Sunday, August 31, 2008

Scoggins Valley Triathlon Report

First off, let me let the cat out of the bag. I made a goal earlier to beat last year's time by 10 minutes. I did that and more. Heck yeah!

I did not do much specific preparation for this triathlon. Well, I have been riding quite a bit, but I have done little to prepare for a triathlon other than my swim class which ended almost two weeks ago. I went on one run last week just to see what it felt like to run after not doing any running for 2 months. That went fairly well as reported previously in the blog. So with the exception of just a bit of pre-race jitters the night before the race I didn't worry about anything.

I arrived at about 6:30 AM at Hagg Lake to pick up my race packet and do this little event. I estimate that there were about 150 people that did the sprint distance. The sprint distance tri includes a half mile open water swim, a 12.5 mile bike and a 5k run. Really those distances should be no biggie. This course is a slower because bike and run are done on a fairly hilly road. During the bike the constant ossilation of the road makes it tough to get into any sort of rhythm that one would expect to do in a time trial for most triathlons. The run has maybe about 3/4 of a mile that is on flat the rest of the time you either climbing or descending a hill. For this reason, last year I was not too terribly disappointed in my race. Afterall, I had just taken the bar exam and was still getting back in shape. This year, despite my non-specific preparation I wanted the race to be much better.

My goal was to do the swim inbetween 16 and 17 minutes. That didn't happen. I finished in 17:57. I could not seem to swim in a straight line and then with about 100 yards to go I started doing the ol' open water freak out and I had to flip on my back. I was hyperventilating. I had been pushing it too hard and was having a hard time getting a good breath. I really don't have a good reason why it was an issue. I swim 1500 yards or more every swim class. It is mental weakness, pure and simple. I need to work on that. A lot more time in the pool is going to have to happen prior to next April's Half Ironman in Oceanside.

Anyway after finally getting to the shore I was actually able to run up the long carpeted length (about 150 yards uphill) to where the bikes were waiting. Last year I was barely able to walk up the hill. I also went sockless and without gloves. Last year I took the trouble to do both. My T1 time was almost 90 seconds faster this year.

Once on the bike I had a hard time getting into a groove. I mean I passed lots of folks out there, with only a couple of people passing me, but my legs were tight. I stretched prior to the swim and took my normal anti-cramping pills, SportLegs, but something was off. The last two little hills before the end I had significant calf cramping issues. I could not put any power into those climbs. I just sort of nursed myself back in. I strongly considered packing it in at that point. I thought that since I was already cramping up that there would be little chance that I would be able to complete the run without cramping up as well, especially with those stupid hills. Nevertheless, I decided to keep going. I mean I was 2/3 done why stop now?

The run began ugly. I was passed by a several people immediately as I tried to maintain a decent pace while staving off a full on revolt by my left calf. After dealing with this discomfort for about a mile I started feeling better--better as in, the left calf wasn't on a hair trigger to developing rigur mortis. At the turnaround I was doing better. When I got to the point where I started running up the two hills that brought me so much pain on the bike due to the cramping I was doing great. I started running a bit fast, cheered on by the fact that would more than make my goal if I kept up the pace. Near the top of the last hill prior to going down the last 100 yards or so into the parking lot and finish a guy passed me at a pretty good clip. He was going faster than I could have gone up that hill and I was a bit disappointed to be passed one more time so close to the finish. But was we crested the top of the hill it seemed like he just maintained the same speed. I knew that I could speed up with gravity now my ally. And I did. I sprinted to the finish and passed him with about 25 yards to go and beat him by 2 seconds. Yeah! You have to finish strong!

My time this year was 1:27:36. Last year I finished the race in 1:40:22. Total time reduction was 12:46 over last year! I really feel that I owe a significant part of the dip in time to a drop in weight. Less weight means obviously that there is less of me to hual up on the climbs whether I am running or riding. Of course, having the swim class for the past 7 or 8 months helped to drop four and a half minutes from my time.

My placement was 40th out of 144 racers. Last year I was 97th out of 172. In my age group I was 7th out of 13. Last year, had I raced in my age division instead of Clydesdales, I would have been 9th out of 11. It is a pretty competitive age group. I would say that this is a pretty freaking good amount of improvement. Overall I am very pleased. Thankfully, I don't feel like I have topped out. There is still room for a couple minutes of improvement even if I just maintained my current fitness.

Below is a snip of this year's result:

Here is last year's result:

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Scoggins Valley Triathlon Results

I know pretty much where I stand but final results haven't been posted so I will update this post when I know more. Hopefully tomorrow. But I will say that I am mostly pleased.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Don't Piss Off the Help / Half Fast Velo Cross Practice

Tonight I was able to switch shifts with someone else at work so that I could finally go to one of Brianero's cross practices with his Half Fast Velo comrades. About 10 minutes before I was going to get ready to go and while I was finishing up the last bike build I was going to do for the day some moron came in wanting his tube replaced in his tire. He was still dressed to the nines in his T-Mobile Team kit even though he came in with his wife and kid. He looked like an older Tom Cruise, but a little taller and with just a bit of a gut. His hair sort of looked like this...and for some reason this guy has rubbed me the wrong way the couple of times that he has come in. He looks like a dork and dresses like a dork and apparently acts like one.

He must have gotten a flat while riding and then called his wife to come get him and then they all made the trek to the shop so that he could get his precious tire fixed and then continue riding.

I didn't want to mess with it. And I told him so. I was short on time and we don't always have time to drop what we are doing in the shop to help everyone out. For ways to get help see the following article. This guy was an ass. I told him that I would be happy to let him use our tools so he could change his own flat. After all, when one has a full Dura Ace carbon bike, one would assume that he could do so. But he said that he "preferred not to do it himself." He said that it shouldn't take very long to do it, so surely we could just help him out really quick. I said something to the effect that his man-card might have to have a corner cut off it he needed someone else to change the tube for him. I said this in jest and chuckled as I said it. I figured that if I was going to have to change the blasted tube I should get to have some fun while doing it. Then he said something about who was the one getting has hands dirty for who--basically insinuating that I was his bitch. Sorry for the language here, but I am getting a little worked up just thinking about this guy. I was about to say no, but I could tell that Rashelle--who is the assistant manager now--would have done it herself just to be rid of the guy. So rather than have her do it, I told the guy if he would take off his rear wheel and set it aside I would do it for him before I left. He just sort of mumbled something and walked off without doing anything and left the wheel in the bike for me to take off.

Fine. I changed the tube. It took me 3 minutes. It cost him 15 bucks. But the adjustment that I made to his seatpost--lowering it about 5 millimeters while I had it back in the shop--free. Turning his bars askew about 1 to 2 degrees from off center--free. I saw him ride off knowing that the time it would take that jerk to fix his bike, centering the handlebars and to figure out what the proper height was for his saddle (if he ever notices at all), would be at least as much time as I spent changing his blasted tube. He rode off without noticing what was done. At least not yet.

Lesson: Don't mess with those that do service for you. Being a jerk may cost you more than just money. This was just my version of spitting in the food.

