Monday, August 9, 2010

One Base Phase Done - More to Come

I just finished up 4 weeks of endurance base building. For how long and sporadic I've been with riding my bike the past 6 months, it's nice to get back into a consistent groove, eat better, ride better, and most importantly feel better. I think I've mentioned this before, but regardless of all other things; the one thing that I know I must do to be happy is to maintain an aerobic base. That's not just happy when I'm riding my bike, but happy in general. When I'm exercising regularly and feeling like I'm in shape everything else seems to flow so much better. I sleep better, I am more mentally focused, I'm more dedicated at work, I'm more relaxed and tolerant with people inside and outside of work, etc.

So, the past four weeks have been a start at what I know I need to do regularly for the rest of my life. To be more specific, it's consistent riding and at least two rides per week that are long (3+ hour) endurance rides. Next up, starting today, is three or maybe four weeks of base phase 2. There will still be long rides, but there will also be some more intense riding.

I'm also going to try three week phases; two weeks of hard work, one week of recovery for a while. Normally you do four week phases, but in the past I've found that I'm pretty worn down by the end of three weeks of hard riding. So much so that I almost always get sick by the end of base phase 3, which leads to burn out and lack of desire to be active.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nice 3 Hour Ride to Work This Morning

I rolled out of bed at 5am this morning and was on the road at 5:30am. Three hours of fun and games up and down some nice hills east of Encinitas:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Getting Back to Consistent Riding

Over the past few weeks I've been doing a lot better with getting out on my bike. This last week I rode every day except for Monday and Friday. I've been sticking to the base building training plan from the Cyclist's Training Bible and eating like Paleo Man. Things are slowing coming back together.

Saturday was a tough one. I wanted to get a 2.5 hour endurance ride in. Not such a big deal, except for the fact that it's been really hot the past few days. Saturday was no exception. What I could normally do with two bottles took six.

This coming week may get a little hairy at work, we'll see how it goes. Hopefully I can get six days of riding in. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pictures from Blind Stokers Ride

Here are some pictures from my first time out with the blind stokers. These are the ones with me and Peter. You can find lots more here -

Monday, May 24, 2010

Substitute Captain for the Blind Stokers

Sunday I went out with the Blind Stokers for the first time. When I loaned them my spare tandem I told their leader, Dave White, that I'd be willing to fill in as a substitute captain where I could.

The Blind Stokers Club is organized around a 3 day ride they do in late July. In the past they've ridden from Santa Barbara, back down to San Diego. This year it's a little different, but the theme remains the same; provide a 3 day cycling adventure to blind stokers while helping raise money for the club. If you're looking for a charity ride that you can participate in, this is a great charity, and it's a ride that anyone is welcome to be a part of.

In order to build up to the 3 day adventure, they do a monthly club training ride. In the meantime, teams are supposed to be doing their own training rides so that they can prepare for the 3 day adventure.

Sunday we rode much of the SDBC development ride route. North from UCCyclery, up through Rancho Sante Fe, west on Manchester, and back south on the 101. 35 miles or so on a very windy day. I had the pleasure of partnering with Peter Dawson for the day (you can find some info on Peter on the Blind Stokers website).

It was really cool to ride with these guys. It's especially nice to ride with a group of people who are so enthusiastic about cycling. That goes for everyone from the stokers, to the captains, to the organizers. You also gain an entirely new perspective on how meaningful it is to have your eyesight. As Peter and I were heading back south on the 101 I almost felt bad as I was describing for him how beautiful a day it was, all the beautiful scenery, cute girls running on the side of the road, etc.

Riding with Peter was also interesting due to the circumstances of how he lost his eyesight; once again proving what I learned a long time ago, that no matter how bad I thought my accident was, there are plenty of people who have it way worse. Peter lost his eyesight as a result of a motor bike accident when he was 18. Despite all of the hardship he's gone through in his life, he hasn't let it get the better of him. He got a law degree, practiced law for years, and now works as a rehab counselor. I know back when I hurt myself I'd love to have had someone like Peter that I could have related to. Having the perspective of having been through his own, very serious accident is something that I'm sure his clients can really relate to.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I Can Read!

