Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Litespeed C1R in 3D Series: Field Notes with Bryce Walsh

Ultra cyclist Bryce Walsh just won the Calvin’s Challenge, a 12-hour race held each spring in Springfield, Ohio. Bryce—who is also a coach for Vision Quest in Chicago—trains and races exclusively on the new Litespeed Archon C1R. We caught up with Bryce after his win to see how the bike performed on the reportedly windy ride.

Litespeed: While the Calvin’s Challenge certainly isn’t the longest race you’ve completed, it’s been somewhat of a challenge for you. What has been the issue in previous years and what led you to victory this spring?

Bryce: I always do terrible at this race so that made it tense. In previous years I’ve either gotten a flat right away or have stopped to take a bathroom break at the wrong time. Also, the race is fairly flat; there are barely any climbs and that tends to favor the bigger guys who can just kind of power through it. But the C1R was great. I averaged about 21 mph for 12 hours in really harsh wind.

Litespeed: You’ve recently converted from two bikes—an Independent Fabrication built for comfort and a Cervelo P2 used for time trials and flat races—to using just one, the Litespeed C1R. How has your training and racing changed now that you exclusively use the C1R?

Bryce: This thing [the C1R] has been really comfortable, but it is also just as aero [as the Cervelo]. It feels like I’m not getting beat up as bad as I did on the Cervelo. I am pretty excited about my experience with the C1R so far and [as well as] at the Calvin’s Challenge and am looking forward to checking out how it will work on future flat races.

Litespeed: Bryce, you seem to have gotten into ultra cycling almost by accident. What’s the pull for you?

Bryce: I did start the whole thing backwards. I used to be a tourist. I’d pack up my bike, visit a country and ride across it. Then a friend mentioned brevets. From there I started getting a little faster, and I learned there were all of these really long races. I’ve always been an endurance athlete. Even as a runner, I’ve always preferred the longest race I could find. At the end of each year, I set a goal and if I hit that goal it triggers another thing that I’ll let myself do. It’s taken me all over the world!

Litespeed: So what has been your favorite race and destination so far?

Bryce: The Race Across Switzerland took me across something like 12 of the highest passes in Austria, Switzerland and Italy. That was really cool.

Litespeed: Where are you heading this year?

Bryce: I’ve got a 24-hour race in Michigan in June. And my goal race this year is the Race Across Oregon, which is about 530 miles. Then it’s the PBP [Paris-Brest-Paris], which is 750 miles, and the LOTOJA in Wyoming at about 207 miles, which in reality is a short race for me.

Litespeed: So this all begs the question: What are your goals for next year?

Bryce: I’d like to do the Tour d’Afrique. It begins in Cairo and ends in Cape Town and it’s spread out over four months. Then when I get back I’d have less than a month before the Ride the Divide [The Great Divide Mountain Bike Race]. The record is 17 days and 23 hours, but I have no idea how long it will take me. That will be a new adventure for me. I’ll have to carry everything I need. Nobody is going to be there to hand me a water bottle. I’ve also got the ultimate goal to go back to RAM [Race Across America], but I am not going to do it until I can do 500 miles in 24 hours. I’m inching my way up. My best one so far is 479.

Litespeed: Well Bryce, we’re confident your determination and hard work will get you there, and we’re all excited to watch you attack these races this season and the exciting ones on your docket for 2012. Thanks for taking time out of your training schedule to catch up with us.

Bryce: You’re welcome. I’ll keep you posted as to how things are going by sending frequent Field Note reports. It’s going to be a wild summer, but I’m excited to really see what the C1R can do!

Check back often for Bryce’s C1R in 3D Field Notes from his races around the country and across the globe. We’ll also be posting additional items for the C1R in 3D Series w/Bryce Walsh including video interviews with Bryce on training, bike design, race destinations, performance, comfort, nutrition, and the C1R’s unparalleled Aerologic technology. Happy riding! Learn more at

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