Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Sunday, 27 April 2008
I had a very lazy day yesterday, just seemed overall tired, from what I'm not sure. I felt better this morning as we warmed up, but I still didn't feel keen to accelerate on hills until I absolutely had to, ie. the race.
All the Expert groups were started together, Devin took the hole shot and I stayed close to his wheel on the first climb, too close actually. I surprised myself at how near I was, only to realize I big ringed the climb, and guessed I'd be paying for that later. Course was nice as always, quite a bit of climbing, but not as hard as they'd made it in year's past - a few less ultra steep sections per lap. Only one dismount was needed, seemingly from everyone, a sharp uphill accute angle off camber turn. For the first three laps I bobbed about 10-20m behind Devin, felt generally good, food and drink were going in fine and at what felt like pretty good timing. On the end of the third lap I got passed by a Bow guy who also caught up to and passed Devin. I couldn't hold their pace, and Devin hung onto his wheel until the end kilometer through the gravel pit, where the natural spacing of riding a downhill was too hard a gap to close in the headwind at the bottom. Toward the end of the 4th lap I was being closed in on from behind, and couldn't tell if it was a rider in our group or the leading Elite - sort of thought it was Brian Bain leading the Elites, but couldn't be sure, you know how the rear view mirror can be a little bouncy on the mountain bike...
I did what I could on the downhill, and shoulder checked when coming onto the last kilometer of gravel to see if the 15m gap was still there. The wind had really picked up, so if I was only a couple meters ahead, I was going to have to decide if we cat and mouse in the wind to the end, or just race it with a gap. Turns out the gap held, so cat and mouse was off the table. I decided to quit acting like a fairy and do what is supposedly my strength, pushing hard on the flats. Got the had down nice and low and attempted to induce vomiting via pushing pedals.
It seemed to work, but in the end it was Brian, so I was really just racing myself. Finished in 3rd, which I'm happy with, especially considering yesterday I spent most of the day feeling super tired and making every effort not to do anything that took any effort. Without mechanicals or wipeouts, or time lost on no-pass sections, it felt like a fair measure of my fitness.
Devin was second as mentioned. In the Elites, Shawn was third after Brian Bain and Jeff Neilson. I think Pete Lawrence was fourth and Jon was fifth.
The real fun of the day wasn't the results, but the fun of hanging out with they gang all day, shooting the shit on the commute, and biking without shivering in the beautiful sunshine.
Relatively small turnout surprised me. Only 4 deadgoats to the first race of the year?
Sunday, 20 April 2008
Saturday, 19 April 2008
Friday, 18 April 2008
Visiting MEG Energy today and seeing what a few billion dollars will get you was fairly interesting - some dirt roads, lots of pipes, Atco trailers, and 4 billion barrels of the good stuff. That's like 19% of US reserve bookings, for one privateco in Canada.
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Naturally by the time I managed to duck out of the office I wasn't going to make the planned start time, and the heavy backpack today, and snow squall plus headwind didn't help either. Regardless, I was about 20 minutes late, but saw the guys right at the bottom of the hill. I dropped the backpack and we were off.
Last year when I did... wait cross that out. Last year was work round the clock at this time of year. Two years ago when I'd done purposeful hill work, my methodology was a strength and muscle fibre recruitment type workout. 50-60 rpm, obviously stressing the legs hard, but very low intensity on the aerobic system - I could speak pretty easily at any point. I did 2 reps that way today, but the other guys were doing more of a 4-5 minute blast up the hill, which is obviously going to stress the leg muscles, but it's more of a power interval.
I jumped on that bandwagon on trip #3, as Craig attacked aggressively from the bottom of the hill, I knew I wasn't going to match that. I paced myself at a level I thought I could sustain to the top and that would come near to closing the gap if Craig slowed. My mind alternated between 3 thoughts on the ascent - my legs are burning, my lungs are burning, and "bike pacer" is probably a more accurate term for me than "bike racer" as I'm always thinking about the rate at which to dispense stored energy. On the last 100 yards it became a game of shoulder check from the front and sprint from the back, with Craig staying ahead. That's a quality interval for rep #7 or whatever he was on.
Next one up Shawn decided to work it, so I did my best to stay near him, those two intervals left me on the downward side of my energy curve for the evening. After that both guys were leaving, so after some chit chat I did 2 more, first being more the muscle strength effort, and once more for sustained power.
When I started my legs felt great, I was definitely winning the battle against the hill. Funny how just a half an hour later the hill calmly took charge of the day and left me riding meekly home.
Sunday, 13 April 2008
It's so fun to go out and see how all of us are growing up and defining the lives we want. Especially since I've bumped into a few others lately from youth who certainly haven't done much, or who have just dug their holes deeper.
Tori made a nice breakfast, and we geared up to go ride south of the city. As we were leaving the house, Devin called for a Nose Hill ride with Shawn. I had to let Tori do her own thing and go ride some hills!
Nose Hill is nice right now, not muddy, just tacky in a few spots. We did 7 hills, with Devin and Shawn slaying them, and me dragging along in the distance behind. Good workout, and got a few of my muscles a little more used to the mountain bike position. The descents were good practice for the Coulee Cruiser, fast and narrow but fairly smooth. We stopped and just watched the world go by for a while, it's nice not freezing every time you stop.
