Saturday, April 29

Va Va Vrooom!

Friday I was feeling better and the more I rode, the better I felt. I started out with a lunch ride around the lake where I proceded to get rained and hailed on. The singlespeed rolled on undaunted and Jim picked me up after work for some repeats up Lookout Mountain. The rain and snow on the Foothills canceled our White Ranch plans.
I was reasonably happy to see the pillars again after seeing them yesterday and it felt good to ride the single instead of the road bike.
Jim was happy to ride outside instead of just on the trainer. It was cloudy but not overly cold and spirits were high. Others lacked our enthusiasm as the parking beneath the climb was deserted, totally different from Thursday night.
Got to keep the self portrait tradition going! We ended up riding Lookout twice, both times just under 30 minutes at a steady pace. My single was honestly geared almost perfectly for the pace of the climb. When we got to the car after the second repeat it was almost dark so we packed it up and headed home. My legs were feeling awesome and Marni had some Chipotle waiting for me at home so I ate and relaxed before getting to sleep for the race in the morning.
Saturday I woke up at 5am and got ready for the Deer Trail road race. It was a little bit of a drive down I-70 so I ate some Eggo waffles quickly and loaded the car up with all my crap. Marni was sleeping in and a DoubleShot kept me awake driving out to the plains. I had put the bike in the trunk instead of on the roof in case of rain. I suppose that was smart thinking for my half asleep mind.
The weather was a bit sketchy in the direction of the race but I hoped for the best. I felt good and wanted a good hard effort, not a crashfest in the rain. Had it been 10 minutes away maybe I would have bagged it but I preregistered and it was a full field so I drove on. My iPod and I rocked out for the hour drive east of Denver to the rocking metropolis (ha!) of Deer Trail.
I arrived early and checked in just as the skys opened up. Just about everyone huddled in their cars for the next hour and a half while it rained, snowed, sleeted and any other form of cold spring precipitation you can think of.
My clothing plan went from arm and knee warmers to everything I had in my bag. 10 minutes from the start time I pedaled down to the center of town to start the race. Not really a warm up but I didn't want to soak outside for an hour on the trainer. Besides it took me most of the 10 minutes before the start to wash and scrape the sand out of my Speedplays so that I could actually clip in and out.

When the race finally got underway my strategy was all washed out. I was nervous about the rain and soaking wet roads, course change, and not being able to get out of my pedals. I hung out at the very back of the field while we rode the first section with a tailwind. The pace picked up halfway and the back of the field yo-yo'd like crazy. It sucked but I was nervous about everyone else in the rain so I stayed put. As we got to the first turnaround the back of the field almost got totally split off the main bunch and I was with 10 riders or so who lost contact with everyone else. Determined not to be finished already I moved to the front of the group and told everyone to get on and work. A couple guys had the gas to pull so we rotated and pulled everyone back on quickly. At this point I was fed up with the back and began to move up on the inside of the road.

It takes a long time to go from the back to the front on narrow roads but with some aggressive riding and patience I made my way to the front. We were pedaling into a stiff headwind now but the front was unaware of how hard the back was working to stay in contact. My original plan now coming together, I began to push the pace and finally recruited some other teams to do the same. If I couldn't split the field, I was going to make everyone use some energy to stay in contact. After pushing hard up the road for a while the teams up front started to sit up. Despite taking a lot of pulls I felt good and saw my chance. As we approached a hill I made a really hard jump and put a couple hundred feet on the field in an instant. I was gassed but had a gap and kept the hammer down. Sure enough one rider came up. Then another. Then a group of 4 including 3 from Feedback. Our group of 7 formed up and finally we had a break that had a chance to succeed. The break made it back to town still in the lead and around the turnaround away from town without incident. The pack on the other hand chased us into town and there was a crash at the turnaround. The chase was on and unfortunately for our breakaway, there was a monster tailwind. We were pushing 37mph and the leaders were gaining on us. The race was all over the road now and the pace stayed high almost all the way to the turnaround. One by one groups bridged back up to the lead peleton. This was everyone's chance because once we headed back into the headwind, anyone not on board was pretty much finished.

The group that remained at the turnaround was much smaller. I was gassed from the breakaway so I sat in and refueled for the final section of the race. We passed through town as a bunch and I was still at the back. As we headed out onto the final out and back I got gapped off the back. I recovered as quickly as I could and time trialed back towards the main group over the rollers. I almost caught on by the turn around but attacks had gone out and the main bunch was strung out all over the road. When i hit the turn around the wind was brutal and I was finished. I sat up and pedaled to the finish easily. 63 miles was a good long race with the wind and hills.

Some might have been disappointed to lose contact at the end but I'm pretty pleased with the effort. On tired legs I was able to make one of the decisive moves of the race and put a lot of people out. Now I just need to get comfortable enough to stay up front from the start and stop this hanging in the back stuff. Plus I got a nasty weather road race under my belt. Tire spray in the face for 3 hours isn't exactly fun but it makes for a good picture.

