We keep getting asked what SPIZ stands for as a name, well here's a small excerpt from the makers of SPIZ...
“Spizzerinctum” is one of those words that people love to discover. It is indeed a real word – real enough to be entered in our unabridged Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, where it is defined as “the will to succeed; vim, energy, ambition.”
SPIZ is the further refined product of the Pete Penseyres approved "Ultra Energy", and will be keeping us going across the continent. You can find the complete story here...
We thought I should get in one more decently long ride before shutting the distance down now that we're just shy of one month to go.
With luck the weather finally turned warm, so for a noon-hour start I packed up 24 hrs of SPIZ, lights, night gear, tools and what-not into a pack and headed out.
From Markham headed north to highway 60, rode the Missouri-esque hills of Algonquin until I was at the 200 mile mark, and then turned around. In the end rode for 22.5 hrs, covered 400 miles, 14,000 feet of climbing, saw 12 moose having to dodge two of them, was nearly clipped about four or five times including once by a school bus, and covered one oncoming car with chocolate SPIZ that insisted on passing FOUR other cars at the same time flying by at some ridiculous speed.
Also drank 23 bottles of SPIZ, or about the equivalent of 11,500 calories, and felt good the whole way, and feeling very confident with our food choice of SPIZ for this year. If you've tried Boost, Ensure, Perpetuem, Resource 2.0 or any other high calorie liquid food, I'd suggest checking out http://www.spiz.net and give it a shot, I've tried everything out there and this is by far the best.
Jiles just uploaded a bunch of photos from the February Training Camp. Click on the button below or navigate your way over the the Photos page under Multi-Media.
Palm Springs Camp '13
With this year’s “snowmageddon” carrying on in Toronto, it was time to get out. With a pick-up of the new bike, Orcus (in Roman mythology the Punisher of Broken Oaths), and then the pick up of a new last minute bike box, followed by a scurry to the airport, it was finally out of winter and back into summer. Or at least back into early spring with a few moments of summer and a few more moments of near winter.
After some marveling at the new bike, followed by a few minor sizing adjustments, and then a little more marveling, we finally got on the road at 5pm in Borrego Springs. We’d decided this time around that we needed quality miles, not quantity, and that meant time on the course in an attempt to increase our familiarity in order to decrease our lack of being European, and that our miles needed to be at speed, no more slow miles for the sake of miles.
Right. Through the night we rode until about 10am, following the course to Salome and then veering to Phoenix, where Jiles, Orcus and I were treated to some wonderful hospitality from Dave’s grandparents. The next morning after a huge breakfast still courtesy of the Dave-grandparents, we rode north to Congress, did an interval up the Yarnell Grade, and then continued backwards on the course to Brawley. Did I mention that it was 1C overnight. That’s not super warm. Jiles also learned the lesson the second night shortly after passing through the heaving pavement that is Blythe, that one shouldn’t chew the nicorrette like it’s double bubble. Amusing to watch him scramble out the car though, and it certainly did wake him up...how many other crew chiefs out there spend two full nights doing direct follow support solo?
With two 300mile rides acceptably within range to hold pace with them crazy European skills, we took a couple of shorter days, riding Box Canyon, and doing a bit of work on the Palm Springs Tram access road. And yes I hear you all saying, but guys the race is 3000 miles, not 300, anybody can ride fast for 300 miles...but who says there isn’t glory in being that first day hero.
For the next real ride we picked up Brandon “the Homie” and headed to the coast, sat about the surreal atmosphere of the Pier start-line, marveled at the all the passer-bys marveling at Orcus, and then got underway. Brandon had come with us this time last year for a 24 hr ride, but this was his first trip in a true support role, and it was obvious from the get-go we had our solid 4th, doing before needing done and thinking before being thought-of, we be in good shape. We zipped up to Blythe, then transferred over to Salome to shelter from the cold, took a few hours sleep and then got up renewed to carry on at “speed”. Along the way Jiles and Brandon were pulled over twice for providing follow support, once shortly after Borrego, and then again at dusk as we cleared the dunes. Luckily Homie took the lead and told first the Sheriff and then the Dunes Park Ranger what was what, and we headed off without much delay.
