Thursday, March 12, 2009

Power. Performance in your own Hands

I remember when I was just starting into "riding fast." I wanted to know how to go "fast." The amount of books, magazine articles, papers, and stories I absorbed knowledge from amazes me. Even now, I still want to know that I'm at the best of my ability. Funny thing... I'm not the only one. EVERYONE who is competitive wants to be this way.

Well, one thing led to another and here I am, working as a consultant for Source Endurance and helping others of all ages and abilities to be faster and stronger than they have ever been. I feel accomplished as a coach/ consultant every time I get a call from a client who "just won their first race!" or had a "great ride/ race!" It's an impressive feeling.

I've also noticed that many people talk after races about not having that "little bit extra" at the end. For starters, that "little bit" is very difficult to realize. However, it is attainable. The only problem is that you can't get it with light wheels, a stiff frame, or carbon handlebars (they help the bike, not the motor). Heart rate is really not applicable for reaching that, "little bit," either, which leaves Power. I'm going to be giving a couple of free talks about Training with Power. If you have any questions about how to make any sense of all this witchcraft, come join us. Here are the details:

Wednesday, March 18. 8-9 pm @ Big Shark in Saint Louis.

Thursday, March 19. 730-830 @ Trek Bicycle Store of Kansas City.
Flyer below.

Look who else has been in the Source Endurance lab in Austin, TX!

Joe Schmalz, Mercy Cycling

Shadd Smith, Tradewind Energy/ Trek Team

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Mercy Cycling Site and "Disaster" Update.

2009 has officially begun for Mercy Cycling. The website is updated! Here are some updates and a shot of the new team threads for 2009

Click HERE for Mercy's website.... or HERE!

Another "Disaster Update"

March 11, 2009
Called Sleeptronic, again. The mattress has been "invoiced" for today, which means that it should be in Topeka by Friday, or Monday....... In theory. Best case: 38 days without a mattress.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Training and Training Races

I got home after my fantastic trip to Texas and was genuinely surprised to see that the warm air had followed me north. This meant for some more fun in the sun on the bike and fun we had. It’s easy to get used to 70 degree weather. Almost too easy.... Especially, when spring officially starts on March 20th this year. Until then, it's STILL Winter!

I had an old friend from the olden days (Okay, it’s not really that long ago, but it sure seems like it sometimes) for business. He works for the FBI so he’s not allowed to tell me what work it is. All that I know is that he’s got two mobile PDA’s and a badge. We had intended to do some racing and training in the KS between his business trips. However, there was a bit of a hitch with the first day of racing.

I guess the Spring Fling has now been made into an event that leaves out the elite categories. I’m not sure what the reasoning is for this is as P,1,2 riders haven’t influenced the outcome of the series in years. Also, it’s a good way to pick up some entry fees from some of the guys if they’re not traveling. I’ve done the Spring Fling every year since it began and this is the first time I’ve ever been refused entry solely because I’m over-qualified. Typically, athletes relish the opportunity to race with the highest quality of field they can.…. But I could be wrong.

Rob Kelly got to race, click here for his report.

The next day, we rode to the Perry Series and I was allowed to race. Whew, I can still race in Kansas. Thanks the Wheatland Cycling Team for continuing to have a full repertoire of races.

The ride out was brutal! 30mph block headwind and 40 degrees. I took a page from the Steve Tilford San Antonio ride and decided 10min rotations were the way to go. Probably not the best warm up. By the time Jason, Rob, and myself got to the race we were basically gassed. Uh, oh. We start and within a lap, Rob and Tom Price are off the front, where they will remain for ½ the race. It all came back together with about a lap to go and I started jumping. I thought, maybe I could sneak off the front. But in actuality, I managed to get everyone fixated on me and only me. Rob rolled off the front again, virtually unchecked. Interesting. I led new teammate, Bill Marshall, out for the uphill sprint and he took the win, passing a totally nuked Rob in the process.

Kudos to Rob: He realized early in the race that he didn’t have the “punch” to get up the hill and place well in an uphill sprint. SO… he took some steps to remove the uphill sprint from his race and get a result. It didn’t work for him, but if things would have been just a bit different………

Some Numbers for the Perry Race:

Riding to the race:

Time: 1:11

Avg Speed: 15.2

Avg Power: 236 W

Work: 957 kj

Windnoise: 80 decibels, What?! I can't hear you!

Perry Race:

Time: 54min.

Avg Speed: 21.9mph.

Work: 880 kj (about normal for a 1 hour Cat 3 criterium)

Avg Power: 326 W

Ride Home, with Tom and Co:

Time to Lawrence: 52min.

Avg Speed: 21.6mph

Avg Power: 175 W

Work: 475 kj

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lago Vista 1 and 2

Lago Vista I and II

The first race of 2009 with a nearly full squad of Mercy riders. Still in the blue colors of old as the new stuff hasn’t came in yet. I wonder when the new clothes come in?

