Thursday, July 28, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Friday, February 26, 2010
Sunday, January 31, 2010
In May I emailed my long term coach John Verhuel for a nice summer/fall plan to take me up to nationals. I did a lot of intervals and some races last year to get ready for the cross season. In fact, the training block was really challenging in terms of balancing work/home/sport. There were many "two a day" days and some trainer work in my cramped little stockroom behind my classroom (next door classes would ask, "Is Kuhn using a shaver back there?" referring to the trainer buzz). My goal was to ramp up a training stress score of 100tss/day by September 1st and I came close getting to 98tss/day.
The fall was really stressful with work/life and trying to sell our house and move in this economy. In between all of that I was able to do two UCI races in Seattle while doing house deals over the phone. I came up pretty good with 1 top 10 and a top 20. Most people know I got punched in a race by Tim Butler (Sue Butler's husband) and I was also accused by an official at the race of threatening and putting my hands on him (the official). I tried to clear that up (because it was a lie or a case of mistaken identity) but it never got anywhere with USAcycling.
I also got to meet some great HUP NW guys like Zac Daab, Max Hullaway, Dave Roth and Bernard Georges and got to start next to Richard Feldman. Probably the coolest thing about the trip was racing at Rad with Mt. Ranier in the distance.
Back in Georgia I had a very good fall cross season with some wins and hard earned top 3's. I tried my hand at the A group and was in the top 5 both times. I made some new friends and new rivals and best of all rode some great courses. We had a lot of wet weather this fall/winter and racing in the mud is really fun and can change a course instantly. We also saw a change in the guard as Adam Jones handed the series off to a group of promoters. Adam has been a tireless worker for the cross scene here and having spent time with him at two nationals and his counter part Shey Linder at 3 nationals, they are two of the best. I was happy to see Daryl and Kim sawyer back on the bike and pushing their twins around the venues. They had a hell of a hard spring and to see them having fun was great. Of course the races were hard fought and my closest cross friend Brendan Sullivan and I drove to a few races together, only to compete with each other once we got there. There is no one I enjoy racing most than Brendan. He is truly a class act, very talented, and his toughness is unmatched. My favorite races with him were Dahlonega where I thought I had it won, only to have him come from the back row and catch me with two laps to go. The other was Savannah where we conspired to take a state jersey only to get foiled by about 5 seconds of undecisive racing and a very strong Eric Neely. Brendan's attack with 2 to go through the start finish is one I will remember forever.
In the end, Eric Neely was the warrior of the season doing most masters and A races each Sunday and I think Brady Rogers had the most heart. If anything, I was most consistent. I did not realize any championship or title but I had no injuries, stayed healthy, and rode as many races as I could as well as I could. This was my happiest cross season in 11 years.
The winter series was a short love affair that started in a make up race back in November when Brendan and went head to head in the mud. I liked the farm course and its circular orad in front of it, the fact that it was private property and that the promoters were so motivated. It evolved quickly into a neat 4 week winter series that had small attendance numbers but planted seeds for future years. next year I will help with promotion and try to grow it. We have lots of ideas and the fact that world's will now be in the US in 2012 allows us a few years to get it ready for those needing 4 more weeks before Louisville. If the GA cross series was my intensity, the winter series was shear joy. I gave equally hard efforts each week in mud, snow, ice and cold and it felt great. I can't thank everyone involved enough for their efforts.
We are about to see the fruits of our labor for the past 10 years in terms of cyclcoross in the US. Great things are going to happen in the next 5 years that will elevate the sport. There is no way I'll race another nationals or a world's until maybe I am a lot older, but I hope to go and scream a bit. There are rumors of a dedicated cross course in Atlanta, we have a full 10 race schedule next fall and then 4 races in January. Things are good. I will be starting my own tubular gluing business next summer and probably rent out wheel sets next fall for those who want to try tubulars (it will be cheap to rent and pretty cheap for gluing), so stay tuned if you are interested. I think I have the gluing art down pat.
Today I pushed it really hard knowing it would be the last race for awhile. The feeling of the right pressure of tubulars on mud, the cold air, and cowbells ringing reminded me that verything moves so fast. There is going to be a 3 week let down and then some riding. But June is only 6 months away and I'll have another excuse to get excited about cyclocross. Here is to 2010/2011!
