Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's my first steps

I'm starting to log some time on the Kurt Kenetic trainer using the Powertap Pro, but not near the amount of time that I would like to log due to my work schedule. During the week I am getting 30 to 45 minutes a few week day evenings and then a long ride on Saturday and sometimes I get to slip out for a ride on Sunday.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Brewcrew - North Adairsville Loop

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

MotionBased Ride Data Link

With all the cycling groups around Atlanta and various group rides held around the city each weekend, I can honestly say that I feel like the NARC "Brewcrew" is the best group for me. This group is a mix of guys and gals with a variety of ages above 38 years, but they all have a commpetitive spirit and each seem willing to push themselves just a bit more on each ride.

This past Saturday was no exception. My goal before the ride was to be consistent with my effort and to minimize coasting and drafting more than my past rides. The route changed as we forged ahead, but the speed seemed to keep climbing upward and that was right on with my training plan. Normally I struggle to hold on to the group, but I believe that consistency during the week on the trainer using the power meter is starting to pay off. There were points in the ride when we had a structured paceline and other times there were moments of break aways and I was able to parcipate in both the break aways and with a good amount of time up front pulling, but it seemed that almost every person in the group had their share of working and creating excitement during the ride. For a route that was not fully planned it turned out to be a good combination of flats and hills. At the end Diane stated that she planned to go back on Busch Drive just for me so I wanted to make it worth while. Rather than falling off the back of the group like in weeks past, this time we raced the last miles on Busch Drive reaching and holding 30 miles per hour for a short section. That evening my legs definately felt the effort as they began to hurt almost immediately following the ride. Sunday I went to Blanket's Creek to do a loop on the mountain bike to get a little bit of the soreness out. I only did one loop and called it a day. Monday morning I was supposed to train legs, but after a brief workout I opted to spend the rest of the time stretching. Tonight it is back to the trainer.

This coming Saturday I hope to go up to Dalton and participate in the 2nd Annual Raisin Hope Foundation ride.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

2008 Beautiful Backroads - Metric Route

Metric Route Map View

MotionBased Ride Data - Metric Route

I have to start this blog entry with appreciation to my fellow NARC leaders for putting together another great ride, with good sag stops and even better festivities following the ride with a small buffet of food available and tents available for us tired and hungry cyclists. Thanks to all of those who were unselfish with their time and served us at the sags stops, for the sheriff department controlling traffic at certain intersections and helping us stay safe and thanks for putting together a new route for 2008 that was really great with little traffic for the most part and had great stretches of road to get a good pace going. It seemed flat, but I still ended up with more than 3,500 feet of elevation gain for the 66 mile route. Thanks to the Budweiser Cartersville plant for hosting the event and for letting us use their parking lot on weekends as well. I wouldn't be able to guess as to how many riders signed up, but it did seem that more cars were in the parking lot than in past years.

I was excited about riding the metric this year. I have done enough centuries for 2008 so my goals was to set a good pace early and see how long I could keep it. We started before the mass start at 7:30 and our group was Jack Shippee, A friend of his (sorry - bad with names), David Marion, Gary Quellet, Mike Quick, Edgar Lebron, Keith Bolton* and me. I was just grateful to be hanging on Keith's wheel for about 39 miles. He looked like he was a man on a mission.

We started off and the air was a little breezy and cool, but it didn't take long to warm up once the sun started coming up. At about 8 miles Edgar, Keith and me started putting on a little harder pace. Within a few minutes I looked back and the rest of the guys were not in sight, but later we heard that David had a spoke to break. For many miles the three of us keep up a very good pace. We caught up with a group of about 10 that were generous to let us mix in with them for a few miles, Keith and I kept going to the front of their group and pulling hard. We eventually pulled away from that group and the three us continued on our fast and furious pace. Around mile 30 another group comes by and we mix in with them until the 39 mile sag stop, which was our first stop of the day. I barely got down half a banana when the fast group blows by us and the guys were wanting to follow them. I never saw Keith again, but soon after I saw Edgar start to give up the chase for the ultra fast guys. Edgar and I stayed together trying to help each other because it seemed no matter where we turned we getting hit by a head wind. Now that I have the data uploaded I see that the general trend for the last half is in elevation gain. So I understand now by looking at the profile how we had such a good pace in the start and now my 19.5 mph average in the first 40 miles was in jepordary of dropping the last 26 miles.