Sure I can be a jerk, too. Just don't screw with me when I am grumpy (due to still waiting to hear back about a couple of jobs) and feeling stressed out. I am cool as a cucumber to everyone I deal with at the shop if they are just civil. Mess with me and it is sure to cost you, possibly in some very passive aggressive and juvenile way, but it will cost you nonetheless.


As mentioned above I went out and practiced with some of the guys from the Half Fast Velo team. Of the guys on the team, I had only known Brianero previously, although I recognized a couple of guys from cross races in past years. Brianero introduced me to all of them a couple of times although I am really bad with names. I think I remember 3 names out of the 8 or 9 people that were there.

We rode in Custer Park. It a nice little park where the people apparently don't mind a bunch of freaks on bikes tearing around all over the place, criss-crossing over the grassy slopes, and dismounting and running over the barriers while they have soccer practice or are relaxing on blankets making out. The course was pretty fun, a good balance of straight aways with twist and turns and off-camber stuff.

We did a warm up lap, then two fast laps and took a break, then 5 laps and a break, and then most did another two laps. I only did one last lap because I thought I was going to pass out. I had no water (left my water at the shop) and I needed some bad. I was a little light headed. So I wussed out. I didn't feel too bad about it though. Others passed on the last couple of laps entirely or also bailed before the last one like I did. During the fast laps I was last. Part of it was that I was confused about which way to go and also I just wasn't warmed up. My legs just felt like crap and I wasn't breathing well. During the 5 lap sequence I was feeling pretty good. I didn't go all out and sort of hung with a couple of guys. I was at the back but there was a guy or two or three behind me. It was obvious that on straight aways I suffer more than some. On the twisty stuff I could gain some ground back. At least there is something I am moderately good at--the technical stuff I could hold my own.

A couple of things were evident after tonight riding:

Brianero is fast. At least once he just zipped by me like I was standing still. At least I know what Master A's are like now.

I am stronger than I was last year. I at least sort of hung in there with some of the B's and Master B guys. I don't know if any of them race C's or Master C's like me.

I really enjoyed riding with these guys even though I didn't get to spend much time talking. It would be nice to be a part of a team.

I am going to try and continue to make it out to their practices for the next couple of weeks. They do two of these per week and they mix the course up each time. I will try to make it to one of them each week.

Anyway, thanks for the invite Brianero, I had a blast.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Neuvation Noise Final Update

I lubed/greased the axle/spindle thingy that the freehub body revolves around. The noise is totally gone. I will keep track of how many miles it takes for it to return.

Silence is nice.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Wish I was there...

Above is a pic of Brianero (blue and orange jersey) at last weekend's Kruger's Kermesse taken by Sue Hanna. Looked like a lot of fun. Not sure if it was or not...but it looked great. By the way have you ever seen a rider so intensely gazing at another competitor's rear end? And does anyone else think that he must have taken a spill judging by the angle that his right shifter is sitting at?

Also, I was sent a t-shirt from CycleOps for doing some online training. It reads "The POWER of Argyle" on the front. I like it. Good thing I lost weight or it wouldn't fit. Yea for Swag! But I never thought much before about argyle's power. I mean usually I reserved argyle for socks and sweaters, but whatever...If a pro team can rock the argyle it must be cool, or something like that.

Husbands, if you want you wives to appreciate you take a hit and go see Mama Mia. Sure it was dumb and my man-card was almost ripped in half, but now Bridget is in a great mood. Since she is 8 1/2 months pregnant, her being in a good mood is a really good thing.

Neuvation Noise Update

John at Neuvation said that all that should be needed to be done to silence the noise is to relube the cassette body. I will do that today or tomorrow and see what happens. I like the wheels, and I would also like there to be minimal maintenence. If this is a frequent operation I can honestly say that this is going to be a problem for me. It needs to go more than 250 miles between lube jobs if that is what the noise issue solution is.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Realizing I have Two Personalities and Neuvation Wheel Update

I thought I worked earlier than I was actually scheduled so I went out and rode from work for a couple of hours. I rode areas I have never ridden before and it was interesting. I was only going to ride for maybe 90 minutes or so but I found that I wound up pushing the point at which I was going to turn around out further and further. I was originally just going to ride 20 miles. I planned on turning around at the 10 mile mark and then riding back to the shop so that I would have time to eat and work on my bike a bit. It was making noises and I had thought it was my bottom bracket or something. It wasn't but it was instead the rear wheel, which I will get to in a bit.

Anyway, At the 10 mile mark I was going pretty good and I thought I would just go further. This sort of thing often happens to me on a solo out-n-back ride. I feel pretty good and so I just keep going. I have decided that it is like I have two different riders in me on these out and back solo rides. The First Half Guy (FHG) and Second Half Guy (SHG) don't really like each other. FHG gets to place the order and then Second Half Guy has to pay the bill. That happened last Tuesday for sure in Central Oregon on the 69 mile ride. FHG went out fast and rode hard to the top of Mckenzie Hwy, leaving very little "capital" for SHG to use to get back to home. In fact, SHG suffered and barely made it back because he was paying for the fun that FHG had without him putting any capital (food) back into the energy account. That is often the case, FHG uses up more his fair share of the energy available and so SHG suffers. I am pretty sure that FHG likes to make SHG suffer. I strongly suspect that FHG goes longer than he should just to piss off SHG. I guess he thinks it will be good to make SHG suffer for some reason. Something about getting stronger.

It may be weird to write as if there are these two other individuals in me. But when I am riding by myself I am often wonder if I am riding too far, if I will be able to make it back in time, will I have enough energy to make it back, etc. I often push it because I want to be a better, stronger ride. I realize that I may at some point or points bemoan the fact that I rode so far away from home, but I often just figure that the suffering will be good for me. It is sort of masochistic, that a little bit of masochism is a good thing in this regard.

Well enough randomness.

The Neuvation R28 SL5 wheelset has hit a serious snag. The internals of the rear hub creak really bad. I am a pedal masher and I wonder if I am just too strong for them (that would be cool--too strong for a bike part instead of too fat). Spinning at a high cadence is not something that I like to do. Anyway it may be possible that I am just too much of a masher for these wheels. Either that or the rear hub is crap. Or maybe a bit of both. I gotta email them Monday to see what the solution is. I have only had them for a little more than 2 weeks I think. They have 250 miles on them or so. They should hold up better than this, obviously. I put a different rear wheel in and the sound went away. It sounds like the hub is going to give way. It is most evident when I am climbing or generally just giving it some significant power. I noticed that when the wheel was replaced with another wheel (a Cane Creek Strados) that there was quite a bit less flex in addition to a quieter bike. So even disregarding the creak issue, perhaps these wheels are not more me. Anyway, I am a bit disappointed in the wheels. But, perhaps I am nuts but I feel a certain amount of pride that I can trash the hub so quickly. Maybe I am just a hammer. Maybe I am going to have to get myself some Mavic R-Sys wheels after all...

