Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 Rome, Georgia Winter Series Prize List Sponsored By HUP United

HUP United Southeast will sponsor additional prizes for the top 7 men and women finishers overall in the 4 race series. Cycle Therapy of Rome will offer a CASH PAYOUT for the top A/B Men/Woman/Overall placing!

***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)





Additional prizes may be available by the 1st race so stay tuned.

“HUPcakes” will also be available at the races free of charge.

email Bob Kuhn at bobkuhn3@netzero.com with any questions

Come out and support Cycle Therapy's Winter Series and prepare to HUP it UP!

(HUPcake photo lifted from Chip Baker's Blog)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

We Missed You at Our Party

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.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Mid-Year Stats

Jan 09 to July 4 09

Hours: 244
Distance: 4034 miles
TSS Accumulated: 15, 000 points
KJ Expended: 174,202
CTL Change: +31
Races: 9

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Some Upcoming Race Profiles

GA Games RR

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:

Course Map

These are training rides for me so even if I just hang on I will get what I want from them. I have no intention of placing but maybe if I ride smart I can get in the top 20.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I went to Chattanooga last weekend with the family and on Sunday did the Raccoon Mountain SERC MTB race. What a beautiful reservoir and trails. It must have been an engineering nightmare to build but it is really scenic and not far from the city. The race was smaller than I expected and there were only 13 40+ expert guys and with 10 minutes before the race the promoter decided to cut our lap count down to two. I was using it as a training race so I really wanted 3 hours but I guess with the nheat and the lap distances being 12 miles, he did not want to over-extend the geezers. Too bad, we were up for it.

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

This week's plan:

Monday: 5x5(5) VO2 max in a 1.5 hour ride
Tuesday: 60-90 minutes w/ 30 tempo in there somewhere
Wednesday: 60 easy
Thursday: 3 hours endurance
Friday: 2 hours easy
Saturday: GTC TT effort (probably 60 minutes LT)
Sunday: 60 easy

11 hours total

Monday, June 08, 2009

NC Mountains Riding

I went on vacation with the family up to Bat Cave for a week of hanging out for my father in law's 70th birthday. We went to Bat Cave since it was close to Lake Lure and Asheville. Lake Lure was pretty fun and Charlotte got to swim and ride a horse as well as climb 654 stairs up to the top of Chimney Rock.

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.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

The new HUP United kits arrived a week ago and they are really white. They are also very hard to keep clean. I guess that is the price you pay for fashion.

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


Nice job Wild Bill!

I was...

a. 2nd in the short track
b. 6th in the night time TT
c. 2nd in the state champ race
d. Crushed in the woods by Bill
e. all of the above

This one hurt.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Well, another school year is almost over. Crazy how it flies. My daughter will be 4 in June and this will probably be my last summer where she is in school. It should be a lot of fun for the next few years having her at home over the summer (can you say water slide?).

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

GSC #3: Ft Yargo

Ft. Yargo is a nice place to ride any time of year and I really like racing there as well. It is mostly single-track with some nice climbs and now a section dubbed "The Monster Mile". The gas line decent/climb was taken out and the Monster Mile added. This section was a thrill to race with many bmx style whoops and some gnarly steep climbs.

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

Things have been hectic around here with 2 trials in 2 months which leaves me with the munchkin for 2 weeks alone. The accumulation of work, her and life is pretty stressful and i am not sure how my mom did it all those years with 2 kids.

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

Spring Break

Jay Halgat put together a nice 4 day ride "camp" and I was able to make 3 of the 4. We started with the GTC Classic Ronde van Appalachee where we rode for around 60 miles, climbed a number of bergs and had a few gravel roads as well. We had 3 sprints and two of them were at the top of climbs. The group was around 20 I think and it was a,lot of fun on a nice sunny spring day. I got the ride start wrong and had to drive ahead and meet everyone which made me inelligible for the sprints but I did them anyway. On the first one we hit the gravel/dirt road leading up to the small hill climb and I punched it but my legs had no memory of last December when I sprinted last so by the time we got to the hill I was toast.

