Thursday, March 15, 2012

Death Ride 2011

I decided to tell my story with video this time. It is broken into two parts (each around the 1/2 hour mark) I also included the "Trailer" I created for it. Click the play button, then pause it and let it load completely before restarting for smoothest playback. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

TRT Video...

Here is a video of me and the nieghborhood boys out for a ride...

TRT 7/31/10 from Brent Ruybalid on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Death Ride 2010

The texts were coming fast and furious from Jon all day on Thursday. Questions about equipment, nutrition, what would be available on the course...? I had all of the same questions before my first Death Ride. It was fun to remember that... It was Jon's first attempt, Sandie's second, and my third. I had already made up my mind, as had Sandie and Jon... we were doing all five passes!

Friday July 9th, I had taken the day off to catch up on some sleep and get the bikes ready, Jon took a half day and was going stir crazy while we waited for Sandie to get off work at 3:00. We hit the road at around 4:00pm to Turtle Rock Park to get our packets and do a little shopping at the expo. While there, I came across my friend, Paul Taylor of Taylor Bicycles. I talked to him for a bit and he told me that he was doing Tech Support at the top of the 5th pass and would have a beer waiting for me when I got there. That settled it, I was doing 5 for sure! People have told me every year, "They have ice cream at the top of the 5th!" To which I always replied, "That doesn't do it for me. If you want to motivate me, have some cold beer up there!"

After the expo we drove back to Carson City, dropped Jon off at home, and went to B'Sghetti's for dinner. Pasta and red meat! Yum!
After dinner we went home and packed up our nutrition for the day and got everything ready to go. We got into bed before 9 and drifted off to sleep. Up at around 4am and loading the car, Jon showed up and we got his bike onto the roof rack and we were on our way! We listened to the new Slash album on the way and when the song "Carry Me Back From Cali" came on, I couldn't help but think that's how we will feel tonight...

We found our parking space and got the bikes ready then headed for the port-a-potty to relieve ourselves of the morning coffee. As we began our ride at just before 6 am, I could not get clipped into my pedals! I had just replaced my worn out pedals and the new cleats needed to be adjusted. I went back up to the expo area and borrowed a screw driver from the mechanic, made the adjustments and took off to catch Sandie and Jon. They were waiting in Markleeville not knowing what happened. We continued on to Monitor Pass.

We climbed along at a pretty good pace and I found my place in between Jon and Sandie just to kinda bridge the gap and keep us all within range of each other. It stayed that way for a majority of the day. Jon would push ahead, Sandie would fall back, and I would be the bridge. I would ride up top Jon for a while, then fall back to check on Sandie, then ride back up to Jon, and so on. Sandie was riding strong and never fell too far back.

Once at the top, we stopped and refilled water bottles and got a little to eat. Then back on the bikes for the decent to Topaz Lake. On the descent, i was keeping an eye on Sandie in my mirror and Jon was right behind her. At one point I looked down and didn't see her. To my surprise she came flying by me on the left and I had to smile! She was MOVING! So I chased her the rest of the way.

At the bottom, we shed some layers of clothing and started the climb back out. Once again, this was a long HOT climb. The only climb of the day that had me dripping with sweat. I rode with Jon for a majority of the climb because we could hear Sandie just behind us having a conversation with another rider. Just after the photographer point, we kinda lost contact with her, so I went back to my role as the bridge. We reached the top at around 10 am, refilled bottles, had a snack and a bathroom break, then back on the bikes for the descent down the side we climbed just 4 hours before.

At the fork to go up Ebbetts Pass, Sandie wanted to take off her wind vest and arm warmers (she put it all back on before the descent) so Jon went ahead while I waited for her. We got going up the gentle almost flat incline to the base of the mountain. It's a really nice shady little ride for a few miles with small kick ups every now and then. I stopped at a water station to make sure I had enough for the climb and had to chase Sandie down. The climb was not as hard as I remembered it from the year before and it was over much quicker than I had expected. Don't get me wrong, it was still hard. I saw a descending rider almost get taken out by a rock slide... that was scary! I could hear it start, I saw the rider coming, I yelled "ROCK SLIDE!!! SLOW DOWN!" He slowed just in time as the rocks tumbled into the roadway just a few feet in front of him and he was able to maneuver around them.

