Monday, February 28, 2011

Good week for recovery

Last week was a scheduled recovery week for me. The weather last week turned back to not-so-good, so it was nice to have the option to sit it out. Actually, the weather turned pretty much back to normal, which isn't really that bad, but given that it was in the 60's all the week before it seemed terrible. Anywho,I took a couple extra days off and was supposed to do a power test on Friday. I had every intention of doing it, until I woke up Friday and there was fresh snow on the ground and it was ~freezing. A lot of people do their testing on an indoor trainer because it removes all outside variables (wind, hills, cars, turns, etc) but I prefer to do it outside because having done them both inside and outside I know that I post higher numbers outside. And your training zones are calculated off of your test numbers and I want my zones to be set as high as possible. So snow + freezing = no test.
I had in mind to get it done Sunday since the weather looked pretty good. I hate to "waste" an entire Sunday of riding to get in a 20min test (to do it properly you have to ride to your "test course" waaay easy, ride 110% totally ballistic for 20min, then all you can do is ride easy (limp) home), I would rather ride a good solid 3+hrs on most Sundays. The weather was such that I could have gone ahead as planned, but there was a good solid strong group rolling for 3+hrs and I wanted to join them. So I blew off testing again. Whatever. I'm not pro and don't get paid. I do what I want.
And in other weather news, nuts to Punxsutawney Phil and groundhogs day; a sure sign of Spring around here is "moose day." The best lil ice cream shop in B-Town opened for the season today (2/28). Did I go? Hell yes I went. Did my hands freeze as I was eating ice cream while wearing a coat and hat? You better believe it. Was it worth it? Big time.
Other than that it's bi as usual. Ride, work, etc.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Little Spring in Feb.

With all the mysteries of the great classic works of art trending, I noticed a message that not even the greatest art scholars found in "The Last Supper." Clearly Da Vinci was trying to tell us something.
(click on pic to see what is revealed)
It's quite clear when you really look, he plainly wrote the letters "A" "D" "A" "M" with the spaces between the characters and the with the sleeves of another. Take note art historians and biblical scholars; I'm awesome and it's been right there in front of you all these hundreds of years.
(real point is: you can "write" just about anything you want into this painting, hidden messages? Give me a frickin break)
Speaking of absurdities: I rode outside every day this past week. And they were quality rides too, not the novelty outside Feb rides where you're like "yeah I rode outside, it was 12* and I couldn't feel my ___, ___, or my ___ (insert various body parts here), but I was out damn it!" Those rides serve no real purpose (but I do them too). This week was off the chain as far as the weather is concerned.
I kind of wanted to ride the MTB Sunday, but it rained a bit Saturday night and w/ the ground already soft it would have been a bad (muddy) idea. So I decided to go out and ride my TT bike for a couple of hours to get a good feel for the position. You may recall (assuming I posted about it..) that I got a new TT frame earlier in the year (well late last year I guess) and I've not ridden it outside yet; just on the trainer. I was treating it as a standard "shake down" ride meaning I had no real power/speed/pace, etc. ambitions and enough tools in my pockets to make just about any adjustments that may seem necessary. My plan was to stay aero for 10minutes at a time, then get out of aero for ~3min (unless I got to any big [2min+] hills, then I could get up for those) and I figured I would have to be forcing myself to stay down for the whole of the 10min intervals. To my surprise and delight, the bike felt really good, I made 0 adjustments and I had absolutely no problems/issues staying aero. I did and out-and-back route and it was very windy going out and very fast coming back. My power was actually pretty good though, which is promising. Only issue w/ the bike: my right calf hits the water bottle sometimes. This may turn into an issue, or it may not. When I go hard I tend to pull my right knee inward, so I'll have to ride it some more at a hard effort and see if this will be a problem. If so I may have to get one of these sweet devices. Or modify my aero helmet into a sort of beer helmet.
So this week isa recovery week for me. I'm going to take a couple days off and do some easy riding later in the week. I'm tired and the weather is not as good this week anyway. My form is pretty good right now though, a recovery week will be nice; to "absorb the fitness."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Celebratory Weekend

This weekend saw great weather (for February) and some good riding around here. I normally take Saturday off from riding to pursue my true passion of working, but this Saturday was a "farewell ride" to a good friend and an important cog in the Bloomington cycling community. We met up for an 80mile route that I had never done before, but been curious about for a while. 80miles would be my longest ride in a while and the low pace dictated that this was to be one of the probably top 3 longest rides (time wise) I've ever done (I rarely ride over 4hrs).

But a large showed up and it was so nice out that it made it seem extra easy. I guess 50+ riders showed up to "send off" our friend Gerraint Parry. Just in this picture at a mid ride stop there's like 17 bikes and there were a lot more the lens on my cell-cam didn't get. It was a big ado.
Anyway, I felt really good and although the pace wasn't high, it's probably good to get in a long steady ride every now and then as opposed to the normal hammer fests. (note: my Power Tap hub batteries died before we even left town, so I have no usable data from this ride [similar note, my Power Tap head battery during last weekends ride, so I have little usable data from that{but now all my batteries are fresh}])
In the evening after the ride a bunch of people met at Nick's bar on Kirkwood for a get together in Gerraint's honor. This was my first ever night out at a Bloomington "college bar" while school's in session. It was a fun night and good to hang out w/ so many people.
Sunday I went up to Noblesville to the CIBA bicycle swap meet to try to sell a bunch of stuff. I had hoped to make $500-$600, but I made more like $200. I should have taken it as a bad sign when one of the first dudes I talked to used the phrase "Jewing down" for getting a better deal. It blew my mind to hear that from the mouth a person not wearing a white robe/hood, but I guess it's not too far from Martinsville.
Anywho, while I'm way too keen to think the weather is turning, the long-range forecast is looking favorable for outside rides, so I'm going to take full advantage. It couldn't have come at a better time as I was having good indoor workouts, but I was close to cracking. This little reprieve may end up netting me a couple more solid weeks of inside rides if need be.

Saturday, February 05, 2011


The weeks lately are predictable for the most part: weekdays inside, weekend days out.

I've been putting in some solid indoor sessions and getting a quality outdoor session (on Sundays) for the past few weeks. It's become habit-enough that I'm not even thinking in terms of outside riding during the week.
I have good mojo right now and hope I can maintain it for a few more weeks. I'm thinking I have ~two more solid weeks of indoor riding in me, then I'll crack. But hopefully I'll be able to get outside by then. If not I figure I can force myself into into one more week of inside, then it HAS to be outside time, right? Well about a week after that arbitrary date I've set we head off to our annual "training camp" in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains. Then it's basically go time.
I have my schedule pretty much hammered out in terms of races I plan to do, but it always changes. I have kind of had a hankering to ride MTB lately too. I usually have ridden once or twice by now on frozen trails, but I've not ridden MTB since mid August; damn, that's a long time. It'll likely end up as it usually does: my first MTB ride of the year is a race in which I have great fitness, but no skills and no real confidence. Que cera.
This weekend is looking like a winner so far. A friend is moving to England in a few weeks so he is having a "farewell ride" Saturday that I may try to ditch work and hop into. And Sunday will probably be more of the same.
Plus our new 2011 team clothing arrived and I should have mine in a day or two. There were some big changes to our scheme this year, so it should be cool.