Thursday, November 17, 2011

Santa Barbara International Half Marathon

Did the Santa Barbara International Half Marathon last Saturday with my mother and sister. Almost no running specific training. Goal was to run it at a nice easy 10 min/mile pace. Didn't want to hurt myself, since I hadn't worked up to this.

Started near the back of the field. Was passing a lot of people and my HR shot up to low 170s. Everything felt good so I held it there. Nice easy 10min pace went right out the window.

Ended up finishing in 1 hr 49 min and 33 sec. Avg pace of 8:20 and avg HR of 173. 452th overall, out of 2816 people.

Last mile or two, I could feel my calves cramping. Within an hour of finishing, after a cooldown walk and some stretching, I could barely walk. My legs were so knotted up. Kept up the stretching in the following days though and it seems I managed to avoid injuring myself.

In other news, I've been doing a strength and conditioning program. Twice a week, three weeks in now. Lot of front squats, dead lifts and some short, 4 to 10 minute, CrossFit style workouts. Good stuff. Trying to build some core stretch, flexibility and work on muscle balance.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Skeggs Everything Ride

And I do mean EVERYTHING. Did this one last weekend with a group from MTBR/NorCal.

Stupid amount of climbing. Almost 10k ft in 42 miles. Out on the trail for nine hours. Did it w/ 32x11-34. Not wise. Lots of steep sustained sections that burnt matches.

Crazy trail map:

Last ride with my Lynskey:



Awesome 10 minute video of the ride by Bogden:

HD link:

But yeah, this ride convinced me to sell the Lynskey and buy a complicated squishy bike with more gears. Yeti ASR5 Carbon, Sram X0 2x10, incoming.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bay Area Super Prestige #1, Candlestick

Raced BASP#1 on Sunday and good God was it brutal. Baking sun and suffocating dust!

What went right: I felt strong. My mounts/dismounts are smoother, didn't seem to loose time on the barriers. Big thanks here to a CX clinic put on by 4x Danish National Champion Joachim Parbo and Sterling Sports Group. Learned a lot about technique and racing smarter. Tried to put it all into practice at BASP.

Also hit the highest HR and highest avg HR I've seen in a race.

Was hot out there!

Not all was good though. One, with the dust and sun, I was dying for a little water by the 30 minute marker. Should have organized something before hand.

Also, over cooked a corner and got myself all tanged up in the tape. Whoops!

Ended up 45 out of 82 finishers. Not sure how many DNFed.

Also, here is some aerial footage from the race.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pentz Road Hill Climb

Was up in Chico this last weekend and decided to do a casual hill climb ITT. Part of a local series.

5.8 mi - 997 ft gain - 15.0 mph avg - 182 bpm avg - 00:23:25

And that was good enough for 2nd place out of 29 people! Neat.

Chilling at the top.

And my lean, mean, 14lb hill climbing machine.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

2011 Sac CX #2

Last Saturday, raced Sacramento Cyclocross #2. Men's, class B. Poorly.

Flat and fast. Main feature of the course was a flat, straight and fast 1 mile stretch. Lot of drafting strategy. Then two sections of barriers and u-turns.

Ended up 15th of 35.

Could have done better if I'd been more aggressive at the start and established a better position. Oh, that and not crashed.

Also need to work on my dismounts and remounts. Lost ground on those.

Monday, September 26, 2011

2011 CCCX CX #2, Cyclocross at Fort Ord

Last Saturday, second race of the season. Instead of trying to stick to the leaders and dying like the previous race, I put my HR at the top of my threshold zone and held it there. Just raced my own race.

Placing was slightly better. 15/23 ("photo finish" with 14th) vs 13/19.

And my new Williams wheels and Challenge Grifo tubulars. They're fuckin awesome. Ran them 28,35. Plusher then the Conti clinchers at the same pressure and seemed to have more traction while climbing and cornering.

