CASVAR 2011 — Riding for Scott Davis

Distance: 100.75 miles
Time: 5:11:47
Average Watts: 148 watts
Normative Power: 188 watts
Average Heart Rate: 140 bpm
Total Work: 2,772 kJ
Average Speed: 19.4 mph

The CASVAR 2010 was the last ride our group of friends was able to do with our pal Scott Davis before he passed away last fall from an accidental gunshot. The ride in 2010 was an amazing experience and looking back on it, I am so appreciative of the time that all of us took out of our schedules to get up to Wyoming and do this ride.

The Ride Director, Howard Jones, went out of his way to make sure Scott was remembered. He took the proceeds from the ride and donated them to the Scott B. Davis Family Foundation, a fund we set up to help his kids with college, weddings, and other expenses that will come up as they grow up. We had a ton of people from Salt Lake City who knew Scott that we brought up to the ride to support the cause. I would try and name them all, but I know I would forget someone.

Scott’s wife Kim and their kids were able come out for the event. Scott’s mom Susie and his sister Mandy were there. It was really meaningful for me to have them all there. Scott was an adventurer and I think that is the reason he gravitated to the activities that he did, which included cycling and triathlon. It was great to see that his family and friends have picked the CASVAR as one of the ways that they choose to remember him.

Here is Scott with Curt, Todd, and I before the start of CASVAR 2010…Left to right — Todd, Curt, Me, and Scott.

The weekend was therapeutic for me.  I haven’t dealt with Scott’s death that well. It has been hard for me to accept that he is gone. I have used certain little things to help me cope and remember, like the RoadID I had done up in tribute to him that I wear every time I ride my bike. It is my little way to carry him with me as I ride. I still am talking to him on rides. I am not sure that will ever go away.

The problem is in our little group, he was the best of us. He had so many qualities that came naturally to him that I have spent a lifetime trying to cultivate in vain. There are very few men in this world who are as fantastic of a person. He was one of those friends/husbands/fathers/sons/uncles who you will never replace. If you want to read more about Scott, click here.

I did get to fly fish with his son Montee for about two hours on Saturday night after the ride. Hanging out with him was really cool. His mom is doing a fantastic job continuing to raise him. He is the type of kid that anyone would be proud to call their son. He is 14 right now and about 6’0″ and when he fills out like his Dad, he will be huge. It will be great to see that kid grow up.

The Actual Ride

The ride was a century that wound its way around what the locals call Star Valley Wyoming. It starts at the fairgrounds in Afton and the course itself really takes you by some incredible scenery. Howard did a great job as usual on this ride and our contingency will be back in 2012. Curt, Todd, Rick, Brent, and I are all riding LOTOJA, so we treated this as a serious dress rehearsal. As hard as we pushed the entire ride, what I really want to tell you about is the King of the Mountain contest we had.

So our little group decided before the ride that we would race up to the top of Salt River Pass. The way we put the contest together, it was a 3.1 mile climb with about 650 feet of elevation gain. The official report from my Garmin 500 has it at a 4.0% average grade, but the climb starts really slow and ramps up to sections that are around 7.0%. There are some tough sections and no rest for the weary. It is a great test of your fitness levels.

A couple of weeks ago I did this climb in 17:00 flat. I knew even on my best day I was a dark horse going into this contest because both Rick and Brent are amazing climbers. Rick especially seems to have no pain threshold. He can put out an incredible amount of effort seemingly without any strain on his legs and lungs. I thought going into this climb I would get fourth out of our five riders.

The climb started out and Curt and Todd both decided to conserve their legs because of the long day in front of us. Brent, Rick, and I took off and I could not believe the amount of power that keeping up with those two required. We got to about mile 1.5 and Brent dropped off the back, so the line had Rick and I. He stayed on the front and I knew I had to move up or he would make fun of me for letting him pull me all the way to the top. Looking closely at my power and knowing how long that climb was, I knew I was going to blow up.

Then after 7:00 it happened. I had pulled to the front but I knew the end was near. I had held 277 watts for the 7:00 up the mountain and 15.7 mph. My heart rate averaged 162 bpm and my legs decided that they were done. I had to let up if I wanted to make it to the top of the climb. I let Rick go and man did he go. He passed me and then dropped me like I had a disease. Shortly after that Brent caught and passed me as well. For the rest of the climb I averaged 241 watts and only 8.6 mph. The entire climb I averaged 258 watts and 164 bpm. I finished it in 15:53. In less than two weeks I had shaved more than a minute off of my previous time.

I have to admit it was amazing to climb with those two and try and stay on their wheels. I think Rick beat me by at least 2:00 and Brent beat me by probably about 1:00. They are doing LOTOJA as a relay and I have to tell you I like their chances to podium. They are both extremely strong riders and I am betting will do very well. There is no shame in losing to those two, but you better believe I will work my tail off to take the King of the Mountain prize at CASVAR 2012.

The rest of the weekend was awesome. It was great to spend time with my friends and their families. Here are some of the photos I took over the weekend. I think I will let them tell the story…

Yep, I caught a great Brown on Stump Creek with a red humpy fly. We mostly caught small fish, but I loved pulling this one in.

My buddy Todd Quinn’s son learning that sometimes when you are fly fishing you have to look behind you. :) The kid is a natural and had no problem out fishing the rest of us old men for the weekend. He pulled five fish out of one hole. That and one very hungry leech…

Our little peloton that did the century together. From left to right — Todd Quinn (President of the Red Burros Racing Team), Brent Williams (let’s just call him Speedy), Rick LaBelle (let’s call him the Beast), Curt LaBelle (another workhorse), and me. This was right before the start and there was some really nervous energy building for the King of the Mountain contest.

This is our little group working the paceline at about 25.0 mph on a slight uphill. This was the view from the back all day long.

This was Rick’s wife Jo’s peloton. This group came from three different states to do this ride. We rode with them for a small stretch. They were a fun group. I loved the matching jerseys.

This is our group at the top of the Salt River Pass after the King of the Mountain climb. We had a great individual from England come over and take this one for us. From left to right — Rick “The Mountain Goat” LaBelle, Todd “The Red Burro” Quinn, Curt “Calves” LaBelle, me, and Brent “Steady Eddie” Williams. This will be one fast crew for LOTOJA.

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...