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Monday, June 29, 2009

The Grand Tour 300.

My second attempt at the Quad was unsuccessful. I was not able to complete the 400 mile course under the 24 hour time limit. I am working on a ride report and will post as soon as possible.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Grand Tour Quad...400 miles!

On the eve of the Grand Tour Quad I'm sitting here wondering what was I thinking? I'm sure I will do that a few more times tonight and ALL DAY AND NIGHT TOMORROW. It is 400 miles. It is urban in many sections. The event is held on the open road with no closures and all traffic laws are in effect. I tried this event in 2004 and didn't make the cut off. Let's hope I have a better time of it tomorrow. If I find the time I might make updates to Epic Adventures Radio.

In the meantime here is a slideshow from the LA Wheelmen Site.

Hero to Zero

Yeah that's how I feel right now. Jure Robic you stink. Go hit the showers! In the closest Race Across America race in recent years you or your crew decided to pull out of the race on Time Station 51? What the _______ ? Are you a sore loser? So you got penalties that you feel are questionable. So you don't think you can win because your penalties are greater than your lead over Dani Wyss. But quitting? Come on!

Maybe it's because I will never win something like RAAM, the Furnace Creek 508 or a local crit. But to DNF a race when I still have the capacity to continue is beyond my comprehension.

Jure Robic, I respected you and admired you and your four RAAM titles but I now find your lack of sportsmanship appalling. You're a great endurance cyclist but in my opinion your withdrawal from the race and the asterisk that will denote your withdrawal in 2009 will be an indelible stain on your all but fantastic RAAM record.

All hail the 2009 Race Across America Solo Champion. Dani Wyss.

From the RAAM website.


Truth be told, 2am Australian time, when I went to bed, I said to someone that I thought Robic would pull away. I look today and I see Wyss do the unbelievable.

Arriving in Annapolis, MD after completing 3021 miles, Dani Wyss won the solo male division with the second fastest time in RAAM history. 8 day, 5 hours and 45 minutes. Dani is now a two time winner of RAAM. He averaged a mammoth speed of 15.28mph.

When I was asked if I was interested in help covering RAAM this year, I jumped at the opportunity. Before this year, I only knew little about RAAM. Truth be told, I thought that Robic would win this year.

Robic has not finished the race yet, but he also hasn't pulled out. He has until Monday to officially finish the race.

This win by Dani was gritty. It was couragous. He was a determined man. The Swiss rider impressed me throughout the race. His ability to stick close to Robic and not let Robic pull away was admirable.

Well done Dani Wyss! 2009 RAAM CHAMPION!

Monday, June 22, 2009

RAAM Team Start

I took my son on his very first train ride! We drove from Huntington Beach to the Irvine Train Station. We boarded in Irvine and de-boarded in Oceanside.

The train station is conveniently only blocks from the Oceanside Pier and subsequently the Race Across America start. His eyes lit up as the train approached the platform. He was so excited. It was really a great day.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jure Robic stops by...

the shop. Team Race Across America (RAAM) starts Saturday June 17th. Come down to the start line and cheer them on. The start line is the pier in Oceanside California. I'll be there with my son. Would it be corny to wear my RAAM finisher's jersey?

Jure Robic has been stopping by the shop the last three years. Funny how he always remembers I did 2 person relay RAAM back in 2007. Jure is a four time winner of RAAM. I wish him luck and nice tailwind.

Here is Jure Robic's blog

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

One of best things about riding...

is the FOOD! I love to eat. I love to eat A LOT! Brandy is always so good about taking care of me when I come home from my centuries. On Sunday when I got home I was treated to a grilled ham and cheese (cheddar and Blue Cheese)with tomato. The bread was sprinkled with garlic salt. It was soooo damn good.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Back to back century days

On Saturday I did the century above. Had a to eat lunch half way through the ride. I felt my spirits were waning. I felt much better about an hour later and had a good ride in the end.

Sunday I had better legs but decided to just keep the pace steady with only a few surges.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

20 min peak power on my commute this morning...

^^SCREEN SHOT JUNE 11, 2009^^

20 minute Peak Power from my morning commute. Weight 152 lbs or 69 kg

Average Power 244 watts / 69 kg 3.53 w/kg

Normalized Power 254 watts / 69 kg 3.68 w/kg

Look at my wattage from last night's commute. What I would like for you to notice is that my Average Power was up a whopping 24 watts but my Normalized Power was only up 5 watts from 249 to 254 watts. Why is that?

Let's look at Normalized Power :

TrainingPeaks uses a special algorithm to calculate an adjusted or normalized power for each ride or segment of a ride (longer than 30 seconds) that you analyze. This algorithm is somewhat complicated, but importantly it incorporates two key pieces of information: 1) the physiological responses to rapid changes in exercise intensity are not instantaneous, but follow a predictable time course, and 2) many critical physiological responses (e.g., glycogen utilization, lactate production, stress hormone levels) are curvilinearly, rather than linearly, related to exercise intensity, By taking these factors into account, normalized power provides a better measure of the true physiological demands of a given training session - in essence, it is an estimate of the power that you could have maintained for the same physiological "cost" if your power output had been perfectly constant (e.g., as on a stationary cycle ergometer), rather than variable. Keeping track of normalized power is therefore a more accurate way of quantifying the actual intensity of training sessions, or even races.