Friday, August 22, 2008

DTP Strikes Again

Today the weather was beautiful--sunny with a high in the upper 70's. Perfect. But, I was seriously lacking any motivation to ride. Weird. The family and went out and did some stuff and that was fun and it allowed me to put off riding in a guilt-free way. But around 1:30 or so as we were on our way back from shopping for kids clothes I knew that I was out of excuses, but I really was sick of riding solo after the long ride on Tuesday, sooo....after thinking....and running through my options several times, I called DTP. I don't mind hanging with DTP. The conversation is often funny and his suffering while riding is good for his soul, and mine too really. In his current state he is a constant warning not to slack off because the road to Slowville is really no further than about 6 months away. At least that is about how long it took him to get there after not riding all last fall/winter.

Anyway, I rationalized that a ride with DTP would be good because it would make for decent recovery ride after riding hard Tuesday and running hard yesterday. My HR would remain on the low side of things if I allowed DTP to set the pace and I figured that at that pace we could easily ride for a couple of hours or more. He wouldn't get too tanked too fast and I could ride near him, talk, and keep my mind busy with things at a time when at the time I wasn't feeling like getting out there. Yeah, that would work I thought.

I call DTP. Yep, he is up for a ride. Yep, his road bike is in good shape (because this seems to be a constant issue) and he says he will be at my house shortly. I felt bad because I made him come to my house and I wasn't even close to ready when he showed. I was still messing with responding to email from all the stuff I was selling on the OBRA email list. As an aside, it is amazing how fast a person can sell stuff there. No overhead like Ebay and everyone is local. Love it. Anyway, I think I left my helmet in Black Butte so I had to dig out the spare which was not fitting to my head, and then get dressed....blah blah blah. I it took awhile and as a make up I gave made him some Clif Shot Electrolyte drink. DTP was patient and we talked while I got my stuff together.

The ride starts and we head down Cornell and after a bit we took a right at 113th. That is a short road, but it has a pretty darn good hill. We rode it and DTP never complained. Nice. Normally, he would be whining about something, but everything was good. We continued to Thompson and then headed up towards Skyline where I figured we would ride over to Germantown Road and then take a left and meander around for awhile. I told DTP to let me know if I was going to slow or too fast as I led the way up Thompson. We had some good conversation and though he was often a bit winded, he still was in a good mood--no complaining. I felt great and relaxed. I was enjoying the ride and the weather a total turnaround from how I started the ride. Which meant that something was bound to happen to screw everything up.

Once we arrived at Skyline we stopped briefly for some water and then started up again. We were going at a pretty good clip when as we neared the Skyline cemetery I heard some serious complaining...from his bike. There was some serious racket going on and I could see DTP had slowed. Somehow DTP dropped his chain to the outside of the crankarm. When he tried to get it back on via a downshift and some pedalling there was more racket and then silence. His chain was gone. He completely lost a link somewhere on the road trying to perform this operation. I didn't have a master link (something I will remember to have on me from now on) and neither did he. Luckily we were at a point in the ride where we could coast almost all the way back home. He only had to walk about a 1/4 mile. Total mileage for the ride: 8.5 miles. Totally frustrating really. I had finally gotten my butt out the door and gotten into the ride when his bike DNF'd. This has happened a lot lately when riding with him. Often it is the bike--either he can't shift, or the crankarm comes loose, or some other problem. Stupid stuff really. If he rode much he would have these issues ironed out before the next ride. But my theory is that becuase there is such a lag inbetween rides he forgets that there ever was any issues. Either that or he can't tell when something is wrong before his bike slaps him upside the head so to speak and quits on him. Because I am aware of this I asked him about his bike's condition. But because he has a short term memory he didn't remember there was an issue. He had serious front derailleur problems the last time we rode on the road together months ago. He never fixed it.

Maybe I wanted to ride with DTP so that I could get out of riding. Odds are about 2 in 3 that something significant will happen to shorten the ride when riding with him this year. Maybe riding with DTP is a guilt-free way for me to wuss out on a ride...doubt it, but it is possible I suppose. Oh well.

Stupefying. Still, those 8 miles or so were pretty fun. I just wish we could have at least tripled that total.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Running? Do I have to?

Today I went for a short run. I signed up for the Scoggins Valley Tri last night which is about 9 days away now. But only the sprint distance so that I can compare myself to last year where I also did the sprint. I haven't run since, well...according to my workout journal on the side bar I have not run since June 21. Sweet, nothing like a 2 month layoff to get you in shape for the most import leg of the race.

Still, I have dropped weight and I have been riding a bunch since then. Plus my swimming times have improved. Bottom line: I am in better shape and running a 5k shouldn't be a big deal. Still, it would suck to be in better shape and yet still slower than my fatter self was last year. So I decided to head out this morning and do a heat check. Temp reading: Medium Hot. I feel the need to state that this is only in comparison to myself and not to everyone else. There are lots of folks much faster than I am, so I am not thinking that I am going to win or place or anything like that. I am only competing with myself here.

Anyway, I ran from the house to the Catlin Gable track figuring on running 2.5 miles there. I decided to time my mile splits. The first one I ran at 8:15, the second one 8:06 and then I did the last 1/2 mile in 3:56. So I ran 2.5 miles in 20:17. Not too shabby. This is better than I could have done pre-Vikingman. I then ran back to the house having run a total of about 3.7 miles. Yeah, that will do. I don't know if I will run again before Scoggins, maybe a bit early next week or over the weekend. Whatever, I will be fine.

It is nice to do this wussy triathlon. I am not stressing. The distances are so short after doing the half ironman that it is laughable. I feel like I could just glide, bunnyhop and skip through the thing and have a gay old time (as in having a fun time "gay"...geesh). Not that I have any expectation of winning or that I won't suffer for 90 minutes or so. Those that win at this distance will be running 6 minute miles or something so I have no delusions of grandeur. I just know that I won't drown, I won't bonk, and I won't cramp up. I also won't be losing any sleep over it unlike every other triathlon I have ever done. That is a nice feeling.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Creampuff? Maybe not so much

Whatever crap I was smoking last week when I suddenly wanted to do a long distance mtb race has passed. Realty came back home. Better now than mid race at the Creampuff.

This weekend the family and I went to Black Butte Ranch. Bridget's family has a home there and it makes for a nice get-away. My thought was to go on my first 100 mile ride and see how it went. If it went well, I would go for an admittedly much more difficult endeavor--the Cascade Creampuff 100.

Well, my planned day to go was Monday. With thunderstorms all day I didn't get to go. I was bummed. Today, the weather was pretty good in the morning so I went out. I knew I would not have time to ride 100 miles, but I thought I might be able to sneak in 70 miles if I rode hard. I also wanted to ride the Mckenzie Hwy, which was recommended by Mr. Spears.

Here is the elevation profile of the ride I actually did, it was about 69 miles total:

And here is the route. It consisted of several out and backs.

