31 July 2007

Thin Tuesday

The TNCWC was thin tonight. Only about 20 showed up, and that got whittled down to 15 or so by the 2nd lap. None of the absolute, my pecker is bigger than yours, hammers were in attendance, thankfully. On the other hand, the fact that there were only 12 to 15 there meant that hiding places were few and far between. Il Professore commented that it was funny how 50 show up went there's lightning in the sky, but we get less than 20 on a calm, 90 degree evening. There are races at the end of the week, through the weekend, so I guess some folks stayed home.
Little breaks went of all night, but were pulled back by the bunch. I worked and pulled for the first 30 minutes and decided that was enough and decided to surf until the end. It's funny how some people tail-gun in the beginning of the race and then decide to get really vocal at the end, when things aren't going their way. If you have enough breath to yell and bitch, go to the front and pull harder!!!! I came close to jumping in the person's ass, but discretion got the better of me. Parenthood must be making me more patient... ;)
I pulled out with 2 to go and watched the finish. Derek blew everyone out of the water in the sprint with a 1400 watt effort. Of course, he did get to sit out a few laps when he flatted. I was behind him when it happened, which isn't a big deal on a straight, but his tire let go in the middle of turn four. No getting around that one until the road straightened out and a gap had formed. I chased it at 30+ and saw my max of 1150w for the night.

Overall, I'm feeling better on the bike, but just don't have to high, sustained intensity back yet. It's lurking under the surface, like the VC. It'll poke it's head out of the hole one of these days.
I'll be fit again right when time changes...of course...

See you guys on Thursday...OUT!

29 July 2007

Good weekend

There were 6 of us for the Saturday ride. A few folks went to Charlotte for the 24 Hours of Booty and a few more are way out West, in Big Sky Country.
We went out through the Fort and did a modified Eastover loop. Instead of taking Old Leesburg, we did Ridge to HH and then right on Blue Johnson and up the back side of Elon, then meandered around into Eastover. Of course, we came back the normal route, but got rained on for the last hour or so. Not a driving rain, but just enough to get you wet and make your bike dirty.
I was having some issues with my rear tire yesterday. I hit something in the Fort and flatted. The cut was about 5-6mm, so I booted it with a PowerGel wrapper and we rode on. Everything was fine until we turned to do the second part of Double Homey. I must have hit a bump a bit too firmly, which is entirely possible with my fat ass on the seat! The 2nd tube blew straight through the wrapper. The second boot was a glueless patch, courtesy of Mandrus, and another piece of PG wrapper. It got me home.
Overall, it was a touch over 3 hours of ride time and right at 60 miles. We rode pretty steady the whole way with a few good efforts here and there.

I did the old "Hour of Power" loop this morning. I had some stiff legs and was pretty tired, so 60 minutes @ 90-100 rpm felt good. And I wanted to watch the end of the Tour...

All in all, a good weekend of riding. I plan on going to the crit Tuesday. It should be interesting.

27 July 2007

Feeling better Billy Ray

Another Thursday has passed into the books, only this week, I actually felt like a cyclist and not just a guy who owns a bike.
The evening started with a way too quick run out of the Fort. It's always quick going out, but nudging 20mph on the climbs was beginning to be a bit much for me when we made the turn. At one point, Derek asked me what my wattage was...I was stuck on 430ish for the entire last climb.
Ridge was pretty sedate. Rich pulled through with a flat, and didn't know it. Derek pulled the old bikeshop manager quick change and we were off. I think some folks felt the need to make up the 5 minutes we lost. 5 guys rolled down the hill at 38+ and the kid from the RSA let a big gap open. I shot the gap at 44mph! That pretty much blew my monkey for the rest of the ride down to Elon.
Maria and Austin finally moved to town and came out last night. She got dropped and Austin went back. When I realized that they'd probably miss the turn, I sat up and waited at the foot of Elon. We paced her back on and caught the group at Bunky's.
From Bunky's to the end of Airbase was quick and steady. Every one would keep the tempo up and then Derek would jump through on his pulls. The unspoken decision was made to just chase him down and leave him out there. There were no counter moves.
Headwind or no, the ride down Airbase was a 26mph+ affair.
Doogie and Philip attacked on Double Homey, so we gave chase. I closed down Philip and 'Cisco, but Doog attacked as soon as I got there...little sh*t.
We rode piano until the bridge. Derek would have likely come around me, but it didn't matter as we both got boxed in and couldn't go. It's like watching Tour stages and seeing the sprinters wind it up, only to sit down when there's no path...
The numbers weren't all that impressive last night, but they are getting better. The PT is a harbinger of fitness, that's for sure. The numbers will go up once I get some fitness and actually take more than three pulls on a ride... ;)

Saturday 8 a.m. @ the traffic circle

26 July 2007



Rasmussen...I always knew that guy was dirty.