So back to day two, when it’s not an inferno that last 24 miles of rough road to Congress is still equally rough, but the Yarnell Grade is much more enjoyable, as is the quick flight up to Prescott, where we began to find a bit of snow. Upwards to 7000 foot Mingus mountain and more snow, a few yeti tracks - no seriously, there are Yeti tracks on the descent there, as Orcus showed me what he can do on the most fun drop in the whole race. Much better than the previous day’s Glass Elevator with crosswinds of 30+mph causing every left hairpin to be a fight against the ever nearing guardrail. We were also treated to perhaps the best vantage of the race, the view from the first overlook coming off Mingus, with the huge red wall that is the Coconino plateau upon which Flagstaff sits, and aside the 14,000 ft snow covered Mount Elden. Apart from the getting hit, dragged and run over by a car last year, Arizona is definitely an amazing state to ride, searing low Mojave, repetitive climbs to 7,000 ft with equally repetitive mountain descents, crazy rock mesas, the high desert in there too, pretty nice place.
After Cottonwood it was time for the painful drive home back to Palm Springs, a hot-tub and beer to plot the next four months and reflect on how far we’ve come since this time last year, and then another short sleep before getting up for the airport.
We ended up covering about 1100 miles in the week, took some thought and effort to get away from the old adage of ride ourselves into the ground with endless riding, but interesting to see what kind of speed can be held TS to TS with a bit of effort. Also found out that if a big ol’ dog has the jump on you and is coming from a forward position, just accelerate right at him and stopped this particular dog in his tracks. Unless you’re in WV, at the bottom of Cheat Mountain, then you ride for your very life. That still-dog is dynamite.
Here it is, our feature on CTV News - scroll to just beyond 42min.
Tune into CTV News Barrie tonight at 6 and 11 for a feature interview about the race! It will be on during the Sports section, and don't worry if you miss it as it should be online by the weekend. You'll also get a glimpse of some of the footage for the upcoming doucmentary, should be good!
I keep getting asked that question. Well, today I have the answer. Tour de BC. Next August I'll be competing in what is taking over as the world's toughest race, the 5,100km Tour de BC. Beginning near Vancouver, there will be ten days of the most spectaular and wild terrain Canada has to offer as the course heads counterclockwise through the Okanagan, Kananaskis, Jasper, the Alaska highway, touching the Yukon, and curling back south through BC's renowned remote interior before finally finishing along the Sea to Sky highway past Whistler to arrive back on the Pacific coast.
I tried all sorts of products to solve the problem of effective rider / crew communication and rider / phone clarity, always ending in the same thing, too difficult to hear, too much wind noise, too much of a hassle. Just days before the start we came across theBoom. Makers of custom noise cancelling ultra high quality headsets that have been proven in race cars, fighter jets, you name it. The folks at theBoom stopped the presses and made ours up that very day and had it to us for the start line. If you like the idea of being able to carry on a full and easy conversation even flying downhill at 50mph without missing a word, call these guys up or check 'em out at theBoom.com.
"Oh that's nice!" Ice cold towels are a phenomenal product and got me across the desert in great shape. We took a couple of the large towels and with a little late night seamstress action created a set of ice cold arm-coolers and an ice cold hat. I'm sure I was the only rider in the desert that actually had a cold-shiver in the 115 degree heat. There were always a couple on hand for the crew as well, an easy and glorious way to combat the heat.
