Wednesday, May 27, 2009


At the moment it looks like 8:30pm and its only 4pm. Skies darkend and my favorite ride of the week looks in peril. Riding hills at race pace and some new sprints on the Wednesday evening course that incldes the 20 degree Tibbets, triple climb up Mulberry and bit of Sherman and two power descents at mega watts at 40+mph!!

I was thinking last week when we rode how much fun it was, but how I needed to lay off the attacks as I had Tour De Frankenmuth in 3 days. So I went with attacks, chased and rotated through in fast pacelines, but didnt attack myself except to sprint.

The idea was to keep a high level of stress in the legs all week (and the previous week) with a short taper and easy rides to get ready for the 77 mile Pro1,2 field. Try to make the race rested, but not flat. In fact anything but flat.

It turns out my prep was about right as I had great legs Saturday. Some luck and some good prep. I think a lot of riders dont put enough thought into how and when they put stress into their training. Another word for stress could be "reaching". The idea is to go hard for an extended period of time (could be days, weeks or months)to bring about an adaptation or a higher level of riding to put it simply.

So this all brings me today. I wont stress if I miss today because even missing a key ride like tonight with its mix of endurance, tempo, LT, AC, max efforts is not a tragedy. I have been keeping the stress in the legs and have more hard workouts planned.

All that happens is I might be a bit faster or stronger for a workout later in the week.

So I guess sometimes if you have a lot of stress in your life (or training program) sometimes it allows you to have a stress free day once in awhile. A lot less in real life sadly.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tour De Frankenmuth

Thank you to Derek and the the boys for hgauling my crap to TdF for me. Scott and I arrived and went to dinner at the Black Forrest brewery and had some killer beers before retiring to watch the Cav's lose then win the 2nd game of the Eastern Confernce Finals. Late night and after closing my eyes I didnt seem to sleep much, but when the alarm went off at 6am I was ready.

But I warmed up in cold temps and rain at about 7:20am. 77 miles in a pretty big Pro 1,2 field in the rain.... Actually no problem its a road race not a crit! Tris, Brian and I outfitted in our new Carbon uniforms started off tame enough, but Brian and I were laying down attacks and going in move after move. I was feeling great and knew going in anything over 50 miles usually plays to my strengths so I did NOT want to miss the key move again. So I rode aggressive and shot my Gu's and didnt worry about the length of the race.

After going in a few moves one after another we got Brian up the road in a break of two (I felt bad for the other guy!!) and for 44 minutes they maintained a 45 to 1 minute gap. Eventually some of the Michigan teams (Essex Brass?, Wolverine Trek, Bisssel Masters and Priority Health) brought it back and then we all started attacking, going in move after move. Tris, Brian and I were in about every single move if we didnt attack ourselves. Not bad for 3 Cleveland homies vs. bigger teams. If your wondering we were representin' for Ohio-Big f'n time!!

Then Brian and I found ourselves in a key move with every team represented and about 7 of us (paying 12 spots). I found I could pull hard and had plenty of time to recover, but also realized Bissel was not working and others were lame ducks. WTF!! Half way through a race with 7 guys and a big gap. To me thats a break worth working for. I told Brian Bissel is not working so he stopped working. We were finally caught as we all realized that althugh this break was gold, it was not destined to stay.

Then I flatted and watched as it seemed a hundred guys rolled past with my arm raised. I pulled over and pulled my rear wheel out and the wheel truck pulled Batke's wheel for me and I screwed up twice trying ot get it in and finally got rolling with the expected crappy shifting!! Why? It was a Campy 9 speed wheel on my 10 speed SRAM bike!! But I learned quickly what gears worked and how many shifts it took to make it work. Still there were some very ugly sounds coming form my bike the next hour!!

I eventually caught a napping pack that was kind enough to be spread across the road the whole chase. ONce back in a I said hi to Brent Evans of Spin and Tris and got back to going in attack after attack. Brent was racing great and coming across gaps like me or attacking. I couldnt attack with brian up the road, but Brent kepit it aggressive. Also when I arrived back 6 guys (inlcuding Brian of course) were up the road. I could see the bright green outfit and shoe covers and knew right away we had representation in the break. Sadly i was not in there too.