Now I just need to get some skills. My remounts are embarrassing. I'm slow as shit through the tight, flat, u-turn sections. And I need to figure out how to bunny hop logs. There were two on this course and I killed a lot of time running over them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

2011 CCCX CX #1, Cyclocross Season Starts!

Kicked off the cyclocross season with CCCX CX #1 at Fort Ord, down by Monterey, CA.

Wasn't really ready for it. Saddle was too high, adjusted it in the parking lot. Hadn't practiced remounts at all. Was exhausted from the previous week of mountain biking and driving.

So, I didn't place well. 13th out of 21 I think. Open Men's B class.

Also went way too hard at the start. Tried to hold the leaders. Was tasting blood in my throat 15 minutes in! Totally blew.

Was good fun though. Nothing like diving into the deep end to kick off the season.

For the future; going to do more threshold work. Practice remounts. New crank, 34/50 to 36/42. New tubulars. In the processes of gluing them.

Monday, September 12, 2011

2011 Moab, UT Mountain Biking

Five days of riding in Moab with some of my Georgia mountain biking friends! Great vacation.

Rode Sovereign, Amasa Back, Whole Enchilada (twice!), Pipe Dream and some of the Kokopelli loop trails around Fruita Colorado (including Horsetheif, Mary's and Troy Bilt).

In terms of fitness, it was a pretty laid back week for me. Probably gained a little endurance though, was out in the sun, on the trail, for well over 20 hours. Also made massive gains on my mountain biking skills. I started the week rusty and by the end, was cleaning technical trail that was well beyond anything I'd ever ridden before.

Some of the GPS:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2011 San Ardo Road Race

Raced San Ardo, E4, with about six other teammates.

First lap, spent some time on the front closing down a break. Had a teammate who wanted to get some points from a field sprint finish. We were trying to keep things fairly together and fast. Unfortunately, a crash later in the lap took down the teammate we were racing for. He was later able to catch back up but burnt all his matches in the processes.

Second lap, pace was high and I was sitting second wheel. Guy in front looks back, sees just me, another person and a ~200 meter gap back to the pack. Asks the two of us if we want to give the break a shot. I confirm while the third guy declines and sits up.

Photo of the two of us going off the front and the third guy dropping back:

We took turns and eventually got the break up to almost 2 minutes. The other guy was a good bit bigger and stronger then me and did at least three-fourths the work. However, back in the pack, my Webcor/AV teamates were doing their best to disrupt and slow things down.

Unfortunately, when we hit 2 min, it apparently lit a fire in the pack and a number of people moved to the front and drove the pace up. We were caught on the third lap after being off the front for 22 miles (about an hour).

The remaining half a lap was fairly uneventful. My legs were trashed and I was unable to contest the uphill sprint. Finished 18th of 38 starters. Still, it was a ton of fun to get out there and put everything on the line. There was a few moments I thought I might be able to get second!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Patterson Pass Road Race

Wind and sun! That was some good wholesome bicycle racing. I hung on for the first lap. Second, lost contact with the lead group near the top of the pass. Chase group, but couldn't get back on. Chase group disintegrated. Third lap, sat up and cruised.

Haven't done too much riding in the last two weeks as I've been having some back problems. So really, I was just happy that I hung on for a while and that my body felt great the entire race.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Santa Barbara Summer Vacation

Three days of awesome riding in Santa Barbara.




Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mid Season Slump

Seem to have peaked about a month ago. Power is down about 10% for no reason I can discern. Oh well, I guess that's what I get for starting my season in January.

Was thinking I could take some time off and try to rebuild, peak for late season road racing and cyclocross. However, that doesn't really sound fun to me.

Instead, I'm going to keep riding, maybe with more of a focus on endurance and temp. Trying to build a good foundation for next season.

Out of curiosity, I went on Garmin Connect and pulled reports on the number of hours ridden since I got my Edge 305 and started doing this seriously.

