Saturday, June 30, 2007

LIfe Span of a Shimano XT Seatpost Bolt?

I got my Klein in 1990 with the Deore XT seatpost so that bolt lasted 17 years. It went through MTB racing in the 1990's, a Great Divide MTB tour in the late 90's, various UGA campus excursions, some giant hill jumping in Athens, a muddy 24 hours of Cannan, lots of night riding, and some MTB racing (SS and otherwise) since 2005. It even outlasted the frame which cracked back in 1996.

Today it sheared off amongst the roots of the Ft. Yargo MTB trails in Winder. It left me 4 miles from my car.

I bet today's bolts would not last 17 years. Could be my fat ass.

(see seatpost in the picture to the left)

Friday, June 29, 2007

How I Got Popped for $70 By Big Brother

On the 19th I was .33 seconds late on a traffic light at the intersection of Lenox/Peachtree Rds and got my picture taken by the cops. A nice sequence of me entering the intersection and then in the middle with the light , but yellow as I crossed the line. It wasn't even close and I remember at the time thinking "Dumbass, that was red." Guilty as charged and luckily nothing stupid happened.

My daughter was not in the car but I was on my way to buy her some sheets for her new bed.

Seventy dollars!!! I will definitely be stopping at the yellow for now on.

This is going to do wonders for my "street cred" though! It was eroded by the car seat in the back. Now I am back!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Distance Differences Between Men and Women

I am naive about this subject but i have never understood why women's race distances in cycling are shorter than men's. I have seen in the various national championships differences up to 10 or 20km in the TT and the women's world cup races are often shorter as well. For example, the women's Ronde only incorporates 11 bergs while the men's race 18 and only 120km instead of 260km in the men's race.

Other sports have men and women doing similar distances (marathon, track, swimming, etc.). I just don;t get it. Women are totally capable of going the distance. Even in local races distances are different.

Someone clue me in.

Sopranos Thesis

Washington Post writer Bob Harris wrote 19 pages on the last 5 minutes of the Sopranos. I hope you people who are so obsessed with this show will finally get a life!


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wierd TV Transition

I have been catching up with the third season of Deadwood and its anticlimatic, pre-mature ending. I have always liked this show because of the language and their effort to make the show like a play. The language is hard to get back into after a year (we don't have HBO so I wait for the DVDs), and once you get to the third disk or so you are in full stride and can decipher almost everything.

Enter, The Wire. After I finished the last of the Deadwood episodes from season 3, I loaded up the third season of The Wire (which I also really like) and the language transition was really interesting. It took me about 15 minutes to adjust but there were many similarities between the two shows. In Deadwood, the use of "fuck" amongst the flowery language has been seen as a way for old west characters to seem both educated and tough at the same time. In The Wire it is mainly used as a way to express toughness and as a substitute for a lack of language. If characters in Deadwood need to be descriptive they can do it without the "F word", but in modern day, the characters in The Wire (and many teen to twenty somethings today) cannot express themselves with word substitutions so the use curse words and the word "like". It is not an occasional insertion to maintain toughness, but a complete lack of vocabulary and creativeness.

I see this everyday in high school, and if the kids swore like Deadwood, occasionally to maintain dominance, I would be better with it. But I see it everyday as a lazy way at communication that takes no effort, no application, and no creativeness.

The violence in both shows is based on reality. The old western town of Deadwood's violence is well documented, and The Wire is based on real accounts from Baltimore just like the show (and book) Homicide: Life on the Streets.

Great TV in my opinion and they keep me waiting for the next season's DVDs.

Friday, June 22, 2007

CTL Goals

I had a couple of down weeks this spring when I was off the bike due to illness. My chronic training load (CTL) had dropped down into the low 50's. Last year before 'cross season it had climbed into the high 60's and this summer my goal is to get it into the 80's.

CTL is the measure of how the accumulated workouts in the past 3-6 weeks are affecting your fitness. The idea is to get CTL as high as possible (without your body rebelling) leading up to your goal event, taper and then you should be fresh and peaked.

Normally, elite and pro cyclists CTL is way above 70 and in fact, unless it gets beyond this there is pretty much no reason to taper at all since you have not been accumulating enough stress over time for a taper to help you.

In last year's snapshot of my Performance Manager leading up to and during 'cross season you can see how CTL dropped during the season as I was racing and recovering, using the fitness I had gained over the summer.

[You can see how the summer training raised CTL (blue line) and depressed training stress balance (TSB) during the summer. TSB can be considered a measure of "freshness" derived from the interrelation of CTL and ATL. You can also see how illness affected me at the end of 'cross season by the big plunge in CTL (blue line) and acute training load (ATL/red line).]

Having a goal to raise it into the 80's this summer should leave me with good fitness going into the fall.

The fine line is not doing too much and making yourself sick or injured. This is where the Cycling Peaks software and a daily log really helps.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Riding in Nebraska

I was lucky enough to find Blue's Bikes in Lincoln. I was able to rent a Trek Pilot for $80/7 days which was a lot less than flying my bike. I had most of my own accessories and all it took was a little adjusting and off I went.

Monday: Met up with Chet Henry who is living in Lincoln and is a UNL cycling team member and Cat 3 on the road. He was there for the weekly easy ride with a few friends. one of the best things about lincoln is the bike paths. They are straight, wide and get you out of town fast. We started out of town when an enormous thunderstorm dumped on us for about a half hour. Wind, rain, and cool temps sent us scrambling for a shelter.

Tuesday: I decided to head south of town for what is know as the "Denton Loop" The ride goes to Denton and back and traverses some pretty rolling hills which surprised me. It was 26 miles and i fought the wind and traffic a little to get back. Traffic is a little sketchy because most of the roads are dirt/gravel which funnels traffic along any paved road.

Wednesday: Today there was 35 mph sustained winds and gusts up to 50 mph. The local hammerfest left at 5pm and I was still at work so I went east of town on the crushed limestone "Mopac Rail Trail". I figured it would be a little more buffered from the wind. I rode about 1.5 hours and the wind was intense! I never did get the 34 mph tail wind but the group ride did and they were spun out in the 53x11.

Thursday: I met Chet and some others for their Thursday interval session at Pioneers Park south of Lincoln. They have a 3 mile loop and two hills. On the first hill someone attacks and then the race is on and finished at the top of the second, steeper hill. These were tough after sitting on my ass for 5 days but they were fun and I even was able to win one. Of course a local Cat 2 rider came and destroyed us on the 4th interval.

Friday: I did the Denton Loop again and dropped the bike back at the shop and took a taxi back to the dorm.

It was a fun week riding in some beautiful country. I would be willing to bet you could ride almost across the state only on dirt roads.