VQ Prep

VQ = Vision Quest.  A race I reluctantly signed up for but it’s now here.  I know I can do it… it’s just a question of how fast (or slow) I go and the amount of discomfort I wish to experience.

My back issues are well chronicled at this point so who knows how it will respond to 55+ miles and 11,000 feet of climbing in the Santa Ana Mountains tomorrow.  I’m laying low today with the final bike check and getting my supplies in order.  Nutrition and hydration will be key and I’ve got to thank my Kasel Cycling teammates and their family members who will be dotted throughout the course for helping myself and other teammates with this epic journey.

I also need to give a huge shout out to my friends in the Irvine Jax Bicycle Center who quickly took care of a rear brake emergency yesterday.  I’ll definitely need brakes for the Upper Holy Jim descent as previewed here on of our scouting rides a few weeks ago:

I have been thinking about this race…. how can I not…. and I think if all goes ok and my back holds out, I’m capable of a sub 6 hr. 30 min. ride which would probably put me top 40.  If everything is optimal, I think I can do a 6:15 but that’s a myopic ideal best.  A sub 6:30 is realistic and in truth I’ll be quite content with a sub 7 hour effort with my back the way it is.

Here’s a chart with the VQ race broken into its Strava segments.  My current “best time” marks are listed and I think I should be able to beat most of them.  I might not beat my downhill (DH) times just because I may be more preoccupied with keeping the rubber-side down!  I’ll complete the far right column for my post race report.

VQ times

One last parting shot of what awaits after 40 miles, 8,000 feet of climbing and 5 hours of being on the saddle… the West Horse Thief (WHT) trail.  This beauty of a trail will force many of us off the bike with it’s 3,500 foot gain in 3.5 miles!

West Horse Thief switchbacks

West Horse Thief switchbacks.  Hike-a-bike-a-thon!


WHT trail averages 18%, but many parts are in excess of 25% grade.  At least there are some nice flowers to distract yourself with, like this vetch.  Here, Josh and I are perfecting our bike pushing technique.  I’m excited to see what time Josh will do his VQ in…. me thinks he might ascend to VQ Royalty if he nails down the time he’s capable of!

2 responses to “VQ Prep

  1. Pingback: VQ Recap | natespin·

  2. Pingback: 2014 Vision Quest Goals | natespin·

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