperjb: Vic informed me the results would be posted at
on Thursday. Could be a little longer, but they'll be posted.

Jim: great job on being the hardcore animal and doing two laps of this tough course! I was SO done after just one!

Next year I'm going to break 6 hours, or at least have a great time trying.... This is my favorite century by far.

statcxr said...

I saw you guys roll out at 5am on the way back to my tent from the bathroom. I might give it a go if they run it next year. How many finished it? Did the guy on the recumbent finish?

statcxr said...

Nice write up, Jim. Congratulations on a sickest-of-the-sick ride. Your first lap was almost as fast as my all out, one and only lap! Great ride!

See if you can pull some strings with Vic to get those results, for all of us, finally posted :-)