Monday, December 28, 2009

Asheville Boxing Day Ramble

Found myself up in Asheville on Saturday. Got a nice 41 mile ride in. Snow all over the place but the roads where mostly clear. No issues with ice!

GPS & data:

Whole Parkway was closed to cars, but about 10 miles of it was clear and ridable. Wanted to do the Town Mountain loop but the climb up there was closed down. Maybe next time!

And the end of the road:

Was my first time in Asheville. Glad the weather cooperated because a few hours on the road bike turned out to be a good way to see the town.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Powertab Pro+ Wheelset

Reality Bikes built me up a sweet new rear wheel. PowerTap Pro+ hub, DT Comp spokes and 28h Mavic Open Pro rim. Skipped the PowerTap head unit and am using it when my Garmin Edge 705. Too cheap to spend $130 for TrainingPeaks WKO+ so I'm using Golden Cheetah for analysis on the computer. Seems to work real well for me.

Found a decent place to do a 20 min TT (Campground Rd) that's within riding distance of my house. For around here, it's fairly flat and straight. Unfortunately, has one 4-way stop that I have to slow down for.

213 avg watts. Guess that's a decent baseline. I was a little hungover and probably didn't warm up enough. Should be easy to beat.

And while we are at it, here are a few other recent roadie photos.

Looking forward to doing Snake Creek Gap Time Trial #1 on January 2nd. Shooting for 5hr, plus or minus a little, depending on the weather. Treating it more as a group ride. Last year I did the January TT in 5 hr 29 min.

The March TT, which is the 3rd in the series, will be a different story. Last year I did it in 4 hr 14 min. I'd really like to do it in 4hr or less.

Monday, November 30, 2009

California Trip

Just got back from northern California, visiting family for the Thanksgiving week. Hopefully I managed to work off everything I gained from all the great food and beer!

Main event was a 56 mile road ride on my rented Specialized Allez. From Chico, I went up to Paradise via Honey Run road, through Paradise, down to Durham via Pentz rd, over to the community of Dalton and then back through Chico to my starting location. Got a some good climbing and descending in as well as some windy flatland riding. The flat stuff was a big change of pace for me. Riding 20 miles of almost perfectly flat road where you could really put out a consistent effort was new. Everything is rolling hills where I live in Georgia.

GPS track is here:

Other big event was a Thanksgiving morning 5k (Run for Food). I'm not much of a runner and dispite not being in anything near peak fitness, managed to get a 5k PR. No doubt, this was due to my brother pushing the pace, he was trying to beat me.

distance 3.05 miles, time 23:14, pace 7:36, avg HR 181
GPS track is here:

Also did a second 4 mile run, another ~70 miles of casual cycling and a yoga class.

Some riding pics:

My rented Specialized.

Honey Run Covered Bridge, at the base of Honey Run Road.

Honey Run road. A nice climb with lots of reading to do along the way.

Back in the valley, here is some of the agriculture that sheltered me from the wind.

My Father's sweet Motobécane that I rescued from a corner of the garage.

Quiet Chico streets. Perfect for cycling.

Post 5k. This was also the first 5k where Kristen ran the entire thing.

And here is some of the fun stuff:

Coffee and apple strudel at the Upper Crust Bakery.

Beer at Sierra Nevada Brewery.

Wine at New Clairvaux Vineyard.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Power Benchmark

Last night I went to The Sport Factory and did some power testing. My bike, their PowerTap wheel, a trainer and a guy yelling at me to dig deeper. Did the test during one of their spin classes. Riding with other people helped keep me motivated. Warmed up for quite a while then did a 20 min time trial.

Stats for the TT:
Weight - 157lbs
Avg HR - 183
Avg Power - 211
Avg Cad - 91
Power/Weight - 2.96

Hope to do another benchmark in a few months. Looking forward to improving on that power to weight ratio.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Spin for Kids Century

Knocked out the Spin for Kids Century last Sunday.

Time: 06:12:25
Distance: 101.27 mi
Elevation Gain: 4,679 ft
Calories: 5,762 C
Avg Speed: 16.3 mph
Avg HR: 145 bpm

Excellent fall weather. Maybe slightly on the cooler side, I think we started in the high 50s. Worked its way up to the high 60s by the end of the ride. Not a big field since the ride had a suggested donation of $100. Less then 100 people for the century. However, a team from Atlanta was there, Pacesetter Steel, and they did a pretty good job of keeping a group together with a nice easy off season pace.

Did one thing before the century that you should *never* do before a big ride. Went in and had Eric at Reality make some fairly major tweaks to my bike fit. Fortunately that gamble paid off and I was 100% comfortable through the entire ride.

