Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Green radar (and Knoxville pics)

The radar was 100% green blob over Bloomington this morning, so I decided to ride trainer rather than get rained on. It has yet to rain though. I guess I'm a sucker. I woke up w/ the outside ligament on that back side of my left knee hurting too though. Kind of weird, it didn't hurt last night or anything, just when I got up. So maybe riding inside wasn't bad anyway. Though I rode rollers yesterday since it was in the 20's. This time of year is hard, when you've been training hard all winter, then you start getting a string of nice days and good riding, then you get these crappy days. I probably didn't ride long enough or hard enough today, but I did some intervals and some one legged stuff. Whatever.

Here are some pics form TN training camp: (the res on these may be really low so they may not blow up well)

Me and Jake on Foothills Parkway.

Me and Josh on Foothills Parkway.

Me and Jake on the flats after Foothills Parkway, but right before climbing Tail of the Dragon (feed zone).

Same as above.

Me and Shilo. This is the neediest dog I've ever been around. Notice you can't see their cats in the picture, that's because cats rule and are not all needy!
I'll put up another post w/ the rest of the pics.

Knoxville pics (2)

Me, Jake and Kim. Around the table where we were if we weren't riding.

Jake and I at table.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mid 30's+rain/snow+30mph wind=

Make slamcake as big as the whole pan and do pretty much nothing all day.

And so I did.

I did a few things, but not much. I had a clicking in my bottom bracket, so I removed my cranks and dealt with that. Hillsboro-Roubaix is this coming weekend and I don't want show up w/ a creaky BB. Plus I had to take out all the trash/recycling. And there was bicycle racing on TV to watch. Okay, I didn't do shit. But man, it was seriously crappy out.

Friday, March 27, 2009

That's that.

Today (Friday) marked my final weight session of this off season. I've lifted 27 sessions and I'm pretty pleased w/ the results. So much so that I decided to take and throw up these couple of self portraits. Pretty buff huh?
Seriously, lifting went well this year. I seem to have gained ~2lbs. We'll see if it stays. It may not once I'm back to riding 6 days, and that'll be fine, I'll still be stronger.
I had a couple of good rides this week. Tuesday my group was broken up w/ commitments, so I went out and rode the Bottom Rd loop solo. The wind was blowing up strong from the south, so I wanted to put in a good solid effort into it coming back in. I rode the climbs (pretty [not super]) hard and rode good and hard into the headwind. I felt really strong and it was a good ride.
Yesterday RS, FR and I headed out to the 60k route around Lake Monroe. RS wanted to do 1/2hr @360watts (whatever that means) so we sat in for the first 30min letting him tear up the front. After his 'interval' was done we took the front taking big strong pulls and riding the southern hills strongly. It was a good hard ride as well and we thought we may have been on record breaking time, but we were off of that pace by a few minutes. Plus FR had a curious puncture once back in town and since I was riding the front I didn't know he had stopped to fix it, sorry for ditching. I turned around to go back and when I ran into RS he said "go ahead, he's got it." Hate to leave a buddy stranded, ya know (especially when you're packin one these bad boys).
Anywho, that's that. Done w/ the off season training programme. Here we go!
I am considering going to race in Ft. Wayne this weekend. Still not sure though. 1)it's a long ass drive. 2)forecast for up there is 40* and a chance of snow and 3)I had some unexpected plumbing repairs to do this week that cost me a few more dollars than I had planned on spending. So we'll see.

Monday, March 23, 2009

BCSP road riding

This is the "monster" on the Brown County St Park road race circuit. Also known as The Horseman's Camp Climb. It's a nasty little climb and really wears on you after several runs on it.

This is a view from one of the vistas @ BCSP. Crappy cell pic does it no justice; you could see for miles and there's some green blooming off in the distance too.