Friday, April 28

Wishy washy

So I thought this weekend was going to be a lot of fun. Now I'm wavering with the weather. Last night I hit the road bike for 50 something miles and 3000 feet of climbing in the 75 degree weather. I felt like garbage for the first hour but a couple gels gave me some energy. I was riding with a full commute backpack which was another 20 pounds awkwardly on my back. My goal was to ride at recovery pace but mentally challenge myself without water (initally), food of choice and the heavy load. You might think I'm a moron for doing something like that but there are times in long rides and races when I think it helps. I might drop my Ensure, run out of water or have a rack break. The only way to handle it is to improvise and deal with it. 99% of my rides are done with ideal food, water, and equipment so a ride like this gives me a chance to mentally get used to things not being the way I want them, especially when I'm already tired from racing Wednesday and working all day. Anyway my route was meandering. I rode down south to Golden via Arvada and 82nd street. I passed White Ranch on hwy 93 and then turned up Lookout mountain. I felt relatively good at this point and steadily climbed the hill at an easy pace. I passed a few bikers and a few passed me. The top came in less than half an hour anyway which pleased me considering the extra load and energy level I was willing to put out. At the top I bought a couple muffins and some water. I ate them as I rode home, this time following the most direct route from White Ranch to my house to get an accurate distance (15miles BTW).After the ride I intended to wash up the singlespeed so I could ride tonight with Jim after work at White Ranch. Instead the forcast called for rain and snow(!) so I just relubed the chain and rode into work this morning in the rain. I think it's drying now so perhaps my evening ride is still on although I'm on the fence about riding to the trail per my usual routine. Perhaps I'll wuss out and drive, giving up the chance to "race darkness home like a man". Or perhaps a Viking as Dicky would say.

Saturday is the Deer Trail road race which will be 61 miles of hilly fun. The forcast is calling for "Spring Classic" like conditions according to the race director. The race is a bit far away which I'm a little apprehensive about but I'm sure I'll be fine once I get there. Saturday night we're having a little party at our house with Marni's teacher friends which is always a good time.

Then Sunday morning I've been invited to join the 75+ mile 12,500+ vertical foot Piper's Monster Ride looping together White Ranch, the Fairmount Trail, Chimney Gulch, Apex, Red Rocks, Dakota Ridge, Green Mountain, Mt. Falcon, and Lair o' the Bear. At least the weather is supposed to improve back to the 70's by then. As usual I will be riding to the start from my house so that means a 4:45am leaving time, the only bummer of the ride. It's so early I will have to mount my flasher and perhaps use my Performance points to buy an LED light as I haven't built mine yet. I'm wondering how tired I will be for the ride but my 180 mile weekend a few weeks ago went well so with proper fuel this one should go well too. Here's the course and elevation profile of a good part of Sunday's ride. Now I have to decide to put the Fuel together or take the singlespeed...

Thursday, April 27

CCTT#3 Report

Who is that huge dork in the picture? That'd be me after last night's race. A smiling face though in comparison to the head down sufferfest of last week. I still felt like I was going to be sick at the end but that passed pretty quickly with reflection on a good ride. I dropped further down the leadboard a bit but not by as big a margin. Last night was good enough for 10th place in the Cat 4's, 25.26 mph or 24:56. Not as fast as my first time still but pretty good considering the wind I had on course. The first race was definitely warm and calm while last night was cold enough for knee and arm warmers plus a pretty decent head wind and cross wind for what seemed like all of the course. I did catch a little tailwind in the final 2.5 miles and it felt great to spin it up to 31-33mph and just hold it there.

In other news, I apparently bruised my right hamstring in yesterday's (stupid) mountain bike crash during lunch. Nothing like missing the handlebar on a little jump you've done 100 times and ending up on your butt to make you feel stupid. No real damage to bike or rider done other than the bruise. Today is going to be a busy day at work with a contractor coming in to plumb some air and water lines for a new piece of equipment in the lab. It's my project and I hope it goes well otherwise I'll be stuck staying late to watch over them tonight. If all goes well I plan to ride at lunch and after work. It's time for some more training and then the Deer Trail road race on Saturday. The field is already full at 90 people so it's going to be interesting. Also the batteries on the digital camera are finally charged again for those oh so fun while riding shots!

Wednesday, April 26


I'm not in a very cheery mood this morning. It's a Rage Against the Machine morning if you know what I mean. Good old Zack screaming into the mike. I'm not totally sure why. Probably a combination of the crappy weather the past two days and less than nomral riding due to weather, a doctors appointment and other things. Tonight is Cherry Creek again though and I'm looking forward to racing and seeing my friends. It's sunny and warming now so I hope it warms up a lot before tonight. It would be great to ditch the warmers this week. At least I've been on the single speed for the riding I have got in this week. I'm going to take it out at lunch and see if Colorado Hills is dry.

Tuesday, April 25


Epics and stories to tell your grandchildren start with a crazy idea and two willing fools. So has it that this epic came about the same way. The idea is a double trip around the White Rim trail, once each direction, including the ride to and from town via one day. Stefan_G from MTBR suggested a double White Rim to another poster, I said it sounded like fun if you rode from town and Adam agreed to join me. Another thread was started for clarity's sake by Dave Harris and all of a sudden we have an epic ride planned for November. What gear do I need? Will it be supported or unsupported? Am I crazy? Who knows. There's a lot of time to figure that out. Want to come along? Discussion is currently taking place here on MTBR.

