Friday, January 22, 2010

Outdoors, Power Training, and the First race

I finally put my girly portions away and got outside the past couple weeks. It has been refreshing and invigorating. Riding for so long on an indoor trainer can be negative, at least for me. I was starting to forget about racing, real efforts, and the feel of riding a bike.

My first ride back on the road a few weeks back was with my new team, a bunch of much faster, much more experienced riders, specifically a pile of CAT 1, 2's. On top of that, they were revving up for Tour of Bahamas (which starts tomorrow) and i'm revving up for say....april-may? Needless to say i got dropped a lot. After spending some time outdoors, increasing my intensity, and riding more consistently, i had a much different experience this past weekend, a much more positive one. It bodes well for me and my up coming sophomore season.

This being my 2nd year riding a bike and racing (and this is truly my 2nd year...not "oh i didnt race seriously as a CAT 5...blah blah blah"). I was an overweight, no exercise, beer drinking fool, that in the winter would go hiking. July of 08 i started to commute 7 miles to work, rode a fixed gear till the week of my first race which is when i got my road bike. I guess i've really been just riding for a year and a half. Anyway, my point is, i'm brand new at this. One thing i have no clue about is power specific training. My team mates have me doing 15minx2 interval sets right now. That's increased recently from 12mins and will increase again pretty soon. I was talking to Jared, who pretty much runs our team and he was discussing the TT in the Bahamas and not having put in the power training for the 3 mile merckx style TT. I didnt know what he meant. I know last season i did a lot of 1min and 30sec intervals, but i dont know exactly why. Just like if i did 5minx5 right now, i'd have no idea what the point was? I know a bit why my mates have me doing the long intervals (besides it being a very big weakness of mine), but developing different sets of power as the season nears closer is very foreign to me.

I already mentioned it but members of my elite team have left to go to warmer climates to race their bikes. Jared Neiters, Bryan Vaughn, and Steven Gordon are all down there. Bryan Vaughn has been training very hard and should see some great results. Also, they sent pictures of our new kits and i'm very pleased.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

stuck indoors

I'm not too big of a weenie but i haven't been on my bike outside in about 3 weeks. I got a new trainer, plopped it in front of a TV in my storage room with a big stereo, turned a fan on and the lights off, and haven't really stopped since. hours go by watching dumb action movies, i save movies i actually want to watch for when i'm off the bike. But really am desiring to get outside no matter the temperature, but the main reason for all the indoor riding is that i'm sick of looking like a short-circuiting Christmas tree and still almost getting hit by a car, truck, semi, ambulance, etc.

This past weekend, which would be the only time i get outdoors was monopalized by Family and expectations (and a tad bit of laziness) and the weekend before i was stuck inside due to massive amounts of snow. Hopefully this weekend will be different. Right now i'm in "ride bike at all costs" mode, so shouldn't be too big a deal. Team ride on friday, planned ride with team mate on saturday, ride with buddy on sunday. Possibly ride tomorrow for an hour depending on work schedule, all of which would be outdoors. nice change of pace.

I hope winter ends soon.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Slow riding

I figured out the other day why i've been so slow...besides out of shape.

I put on an old set of wheels for the off season because they are heavier, cheaper($), and more durable. But, what i didn't know was that my rear wheel's axle was too tight. i had realized my rear wheel didn't spin very effectively, but i'm lazy and just kept on. My buddy at the bike shop said he'd take a look at it for me, so i brought him chipotle and my bike. Later he said it was all fixed and that it was spinning because it was too tight. He greased everything and got it working properly.

Hopefully riding will be a little "easier" now. I heard a quote about mechanics saying, "if you think something is wrong, it probably is".

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dishwashing Gloves...w/o finger brushes

Last winter season i learned a couple very important lessons.

1.Fenders rule (see image)
2.Riding in the rain longer than 45mins in temps below 50 is brutally painful, but fenders help.