Lindsay wanted to go ride MTB @ BCSP yesterday (Sunday) so I decided to pack in my road bike, hitch a ride over w/ her, ride a few loops of the circuit, then ride home in a round-about enough way get in 3 hrs.
It was an awesome day, low wind and temps ~60 I think. I busted 3 loops of the BCSP circuit then headed out of the park. After crossing Hwy46, I went to Bear Wallow hill via Old Hwy 46. I climbed over Bear Wallow (from south to north) then after BW I climbed back up 135 toward Nashville, but turned off on Grandma Barnes Rd to Helmsburg. After Helmsburg and 45, I turned over on South Shore Dr, but took Shilo Rd over to Anderson Rd rather than going the more Direct route into town. This got me 3hr12min to my door; perfect. I kept my on-the-bike nutrition up and felt great the whole ride. I rode hard and really felt like a million bucks. I was tired later in the day for sure, but I during the ride I was on it.
I felt very tired riding today too though. I did just a short 50min recovery ride, but I was feeling yesterday as I went into the wind. Can't complain though, I feel like I have pretty good form right now. Lets just hope that translates into results!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Knoxville Camp part 2

I was hoping to have pictures by now, but I forgot my camera and am relying on other people for them, so it may be awhile.

Anywho, back to the recap:

Day 3: It rained all day. Hard. We went to the Maryville Library, drank coffee and read magazines for a few hours then went and ate. Still raining. I decided that at 5:00 we were riding, rain or harder rain (you probably thought I was going to say "rain or shine," but there was to be no shine on this day). So at 5 we went out and road 1.5hrs in the rain. We rode the first half hard, trading pulls, then eased up coming back. It sucked.

Day 4: Bluff Mountain "loop." Misty conditions, ~65miles, rolling, but w/ Bluff Mountain in the middle. This mountain was a ride up, turn around, ride back down affair. And it's a doosy. My watch recorded it as just under 4miles and gaining 1800'. For comparison, our Bean Blossom climb is ~1.5miles and gains ~350'. So Bluff Mtn is a little over twice the distance and climbs over 5x as much. We rode so high we actually went through the cloud line and above the clouds into the sun. That was about the only sun we saw the whole 5 days, but it was really cool. The descent was extra hairy due to the thick fog when going back down into and through the clouds. You are going really fast, can't see much of anything and negotiating switchbacks. This, overall, was probably my favorite ride we did.

Day 5: Final day. We went out and rode the same ~30mile, ~1.5hr out-and-back we did on rainy day 3. We just wanted to get a quick spin in before we left. It rained on us toward the end; but of course.

We said our goodbyes and took off after a quick shower (read: quick shower[s]). Once we got out of TN and hit KY it got nice out and the sun was shining. Funny (not really).

I went out for an easy spin Tuesday morning to keep the legs loose and, according to Josh, 'if you don't ride for at least 1hr after training camp you waste all of the fitness you gained.' I'm not sure if that's true, but I didn't want to chance it.

Then I lifted weights Wed, but skipped squats since I was already a little sore still from climbing.

Then today (thurs) we went out in the a.m. and did some speed work.

Hopefully it all comes together. One thing we were sure to do during camp was eat a lot; on bike and off. Keep the energy up and recovery good. I felt really good throughout the whole trip and have felt pretty good since. I suspect I'll be wanting a little (day or so) rest here soon, but I'll play it by ear.

Knoxville Camp part 1.

Good trip to a good friend's in a town just outside of K-ville called Maryville. Some really good quality training. I'll break it down day by day and try to keep it brief:
(author's note- it rianed every day we were there. Every day. Some worse than others, but every damn day)

It rained on most of the drive there. We arrived later than we planned, but we got out about 5:30 and put it hard 2hrs w/ some rolling climbing.