(06/01/2007 - 05/30/2008) - 177 hr - Started riding seriously in October of 2007. Had to take a month off in spring of 2008 for an injury.
(06/01/2008 - 05/31/2009) - 368 hr - Good quality year of riding.
(06/01/2009 - 05/31/2010) - 274 hr - f***ed up my back in July of 09. Two months before I could ease back into cycling.
(06/01/2010 - 05/31/2011) - 537 hr - Good quality year of riding.

Eric and Ryan from Reality Bikes came out to visit from Georgia. Got a good ride with them, over the Golden Gate and out to Alpine Dam.

Also have started mountain biking again. Just to mix it up and get some dirt time before cross season. Good times.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mt Hamilton Classic + CAAD10

Mt Hamilton Classic Road Race. First race on my new Cannondale CAAD10.

What a SOB of a race.

My goal was to make it over Hamilton with some sort of a lead group. Figured I, at all costs, needed to be in the main group for the remaining 40 miles or it's Good Game.

Started out with a quality 50 minute warmup. Then we were off up the 20 mile climb that's the front side of Mt Hamilton. 15-20 minutes into the climb, the person in front of me veered into the person next to him. They both went down hard. WTF GUYS. We are climbing at 13 miles an hour. I wish I could send you back to Cat 5.

Group came back together. Everything was going fine until about 40 minutes into the climb. Attacks off the front. Faster pace. Pain. About 50 minutes in, I cracked and fell off the lead group. Most others in the 60 person field already had at that point.

Suffered up the remaining 82 minutes it would take me to climb Hamilton. A number of E4s passed me.

Railed the 5 mile descent on the other side in less then 9 minutes. Almost made top ten on Strava for the segment.

Suffered for a good 15 miles or so, mostly solo, before being caught by a guy I knew from some other races. We worked together for the remaining 20 miles. Passed a lot of people.

Ended up 23rd out of 60.

As for the CAAD, it's pretty spectacular. 15.2 lbs with race wheels. Super stiff bottom bracket. Super stiff front end. Begs to be ridden in anger.

Speaking of weight, I'm down to 150lbs at 6'1". Race weight for sure. Just need a little better form.

Monday, May 16, 2011

2011 Cat's Hill Classic

Cat's Hill Classic. AKA; someone put a 23% grade in my crit!

First few laps hurt.

Middle laps, pace slowed up a bit. Made the mistake of just sitting in the pack and not worrying about positioning myself.

Last few laps, paced, predictably, ratcheted up a few notches. Had trouble moving up. Sprint finish. Ended up mid pack, not contesting anything.

I can't go into hotly contested crits like this with the goal of not getting dropped and expect to place. Need to be more aggressive then that. Need to put more on the line.

Fun course, glad I got up this morning and raced it.

Quick note on the status of my road bicycles:
- 2011 Scott Addict R1: cracked FD mount. Frame is going in for warranty.
- 2009 Ridley Damocles: BB is coming apart. The aluminum part that the BB cups screw into is coming apart from the carbon BB area. Result: sloppy cranks. Trying to figure out the warranty situation.
- 2011 Cannandale CAAD10 4: ordered. Will replace my Ridley as my backup/crit/rain bike.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

2011 Devil Mountain Double

First double century for me. First time on a bike for over eight hours in one day. First time riding any of the roads on the route.

Started at 5am. First ~90 miles, I rode with AV teammate Chris Evans. He set a strong pace and did most of the pulling. Was awesome for the windy sections. We were with the first couple riders over Diablo (240w, 1hr 7min). Dawn while climbing was spectacular.

Was nice to be in front of everyone as the sags were fully stocked and service was super quick.

Lunch I had to let Chris go, he is a good bit stronger then me and my stomach wasn't doing well. On the way out to Hamilton, was passed by a few 6am people, couldn't hold either one on the rollers though. Motored up Hamilton by myself at a nice reasonable 200w.

