Tuesday, January 29, 2008

You know you're in training mode when..

...these items are on your desk at work and you actually crave fruit instead of cookies:


Monday, January 28, 2008

Commuter

I gave Babs a Kona for her birthday back in October. I then pimped it at Christmas with the rack/basket combo. But, in essence I ended up giving myself another bike! As the weather has been especially wintery and I haven't changed a flat on my Surly since the summer (rear wheel on a SS just adds a bit more hassle), I've ended up taking hers to school on a daily basis. Although a bit small for me, I've thoroughly enjoyed the ride on the Kona and the basket has been great to carry the laptop and stuff. The back of the basket does contact my butt slightly, but not enough to make it an issue. Serves as a functional rear fender to keep the spray off the backside. The basket slides easily into place with a quick snap. The rack is specific for smaller mountain bike applications.

My seat post height

Babs' seat height
I finally took the time to change the tube on my Surly and I'm back to loving it. Funny how some time away from a bike really makes you appreciate it once back in the saddle.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Power On

It has been a busy week of training, daddy-day-care, and new technology to learn. Coach Kurt is up to date with the latest training techniques and one of them is power-based training. I have been reliant on reading my heart rate to determine at what level I should be pushing myself. Fortunately, I think I was pretty accurate and had a good season. Now, because many factors can effect one's heart rate and give false readings, I will be basing my different levels of intensity on watts.
With that, come's the need for a new toy: a power meter. After much debate, I settled on the Cycleops PowerTap SL 2.4 wireless system. I ordered it through KB&S and had the hub built up as a complete rear wheel. I can now easily transfer the wheel from bike to bike whether I'm training or racing. It has taken some learning and I hope to write more later, but having just finished a 20min TT effort yesterday to determine my Functional Threshold Power which will be used as a mark for basing my effort zones, I'm coming to appreciate its value.
Here's the cockpit. Need my watch because its annoying to scroll through many menus to get to the timer. Also nestled in an old-school cell phone holder is my Sirius radio. "Alt. Nation" got me through the TT!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Power Out

Whew. Yesterday was an unpleasant workout experience. We lost power here on the Hill 15 minutes before I planned to ride the rollers indoors. This meant no TV, no wireless radio, (satellite radio doesn't come in when indoors), and most importantly, no fan.
Fortunately the trusty iPod had battery life so I wasn't totally bored. But I was miserable, drenched in sweat from head to toe.
To add insult to injury, the shower was lukewarm with little pressure.
Then, the topper was when power came back on 10 minutes after I finished! Another great example of the addage: You don't know what you've got 'till its gone.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sunday, January 13, 2008

First Flat of the Year

On the rollers! This does not bode well for the season!

On a related note, the rollers reveal any imperfections in wheel trueness or tire uneveness. An annoying vibration/stutter bump results while riding. I think patched tubes also affect the smoothness as they generally don't fully inflate in the patch area.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

UCI CX Masters World Championships

The Race

This shindig is going down next weekend in Belgium. My coach is going over with a buddy who has a pretty good blog and the trip should be well-documented:

Mud and Cowbells

They're livin' the dream for a week. Should be a good time!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Life as a hockey parent


Oh boy, what have I gotten Drake into? What have I gotten Babs and me into?! Drake's infatuation with hockey has taken another turn, possibly for the worse! He insists on being a goalie. For now, its a non-issue as he has an excellent goalie on his Mites team. But, next year, he says he's going to be the man. Where does he get the goalie instinct? Could it be both his grandfathers, his god father, and his dad (yeah, me) were hockey goalies?! Nah.

I borrowed some youth hockey gear and he made his debut on the ice Monday. He did OK. We'll see. I'll have to re-route his track to the NHL, but I'll get him there.

NOT!

Facebook

Ruh, roh. Babs got roped into putting up a profile, now she made me join. Hell, it's tough enough to blog, now I have to maintain my face?!
Oh yeah, I only work 10 minutes every hour driving the Zamboni. I can do it!
Here's my face if any of you are on:
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1072710397

I couldn't resist using the chopper picture. I love that guy!

Monday, January 07, 2008

eMotion Rollers Update

Here is where I expect to spend the next couple of months:

I just finished up my first week of training, having spent 5 hours on the rollers. My experience thus far has been overall positive. Remember, I have no prior roller experience to bring to the table, so my opinions are specific to this unit only. The unique aspect of this roller is that it has a "floating" base, meaning rubber bands allow some forward and backward motion of the drums so when I stand, the bike on the rollres will kind of flow with me. In the picture, the black frame is stationary on the floor, the gold frame is what supports the drums and is attached to the black frame at the front and back. Supposedly, this floating motion aids in the ability to adapt to rollers easily, creates a more natural road feel, and allows for harder/stand up efforts without risk of coming off the rollers. There are also a couple of safety bars that surround the rear wheel so a crash is minimized. Jeez, I can only image the gong show should I come off the rollers at speed!

The manual recommends using a wall for support while getting acclimated to the unit. I actually found I was leaning on it too heavily. I used the step up crate, clip in my left and just start pedaling and then clip in the right just like a normal start on the road. Now, the wall serves as security and the crate helps with the higher level.

You do need to remember the fact that your actually riding/steering your bike, so watching TV is a little more touch and go. The fan I have set up in front helps serve as a center point of reference.

I have had a couple of "moments" and I'm so convinced I'm really riding, I actually put on my brakes! In sum, I'm confident these will help make me very well prepared once I'm out on the road for real.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Michael Patrick Blog

This is a link to a blog he created since his latest brain surgery.
Mike is a great guy and super fast mtb racer. He is an inspiration.