Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Update - As We Near RACE DAY

The start of the Furnace Creek 508 Race is only 4 days away and the final preparations are almost completed.
I’m looking forward to this year’s event since it looks like this will be an interesting challenge, there are some strong riders registered and of course the temperature is high.
Currently it is about 110F during the day and Sunday night at 11pm it was still 90F in Death Valley, and the forecast for next weekend will be around 100F…
If you want to find out more about the race check out the newly posted Race Magazine:

Dave Remington has with much regret withdrawn from this year’s FC508 due to unexpected health problems, keep your eye out for him racing next year!

Cross your fingers and send some good vibes towards Roby and me we can certainly use it!

Michael Emde

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Please join us for this incredible adventure

We invite you to join us as we endure the challenges of the world's premier ultramarathon bicycle race! While doing so please help support our designated charity for the race - Mobius Kids Children’s Museum! http://www.mobiusspokane.org/.

At 7:00 a.m. on October 4th, 2008 we will "clip in" to ride 508 miles from San Clarita, California to Twenty Nine Palms, California. With 35,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain we cross ten mountain passes, that stretch from Santa Clarita (just north of Los Angeles), across the Mojave Desert, through Death Valley, to Twenty Nine Palms as we complete the "toughest 48 hours in sport."

You can track race progress via near-real time web coverage at: http://www.adventurecorps.com/webcast/index.html.

Why Mobius Kids?

When we are riding our bikes we are often struck by a sense of wonder. Where did all these shapes and colors come from? How were these hills formed? How can my 18 pound bike hold my weight as I push up this hill?

How can we pass this sense of wonder on to our kids, with a sense of exploration that lasts a lifetime - and perhaps leads to careers in medicine, space exploration or one of the arts? An answer is that we can support education that engages our children such as Mobius Kids.

Mobius Kids, children's museum opened in its current location September 2005, and has been very successful, with over 200,000 visitors to date. But, like all children's museums, its operating expenses are more than its admissions and events fees. To enable Mobius Kids to continue to serve kids and their families, our community must financially support it. This is where you and I can make a difference. Please consider a donation of twenty-five cents or more per mile of the race (508 miles), although any amount would be appreciated.

For your convenience you can donate through PayPal http://www.mobiusspokane.org/news_events.html or mail contributions to: Mary Tyrie, Executive Director, Mobius Kids, 808 W. Main St., Lower Level, Spokane, WA 99201.

In addition, we would appreciate it if you would be kind enough to forward the email address for this blog http://2008fc508rideforkids.blogspot.com/ on to all of your friends!

Thank you,

The Furnace Creek Guys- Dave, Michael and Roby

Dave Remington

Dave Remington
Age: 67

Given my age and that I have only been training on a bike since November of last year, one could say I am a bit “wacko” to attempt the Furnace Creek 508. At times I have been sure that that is the case. So, … why?

I am a runner by background who has done a companion foot race, also presented by the race director of the Furnace Creek 508, called the Badwater 135 (135 miles). It too takes place in and around Death Valley. Due to a foot problem that prevents me from running much, but does not prevent me from biking, I decided this year’s annual challenge and adventure would be the FC508.

Since signing up, I have lost count of how many times I have told myself I over-reached, as in the field of ultra-distance events it usually takes at least a few years to acclimate one’s body to the efforts and stresses involved, and my neck and back have let me know in no uncertain terms that they have not been thrilled with the necessary training. They have reminded me of my memories of biking in a few Ironman triathlons in the early 80s; biking can be a pain in the butt and neck!

In addition, training has not been a straight-line process, with a number of accidents/injuries/maladies that have kept me off the bike. After the first accident and resulting layoff, my coach, Michael Emde, advised that I should seriously consider not doing the race this year given the time left to train after I recovered. However, persistent and hard-headed person that I am, I have kept at it.

On the brighter side, long training rides have acquainted me with the wonderful country around Spokane, especially the Palouse. It is quite something to be riding through the Palouse at night under the light of a full moon. Being able to do back-to-back 100 mile rides in training (not my idea, but Michael’s!) also brings a certain satisfaction. Indeed, at times I even love my bike and riding it!