I averaged 18.6 miles per hours. Considering that I haven't gone on a ride longer than 20 miles at any given time since the Vikingman HalfIronman the beginning of June (my rides are normally around 13 miles each going back and forth to work) going even 70 miles is quite long. And given the climbing that I did going up the Mckenzie highway (I topped out at around 5000 feet) and that this was still going to be the longest ride I have ever attempted I still had my work cut out for me. And I was going solo. No one to draft, no one to keep me sane during that time in the saddle. I did have my Ipod, which was nice.

As an aside, I have to thank Brian for recommending the McKenzie Hwy add-on. Sure it was a bit of a climb, but there was a lot less traffic there and the view at Windy Point was spectacular. I went a bit farther past that lookout, but soon decided to turn around since it was really windy and I was not particular dressed for the temperature drop up there near the top of the pass. The ride back down was fast and fun. My speed going back down was in the upper 30's, so it wasn't too scary.

Oh, this reminds me. I added something new to my drop bar set up--a Syntace SLS aerobar.

I bolted it right on to my Ritchey WCS aluminum drop bar. I changed nothing about the position of the drop bar before I put the Syntace on. Oddly enough, it felt better than the bar I ran for the Vikingman. That was a full TT set up with a base bar, aerobars with the bar end shifters etc. With the set up I ran today it was a bit of a pain in the butt to reach out to shift, but it wasn't too big of a deal. But the bars were very comfy. I strongly recommend them. I will be selling my old set up.

I also left on my Selle San Marco Aspide saddle on the bike instead of the much bigger/thicker TT saddle I was running before. It was a little less comfy, but by the 40 mile mark I was feeling fine and it never was an issue.

But I did start to have issues. Comfort was fine (well except for my back which suddenly felt like it was on fire--I guess I was pushing too big a gear), I just started to bonk. Around mile 55 I started to feel a bit nauseated. I stopped and downed a gel and some Gatorade, but I started feeling worse and worse. Bridget called me and asked if I could get on back to Black Butte Ranch and I tried to hurry there--but I was having problems. My heart rate started rocketing. I didn't have my HR monitor on, but if I had it would have been near my max I am sure. I had to back way off and just try to get back without it getting any worse. Oh, and my back was killing me. Bad. As in I wished I was doing anything else other than riding at that point.

Once in BBR I met up with the wife and kids and we rode together back to the house. I felt like I was going to throw up or faint or both. It was bad. I knew then that I wanted no part of any Creampuff 100 attempt. This was just a 69 mile ride with one decent road climb. The Creampuff would be much much worse. I bonked because I didn't eat well at all. I didn't have breakfast and I only ate a few gels or gel-like things during the course of the 3 hour 43 minute ride. I figure I consumed not more than 500 to 550 calories during the morning. Not nearly enough. But the reason I have done a mental 180 regarding the Creampuff is becuase of my back. I often have lower back pain. Doing the Creampuff would require a lot of strengthening and a lot of training. I don't want to go through all of that. Training for a half ironman tri is bad enough. This would be much worse. Plus the idea of spending 12 to 13 hours in the saddle holds no allure after today.

Bottom line, I will pass on the Cascade Creampuff 100. It is not that I can't do it. It is that I don't want to do it. At all. Pass. Maybe my man-card won't have quite the cred with having done it, but I don't want to allocate that much time to training for that event. I was made aware today just what it would take be able to finish it and I want no part of that. At least not now.

To me the funniest part of all of this is the two conversations I had with DTP about doing the Creampuff. On Friday I told him I was thinking about doing it next year. He jumped all over it. I couldn't believe it. Here is a guy that backed out of at least 2 triathlons this year and now he wanted to do something much worse? All that time on the couch has made him delusional. He was adamant that he wanted to do it. I told him he was nuts. But, he insisted that an event like this has always interested him. I wanted to call BS, but he said that while the thought of a triathlon didn't really make him want to get off of the couch and ride, the thought of an event like this really sort of excited him. I told him some of the facts regarding the race (length, total elevation climbed, time limit, etc.) and yet he still wasn't scared off. Later I related this to Fish who just laughed. Fish has never had any intention of doing this event or Leadville. He is the sane one here obviously. Then DTP called me today and during the conversation I told him that I was out. He then revealed that after doing some research about the course he was a little scared to do it, but he was still committed to do it if I was. BS, but whatever. That is easy to say from the couch. I believe he was secretly glad when I said I had come to my senses.

One last thing. I mentioned that I was feeling totally ill and nauseated when I returned from the ride today. That feeling only lasted about 20 to 30 minutes and then other than feeling tired I was normal. I did a combination of things that really worked well. I downed a packet of Hammer Nutrition Recoverite, four SportLegs tablets, and three Ibuprofen (for my back). And a small glass of Sunny D. Felt like I could have gone out for another 20 or 30 miles after that. Not that I would have, but it was nice not to feel like roadkill anymore. I will be buying more the Hammer Recoverite soon. I think it had a lot to do with my quick recovery.

UPDATE: I feel great the day after this ride. Legs feel good, and I felt good the whole rest of the day. I have learned a good lesson about nutrition. I am sure that is why I bonked at the end. Not enough fuel. As soon as I got some stuff in me I felt great. Swimming this morning went fine as well. But despite my quick rebound I still have no desire to do the Creampuff.

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Info on the Creampuff 100

I mentioned earlier today about wanting to do a long mtb event. Yeah, I think the Cascade Creampuff is the event.

Here is a write up about last year's event: Fat Cyclist Blog: Kenny's race report

Here is the elevation profile:

Yeah and I am thinking about doing it singlespeed. This way I don't have to think to hard. Just ride...for a really really long time.

And by the way...188.0 lbs

This weight comes after eating a big fatty sausage and cole slaw from a Bavarian Deli on the way to the shop, lunch/dinner at Baja Fresh and eating 2 tacos and a family size portion of chips and salsa, a Box of Fiddle faddle (butter toffey flavor), 4 bowls of Bran Flakes with 2% milk (normally I do skim, but we were out). I think I ate other stuff too, but I can't recall. I think there may have been a peanut butter sandwich mixed in there some where too.

Moral of the story: If you exercise enough, it is possible to lose weight even if you eat poorly. Now, if I had managed to eat better I probably would have dropped another pound. But seeing as how I am already under my target weight for this month I wasn't even planning on losing any weight at all this week. I have been taking the week off from worry about what I eat. Thus this morning's weigh in was a complete surprise.

Going to Black Butte Ranch this Weekend

...and the bikes coming with me are the Fuji CF2 and the Curtlo Cross bike. The Fuji has a new set up for triathlons that I am going to try out. If it works I will have my old Vision base bars and Profile Carbon Stryke Aerobars up for sale (both used just once in a race and a few practice rides before). More on that later when I get back.

The Curtlo SS with the Ebb that hates me is staying home. That EBB creaks so bad it would simply drive me nuts on any length of ride. I have not yet been able to devote sufficient time to exercise its demons. But I will. I spent about 3 hours this week narrowing it down to where I am sure that it is the EBB. So now I just have to fix it. But not now, I just don't have the time before we leave.