Roads wet, but only misty precipitation for the most part. This was our big day. 5+ hrs, three mountains, 7200' of climbing.
First climb was the Foothills Parkway. This was ~11miles and not steep. Basically 39x21 or 23 @ ~15-17mph. Great climb w/ super views. Reminded me very much of being on Brown County State Park roads, only climbing about 5x as long.
After descending the parkway you are dumped out at a lake and to the left is the famed Tail of the Dragon. This climb goes over the mountains and descends into North Carolina. My watch stats have this climb @ ~1700' of climbing in ~11miles. It took us ~47min. The Dragon has many switchbacks, so coming down it was way harder than going up up (for me anyway). If you click to the link you can see it's a popular motorcycle road where guys an souped up Ducatis go to ride all out, up and down. 2-3 motorcycle deaths per year on it (scroll down on the linked page for stats), that's how twisty it is.
Once back down off the dragon we hit the real climb of the day. Happy Valley Rd. which leads to a climb to the very top of the next mountain called Sweetie Pie. I couldn't find any good info on Sweetie Pie rd, but the link has some dude's perspective. Here's mine: Josh and Dan have told me it's like our Boltinghouse Rd, only way longer. I didn't see how this was possible; I thought they were exaggerating. They weren't. It's probably 3-5x longer, every bit as steep, but w/ steeper pitches (the dude I linked says it reaches 26%). My watch recorded it climbing over 1000' in less than 2miles. My average speed was 6.9mph for 17minutes (I think Boltinghouse is more like 3 minutes, so time wise it's ~6x as long). This was tough for sure. It's the first time I've thought about getting off my bike and pushing. But in the spirit of training (you have to suffer to get better) I knocked it out. It should be noted too that Sweetie Pie came at hour 4 of 5. And after two 30+min climbs. Yes, it hurt.
end pt 1. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Weekend in Oklahoma

We went to Indy to catch a surrey with the fringe on top to get out west. Really it was an airplane, but the new Indy airport is totally sweet. Parking/shuttling were a breeze. Getting around inside is equally as breezy.

When you walk in it's this huge opened space. That's Lindsay.

And there are these monster escalators. Plus it has those killer 'moving walkway' things.

The trip was good. All travel weather was good and we had no delays or problems. Lindsay's grandmother's 80th b-day party was cool and we got to meet/hang w/ some of her other relatives. Like Bob, who is 96yrs old and totally with it. Bob's younger brother, who's probably close to 90, is a retired rocket scientist for the gov, so he had some interesting stories. I ate copious amounts. Especially at Pete's Italian in McCallister, OK. I've heard about Pete's for years and finally got the experience; it is, hands down, the best Italian I've had. But if you find yourself there be warned, they bring TONS of food. TONS.
We had a 3hr return layover in St Louis, which was boring as shit, but I got some madd reading time in.
Lindsay's parents have started a pretty killer Fire King collection, which as lame as it is, I'm into. Not the dishes so much, but I really dig Fire King coffee cups; they're just the perfect thickness and weight.
Speaking of lame, I've been a shameless Abba fan for many, many years. A friend lent me Abba: The Movie. I haven't finished it but I watched much of it tonight. Man, as far as I'm concerned Abba can do no wrong. Well, I guess it's slightly weak when the dudes sing, but other than those few moments, Abba is da bomb.com.
Today was supposed to be a melee of t-storms, so I kept my ride this am close to home. I went and did hill repeats on the up/down at Griffey Lake. I did 40min worth of intervals and it was hard. Hopefully good for form though, it w/ the ride out and (longer) ride in, it ended up being over 1800' of climbing in 22miles. It ended up close to 80* and didn't rain a drop. Overnight may be the time though. A big cold front is pushing through to contrast today's 80 w/ high tomorrow in the low 40's.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Hard loop

This a.m. we went out to bust a hard-as-hell loop of the Morgan Monroe St Forest. The back story is RS got a Power Tap and wants to ride extra super hard to gather data. We had pro rider Bennet van der Genugten in town, so Ryan figured it would be a good day to get good power numbers. It was windy as shit, and while I wouldn't say this pro has nothing on RS, he doesn't have much on him. It was an interesting ride, and SUPER HARD. I was left tired all day from just a single ~36-37min interval. BVDG is a super rider, but more of a sprinter as I understand it. And a truly classy rider and heck of a nice guy.
Lindsay and I leave for OK tomorrow, so I'm going to try to get a quick roller spin in before we shove off. Peace out yall.
(sorry for no pics)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Fresh steppin'