The route had both its good and not so good points. It was completely scenic and had just enough climbing to keep you awake. Rolling through historic Rutledge and Madison, Georgia where the highlights. A lot of old school Southern Charm. Sags and volunteers where also fantastic. Unfortunately, to make it easier on them, there was a bit of re-riding the same ground. I don't really like that on such a long ride. A minor complaint overall.

And now I'm working through the pig flu. Didn't even get a chance to get a recovery ride in!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dirty Spokes Unicoi Endurance Race

Did the Dirty Spokes Unicoi endurance mountain bike race on Saturday. Ran my single speed in the six hour solo division. Finished 5, 8 mile laps in just about 5 hours and 14 min. Each lap had around 1,200 ft climbing. Came in 6th out of 11 in the single speed class.

Felt decent enough the first 3 laps. Thought I was putting down a reasonable pace. My legs quickly lost power on the forth lap. Didn't feel bad or anything, just no energy. Hit some sports beans and did better on my 5th lap. 32x20 might have been too hard of a gear for me to push up all those climbs with my current level of fitness.

Rode with or within a few minutes of Dave Muse most of the time. Just like Yargo. Saw a lot of other people in passing. Cody from Addictive Cycles was nice enough to let me toss my water and food in the Addictive Cycles neutral support pavilion.

Back felt good the whole time. Did lots of stretching before the race and a minute or two between each lap. Seemed to work out well.

Pretty light showing since it had rained a bit the previous few days and the weather report indicated there would be more. Ended up being nice though. Pleasant cool weather and very little mud. Nice and tacky conditions.

Next up, Spin for Kids Century. And then Swank 65 mountain bike race up in Pisgah.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

2009 Ridley Damocles

Broke down and bought a fancy new road bike a little over a week ago. 2009 Ridley Damocles frame and fork, season end sale. Wanted something lighter and more aggressive. Guess I've been watching too much pro cycling on TV.

(Don't worry, I'll get the steer tube cut soon. Been too busy riding!)

I love it. It's light, stiff and comfortable. Over three pounds less then my previous setup. It may all be in my head but it seems to fly up the climbs. My road bike is no longer all dinged up, different colors and heavier then my rigid single speed 29er mountain bike.

The quest to recover fitness from two months of drinking beer, playing Warcraft and letting my back heal is going well. Been doing PT and ramping up my road riding. In fact, the last week has seen a few milestones. First mountain bike ride in almost three months and I hung with both the Reality Bikes Wednesday ride and Roswell Bikes Thursday ride B groups.

Big Creek
Wed Reality Ride
Thur Bike Roswell

Have two big events coming up this month. October 10th is Dirty Spokes Unicoi mountain bike endurance race. Doing 6 hour solo, single speed. October 25th is the Spin For Kids road century. Raising money to send kids with medical conditions to a local summer camp.

Dirty Spokes Unicoi Endurance Race
Jason Milliron's Spin For Kids Donation Page

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Back on the bike

Officially back on the bike. Well, at least the road bike. Have done two easy rides around the neighborhood plus finished a nice, slow pace, 32 mile ride this morning.

Back is doing good. Physical therapist has me doing a bunch of stretches and exercises every day. Seems to be helping. Had zero discomfort on today's ride.

Also finally broke down and got myself some new shoes and pedals for the road bicycle:

Feel like a real roadie now. Unfortunately, have three more weeks until I'm supposed to start hitting the mountain bike and weights (CrossFit).

Update 9/8/2009:
Finished off the long weekend with a total of 130 road miles. Capped things off with a nice 56 miles, 3k ft ride on Monday. Feeling good.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


The mountain bike season is at an end for my dumbass.

Jacked up my back last week. Compression fracture in my L2 vertebra. Had locked myself out of the house. Tried to climb up onto the second story deck. Part of the railing broke, I fell back. Fortunately, had my cell on me and I was able to call 911 as I lay in the grass behind my house.

Legs and everything else still work. Wearing a back brace and taking Hydrocodone for the pain. On the positive side, I can do my job from home so I'm not out of work or anything. It's going to be at least another six weeks before I can get on the road bike. Longer for the mountain bike.


Monday, July 6, 2009

GSC #6 - Rock Hawk Effigy and Fool's Gold pre-ride

Big three day weekend of riding. About 13 hours on the mountain bike.

Firday, pre-rode Fool's Gold course with a great group of folks. We where out there for almost eight hours but our ride time was closer to six hours. Ran it 32x20 on the single speed.
Time: 07:06:18 (not including lunch but including a few mechanical issues and stops to regroup)
Distance: 48.05 mi
Elevation Gain: 6,728 ft
Avg Heart Rate: 140 bpm

Photos by Mark D. More here.