Today was a bit of a milestone. I read (from the first page through to the last)an entire book. It's been close to 20 years since I did that. There have been many cases of me reading the first quarter or even half of a book over the past 20 years, but I've never gone much past that point.

The book in question was Dog in a Hat, by Joe Parkin. I can't say that I really recommend it. If you're completely clueless about what bike racing is like on the inside, this book may enlighten you. What it won't do is give you any real insight into racing strategy, or even really put the sacrifice and pain that goes into being a competitive cyclist into perspective. It also doesn't provide any sort of philosophical wisdom. I don't want to slam Joe, but I would have thought that if a guy had a history that was worth a book, he'd have some sort of life lessons or wisdom he'd be able to pass on to us all. That doesn't happen in this book. Joe just basically summarizes what he did in his cycling career in Europe. If you close your eyes and imagine what an American would do racing in Europe for four years you've pretty much read the book.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tandem 1 Finds a Temporary Home

Many are aware that I have two tandems. Tandem 1 (the first one I bought) is a size large, steel, Santana Sovereign. It's an absolutely awesome bike. Of course all the fools that are convinced that if a bike isn't made of carbon it's crap, scoff. What they don't realize is that this steel tandem rides and responds as well as great single bike.

First some background on the tandems, then an update on what Tandem 1 is up to:

I bought Tandem 1 used for $1100 from its only owner. I then put some money into it to get it up to a reasonable level of componentry. Replaced the bar end shifters with new Ultegra 9 speed levers. Got a new rear wheel built that would accommodate 9 speed. New brakes. Etc. At that point it was truly a thing of beauty. The only problem was that the size large was a little too big for Carol. If you've ever spent any time riding on a tandem, you know that nothing ruins the experience faster than an unhappy stoker.

So, I knew that a smaller tandem was in order. I ended up buying another Santana Sovereign, this one an aluminum size medium, and we moved to the new machine. Tandem 2 is a really nice bike too (Campy drivetrain), but it's only 4 pounds lighter than Tandem 1, and definitely isn't as nice a ride. You can really notice the smoothness of the steel when the entire team gets out of the saddle. Tandem 1 has a nice smooth flex to it. Tandem 2 has much more of a jerky feel.

The point here being that if you want to buy a tandem, don't be put off by an older steel Santana. You can get them for relatively cheap, and they're better bikes than many of the new ones that are out there today.

Since Tandem 1 went out of favor, it's been collecting dust. I've talked about trying to sell it, but I've never found anyone that would pay even close to what I thought it was worth; so it's just sat there.

As a member of the San Diego Tandem Club email list, I regularly get updates on the Blind Stoker's Club. As I watch these emails go by and see all the good things that this group does, I've wanted to talk to them about loaning them Tandem 1. Well, it finally happened last week. I met up with Dave White, the guy who runs the club, let him take a look at the tandem to make sure it would be useful to him, and let it go.

Today I got a really nice email back from Dave letting me know how the tandem is doing. Depending upon how things go, I will likely be spending some time with these guys, filling in when they are in need of substitute captains:

Eric -

Thank you for loaning us the outstanding Santana sovereign tandem. I have learned to contain my expectations until "first sight"; you never know what to expect. Your is a gem, and we really appreciate it. In the near term, it will be going to SDSU student Jeremy Poincenot (6'1") and his fraternity brother captain. Jeremy has a genetic disease called Leber's LHON and lost his sight suddenly 18 months ago. Here is Jeremy's website

The entire Greek week at SDSU is raising funds for LHON research this year, and Jeremy will be throwing out the first pitch at the Padres game April 20th. He is being filmed for MTV's "Real Life" series. Also a good golfer, Jeremy will be competing at the Blind Golf World Championships in England this summer.