At the top, we found Jon, grabbed some Cup O' Noodles and sat down in the shade for a bit. I think we spent a little too much time at this stop before we refilled with some cold water, put in some various Hammer Nutrition powders, and headed down the other side. Once we reached the bottom and got our stickers, we just turned around and headed back the way we came.

The 4th pass is the shortest one at just over 5 miles. That does not mean it's easy! It was pretty hot and we were starting to feel like we had been overdoing it with the food. Slightly bloated and tired. When Jon and I reached the top there was a kid handing out Red Licorice! We ate that while we waited for Sandie. A few minutes later, she rolled up and started cussing about how hard that was. I tried to find her some cold water and at some point Jon said, "We are NEVER doing this again!" Then a few minutes later, "Let's DO this!" and down the mountain we went...

We stopped at the lunch stop long enough to refill the bottles then headed out. Shortly after that, the roads were opened to motorized traffic. We got a nice pace going and hammered out a few miles until Jon latched onto another group and Sandie started to drop, so I became the bridge again. It was a hot and windy climb to get to Markleeville where we were being cheered on by the locals. Then it got steeper as we climbed out of the canyon to Turtle Rock Park.

Jon was waiting at the top of the hill at the entrance to the park. I passed by and said, "Let's go get some ice..." He followed and when I turned and stopped at the car he kept going. I called him back, he thought I meant we would get ice at Woodfords. I stuffed his bottle with ice and asked if we had to make the cut off by 4 or 4:30? He looked at the map and it said we had to make it by 4. It was 3:50! I said, "Go! Don't miss it. I'm gonna wait for Sandie." Just as he turned around, his wife Shauna and son Gavin had parked across the street and jumped out of the car yelling for him. They had our friend Scott with them too. He rode by and tried to give Gavin five, but he was not going to stop. Scott came across the street as I was dumping off some extra gel packs and my arm warmers, anything I wouldn't need just to lighten my load. Sandie rolled by at around 3:53 and I yelled at her, "Do you want some ice?" She said, "I'm not stopping," and went on down the road. Scott looked at me and said, "She ain't stoppin..." we had a laugh and I downed the last of my Jelly Belly Sport Beans and jumped on my bike to chase her down the hill.
I caught her just as we were pulling into the stop at Woodfords, 2 minutes before the cut off! We rode on. The climb out of Woodfords Canyon is a tough one! Sandie fell behind but I wanted to catch Jon to let him know we made the cut off and that he was not alone. Once I caught him and let him know, I rode along behind him for a few miles. He was just latched onto a train of about 4 riders. Finally I geared down and got up out of the saddle. As I went by him I said, "Let's go, sucka." He jumped in behind me and away we went up the hill, passing slower riders until he got caught behind some others. You have to pick your times to pass because of the cars and narrow road and we didn't time it right. Eventually he caught back up and we did some more passing.

We hit the stop at Picketts Junction with plenty of time to spare and waited for Sandie. We refueled like madmen, eating orange slices and sucking down energy gels and V8. Sandie rolled up and I went to her side. She was hugging this lady that we had met the year before and had ridden with on and off throughout the day then and this year. I told her to give me her bike so I could park it. She said, "I can't move!" Once she settled down and got off the bike, the cussing started again. We got some cold water and food, sat in the shade and tried to get ready for the end of the climb. I was actually having dizzy spells at this point, but I was not turning around now! The volunteer said, "You have 20 minutes before cut off!" Sandie replied, "I'm taking every last second of it too!"