Saturday, went down to Rock Hawk Effigy trails in middle Georgia. Got an easy two hour recovery ride in with Kristen. We started off trying to pre-ride the race course but it was way too technical for her. We then cruised around on the road for a while until finding some easier single and double track. Then grilled and camped out by the lake.

Sunday, I raced. Lots of rake and ride. Tight and twisty with a surprising amount of climbing. Then a number of long straight and fast sections. It was all pretty brutal on a SS.

I felt great and had a solid, consistent race. Even felt good in the tight sections. Still placed the same in relation to everyone else in the SS class but it was a little closer this time!

Two laps on the single speed.
First - 00:57:11
Second - 01:00:12

Time: 01:57:24
Distance: 18.12 mi
Elevation Gain: 1,944 ft
Avg Speed: 9.3 mph
Avg Heart Rate: 165 bpm

Monday, June 22, 2009

GSC #5 - Dauset

Good God, yesterday was a hot one down in central Georgia. 95 degree Fahrenheit plus a stupid amount of humidity. Felt like it was way over 100.

Two laps on the single speed.
First - 00:54:48
Second - 01:00:10
18.17 mi
1,582 ft
9.5 mph (avg)
172 bpm (avg)


As you can see from the elevation profile, lots of sharp little climbs and descents.

Legs felt great.

Heat didn't hurt me that bad. No cramps, no bonk.

Damn roots where bad though. Fingers where killing me part way through the second lap. Need to check my fork, switch out my gloves and switch out my grips. For the grips, I'm mainly thinking of swapping my ESI chunkies for Ergon grips. Again. I hate the way the Ergons look but they are oh so comfortable.

Oh and I need to get some technical riding skills. I've been spending too much time on the roadie.

More photos here:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

St John, USVI Vacation

Just got back from a week of hiking and snorkeling at the island of St John (USVI). An absolutely beautiful place. The island is about 75% National Park and no big cruise ships dock there. Gives the place a good vibe.

Was there with my wife, her parents, her sister and her sister's husband. Here are some photos of the villa we rented:

Kristen and I at the pool. It overlooked Reef Bay, on the south side of the island.

Villa from the driveway. Three buildings, two had two bedrooms each and the third, the living room and kitchen.

The pool, covered area and kitchen/living room building. Solar panel for hot water heater. Drains from the roof go to a filtration system. The rain water is then stored under the house for all household use. I drank it the whole week without issue.

Living area.

Pool during one of the frequent rains. I loved it. Warm and brief, as you would expect from a tropical island.

Snacks while chilling in the pool! Rum and OJ was my default drink for the trip. The rum is ridiculously cheap down there.

And, the view from the master bedroom.

One of the hikes we did from the villa:

5.20 miles with about 1,000 ft elevation gain. That's walking down to the beach, along Reef Bay for a while, up to the sugar mill, up to the petroglyphs, over to the Great House then back to the villa. GPS on Garmin Connect. Here are some photos:

Reef Bay. South side of the island and quite rocky.

Crab dude on the side of the trail. These guys were every where.

Detail from the sugar mill ruins.

Bats inside the sugar mill. Was startled when I hear something, looked up and saw them all chilling above me.

Petroglyphs are at the bottom right. Click here for a closeup.

Climbed up to the top of the waterfall. This is looking back down.

Jungle path.

Bit of a hike up to the Great House ruins but the view was rewarding.

Here is another hike I did.

6.25 miles, over 1,300 feet elevation gain. Solo hike from the villa, across the island to Cinnamon bay. GPS data at Garmin Connect. Here are some photos from this hike.

Most of the path was an old Jeep trail that was pretty well overgrown.

Some water that crossed the trail.

A grave at one of the ruins that the trail passed.

Inside more ruins.

This spider was a lot larger then the photo suggests. I'm sure of it!

Cinnamon Bay.

Also did two other hikes and went snorkeling three times. Best snorkeling was around Waterlemon Cay. Saw four sea turtles, a huge and very full grown barracuda and a ton of other colorful stuff. Maho Bay was also pretty good, saw two stingrays. Cinnamon bay was very nice but didn't see anything there except colorful fish.

Me with Waterlemon Cay in the background.

A small barracuda as seen from the shore on Waterlemon Bay.

And a bunch of other misc photos:

Donkeys at Waterlemon.

A local beer. It was very good!

Maho Bay.

My badass Chrome messenger bag + snorkeling gear.

More ruins.

Taxi in the rain.

Cruz Bay.

Coral Bay.

And, goodnight.

More photos here