You will hear a lot more from us and from Jeremy and his 2nd CURE tour in June.

We will list you on the BSC roster as a substitute captain.

Thanks for everything,

Dave White

Oh Yah, Bike Riding/Racing

Hey so, I've fallen off the rails with regard to the racing this season. Riding for that matter as well. The past six weeks or so have been a disaster as far as riding goes. I have a list of excuses a mile long. Mainly though it's down to a massive amount of work-work. Lately there's been so much to do and so few people to do it, that we're all getting over-loaded.

The cycle is a draining one, and extremely hard to pull out of. Too tired to ride because of all the stresses and hours of work. Feel bad, get more sleep, make time to ride, but see the stress level go even higher as the work pile gets bigger. So then, ride even less because even more tired.

The bottom line on this is that I need to take more control over what it is that I get sucked into at work. That's going to be the goal for both me and my team over the next 6 months. We'll see how well we do.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Cannondale is Plenty Stiff

Wow the Cannondale frame is stiff!

I went out for some interval riding with some of the Mission locals yesterday morning. We were out on Matsqui Prairie, which is a flat piece of farmland in the bottom of the Fraser Valley, so it tends to be a pretty windy place. We warmed up wih some small ring sprints, moved on to some hill repeats and finished it up with some alternating big/medium gear intervals.

I was able to crank out the big gear intervals in 53x11 with a 80ish cadence heading into the wind. As I was mashing away at the pedals, there was definitely no flexing of the new frame. Pretty amazing really. I know that my aluminum Specialized E5 definitely doesn't go into the wind like that. It makes me want to trade out my Specialized frame for a Cannondale. Maybe this fall when we do a deal with Nytro again I'll get myself another.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Cannondale is on the Road

Today was the first day that I really got out for a good ride on the new Cannondale.

I bought this frame as part of the bike deal that SDBC did with Nytro. I got pretty close to wholesale pricing on the frameset (frame, fork and headset). It took a bit of looking on-line to find a good deal on a Campy group. I ended up finding a 10 speed Chorus group for $1000. Then I bought an aluminum FSA ergo bar, stem and a Specialized Toupe saddle on-line and I was pretty much set.

The thinking here was to build up a bike that I could transport up to my parents and have to ride whenever I'm up in Canada. So, the Cannondale will be staying here for a while.

Tomorrow I'll be heading out for an early morning hammerfest with some of the Mission locals. I need to be on the road by 7:30am or so. It'll probably be something like 40 degrees F at that point. Looking forward to it.

Olympic Biathlon

If you've had a hard time finding me around San Diego County the past few days, that's because I'm up in Vancouver attending the 2010 Olympic Games. Right now the two events I'm planning to attend were/are Biathlon and the Men's Curling Semi-Final.

Biathlon was yesterday. Being a former middle distance runner and current cyclist I tend to be drawn towards more endurance based sports. I've seen biathlon on TV from the Olympics a number of times, but never had a chance to see it live. If you get a chance to go to an event sometime, I highly recommend you go.

At a high level biathlon is kinda like a cycling time trial, just obviously done on cross country skis. The big difference being that after each lap, the competitors stop at the shooting range and try to hit five targets from 50 meters in five shots while either lying on their stomach, or standing (it alternates each lap). Normally you are forced to ski a small penalty lap for each miss. Yesterday they skipped the penalty laps and just assigned a one minute penalty for each miss. Pretty simply, you didn't see anyone with more than one or two misses in the top ten finishers of the men's or the women's races. For example, the Canadian man would have been right near the top five if he hit all his shots. Instead he missed two out of twenty and finished something closer to fifteenth. This is where I can see a big part of the attraction and challenge is to the sport. Not only do you have to have an incredible engine to TT your way around the course on cross country skis, but you then have to stop at the range, slow yourself down, relax and try to hit your shots.

