Thursday, January 31, 2008

Face Lift Complete! 17.10 lbs of sweetness!

The Curtlo S3 Cross bike is back from serious surgery. I am very impresssed.

Yes, it is really 17.1 lbs. All parts are on, even water bottle bolts.

I like the bar tape even if it is a bit much.

The crankset is a 2004 Campagnolo Carbon Record crankset set up for 1 x 9. Crankset with the bottom bracket weighs 710 grams. I picked it up from's clearance closet then got my employee discount off sale price. The cassette is a 12/34 XTR cassette.

I put a shorter stem on so that I could more easily ride on the hoods when I removed the inline brake levers. It is a 90mm instead of a 110mm. It feels perfect.

Velocity hubset. Rear weighs 250g and the front 80. These wheels were 1360 grams built up. If they break, so be it. I only have 200 bucks in them total, not counting the tires. My DT 240 hubs are overall a tad lighter than the velocity hubs. THe velocity hubs are made by Chosen. They have sealed cartridge bearings and a very nice buzzsaw sound. I will be building up the Dt 240 hubs with some tubular rims as well soon. I will still have a backup clincher wheelset available as well.

The saddle is the sketchiest of all the changes. But I took a short ride on it and I doubt there will be any issues. Especially during a cross race. I only want the bike to fast, with minimal comfot considerations.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Swim Class: Day 2

Here is today's work out as best I can remember:

warm up
8 x 25 @ 50 sec ea.
4 x 50 @ 1:40 ea.
2 x 100 @ 3:00 ea.
4 x 50 @ 1:30 ea.
8 x 25 @ 0:45 ea.
8 x 25 low stroke workout
6 x 25 kick double speed

During the 100's I found I was going too fast and during the 50-75 yard section I had to pause mid swim to catch a breath. Mostly, it was out of panic. I felt like I could only get about half the breath I needed. Basically I was going too fast and wasn't pacing myself properly. I gotta stop racing myself every time. Early on I was swimming the 25's at a sub 30 second pace. That was fine since at the end of the length I stil had 20 seconds until the beginning of the next length. But when I did that without the rest I wasn't fit to do it.

I quite liked the low stroke count exercise. I can do 25 yards with 17 or 18 strokes. I think this is pretty good for a beginning. I caught up the chick in front of me, which was nice.

There was a new guy there who swims worse than me, but the dude is really strong. His stroke was really ugly and his head was pretty much out of the water all of the time until the instructor took him aside to teach him a couple of things. But he was as fast as any of us in the beginner section of the class. The guy has a huge upper body and he was really pushing himself. When he got out of the pool at the end of the class he said he felt like he swallowed half the pool.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Swim Class: Thumbs up!

Other than having less than 5 hours of sleep when I got up at 5 minutes before 2-Early o'clock--class went well. I was dreading it. But it was not too bad. And as a bonus there were people there that swam slower than I. It was very rewarding to start swimming and realize that I was about 10 seconds faster per 50 yards than the guy ahead of me. He was the slowest guy there--but still nice. Eventually another woman decided that I was faster than her as well and asked if I wanted to go ahead of her. That was nice as well.

The workout was as follows: 8x25yds on 45sec/each, 4x50 on 1:30 each, one minute rest, 8x25 on 45 second pace, and finally 2x100 at 3:00 each pace. We all had time to rest at the end of each interval which made it nice. My pace was between 30 and 35 seconds for every 25 yards, regardless of the total distance. This is slow for most, but it was great for me. The rests were great, especially since I haven't been swimming for a few months.

I think this class will be great, I can see why Bridget did so well.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Swim Training

Tomorrow it starts . . . ugh. I am not a fan of swimming. Thanks to the wife's condition, she does not feel like swimming or getting up early any more for the Triathlete Swim Training class. So I get to go to it. We could not both do it becuase there wouldn't be anyone at home to watch the kids. And a 6:30 AM class is a bit much to ask them to get up and tag along.

Anyway, I am out of shape and feeling fat. So I guess there is no better time than to present to start swimming. Maybe I will get fit faster this way. The class is twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays. It certainly helped bridget with her swimming, but she has always been pretty good.

Well, I should go to bed and get some rest, the morning will come way too soon I am sure.

Curtlo Cross Bike gets updated and cleaned.

This was sort of a slow week. Not much to apply to job-wise and not too much else to do around the house. So I spent a couple hours a day for about 3 days working on my Curtlo S3 Cross bike. [By the way, it really needs a good name, other than "Curtlo S3 Cross bike, and it is long overdue]

After working on the ol' girl, I felt pretty bad. It was sooo dirty. Dirt was in every nook and cranny. Obviously, it has been a hard year of cyclocross. The last race of the season my crank broke. I got a replacement for it from FSA (here) but I didn't want to put it on the cross bike. The warranty crank is one if the MegaExo versions. My old crank was for ISIS bottom brackets and was a considerably lighter setup even though they are the same quality. I wound up putting it on my Fuji CF2. This lowered the weight of the CF2 by about 100 grams (the original carbon crank on the Fuji was a FSA Team Carbon crank which weigh at least as much as a FSA Gossamer). I sold the heavier carbon crank off of the Fuji and used the money to pick on closeout--65% off MSRP--a 2004 Campagnolo Record Carbon crankset from the shop. This crankset uses a square taper bottom bracket. This should be a fairly bomb-proof setup. Afterall, square tapers were used for decades without any significant problems before the engineers decided to force external bottom brackets down our throats, but that is another issue for another post.