Monday, April 24

Time passes quickly

Today's freezing rain gave me a little time to catch up on my blog. I rode a bit after work on the singlespeed and had a muddy good time on the roads around the lake. It was great fun and worth the clean up, making me forget that the snow and rain canceled tonight's planned group ride with the Feedback boys. More importantly Leadville is now 109 days away and it's time to start planning around it. I'm going to do a 3 week taper for Leadville this year since I've definitely got the base for it. Maybe a month and a half more of this road racing and TT stuff and then into mountain bikes full on. The rough schedule looks like this:
4/24 - Dear Trail RR Sat/MTB Ride Sunday
5/1 - Pillar to Post Saturday/Rabbit Mtn TT/TTT Sunday
5/8 - REST/Out of town
5/15 - Buena Vista Super Weekend (Ride to BV Friday, Ride BV Century Saturday)
5/22 - Mountain Bike Super Weekend
5/29 - Important rest week!
6/5 - Lots of road riding, State TT on Saturday
6/12 - Rest week/WP Doubleheader on the weekend
6/19 - Big Mountain Week (E100 12hr Solo or Leadville Recon)
6/26 - Lots of road miles
7/3 - Firecracker 50 Single Speed Tuesday/Winter Park #3 Saturday
7/10 - Very important rest week
7/17 - EPIC Week/WP #4 (Probably ride to WP on Friday)
7/24, 7/31, 8/7 - Taper to Leadville

It's a lot of volume and a good amount of intensity. The big rest weeks in there are going to be crucial. Will I break 9 hours at Leadville? Will I even finish? Only time will tell. All I know is that I'm enjoying the journey.

Boulder Beer Road Race

Crash 4's anyone? Seriously I enjoy the workout and intensity of road racing, I even enjoy some strategy. But man I have to say, I'm glad my goal is not to become a road racer with all the luck required to stay on your bike sometimes.

Sunday's race started fine. Marni slept in so I donned my race clothes and my bookbag and rode to the start. The morning was brisk but not cold and I felt just fine. I arrived and checked in quickly while talking to some friends. By the time I dumped my bookbag in a friend's car I had ditched the ear, arm and knee warmers. Wanting a better start than last week I headed to the line early. I was warmed up from my ride over but standing around for the start was definitely not ideal. It didn't really matter though and by the time our huge group went off I was more than ready to start racing. The first couple laps were uneventful other than being told at the start there was no yellow line rule and being told at the first turnaround that there was. Ummm make up your mind people. I took a flyer on the 2nd lap at the top of a climb but it was half hearted and the field brought me back pretty quick. I sat in a recovered quickly. I was feeling good and ready to try again when we had crash number 1 of the day. I don't know what happened but I was stopped behind it and had to chase hard to get back to the field. After chasing half the course (climb, descent, climb) I caught the bunch right at the start/finish turnaround. Since I was already sitting at the back I took the opportunity to get a few calories in and had half a bottle of Ensure Plus. I also had Gatorade in one water bottle this week which worked well.

I sat in the field and recovered from my chase and by the start penultimate lap I was feeling good. I began to move up and was able to do so relatively easily on the climbs. I was sitting near the front from that point on until the final descent on the final lap. It had been getting a bit crazy with our 90 person group passing two smaller breakaways from other classes and a huge group from another class. Someone decided to attack down the descent and the field ratcheted up to 50mph or so. Slingshotting back up the climb after the descent people began to move up and some on the outside of the double yellow. Our motorcycle pacer freaked out and started honking and pointing for them to get back and just generally raising the tension level in the peleton. That was all it took and a couple riders went down near the front of the bunch. This second crash was mayhem and splintered a lot of the field. I was gapped of the lead bunch and ahead of a bunch of other riders. Completely unmotivated I spun towards the line until I saw my friend Andy pulling hard behind me. I waited until he was close and gave his small group a 33mph pull to the finish line. The race was a bummer for him and his VC teammates but nonetheless a good workout for me. Total mileage for the race was 45 hilly miles at 24mph average. After we finished we rode back to the med tent to check on another VC rider who went down hard in the last crash. His helmet was toast and his bike took a beating but he was otherwise okay.

After making sure he was okay, I grabbed my stuff and headed for home still feeling great and wishing I got a chance to put a hard effort in up to the line. On the way home I passed a girl who was waving to me in a familiar helmet. It took me a second to realize it was Marni and I flipped around to meet her. She was out riding to find me on her new bike so we rode together home enjoying the beautiful weather. I'm jealous of her shiny new road bike, Harold the Phantom, and it's 10 speed ultegra STIs. My STI's have seen better days and I'm on the lookout for an affordable replacement pair. All and all another workout and road race in the books. I'm definitely looking forward to mountain bike racing season where at least if I crash it's my own fault.

Friday, April 21

Pictorial Friday

Some of the pictures are a bit dark but hey, you'll live. I figure pictures are better than my rambling sometimes.

Holy crap! I cleaned my entire drivetrain last night. Who knew you could pedal without that crunching sound?
Sailboat on Cherry Creek Reservoir
In the starthouse, 25 minutes of pain here we come.
Clipped in today!
Race against the dying of the light.
Do you really need a description of how I was feeling?
Michelle finishing with a smile
Erik and Michelle finished
Random competitor
Random competitor

Thursday, April 20

CCTT #2 Report

Yesterday's race went better than race #1 in all respects but one. Let's get that out of the way now. Somehow I lost 30 seconds to finish in 8th place in the Cat 4's, 25:10 (25.03mph).

Despite the slower time, I am pleased with how everything went. I got there early, warmed up fully, ate and drank on time, and gave the time trial 100% effort compared to what felt like 98% last week. Wanting to puke at the end this week was not a problem. I haven't uploaded the pictures from Marni's camera but I'm sure my face is one of pain. I also was *much* more relaxed in the start house and had a proper clipped in start.