Mile 140, coming down the other side, I started to bonk. Feet, shoulders, neck hurt. Chapped lips. Headache. Stomach issues. Hadn't seen any other DMD riders in almost 2 hours. Was thinking there was no way I could finish when a Davis rider caught up to me. I held his wheel until the mile 150 sag.

The mile 150 sag at the house was fantastic. I sat on the cool cement in the garage, drank a mountain dew and slowly ate a bunch of food. In 23 min, I was almost 100% rejuvenated.

Cruising through San Jose, almost had a big issue. Picked up a screw in my rear tire. It pierced into one side and out the other, through the top part of the tire. But, somehow, didn't puncture the protective belt. No flat. I'd say that used up whatever good karam I had.

Motored up Sierra with no problem. 36:30, 210w. Felt fantastic.

Got to the pet the goat stop at a little before six PM. Wanted to get back before dark so I skipped picking up my lights, got aero and put down some power. The road along Calaveras Resevoir was an absolute blast. So was hauling down Palomares.

Only problem I had for the last 60 miles were super chapped lips and occasional hot spots in my feet that would come and go. They weren't bad though and didn't slow me down, more of a minor annoyance.

Finished in 14 hours, 13 minutes. Ride time was 13:20 with 53 minutes stopped.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Copperopolis Road Race

Copperopolis RR. E4. Woke up a 4am. Drank coffee. Drove two hours out to the race start.

This is a storied NorCal road race. Rough patched pavement, pot holes, flat road with wind and a bit of climbing.


First lap, had no problem hanging with the group on the main climb. Half way through the lap though, cut my rear tire and flatted. Fortunately, I had decided to run my clincher training wheels rather then my tubulars. Fixed it and rode the rest of the race mostly solo. 3 laps, 64 miles.

(photo by Allan Armstrong)

Guess I should have opted for GP4000s over the lighter Conti Force rear tire. When I was riding with the pack, was forced to blast through a lot of potholes, broken asphalt and shit like that. Guess you can't really do much other then follow the person in front of you.

At least it was a nice day and a good training effort. That and I wasn't DFL out of the people that actually finished. Lot of DNPs. Ended up 30/46.

In other news, my new race transportation worked out well:

Mazda MX-5 w/ Hard Dog hitch and Kuat Sherpa bike rack.

Monday, April 18, 2011

2011 Chico Stage Race

2011 Chico Stage Race was an awesome weekend of racing. Perfect weather. Had a nice solid little Elite 4 group of 28.

Stage 1, Saturday, Paskenta Road Race:
45 miles. First 20 were pretty calm and flat. Then came some good rollers. Then 4 miles of nasty gravel on a rolling road which blew the pack apart. This was not hard packed dirt. Rear wheel was all over the place. Then another few miles with more rollers. Hooked up with another guy for the last section. Worked together to minimize our losses. Ended up 13th out of 28.

Stage 2, Sunday, Steve Harrison Downtown Crit:
Really fun course. Each lap was 6 turns in 0.6 miles. Stayed up near the front for a good portion of the race. Went for two primes. Had the legs for it but couldn't position myself correctly. It's all good though. Had some family and friends out, since I grew up in the area, and they enjoyed it. Didn't contest the finish. Got Same Time.

Stage 3, Sunday, Aguas Frias Time Trial:
This sucked. I'd never done a non-hill climb TT before. For all the times I've killed myself on the local climbs, my body wasn't at all used to putting out threshold effort in an aero position for this long. Arms hurt and by the end, I could tell I was using some different muscles then usual. Good headwind on the way out, tailwind on the way back.

On top of this, I started out the TT very poorly. Slipped clipping in and smacked my shin with the pedal. Hard. Good job noob. Very helpfully, my wife captured a photo of it. Guess what word I'm saying!

Needless to say, I lost a ton of time on GC with the TT. Dropped me from 13th to 20th out of 28.

Take away: buy aero gear and practice with it. Learn how to use clipless pedals.