Wednesday, December 8, 2010

BPSA #5 Cross Race

Bay Area Super Prestige, race number 5 at Coyote Point Park.

19th out of 60 for Mens, U35, Class C.

Didn't place as well as last week but I sure felt a hundred times better after the race was over. Which, isn't to say I didn't suffer. Just didn't push myself over the line.

Note the sweet kit from the fine folks at Bike198.

Probably doing one more cross race this season. January, I'm planning hitting the local "Early Bird" crits. Need the points for my Cat 4 upgrade.

Did a 20 minute power test yesterday and ended up with a 270 average. Felt fine at the end though and my HR was a little low. Going to try again Friday, shooting for 285. Still a bit off from my September peak of 300, but I guess that's to be expected.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

BPSA #4 Cross Race & Misc

BPSA #4 cross race at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

15th out of 60 for Mens, U35, Class C.

I didn't leave much out there and thought my technical skills were fine. Probably didn't pre-hydrate enough though. Bonked a few minutes after the the race and spent a while dry heaving. Whoops!

And here are a few other photos I've taken during recent rides:

Sacramento River.


West OLH.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Surf City #1 Cross Race

Last weekend (2010-10-31, Halloween) I did Surf City CX race #1 in Santa Cruz CA.

8th out of 40 in Mens, class C.

A lap was about two miles with half being flat and half being hilly. Did four laps. Need to work on my technical bike handling skills. Got some ideas from watching the A race.

And, since it was Halloween, there was a costume class race.

Monday, October 18, 2010

BASP #1 Cross Race

First cross race down!

35 minutes, 6 laps of about 1.2 miles at 177 avg HR. Course was dusty with lots of loose gravel and sharp, shale like rocks. There was a lot of carnage out there but I managed to keep the rubber side down and not flat.

One set of three barriers.
Two run ups.
Two longish straight aways.
Lots of sharp turns.


Need to work on my remounts!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Portola Low-Key Hill Climb

Did a 5 mile, 1760 ft hill climb today. Plus, 60 miles of riding to and from the race.

9.3 mph
175 hr
271 watts

Probably could have pushed it a little harder at the end and done 280 avg watts/180 avg hr and gotten closer to 30 minutes even. Though, at the end, it was nice to not feel like I was going to throw up.

Few photos of riding to the start:

Racers coming down to the start of the hill climb:

Tomorrow, my first cross race.

UPDATE; photo of me suffering during the TT.

Friday, October 8, 2010

New Cross Bike: '09 Ridley Crossbow

2009 Ridley Crossbow with SRAM Rival. Looking forward to using it as a commuter bike and to dabble in cyclocross racing.

In fact, did my first practice race last Wednesday:


As per Strava:
Baylands CX Practice Lap, 0.9 miles, 31 ft gain
warmup - 10.4 mph, 00:05:02
lap 1 - 12.6 mph, 00:04:10
lap 2 - 12.9 mph, 00:04:04
lap 3 - 13.2 mph, 00:03:59
lap 4 - 13.2 mph, 00:03:59

Unfortunately my HR monitor freaked out so I don't have those numbers. I'm sure I hit my max a few times. Dismounts and remounts felt fast. Corners, not so much.

Already looking forward to next Wednesday. First real race is in Oakland on the 17th. Also have a hill climb the day before, on the 16th.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mt Tam Hill Climb and Goals

I love Strava. Here is a hill climb race I did yesterday morning (Mt Tam) broken down:
(ignore elevation graph, it was foggy and raining. Garmin doesn't like that)

section 1 - flat and fast with the pack.
Stinson to base of BoFax (Tam Course)
* 4.3 mi
* -0.1%
* 00:10:52
* 24.0 mph
* 147 bpm
* 160 watts

section 2 - climb to the top of the ridge
Bolinas-Fairfax f/ Hwy1 to Ridgecrest
* 4.5 mi
* 6.3%
* 00:25:19
* 10.6 mph
* 180 bpm
* 275 watts

section 3 - rolling hills along the top of the ridge
Seven Sisters to Mt Tam Parking Lot
* 3.7 mi
* 2.5% (deceiving)
* 00:15:18
* 14.6 mph
* 176 bpm
* 249 watts

I didn't warm up enough and was really hurting on the first five minutes of the climb (section 2). I need to buy a trainer to use before races. I should have been able to do at least 285 avg watts up that climb.

Ended up 23 out of 46 for 5E.