Bring on the classics!
Friday, January 22, 2010
The turn out was much bigger this week and the A/B race had over 14 people. We had a visit from the Faster Mustache team and even had a fellow drive all the way up from Florida.
The A race was really fun with the course being one challenge and the Faster Mustache guys throwing down from the start. After about 3 laps I got a small lead over Eric Nicoletti but I hit a crevice in the wooden bridge which grabbed my front tire and threw me over. Once I regrouped he was off the front and by the end I was only able to come within 5 seconds or so.
The course was mostly grass and mud but David did also add in the paved quarter mile loop which made it even tougher. Looks like more free beer and more mud this Sunday. Hope to see some of you out there!
Monday, January 11, 2010
The course included a short paved section, a short dirt steep run up the dam, lots of dirt track, some fields with chicanes, 3 dismounts and a nice section of whoops/bermed s curve to round it out. At first it was slow going because of the course but it loosened up over the hour to be a slushy mud in some places. I was using Challenge Fango 34's on box rims and they hooked up nicely.
Going for an hour in any condition is tough but you have to stay focused on the effort and course.
In the end, the soup was good and the race felty great. It is such a delight to still be racing cross in January.
I hope we have lots of like minded folks who want to get out of the base training rut, or who want to have a bunch of fun on a Sunday. Come on out, it is a cross celebration!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
***NEW: Southeasterncycling.com is sponsoring a $25 additional cash prize to the top woman in the series***
1st Place C Class Men:
Chris Milliman Photo print featured on Embrocation Magazine volumes 3 and 4. Winners will have a choice between the two. Options for other prints TBA.
2nd Place C Class Men:
Rapha Cap or Rapha Team Cap (choice)
3rd Place C Class Men:
Rouleur Magazine Issue 15 or Embrocation Magazine Cycling Journal Issues March or September 2009 (choice)
4th Place C Class Men:
Mad Alchemy Embrocation (their choice up to $20 value)
5th Place C Class Men
Mad Alchemy beer couzie or Start Stick (choice)
1st Place Masters Men:
Kuhn’s Winter Series Beer Survival Kit ($20 Value, Kuhn’s beer choice)
THE TOP 3 SINGLE-SPEED SERIES FINISHERS WILL RECIEVE AN ENDLESS KICK ASS COG OF THEIR CHOICE, COURTESY OF THE ENDLESS BIKE COMPANY!
“HUPcakes” will also be available at the races free of charge.
Come out and support Cycle Therapy's Winter Series and prepare to HUP it UP!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Today was a fun day because we got to race cyclocross for FREE in the mud, cold and rain on a farm with an owner who did not care that it was cold, rainy or muddy. Not many came out but we had fun regardless. Trey of Cycle Therapy in Rome, GA is holding a 4 race winter series at this same venue and I hope folks come out and support it.
I knew that MTB was out of the question because of the rain and a 3 hour road ride in the rain at 40 degrees and cold water spray did not sound appealing. A chance to get muddy and have a nice effort for 60 minutes sounded great.
The course was all taped off and had a heated tent port-o-john, power washer, etc. So there was no cutting corners. The course itself was shortened because Trey wanted to keep it close. The mud made it hard, and as the 60 minutes progressed the course deteriorated nicely. There was a short paved section, a nice run up a dam, 3 barrier sections, lots of terrain changes and off-cambers. I was able to crank out 12 laps in 60 minutes.
There were also lots of smiles and laughs. With the regular season behind, I felt liberated and wished others had come out to play. I know that the mentality is to stop after the last GA race and do some sort of base, but to be quite honest ATMO, base is for PROs not cat 3 superstars. I have no business doing base, just like I don't work hard enough to taper. One hour a week is not going to hurt your prep for road/mtb and it will do your soul some good to get out there and take on the challenge in the midst of January. Fuck the trainer, I'd rather get muddy.
Anyway, I am not judging, I'd like to see some other folks come out and have as much fun as we did today.
See if you can make it in January.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Looks pretty flat with a few rollers. I have never been to White, GA but if it is like Canton it is not totally flat.
Profile of One Lap:
I am doing the masters 35+ for 53 miles and I'll bet it will be pretty hard.
Race Course of One Lap:
Road Atlanta Circut Race
This looks like a great race but everyone says you either love it or hate it because of the surface and heat. It is pretty lumpy so I'll bet I will just try to hang on mid-pack.
