What a ride the ULCER was…but first a couple of housekeeping items. You might have noticed that I changed the URL of my blog. You can now access me at http://26.2ismycooldown.com/. Sweet huh? Joe and I came up with that one. You will notice we even got the 26.2 in there. That was a stroke of genius. Now on to your regularly scheduled programming. Type: Bike Distance: 115.55 miles Time: 5:51 Average pace: 19.75 mph Average Heart Rate: 141 bpm I have to tell you this was a very challenging course this year. The wind was out of the north at about 25 mph the whole day, which was fantastic for about the first 75 miles. The course took you from Thanksgiving Point down to the south end of Utah Lake and around the west side up to Saratoga Springs. We didn’t really hit the wind hard until we had about 80 left to go and then bam! The wind hit you square in the jaw. We were able to hold about 18 mph through the wind. Juston Puchar and I rode together and we decided today was one of those days where you find out what you are made of. The ride was scheduled for 111 miles, but we got extra mileage biking to and from the course. It was interesting for the first 75 miles. Juston and I rode a nice steady 23 to 25 mph the whole time. Remember this was wind assisted…but we would have trains of up to nine bikers deep on our wheels at any given time. The interesting thing was very few of them wanted to pull and as a result, would fall off the back after a couple of miles. I don’t mind people who don’t pull, but it is common courtesy to take a turn on the front. My equipment performed flawlessly. I love my Cervelo P2C bike. Two different people asked me how I like it and I had to give it two thumbs up. The carbon fiber frame, forks, and seat post really absorb the road noise. When you ride 115 miles in a day, that becomes important to you. Since I had the bike professionally fitted at Canyon Cycles, I never really got sore in any one spot. This bike really is one of the best triathlon bikes for the money. My Mavic Ksyrium SL wheelset felt so light today. There were many, many times out in the wind and on the hills I was grateful that I had them. Sometimes when I really get on my pedals, it feels like the bike is going to run out from under me. The clutch on the rear wheel isn’t nearly as loud as the clutch on Zipps. The crosswinds didn’t really take them and throw them around like one would expect from a deeper rimmed wheel. Like you may know, I have been looking for a tire that is fast but bullet proof and can carry a little more psi than others. I think I fell in love today with the Michelin Pro 3’s. I have been riding them for a couple of weeks now to test them, and today with the numerous cattle guards, railroad tracks, and the boulder I hit at one point, they were well up to the task. Cornering at high speeds wasn’t a problem. I rode them with 145 psi all day and felt fantastic. I think I am now a Michelin Man (yuk yuk). One last tool that I will mention — I used my Infinit Nutrition mix all day long. This is a custom made sports drink that I use to meet all my nutrition needs during my rides and runs. So today I had a stroke of genius (I am about a year behind on this one). My bike is set up to carry three bottles, so I filled two up with water and mixed in the Infinit. I filled the third bottle with the Infinit powder and badda boom badda bing, I had enough nutrition to last me the day. I like to take in about 250-200 calories per hour, and that equates to one bottle every hour the way I have my Infinit set up. My legs got tired after trying to pull in the heavy winds, but I never really got wiped today. Part of that obviously was that I was riding with Juston and he took plenty of turns up front. Part of it was that we were both well prepared for the ride. The ULCER really gave me confidence for Ironman St. George and my ability to perform there. I think this was a fantastic litmus test to determine where my fitness levels are and how my training is helping improve those. One final note, the ULCER is put on by the Bonneville Cycling Club and it is a first class event. Their club members make up the majority of the volunteers for the ride, and they do a fantastic job. This is a ride I will continue to do well into the future. With the changes they have made to the course, this is one of Utah’s premier rides!