At the last sag stop (56 miles) for the metric Gary, Mike, Jack Shippee and friend pull into the rest stop. Edgar and I joined back in with Gary and Mike to finish the last 16 miles. Jack had intention of doing the century so we parted ways and tried to keep a good pace back to the waiting festivities. Toward the end I was starting to believe my legs were cooked for the day, but in the final stretches I was able to muster up some speed for the pace line with a fellow cyclist joining in our group. Mike Quick put on an awesome display of power output in the final stages pulling away from us pretty easily. Gary and I were content roll in at a good finishing pace.

For me it was a good day. Except for the last miles I did the majority of the ride with Edgar and he dropped off in the last few miles to deal with sweat getting into his eyes, but we worked together for many miles and had a good performance for the day.

It was good at the end to get a plate of pasta and a couple pieces of baked chicken, sit under the tent and talk with my buddies about the ride.

What is next for the gang?
For me I look forward to continuing riding with the brew crew on the same roads, but October 4th there is the Raisin Hope Foundation Ride that I really enjoyed last year. The route will probably have Fort Mountain, which is a very nice climb if you like that sort of thing.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fairmont #2 - Brewcrew Cycling

MotionBased Ride Data

It was another fast and furious day on the bike with the BrewCrew. I am not sure how many were in the group today and I am not going to try recalling all the names at this point, but everyone seemed strong. I wanted to try something a bit different today because I have been spending too much time sitting in the back. Today I had a mission to do my work on the first half of the ride and since I had the route in the Garmin Edge I didn't mind if I fell off on the last few miles. I also brought my trainer bike (Felt F45 - 9 speed) since I wanted to measure the data with the power meter and today's route was pretty flat so that bike worked out okay.

After a few miles I went ahead and started my plan and put on a good pace and just as I expected the guys (Alan, Edgar, Blake, Keith, Mike & Rod) were on my plan and raising the bar even higher. We kept a good pace, but the pace kept creeping upward to the point I eventually fell off the back. Jamie, Diane & remaining riders caught up with me and we stayed together to the store stop. I had an 18.8 mph average by the time were at the store. Leaving the store a few other NARC members hooked up with us and started the ride back.

About 10 miles out I was content to fall off the back of that group. My legs were spent, but along comes Jamie and Diane, who had stopped to help some lost riders. Both Jamie and Diane were my tow trucks pulling my tired carcass the rest of the way in. I told them to go ahead, but they are always watching out for me and others so they kept encouraging me to get into their draft for the remaining miles. A great day with the BrewCrew!!

Jamie & Diane - True Champions and Motivators!!!
I told them I would say something nice on my blog and they deserve it

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gary's Birthday Ride

MotionBased Ride Data
I was traveling back from Kentucky when I got the news that Gary was picking a Ball Ground route for his birthday ride. I had this instinctive voice telling me not to go because of the hills, but I wanted to tough it out and ride with my good friends. Because I was out of town I had no idea how many guys would show up for the ride, but we had a good group with nine guys. Driving up to Ball Ground the sky was looking somewhat darker and the wind was picking up. I wondered if the outer bands of the hurricane Gustav were starting to make their presence and they were.

The route was good with more substantial rolling hills than we typically experience at the brewery, but no real sustained climbs like one would experience by traveling a few more miles north of Ball Ground into the base of the north Georgia mountains. Still I was struggling to keep up with the group and was frustrated with myself, but there was nothing that I could do except continue to pedal. No real stress of getting lost since I had the route in my Garmin 305. As I looked ahead the guys would get strung out a little, but for the most part they all stayed together with me and Dick lagging behind the group.

The most important aspect of today is that Gary enjoyed the day since it was his birthday ride. I believe he had a good day on the bike from what I could tell and looked strong on the climbs.

Happy Birthday Gary!!!