Anyways, with a start list boasting over 130 riders in the P,1,2 one thing was positive. Positioning would be an integral part to success. I covered some moves, but spent too much energy trying to keep Joe and the Werewolf out of the wind and up front. Probably too much juice as the legs weren’t there in the end. Heath Blackgrove and Steve Tilford showed that they were the best that day. Impressive ride for the both of them.

Numbers, numbers, numbers:
Time spent at or above Lactate Threshold: 91 min.
Amount of coasting: 17%
Number of 1000kj hours: 2.75, couldn't quite finish the 3rd.
Number of times I moved teammates around the field, keeping them out of the wind: too many.
Times I got dropped: 3.
Times I got back on the field: 2.
How much that sucked on a scale of 1-10: 11.2.

Lago II

Judging by the scenery, I thought it must be St. Patrick’s Day. Kelly Benefits decided to enter 10 PRO riders into the race. Interesting. They placed 5 of the top 7, as they should. With those numbers of top riders, they should really have the entire podium wrapped up (all 5 spots). But they didn’t which means they either gave away some spots or they just didn’t show enough hustle.

16 minutes and it felt way easier than the previous day. Flat tire. Crap! But the interesting thing, my “neutral wheel” had totally seized up bearings. Seriously? What kind of person puts a wheel with seized bearings in the wheel truck? Not cool. That guy has some serious bad Karma heading his way.

So there I was, sulky. I wanted to race. I didn’t drive 700 miles to watch. Boooooo! That’s when I hooked up with Charlie Tamas of Team Hotel San Jose and we rode from Lago Vista all the way to Circle C (host house of ex- Topeka rider George McDirmid (sp?)). We rode along Lake Travis all the way to the Dam Loop and around to Barton Springs road. Basically, taking the best parts of 3-4 area rides and doing them all in the same day. Great ride and I’m very thankful to have such a good ride on a gorgeous day.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Between race weekends...

One trip to Houston, and a few days of training....

When you’re having fun in the sun during 80 degree days, and you're coming from the great white north, don’t forget to thoroughly apply sunscreen……

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Last few days......

In the last few days, 14 to be exact, I went to Austin, TX for some racing, working, and fun. Last year, when I went to ATX for a week and change it was for a vacation and racing bikes. This year, it was more of a work trip. Basically, I raced, worked, trained, worked, raced, worked and came back. Funny thing is, I really didn't sleep that much. Strange how you finally get rested once you get home. Here's the race reports and what not. Mostly the what not..

Walburg RR

In the land of open roads and windswept farms lies the first road race of the 2009 season. I’ve done this race the last 3 years and every time it becomes epic at some point. This year’s edition did not disappoint and sure enough, I was brutally reminded that Wii Fit does not get you ready for road racing.

Bill Stolte got away in the early break, again, and got 2nd which was his worst placing ever at Walburg. I’m hopeful that next year he’ll focus and try to return to his historic Walburg form. As for the rest of us (me), it was, uh, fun.

65 and muggy became 50 and sunny but not before some rain and lots of wind. Wind so strong it could take the paint off your bike. Wind like that of the Wizard of Oz. I made the front group when it all went down (Blackgrove and Travis Burant did their motorcycle impression). Got punched out of that group and sat up to wait for the next group. Here comes 5 guys from TX Tough and a couple others. They had me in the gutter too and I’m not strong enough to sit in that wind for more than 25 seconds. Pow! Out the back of that group I go! I sit up and look behind me thinking, “Okay, who’s gonna drop me now?! I’m ready. Bring it on!”

The third group caught me and I was actually able to rotate and ride. Woo Hoo! We rotated and ended up doing the full distance. I counted that our posse was sprinting for 16th, which is out of the paying places which is a bit demoralizing, but I figured why not? I jumped the group a couple of times for fun and wound up 17th in the sprint. It was fun, and epic. It’s so much fun riding flat out at 11mph on a flat road. Crazy!

Numbers for all the nerds:

Work completed the first hour: 821 kj

Windspeed: not much, drafting possible.

Work completed the second hour: 1026kj

Windspeed: high- could have taken the paint off my bike.

Work completed the third hour: 921 kj

Winspeed: I should have brought my cross bike so I could draft in the gutter.

Normalized power for the entire race: 293 W

Pace Bend RR

This race was my undoing last year when I ended up crash landing at 40mph. Even still, it was so much fun! Uphill, rollercoaster, downhill, swerves, uphill, repeat. I sat in most of the day, basically all day as the small groups got away and were reabsorbed. In the end, I just rode in at the back of the field. One thing is for sure, that was the exact opposite of the day before.

Actually, it resembles a Superweek race. Fast, flowing, not technical, easy to sit in, hard to get away and a fun atmosphere.

Both promoters did a fantastic job with the events and I’m planning on returning next year.

For the number crunchers out there:

SRM was only working for the first hour of the race so.....

work completed for hour 1: 821kj

Amount of coasting: 24%