But after a bunch of short lived attacks went I finally saw a move with just 4 guys move ahead and I quickly sprinted across and we pulled through a few times then two guys started sitting up and I looked back. BIG gap. I told them weve got the gap, lets go. These guys knew how to ride a smooth paceline and we grew the gap.

Out of one corner the Saturn of Toledo rider intentionally rearranged the rotation (I assume to not come off of my little draft), but we kept going untill the very dwindled pack started to close. I told them we needed to step it up and we went a bit harder. When we hit the smooth road we had opened the gap and it looked like we could hold it to the line.

Through the 31 to 35mph feedzone and make the left towards the last couple of corners and finally the games started. But I let myself come through the slight uphill to the last left hander to S. Main street downhill first wheel. The Bissel rider in our group launched way to my left and I gunned it to close the gap. I passed 2 guys and then had to dig super deep to get the 3rd guys as we felw to the finish line. The Bissel missle was flying, but I took 2nd in our group of 5!!

Ive been working on my sprint and was happy to get to use it. Up front Brian was in a break of 6 guys so I was 8th overall. Well in the money. Brian had to stay vigilant because Priority Health had two guys in the break and started sending attacks and after Brian's 44 minute breakaway early he knew he was running low on power. But they got to the end and Brian attacked and almost made it to the line and only one Priority Health rider nipped him by 0.2 seconds. Carbon racing took 2nd and 8th!!

I felt great and it was awesome to race a long, windy road race and come away with a solid team race and some results. I also had to avoid a downed rider in the feed zone that involved locking up my rear so I could slide it around his bike!! What an adreneline rush!!

So much more to tell about the race, but thats it for today. Looking forward to Westlake Tuesday and the Spin Willoughby Bike Shop hammerfest Wednesday night. Then I hope to do a time trial Thursday.

Monday, May 18, 2009

hand destroyed tires

Tonight on a day when I really needed a day off I headed to the Marginal for the Beast TT as part of Spin's very fun series of races. Mostly its for their team members but every so often they let in some of us scrubs from other teams race.

This one was 5 really bumpy out and back miles. I and 3 others met along the way to ride to the course for a nice warm-up. But along the way on Euclid we ran through some glass so I wiped my front tire then wiped my rear tire when my finger I swear to god got caught brtween the frame and tire (TT bike-no clearance)and I started to slide as my rear tire locked up on me solid with my finger as the lodging device. I kept it up for a long time, but eventualy my rear tire slid out enough I had to put it down, but sadly I took down Thom Domonic and we hit the ground hard!! Dave and Pete said it sounded horrible.

I apologized to Thom and was pretty embarassed and now with a very numb finger that got trapped, a sore rib or two and Thom with a bruised knee we rode on with me with my tail between my legs.

But we got to the race course and I could tell pre-riding the course I wasnt in race shape. I was on day 8 of solid riding (14 hours last week) and was getting tired.

I started third and after a few minutes i knew I was underperforming. Lately I have been putting out closer to 340 watts for 5 minutes and after only a couple minutes I was struggling to hold a max 307 watts (about the highest I saw). My Powertp was dropping data like crazy too meaning i need new hub batteries. SO my averages might be higher, but still nowhere close to what they should have been into a headwind.

I got more motivated coming to the turn around and started to see some respectible speed and was pretty happy on the way back in even though I was pretty low on power tonight. I ended up 2nd by 5 seconds. The winner is a very strong rider who had zero warm-up they call him LeMonster!! I had tired legs so its fair to say had he had a warm up and I had fresher legs we would have been just as close I think only faster.

So I destroyed (literally) a pretty new hand made Torelli Gavia 320tpi open tubular tonight and then lost the TT to boot. Not a great night, but in a way actually a REALLY GREAT night.

Thom and I could have been hurt a lot worse and were relatively unscathed for how hard we crashed. I knew I was down on power bigtime, but still managed a 2nd against a really strong rider.

What a crazy night. Ended great with friends and a few brews at the Lizard. Now off to bed and await the soreness that is sure to come tomorrow. I did a lot of gardening, tilling and shoveling compost over the weekend too. I WILL be very sore tomorrow.

Day off the bike tomorrow for sure!! I need it bad.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Catching up.

Man it seems like I have all these things I want to talk about. Products of training solo and having all that time to ponder things, but as i sit here waiting for Audrey to get in her bath and watch the last episode of Fringe on Hulu I find my brain going a million miles a second, but i have no idea what to write about. I know I missed a race report already.