Also, I have an illogical desire to do a long distance mtb event next year. I have thought about the Cascade Creampuff 100 and the Leadville 100. I think Leadville might be easier but there is that whole elevation thing. 12000'+ is probably a lot to swallow when you live at 500. The Creampuff has about 1/3 more climbing total. I think it has around 16000 feet of climbing total over the 100 miles. Ouch. Still, as I was relating to Fish, I think I would rather do that than do a full Ironman distance triathlon. I just don't have much desire at all to do one of those. One Half-Ironman per year is enough for me.

Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions about similar events to the Creampuff and Leadville I would be interested. They need to be west of the Continental Divide.

I Second the Motion: Hell Ya

Thanks to Kristin for posting this on her blog.

I am also very excited for cross. I was there at this race--it was incredible. It was my favorite one last year. I like the sun and all this time of year, but there is just something special about a race where you almost get hypothermia--at that is just from waiting for the race to start. I remember after about a lap or so just chucking my glasses off to the side of the course because they were so foggy and caked with mud. Awesome.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

NiteRider Sol

Just a quick review here. I like it. It is relatively light. It burns for about 4 hours. It is bright enough to ride home safely after the sun sets. It is not bright enough for me to go 40mph and still allow me to see and miss obstacles in the road. I keep it sub 30mph and it is fine and better at 20mph and below. The TriNewt would be my ultimate light but I can't justify the cost--around $400. Performance recently had the light for under $100 (and they still may) and REI sells it for near the same price. For commuting this is a great option and I feel much safer with it on.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Haiku for Brianero


Regarding your recent email asking why I have not answered your recent emails:

E-mails I answer
Why do you not receive them?
Mayhap spam I am?

By the way (since it appears you don't get my email I will continue this public discourse to you and I guess everyone else can shuffle on over to another blog), I am very happy your new ride is finally in your garage. I have some thoughts about it but I won't publish them here. Nevertheless, I will say that the offending party appears to be slightly clueless and I will leave it at that.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Cycling Shins

As every dedicated cyclist knows when the sun comes out the legs get darker. At least some parts get darker. Some parts of a cyclist just don't get as tan as other parts. My legs are a good example of this. Again here is a frontal view of my legs:

Here is a calf shot:

A cursory glance at these ugly things reveals that the front of my legs are still pretty darn white. Meanwhile the side and back of my legs are fairly tan while from the knees up to where the shorts come down are the darkest. Someone needs to come up with an invention to solve the problem of cycling shins so that the color of ones legs is more uniform.

So I am thinking that Sidi needs to take up this cause. They make great shoes-- I know this as I have a pair of Dominators and Genius 5's already. For it to work and sell the shoes would have to be sleeker than a simple mirror on the top of the shoe. If the shoe could just incorporate the reflectiveness into the upper part of the shoe it could be stylish and useful for solving this important problem. After all if they can produce something as gaudy as this, the Sidi Ergo 2...

...they should have no problem coming up with something that will reflect the sun's rays back up to our shins.

Wait a second....

Maybe they already beat me to the punch here! Those incredible Italians may have already solved this problem! I believe that the shoe above may have the desired effect to counteract the dreaded cycling shins. That must be why they retail for $500. Yeah, why else would they cost so much and be so gaudy? Those Italians--pure genius.

I should check this out, stat. Cycling shins, NO MORE!

Manitou/Curtlo Update + Today's Swim Workout

the knocking is still there is doesn't bother me much. My creaking bb or ebb, yeah that bugs a lot.

I was amazed at how much faster I rode down one very familiar little trail compared to usual. Wow, so nice on the hands too. I had to learn who to ride fairly loose on downhills when I was riding rigid for the past two years. Not so much now. In fact I may have to hold on tighter because I feel like I am going so much faster.

I'll say this about riding rigid. I am sure that it made me a better rider. I pick lines better and so forth.

I am still investigating the creaking noise. I tore the ebb, the crankset (including all the ring and bashguard so I could lube the chainring bolts), and the bb and lubed everything with a combination of lithium-based grease and Phil's Tenacious Oil. The creak was still there when I put it all back together. So I took it to the shop and asked the real mechanics, Neil and Lane to take a look at it. Neil suspected that I didn't have the ebb wedge bolt tight enough. We'll see if they can figure it out. I have faith that one of the two of them will figure it out.


Warmup laps
Five 100's each @ 2:15
30 seconds rest
Four 100's each @ 2:10
30 seconds rest
Three 100's each @ 2:05
30 seconds rest
Two 100's each @ 2:00
30 seconds rest
One 100 at 1:55
Twelve 25's for cool down doing a low stroke count exercise.

I started too fast. I was doing the first set between 1:45 and 1:48 and then I stayed at between upper 1:40's and 1:55 for the rest of the time. I should have just focused on negative splits. I probably should have started the sets doing 1:55 times for each 100 (and still had 20 seconds of rest after each 100 on the first set of 100's), but I was too competitive. I was trying to keep up with those that are faster than me and I had too back off, albeit too late. I couldn't fully recover. Still, doing a 1:55 as my slowest lap isn't too bad.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Curtlo with Manitou

23.04 lbs.

No rides yet. Soon, very soon.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Diary, 8/9/2008

Friday, I took the stickers off the Neuvation wheelset (which so far feels great!) using a hairdryer. I had thought that the only casualty was a pair of sore thumbs from rubbing off the glue residue. But I am thinking that the heat of the hair dyer may have caused my tubes to fail. Either that or Performance tubes are crap and both fail at the same time at the same spot, near the valve. Saturday morning, I was running late getting out the door to work. I filled the tubes up and air started slowly leaking out of both wheels. Dang it. They held air just fine before I did the hair dryer treatment. Anyway, as fast I could I grabbed two new tubes and changed them out.

I figured that if I rode at me usual pace I would end up about after 10am and I should have been there before 10. I hate being late. I figured that I would have to haul butt and run some red lights, stop signs and keep up enough speed to stay in the big ring the whole way. I didn't have to do anything illegal thankfully. I think I only dropped down to small ring to get off the line at signals. And I was fast--at least for me. Really when I say I am fast, it is all relative. I am fast for a turtle, slow for a normal cyclist rabbit.

I arrived at exactly 10am. My legs were feeling the burn, but I felt pretty good. I managed to get to work with an average speed better than 1 mph faster than what I have managed previously. So basically, with respect to actual riding time it took me about 3 or 4 minutes less time to get to work than normal. But overall, if the total time is considered, I made it to work around 10 minutes faster than it normally make it. Sweet.

I realized during the ride there that I was in sync with quite a few traffic signals. I think it was because I was riding a little bit faster than normal so I was able to slip through several signals in a row when I normally get a red or two in a row because I am too slow to catch the green. A couple of times I thought my legs were going to pop in an effort to get to the signal in time. I kept up my speed and managed to get into a rhythm with a long stretch of signals during a time when traffic was not too bad, but definitely making its presence felt. I arrived at work in a good mood amazingly despite starting out fairly frustrated.

