CASVAR 100, or LOTOJA Backwards

Type: CASVAR Century

Distance: 100.0 miles
Time: 5:40:46
Average Watts: 146 watts
Normative Power: 174 watts
Total Work: 2,994 kJ
Average Speed: 17.3 mph

The fly fishing was great as you can tell from the photos, but the ride waiting for us on Saturday was even better. The group I was riding with consisted of Todd Quinn, a member of the Red Burro Cycling Team from Las Vegas; Scott Davis, the overall and general tough guy of the group; Curt LaBelle, who was riding in his first ever century; and Rick LaBelle, Curt’s older brother and recent finisher of Idaho 70.3. Scott and I have ridden together before, but the rest of the group hasn’t ridden with each other. Todd is by far the most experienced in the group at riding as a paceline and coordinating tactics that way. 

The ride itself was fantastic. The course at the CASVAR is beautiful and with only 65 registered riders, this century has to be one of the best kept secrets in the cycling community. The rest stops are well organized and stocked and I loved interacting with the volunteers who ran them. I was a little sad that there were so few riders out on the course – I think there were about 10 in the century division. If you can, I would add this ride to your calendar in the future.

Everyone really did well, even our first timer. The longest ride he had done to date was just over 40 miles if I recall correctly, which made miles 75-85 a little rough for him. The weather was a little uncooperative as we hit a 35-40 mph headwind at about mile 70. As bad as the wind was, the rain started and the temperatures dropped at that same point. I am happy to admit that as tough as we are as a group, we did pull over and found shelter in a storage garage.

As we came down the canyon in one of the mountain passes, I saw Todd up ahead of me flying down the mountain. The Red Burros are one of the premier cycling teams out west and they have had a rider podium at LOTOJA and many local races for the last several years. Todd is a member of the team and I wanted to see if I could keep up with him. I started to really, really mash my pedals and after about a mile caught him. At this point we were going between 45 – 50 mph down the mountain. As it started to flatten out, I jumped out ahead and tried to drop him. I was pushing 300 – 350 watts for about two minutes and then let him take a turn at the front. He kept the same pace and wasn’t even breathing hard. When it was my turn again I kept the pace high and thought I could make him burn through all his matches, but no. When I turned around to look he was still there. I was exhausted and gave up. I guess I am still not ready to be a Burro…

Tomorrow I will post my tips to help you complete your first century. Here are a couple of great pictures taken by Rick…

Salt River Pass where we humped it up and overs. I didn’t know Rick took this shot, but it is a good memory.

Todd Quinn cresting the Salt River Pass. LOTOJA comes the opposite way on this road, so the CASVAR is a great way to get to know this section of the course.

Man you can tell I have gone up to 185 lbs. from my 168 lbs. Ironman weight. This is Curt and I coming up to the top of the Pass. I loved riding with him. He and I laughed a lot about college days.

Here are the boys on the ride — “Dirty” Curty, Scott “The Diesel” Davis, Rick “I am riding at 86%” LaBelle, and Todd “Don’t you know who I am? I am a Red Burro” Quinn. This was a great group to ride with…

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...