Bronchitis killed the middle of my season, so I'm not burnt out yet. Guess I'm going to do the Low-Key hill climbs until Thanksgiving. Take Dec off. Start getting miles in, but not strict base, a week or two into January.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Challenge Challenge RR & FTP Test

Challenge RR
Saturday, September 04, 2010
Cat 5 - 8th of 15
64 miles and 6,400 ft of climbing

The first long climb after the neutral start, group split up. Seven, four (the group I was in) then some stragglers I think. The four of us worked together on the back, rolling side of the course.

At the second feed zone, guy in front of me went down. Barely missed him. 3rd person went off the front from there, I never saw him again. Down to me and other guy.

Second lap backside, we caught another person and were caught by the guy that went down in the feed zone. Stuck together until the second feedzone when I kicked it up a little and left them.

No problems with cramps or anything. Drank my water, ate my gels, watched my PM and put in a (for me) hard ride.

Highlights: "The road from nowhere"
Probably a road from the 50s that has only seen occasional patching even though it gets snow and ice in the winter. It was all potholes. I'm not exaggerating. Descending that thing, was bouncing around so much it made my eyes hurt.

Climb up from the backside of the course. Much of it was exposed and it was hotter then hell.

Took most of the last week easy, after Challenge road race. Did an FTP test yesterday morning.

300 watts for 20 minutes. I'm at 70kg so that's 4.3 right now. Very happy with this. My previous FTP test on the same road got me 275 at 71kg so that's a huge gain.

Compare this to my Nov benchmark where my power was 212/71=3

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Winters Road Race

49 miles in 2:14.

So, today I learned that despite my efforts thus far, I'm not a climber. :saddowns:

Got dropped off the lead group on the climb on the second lap. Around mile 38 on the above graph. My powertap tap says there wasn't much I could do about it. 281 avg power for the 12 minutes it took me to climb it. That's the best I've done for the time period.

Ended up 18th out of 45.





Tuesday, August 24, 2010

San Ardo Road Race

Cat 5. 46 miles at 21.7 mph.


Stayed up near or at the front most of this race. Focused on being comfortable, calm and efficient. No physical or mechanical issues this time. Ended up 7th out of 33.

Oh, and I like this power graph of the last few miles:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dunnigan Hills Road Race

Cat 5 (first road bike race)
42 miles at 23mph avg.

Cat 5 wasn't what I expected. It was a smoother and more predictable group then most fast group rides that I've done. Wasn't really all that fast either. Except for a few brave souls going off the front near the beginning, the whole class pretty much stuck together and put down a consistent pace. I was never at red line. Though, on the flip side, the finish did sneak up on me and I never even tried to get into position for the sprint. Results had me finishing 21st of 50.

Playing on my phone before the start.

Had a few mechanical type issues that I need to address ASAP:
1) lost a water bottle out of my seat tube cage on the first rough bit of road. Way annoying and dangerous. New cages incoming.
2) For some reason, my Garmin wasn't picking up my PowerTap. I think when I turned it on, it grabbed someone else PM. Not that I had time to look at my power during the race but I would very much like to go over it now.
3) Saddle got uncomfortable after an hour. Odd because I've done many hours at a time on it without problem. I guess it was the rough road. That and I'm using to standing up and doing more climbing. At least every once in a while. Long flat rides are foreign to me. Might swap my Thomson Masterpiece out for a carbon post.

Anyway. Good times. Looking forward to doing more.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ridley Damocles goes Red

Went through and did a major overhaul of my road bike. Took over two pounds off her to bring the total down to 16.5 lbs. And that's with a more comfortable saddle.

large Ridley Damocles frame & fork
* Full SRAM Red group (except for a Dura Ace chain)
DT Swiss 240s/Mavic Open Pro front wheel
PowerTap PRO+/Mavic Open Pro rear wheel (heavy!)
* Michelin Pro 3 tires
Maxxis Ultralight tubes
Thomson Masterpiece seatpost
Thomson Elite X2 stem
* Selle Italia Flite Kit Carbonio saddle
* T3 Rotundo Team bars
* Look Blade pedals
* KCNC Ti QR Skewers
RavX Arrow X cages

* = new part

Loving the SRAM Red shifting over the Ultegra 6600. Very snappy. Also moved from 53/39x12-27 to 50/34x11-25. Gives me a bit more range, is lighter and opens up the ability to toss a 11-28 on there for truly epic rides. No problem with the change in ratios.

As an added bonus, I love that all the routing goes under the bar tape. Very clean and way more aero.