In the end, the Curtlo is a little more classy with the campy crank, though it did not change the weight at all. The Campy crankset with the bottom bracket and single ring/chainguard set up weighs 710 grams. Not too shabby. I have Campy Record Carbon brake levers so they kinda go well together. In fact those are the only two carbon bits on the bike, the cranks and brake levers.

But could I stop there? Nope. I sold some other parts that were laying around in order to buy a set of rims so that I could go tubular. The rims are Velocity Escapes that I employee purchased. A guy at the shop built them up for me on some Velocity hubs. The hubs are super cheap. The front weighs 80 grams and the rear hub was 250. The rear hub makes a nice buzzsaw sound. The wheelset helped me to drop roughly a pound off of the bike. The tires, Tufo Elites were each lighter than the Michelin Mud2s and tubes by over a 1/4 pound per wheel. Then the wheelset itself was about an 1/8 of a pound lighter per wheel. I also removed the inline levers. There went another 1/4 pound. With the removal of the inline levers I decided to shorten the stem a bit so that it would be more comfortable to ride on the hoods. Part of the reason for the inline levers was the comfort of resting my hands there on that part of the bar. Also, because of my Kelly Take-Off set up, I could shifter gears even with my hands on near the in line brakes. So the stem was a tad lighter, but only because it was shorter. I just exchanged stems at the shop.

Anyway, this set up should prove to be a winner. Nothing too stupid, and it was super cheap for the wheelset. The whole wheelset cost me lest than 200. Tires were picked up on the cheap too. The tires probably are not the best for mud, but this year of the 7 races I did, at least 4 were dry or nearly so. Anyway, I will report back with some pictures and ride report. Too bad it is 9 months until cross season again.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Training: Yep, I am back at it.

I am back to training. Slowly. I still have a real issue with my hip. Still can't sit in certain positions without it causing some pain. Not everyday, just about every other day. I ran a couple of times this week and it hurt a bit both times for about a mile and then it stopped. However, afterwards....ouch, big ouch.

I rode with Dave for a short ride yesterday. Good times. He is worse off than I am thankfully. It is much easier to feel better about my lot in life if I know of someone that more out of shape than me and still planning on competing in the same half ironman event in early June.

By the way, Pearl Izumi Amfib tights kick butt.

Thanks everyone for your concern. I am doing better mentally. I think that there are times when everyone hits a valley. It is hard to see past all the bad, even though I know that it will pass. It is weird. I know that I have things to be greatful about but I just couldn't get the funk out.

I am a little pissed that I let myself go though. I now have to work my but off just to get back to where I was a couple of months ago. But, I will and it will be fun getting there. By fun I mean sweaty, sometimes painful, lonely and cold, but also sometimes very euphoric with a grin on my face riding down 111th/113th at 52 mph.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Frankly, I have hit a wall. I just don't seem to give a damn at all about training. I went to California for the holidays with the family and just ate the whole time. I haven't run, rode, or swam since the last time I posted. I have gained about 7 pounds and I don't care. Well, I do care, but not enough to stop being moderately self-destructive.

Car needs to go to the shop. I sold some wheels on ebay that took in $500 bucks but now it appears that they are lost, and of course I threw away the tracking number. USPS can't look it up. If the wheels don't show up or the guy is dishonest, I will be out $500 bucks that I don't have. My last grandparent died yesterday. Still no job. I applied to a few things recently so maybe something will break. But overall, frankly I don't give a shit about training right now.

This is inspite of the fact that I have a new old stock Campy Record carbon crankset sitting on my cross bike. I have new Craft winter bib knickers and Pearl Izumi Amfib bib tights sitting in a bag untouched. I am set for this season and I don't care. Hopefully soon I will get it together. My depression is certainly temporary but it is real. I feel robbed of any ambition. Applying to those jobs recently was like pulling teeth.

Bridget is doing her best to cheer me up, but I know that she is in a bit of a funk too some days.

I fly down to Califoria the middle of this week for a few days, I doubt I will be doing running or riding for a while yet. I am hesitant to run because my hip has been getting worse. There are times that I can't lay down or sit without it causing pain. Walking is fine, but running seems to aggrivate it if I run for more than 20 minutes. Biking seems to be ok on it, but I am too lazy to or whatever to ride. It seems like too much trouble.

Anyway, I am in an "'F' it" sort of mood.