I learned both of these from a friend's brother and telling him i know better despite his riding a bike as long i've probably been alive. or at least close to it.
I also told my wife last winter season, "remind me to ride outdoors even in the brutally cold rain, rather than on the rollers."

So last week, as you may know, was a very wet week. Beyond the stinging pain of very cold wetness on the body, i love the conditions...messy, wet, cold. Really, its just how cold my hands get when they are sopping wet and directly in the wind. I've seen the specialized Scuba gloves (not really scuba gloves, but its what they look like), but they are ridiculously expensive and i dont have an amazing discount anymore. So while shopping around the IKEA discount area for craft projects (yes crafts...or art if that sounds better), and i saw a basket full of black rubber dishwashing gloves for 79 cents a pair. They reminded me of the super expensive Specialized pair, but for a 150th of the price (or something like that). They are super thin but big enough to allow to fit a pair of winter gloves underneathe, keeping my hands both dry and warm. I got to try them out a few times last week, making the cold wet rides much more enjoyable, even at 6 or 7 am. light or dark.

79 cents. yes!

I ended up 4th in the MABRA BAR. I only had a small portion of my season as a CAT 4 so i think that's pretty good. I found out by email this morning that i missed out on a plaque. Bummer. A season of more near misses than Vee's, but i still (by my count) have 2 in the bank.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


This blog is kind of pointless. a couple people i know just trashed theirs or are on their way to, which is completely understandable. I dont have anything relevant to say and i don't write very well, but yet i continue. so here goes more of irrelevant rambling.

Recently did a sunrise hike up Old Rag. Which included not going to bed due to the early nature of our departure. The hike was fun, sun rise was nice. It was a tad cold or i was a bit under dressed for sitting on a peak as short as it may be (3291 ft). Its the best we have around here for summit type of hiking. I'm going to go trail run it a few times here in the coming weeks. a solid 9 mile loop is good for a bit of running. yes, all you cyclist(ie Bert)...running.

Missed Saul William's visit to DC (again). If anyone is into good pop check out Head Automatica's album Propaganda or their earlier album Decadence know for its single Beating Heart Baby. Its good fun, catchy music. Their earlier album is good for a bit of dancing.

My basement is finally done. and i'm enjoying it. still a lot 'o' bills to pay off.

I keep starting to put in miles only to be derailed by outside forces...Like a semi or the flu (h1n1). I have a solid commute worked out for the journey home in the dark. including a few miles of nice lightly traveled gravel roads (one of the dogs that always barks finally was loose last night and chased me...a little bit of extra fun). I'm working on a morning coffee ride, just need to find people who may be interested. Also, a once a week lunch ride; i have one taker. I'd do anything to ride in the daylight more than 30% of the week.

Best couple movies i've seen lately- The Informant and Where the Wild Things Are. The Men Who Stare at Goats was a bit overdone. It played the quirky card a little too much without any sort of positive execution. The Informant is very very good. Best movie i've seen in a while.

What happens when you are the office prankster and ride a bike to work?
Old pictures. but i just found them. they are kind of funny.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Team

Starting to get things ready for next season, which includes for the majority, my mindset. It doesn't help that it was 43 degrees this morning and I've got a while till I'm feeling used to it being cold. I believe i dressed as if it was below 20, at least it would have been the case back in Jan/Feb.

So the real news and big news (for myself) is I'm switching teams from 540cycling to Haymarket. Everything is set in motion, and its a matter of getting new kits at this point, which thankfully my old team will buy off my old ones, despite a few being ravaged a tad by asphalt.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Best Night Ever

Best Night Ever is what i was thinking sitting in the Trocadora in Philly with an old friend of mine watching the original line-up of Sunny Day Real Estate. Besides that i was receiving multiple texts about Brooks Laich and Ovie scoring 2 goals a piece in the Cap's opener against the Boston Bruins.
Also, right after the show i was going to south Philly to stay with another buddy of mine.

All in all, it was a great night. But i left my friend's place to go home at 1 am. it was a rough drive home.

Saul Williams will be at the Black Cat Nov 1. i also will be there.