Where did I lose the time? It seemed to be on the backstretch because my watch was showing a similar split to last time at the turnaround. It was much colder this week and I had my arm warmers on and probably could have used the knee warmers. I didn't notice any wind but that doesn't mean it wasn't there. It was also a rest week so even though I feel good perhaps I am slightly slower. All in all I'm still happy with the race and it's another speed session in the books. Man I'm really going to be strong come MTB racing season!

Tuesday, April 18

Beautiful Tuesday

Today was beautiful here in Colorado. They predicted a rain and snow storm but all we got was a 20 degree drop in temperatures and some more wind. I took advantage of the nice weather and took a late lunch break to ride with Dave Nice. He came up from his place in Denver and we cruised around Colorado Hills, me on the Monocog and him on his 29er fixie. I think in some ways we're opposites (see bike clothing and saddle choices) but also have a lot of things in common. I had a great time talking with him during the ride. It was over all too soon and I had to go back to work.

Dave left me with a great bottle of whiskey from the distillery where he works, Stranahan's. I'm excited to have a glass tonight after dinner and try it out. Much different from my college days, I really enjoy a drink now and then of something with a story behind it. Marni and I mostly drink wine now because of that and I really appreciate the work that goes into both real wine and a handcrafted small batch whiskey like Stranahan's.

While riding we talked about a lot of things, among them riding to Buena Vista, Colorado to do the Buena Vista Century on May 20th. Scott and some other friends of mine are going to ride it and I invited Dave to come along and ride up to Buena Vista with me the day before. Marni is even going to do the ride and is deciding between the 40 and 50 mile options! Thanks for the great ride today, let's do it again!

Tonight I'm going to relax and continue to enjoy my rest week. Tomorrow night I'll be racing at Cherry Creek and then again on Sunday for the Boulder Beer Road Race. It's basically right out my front door and includes some good hill climbing so it should be fun and good training. Next week I'll be training with Feedback Sports cycling team and deciding if I want to join their team before the Deer Trail Road Race on April 29th. I have a few friends who ride for Feedback on both the road and mountain bike teams so it may end up being a really good fit.

Monday, April 17

Rest Week Monday

Today I'm back at work following my eventful weekend, first the Boulder Larimer road race Saturday (post below) and then more practice on the Cherry Creek course yesterday. Marni, Scott and I all rode from Scott's house and did 3 race pace sessions on course. Marni did her longest ride ever at 23 miles and one of her fastest ones too. Even better she didn't want to kill me and wants to do it again!Scott picked the start, the middle on both sides of the turnaround and the finish for our race pace sessions. I substituted the hill to the turnaround for the 2nd session because apparently I hate myself. I'm sorry but entering that hill at 30mph, climbing the first half at 21 mph and doing everything in your power to get over the top and accelerate from 13mph *back* to 30mph is just hateful. It better at least make me stronger this Wednesday. On the plus side I felt fine in my new slightly lower position. I'm currently at 15cm saddle to aerobar pad drop. Now I need to stretch it out a bit futher and see if I can get up to Boulder to buy a Louis Garneau Rocket helmet. I'll look like a huge dork but if I can buy 15 seconds for under $200 I'm sure as hell going to do it.
Today my legs are pretty shot so I'm glad the rest week is starting. My lunch ride today was easy and mostly involved going to the post office to send out our taxes. Work is incredibly busy so hopefully I can get a bit caught up this week with my reduced riding volume.

The coming weeks are going to involve a lot more racing and high intensity training. I'm hoping to throw a couple more epic distance rides in there as well to maintain my long distance fitness. The first Winter Park race is now 2 months away and I'm really motivated to be in race shape. Leadville is also fast approching and I'm looking forward to some on course training in June or July.

Saturday, April 15

Boulder Larimer Road Race

Okay so I'm not really a road racer but I wanted a long hard workout and this race seemed to perfectly fit the bill. Before I disect it more than needed, let me just say that I had a great time and will be looking forward to doing a few more road races. I'm not so sure about crits still but road races, yes!
On to the story. I decided Friday afternoon to do the race, finding out about it only a few hours earlier from a friend. After work I ran home, swapped a few parts from the TT bike to my road bike and went for a little ride south of the lake. I felt great and the bike worked fine so we loaded up the car that night. Marni and I woke up early and headed out to the race in rainy, windy weather. The reports said the foothills had already got the worst of it and it was passing though so I figured the race would still be fine. I got to the race and warmed up and before I knew it the 90+ strong group of cat 4s were rolling out. I started the race mid pack and it didn't take me long to get the hang of moving up the group. A few 1 or 2 man breaks tried to get away but it was calm and the group was huge. There was no way a 1 or 2 man break was getting away. I moved up front during laps 2 and 3 of the 5 lap, 55 mile race. I felt good but really had a hard time eating how I wanted in such a big pack. I managed to get down 2 gels and some water thoughout the race which for me is less than ideal. As the race pressed on a few more people had a go at breaking away including myself. However no one came with on the breakaways. It's a shame because I think a 10 person break might have escaped from the pack. My solo break made it up the road a ways at 32mph but with no one to share the work with the group caught me a couple minutes later. At least I was happy to give it a shot and my legs felt pretty strong. I do have to say that the accelerations out of every corner and the short dirt/washboard section did take a bit out of me as I haven't done any of that kind of work in training. I was able to hang on just fine but I think a fast group ride once a week would go a long way towards improving my ability in that respect.