In other words, when you apply power to the pedals it takes time for your body to react and when it does it reacts on a curve not in a straight line. Normalized Power takes this into account.

Or like my friend Sushi Joe says it "NP = the power you could have put out if you kept the effort as steady as possible. "

So back to my ride from last night. Notice how the POWER line is more erratic with rollers and traffic signals.

^^SCREEN SHOT JUNE 10, 2009^^

Compare it to this morning's ride was not as variable the power was more consistent so the Normalized Power only increased by 5 watts from 249 watts to 254 watts.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

20 minute number from my commute

On my commute tonight I did a 20 minute interval. My weight was 152lbs or 69 kg

Here is a screen shot from Training Peaks.

Heart Rate: RED
Speed: BLUE
Cadence: GREEN

My Average Power was 221 watts / 69 kg = 3.20 w/kg
My Normalized Power was 249 watts / 69 kg = 3.60 w/kg

I felt good during the interval but after it I was spent for nearly 10 minutes. The interval was through a section that had traffic signals and a couple of rollers hence the spikes in power.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

60 min Peak Power Number

Screen shot from Training Peaks.

Yellow- Watts
Red - Heart Rate
Green - Cadence

I only had 1.5 hours to ride this morning. I did a 25 mile loop that took me on fairly flat terrain before and after a 1.5 mile hill (Newport Coast Dr) that gains 472 feet with an average grade of 6% grade. After the crest there is a 5.2 mile (San Joaquin Hills) rolling descent. It requires a lot of work to keep the watts up on the descent which in the end hurts your 60 minute number. But it's a good little game to play trying to keep the power up on the descent.

My Normalized Power was 233 watts for 60 mins. My weight was 150lb or 68.04 kg.

233/68.04 = 3.42

My 60 min peak number was 3.42 w/kg.

Average Power was 211 watts

211/68.04= 3.10 w/kg

Based on the Power Profile Chart that is right between the top range of Cat 4 (3.38 w/kg) and the low range (3.47 w/kg) of Cat 3.

Friday, June 5, 2009

New 30 sec Peak Power Number

I have a little competition going with my friend in Omaha, Nebraska SushiJoe.

Last night on my commute I asked him what his 30 second and 1 minute numbers were in absolute wattage and w/kg. I needed a carrot. I needed something to motivate me because the headwinds were demoralizing me. Have I mentioned how much I hate headwinds? I beat his 30 second number in absolute watts and in watts per kg (w/kg)as well. When reading power data it is important to not focus on the absolute numbers so much.

Here is an example. Two cyclists are comparing their wattage output on a local hill of 1.5 miles 6% grade.

John says: "I can hold 275 watts on that climb"

Mary says: "Really? I can only hold 225 watts on that climb"

Who is the stronger cyclist on this climb? Let's take a look at body weights for these two riders.

John weighs 165 lbs or 78.84 kg

Mary weighs 125 lbs or 56.70 kg

So John's w/kg is 275 watts divided by 78.84 kg = 3.67 w/kg

Mary's w/g is 225 watts divided by 56.70 kg = 3.96 w/kg

On this particular climb, based on their weight and power output, Mary is the stronger cyclist because her w/kg for this climb is 3.96 w/kg.

An important concept to remember is that w/kg is a power to weight ratio. As you lose or gain weight your w/kg will change that seems obvious right? But far too many people try to buy their way into better climbing. If you want to improve your climbing lose weight. Typically you will continue to hold your absolute wattage output if you are shedding fat pounds and retaining lean muscle.

Above is a screen shot from Training Peaks. You will see on the left a small frame that shows a time frame and corresponding wattage. The only thing missing to make the data quantifiable is my weight. I weighed 150 lbs yesterday which is 68.04 kg.

My 30 sec peak power was 721 watts or 10.6 w/kg Sushijoe's number was 7.91 w/kg. Ok Sushijoe there is your carrot. You have to beat 10.6 w/kg.

Being an Ultra cyclist, I am a slow twitch type of rider. I rarely do group rides. It is especially important for me to work on my fast twitch muscle so as not to lose that snap in my legs.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Giro Stage 21....

How many of you were in horror when watching this? The margin between Menchov and DiLuca was only 20 seconds before the beginning of the stage. It is amazing how fast the mechanic Menchov bested DiLuca in the TT and improved his margin of victory to 41 seconds to win his third grand tour. Menchov adds the Giro to his palmares which already includes the Vuelta victories in 2005 and 2007.

Monday, June 1, 2009

72 Miles with 7200 feet

Tick mark #6 is the top of Nyes Place.

I love it! They give you a warning LOL!

It's not until the top that you see you have 3/4 of a mile to climb at 20% grade after that 3/4 mile you are still climbing at over 15% with a couple of "flatter spots" to finish the 1.25 mile climb.

I had a good day on the bike. It was the end of my five (5)day training block. Now I rest for two (2) days and get back at it on Wednesday for my commute.

Here are my May month-end numbers.

Totals/ Rides/ Distance/ Altitude Gain (ft)
May/ 10/ 754/ 34,473
2009/ 50/ 3,582/ 191,976

Yes the mileage is down and the elevation gain is way down for the year. I need to bump it up if I'm going to be ready for my September and October main events.

Here are the rest of the months so you can catch up.