Devin was meeting Shannon for a walk with Merrik by Edgemont, so I rode west with him, planning to do a stop by my parents house to see the progress on the deck project. I diverted to do a few climbs in Edgemont, then went to my favourite short steep climb in Hawkwood for some high intensity repeats. Part way through my workout Jack Funk's wife Vera spotted the deadgoat kit and came over for a chat.
After I blew myself up on the hill work, it was a short cruise over to mom and dads for juice, cookies, and chat.
Why can't life always be that simple?
On the way home I bumped into James Larter, whom I hadn't seen in a while. His Popeye arms are bigger than my legs, I guess if I had full contact fighting as my hobby like biking I'd need to do the same. He's on recovery time currently as a month ago he had his neck broken, scar on the throat shows where they entered to put in plates, hoping to fuse some vertabrae. Ouch. It was a nice Sunday afternoon to be outside, regarldess if it was biking or recovery walking.
Saturday, 12 April 2008
With that said, it was off to Cabin Cafe for 10. I saw Vincent Chahley in the Edworthy parking lot, stretching on the Porsche's bumper before a morning jog. Talked for a few minutes then went up to the Cabin to meet the usual suspects. Shawn, Devin, Finn, Natasha were common to last week's ride.
Alison Testrote showed up, she'd recently posted some good results at the Redlands Classic, hadn't seen her since Tucson last year. The pace was mild as we rode west, with Alison driving it for a while. Things heated up as we passed the three hills, there were lots of CrankMasters out to chase down as well. As we approached Bragg, the tempo was much more moderate, I did a couple pulls then drifted back to rest up. As Devin and Shawn were pulling side by side, I plotted to stretch the group out for the sprint finale. When I figured we were close enough that I could pull through to the sprint zone, instead of petering out pathetically before, I launched the tempo drive. I did my best to hold 550-600W for two minutes to stretch out the group and lead out the sprinters, and my legs siezed up pretty much where I thought they would. Unfortunately I couldn't see the end, but Shawn and Devin were the two frontmen.
I missed the instructions for the quick stop, and bought myself a cider that was 99% sugar and 1% rocket fuel. Pounded it back while everyone was gearing up to ride, it actually sat pretty well once it was down. We made our way south towards Plummers Road, using every incline as an excuse to battle it out for alpha male supremacy. I was fairly firmly in the wimpier sounding Ceta male category, although I was usually close enough to offer at least a little trash talk to Shawn just for fun.
Plummers Road to Millarville was a mini Roubaix, the surface was decent, and we worked the climbs, the flats, and the descents. I spent a lot of energy into Millarville trying do earn my keep in a 2 man effort with Devin, he took off on the prior hill and waited up, no doubt to assist me with a punishing interval workout.
We saw Pat Dodge and Juri Lipkov in Millarville. Pat has been roaming about in all black like the guys trying to dodge doping control, and has been putting in mega miles. Like I said last week, machine. And considering how much the rest of the Alberta crowd rides, he's a machine amongst machines.
We started seeking out the hills on the way into the south end of the city, and Devin departed to go be a parent. Shawn had a spoke issue, which we stopped to address, but that meant it was down to the two of us as Alison, Pat and Juri kept moving. My legs were now paying the price, and I was slow on the hills. We explored a couple roads new to me, then came in the south end of the city to see Calgary alive with spring. Nice to see as I missed a lot of the spring last year with work.
All in 150k, about 120k of which were hammer, and the last 30k I definitely lost the hammer. I'm feeling good, both by scientific measures of Watts, and less scientific ones, like I can usually still be close enough behind to see Devin crest the tops of hills.
Off to a birthday dinner tonight that I can hopefully stay awake through!
Friday, 11 April 2008
I'd hoped for improved riding on Thursday after work, but since I arrived at the office at 5:15 on Thursday, when I got home I just hit the couch and napped. I did a little riding later in the evening, but I could tell again my body wasn't up for it. I switched over to bike maintenance for an hour before bed.
I'm crossing my fingers for the weekend. I'm trying to do more of this "listen to myself" to guide my riding rather than being pre-committed.
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Attemtpting to leave a UK voicemail this morning, I was instructed by a charming voice to "key hash" when I was done speaking. For those of us who are used to "press pound" this might be a little fresh and different.
Sunday, 6 April 2008
Saturday, 5 April 2008
Friday, 4 April 2008
It was the first time I've ridden the Cervelo in quite a while. Riding on the bike path to our meeting spot, a leisurely 200 Watts was earning me 30+kph. The relative absence of friction and resistance is amazing, modern road bikes are such accomplishments of efficiently amplifying human energy into motion. The feeling is unbelievable.
It's my rocket. It's now complete with my pro looking name stickers.
Wednesday, 2 April 2008
The background to this week is simple - two long rides in the snow with my friends: Saturday being the group ride, and Sunday being the TransRockies partner jam with Craig. Both were done on the utilitarian, but somewhat sluggish Moots MootoX 29er with the Rohloff. There's a little extra inertia and friction that come along with that beauty.