Saturday, August 23, 2008

Birthday Ride with Brew Crew

MotionBased Ride Data

I was excited all week not because it was my 45th birthday, but another opportunity to ride with the greatest group of cyclists and friends that I have been fortunate to ride with each week. Things that make this group special like one of many examples Diane and Mike Ruhe stopping to help me with a flat last weekend when I sliced my finger open on glass that was inside the tire and was bleeding so much that it made it difficult to change the tube. They came back to see if I was okay and finished changing the tube for me. Diane even had a first aid available. Gary Quellet gave me some birthday bike goodies that were a timely replacement to carry for fixing a flat if necessary. Thanks Gary!! Nice looking Ultegra SL crank by the way. :-)

This week with a tropical storm moving across the panhandle of Florida creating heavy winds in our area the group was still scheduling a "birthday ride" for me and again some treats were prepared and shared with the group at the end.

We started the ride prepared to use JoAnn's route from the brewery parking area out to Adairsville to Kingston and back, but because of the wind and rain the route was shortened a little and I didn't mind too much. I was unsure of the ride for myself because at the last moment I had to bring my trainer bike that has a 53/39 crank and a 11-23 cassette, which has no effect while I am using it on the trainer, but on the road I knew the hills would be a bit tougher. Diane was on a loaner bike and I am sure that made it difficult for her. If I counted heads correctly there were 12 in our group today that split off from the full NARC group. Within the first 5 miles we endured a light rain that was no more soaking than a hot day in the high 90's with sweat with the exception of getting wet socks. For the first half we seem to be in good position for the winds that buffeted us from the east, but I knew on the last half we might be riding into those winds. At first I broke out with Rick Neilson and then remembered I had a long ride ahead on a bike that I usually don't use on the road. I backed off the pace and went back to the group and stayed in or at the back of the group for the remainder of the ride. In the group we had good fun picking on each other. Good Friendly Fun!!!

We stopped at Barnsely Gardens for the rest stop and I heard the route was going to be shortened using CCC road, which has a small climb. With the 11-23 cassette and getting tired I knew I was going to be the last up the hill, but when we actually got to the climb it wasn't bad at all even though I was virtually last. The remaining miles back we met up with the other NARC group and mixed in with them, but I wanted to take a diversion and see what my power output would be on Busch Drive and Edgar joined me. When we lined up on the road and I was messing with the power meter to set in the interval mode Edgar was already putting on a good pace. The wind was hitting us pretty hard with gusts so I settled down on the drops as I watched Edgar continue to pull away from me. All I could think is, "dang - he keeps getting stronger", but I focused on the power output and speed trying to hold a consistent number. It was bouncing between 170 to 220 watts and the speed was holding steady at 21 mph. I normally can hold at least 24+ mph on this section, but it was either the hard wind, tired legs or both that kept me from getting up to and holding that speed today.

At the end Diane brought out the low fat brownies she made for my birthday, some grapes that Jamie brought and some nuts, but it turns out that it was also close to Gary's, Ray's and someone else's birthday that we could celebrate all those together. Despite rain and wind I really enjoyed the ride and most of all I really enjoyed riding with my friends today. Pretty awesome day in my book.

It will be interesting to see if a Youtube video doesn't show up of the ride and the antics with Gary Quellet working the camera. Despite all the fun we have I still ended up with enough effort to cause a nap and my normal uselessness after the ride.

Monday, August 11, 2008

New Training Schedule

I now have one week of training with the power meter behind me, but it is not just the power meter that is new. My training schedule is new and yes much had to be changed in order to make this commitment. During the week I am using the Felt road bike on the Kurt Kenetic trainer opposed to the spin bike. The fluid trainer is much harder and though I could turn up the resistance of the spin bike the resistance on the trainer is more realistic and variable.

Yesterday was my first day to take the Felt outside for a little trip down to the Silver Comet and try it out. Since I did a fairly hard ride on Saturday with the gang I was not expecting to be able to hold good power numbers, but once my legs warmed up a bit I was able to hold the speed at what I believed was my RPE (perception) for the lower range of the sweet spot. Until I actually do the test for Functional Threshold I will be using RPE.

I now have a brand new start for a whole new journey. I can tell that this is going to be a great tool and a good start for the next level of training. I imagine that I am going to be a bit worn out each Saturday when I ride with the group, but over a period of months and hopefully next summer I will be able to see a positive difference in my Functional Threshold. I have a lot to learn and a lot of training ahead.

The image below is from my first ride outdoors and was a moderate effort on a flat course and calm air. My goal was to go out for an hour, rest ten minutes and ride back at a sustained speed minus the multitude of stops at intersections and maneuvering around others.

MotionBased Ride Data

Friday, August 8, 2008

Chattooga Century 2008

The Chattooga Century is coming up soon. If you need information about the ride select the link on the right side and if you would like to register for the event online select

I am considering the metric route this year as I did last year since I have completed several centuries this year and one last weekend. The metric should be fun and fast. The sag stops were good, the route is good and those hosting the ride were also great.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Power It Up!!

I'm real close to tracking data and hopefully setting up a new training plan for my weekdays and I was just this close to getting booted from the spin bikes at the gym. When I received the powermeter we had a little issue that turned out to be nothing more than dead batteries in the hub. I did a quick battery change this evening, mounted the wiring harness, set it up on the trainer and I will soon begin a new training schedule. And the best part I will get the truth about the zones that I am training in, which may be even more humbling once I start seeing numbers applied to effort.

Thanks to Dave Ryan, who helped me get into power training much earlier than I expected. I thought it would be at least another year with hopefully a year end bonus at work that would get me there, but I am very content with a used model that will be a great entry into tracking data.

Thanks to Josh at Outspokin for helping during my vacation especially with all that you have going on outside the shop. I am keeping you and your family in my prayers.

The only issue remaining is getting my computer to recognize the USB port for the PowerTap computer. I have seen the solution, but will need work through it later.

The corner of the basement my wife gave me to train in. The fan is pretty awesome. Loud but powerful. I just need a shower curtain to set under the bike.

I have a power reading. 39 watts!! - don't make fun of me.
I just wanted to show some folks that it works.

WKO+ software is now setup and able to download the Powertap computer data.