Maybe this sort of format is something that southern California cyclo cross promoters should consider. You've already got the bike TT going on. You've probably also already got a bunch of gun toting athletes on the course. Just set up a firing range and you're all set.

The other thing that I really enjoyed about the sport, is that just like cycling, all the fans at the event got into supporting all of the athletes when they put in a great performance. As an example, one of the Russian men had to deal with his riffle strap breaking while out on the course. When these folks aren't shooting, they carry their riffle on their back with a strap that goes around each shoulder, kinda like a backpack. Because the Russian's strap broke, he had to carry his gun in his hand while trying to ski. The guy was also one of the few men to go perfect on the range. So as he was fighting his way around the course he had fans of every country urging him on. He eventually got his strap fixed and ended up coming home in something like fifth.

Anyways, great event. I'd definitely go check it out again.

You can find some of my pictures on my Flickr page -

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Roger Millikan - Full Meal Deal

As I've stated before, Roger Millikan is a course that I really enjoy. It's got a 2 to 3% incline up towards the final corner and then maybe a 1% grade up to the line. It's relatively fast, having only four corners.

On the agenda for today was the cat 4 and 30+ cat 4/5 race.

Cat 4:

My goal for this one was to get my legs going early on, ride fairly close to the front and then as is the case with all cat 4 races, get to the front at the end and sprint for what I could get.

About halfway through the 40 minute race a guy from Fast Friday took off up the road. Normally you don't really worry too much about these sorts of guys in a cat 4 race. They pound away for a few laps then eventually blow up. This guy however had been away for something like a lap and hadn't even looked back once. Whenever I looked up the road to him he looked like he wasn't going to come back. So I figured, what the heck, maybe this is a case where he and I can stay away for a while, get a few more to join on, and hold it to the end. So once we turned onto the hill, I jumped away from the field (a big accomplishment for me in itself as getting a gap on the field isn't something I've been able to do a lot lately), and I started to steam up to this guy. The closer I got, the more I started to worry. The guy could see that I was catching him, but even as I was maybe 10 meters back, he didn't slow in the slightest. Once I'd caught him and somewhat recovered behind him, I put in a few pulls. We were definitely pulling away from the field. The problem for me was that I just couldn't hang with this guy. Whenever I looked down at my heart rate monitor my heart rate was over 190, sometimes over 194. My max heart rate is something like 196 or 197 and my threshold heart rate is 183, so I knew that I was going to blow up big time if I kept riding with this guy. After 3 laps or so of suffering with this guy I threw in the towel and dropped back to the field.

Here are a couple of pictures of me enjoying trying to hold on to this guy's wheel (these pictures were taken by John Nuttall, you can visit his site here -

After a few more laps of recovery I had my heart rate back into a manageable range and was feeling somewhat better. I knew however that the break had burned what matches I had. So I adjusted my goal to simply ensuring that I got my team-mate Brian O'Mara up to the front at the end of the race so that he could sprint for the win. With two or so to go, I had Brian on my wheel and we were headed to the front. By the top of the hill with one to go I had Brian at the front. He pretty much did exactly what he needed to do from there, winning the bunch sprint and taking second (a different guy than the Fast Friday guy had gotten up the road to take the win). Here's Brian out sprinting the field (again courtesy of John Nuttall):

I ended up finishing something like 22nd or 23rd. Again, not bad for a field of 100, but I definitely would have liked to do better.

30+ Cat 4/5:

Again, this was a full field of close to 100. After the really hard effort of the cat 4 race, my goal in this one was to stick to my plan for the cat 4 race. I settled into a comfy spot near the back of the field and gave it 20 or so minutes for my legs to cycle through the lactic acid that remained from the cat 4 race. About half way through I slowly started moving up toward the front. With 4 laps to go there were some really fast guys on the front, who really strung things out. For me, this sort of thing really plays to my strength as it makes life tough for those who aren't as well trained as I am and keeps people from surging from the back. I sat there in 10th for the last 4 laps and sprinted for the finish. I didn't see the final result, but my rough estimate had me finishing something like 15th. As I was sprinting for the line I was really trying to make sure that I got my left leg going as much as I could. This was probably the strongest sprint I've done since I hurt myself. It was definitely satisfying to know that I'd done everything I could have done.