It is with a love of the desert country that we will be passing through, and a determination to finish bolstered by both a fine three-person crew and a dedication of the race to Mobius Kids that I will toe the starting line and proceed down the course. It will be an adventure … exciting and fun. At least that is the intended story line for all involved, my crew and me. Hopefully, from a distance, you will find the race an interesting, worthy and intriguing adventure too.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Michael Emde

Michael Emde
Age: 38

The Furnace Creek 508 is a challenge and adventure and just finishing is an accomplishment. The "508" will test my strengths both physically and mentally. The FC 508 has become one of my favorite races because I enjoy the environment, the weather and the challenges that Death Valley and the Mojave present. Undertaking such a distance is a huge sacrifice for both myself and my family. Martina and Marla (my wife) are a huge part of my success. I spend a lot of time on the bike and they are very supportive and understanding. I couldn’t do it without them. Hopefully I can teach my daughter how to work hard for something and give it your best effort. She was on my “team” a couple of years ago and she was my biggest cheerleader out there.
The FC 508 is not a solo effort--you cannot race the Furnace Creek 508 on your own. A group of support people (the crew or as I refer to them, "team") are very important and help get me to the finish line. They provide assistance by passing me water and food, providing support, navigation and driving ten feet behind me to illuminate my roadway during the evening hours of the race. This is a rule of the race in fact. Sometimes just knowing they are there is comforting and also motivates me to do my best. It is a sacrifice on the teams part as well and I appreciate all they do. I have the easy part, I just have to ride the bike…they get all of the workJ.

My Goal: Finishing four in a row is always foremost but I would like to finish well. There is a lot that can happen over 508 miles and the attrition rate of this race is high (average about 46%). Weather, mechanical issues and physical problems all can take their toll in Death Valley. After winning this race the last two years, there are folks who laugh when I say, “I just want to finish”, but it’s true. Finishing is the goal, placing well is icing on the cake. Sometimes a successful race doesn’t always mean winning either. Racing within your means is very important with a race this long. I certainly have respect for this distance and the demands of this course. It’s demanding just staying focused for 508 miles…not too many have that desire or ability.

Roby T

Robert “Roby T” Treadwell
Age: 44

Trying to survive The Furnace Creek 508 offers me a chance to test myself against myself. To test myself against doubt, pain, and will.

I began racing bicycles 4 years ago as an outlet for my competitive nature. I enjoyed running, and staying physically fit but I didn’t really have an avenue to test myself against others. Bike racing, unlike many other endurance sports, pits competitor against competitor and adds a strategic “Team” dimension. In bike racing, your goal is to inflict “pain” on your competitors in order to advance your own, and your team’s objective: winning. Bike racing is not about personal bests, it’s not about finishing, it is about winning. Unlike another great sport: triathlon, crossing the finish line in a bike race in not enough in itself, if you fail to achieve a certain physical fitness level, if you fail to understand the strategic nature of the race, you lose, you are “off the back.” Unless you’re on the podium, there is no medal, nothing but an incentive to get back on the bike the next day and train harder. I love it completely.

In 2007 I was able to garner the title of Washington State Bicycling Association’s “Best All-Around Road Rider” in my category. I was fortunate enough to win the State Championship Stage Race Championship and scored enough points in the season to be ranked the number one overall rider in my category in Washington and earn enough points to upgrade racing categories in the USA Cycling rider system. 2008 has been dedicated to training for Furnace Creek.

The other nature of bike racing is that the race is usually not decided solely on individual effort, the teams, the strategy, the race itself may not ALWAYS offer an opportunity to showcase an individual’s pure physical conditioning. The strongest rarely wins a bike race unless he is also among the smartest tactically, I often guess wrong!

So, I need something else. I just need to test myself against “myself” now-and-again, thus “The 508.” That, and I believe I was dropped on my head a few times as a child!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

25th Anniversary AdventureCORPS Furnace Creek 508

Approximately 200 bicycle racers from across the USA, Canada, Asia, and Europe come together to challenge themselves in the world's toughest single stage open bicycle race to experience an unparalleled spiritual odyssey.

AdventureCORPS, Inc., hosts the 25th Anniversary Furnace Creek 508 Bicycle Race on October 4-6, 2008. Held since 1983 and known as "The Toughest 48 hours in Sport" it is the world's premier ultramarathon bicycle race. This non-stop 508-mile bicycle race is revered the world over for its epic mountain climbs, stark desert scenery, desolate roads, and its reputation as one of the toughest but most gratifying endurance challenges available, bar none. The course has a total elevation gain of over 35,000', crosses ten mountain passes, and stretches from Santa Clarita (just north of Los Angeles), across the Mojave Desert, through Death Valley, to Twenty Nine Palms.

Designed as an endurance challenge, no drafting or pack riding is allowed in any division. There is a 48 hour time limit for the solo division.