Cadel Evans, FTW!

24 July 2007



First Lindsay Lohan gets popped for DUI and cocaine possession (again) and then Vino fails a dope test...! Where have all the heroes gone?

Il Professore, Doogie and I went out and rolled around in the flats for about 2 hours tonight. No big deal, just a light tempo ride with a few efforts thrown in for effect. It's what I need right now, rather than getting the shit kicked out of me by Der Kaiser and the bunch at the TNCWC. I may go to the crit next week...just for shits and giggles.

It's the end of July and the shadows are already getting long at 7:30pm. I t won't be long until we have to dig out the knee warmers and vests...dammit!

See you guys Thursday night...

22 July 2007

Why are weekends so short?

Saturday rides are either hit or miss around here. Two weeks ago, we had 14. Yesterday, there were four of us. It didn't really matter though, as I had planned on doing a bit of my own thing to sort out the PowerTap.
We did the Eastover loop w/o the trip to the Cricket store. A cold front has been working it's way through for the past two days, so we had a headwind out and tailwind home, which is RARE around here. We rode at a medium tempo out Old Leesburg until the climb out of the hole that leads to Congress. I dropped back and used the rise to test LT power figures. I started at 280w and slowly ramped up until that lovely burn feeling started to come into my legs. The burn started at 320w, but I pushed through and maintained between 330-340 for the entire climb. I know how Chris Carmichael says to test your power LT, but I just don't agree with the methodology (another story for later maybe?). I figure my LT power lies somewhere between 325 and 350w.
I didn't feel all that great yesterday either. I had the "Green Apple Quickstep" for most of the morning before the ride and a portion of the afternoon, post ride.
I did a couple of sprint efforts to establish 1sec and 5sec limits...for now. 1sec max was 1240w and my 5sec was 1135w. This brings us to what I don't like about the PT software. It doesn't give 10sec and 20sec readings. It skips from 5sec to 30sec! 30sec was 532w. That's a big flipping gap! Maybe I'll call Cycleops tomorrow and see what they say...
That being said, I can see now that the PT is a valuable training tool. It's like a little man with a whip, cracking you on the back. Look down and don't like the number, go a bit harder...

No one showed on what was a perfect Sunday morning, so Doogie and I meandered around Lower Richland for just shy of 3 hours. No efforts where made other than getting chased by Il Professore's favorite dogs. We were going down the hill this time and had to negotiate a sandy corner to escape. I got through just fine, but Doogie was almost a 130 pound chew toy...

It was a good ride weekend. I figured some things out, got a touch over 100 miles for the two days and the weather was cooperative. Can't complain...

20 July 2007

Holy crap, it's hot!

When your body becomes accustomed to sitting in the 76 degree house, the first ride in four days probably shouldn't be in 95 degree heat. Last night was hot, period! My body protested pretty much the whole way. HR was throught the roof, even though I was completely shirking pulls and I just didn't have the energy. My legs felt good, but the heat was making me kind of nauseous at times.
Going out through the Fort, we weren't going all that hard, yet I was feeling like crap. At that early point, I knew the night would be about survival and nothing else. I worked down Ridge, but tail-gunned all the way to Elon. I continued in my role as last man all the way to the tracks, then I had to pull through and do some work.
Der Kaiser went to the front on Airbase on decided it was time to go. Everyone was together until the bump. At that point Francisco came across the road like he was trying to pull off a 7-10 split. He swept Mick's wheel and the six people behind all had to jump on the brakes to keep from eating shit. There goes the front group...
The six of us worked well together in the headwind, but made zero progress towards the leaders. I kind of felt like Moreau. Work your ass off and still lose time.
Everyone re-grouped at the store and rode in together. The guy from South Africa said he was afraid to get dropped and rode way over his head. He was shaking like an epilectic at the store. He was a hell of a nice guy though. I hope someone told him about the weekend rides.

My PT worked as it should, but the numbers were all over the place. Tail-gunning on the group does not produce reliable power figures. My max was 1063 and my 5 sec was 772. Those are likely the only good numbers from last night. I don't know when I hit 1063, but it wasn't on purpose. I didn't sprint or really do anything that required a big effort. 1180 Kj was a bit shocking though...

My fitness is piss poor right now. Hopefully, I can regain some form before time changes. The PT is the true test of how fit you are...or in my case...NOT.

Saturday 8 a.m. @ the Gate.

15 July 2007

A short one

Der Kaisers and I met @ 8 this morning and did a modified loop of the Fort. Mrs Der Kaiser turned around to do another loop, while DK and I just came on home. It started to drizzle so I'm sure Mrs DK got pretty wet. It was a damp, windy, dreary day all the way around.
I was a bit tired today and the ride was dog slow, so any power numbers can be disregarded. I did notice that on seated climbs, even without a lot of effort, that I was @ 300 watts. I'm sure my numbers will be high, but then again, it takes alot to move my big ass around. I made one small effort on the back side of the wall and saw 950 watts...!
I'm probably going to go do a loop in the Fort tomorrow night, as the H.O. has a dinner she has to go to on Tuesday. The baseline ride will hopefully be Thursday night.

I need to go to the ManHole and clean the Ridley, then head out to the country to pickup #1 at his Grandma's house. Then again, I may just wait until later to clean the Ridley...

Rasmussen won the stage today. I know you must be skinny to win a stage in the Alps, but damn...
Somebody get that poor guy a cheeseburger basket. He looks like he was just liberated from a concentration camp.

14 July 2007

Saturday...a day of mixed outcomes

The 8 a.m. group met this morning and we actually had a decent sized group. The dozen of us rolled out through the Fort and much to my surprise (not really) my GD PowerTap didn't work. It just sat on the stem... looking at me... mocking me, and generally just pissing me off.
Today would have been the PERFECT baseline ride, as we did the big Eastover loop with some good tempo/paceline work. As Steve Martin would say, "But noooooo..."! I traced the problem to the harness. I switched evertything around and it works as it should...(knocks wood). I guess I need to buy another harness for the Ibis.

The ride was really steady and, I'm guessing here, pretty quick. We did the 95km loop in just under three hours. It was a really good group and fun was had by all. Peter Discoe is back in the fold and it was good to actually ride next to him and chat. He got himself a new Raleigh team frame with SRAM Force stuff on it. It's pretty sexy...! I'd rock it.

I'm feeling better by the day. I think the sweating and physical exertion is pushing the drugs and the bad juju out of my body. I'm feeling about 80% right now. We're going on vacation in a bit over three weeks, so I'll have plenty of time to ride and recover. Last year, I was flying when we got back from the beach. Something about riding for a couple hours every day and then just lazing about on the beach always recharges my batteries.

It's raining right now...I'm feeling a nap coming on...

Sunday ride- 8 a.m. @ Outspokin'...

13 July 2007

Feeling a bit better

Last night started as any other, if you don't take into account the fact that I forgot my I.D. and had to chase around the Fort to meet the group at Wildcat. I can tell you, Garners Ferry and Leesburg roads are frightening at 6 in the evening. I was glad my life insurance was paid up.
I rode out to the gate and met the group, all the while not knowing quite how I'd feel.
Fortunately, the body is reacting almost as it should. I feel better now than I did on the 4th ride.

The group came along and we headed out the normal route. Since I have no illusions of being at the sharp end right now, I sat in the back, sucking wheel all the way to Elon and beyond. Once we turned onto Airbase, Der Kaiser put the hammer down. I decided I wan't going to bury myself, so I sat up and rode with TVH, Philip, Il Professore and Joel. It was a nice pace that didn't put me in the red, but still allowed for work to be done. Il Professore was killing me last night. He must have had his Geritol, because he was in rare form. He must have yelled at Joel a half dozen times. Laughing doesn't help lungs that are already working way harder than they should.
We caught Mrs. Der Kaiser about 1/2 way down Airbase. She said the lead bunch was having a 30 mph swordfight. More power to 'em. I just don't have that right now. We all gathered up at the store and rode in together.

