RAMROD 2019, Late report

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A very late post after RAMROD that happened in July this year, also the first post in 2019 , when it is just 3 days to complete the year. Did not want to miss recording the ride report which would help me reflect in future event prep. This was the third consecutive RAMROD for me (for past event reports RAMROD 2018, 2017). I did not have to go through lottery since I had a bypass for volunteering last minute before the event in July 2018.

Training : 2019 winter was really bad in Seattle, this February had the maximum historical snowfall. The whole month went on TrainerRoad. But March weather helped with good training  especially with HOWC ride with HPC and also a early Tacoma narrows century around the sound. Had an official trip to India and was able to do a metric century in India. With mostly solo training in April, May was the best month of training this year. For the first time I was  able to stay in paceline with Earthdream and HPC group rides. We did a super fast Skagit classic (my fastest century) but I limped with cramps for the last 15 miles. It was also a dream 7 hills century with Earthdream group and my fastest in the event so far. This was a great improvement since my 2016 ride in this event. June highlights were the usual suspects of North Cascades and Chelan century and also a car free Rainier Sunrise point ride. I was able to ride cramp free back from Mazama and also after McNeil canyon. But my YoY improvement in these mountains were not that impressive gains, which annoyed me a bit. This was primarily because I was not able to reach my goal weight and I was oscillating in the weight scale often and probably it was only in September during my India Trip I was at my lowest weight this year. I was fighting gravity in all the mountain pass rides. I had one last training in Rainier with Mountain goats gang – Dave and Joey and Tim as our SAG support.  That summed up my key rides building up my fitness to my A event of the year – RAMROD 2019.
Ride Day: Unlike the last couple years, this year, Dave and Joey took me on their carpool. Usually I would have started at 5 am , but had to wait for Somu and Subbu , so we rolled out together from the start at 5.35 AM. A late start compared to my previous years, stuck to the pace line till Eatonville. I did not push hard on these to save my legs for the climbs. Without a power meter, I was not able to clearly measure, weather I was putting the right effort or under estimating here and not pushing a bit more. But mostly I was able to catch every one in the rest stops and started the Paradise climb at mostly an easy pace. Last year I really pushed hard on this climb and cramped badly in cayuse pass. So this year I made sure to not push hard, but did not wait long any where and linger in any of the rest stops. Probably that is why in the 152 mile ride you would see my total wait time was only 59 minutes including multiple rest stops. This was probably my least elapsed time for RAMROD in the last 3 years. I guess I did not push really hard, so there was not much recovery time needed for me in these rest stops. Mostly soloed the climbs, met HPC folks in Box canyon stop but soloed cayuse pass. Was not super strong in Cayuse but at least I did not limp badly with cramps like last year.  From Deli stop joined a big HPC group for the last 40 mile flats. We maintained a steady 200 watts for the rest of the 40 miles and finished as a group at 3.40 PM. This was also the earliest I have completed RAMROD but not the fastest in terms of my average mph. I only averaged 16.5 mph compared to the 17 mph in 2018. All credit to this slow speed goes to the few extra pounds that I carried in the mountains that slowed me in all the long climbs.

Takeaways for next season  :
  • Drop weight to goal weight early before the season and not during the season.
  • Nutrition – nutrition – nutrition. Plan for this and eat at regular intervals. This would have saved me from cramps and limps.
  • Train with power – A power meter probably would help me to pace well on those long events
Here is the Strava Link for RAMROD 2019. And some photos from the ride.








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