So, things ended up quite well. A team-mate on the podium and some really hard racing. At the end of the 4/5 race I knew that I'd left it all on the course and for where I am with my cycling in 2010, that's all I can ask of myself.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Red Trolley and an Afternoon of Riding

Red Trolley has always been a tough, tough race for me. Even when I was a cat 5 this course was really tough for me. It's got a sharp climb right before the finish, which definitely isn't my forte.

I'm not going to say too much about the "team plan" heading into this one. Suffice it to say, my role for this race was to race for myself. I had hoped to race at the front, taking it relatively easy and then see what I could do in the last half lap.

So some observations from today's race:

1. I'm definitely getting stronger. The first time I raced this course after coming back from my crash I got dropped on the 3rd lap. The second time out I didn't get dropped, but finished well back. This time I was right there at the front, actually finding myself riding faster than the pack as we crested the hill.
2. I can't sprint worth a darn. I went from 10th or 15th at the bottom of the hill on the last lap, to 25th at the line.
3. My approach of racing for the fun of it, rather than competition, this season is leading to some much happier moments.

After the race, Matt Marshall and I headed up through Fairbanks Ranch, up Del Dios, and west through Harmony Grove and Elfin Forest. Matt then split off for home and I headed back towards the coast and back to my car. 3.5 hours of riding that definitely left me drained.

Next week is a recovery week for me, followed by the Roger Millikan Crit next Sunday. This race went really well for me last year, hopefully I can really crank it up for this one before heading out of town for the Vancouver Olympics.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Well, No Power Data

Gotta love it. I can't get my stinking powertap CPU to sync with my PC. I was having some issues a few months ago with syncing to my laptop, but at the time my laptop had some other serious issues and I knew I was going to get it re-imaged. My thinking was that that I'd just re-install PowerAgent once my laptop was re-imaged and voila, back in business.

Apparently not the case. So, there will be no Palomar data until I can get some answers from the folks at CycleOps. If you've got any experience dealing with a java.lang.UnsatisfiedLinkError with PowerAgent, I'd love to hear from you. It's an odd one in that it looks like the driver installer does put the driver libraries into the folder where it is looking for them. I've tried re-installing the driver. I've tried running the CycleOps firmware updater, but that also fails for the java.lang.UnsatisfiedLinkError.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Palomar - The Work of Animals

I headed up Palomar today, my usual slog up the south grade, which starts on Rincon Ranch Road. I put in six nine minute intervals with three minute breathers between.

It was a beautiful day. I hope to have my power data downloaded tomorrow evening. I'm looking forward to comparing it to last year's numbers.

In the mean-time, amuse yourself watching a true legend of Canadian cycling. Steve Bauer:

Monday, January 25, 2010

CBR - Dominguez Hills

Me and some folks from the team headed up to Dominguez Hills for the first criterium of the Southern California racing season. This was the first time I've ever raced this course. It fits right into 2010's flat criterium heavy racing schedule, so I figured I'd give it a go. As it turned out, so did 100 or so others.

For some reason the first few races of the season seem to be like this. Everyone has been sitting around all winter dreaming of what their 2010 racing season could be. So they're all amped up to do some racing. Mid-season something like only 50 people will show up to this race. This time of year however, everyone and his brother is out. Plus, having not seen a crash happen in a few months, they've all forgotten the haunting sound of bikes and bodies coming together at high speeds and then bouncing around on the pavement. Folks are all incredibly brave and willing to dive into the corners, rub elbows, etc. So, looking at the field size I was pretty nervous that there was going to be a crash.