During the race it was fun talking to the other riders and I even got a couple complements on my 20 year old ride. The fresh powdercoat really does look nice. The race progressed and during lap 4 I remained in the front, coming through the start/finish line in the first 5 riders for the final lap. I knew that this lap would get difficult with a lot of the riders wanting to kick the pace up before the finish. The first half of the lap went fine despite a slight bobble on my part crossing up a wheel and braking a bit too hard. Sorry about that other racers. No harm was done though and the pace kept picking up. I ended up shuffled to the inside of the pack going down the fastest descent and as it turned up to the hill following I made my big mistake of the day. A rider in front of me flatted or blew up and stopped in front of me. I got slowed way down and the pack gapped me along with some other riders. I chased as hard as I could but missed getting back on and that was the end of it. I rode as hard as I could to the finish but there was no catching the group. I was disappointed to finish off the lead bunch and not get another shot at a breakaway but lesson learned. At least I accomplished the hard workout I set out to do, gained some experience and had a lot of fun in the race.

Friday, April 14

Better than expected

It's not often that you exceed expectations, or at least for me. I tend to set rather impossible goals for myself and often that leaves me coming up short. I suppose sometimes it results in great things. Wednesday night I did my first race and time trial of the year in 24:40. That was a 25.54 mph average and good enough to place 5th in the Cat 4's. I knew that I would finish in less than 30 minutes and hoped to be closer to 25 minutes but I didn't really dream I could crack the top 5 and go under 25 minutes. I have put in next to zero speedwork this winter and only have about 100 miles acclimating to the time trial bike, all in 5 days time.
The race and evening was great fun. Marni and I got there with plenty of time and I ran through my full 55 minute warm up. Marni was great helping me prepare and taking care of my extra clothes, water and equipment so I didn't have to worry about it. I didn't feel great as it's week 3 of the current build phase but I didn't feel terrible either. Erik, Michelle, Scott, Dan, Derrick, Jim and other friends were there which made it a lot of fun. My start was terrible but in retrospect I think that's my fault. I didn't get to the line early enough and was really rushed trying to get the holder to hold me, clear my computer and get clipped in (which I didn't). That's worth a few seconds in the future. During the race I felt pretty good and passed a lot of people. I think I can go a little harder in the opening few miles next time. All my preriding of the course paid off though as I didn't look at anything other than my speed on the computer and my watch at the turn around and finish. I had the course memorized really well.
This coming Wednesday is smack in the middle of a rest week so I'm really excited to race again. I'm going to tweek a few things on my position over the weekend and if the weather is as beautiful as this week I'm going to give the 23 minute barrier a run for it's money. For now it's one more weekend of hard training but this time I'll be satisfied knowing that all the hours and miles I've put in over the past 6 months have started to pay off.

Wednesday, April 12


Well it's 3:30 to my start time. I haven't *truely* raced to go fast in a long time now. I'm hydrated, took a nice easy ride at lunch, ate late so I can just snack until the race and laminated my warm up card.

I'll be leaving work shortly to pack the car and head down to the race. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 11

Warm Up

This year I'm really working on improving some of my past errors. I've been working on nutrition and that's been going well. Another area I've been pretty poor in is proper warm up. For Cherry Creek I'm going to follow a warm up like this so that I can be ready to go hard from the start. I've always been nervous that a warm up would wear me out but there are a lot of studies out there on the topic and they all show performance improvement with proper warm up. The hard efforts start your bodies lactate buffering systems before you even start the race and improve overall times. I'll be using the first warm up method if I've got enough time or the 2nd if I have to shorten it a touch. I liked these 2 specifically because they go off PE and I don't have/use a HR monitor.

The source of the warm up is here.

Time Trial (< 16 km)
20 min warm-up at Endurance Zone
3 min Fast Cadence light gear at 110+rpm (42x17 or 39x16). Stay in an
easy gear and focus on leg speed and warming up the muscles; this will
also help "prime" the cardiovascular system (PE: 6 out of 10)
3 min recovery (easy spin)
5 min at LT (Lactate Threshold)
5 min recovery (easy spin)
4 min LT/SuperLT Progressively increase gearing while keeping cadence
around 100rpm. For example, progressively use: 53x19,17,16,15 (PE: 7
into 8 out of 10 for last minute)
5 min recovery (easy spin)
5 min progressive from SuperLT to MaxVo2. Progressively increase
gearing from 53/54 x17,16,15,14,13,12 (PE: 8 into 9 out of 10 for last
two minutes)
Note: SuperLT and VO2 zones are a "grey" area for time trialing.
Experienced time trialists will be able to maintain a heart rate very
close to their maximum (85-95+% of max HR) but this percentage will
decrease to (80-90%) as the length of the time trial increases.
5min recovery and roll to the line sweating
TOTAL: 55 minutes

Time Trial (40 km)
15 min warm-up at Endurance Zone
3 min Fast Cadence (light gear at 110+rpm) 42x17 or 39x16. Keep it in
an easy gear and focus on leg speed and warming up the muscularly,
"prime" the cardiovascular system
2 min recovery
5 min LT/SuperLT Progressively increase gearing while keeping cadence
around 100rpm. For example, progressively use: 53x19,17,16,15 (PE: 7
into 8 out of 10 for last minute)
5 min recovery (easy spin)
5 min LT(1min)-SuperLT(2min)-MaxVo2(2min)
5 min recovery and roll to the line sweating.
TOTAL: 40 minutes

Monday, April 10


Today has been trying hard to suck but I've been doing my best not to let it. I woke up this morning, got out of bed and immediately felt dizzy. I took a shower. I felt dizzy. I ate breakfast. Dizzy. All day long I battled out with my brain to not feel like I was spinning. My bike ride at lunch was the best I felt all day. I'm still feeling it now but it's getting better.