The count down started with 3 minutes to go, 2 minutes to go, 1 minute to go... we grabbed our bikes, walked them out of the rest stop area and took our time getting saddled up. Off we went to finish this out. It was a nice fast moving ride with only a slight incline through Hope Valley and we were making good time and having fun. We stopped at 100 miles to take a photo. It was the first time any of us had ridden a century and we wanted to capture the moment.

The fun turned into pain once again though as the road kicked up to 6 percent, 7 percent, 8 percent and variations of that.... At one point, we were strong and passing slower riders, then Sandie got caught behind a slower group and Jon told me she was dropping. I said, "I can't go any slower, it hurts." I just pushed on leaving Jon to be the bridge.

I finally thought that I should stop and wait. I found a spot where the shoulder was wide enough to stop and I waited. Pretty soon Jon rode by and I saw Sandie a little farther down the road. She rode by and I got in behind her. I passed her after awhile and went up the road. I looked up the mountain and could see where we were going... It looked like we were climbing to Heaven! It was WAY up there. I didn't want to look because I knew it wasn't as tough or as far as it looked but it was unnerving to look at. I really wish I had snapped a photo of it. There was a turn out in the road and I stopped again to wait for Sandie. I made her stop and rest there for a minute, then we pressed on. I just geared down and cranked slowly while up out of the saddle and stayed behind her. I rode along telling her how proud I was to be married to her and that we were almost there. I tried to make her laugh and keep her mind off of things and before we knew it, we rounded the bend and there was the sun! Up over the hump and there was the photographer! He told us we had 500 feet to go. I said, "Down that hill?! What the ... why do we have to go down there?!"

We pulled into the lot, got our 5th sticker and our 5 Pass Finisher pin. I saw Paul and said, "Where's that beer?!" He reached in his van, pulled out a Corona, popped the top and handed it to me. It was the BEST beer I have ever had! I shared it with Sandie and Jon. We put our bikes away and found some food. We signed the poster, took some photos, congratulated each other, and had some hugs. Once again, Jon said, "We are never doing this again." I said, "Now that I have done all 5, I don't need to do it again."

We put on our warm clothing and headed off down the mountain. Some of the drivers we encountered were passing way too fast and it made it quite scary. I kept Sandie in front of me so that I knew where she was at all times. Once we got to Woodfords, we had to make the climb back to Turtle Rock Park. WOW! After everything we did that day, we had one more climb to do. We topped the hill at right around 8 pm to the flash of Shauna's camera. When we got to the car we had cold beer waiting for us. We mixed up some Hammer Recoverite and drank that too. Baby wipes and fresh clothes, then up to the park for fajitas and beer. More talk of never again... even when Scott said he wanted to do it next year.

We were so happy that we had people waiting for us at the end of a long day. It was nice that Scott came out to support also because he was on every one of our training rides and was a big motivation for us. So thank you Shauna, Gavin, and Scott for all of your support!
The next day, Sandie and I had coffee in bed with our puppies and watched the Tour de France and the World Cup Final.

We had dinner at Jon and Shauna's with Scott. I was on my second beer when I said to Scott, "Don't tell anyone else, but if you really wanna do it next year, I'm going with you..." Jon and Sandie said, "We're right here! We heard that!" So the planning has begun... Shauna might even go too...

Death Ride: Training Rides

Dec 11, 2009... my phone vibrates... "I'm in!" read the text message. It was Jon. A few minutes later I got the same basic message from Sandie. That made three of us. Okay... looks like we're doing this thing.

We didn't get to really start training until one month before the ride. Luckily we all ride pretty much all year. This means we all have a good base at all times and just need to start ramping it up. I sat down and thought about all of the local rides I have done and built a nice little plan to get us where we needed to be.