The cat 4 race went pretty smooth. There was the odd bit of bumping and tightening of lines through the corners, but in general it was a safe race. My anaerobic fitness definitely has a long way to go, but I already knew that, so no big deal. Whenever I was on the front I could definitely feel that I wasn't going to hold on for too long. As the laps counted down I got myself reasonably close to the front, but not close enough. With some of the surging going on I wasn't too committed to sticking my nose into the middle of it. Coming out of the final corner I was something like 20th, not far enough forward to do anything. I ended up finishing somewhere around 20th.

The cat 4/5 race ended pretty much the same way, but with a couple hairy situations on the last lap. Between corners 3 and 4 some guy kinda lost his balance in front of me and nearly got his skewer into my front spokes. I managed to avoid that one. Then coming out of turn four and sprinting for the finish some guy got a pretty good elbow into my left forearm, which nearly took me off my bike. I managed to stay up and again finish something like 20th.

No big deal. It was nice to get out and do some fast riding again. I think I'm riding faster than last year. My left leg seems to be doing more work and I can sprint better standing up. Once this last base period comes to an end in 3 more weeks I'll begin ramping up my anaerobic fitness and things should start to come together for these fast, flat races.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2009 SDBC Cyclist of the Year

A couple weeks back I won the San Diego Bicycle Club's 2009 Cyclist of the Year award. Certainly not for my racing results of late. I'm guessing more for the leadership and time I put into the club in 2009. The award is given to the person who best exemplifies what it is to be a member of SDBC and is voted on by club members. So it's definitely a big honor to win the award.

Here's a picture of me with our outgoing president Ralph Elliott:

I started out 2009 with a minor role on the Board of Directors; I was the weekly update person. While not the biggest in terms of authority, this position requires a significant amount of time. Each Wednesday I was responsible for assembling submissions from club members, advertisers, and other content that wasn't submitted, but I knew should be included, into an html document and emailing it out to our entire mailing list of 800 or so folks. In general I spent 3 to 4 hours a week putting together the content and sending out the emails.

Then, halfway through the year I took over responsibility as the Sponsorship Director. When I took over it was in need of some serious attention. We had less than a month to get the sponsors for the team clothing signed, get bikes arranged for the 2010 elite team, etc. With some serious effort from me and others within the club we were able to surpass what we achieved last season. Hopefully 2010 will be another step in the right direction. I'm looking forward to it.

The bottom line here is that regardless of winning something or not winning something, it's great to be able to make a difference in the running of the bike club. This year we've got a bunch of new individuals who've stepped up and volunteered to serve on the board. Hopefully we can hold onto them throughout the year. Doing so will really allow us to take an even bigger step forward.

Monday, January 18, 2010

2010 Team Camp

Camp worked out pretty well this year. I'm definitely a lot more optimistic that we're going to put the hurt on people this season. Last season we definitely had some races where we got some good results, but too often there were not too many people showing up to race and when they did, we only had a couple guys who were getting podium results.

As an example, at last season's camp I was the third person up Montezuma (a 1 hour climb that averages a 6 to 7% grade). There's no way that a guy like me who weighs 180 pounds and has limited ability to pull up on his left leg should be beating the vast majority of the team up something like that. This time I was somewhere like 10th out of 28 guys, so that's much more encouraging from the perspective of team quality.

The past couple years I've been at camp it's been a hilly, long day on Saturday. There's the slog up Montezuma. Then we head down the S22 and turn left on San Felipe, where a hammer-fest ensues as we blast our way down to the 78 for lunch. At that point, people are usually pretty gassed. Then we have some sort of combination of racing/pace-lining back east on the 78 to Borrego Valley Road. From there it's often a casual ride back home, not so much this year however. If you know Borrego Valley, it heads through a small valley, which of course gives everyone the desire to attack up the hill.

Sunday we head out to an empty development on the north side of Borrego where we break up into small teams and practice some criterium strategies. Here are a couple pictures of me heading through the corner before the finishing straight.