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

Ride Cluster Analysis and Matches

I was fooling around with some ride power cluster analysis and compared the "Dan's Macabre" Sunday ride which is usually fast and difficult for me to finish with the lead group. It covers some rolling terrain in Gwinnett/Barrow/Walton Counties.

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

GCS #1: East Macon

What a great day outside and a great race. I raced the 40+ Expert (Cat 1) race on the single-speed and the field was stacked with very good racers. Shane and I were the only two SS guys in an otherwise geared field and today the 34x17 was a magic gear.

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

GTC Training Camp

A nice 4 days of mellow group rides starting April 4.

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

I Guess I'm Just Getting Old, or Just a Pussy

I love mountain bike cross-country racing. A nice 20-30 mile race is all I need. But, the trend these past years is about making incredibly long and difficult courses to see who can nad-up and finish them, and yes, someone will win.

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

Riding in the Rain

Today I rode from my house to upper Roswell for 3 hours in the rain. I used my fenders (SKS Race Blades) and they were fantastic. I also tried a cross trick and used latex gloves under my light, full-fingered gloves and this worked ok for cross but on a long rainy road ride they got too wet from sweat.

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

Snake TT #3

The finale of the 2009 Snake Gap TT was really fun. The weather could not have been better and I tried to hyper-hydrate a day before and eat right and it payed off. I was pretty groggy on the bus ride to the start and thought I might fall asleep. After lining up with a hand full of guys from Dedicated Athlete I was hoping to maybe keep up with Shane Schreihart because he was looking for breaking the time record. He was running a 34x19 and I had a 34x20 and after the start be blasted off and I new he would have a great ride. I did not keep up and as I saw him go out of sight I settled into my own rhythm.

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.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Persuit of the "Hour of Power"

In many power training circles you hear about the "Hour of Power" which originated with cyclist Bill Black. Basically, on a trainer go at 90% of your threshold power for 60 minutes and in every minute do 15 seconds or so of increased power. Do this for an hour and you end up with basically the same numbers as an hour of threshold without the mind-numbness. You can do it outside too but the terrain has to be pretty flat to get the full effect.

I want to tackle this at some point and with minimal time to ride today, I set up the trainer in my classroom and worked out inbetween classes. However, I only had 40 minutes so I did "20 minutes of power" to experiment. After a 10 minute warm-up, I held 260w for 20 minutes and then at 45 seconds I surged up to 300w to the minute mark. I was surprised how hard this was and I will have to ease into doing 60 minutes at once. My tsb is pretty negative right now (-11) so that might contribute.

It us a really neat idea and breaks up the monotony as well as providing a nice intense workout if you have little time. If you want to see a better account and a graph, head over to Alex Simmons's blog and check out what he did for the full hour.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bob's Mellow Macabre

Yesterday the weather was beautiful and warm and today it was still beautiful but very windy and cold. So, why not go for a ride? I was sitting in the parking lot of the normal Sunday ride prepared to battle to make it to Jack Pittman and then ride in on my own when 9:58 came and no one was there. The ride was going to be pretty hard solo in this wind (18 mph and 25 mph gusts), so I went anyway. I decided that my Nebraska friends would tisk tisk me for starting with the wind and having a head wind on the way home so I planned to cut out the two major climbs and hold true to my maximum allowable ride time for today which was 3 hours. My assumption was a fast first half and a brutal second half.

I was correct in my assumption, going out to the half way point I averaged 20.4 mph. It was a nice trip and I enjoyed the fast ride trying to just go with it and not use too much power. I averaged 202w (normalized power 230w) to Campton and then someone turned on the fan.

I never, ever use an Ipod while riding but I brought it today to distract me from the wind on the way back and it did a nice job for awhile. The wind was pretty relentless across the flat fields and there were plenty of lean-ins as the wind blew me sideways. At times I felt as if I was going backwards.