Profile for One Lap:
Harbins Road Race
I know this will really suck. It is going to take all I can just to not get totally dropped. The course is very hilly and will go for around 67 miles for the 40+ and these guys can fly.
Profile for One Lap:
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
The race started off nice on a long road section and I was maybe 5th into the woods. I soon backed off and rode at my own pace but around mile 2 my seat broke. so I had to compensate for this and try to get off and fix it every once and awhile. I lost major time and placings and by the middle of the lap I was hoping to just finish the race. I rolled into the start/finish and asked the promoter if I could fix my bike and finish. He said yes but I would have to be DQ'd for getting outside assistance. I was in last so it did not matter to me. I fixed the seat temporarily and did the seocnd lap much quicker than the first. In the end I finished 11th and he did not DQ me after all.
I have been trying to prepare for cross this fall and the volume and intervals are going well. By no means am I doing PRO numbers (like 25-30 hour/week) but more like 12 or 13 hours. I am actually going to try and do a few road races since MTB racing right now is boring me. I am going to do the GA Games RR and the Atlanta Road Course and Dacula RR as part of the Gwinnett Fest race week. These will be in 40+ and I will probably be mid-pack at best. These are training races so I will not peak for them, just race through.
Starcrossed is in mid-September so August will be spent mostly doing cross workouts and other things to prepare me for that.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
I rode Sunday around Lake Lure and it was very challenging. Basically there are 3 rules of riding in western NC:
1. All climbs are 3 miles long
2. There are no flat or straight roads
3. If you want to go somewhere you have to climb a mountain
The road up to our cabin on Shumont Road was a brutal piece of work. It climbed from Rt 9 through some very nice woods and then into great open meadows. It was 3.6 miles UP.
From Rt 9 I climbed up to Old Fort Rd and rode on this for awhile. I missed my turn onto Cedar Creek and got lost. I flagged down a local who told me, "Well champ, the first thing you want to do is take a nice long drink because you have to climb that mountain over there." So, another 3 mile climb back to the missed turn (where I had stopped to pee earlier--Doh!)
The road back to the lake was nice but not as flat as I had hoped. Getting back to Rt 9 took me through Chimney Rock and Bat Cave before the 3 mile climb to Shumont and the 3.6 mile climb back to the house. Here is the map, sans getting lost and the climb back to the house. It was 50 miles total.
The other two rides were rides from the Blue Ridge Parkway. I rode from the Folk Art Center to the base of Mt. Mitchell on one day and the other day i rode from the French Broad (191) to Graveyard Fields. Both of these were about 50 miles and had a lot of tunnels and fast descents coming back. The climbs are pretty relentless and climbs over 10 miles are not my thing so I only averaged around 10mph. on those.
Friday, May 22, 2009
I am getting a new cross build up plan for the summer since I will be doing the early Starcrossed in September. I have not been doing any specific training (besides races) above the threshold level since December so I gather I'll be spending a lot of time in VO2 max and above each week.
I have been getting some treatment for my back since the single-speed has taken a toll on it. Nothing serious but the SI joint needs a bit of rotation.
The GTC club championships are tomorrow and it looks like rain. That is good but bad as well since I won't get to recoed the power data. There are probably 5 racers that will go away and hopefully I can make the break this year.
After that race I am going to chill for a week up in the NC mountains and ride some of the parkway as well. I hope to ride from Craggy to Mt. Mitchell if the road is clear.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Thursday, May 07, 2009
So I am going to try and make the most of this last Pre-K year by training for some peak events. I am targeting Cross Nationals again in Bend, Oregon and I have already bought my ticket. I am also fulfilling my "dream race" fix by going to Starcrossed in Seattle in September. I am also going to try and hit the NC UCI races since I have never done them.
My spring peak is coming up next week for SSUSA and GA SS Championships. I am nowhere in peak form but they sort of sprung the date on us so I'll have to make the best of what fitness I have right now and then ramp up over the summer. I think I can win the 40+ title but it will be very hard to do so. I may take a crack at some of the GwinnettFest races as well but only for training.
My coach, John Verheul, is making me a nice summer plan to get ready for cross a bit earlier. Hopefully I can train like last year and really improve over the summer. I am also revamping my cross bike a bit with new brakes, handlebars and stem. I am going to try a wider bar this time and see how that works.