In this first one, I'm in the process of trying to bridge from the chase group to the break-away. Our team of three had a good strategy going into this race; however, the guy we had up the road ended up getting bounced out of the break about half way through the race. That left me and my remaining team-mate trying to get up to the break that was about 30-45 seconds up the road. Unfortunately I never made it, but certainly felt the pain while trying.

This second one comes from the second race where I was chilling in the chase group.

For more team camp images, you can check out my team-mate John Nuttall's site:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This Weekend

Sunny skies and 70 to 75 degrees. You can't beat that in January. This nice weather is especially appreciated by me after having spent two weeks riding in the cold and wet.

I got 4.5 hours in on Saturday as I headed out on my favorite San Diego County endurance ride:

Start in La Jolla, up El Camino, east on San Diegueto, El Apajo etc. up to Del Dios, Del Dios east, Via Rancho, San Pasqual, Old Milky Way, and the 78 east.

Then back on Bandy Canyon, Highland Valley, Pomorado, Scripps Poway Parkway, Black Mountain, 56 bike path, south on El Camino, etc.

I really love this route. It's got some climbing, but not too much, or at least not too steep. It's got some windy spots, but not too many. And for the most part traffic is a complete non-factor. Plus from the time you cross Del Mar Height Road heading north until you get to the 15 there's not a single light. And then once you get past the 15, no lights again until you get to Pomerado. That's close to 2.5 hours of riding without having to put your foot down.

Then today I put in a casual 2.5 hour spin up the coast and back.

Since I've been back in San Diego I've really noticed the difference that the time on the rollers in Vancouver has made to my left leg. I'm definitely pulling up a lot better right now. All this after only putting in something like 7 hours on the rollers when I was home. When I think back on where things fell off the rails last season, I'm definitely starting to think that more regular time on the rollers would have made a big difference. So from here on out I'm going to see if I can put in at least a couple hours a week. Maybe my 1 hour speed workout, plus some shorter endurance rides every now and then.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Back in San Diego - Cycling No Longer Equals Pain

Having done the vast majority of my road riding in San Diego, I never knew just how good we had it down here. The trip back to Canada was great and I'm really glad I took my bike along with me. What I learned however, is that road riding in Vancouver in winter time is serious business. Normally it takes a certain amount of drive to get me off my butt and on to my bike, but once I'm going I could go all day. When you're riding in a place that is cold and wet, getting onto your bike is only a small part of it. Keeping going is the biggest challenge. When your feet are frozen, you're wet, you're covered in road sand that's kicked up off the wet road, your energy bars are frozen, etc.; it's hard to think about anything more than trying to keep going for 5 more minutes.

Racing season is starting to become visible on the horizon. The SDBC Cat 3/4/5 team camp is coming up January 15-17th. That'll be when things really get kicked into 5th gear for me. I've been doing lots of base building and slowly starting to work more tempo and threshold work into my schedule. Team camp will be the first time I'll really put my foot on the gas this season. If it's anything like last year, we'll have 10 or 20 miles of full on attacks and chases to deal with on our Saturday ride. The climb up Montezuma will also provide an excellent opportunity to compare my fitness to last season.

My goal for this season is to enjoy racing and training. Last year, I set myself the goal of competing at the front and getting promoted to cat 3. What I learned last year, is that the nerve damage in my leg didn't make it possible to achieve this goal. Thus starting the downward spiral of discontent with racing performances, which resulted in decreased desire to train and ride, which then led to even worse performances, etc., etc..

Last year I also spent too much time trying to be the rider I was before I hurt myself. For example, not being able to keep up with people in hilly races like the Omnium road race really drove home the point that I'm not able to ride like I did before my crash and probably never will. So, I'm not going to put myself in those sorts of situations again. At least not until I can do well in the races that are at least suited to what I can do best; namely flatter criteriums.

So this year I'll be trying to focus on races like Redlands, Ontario, Dana Point, Long Beach, etc. and won't even bother myself with things like the Omnium and Red Trolley.