And the weight loss has already paid off. Got a new PR on my benchmark climb at almost the same power.
Distance: 3.2 mi
Avg Grade: 7.8%
Elevation Gain: 1,300 ft

Previous PR: Mon, Jul 19, 2010 - 268 avg power, time - 22:23
Current PR: Tue, Aug 3, 2010 - 270 avg power, time - 21:41

So, it looks like I cut off 40 seconds by taking off:
3 lbs from my body (6', 158 to 155 lbs)
2 lbs from my bike
1.5 lbs doing it without extra water

Monday, July 26, 2010


So yeah, turns out cycling on the San Francisco Peninsula is kick ass. Climbs, descents, rolling roads, flat roads, redwoods, oceans and lots of other cyclists.

Also excited about Strava. It's like Garmin Connect but it parses out notable segments (climbs, sprints, descents, etc) of your ride and gives you stats on them. Also has social networking type features. Ranks you against other users on the given segment.

My account:

A segment:

The above is the climb, "Old La Honda (front of bridge, to stop sign)". Used as a benchmark by a lot of people around here. My current PR is 22:29. The goal is sub 20.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

2010 - The Half Way Point

Well, I've made it half way through 2010 and things have gone differently then planned.

I've put in a very healthy number of road miles since my last update. Typically been doing the Lifetime Fitness ride, Reality ride and Roswell ride during the week and then at least one bigger ride on the weekend. My power output/fitness is definitely improving. I've seen gains in the 5 second to 5 minute range and my recovery speed seems to be going down.

I think this is a pretty cool graph:

Couple of the above dips were mountain bike races or sickness.

Speaking of mountain bike races, they haven't really worked out the last few months. Either work or weather has been getting in the way. A little disappointing.

Though, the real big news is that I'm moving from Georgia. Will be living in the Bay Area (Redwood City, CA) by the end of the week. Have some road races lined up:

2010 California Cup

Low-Key Hillclimbs

Goodbye Georgia.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

2010 Yargo 6hr race

Got in from California late Friday night. Pulled all my stuff together and got five hours of sleep. Was initially shooting for 5 laps but bumped that up 6 after my first two laps. Crashed half way through my third lap. Bit of "road" rash on my arm and a huge bruise on my right calf. That took a lot out of me. Ended up with 5 laps in 5:11. Last season I always came in middle of Sport class but this gave me 6 of 35 so that was cool.

(Photo Daniel Topley)

Had done a ton of road ride the last two weeks while I was in California but my legs felt fine. For sure was more slowed down by my lack of mountain bicycle skills then anything else. Lots of people rode away from me in the twisty sections, only to get caught on the next climb. Tried to push any distractions out of my mind and focus on reading the trail. Felt I was riding better by the last lap, even if I was slower overall.

Also reaffirmed that I shouldn't eat solid food during races. It doesn't mess up my stomach but it does make me supper tired. I hate the way gels taste but I'm going to stick to only those from now on.


Monday, April 26, 2010

2010 Chico Wildflower Century

Did the Chico Wildflower Century while out in California, visiting my parents. Huge ride, awesome weather, excellent food and support. Lots of fun.

As you can see from the above profile, there were three major climbs and then about 30 miles of flatness.

In addition to the century, they offered a few shorter routes including 64 mile, 30 mile and 15 mile. Total, there was over 4,000 people registered. Since there were so many riders, there was no mass start. They just asked that you got onto the route starting from 6am to 8am and finished by 5pm. I rolled out about 7:30.

This worried me since I didn't really feel like doing the whole thing solo. Ended up doing most of the climbing solo and drafting people on the flatter sections between the main climbs. On the 30 miles of flatness at the end, I got into a fast group that ran a double pace line most of the way. Cruising along at 24 mph or so. It hurt but I made up a lot of time.

Took about 5:30 to finish.


Set a 20 minute power PR (ie; critical power or functional threshold power) on the second climb. Moved up my best from 220 avg watts to 255 avg watts. Huge increase considering I then went on to ride hard for over three more hours. A little curious what I can do with a full rest week followed by a dedicated power test.

Cruising up the first climb.

Second climb. Spent a lot of time passing people that were doing the 64 mile route (they skipped the first and third climbs) and people that started the route earlier then I did.

Me on the second climb with my fancy new Reality Bikes kit. Can see some blue wildflowers along the road, in the background.

Between the second and third climbs.

A look behind me as I was ascending the 3rd climb.

These raspberry bars at the SAG on top of the 3rd climb were probably one of the better things I've ever tasted.

Rolling along the top of the 3rd climb (Table Mountain).

On the way down from the last climb, I hooked up with a fast group for the last 30 miles of flatness, pain and suffering.

Post ride beers and pizza at Sierra Nevada with my father.

More photos here: