Sunday, February 25, 2007

Testing, 1-2-3

After doing a nice easy ride on Friday to spin the legs and skating a couple games yesterday, I went on and did a test. A bike test that is. I headed down to my uncle's house and brought my mountain bike so I could see what my LT is and how much power I am exerting. My legs felt pretty fresh and I was able to get my HR up to 184. The highest I have ever gotten was 189, so 184 on a trainer inside without standing was pretty good. My LT showed up right where I thought it was, which is good. At least I know exactly what numbers to ride around. This test was done on a CompuTrainer set up with my mountain bike with a slick tire on the rear. I warmed up easily for 10 minutes then started. The program started at 50 watts and bumped up 20 watts every minute. I kept my cadence around 90-95 and left my bike in the same gear. No shifting and no standing. The CompuTrainer does the work by setting the resistance higher and using sensors to determine the wattage.

The cool thing was that I have seen some great gains. I did this test 15 months ago for the first time. Today, my wattage was 90 watts higher than the previous time. The first time my legs were not as fresh, but I sure have seen some great gains. I am thinking of testing again a few times throughout the year to see my progress. It's pretty cool to see all of the stats and see the hard work pay off. Now it's time to ride. T-28 days until race #1!

Friday, February 23, 2007


The temps have dropped down again, but not too bad. The nice part is that the sun has been shining lately thanks to the lack of cloud cover. I was able to get the road bike out for a while on Wednesday. I rolled out of my driveway in much less clothing. A base layer, long sleeve jeresy and vest was all I needed. It felt great not to have to put 5 layers on. I rode an out and back from Brighton out to Fenton. Wind was out of the southwest, so the ride back was a little more resistant.

Sunny skies were also in store for today. I took the fixie out for the last ride in a while. I am switching over to geared bikes since I am closing in on 4 weeks until my first race. Time to get used to shifting and timing again. On my jaunt through ILRA today I saw a deer and an owl. The owl actually swept over me and landed on top of a tree. It was strange that it was an owl, but I did a doubletake and I am sure it was. It was nice and chucnky too. I guess the sun is bringing out the animals. You don't see that sitting on your ass watching TV. Yeah, well I don't have cable, therefore no Discovery channel for me!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Monkey Butt

As I ventured out on my ride today, the roads were quite wet and slushy on the side. There was surely enough salt to melt a glacier too. Well, after about two hours, the chaffing I had going on was horrible. I finished up my ride another hour later and it was pretty uncomfortable. Imagine rubbing coarse salt into you skin. That was what it felt like. All of the wet road slop ended up seeping through my tights and into my chamios where it wasted no time getting to work. By the end of my ride, the roads were starting to dry up, but that does not undo previous damage. All this means is I have to lather up with more butta' tommorrow! Projected high looks to be 30F and a big 40F is showing for the end of the week. Just in time for me to start busting out the geared bikes. After riding a fixed gear for the past three months, it should be weird to float through the gears. I can't wait.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Turning Around

With the snow dumped on us, I was able to get out for a 2hr cross country ski before I hit the trainer for an hour. Snow was deep enough that the park rangers actually groomed the trail, whcih made for some good gliding. After two hours, it just gets boring staring at the two tracks to follow in the snow. I woke up the next day with a sharp pain in my back. It is really annoying, but feels much better in riding position than when sitting or standing. Hopefully it will go away quick. It is likely a result of not putting inserts in my boots before skiing. I have a high arch and using a flat sole in the boots gives me no support. That also explains why my feet get sore after I ski.

The good news is that the weather is starting to turn around. With windchills below zero today and bitter temps yesterday, I am really ready for a change. It looks like it will be in the 30's next week and maybe, just maybe hit 40. Sweet. Just in time for some good outdoor training with more intensity. I have only 5 weeks until my first race down in Tennessee. It will likely be my first trail riding of the year too!

Get ready, 'cause were gonna have a heatwave!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Best Winter Bike Name

Really, it can't get much better than this. S.A.S.S. fits into all winter categories.

It starts as...

Shiny Ass Single Speed

then moves to...

Snowy Ass Single Speed

and after a day it becomes...

Slushy Ass Single Speed

and lastly after evaporation comes...

Salty Ass Single Speed

The name seems to fit for all of our lovely winter conditions.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Middle of February and we are getting our first big snowfall of the year. I guess it's a good thing that the winter has been pretty kind so far. It started off being temps way above normal and then they dipped below normal. Do you think we have ever had an average temperature. Example: If January avg temp is 30F, we had 50F and then 20F. Have we ever truely had a month where the temps were always right around 30? So the flurries were flying today and accumulated to 1-2". I was able to get out on the bike and hit up the dirt roads. There was enough loose gravel that has come up in the past week that there was a little traction. The ride was pretty good and I even saw a nice little accident right after it happened. I guess a garbage truck came down a decent sized hill and started sliding which made some lady swerve and land in a deep ditch. The garbage truck also got stuck on the other side of the road and had to have it pulled out also. I rode by up the hill as the cop slowly dorve down and gave me the "why" look.

Besides that, it was a pretty calm weekend of ridng a bit Sat and hitting up the MMBA expo on Sunday. Acustics were better this year, so we were actually able to hear Gary Fisher. 29er what? Turned out to be a decent day all around.

Next up-who knows. Forecast shows 3-8" of snow in our area and 6-10 further south towards Ann Arbor(aka school). Sounds like some major fun. A little snow and I'll be a ridin', a lotta white stuff and the XC skies will be a glidin'

Friday, February 09, 2007


My new tights came in the mail yesterday, so that meant that I had to give them a good chance to see how they worked. I chickened out on the weather yesterday and did my ride indoors where it was toasty. I got what I needed to get done, so that is all that matters.

The new tights are the Pearl Izumi AmFibs. Well worth the money. I have been wearing a 3yr old pair of Sugoi thin tights that I bought because they were the cheapest ones. Now that I ride outside 5-6 days a week outside in the low 20's, I needed something better. A nice warm fleece lining and a thick windproof front kept my blood flowing throughout the entire ride. I can't freakin' wait to ride again tommorrow knowing that my legs will not be freezing. Before I was wearing knee warmers under my tights, but still that was cold.

Today's ride had me climbing over 3,030ft. Pretty darn good for SE Michigan. I think it is easier climbing than going down 3,030 ft spinning at 180rpm on the fixie!

Oh boy, I never thought I would ever get excited about buying a pair of tights. What has happened to me:-)

Thursday, February 08, 2007


No, not the weather. I just read on the MMBA board that Robert from Tailwind is having the NORBA stage race at Brighton Rec. Schweet. That's a quick pedalstroke away. Good trails and camping for people coming from out of town. I read the TT might be on Torn Shirt, and the XC would be laps of murray lake. I guess I'll have to start logging some miles over there once the trails thaw out. I assume the short track will be on the dirt roads and through the campground area out there. There is tons of land, so who know. All I know is that it is close and not neeeeeeaaaaaaaaaarly as sandy as Whiskey Creek. Should be a fun time of racing.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Thursday, Thursday, Thursday!

That's when it looks like I will be able to ride outside again. Hit the trainer again today and it will see more action tommorrow. It will be almost a full week without riding my bike outside. That hasn't happened in a long time.

Inspiration Point, Leelanau County, MI-September 2006

Monday, February 05, 2007

Coldest day of the year and again I had to the ice rink. Tonight I was at the local rink and the frost was so bad on the brick walls all around the arean that it was hard to see the blue paint of the bricks! Looking like Thursday will be around 20F, which means I will be out riding. Ah crap, just remembered I have BIO lab on Thursdays and don't get home til later. Hmm, maybe lights? Well, it is staying lighter longer, so I might be okay. Time will tell.
Special 2 for 1 today. Yes, that's 2 pictures since it is so friggen' cold. You can tell not much is going on lately since the only thing to talk/rant about is the weather!!!

My mom decending on knife-blade downhills in Fruita, CO.

That's me navigating the rock drops on Moore Fun, Kokopelli Trails, Loma, CO

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Slow Times

Not much has been going on as of late. With the temps near zero, the last thing anyone wants to do is to go somewhere cold, but that is what I had to do. It is district playoff time in hockey, and work calls. I was reffing this weekend in freezing cold ice rinks. Hands frozen and all. At least I get some cross-training in while being paid. The weird thing this weekend was that te brick walls of the rink were all frosted over from being so cold. Once over with, I warmed up and was able to think normally again. It was nippy, but the skill level was much higher so it made it more exciting to ref.

Since the temps are below my requirements (above 15 with windchills above 0) I have been working on psychological training. Yes, the trainer. The scary thing is that after my session this morning, I am not seeing the trainer as being so bad. Maybe I am getting used to it, or maybe watching the wind gust and howl at high rates of speed reminds me that I am warm and riding. Even with extremely warm temps, my lungs would die in the first 5 minutes with the cold air.

I did read in the paper that our(Livingston County) woodchuck, Woody(redneck for groundhog) predicted an early spring. Spring better come soon or the shot gun is coming out. Darn rodents!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Today's ride gave me a chance to bask in the warm temperatures!!! It was 25F during my ride and the windchills were not too bad. Just some gusts here and there. Tommorrow looks like mid-twenties when I'll be riding, but winds are supposed to be 15-25mph. FUN. The weather people bumped the temps up on Saturday to 20 as a high, so a ride might be in my future then. Sunday still looks cold-time for physical and mental sufferage on the trainer. I am just looking foreward to my first race which is only two months away! It will be a good test to see how the winter training paid off (since I am actually training this year) and to hopefully experience some warm weather in TN.

The picture of the day is from more hot summer conditions in MI.

Your's truly coming through the pits at the 12H of Boyne, May 2006

I finished that race first with 11 laps and stopped racing at 10:40-My first off road century!