Normally, I work noon until close. This means that I have to ride home at dusk or, as it seems to be often now, in the dark. Since I was going to be leaving at about 6pm I took all of my lights off, just to see how the bike felt without all the crap on it.. It was nice to lose the extra stuff. The rattles were gone from the bike too, and the lack of extras was combined with the new Neuvation wheelset it was a stealthy machine, and I scared one pedestrian walking in the bike lane. That was fun. I weighed the bike at work--16.9 lbs. Not too shabby.

I rode from work not to home, but to an elementary school where our church congregation was having a picnic, softball game, and kids' bike parage. It started at 6, the same time I was off work, so rode as fast as possible so that I didn't miss anymore than I had too. The return trip, as always, was more work than the trip to work because of the elevation gain. It was 12.6 miles away and I was there in about 42 minutes--this was the total time. I forgot to look at my riding time. So at least for me, I was flyin'. I got to the school and got to show off my fabulous pink fat cyclist jersey (back view shown here)
I got one comment from one fellow jokingly thanking me for putting on a pair of shorts on over my sweet bib shorts. I think he was jealous--or his wife was--I am not sure which. Actually no one would want this fellow in anything tight and I think that was the point of the comment in a round about manner. Another woman sometime later was talking to my wife and stated something to the effect that I finally was starting to get a cyclist's physique. At first I thought this was cool, but then I started to turn it negative. My thoughts ran along the lines of: So was I just a fatass before? "Starting" to get a cyclist's physique? So I still have a long ways to go or what? Hmmph. Leave it to me to turn a well meaning comment into something sinister.

I got to spend time talking with Rob Felt there at the get-together. He works at adidas and he is apparently almost famous for being to first person to licence a song on an Iphone. He rides and commutes on a cool 1970's (maybe early 1980's) lugged Bridgestone with stainless steel main tubes. Very cool. It was a fixie too. It is currently his only ride and while I am sure he could buy something new, he prefers the old stuff. I can appreciate that, but I would have a hard time having a fixie as my only ride. But he rocks it. Maybe he was waiting for Adidas to buy a cycling company before he bought a new bike so that he could get a deal, kidding. I did find out from him that until recently Adidas owned Mavic, something I did not know. Anyway we hit it off and we could have talked for much longer except that the boys and wife were getting restless. I wish I had a camera with me I would have taken a pic--it was a cool old bike. His wife told Bridget that she was glad that he found someone to talk bikes with because she was sick hearing about them and she tunes him out usually. Bridget, of course, realizes that it doesn't matter how much I talk about bikes, I can always talk more. So, for me at least, talking to someone about bikes does not really relieve any internal pressure for me to blab about bikes. The desire to talk about them is always there, just sometimes it resides just below the surface of my consciousness.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Adsense Revenue

So I have a few Google Adsense ads on the sidebar. I put them there mainly just to see if anything ever worthwhile comes up. So far the most interesting thing to me was a link to Lynskey for their cyclocross frameset. That was a pretty cool frameset that I would be happy to have in my possession. For the most part though, the ads that show up are fairly worthless in my opinion. I suppose I could someday receive a paycheck from having them on this blog, but I suspect that this event won't happen until about 2020 or so. The reason is that in the 10 months or so that this blog has been up and running with adsense ads I have earned exactly $1.71. They don't cut you a check until you hit $100. Sweet.

Here is a snip of the stats, kind of amusing I think:

Frankly, I don't care if anyone clicks on the ads or not. I just like seeing what shows up on the ads. But if you see anything you like please click. Otherwise I may die before I get that $100 check. As of right now it is the only retirement fund I have going.

Manitou Minute 29er Fork is in, but...

So far after just a bit of street riding on it and hitting a few curbs the review is mixed.

The fork feels great. I think it will feel good on the trail.

But it sounds bad. With the absolute damper on it makes a loud clicking noise whenever the fork has to work initially. According to what I can find it is because of platform damper shutting off and on. Very annoying. It may drive me nuts. If unsolved it may drive me to a new Reba even if the fork feels great. I am a bit nuts about my bike sounding quiet.

Also the blue knob on the bottom of the right fork leg does absolutely nothing. It just spins and spins and does not make the fork feel any different at all. If this is supposed to be a rebound damper it is not doing its job. Luckily I think the fork will feel pretty good without any adjustment to rebound. The Absolute damper which is at the top of the right fork leg when it is set at two clicks in feels pretty good. Still, I will be calling the guys at HB/Manitou to ask them what the deal is.

Pics soon--I just am not in the mood to go take any pics right now.

Neuvation wheels

I just got these in. I have not ridden them yet. 1470 grams on my scale with stickers. I removed the stickers, which weighed approximately 10 grams so on the scale. Thus the weight of these wheels is 1460. And for less than 250 bucks. The cassette is super quiet. I was very used to the sound of the DT 240 hub which makes a sound somewhat akin to the angry bee sound that the Chris King wheels are famous for. The silence is weird.

Pics with stickers:

And the wheels without the sticker. I can understand having you company name on the rims, but 4 huge stickers was a little too much. The stickers came off very easy.

And just for fun, here is a gratuitous shot of my legs. Quads are getting bigger. I had the camera handy and I couldn't help myself this morning.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gut Check

I occassionally measure around the biggest part of my gut just for kicks. This morning the gut measurement was 35 and 7/8 inches. That is not too bad in my opinion. At my fattest when I first did this measurement (around 2002) my gut measurement was about 43 and 1/2 inches. FFFFFAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT. Even my "skinny" pants and jeans fit loosely right now. It is nice.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Update on Observations and othere stuff

Earlier today I posted that I had no interest in the Dura Ace electronic shifting. Well, on my way to work I changed me mind. If these expensive little gizmos were cyclocross-proof I might be very interested. They would have to be able to take being run through mud, muck and be able to shift well in conditions were the normal cable actuated stuff just goes to pot. If it could work well out here in our cross series I would buy it as soon as I could afford it. If not--then again no interest.

Stereotyping other riders

I often do this when I see others riding that I don't know. It comes automatically. Today on my way into work I caught up with some guy at a signal. I soon realized that he had a very nice ride. A lugged DeRosa frame of unspecified age with a newish Campy Record groupo. It was the newer Record stuff with carbon bits on it. Wow I thought, cool ride. It was a very pretty bike. Then I started to look at the rider. Minimal muscle tone. Hairy legs. So the guy is into nice stuff, but he doesn't shave this legs and thus is not truly committed. To me if you are going to have a Euro road bike, especially an Italian one with all the bells and whistles, you as the rider need to fit in with the bike. Unshaved legs just do not go with that sort of bike set up. Maybe he used to be into it, I don't know. Maybe he hangs out with a bunch of non-cyclists that think the shaved legs of a cyclist are just wrong. regardless, the guy was not fully committed. I argue that when riding a bike that cool and PRO (albeit, old school PRO) you gotta rock it and go all the way. Hairy legs when combined with that particular bike just screamed "POSEUR!". I was still behind him right after we went through the signal and crossed some railroad tracks. Yuck, I did not need to see butt-jello wiggling in his lycra shorts. Yeah, so he doesn't ride that much anymore, that is for sure. I couldn't take it anymore I passed him and hammered enough that he would be able to catch up at a future stop light. I know that I don't always shave my legs, but when I am riding an American-made steel frame or Taiwanese carbon, I don't think those rides demand such PRO-ness from the rider. My bikes are not nearly as snooty. The DeRosa was definitely a snooty bike. Perhaps the guy was a Fred instead of a Poseur. Maybe he just doesn't know better.


