Last weekend I did the L’etape de California.

From the website:
“L’Étape du California provides serious recreational cyclists the opportunity to ride a complete stage of the Amgen Tour of California – and the most challenging stage of the 2011 race at that. Riders will cover the same route as the professionals on Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California, from the City of Claremont to the Mt Baldy Ski Area. The route is breathtaking in its beauty and difficulty, covering some of the most famous and iconic sections of road in the San Gabriel Mountains: Glendora Mountain Road, Glendora Ridge Road, and the sharp “beyond category” switchbacks up to the Mt Baldy Ski Area. By the time riders return to their cars or homes in Claremont, they will have climbed close to 10,000 vertical feet and ridden close to 100 miles. While extremely challenging and requiring a high level of fitness and mental toughness, there will be ample support to help athletes see if they have what it takes to ride the route of the Amgen Tour of California. ”

It was hard. Really hard.

I didn’t do a good job with food. I should have carried more gluten-free food. They had lots of food, but I couldn’t eat much of it. I ended up eating fruit and GU packets, and it didn’t sit well with my stomach. I ran out of steam pretty bad, and had an upset stomach. The final climb to the ski lifts just about killed me. But after a short rest at my turnaround, Tim and I had a blast SCREAMING back to Claremont. Super fun. I couldn’t keep up with Tim, but it might have been the longest I’ve ever spent on my bike at more than 35 mph!