I had my first Westlake last night after being down all weekend (causing me to miss RATL#4) with either a respiratory infection or what I think is an odd case of spring allergies. I recall this same thing last year.

I attacked, I chased, I bridged and basically went all out for 19 laps. In the end I rode the front, shut down attacks and tried ot lead Tom Frueh out and I got him not quite to 200m. But I had been on the front for 2 miles taking over at the start finish line on the bell lap. I had a lot to do and ride hard to keep Tom from falling back (not that he couldnt do it himself) We ended up taking 4th so we got something out of the deal.

It was also fun to crit race with all my friends and get in some breaks and have an occasional laugh or chit chat.

My speed has started to come back and although I started cramping on lap 2 (a sure sign something wasnt right). I stayed on the rivet as much as I could. FUn, fun race. I need to be a bit more selfish soon and get that top 5 at Westlake or I am gonna start getting a bad attitude. I am no sprinter, but I LOVE to sprint. Seems more exciting!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

East Side Climbing Report

I decided while doing hill climbing intervals today to log some info. I wanted to know how long each climb was in time so I could know which are best for what kinds of efforts. Heres what I came up with today. These are not meant to be PB times because I dont have any previous data, but Id say Old Mill East was about 90% of what I can do and Fairmont about 99%. I went so hard up Fairmont I didnt have the legs for Cedar when I got there. I was a solid 40 watts lower average from a previous day and at the top where I usually stick it in the big ring I was 4mph slower. Felt hard though!! I'll look up that day and edit this post later. But I wanted to post these before I forget as I did them on my no memory recall stopwatch.

Old Mill East (from No Trucks sign at bottom to County Line corner) 3:45

Fairmont West (from bottom to the last roller (fire hydrant with red flag) 6:31

Cedar West (from bottom to the 2nd brick driveway on right near stop light at SOM) 6:59

Old Mill West (from telephone pol behind Guardrail on Rt. to Silver mailbox over the top) 4:04

On cedar I was heading North so be careful of the stop sign at the very bottom. I'll add Old Mill West some day. But was wondering where to start the watch? Maybe at the first guardrail or before the first bend to the right since its already starting to ever so slightly pitch up already? I'll find a landmark.

Enjoy climbing our quite steep, but very short hills.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

VO2 Max??

On the Wattage Google group I subscribe to they found this nifty calculator to figure out your VO2 max from your 5 minute best power.

VO2 max= 1.8*((P5min*6.12/Kg)+3.5)+3.5

Have fun with it!! I wont divulge mine because honestly if its right...I might as well quit racing AND I am so glad I never had a lab done VO2max test done. I am NOT saying its inaccurate at all. My point is just racing is about more than just numbers....haha...did I just say that out loud? Whoo hooo.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Covered Bridge #3

I feel like bashing my head against a brick wall and screaming I SUCK!!!!!!!!! Arrrgghhhh...Not a smart race by me with good legs. And though I kept my myself positioned at times and aggressive I was not where I needed to be when it counted.

I will work on that. Its not something that needs to be practiced. Its just situational awareness and riding smart. I rode like someone strong and dumb today.

Oh also when I was solo bridging to the break late in the race (after we came back together then split again) going down the hill towards the blind left hander before the railroad tracks I almost got myself killed. Thats small news right?

Knowing full well the danger, but also realizing I was catching the break I got too left of center in the middle of the corner and a car came around. I had a premonition about it too. Weird. I swerved right, grabbed a load of brakes and lost my momentum. I am not saying i was going to make it across, but it was possible. Close for sure.

There's more "stuff" that went on, but that's all I can stomach to talk about right now. Besides its time to eat.

Man I feel like screaming, but I am home now and dont want to confirm to my neighbors that I actually am crazy.

Spring Cross Fever?

Before school one morning last week Audrey and I were watching the Andy Myerson video on cyclocross I borrowed from Matt Weeks. She wanted to try dismounts but i said "its time for school". Much whining and protesting ensued.

Last night we rode to a friends house (up this really steep hill too) for a cookout. When we were about to ride home Audrey comes down the driveway, stands up and swings her foot over the seat behind her left foot stands for a second and hops off running!!

Pretty cool and just like in the video. Then she did it again for good measure.