Check them out at icecoldtowels.com/
After two days of gloriously lengthy sleeps and severals small feasts, the haze is beginning to pass. In my newfound clarity I bask in the satisfaction of having made it across America, which at times seemed potentially doubtful, like that one time there was a car on my back, or that one time the ER doc looked at my elbow and said “ohhhhh that looks nasty”, or that one other time that I couldn’t stand up on the pedals without my leg seizing from not being able to ride properly for two days from that one time I was cut-off by a car and t-boned it at over 30mph…
But alas, I made it. But not without the HUGE amount of help and support from my entire crew, as well as from the hundreds of blog posts and FB comments from everyone following along. The “car situation” certainly changed things up for us a bit, at the time we were just getting into a nice race rhythm, found ourselves in 7th and moving forward and feeling good from getting ourselves comfortably across the desert, then the situation happened, and found myself quickly immobilized and en route to the hospital. After a few hours of x-rays, assessment, and some of the more painful scrubbing I’ve ever received, I was ready to be discharged. Everyone was ready to give every excuse for me to call it quits, and that was my biggest fear as soon as I saw the tire rolling over my shoulder, “That’s it, RAAM is done, after all the effort and preparation from so many people and sponsors, as if it’s gonna end here after just a couple days of racing. I wonder if I could still ride a recumbent? Maybe using just one arm? How bad is the bike? Must be totaled. Good grief. If by some miracle nothing is seriously wrong though, no question we continue on.”
And well, as miracles would have it, first my c-spine was cleared, then astounding the doc there was no break in my arm, maybe a slight bit of concussion but nothing too serious and some nasty bruises and bumps and road rash, bot nothing worthy of an excuse to not carry on.
About 6-6.5 hours after the situation, I was back on the bike heading into Monument Valley at dusk, a just reward as it was pretty much incredible. I was riding Ed’s bike as my back-up bike, and had to take my freshly crushed arm off the bars for every big bump or rough patch, not to mention the huge hematoma on my left hip made sitting and turning the legs over a little less than pleasurable, but we were moving forward.
So I digressed a bit into the car story there, but there were countless other great stories and I’ll surely get to some of those later. For now I just wanted to say thanks again to crew, the Laurentian University Alumni Association, as well as all the other people and organizations that helped us out.
I will endeavor to keep the updates coming over the next week and tell the tale that was our Race Across America.
You would think after a trip like this we would all be sleeping like babies right? Wrong! Try waking up about 3 or 4 times a night not knowing who you are let along where you are and franticly looking all over for your rider and the route book, knowing the entire time you are off course and losing time.
I just wanted to let you all know how lucky we feel to have had this experience and to have had all your support. It was an amazing trip, across and amazing landscape with some amazing people. In the next few days I will try and get the last of the videos up and posted to the blog. As you can imagine I took a few videos that I didn't have time to post or had no internet connection at the time. I'm sure Jason will be pulling out his computer at some point and giving you all a first hand update as well. We are also hoping to gather some photos from the film crew to post online so stay tuned for a couple days while we get everything organized.
We are in west Virginia now and hammer put in a killer day. Pipewrench showed up half way to ts 45 and gave Hammer some modivation and pepsi. PW has been added to teamhammerfest and will take a shift tomorrow morning in the follow van with ED. Tomorrow will be a big push through the night and we need all the help we can get so send us emails, comments, and if you havent done so yet, donate to sick kids! It's as simple as clicking the link and selecting donate...http://www.teamhammerfest.com/sickkids-donations.html
You all have been so great this last week and a half Jason has gotten a lot of modivation from you posts!
If any of you are wondering why Hammer is riding a little slower, he had a few injuries that have cropped up post-accident but we are trying to work them out so he feels good again.
Nights are long when you're sleepy. Jason, Mo and Ed clicke 140 miles this morning. June, Hammer and myself logged another 110 this evening/night...between a few biomechanical stops and an endless battle with tiny uncomfortable things that annoy you.
I think we have about 600 and change to go!
Jason "The Hammer" Lane is a Canadian endurance cyclist. He is a paramedic and instructor in Ontario. Jason is the current Canadian record holder of the Race Across America. He is the feature character in The Hammer, a documentary by Hornsby Films and appears in Inspired To Ride a cycling film by Mike Dion. Team Hammerfest is a proud supporter of Sick Kids Children's Hospital in Toronto and Zambikes in Zambia.
Copyright 2014 Team HammerFest