Have Any Women Done the Trenching Challenge Yet? Are you in Tucson/Phx? Come say hello!

Have any women done the Trenching Challenge yet?

Cat 1 roadie & All-American age grouper triathlete, Michelle Howe, my amazing wife, is going for it on Mt. Lemmon.

Starting SATURDAY at 10:30am from the pictured location. Join her for part (or all) of it!

It’s a quarter mile past the 4000ft sign heading up Mt. Lemmon, for anyone who wants to join! Giant gray motorhome. Can’t miss it.

I’m quite positive she’d love to have company or a draft!

I will provide your bottle support from the same spot. I have a fridge to keep your bottles cool, and unlimited sugar and sodium. Plenty of spare bottles. Gels too! And caffeine powder :wink:

Arrive at 10:30am or any time after about 1:00pm when I’ll be done riding, until night, and I can coordinate her location with you. She’d be so grateful for any company other than me!


That’s awesome. I’ll be at Lemmon next week (only one trip up for me) but please update us on how it goes!


Update: She’s about 1/3 complete at 6 hours since start.


:flushed: This ride deserves more than 20 kudos.


20 hour ride.

276 miles.

36,000 feet of climbing.



Seriously bad ass HTFU riding right there.


I agree! Thanks for sharing @Brennus!

I rode the first 3000ft and last 16000ft with her (drafting her) and was at my absolute limit by the end of it.

For those interested in her fueling I’ll post a picture of my live action notes for her bottles when I wake up in about 8 hours.

I can’t think of a time I’ve felt worse after an athletic event. :dizzy_face:


What does this mean? Forgive me, I’m half dead right now.

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Amazing performance,one tough lady for sure.

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25th kudo :fist_right::fist_left:


Great ride! - I love to see these really long/hard rides, as each one I have done has been amazing and terrible in their own unique ways. Definitely type 2 fun :slight_smile:

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Also, tech question - any issues with the Elemnt recording this? I’ve had issues on long rides with it suddenly going to “recovering ride”, which takes 10+ minutes. I’ve never lost any data, but it’s happened twice to me, and I’m hoping they have that bug fixed. (Both times on older firmware than what is now out.)

Defo need a run down of the day, that was a true epic deserving of publicity and a deep dive. Must have been one hell of a mental journey that too. Really well done @michelleihowe !

Just noticed this wasn’t her longest ride in term of flat out miles - she one shotted the Festive 500! Is Michelle an ultra cyclist and train like one?

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Seriously impressive! Massive work! :muscle:

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Wow, this is amazing!!! Incredible ride.

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We had this issue for the Festive 500 in December, or something similar. Also very low-battery. Not sure if related.

This time, I Gorilla taped a generic 20000mAh battery pack to her handlebars and charged the Wahoo Bolt while she was riding, for the second half of her ride. She also cleared all her history off the Bolt the night before. I have no idea if history-clearing was useful. Battery certainly was. It allowed Always On Backlight mode, all night.

“Morning after pic” below from my ride with her on Strava.

Nope, she’s her team’s sprinter. She’s a much better sprinter than endurance rider. Peak power of 1200W @ 63kg. Former collegiate and post-collegiate 60m hurdler and Team USA bobsledder.

But, she is flirting with the idea of some 24-hr events for max distance.

In the interest of not presenting a prettied-up or falsely polished picture of how fueling should go, but how it actually went, I’ll post my notes on the day. I don’t normally take notes. But I think it’s valuable to see some of the on-the-fly, real-world thinking.

We normally put together whatever we think will work, and run with it. The ride today/yesterday was more challenging than her Festive 500.

Her Festive500 was equally partitioned into 5 laps, each of which would take 3-4hrs. It was in Seattle WA with a total temp range of 15 degrees from day to night, and no radiant heat from sun. It made fueling easy. All bottles identical.

For the Trenching Challenge on Lemmon, temperature varied widely from top to bottom, so optimal route changed with time of day. Length of each ride segment also varied by preference. And most of all, I worked all day and was totally run ragged and making decisions on the fly throughout! Hence: a notepad.

Most decisions were made in haste with the goal being equally as much to just KMF (keep moving forward) as it was to optimize the procedures & nutrition. Minimizing stoppage time was a goal.

My biggest mistake: forgetting to tell her that I put 4000mg sodium in her second carb bottle and that she needed to aggressively drink the water. Husband & sport scientist failure!

Other notes:

  • No solid food or gels were consumed from start to finish. Only liquid.
  • Foot pain and back pain became the primary limiters to performance after about 200 miles for @michelleihowe. Not nutrition, hydration, or GI distress. Naproxen, ibuprofen & acetaminophen were all consumed at overlapping intervals.
  • We rotated 4 NiteRider headlights all night. I charged 2 while the others were on our bikes. One pair of 900 lumen version and one pair of 1800 lumen version. Ran them on high power for the descents, and lower power for the ascents. Worked great.
  • My Wahoo Bolt had an impressive 45% battery remaining after my 11-hr recording. Backlight on mine was set to 15 seconds.
  • We will be purchasing a much smaller portable USB battery pack for future exploits that might require Wahoo Bolt battery life extension. The 20000mAh was overkill.
  • I used a similar battery pack in my pocket to charge the 900 lumen NiteRider lights via micro USB.
  • I consumed ~1000g carbs, 9000mg sodium, and 8-9 L of water during my 11 hrs. I consumed at the same rate for my 2-hr ride portion with her that morning giving me a total of >1200g liquid carbs, >11,000mg sodium, and ~10-11L water.

For what it’s worth, in my experience a fully charged Garmin 520 coupled with a 5000mwh battery pack (linked) will last >25 hours in ~80F weather…with the backlight on. The form factor & weight would be better than what you used.

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This is a great post.

She should def tackle some hilly 24hrs. Course records are there to be had for sure. Just missed RAAM Tx (or whatever they’re calling it)…would have been easier than this! Ha!

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Thanks for sharing these details - it is neat to see what other people have done, and in particular notes of what ‘really happened’, vs what was planned. I have also been impressed with the Wahoo battery life, and thankfully have used smaller battery banks to recharge. Dealing with the charging port on the bottom of the original elemnt when it’s dark and you are tired is not a satisfying experience. There is no way I could log my own nutrition during a ride like this, but I think the next time I try something I may try to track the totals by a detailed before/after inventory. It’s hard to adjust what you did if you’re not sure what you did.
What liquid nutrition did she use? I have used liquid (skratch or similar) + some solid food, but have always ended up with some gastro-intestinal issues 16+ hours in.

This is a very impressive effort, and I wonder if a double everesting is in reach :slight_smile:

16 hours elapsed time on a double century with a 520, Varia radar, and Bontrager Flare RT. Used an Anker PowerCore+ 3350mAh battery pack in my jersey pocket to recharge the 520 and radar while riding.