I think everyone is either taking it easy, or just tired from killing it all summer. Either way, it was nice to ride a hard tempo, but not have to turn myself inside out. As 'Cisco reminded me, I haven't really trained for the better part of two months. That changes this weekend. Time to get back on the horse...

Hopefully, my PT computer head will show up today so I can ride the thing this weekend. It'll show...and then it will rain both days...

The legs is healing and doesn't hurt at all. The new skin itches like the devil though.

8 a.m. Saturday @ the gate...

Oh, I forgot...
Doogie took out the sprint on Ridge. It was completely uncontested and looked like someone hit the slo-mo button, but he won it. There, are you happy...

PS-I've enabled anonymous comments, which means you don't need to be registered to leave a note. So do it...

10 July 2007

Anybody seen a lung?

I rode for the first time in a week and nearly got rained on. I rolled out to the crit course and spun around for about 45 minutes. The sky began to darken and the conversation shifted to whether or not they would be able to finish the crit. I didn't plan on even starting, so I felt zero shame in turning for home when I felt the first drop of rain.

I rode as hard as my spider-poisioned, prescription-drug-addled body would allow. The issue isn't legs...I didn't even feel the slightest amount of lactic acid. The antibiotics and the prednisone have killed any cardio function that I may have to call on. I got home about 5 minutes before the rain started. It only rained for about 15 minutes, but I didn't get wet and my bike is still clean.

I guess I need to wait until the drugs get out of my system to really attempt rding with any anger. I'm just really itchy and becoming hard to get along with (well, harder...) from the lack of bike time.

I can't even play with the new toy. I bought a PowerTap SL on Ebay and of course, it has a problem. The CPU (computer head) wasn't reading speed. I called PT and talked to them about it. They suggested that I try another head on the cradle before I packed up the whole shooting match and sent it back. Big thanks to RW, who helped me out big. We popped his PT head on the bike and it worked fine. I called PT again and they sent me out a new computer head, before I even sent back the old one. That's customer service people!

The person I bought the PT from is a domestic pro who races for BMC. He assured me that it worked when he sent it and even questioned my ability to set it up properly! I think I'll go up to the race in Charlotte this year and see if he wants to be a wise-ass in person...! I'm betting he doesn't...

Oh, here's a picture of my spider bite...! This was taken yesterday. It actually looks better today. You know something is ugly when a friend, who is a medical professional, sees it and says, "DAMN!..."

08 July 2007

Ride-free weekend

No ride today either. The weather looked threatening, both out the window and on the radar. I'm in full wussy mode right now with this leg injury. I woke up to searing pain and decided that the combo of the weather and my pain was enough to bail on the ride. I'm going to have a scar that will be worthy of medical journals.
That and the fact the bike was clean and I didn't want the first ride with the PT to be a rainy one.
I need to set some baselines for the PowerAgent software, so I'll probably go to the crit Tuesday night. I'm injured and not at all fit right now, so the numbers can only go up from here. Bonus!

That's Mr. McEwen to you people...
Crashed 20km out, chased back into the group, rode to the front and crushed everyone in the sprint...! Straight pimpin'!!

07 July 2007

No ride today for the kid. The leg is starting to heal a bit, but still looks like I got peppered with buckshot. And I can tell you, the thing is SORE. The wound itself doesn't really hurt all that badly, but the new, pink flesh around it is tennndder!
I did get my new toy yesterday though. It always happens that way. Get something new and want to ride it, but can't for one of several reasons...sucks!

I'll be mowing the grass today and watching the Tour...

05 July 2007

Just plain bad...

I honestly don't think that I'm meant to do the 4th of July ride in Tryon. It seems that something happens every year to submarine me. Let's start...

2004- Broken wheel on the descent of the Watershed. Lost @ 10 minutes...
2005- Broken frame at some point of the ride. Couldn't push on the descent for fear of catastrophic frame failure...
2006- Super fit, ready to kill it...until I threw out my back and couldn't ride.
2007- Relatively fit...bitten by spider on top of left thigh. Huge, nasty wound that hurts like a MF'er. Taking antibiotics and steriods that absolutely wrecked my feelings on the bike. Heavy legs, no high HR (I maxed at 163 yesterday. Usual max is 185-ish) and mechanical issues on top of that...! I installed a new chain and a 13/25 cassette. I really wanted the 18 cog, but as my luck runs, it was the only gear that didn't work on the ride! Bastard!