After I got off work I came home and Marni's been taking care of me. She's been great and we've spent most of the night just resting in the dark. Tomorrow when I wake up I really hope that I'm not feeling like this. Two nights from now at this time I'll be done with the first race of the year. I just need to finish my warm up and prerace eating plan and preview my warm up plan after work tomorrow. Hopefully more exciting news tomorrow.

Sunday, April 9

All systems go!

Today I slept in again and then packed the car for a final ride of the time trial course with Scott. We met at his house and rode our bikes over to the course. It was absolutely beautiful out today, sunny and high 70s. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was out on their bikes today, especially around the Cherry Creek reservior where the race takes place. Scott and I rolled through the start and then began alternating sections of the course at race pace. We had some decent headwinds and crosswinds all day but I had the everyday wheels on so I didn't get blown around too much. The ride over was a good warm up and I picked right up to 27-30mph during the first pull. The next few pulls on the outbound leg were a steady 30-33mph. I was passing other riders so fast I had to make sure to give plenty of room since I'm sure no one was expecting race pace pulls and I was laid out in the aerobars working hard. After the one significant hill on the course I worked on a couple technical areas including the very fast (30mph+) entrance to the 180 degree turnaround and a couple fast tight turns where you can't cross the double yellow. We cruised on the way back for a bit and then Scott suggested one last pull to the finish. Away we rode on a long pull across the finish line going between 26 and 32mph. The efforts felt really good and I'm ready to race now. I don't know how fast I'm going to go or how competitive I will be but soon I'll find out. For now I'm going to ride the time trial bike the next couple days to get more comfortable on it. Wednesday after work we'll pack up the bike, gear, race wheels and trainer and go find out how well my winter miles have paid off.

Saturday, April 8

The time is near

Today was a bit less training than most Saturdays but I still spent a good amount of time on bike stuff. Last night I made a run to the bike shop to get some new tires to complete the time trial bike. Of course I walked out with tires, a new wireless computer, tiny seatbag, aero booties and a pair of the old style lobster winter gloves on clearance that I'd been looking for forever. I installed the tires and got the computer mounted on my aerobars after a quick run back to the shop to swap the wireless receiver for one that worked.

This morning Marni and I went to get some breakfast and run some errands after we got up. When we got home I tried on my skinsuit and took the time trial bike out for about 45 minutes exactly as I will ride it on Wednesday night. All went well after a few saddle angle tweeks and I felt pretty good cruising at 30mph, aero wheels and all. I sure hope it's above 60 degrees on Wednesday night. After my bike ride we had game night with some of our friends which was a lot of fun. Turbo was happy to see us when we got home. Marni edited the pictures for this post since me riding in front of our house isn't too exciting. While she edited I shaved my legs for the first time this year. There's a hundred reasons why cyclists do it so I won't rewrite them here but for me it definitely helps me prepare to start racing in addition to the other real or perceived benefits.

Tomorrow Scott and I are going to ride the time trial course one more time while Marni works at Sylvan. The better I can visualize the course the more relaxed I will be Wednesday night. It will also give me a chance to test transport the bike and run through my pre-race warm up routine including swapping wheels. Since I have only about an hour on this bike so far this year I'm sure additional time in the aero position will help as well. That's all for tonight. 3 days until race season officially starts!

Thursday, April 6

Today was a good day

Today I managed to get a lot of good things accomplished despite work being really busy. I snuck in a good road bike ride at lunch and my legs are feeling okay after the hills yesterday. I also got some prototype housings finished for my LED project. The single and double housings came out small and sweet! I'm still working on a design for a triple that I'm pleased with but more on that later. I avoided getting stuck with the late shift at work so Marni and I took Turbo to the dogpark for a mountain bike ride instead. Here's Marni looking cute on the way there.
Turbo is so excited. This is one of his favorite things to do! He can barely sit still once you say the magic words, "dog park?".
The ride was wonderful, despite a WNW wind of 30mph. Marni pushed up the climb into the headwind and I followed her. Turbo of course ran up ahead checking every prarie dog hole along the way. Not intending to ride too long we made our way to the lake, marveling at the fire damage. The fire that cut my Sunday ride short burned all the way along the ridge just to our north, into the dogpark open space. Crazy! Upon reaching Mower Reservior we stopped to give Turbo some water and headed back. With a tailwind we were cooking and Marni flew down the downhill today faster than I've ever seen her go before. Turbo's paws and my singlespeed gearing couldn't keep up but in no time we arrived back at the bridge to catch up to her. Marni and I cruised slowly back to the parking lot, giving Turbo some more time to play with the other happy dogs. Once back at the car, we packed up the bikes while Turbo laid down and watched. At least that's one way to wear him out and make him happy all at once.
Back at home I changed and headed over to my friend Jim's house. I dropped off a 120mm stem for him to try out and picked up a couple seatposts to try for the time trial bike. After talking about bike stuff and the LED project far too long, I headed home to a waiting dinner. After dinner I talked to my dad for a bit and then finished getting the time trial machine road worthy. The spare wheelset is mounted, the pedals are switched, the gearing is tweeked and the forward seatpost is mounted up slightly shorter than my orange bike to account for the longer cranks. Tomorrow I'll pickup another bike computer and my new set of tires and try to get comfortable on it over the weekend. I think I've waited a bit too late with races starting Wednesday but there's not much I can do about it now. I'll just have to hope that past experience will let me adapt pretty quickly. At least the engine is ready and that's the hard part.
For those of you following the LED project here's a couple pictures for you. These are just prototype housings I've drawn up and made out of plastic for now. They're not much bigger than a nickle in diameter and currectly about 2.5" long. Once my LEDs and drivers arrive I'll start assembling everything and try to get some comparison pictures up. The single LED housings are so small and the doubles are not much bigger!