My power for the second half was 238w (normalized power 268w) and my speed was only 16.8 mph. In terms of work, I did 925kj on the way out and 1206kj on the way back. I decided to take Bold Springs to the Belmont shortcut over to June Ivey and then do the dirt road that we used to do on this ride until late. It took out 4 miles and in hindsight it did not matter because I ended up back at the parking lot with enough time left that doing either Stock or Jack Pittman or both, I still would have been close.

I was pretty hammered after it was done and I only rode 50 miles. My complete ride stats are: 50 miles in 2:43; average power 221; normalized power (based on what it felt like because of terrain) was 250w; speed 18.5mph; work, 2132 kj, cadence 84rpm!, training stress was 200 which is 20 points lower than when I have done this ride as a group.

Second half shuffle playlist:

15 steps: Radiohead
Whistle for the Choir: Fratellis
Distant Sun: Crowded House
China: Red Rockers
John, I'm Only Dancing: David Bowie
Where you Going Northern?: Game Theory
Canary in a Coalmine: The Police
5.15: The Who
Jungle Boogie: Kool and the Gang
Cecilia: Simon and Garfunkel
Thousand Miles From Nowhere: Dwight Yoakam
The Modern World: The Jam
West Coast: Coconut Records
Upside Down: Jack Johnson
A Few Minutes of Silence: Paul Westerberg
Electrolite: R.E.M
Accidentally in Love: Counting Crows
She's Gone: Hall and Oats
Girls Talk: Dave Edmunds
Wierd Fishes: Radiohead
Every Word Means No: Let's Active
Picture Book: The Kinks
Sweet Jane: The Velvet Underground
Magic Man: Heart
Church on White: Stephen Malkmus

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Snake TT

The Snake TT ATMO is one of the best races around. First of all it is a point-to-point so you have to be shuttled to the start, secondly it is run over a multi-access trail that is really a hiking trail so it is not groomed at all, thirdly it is very, very well run, and lastly over 300 racers each time come together for a very competitive but no-bullshit good time. There is not posturing or ego tripping like in a lot of road races.

Last year I did the 17 mile race and put in a good time, winning the overall. The 34 mile race seemed a bit out of my wheel-house but I wanted to give it a shot. Like last year I chose the single-speed bike and went with a 34x20 gear. I was hoping to start with Shane Shreihart and Robert Kranz but I ended up in the group behind them. They both put in great times and it would have been fun to try and keep up with them.

My race started out in coinfusion since i was one of about 10 who took a wrong turn and burned around 6-10 minutes by the time we got back on course. After that it was about playing catch up. The first 17 miles is muddier and has very little rocks. I liked it but I don't believe it is easier than the last 17 miles. It took me about 20 minutes longer than I had planned and I was pretty beat at the mid-point. I knew what the last 17 miles were like and tried to turn out a good split and ended up just 2 minutes shy of my record from last year. I thin without the missed turn and trying to catch up i could have come in 15 minutes earlier. I ended up with a 3:45 ride time which was good enough for 6th.


My impressions of the whole 34 miles are as follows:

--very tough on the single-speed, probably my toughest experience on it.
--Lots of climbing in the first 17 miles but nothing like the 3 miles of mostly unrideable (for me) rock fields that cover the ridge towards the end of the race. On the single-speed I had to walk more than I wanted to. These were boulders not really rocks and they look cool but after a few miles get on my nerves.
--be one of the first to start. Passing folks was a real problem and it got frustrating, not because people were at fault, it was just that they got in the way.
--I ended up with 35 ounces I did not drink. That was a mistake. I found it hard to eat on the course and while drinking was no problem, I still did not drink enough.
--the 40+mph paved downhill at the end is great payback.

I hope that a lot of other folks will try this series. It is "real" mountain biking and with it being a timed trial it is a great event to start with.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I rode at Yargo yesterday in between dentist appointments and did 2 laps, one SS, on geared. I have to say that I am pretty even on them. The geared bike feels faster but it is heavier. My laps times are about 5 minutes off last summer's and I am still about 10 lbs heavier than I'd like to be (who isn't)?

