Monday, August 30, 2010

The Foundation

The past couple of weeks (and the next few weeks) have been largely dedicated to laying the foundation for what I hope to be a good, solid cyclocross season.
The big news from last week is that I was able to ride up a hill that I have never been able to ride before.

The short back story is that the hill pictured above is a gravel road out east of town. I'm not sure how long it is, but not super long and while I'm not totally sure of its max gradient, I'd say it's 20%, maybe a touch more. That kind of grade is hard to ride no matter what, but throw rutted/loose gravel on top of it, and only select riders make it up this monster. Now, I have attempted this climb at least 10-15 times (always on CX bike) and never made it...until Tuesday. I chomped the bit and made it.
Sunday I went out for a longish road ride w/ a strong group of guys. We put in a solid ~3hrs and due to the heat, pretty much everyone started falling apart @ ~2.5hrs the heat and most of the group had ridden hard the day before). Add to that I got stung (by something) on the neck @ ~2hrs in. I'm not the kind of allergic that requires an epi-pen or anything, but I do typically have more-than-the-norm reaction to stings, so I was a little concerned about having been stung on the neck. Turned out fine though, it just itches and is red now; no big.
Sunday's heat made my legs cramp some (actually pretty badly) and I'm still not fully recovered from that now (Monday night), but I guess it's probably good for me to suffer and push through these things right now...first race is only ~2weeks away!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Baby pics, etc...

Below are the baby pics taken last Sunday in Chicago at my brother and Lisa's place. What a fun day. She's ~4days old in these.

to those parents out there that DON'T have a Yoda hat for your kid, shame on you. Ramona clearly loves hers. (I'm going to go ahead and call it coincidence that Evin's wearing a Star Wars shirt in this pic)

Lindsay and I w/ the baby.

my Dad (Dave), Ramona and I. Lineage.

I'm keeping well August plan of no intervals/just riding. Tuesday I did tag along on an interval session, but I just hung on/sat in; I didn't do any real efforts. We have begun our weekly Cyclocross training sessions, so I did that Wednesday night. I felt pretty good, and rode okay. The first CX efforts of the season hurt, but there's a lot more hurt to come. Plus the ground is SUPER hard right now due to the dryness. That makes for some rough CX riding. Today I rolled with some buddies that were doing some longer time trial riding. I just sat in mostly, but stuck out my nose on the climbs. It was a blisteringly fast paced ride; good for the legs.
I put my power meter back on my bike tonight. I've not used it for about three weeks but I figured I'd put it back on to get the feel for it again. Next week we're resuming "proper" training (i.e. the hard shit).
3 weeks until first CX race!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Totally Crossed out

I may not be Kriss Kross, but I did ride my cross bike almost every day this past week. I put some road wheels on it and road it on the road, and I also put CX wheels on it and road it a on a couple different gravel road rides. Good stuff, and I need to get a feel for the CX bike again. I even spent some time riding on grass and doing some drills.
Friday I had the chance to ride MTB w/ a buddy/colleague who holds a Pro MTB license and has raced as an amateur in Belgium on the road, which basically makes him a former domestic road pro too. We just rode at a conversational pace for ~1.5hrs. It's been a while since I've done an easy MTB ride; it was nice.

This is a pic of Bernie Eisel getting some sort of cancer awareness band tied to his wrist. This picture rules because his eyes don't appear to focused on the ribbon being tied to his wrist. He's about one step away from being labeled the German Tommy Lee.

Sunday Lindsay and I met up w/ my parents near Lafayette and we all went up to Chicago to meet their Granddaughter, our niece and my brother's kid, Ramona. It was a long day, but a lot of fun. The baby slept most of the time; I guess that's what they do @ 4days old. We still had fun hanging out w/ everyone though. And there was an airshow going over the city and we could see some of it featuring the Blue Angels from their apt. And they live in Chinatown and I ordered a noodle/vegetable dish from a legit Chinese place and specified "hot" to the guy more than once. He listened. It was scorching, but killer.
There were some pictures taken of me w/ the baby. I'll throw them for y'all when I get them.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

few days fresh and so clean

This week was dedicated to working on my bikes mostly. I took most of the week off, rode today and felt very refreshed; so fresh, so clean.
I took off four days and overhauled my "winter" bike so when the weather turns poor in a few months it ready to go w/ no surprises. Needless to say, it's so fresh, so clean. I also got my cyclocross tires glued, mounted and sealed. They're now RTR.
Prior to taking a few days off, I went out and did a 20min power test. My last test was in April, so it's been awhile. Heading out to my test course I had a slight headwind, which meant that when I turned around to start my test, I would have a slight tailwind. You do not want a tailwind when trying to lay down big power. Not only did it make it more difficult to produce power, but my speed was just enough higher than usual that I ran out of road w/ 5sec to go (meaning I got ~1/3mile further than previously). My power was 4watts lower, but considering losing 5sec and having a little push, I'm happy w/ that (my power was 4w lower, but my speed was 1mph faster).
I planned to take an entire week off, but it is just too nice so I decided to ride today for ~2hrs, but at a "conversational" pace (a pace that allows you to maintain a conversation w/ your buddy, assuming you can convince him to ride that slow w/ you). I felt really good and had a great ride. I took my power tap wheel off and plan to keep it off for the rest of the month. I'm going to "just ride" for August. Not that I don't enjoy riding w/ power, but sometimes doing workouts all the time gets monotonous and I am going to just ride and enjoy riding for the month. Back to basics.
I don't like the new Eddy Merckx bikes advertisement.

First, I'm not a cannibal. And second, it's kind of gross. Sure it's gross looking, but if you think about its implication, it even grosser (implicating that is HUMAN blood and flesh chunks on Boonen's face). Oh well, I would still totally ride one of the bikes its hawking.
Which reminds me, I built a new road bike. Giant TCR Advanced SL w/ my Chorus 11speed group on it. But I need to sell my old one which now has brand new Ultegra on it. Shout at me if you are interested or pass it along.