I rode a completely suckwad 3:30 time, which is by far the worst of my three rides, even with the aforementioned failures of '04 and '05. I just couldn't put any power to the ground, so I was forced to just ride the damn thing. I spent more time in the 25 cog than ever before. Now granted, I finished way ahead of a lot of folks, but it was about 15-20 minutes slower than I had hoped. And I felt completely wrecked at the end. Then I had to drive home and play host for a cookout. Oh joy...!

The plan was to stay with Mandrus, but that got thrown out the window at mile 5. He finished in 3:14, while the third passenger in the van finished in a blistering 2:53. Yes, my friends, Doogie is a strong little monkey. He stayed with the lead group through the middle of the Watershed, when the hammer evidently went to the mat. The leaders finished in 2:49.

As much as I hate to say it, I'll probably go back next year...

03 July 2007

Ah, the beer ride...

Evidently, there was a big pile up on the beer ride last Friday. Some gaper lost control on Golden Arrow, swerved right into the group and took down three others. The first three landed on the fourth. The poor fucker has a couple broken cervical vertabrae, a few broken ribs, his shoulder is jacked and he almost lost his thumb, and that's just the stuff I can remember...
Any wonder why the "fast" group steers clear of this ride. It's completely out of control. I'm all for everyone riding and riding together, but damn people, know your limitations. The beer ride used to be a slow-ish social ride. Now, it's the Friday Night World Championships for Gapers. There's no need to go down Golden Arrow at 30+ mph if you cannot handle your bike properly, period. Just ride your bike and have fun! I know the competitive juices sometimes take over, but when people are crashing and getting badly injured, it's time for changes to be made.
Something needs to be said to that whole group. Dumbass behaviour like this will get ALL of us kicked out of the Fort. I don't do the ride, so it's not my place to pontificate to the group, but I know there are people who read this blog who work at both shops and do the ride every week. Time for you guys to step up and be the boss! Control the shit before more people get hurt and we lose Base privileges.

Going to the ManHole(tm) now to change out a cassette and install a new chain for tomorrow.
Report on the Fab 4th ride to follow...

01 July 2007

8 a.m. is early

It's not so much the riding at 8, it's the getting up at 6 to get ready. As some of you may, or may not, know, I have horrible OCD. I have to do the same routine every morning or my day is just shot to hell. This doesn't bode well for Wednesday, as then plan is to leave between 5 and 5:15, which means I'll be rolling out @ 4:15. That shit is too early...

Anyway, we went off @ 8 this morning. The Sunday 8 a.m. ride is turning out to be a good one. We had a good group this morning and ended up with 55 miles. We did the loop through Eastover and back in the normal way. I didn't feel good when we left and felt progressively worse at the ride got longer. The tailwaind on Pineview did little to make me feel better. A couple of hard pulls at 28-30 absolutely crushed me.

I got home, at a small lunch (very sick to my stomach) and crawled into the sack. I really wanted to watch the F1 race, but the body said it was time to sleep. I fell asleep at 12:30 and woke at 4, for no other reason than I had to use the bathroom. I laid back down until 6! I still feel like a steaming pile of poo. Two days of rest should set me right for Wednesday. If not, I'll ride slow...yeah right!

I've decided I'm going to order a junior geared cassette. A 13/25...! I really never get in the 12, not even to sprint, and the 13/25 gives back the much beloved 18 tooth cog. Sometimes, the jump from the 19 down to the 17 is just too much. I've been riding a 12/23 lately and find myself in the 18 a lot. I thought of riding the 12/23 in NC, but better judgement kicked me soundly in the ass and the 25 went on the light wheels. I'm going to CC tomorrow to pick up a 13/25 though. I'll drive to Hawley's to get it if I have to...

The H.O. still isn't home from the grandparents...nothing like keeping the 2 year old out past his bedtime. He'll be a barrel of fun tomorrow. #2 has the same schedule everyday. Eat...sleep...poop...lather, rinse, repeat...