Here are some recent observations:

Marinated Sundried Tomatoes sort of look like they belong in a bio-waste can for surgeons. I am thinking that my appendix that was removed last year probably looked a lot like a marinated sundried tomato.

SportLegs. I have my doubts about these things, but I guess I believe in them enough for them to work. I woke up a couple of times with leg cramps last night. And my legs just felt dead. I took the recommended dosage this morning before swimming and have had no problems since. Placebo effect? Possibly.

Seeing 188.8 on the scale rocks. 5 pounds to go.

Riding and swimming enough to eat Otis spunkmeyer cookies and Arby curly fries the day before reading 188.8 on the scale for the first time.

I want to care more about the Olympics, but I just don't for some reason. Gone are the days of my youth when I watched every bit of the Olympics that I could regardless of the sport. Perhaps this will change once the games start. But then I thought that about this year's TdF and I never caught the fever.

Shimano has a long hill to climb before I am interested in either their carbon fiber Dura Ace Crankset or the Dura Ace electronic shifting. $1400 for a crankset--PASS. I don't know what the up charge will be for the electronic shifting upgrade, but I am sure it will be too much for me. The older I get the more of a Retro-grouch I become.

Have I said before that tubulars for cross is awesome before? Amazing difference. I tried them for the first time this year and I can't believe what a difference they make for descending--no pinch flats and they grip better in turns. Climbing is much better as well because I can run lower pressure and so traction is better. The only downside would be the ability to fix a flat. I have the Tufo tire sealant in them and so far so good.

Working retail blows.

Looking for a job blows.

Indecisive employers blow. I am still waiting to hear back regarding a job 2 months after the interview. This is despite being in communication with the firm every week and a half to two weeks. To me this is just poor form. Just grow a pair and tell me you don't want to hire me if you aren't interested. Seriously, what is so hard about this whole deal? Crap or get off the pot.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lotta Ridin' Goin' On.

Today I started out riding with DTP in Forest Park. He actually showed up early. That was a first. I was on the Curtlo Cross and he was on his Fisher 293. I was running on tubbies and he on fatty 29er tires. I had just one ring, he had two, both of which were smaller than mine. Oh and we are almost the same weight now. Last year at the Spudman Triathlon he was over 30 pounds lighter than me. He has gained and I have lost since then. It showed. I could really have some fun at his expense based on todays ride, but that schtick is old.

We rode up Germantown and instead of jumping on Firelane 10, I mistakenly led us down Firelane 9. Whoops. At first I thought about riding back up 9, but I could see in DTP's face that he would rather be kicked in the groin that ride up that steep mutha. So we meandered down to Hwy 30 and then over to Newton Road--if you can call it a road. It is just a trail for the first while before it goes double-wide. If you have never ridden up Newton road, I recommend it. It is hard, but shaded and a great place to spend some time. There are some really tough spots though. I was running a 39 tooth ring up front and an 11/32 cassette out back. I felt pretty comfortable with that set up. DTP was in his 22 tooth ring most of the time up front and an 11/34 cassette and he still didn't have enough gears. The climbs made him a bit woozy he said. So if you aren't in moderately good shape the road probably has a couple spots you will need to walk. Did I walk any? Heck no.

Anyway, I had some time constraints so once we got to the top of Newton we emptied out on to Skyline and rode over to Springville Road and down to Leif Erikson. Then from Leif Erikson we went back toward Germantown Road until we got to this little trail that Fish named Daisy after some body's dog. The trail empties out down near the bottom of Germantown. I don't know if this last part is strictly legal or not but I have seen bikers on it numerous time before and the trail is obviously well used by cyclists. It has some technical descents and on a cross bike they are especially tricky. Back at the car we headed back to my place where DTP dropped me off. I hung out with the wife and kids for about 30 minutes and then got ready to ride to work.

Work was lame as usual. I am especially frustrated for obvious reason. I feel like part of my brain is withering away at the shop. Luckily, some of the fat is withering as I ride to work and back almost every shift. The extra rides really seem to help as well. I feel good about the load my body can take these days. To do the climbing we did at Forest Park (about 1600 feet total in 10 miles) and then riding to work and bike (25 miles round trip doing a new route) is a pretty good amount of time in the saddle. I feel good about my progress on the bike despite the lag that is going on elsewhere in my life.

By the way my lovely wife made a REALLY good pasta salad tonight. It has cheese filled tortellini, broccoli, cauliflower, red onions, marinated artichoke hearts, marinated sundried tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, just a bit of some small fresh leafy stuff(maybe parsley--not sure though), and some tasty Italian dressing (don't know what kind either). I ate it just a bit ago after riding home from the shop. Seriously good stuff.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Priorities / Wetsuit Whizzin'

I have a friend, I consider him one of my best friends, who has had a shift in his priorities. With this change of priorities he has to neglect something that he himself introduced me to--cyclocross.

My friend is going to go for the whole enchilada, a real Ironman. It will be his first one and in order to train for it he basically has to forget about cyclocross and perhaps a fair bit of mountain biking too. He lives in Utah, so neglecting mountain biking there is sort of a sin in my opinion. Maybe I am wrong about the mountain biking part--if so I am relieved. However he stated there would be no cyclocross. How sad. In fact, I have gone out there for the past 3 or 4 years to visit him and ride out there. Each time I have totally enjoyed myself, he is a very gracious host.

If you have not trained for a triathlon, it is a huge amount of work. Swimming 3 days a week. Running two days a week and biking two days per week. Your long training weeks are around 13 to 15 hours total. The training rides are not normally rides that are just for fun. No, most plans call for targeted heart rates during these rides and so you have to plan accordingly. No max heart rate rides up steep mountain roads followed by long fast descents. Nope, the goal is normally a consistent heart rate in order to train to swim, ride and run for something like 13 hours on race day without cracking.

So I get it why he has to forgo cross. The race is at the end of November, and cross races fall on probably the only day he has time for long rides/runs. Still, I feel like I might tear up just a little bit for the guy. To miss a whole season of cyclocross just so that he can suffer from sun-up to sun-down for the Ironman. I can maybe see doing this once to say he did it, but I just hope he doesn't make a habit of this. I mean I did my first Half Ironman and I felt like I really accomplished something, so I get why he is doing it. But there is this part of me that was shocked to hear that he would not be doing any cross races.

Nevertheless, best of luck, man!

Addendum: Wetsuit Whizzin'

This fellow's wife is also a triathlon competitor and she recently wrote the following on their family blog

There are two types of people: those who pee in wetsuits and those who lie about it.