Training ride #1: A nice 30 mile loop from home over Lakeview to the Washoe Valley loop. We took East Lake Blvd to 395 to Franktown Rd then back over Lakeview with a stop at our favorite pizza joint, Brugos for pizza and beer. Jon missed this ride as he was out of town but did his own ride.
Training ride #2: The plan was to do a 42 mile loop from home out to Dayton and up Six Mile Canyon to Virginia City. Then head down the truck route and back to home. Unfortunately the roads around VC were closed for a special event. I had to make an adjustment. We did the 5 Hills of Carson ride. Kings Canyon, Timberline, Coombs Canyon (Lakeview), Duck Hill, then the Franktown Loop, and back over Lakeview. Once again finishing up at Brugos. Once again Jon had to do his own ride as he had baseball that day.
Training Ride #3: The plan was to do the Diamond Valley Loop from Target. This would give us a relatively flat 60 miles. We opted for a 40 plus mile mountain bike ride planned by our friend Jeff instead. This ride took us from home up Kings Canyon to Spooner Summit with a loop around the Flume Trail, then down Red House Flume to Lakeview back to Carson City. We skipped Brugos this time and everyone came to our house for chips, salsa, and margaritas! MTB rides have to end with Mexican food. This ride gave us a ton of time in the saddle and the climbing strength we needed for the Death Ride. You can read about this ride and see some great photos HERE.
Training Ride #4: Our final real training ride took us from home to Genoa then into California with a loop around Diamond Valley. This is in the area of the Death Ride. We stopped to refuel and get some cold water at Woodfords Station. The people here LOVE cyclists! Back on the bikes and back the way we came to Carson City and once again... Brugos! It was an absolutely PERFECT day for 80 miles of beautiful scenery and good friends. The battery in my Garmin died so the end of the ride is not included in the Google Earth image, but you can get a good idea of what we did anyway.
We were ready...

Friday, January 08, 2010

Jordan Catalano

I LOVE this video! It's a great song that has such a great emotion. oh yeah... and there are bikes!

Click here and enjoy...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Well, it's that time of year again. This won't be short. Fair warning. There will be pictures, however...

Little Miss Bella turned 1 year old in January! She got her very own Pupcake and her brother even let her snuggle him.
For Valentine's Day, Sandie took me to Sacramento to see the prologue and start of the first stage of the Tour of California. I wish I had written a post about this weekend. It was awesome. The prologue was great because you get to see each rider individually and it's an all day event! The weather was perfect and only started to drizzle a bit toward the end. This was Lance Armstrong's first race on American soil since coming out of retirement. The crowd was insane when the bigger name riders came by but it was THUNDEROUS when Lance came by.
This photo was taken by a guy we met at the race named Jeff Hiroshima.

We brought Madison with us and she really enjoyed it as well. The next day was wet and cold but still big fun. We even spent some time in the Davis Bicycle Museum. The drive home was long as there was a huge snow storm in the mountains. Well worth it though, we had a blast! In case you don't know, Levi Leipheimer won the race for the 3rd straight year. Lance was riding in support of him. This was also the weekend that Lance's bike was stolen. If I had a dime for every time I was accused of stealing it when I got home...

Much to my delight, Shayna has taken up baking! She makes pretty pies... and I LOVE pies! I can't wait for Christmas, she is making an apple cranberry pie for the family.

This spring Madison's soccer team had a great season with only one loss in league play! They did great in tournaments as well, taking second place in the Comstock Shootout and going undefeated to win the Capital Classic!
We had the families pose in the picture because without them, this would not have been possible!

In June we had a cancer scare with the Chili Dog. Thank goodness it was NOT cancer. I don't know what I would do without him! Our friend Jon told Sandie"If it is cancer, there's not much they can do." Sandie told him, "Brent will spend every last dime we have trying..." She's probably right.