I broke my cleat a while back. Actually, it was New Years Day. I was half-wheeling Ren Jay up Bear Wallow hill when he turned into me and I saved crashing by putting my foot down (classic MTB save). It broke the corner off of my cleat, which serves no function in pedalling, but the missing corner makes walking a little wonky.
Anywho, our main distributor has been out of all Time cleats for months and got them back in this week, so I got some and put fresh new cleats on tonight! As I mentioned, the broken off part doesn't actually affect the engagement mechanism, but given the condition of the above cleat, I'm sure the new ones will ride better anyway.
Sunday we had a group and got out for a good ride. It was a little cold, and SUPER windy (20-30mph blowing w/ higher gusts). We took a route west toward Ellitsville that hit Mt. Tabor Hill somewhere in the middle. Tabor is the most feared climb in the Hilly 100 . I've ridden enough times to not be scared though. And we hit it from a left hand road rather than head on like the Hilly does, so I didn't realize we were on it until I got to the top and saw the famous right hander that is extra steep. Anyway, it was a good ride and while we started w/ probably 8 guys, it ended up just RS and I after Tabor (there was one guy whom I didn't know that kept taking off like a bat out of hell on the hills, but would sit up at the top. I'd go w/ him on the hills, but I don't like sitting up, I like to continue to ride hard. So when he took off/sat up on Tabor I decided to just keep going and RS [the TT beast] eventually caught me).
This week, on the other hand, has been an uneventful saga (or are saga's by definition eventful??) of roller riding, trainer riding, weight lifting and more roller riding. Blah.
Tomorrow (thurs) looks totally outside ride weather; low 34 tonight, high in the sixties tomorrow, will make a low-to-mid 40's morning ride totally doable. Oh, there 35mph wind to go w/ it all, but whatever. I'll deal.
Then the rest of the weekend I'll be in Oklahoma for my grandmother in law's 80th birthday. So I'll miss a few workouts and probably eat a few things I shouldn't, but the following week is training camp in Knoxville, so I'll consider it fuel for that.
Looks like we're leaving here early Thurs 3/12 and coming back later Mon 3/16. We'll get 4 or 5 rides in the Smokey mnts. Hopefully the hillybillies are used to seeing people on bikes by now.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

North Ameircan Handmade Bicycle Show

Here are some pics form the NAHMBS in Indy. I was able to sneak in a weight session prior to departing for the big city and was then on my feet all day. My left hamstring was bothering me most of the following day, just tight. I'm going to ride long(ish) road bike today in the 33* temps w/ 33 mph winds to boot. Hurray!
Side note: we ate at an Ethiopian restaurant on the way to the show. It was interesting. Food is served "family style," on one big plate and there are no individual plates or utensils. You use this weird textured flat bread to pick up the food and eat it. I told the cook guy I wanted some hot sauce and I think it impressed him I was able to handle their hot sauce. It was pretty hot, don't get me wrong, but nothing I couldn't down large quantities of.

The NAHMBS pics:
This me hanging w/ my bud and international CX pro Molly Cameron, self proclaimed "North America's worst European Cyclocross racer." (and yes, by "hanging with" I mean "being dissed by while he checks his Iphone and I pose w/ Vanilla Bikes brass-knuckles like and idiot.")
Colorful Japanese fixed gear bikes. I liked the colors.

This purple/yellow/blue motif especially.

G-n-R inspired ft wheel (and pinup girl on the down tube [the maker said he always wanted an naked chick on a bike, but never had room to put one on until he got a hold of this aero section down tube]). This segues into the rear wheel, which for me should be best in show:

The inner liner of the Guns-n-Roses record "Appetite for Destruction" on a disc wheel. Dope.