I have not done 3 hours on the SS yet and maybe Saturday will be the day.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Getting sick is no fun and it looks like my plans for the Southern X are going to get cancelled which is really dissapointing. The "neck check" is always a good rule to follow and once it moves into the chest it is usually game over for racing. I will give it until tomorrow morning to decide but right now it is looking grim.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Geared MTB

I finally built up my old 1990 7 speed Klein with gears and have ridden it twice. I can't seem to use the gears properly after all the SS riding. I end up finding the 2:1 and leaving it there! I read Andy Applegate's blog about his nice new bike and was a bit envious. My Klein is cobbled together but still rides pretty nice.

The Southern X is going to be painful since I have a nice head cold. But, since Cesar Grajales is racing I will just simply enjoy it as a nice 3.5 hour group ride in the mountains. I am really looking forward to the Snake TT and see what I can do for 34 miles on the SS.

I sure hope this does not go sinus infection...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Building up the 19 year old 7-speed mtb is a pain in the ass.

Monday, January 12, 2009

MTB Build and Gardening

I am not a very good mechanic and I usually pay someone to build bikes for me when the time comes. But I can do a few things myself. I have gotten better at gluing tubulars, setting up tubless tires, and the little things. I cannot do head sets or bottom brackets, and I don't have a torque wrench although the new Park wrench is tempting me.

I have been trying to expidite the rebuilding of my 1990 Klein Pinnacle back to a geared bike. It is a 7 speed so I thought finding parts would be very challenging. I am surprised to find more out there than I thought although choice is pretty limited. I have the original crankset/bottom bracket but with new bearings. The 1" Rockshox Judy XC is pretty old but still works great. Some of the new stuff includes a Thompson stem, Easton carbon riser bar, Thompson seatpost, WTB saddle, Suguino chainrings, new SRAM X-7 rear derallieur, a SRAM 7-speed cassette with spacer, new Bontranger Mustang tubless wheel set that I found for a very low price, SRAM 8 speed chain, and some cool original Shimano rapid fire 7 speed shifters. I already had the Shimano XT brakes with Swisstop pads. The front derallieur is a Shimano LX pulled off my wife's bike.

It will be fun to ride a geared bike again but I still prefer the single-speed. I like the geared bike for the N Georgia terrain and the SS for most of the races.

I also really like gardening. I am not very good but my family was pretty good at it when I was growing up. Of course in Western Pennsylvania you could grow almost anything in that soil. Farmer G has provided a lot of good insight and I have a few books on raised bed urban gardening that I used (Cubed Foot Gardener and Square Foot Gardener) but the best source is Walter Reeves's website.

This year I am growing Bluberries, Garlic (Farmer G's varieties), tomatoes (roma and cherry), bell peppers, carrots,cucumbers, squash, herbs, onions, and lettuce in the spring. I am using my grow lights to start them indoors and then transplant them later. I have a nice 6x8 foot raised bed that is about 12" deep and I'll have various large pots to grow things like some of the herbs, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes.

Last year was my first year and I started really late so this year should be better and it is a good way to get my daughter involved like my family got me involved.

Farmer G has so much he has to give it away, I am hoping to only use stuff from the garden as I need it and avoid the store. Should be fun!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dan's Macabre Ride #1

Like most of the US, cold and windy but at least here it was dry. Always a hard ride for me, I try just not to get dropped. With some mercy today I managed not too but left alone I would have.

Here is a stat comparison from the last 4 Macabres I have done. Last Jan and this Jan are almost identical.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Did my yearly January FTP test and dropped about 10 watts from December. That's not too bad and to be expected. I am rebuilding my 7-speed mtb and hopefully it will be ready for Southern X. If not I'll use the cross bike.

Brendan and I went up to Camp Merril and did the Cooper-Hightower-Winding Stair Gap 25 mile route. It was tough on cross bikes and in the rain. The mud really put a damper on any speed.

Cyclocrossworld.com has a number of good sales right now.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Southern X Race Route

Can you say 13 mile climb?