A friend of mine at work told me about a bike race that I had never heard of before. Funny, since it's the oldest race in North America. It is held every Father's Day in Nevada City, Ca. We hemmed and hawed about going since it was last minute, we had no accommodations, Chili just had surgery, and we had plans Saturday night. It would need to be a day trip. The clincher came when Lance tweeted that he was going to race... and he was bringing Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner with him! So after Shayna took me out to breakfast, we loaded the dogs and our hangovers into the Pilot and headed to Cali! What an awesome event! 40 laps around this little mountain town. When we got there, it was tough to find parking. We had a little walking to do. Once in the race area, we found a hot dog stand and had some lunch while watching the end of the pro women's race, then the elite men. We picked a nice spot on the uphill section and waited for the pro men to start. Lance and Levi broke away from the pack about 4 laps in with another rider playing wheel sucker while Lance and Levi traded turns at the front. Horner stayed back and paced the pack, grinning like a Cheshire cat the whole way. He was having fun. When the time was right (after the 3 leaders lapped the field), Lance took off and there was no catching him. The roar of the crowd as he came up the hill was like a jet flying over! This video (taken with my phone, forgot the camera!) was on his second lap off the front. The first rider through is Lance, the next is about to be lapped by the field, next is the field which has already been lapped by Lance.
As you watch, keep in mind that this is UPHILL! That is fast! Even if you are not "into" cycling, you should check this race out. It's electrifying. Here is a link to a photographer's blog I found. There are beautiful photos of the race. Very Americana!

In between soccer games (both girls), Sandie and I managed to get some riding in.
Marlette Peak overlooking Marlette Lake and Lake Tahoe
Diamond Valley, Ca

The biggest of which was The Death Ride. Sandie did great for her first big ride. We just got our tickets for next year too!

Madison went to her first sleep away camp this summer and really enjoyed it. Several girls from the soccer team went as well which eased the homesickness I'm sure. She was away from us for her birthday which I thought might kill Sandie but she made it through.
Shayna started her own soccer team to play in the City Adult league and asked me to help her out with coaching. I had fun working with the ladies and we put together a pretty nice season. They improved steadily all summer and even snuck into the playoffs! They all enjoyed it (and each other) so much that they wanted to stay together for the indoor season. We are 5 games into that now and just beat the team that eliminated us in the summer 8-3.

We took a family trip to Southern California again this summer. We usually go for July 4th but went a little later this year. Sandie and I took our road bikes this year and went on a couple of nice early morning rides down PCH.
After a couple of days with Aunt Sharon and Uncle Vic, we headed down to San Diego. We stayed in the Gas Light District in a nice hotel that was a stone's throw from PetCo Park. We spent a day at Sea World where Sandie worked as a teenager. The girls had fun petting stingrays and riding rides. Sandie said the place had changed a lot since she was a kid!

The next day was relaxation time. We went to a ball game (where Madison stubbed her toe). Sandie and I drank a bunch of beer, and then we all hung out by the pool! Good times!
Then it was back to Huntington Beach for few days before heading home.

Shayna started her senior year of high school and Madison started 7th grade. They are a handful but we love them.

Shayna is very busy with work, the leadership program, and 2 AP classes. She got a promotion and is now a Staff Lead so she's making good money. Between all of her school activities and work, she's hardly ever home but she checks in to let us know she's still alive every night. Hence so few photos of her. She has a set of senior pictures on a disc. If you would like to see them or have one for yourself, email me and we will email some choices for you.

Madison got her braces off and has become the dream of all the boys! She also made the 7th grade volleyball team and is having the time of her life! There were 3 agonizing days of tryouts! Now they are training 2 hours a day! She hasn't complained yet so she MUST be having fun.
Sandie did a weight loss boot camp with some of the moms from the soccer team just to dump the last 5 lbs that would not let go. It worked out great for her and she has kept up on her training. She did an 8K run on Nevada Day and made it in just over 48 minutes! The dogs and I wandered around downtown while she ran and we greeted her at the finish.

We got hit with a nice snow storm a couple of weeks ago, followed by temps as low as 20 below! The back streets are still caked with ice and it's like driving down crappy dirt roads. We got a little rain and then snow last night to make things that much worse.

I'm sorry this was so long, but that's what happens when we don't keep up on our blog!

Hope you all have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Brent, Sandie, Shayna, Madison, Chili, and Bella