I thought this was sort of funny. I swear I have never whizzed in my wetsuit, but I think I would be honest enough to admit if I have done so. Anyway, no big deal. Then about two hours ago I realized something sort of startling. My wetsuit used to be this fellow's wetsuit. I have only used it 3 times and never washed it or anything. I wonder what the chances that there was some residual whiz in the wetsuit when I first put it on? Oh well, whatever. Whiz is probably cleaner than some of the water I have swam in. But still, it was an odd/disturbing realization to make just a bit ago--swimming in a wetsuit he has whizzed in. A little late to use Lysol now. Something to think about next time you buy a used wetsuit or rent one.

Swimming is getting Easier.

Obviously, the more you do something the better you get--at least usually. My swimming seems to have gone to another level. I think the main reason is that I am in much better shape. Despite the lack of any running for the past couple of months I could hammer the Mr. Flynn (me) that finished the Vikingman the beginning of June. I doubt it would take me too long to get the legs back to do the half marathon despite the lack of running too. Compared to me a couple of months ago I am lighter, faster, stronger,...sort of like the six million dollar man but without the bionics, the cool theme song, the super human strength--OK I am not at all like the the six million dollar man, but I am sure that I could kick Lee Majors butt these days.

Back to the topic at hand. Today was the normal Monday swim class. Because last Wednesday was a cake-walk I figured it would be tough. It should have been, but I felt great the whole workout. Behold, the work out:

200 yards warm up
Ten 50's at 1:15
Eight 50's at 1:10
Six 50's at 1:05
Four 50's at 1:00
Two 50's at 0:55
100 yards cool down

Total yardage--not including warm up or cool down--was 1500 yards

I tried to maintain a good pace that made me push a bit, but that I felt I could maintain for a long time. This worked out to be 55 seconds per 50 yards. So for the first set I had 20 seconds rest after every 50 yards, which felt easy. I held that pace up until the last set, the two 50's at 0:55 each. The idea of this last set is to see if we can actually make the times at all. In the past I haven't been able to do it because by this point I am too tired. Well, I was feeling pretty fresh so, I wanted to see what I had left in the tank. I decided to turn that set of two 50's into just one 100 yard length and go as hard as I possible without blowing up. I managed a 1:42 for that 100 yards, or 51 seconds for each 50. I felt like I could have gone faster too when I finished. I was just afraid of blowing up so that first 50 I took easier than the last one. Basically I felt great. My goal for the next timed 500 we do will be 9:00. That would rock and would give me some confidence going into this little sprint tri I plan on doing the end of this month.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Totally Off Topic: Poll: We need a Name

With a little over a month to go the wife and I still don't know what to name the boy that currently resides in her belly. Tonight we agreed that these names are pretty good and so the final name may come from the list that is posted on the poll to the right. Or it may not. I posted it here rather than the family blog since this blog gets many more visits by different people than the family blog.

So vote for the name or names that you like best. Multiple votes are fine as long are you really like the name that you are voting for. Thanks!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Retail brings out morons in all of us sometimes. As a lowly worker I get so see all sorts of stuff that is surprising even to me.

Today this woman brings in a bike that she would like to return. She has had it for about 4 months and never taken out of her garage. Instead, it just sat there collecting dust while inside her house she felt bad about buy such a bike. The bike is a GT Marathon Carbon with XTR components and a host of other sweet bits. It wasn't like she bought it because of some wild hair she had. No, she contemplated it and then special ordered it. The bike took a week or two to arrive. All along the way she could have bailed on the purchase. Nope, she wanted it and by all reports was super excited. After purchasing it she even came in several other times to buy this or that. In other words, if she didn't want it she could have returned it before now. Now we have a bike that will soon have to be discounted as the 2009 will be here in a few months. It is an odd size so it will be hard to sell this $3000 bike to anyone other than a woman. And we don't get many women that want to spend that much on a mountain bike. Road bikes, yes, mountain bikes, no.

Rumor has it that she bought the bike because she had the hots for our store's manager. She wanted him to show her some trails. He never did, never wanted to, and he says he never told her he would. She is nuts. Of course we took the bike back, but Joel was not very happy about it.

Of course, here at RCMT, we have our favorite moron--DTP. He also stopped in the shop today as well. He picked up his Fisher 293 which had its cable and housing replaced, and a Crank Bro's Joplin seatpost. He thought I was going to make fun of him for buying a $200 seatpost that weighs over twice as much as his old one. I said no--I am only going to make fun of him for not riding this year. Dude was fast last year. Now he has gained about 20 lbs since last summer. Seriously--no exaggeration. I didn't really have the heart to tease him. It is just sad. All that work last year to get in shape only to lose it all in a matter of months. Moron. Back in December he was talking about doing a full Ironman this fall. So much for that.

Then there is some shop around town that sold a woman a mountain bike with 24 inch wheels. She is short, but not that short. She is about 5 feet tall. We have bikes that would fit her and are also full sized. The handlebars on that bike are way low for her and she puts too much weight on her hands. This causes her pain and so she doesn't ride it. An extra small sized frame in a full size bike would have come with handlebars about 8 inches to a foot higher than what her bike has. Just looking at it all of us at the shop could all tell that the bike was too small for her. Luckily, this shop is out of business so no worries about this happening again.

Preseason Cross Tune Up on the Curtlo

I have to work today still (I am not looking forward to it as there is a huge sale today) and so I will still ride another 26 miles today on the road bike, but I got out this morning and headed out to Forest Park and rode up and down Springville road a few times. The Curtlo Cross felt great. I need to tighten up the brakes just a bit, but other than that everything is running smooth. No sign of the "tick, tick.....tick, tick.....tick, tick....." that was there when I had the 53 tooth on instead of the 39. That was the biggest relief of all. I will probably pick up a 42 tooth soon--mostly to shut Brian up. He seems to think that the 42t is a magical ring size for some reason. Last year I wasn't strong enough to use one. I am in better shape this season so I would think I could run it....we'll see.

By the way, descending with cross tubulars is sooo much better than with cross-sized clinchers. No pinch flats. Softer feel. Better traction--at least in my limited experience so far. It was so easy to go fast.

Here is the current Curtlo setup for the season:

Curtlo S3/OX Platinum Frame
Alpha Q CX Carbon fork
Dura Ace 9 Speed bar end shifter--right side only
Kelly Take Off to mount the bar end shifter
Chris King Headset
Paul Neo Retro Brakes
Campagnolo Record carbon drop bar Brake levers
Ritchey WCS 4 Axis Stem (not the carbon one)
Ritchey WCS drop bar 44cm wide
Thomson Masterpiece no offset seatpost
Pro CARBON Pure Carbon and Ti saddle (130 grams of masochistic pleasure)
XTR rear derailleur
XTR 11/34 cassette
Campagnolo Record Carbon cranks (NOT Ultra Torque)
39t chainring (will probably swap to 42)
42t Chainguard
Campagnolo Chorus bottom bracket
Crank Bros. Eggbeater SL pedals
Mavic Ksyrium ES tubular wheelset
Tufo Flexus tires

Spare wheelset is a DT 240 Wheelset with Michelin Mud 2 tires