Wednesday, April 5


Today's riding was, well, sufficient. Not great compared to my (maybe lofty) expectations but not terrible either. I ended up getting a nice ride in at lunch to spin out my legs and they were feeling much better than yesterday. Last night I had intended to do my hill repeats up the Wall but between working late and just not being fully recovered from the weekend I postponed them when I got home. I was just not feeling it. Tonight I had to work late too but this time I was prepared with an Ensure Plus in the fridge at work. I got out of the office with just enough daylight to get in my repeats. After calling Marni to let her know I'd be home after dark, I rode out to the Wall. The schedule called for 6 repeats under 3 minutes. I hid my backpack under the guardrail and descended down to the starting point. Already I was nervous. On the descent I hit 50mph without coasting, something I don't normally do on this hill. Undaunted I turned around and pounded out the first repeat anyway. OUCH. Climbing this hill all out is not exactly a cake walk on a good day and today there was a great southern headwind torturing me all the way up. After the first repeat I knew 3 minutes was out the window and I just tried to keep them consistant...and under 4 minutes. One by one I hit the lap counter and as the sun set behind the mountains I saw 5 on my watch. Looking inside myself I dug deep and knocked out one more, earning the right to hit the button and see the number 6 appear. I rolled in my granny gear back to my bookbag and dug out my long sleeve jersery. The sun was setting fast now and it was getting cold. The wind blew hard out of the south and I began my cool down ride home. 40 miles, 6 times up the Wall and another ride in the books. Perfect workout or not, it's great to ride.

Tuesday, April 4


I couldn't think of anything witty today so this post remains untitled. Last night Marni and I went on a nice 2 hour mountain bike ride down the Big Dry Creek trail. Did I mention I love daylight savings time? Her riding is getting better and better and I almost have her convinced to do the first Winter Park series race. That race is the hill climb so she's not too worried about rocky or technical descending. Anyhow our ride was great. Perfect pace, sunny skys and we got to ride and talk without it being a weekend or racing imposing darkness.

Part of the reason for the Winter Park race discussion was their announcment this week that the opening hill climb has been postponed due to all the snow on the mountain. The hill climb has now been combined on the same weekend as the first cross country race, June 17 and June 18th. Now some people might be worried about the double header but I'm thinking it plays perfectly to my training and strengths. I should be able to recover well between the races, I just need to be fast enough to place well both days and start the series off in a good overall position.

Part of being fast is putting in some hard training. I've done great on building a base for it and now it's time to hurt. Last week I had 5 repeats up the Wall, tonight there are 6 on the schedule. Also next Wednesday starts Cherry Creek time trials. Seven Wednesdays of all out effort over a 10.5 mile course should really bring on my speed. Today I'm still a bit sore from the crash and the efforts of the weekend but reading Kerkove's and Adam's blogs on their repeats have got be motivated to get out there and kick some butt. Thanks guys!

Sunday, April 2

Yin and Yang

The wind and the calm. The sun and the clouds. The road and the dirt. Hilly and flat. This weekend had it all and I was blessed to share it with great friends. Friday night I capped a 40 mile day on the singlespeed riding to Boulder and back. I woke up feeling fresh and loaded up my jersey pockets for a ride on the road.
The mountains looked brilliant and the wind was calm. I rode in the warming early morning sunshine towards Doug's house about an hour away.
As has been the usually lately, the warm tights have been replaced by thinner knee warmers. It's been a welcome change and along with it other signs of spring are in the air. The baby-moos are getting bigger, the birds are singing, the morning air is 10 degrees warmer and daylight savings time is now upon us.
Doug and I rode together from his house just on the east end of Boulder right on time towards Hygene. We were passed by one of many cyclists on the roads. Doug resisted the urge to chase him down, sticking to his high cadence plan. We soon determined he was doing intervals as we began to leapfrog back and forth. It didn't take long to roll into Hygene and find Erik and Michelle waiting.

Erik, Michelle, Doug and I rolled out to Carter Lake. Michelle was a bit tired having ridden the same route yesterday but she hung in there just fine. On the way out 3 other riders joined our small group for a little bit. After sitting in for a while they passed us and we continued on. Doug was riding strong.
Before we knew it, the climb to Carter Lake came and went. I felt great and my Ensure Plus's were going down easy.
The lake was beautiful despite the clouds that rolled in. The group rolled on with Doug, Michelle and I chasing Erik down the descent. My speedo hit 53.6mph. It hasn't cracked the 50mph barrier in a while.
The ride back the pace seemed to keep creeping up. We passed what seemed like and endless number of groups heading the other way. 5 riders, 25 riders, 3 riders. I've never been anywhere other than Boulder where there are so many people out riding on any given weekend day. As we passed one group riding particularly quickly, one rider was off the back. His name was Jeff and he was visiting from the Big Apple. He made the mistake of stopping for the call of nature while the group kept rolling and he couldn't bridge back up. He circled around and joined our group. The fearsome fivesome rolled on.
Michelle's miles yesterday were catching up with her but she pressed on. The group was all smiles anyway. The clouds blocked the sun but temperatures were still warm, the air was dry and it was relatively windless.