I may be putting the MTB away for the summer in a few weeks if it is not needed for the training. I really like the MTB and the races have been fun so far.
Power wise I am doing pretty good but I have stalled out around 75tss/d since my weekday time is limited. My ftp is around 300w and over the summer I hope to get to around 95tss/d by September and a threshold of at least 315w and lower my weight to 170lbs.
All of this is contingent on the family so it is better to remain flexible.
Monday, April 27, 2009
I was upgraded to the expert/cat 1 for this season and have been racing them on the single-speed. The competition is fierce and most of the guys have been around long enough to get reputations. Mix in a few just-turned-40 racers and it is pretty intense. Lately Shane Schreihart (sic) and Jason Childre have been 1 and 2. Shane hurt his back and did not race much this race while Jason went on to win.
The start of the race was fast and I think I got the hole shot but was passed by about 4 guys after the road got flat. I spun out for awhile and then was in around 5th going into the woods. On a set of whoops my bike bag came off and went into the read wheel causing me to slow down to fix it, losing about 4 places. Once I had it fixed I managed to pass Jeff Clayton and tow around Steve Rideway for about a lap. Steve decided to leave me behind and Jeff Caught me at the feed on lap 2.
I wanted to make top 10 but I was passed on lap 2 by Joe Dunlop and now I had no idea where I stood. The Monster Mile was tough on me and I took it easy through there not wanting to break a collarbone. I made up ground each lap on the climbs and tight stuff. But not enough since Childre beat me by 11 minutes! Shit!
Lap 3 hurt me and I was struggling for awhile but rallied a bit when I caught Joe near the end and held it to the finish. I was 8th which sounds good but 11 minutes behind is not that great. Especially with the SS state champs coming up. But...I was the only single-speed racer in this class and with that said, it was one course where the single-speed choice was not a good one. there was no where to go on the flats since I could not kick it into a big ring and I was already spinning over 100 rpm in a 34x17. I don't think I could have gotten up the hills in a 34x16 but for the flats it owuld have been helpful.
Still, 32 miles in each race is getting easier and I feel good in the races but just don't have the firepower to get into the top 3.
Next up will be SSUSA/GA SS Champs in May.
I have had some fast women pass me in races and Sunday it was Jamie Dinkins who was absolutely blazing by me. She is pretty good looking too if that matters.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Anyway, I raced the East Macon MTB race in the Cat 1/Expert division and placed 4th which I was happy with. I gave it full throttle for 3 hours and I was pretty tired for a week after. After Jay's training camp I did a MTB TT the next weekend and my TSB was -38 when I did it. I posted the second fastest time overall and won the single-speed class.
Shey announced about 3 weeks ago that the 2009 singles speed state champs would be May 16-17 so I am very excited about it but I will not be on form like last year. Although I want to win it again, I think Shane has the best shot because he is really rolling right now having won two expert level MTB races.
I have been working in lots of threshold and sweet-spot intervals and I am pretty happy with my new FTP level. It increased about 10 watts but I need to slim down a bit for the benefit. I did a couple of sprints in a ride last weekend and my 12 second power was around 850 watts so I was happy with that although I lost the sprints.
My goal is to slowly raise my CTL and FTP through August. I would like to get it around 100tss/d by the weekend of Starcrossed in Seattle. But that is a long way off.
Friday, April 10, 2009
On Monday we did a longer ride which went from Monroe to the Oconee National Forest in Greene County and back. It was around 87 miles and it was very windy (20 mph) and colder than the day before. We took it slow and rolled in at 5 hours exactly.
Tuesday we did the Bethlehem-Madison route but it was so windy in places that at the store stop we decided to cut it short to Rutledge and tack through the wind. We ended up with 4 hours and around 70 miles.
On Wednesday after grading for awhile, I tried to go out and spin easy. My legs were pretty tired and needed a rest.
It is Friday and I have not ridden for 2 days but should go MTB tomorrow for a couple of hours.
It was fun doing those miles and hanging out with friends but I would not want to be a pro and have to do it everyday.