One by one the group separated. Erik and Michelle turned back to their house when we stopped in Hygene. I ate a turkey sandwich and the three remaining riders pressed on. Back into town we said goodbye to Doug at his house and I pointed Jeff back to his car on hwy 36 a few streets later. Some 70 plus miles into my ride I continued on alone. Other than dropping my water bottle into traffic in Louisville, the climbs came and went uneventfully until I passed over highway 36 in Superior. A fellow cyclist caught me up the Hump at a brisk pace. I hopped on his wheel but it was in vain. 75% of the way up the climb my mind got the better of my legs and I sat up, knowing I was now over 90 miles into the day and still had to climb the Wall. Happily the Wall came and went at an easy pace and I added a quick detour in my route to push the mileage to the century mark.

After the ride we had a great time at the retirement party for Jim, Marni's dad. Marni drove me there, allowing me a quick nap in the car and then drove us home. We were stuffed from all the food and cake and watched Sideways before heading to bed. I set no alarms, thinking I'd be awake easily in time for my late starting Sunday ride. I planned to repeat the Super Walker ride of several weeks ago on the Monocog.

Sunday morning came lazily at 11am, only 30 minutes from my planned departure time. Already mostly packed, I loaded my bike and Camelback and said goodbye to Marni and Turbo just after 11:30. The weather had changed down, sun shining but wind blowing. When I say blowing I mean steady at 25mph from the WNW, exactly my desired direction, with gusts to some 60mph. Unacknowledging to any omen I pressed on reguardless. My ride to Boulder was brutal with the wind trying anything in it's power to stop me. The wind is a special kind of punishment, invisible and unrelenting. Unlike a hill there is no top, no descent for a reward. It stopped me in my tracks several times and attempted to blow the bike out from under me dozens more. Yet I pressed on to Boulder, bought my sandwich and bagel from Einstein's and arrived at Chataqua park just before 1:30pm. Good thing I left 2 hours for the ride, despite it taking less than 1:30 on Friday night.

When I arrived, only David was there. We rolled up to the parking lot to check for others and throw away some trash. A minute later 3 more riders rolled up, followed by 2 more. I'm terrible with names so you'll have to forgive me but the group was awesome. Out of 7 riders, 6 were pushing only one gear on a ride promising 24 miles and 4500ft from Chataqua park alone. David pushed his 29er fixed gear with a 36x16! Animal! The group ascended Flagstaff, separating slightly to the first pulloff. We regrouped and continued on, up the steepest part, standing, mashing and willing our singlespeeds up the mountain. At the summit we regrouped and lost one rider. He had an appointment in town and headed back down. The wind was blowing again near the top, nearly toppling several of us over. David summited after we left and turned around, also having to return to work. The 5 of us pressed on to Walker Ranch, enjoying the brief descent. Just before the trailhead, the wind picked up something vicious. I slowed down into the gravel parking lot, trying to stop and get off and before I knew it I was on the ground. Surprised by the somewhat hard hit, the others made sure I was alright. Other than a bit of shock at being blown off my bike and a cocked stem I was fine. I dusted myself off and fixed the stem before heading out on the loop.

The group strung out and regrouped several times on the loop. I continued with an Ensure Plus every hour as my nutrition and felt pretty good. On the long climb after the hike-a-bike section I started to feel the long hours of the weekend in my legs. I pressed on with the others and before long we were cheering the last climb's appearance. The majority of the climbing completed and the site of a welcome porta potty sped my legs up the last few hundred yards. The shining sun couldn't overcome the chilling power of the wind and we all agreed that it was best to keep moving. We headed back out to Flagstaff road to begin the shorter but likely steeper climb to the summit. Feeling good again I powered on. I was happy to be back on pavement where my worn rear tire wouldn't slip, robbing me of a few feet of gain for power input as it did during the loop around Walker.

Stopping briefly at the top, I wolfed down my turkey and swiss sandwich. I was looking forward to it all day. I think the others were jealous but no one took me up on my offer to share it. Jackets now back on and food in my stomach we all descended back to Boulder. The shadows now shaded the switchbacks and it was pretty chilly. We were all happy to arrive back in warm and sunny Boulder. After some parting words and an agreement in the "that was fun we should do it again" catagory we split off in small groups. Still intending to ride back to my house I followed a fellow rider home to refill water bottles and get him a jacket. I called Marni from his house, only to find out that all my normal routes home were blocked. Apparently a fire, which we saw earlier from the climb up Flagstaff, had caused closure of hwy 128 all along my return route. Between that and the bad smoke in the area I decided to end my ride here. My friend graciously offered to drive me home and I accepted, thus bringing a close to 180 miles of riding in under 48 hours.

Feeling surprisingly good I arrived home to a happy Marni and Turbo. My wonderful wife went to the store to get us some food for the week while I showered and changed into my sweats. The rest of the night involved relaxing, stuffing my face with some delicous dinner and cookies, and preparing metally for the work week to begin. At least daylight savings time reminded us of it's arrival with a 7:30pm sunset. Tomorrow will be some recovery riding and a presumably busy day at work. My scheduled hill repeats will have to wait until at least Tuesday but I'm extremely satisfied in my training being able to ride so much this weekend without bonking or injury.