I am gearing up for May 16-17 which is single-speed USA and the GA State Single-speed championships. If I can keep the training stress up until then, this may be a peak event.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
In comparing the group ride with my own solo effort on the same course, the effects of the group ride are pretty obvious. My solo effort showed a lot of Low Force/Low Cadence (II) from me having to grind up hills. My power was above threshold a lot of the time and with the group we are going faster so I am clustering in the High Force/High Cadence (I) area as it is a bit harder to keep up and I have to turn big gears fast.
The other thing that is obvious is that I am spending much more time at higher power (>350w) in the group ride because it is a hard ride. My solo effort allows me to pace myself and not react to others driving the pace. My TSS for the group ride is around 220 and the solo was 200.
The second quadrant analysis is of a solo ride I do often from my house. It is a 55 mile ride from home to roswell and back. There are lots of hills and I am pretty bushed by the end. My TSS for this ride is around 191. I was surprised to see so much Low Force/Low Cadence power since I was solo and I was impressed by the amount of hill grinding I am doing over threshold in the High Force/Low Cadence quad. Basically I suck on hills.
The last neat graph shows a match burn graph plotting my 30 sec rolling average power versus time and elevating my power values to the 4th power to accentuate my efforts. It is pretty clear that this is a hard ride for me and that I burn a lot of matches on this one. My maximum aerobic power (MAP) is around 380w (2.0 on the graph) so it is easy to tell my matches.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I was gapped at the start through the awesome bmx track and had to fight back up. I was a little concerned about 5 laps (30.5 miles) in the expert class but went for it the whole race. My first lap was ok and I got caught up behind some gearies on the small but very steep, rooty and twisty climb near the start. I was able to pass some and had a nice crash passing someone. At laps end I had no idea where I was in the standings but I felt very good so I kept putting it on. Shane had about 3 minutes on me at this point.
The second lap was a lot like the first and I was able to pick off more guys and move up. I have to say that today most of the 20+ experts would not yield properly so I could pass. I have a bad rep for coming up on people and not warning them but today I gave a lot of warnings and twice I hit the ground because guys would not move an inch. I don't want guys pulling over, just move over a bit.
The third lap was my best and I put on full gas because Jeff Clayton (SS state champ on a geared bike) was about 30 seconds behind and closing. The course was 1/3 flat, 1/3 twisty/sandy, and 1/3 climbing and the last third each lap I was able to put a little time on him. I was so focused on him that I did not know that the guy in front of me about 10 seconds off was in 3rd place. Doh!
The fourth lap I began to hurt. Legs were getting tight but I was able to climb well and at the start of the fifth lap I had maybe a minute on Jeff. The fifth lap I began to really get tight and had to just hold on. The climbs were now very hard and the flat stuff I was railing an hour ago I was creeping on now. The flat stuff between climbs was irritating and I wanted the climbs to start. As we got to the sandbox and infield Jeff was in sight but I had to keep on some pressure to hold him off and I think I did by about 20 seconds.
I predicted Shane would win and he did. I asked him how hard it was and he said that it wasn't. Thirty miles to him is just a warm up considering the ultra stuff he does. I am very happy for him to win on the SS in a very tough greared expert class. Hats off.
I came in 4th and I doubt I would have caught the guy in front for 3rd. I am very happy as I type and drink my Orval.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
April 4th - Ronde van de Appalachee - 77km The GTC version of the Ronde with bergs and sprints.
April 5th - Flat Ride 3 - 93km at 10:00am-- Flatter than Keira Knightley.
April 6th - Oconee Forest 115km- at 10:00am --Pretty long ride with few store stops.
April 7th - Bethlehem - Good Hope = 88km at 10:00am --Pretty flat ride with the option to go long to Madison or pick up some worms in Good Hope and go fishing.
Should be a fun time.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
The list is long, Dirt, Sweat and gears, SSUSA, Cohutta 100, Mt. Mitchell MTB, Fool's Gold, etc. These are ultra-hard endurance races and they must be popular because people sign up and do them, tell tales, drink beer. There are also the 6 and 12 hour races. As if less distance/time is for pussies.
I long for the days when XC races were simple events ridden over mountains in digestible distances that did not lean toward the adrenaline junkie ultra crowd who pushes it to see when and where their body will fail, just so they can spin yarns over cool beer later.
Give me nice XC races and I am happy. Also, while you are at it, throw in some short track as well.
Personally, I have no desire to race past 3 hours on a bike. After that it feels like work, and work sucks unless I am getting paid, and even then it sucks a lot too.
I guess I am a pussy.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
The temperature was in the 40's and pretty much no wind. The route is rolling with some nice steep climbs. I like the route and this summer I can easily add 10-20 miles and make it a nice 4 hour ride.
I was pretty much the only idiot out there but I did manage to scare off a family of deer as I illegally rode through Island Ford National Park. I saw a 4 pointer and some does.
My Performance jacket bought for me as a present back in 1990 still works perfectly 19 years later, as do my Performance booties.
Anyway, here is the route...
Sunday, March 08, 2009
This time the first 17 miles were a shock to the system for about 20 minutes and after I fell over, I seemed to recover and began riding stronger. The hardest part of the first 17 miles for me are the sustained climbs. Throw in the small baby-head rocks and roots and it is a chellenge. I tried to bomb down the forest road decent to make time and the gravel surface made me use my brakes more than I wanted. The flattish wooded section that followed went quickly and the next uphill climb, smoothly.
When I got to the sag for the second 17 I felt a lot better than last time. Last time I actually pulled out my phone to call it a day but this time I was more than ready for the last part. I had made it there in 1:30 compared to 1:46 last time. My PR for the last 17 miles was 2:00 so I really wanted to make a 3:30 for the whole race.
Bascially the last 17 miles is a tough uphill climb with roots and a couple of steep switchbacks. Here I got bogged down behind some geared riders who were doing their best but I could not pass them there. Eventually I got by and tried once again to make up ground on the decent. Midway through there is a forest road that is a long gradual climb and at the top you know it is 8 miles to go and the bullshit starts. Actually it is really only 6 to go because the last 2 miles are straight downhill.
The climb up to the ridge is a walk for me. I walked faster this time and less than before and tried to ride everything until I had to put a foot down. The geared guys were riding it in the granny and I almost was able to keep up walking. At the top the bullshit starts. By bullshit I mean the time-eating endless rock gardens. You see the rock sizes increasing and they go from baby-heads to soccer ball sized and then washing machine sized in places. It is bullshit. But, I know this so this time I vowed to ride everything until I had to dab a foot and reset. On the single speed it is particularly hard because of the loss of momentum. Once you are going slow and hit a rock the wrong way, or spin out, you have to reset. Also, there are some steep downhills from the ride and back up in the first part and those steep downhills are nail biters.
Once you get to the photographers you know that there is only about 3 miles to go and the rock field is almost over. I had my watch timer set to countdown every 20 minutes so i could drink . At the last climb to the radio tower (which marks the trail's end and the downhill begins) I knew I was at 3:20 and would have to really bomb the paved downhill.
I aero-tucked as best as you can on a MTB and sprinted the best you can on a single-speed and in the end posted a 3:29.22. I shaved off around 17 minutes from last time in February.
Getting back to the finish area Shane rode a 3:10 and my other friend Eric Nicoletti rode a 3:18 which is pretty amazing. Both shaved over 20 minutes off from January.
I ended up 4th for the race and 6th overall in the 34 mile single-speed. I broke my 17 mile PR but 6 minutes but my record for the 17 mile TT fell to a fast guy who did around a 1:56.
On the way home I stopped at the outlet store for a moment and getting back on the highway I hit a 5 mile back up from a single car fatality(?) and sat on the highway for 1 hour and 15 minutes. It pretty much sucked but after seeing the car in the accident I understood why life-flight was needed. I really hope the person made it.
After I got home the telling sign is taking a shower and feeling all the scratches come alive as the water hits. The next eye-opener is this morning when most of my muscles were sore and it felt like I had been hit with a back of rocks. I guess I did around 70km of Paris-Roubaix cobbles back in 2004 and while the sensations are diffrent, these rocks come close to the same feeling.
Lastly, in February I had a hard time with cramping and eating. I bought a "Bento Box" which is a small (wallet sized) bag to keep my food and Gu in. It fits on the top tube. I also used a 70oz Camelbak. I am not thrilled to use a Camelbak but they help tremendously. The Bento Box worked great as well. I think my rule of thumb will be I will use them in races over 30 miles and for the Camelbak, any race over 85 degrees that is longer than 3 laps. I rerely get handups so having it on demand is pretty nice. They do get hot and you sort of feel like a dork though.