Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cartersville Brewery - A little Respect Please!!

Generally since I am a cyclist I side for the rights of cyclists to use the roadway and be respected while on the road by non-cyclists, but there are times when cyclists absolutely make me equally as mad. Some cyclist have absolutely no respect for anything but their own pleasures as if the world should stop for them and allow them to break any rule or disrespect the rights of others. No wonder there are some non-cyclists that loathe us.

Now for what steams me today regarding the disrespect of a few that are about to ruin it for many of us.
We (cyclists) have been kindly warned again by the plant manager to respect their property.

Here is a note from plant management that was forwarded to me:

This past weekend we had truck traffic problems at shift change and employees had to wait for truck traffic to clear before entering the plant. We have a complaint that one of the bikers in an SUV with three bikes on the back cut across the grass to get by the trucks, while we had employees waiting to get to work. Can you please put out a note on the sites that you normally contact to ask that they respect our property?

Thank you,
Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.
Cartersville Brewery

This is not asking anything unreasonable is it? As a matter of fact I am shocked that anyone would even consider such antics. If someone were to intentionally and disrespectfully drive across my yard I am taking plate numbers and calling the authorities. Time and time again the management at the plant have endured cyclists and have been tremendously patient with us. How much longer will they endure us with these types of attitudes?

Please remember that parking at the brewery is a privilege given to us by plant management and it is a privilege that we can soon lose if respect for the property, on-going business flow and appreciation is not given. We need to remember that this is their property, not a state or city park, and that there is business going on that we do not need to disrupt in any manner. They also ask that you please go well off their property if you need to pee. They can view all of your actions with the security cameras.

Why not be respectful in all places?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2011 3 State 3 Mountain - Mapped Out

Please Note: The following information was the 2010 Route. I assume the route for 2011 will be similar.
Interactive Map

The Climbs:
Suck Creek Mountain - Starts near mile 11.2 and ends near mile 16.6. It is approximately 5 miles long at 4 to 6%

Sand Mountain - Starts near mile 52.6 and ends near mile 55.9. It is approximately 3.3 miles long at 6 to 7%
Burkhalter Gap Road (Lookout Mountain) - Starts near mile 81.6 and ends near 84.4. It is approximately 2.3 mile long at 10% and about 1700 yards at ~20%+.

Other significant bumps in the road occur between mile 44 to 45 and from mile 78 to 79.

This will be my fourth consecutive year for attending the 3 State 3 Mountain event. This year I am treating the 100 mile event more like another training session, but it is in my opinion an event that I do not want to miss. The Chattanooga Bicycle Club, Outdoor Chattanooga and the people of Chattanooga work hard to create a great cycling event and do a really great job making this is one of the best organized events in the southeast.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Brewery to Hwy 140

Garmin Connect Ride Data
Garmin Ride Summary (totals):
Distance: 28.5 mi
Moving Time: 01:43:22
Avg Moving Speed: 16.7 mph
Max Speed: 36.3 mph

Group: Neal, Kit, Gary, Tim and me 
Goal: Rack up some decent time in L3

The Ride:
After heavy rain on Saturday there was enough break in the weather for the five of us to get and my time being shorter than my friends I traveled out to Highway 140 and had to turn and come back to get ready for church. Even though my ride was brief it was good to get out and share a few miles with my friends.

My legs felt pretty good, but with a 3 hour indoor ride on Saturday my hips and sit area were a little sore.

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course: ~10 oz.of water with Maltodextrin,Hammer Heed, BCAA and Glutamine,(1) 40 gram Whey protein post ride recovery drink .

The Weather: Cloudy, damp, cool

Bike: Cannondale six13, Garmin 705, Powertap wired

Power Summary: (Based on Coogan's Levels)
Summary Table of Minutes of Duration in Each Training Zone
  Level   Minutes       TSS
      1      3.26      0.81
      2     34.82     21.60
      3     63.23     76.72
      4      0.00      0.00
      5      0.00      0.00
      6      0.00      0.00
      7      2.63      6.84

Overall Power Data:
Entire workout (131 watts):
    Duration:      1:46:38 (1:49:08)
    Work:          819 kJ
    TSS:           116.6 (intensity factor 0.827)
    Norm Power:    165
    VI:            1.26
    Distance:      28.976 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    592    131     watts
    Speed:           0    36.9    16.3     mph
    Pace             1:38    0:00    3:42     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      0    34    6     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    0    665    158     lb-in

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Know Your Sore

Needless Anxiety
Even though I am classified as a recreational cyclist (non-competitor) and for that much a spirited club cyclist I have slowly encountered many of the discomforting aspects of cycling. In 2007, I had a serious crash descending Burnt Mountain Road at nearly 40 mph. As a result I had some very serious road rash, a separated shoulder and a lot of equipment damage. I have suffered cramps and heat exhaustion. I have been chased by the wiliest of dogs. I have tweaked my knees and my lower back and now this past couple of weeks a major saddle sore. But what I found out that saddle sore is such a broad term especially when looking around at various web pages. I noticed saddle sores on these pages range from blisters, cysts, swollen glands, pressure sore and infected hair follicles.

The bad thing about having so much information out on the internet as that one can work themselves into an anxiety by self-diagnosis. As I started to read I thought what I had may have been a cyst because it seemed to fit what other cyclists described. I knew mine was not just a blister since it was not an open sore produced by friction. I have had those before and they seem to heal with basic treatment. This past Saturday I felt a tremendous amount of discomfort on the last 30 miles of the 80 mile ride. By the time I got home and into the shower the discomfort was getting worse. While cleaning I felt a bump the size of a peanut (in the shell) on the crease of my right thigh and it was super tender to the touch. That is when I started doing some research as to what it may be and why did it form. I follow the basic rules of cycling hygiene on a post ride or as best as I thought at the time. Finishing a ride I would change to dry clothes and get home as quickly as possible to shower, but perhaps that is not good enough and perhaps there will be moments in cycling when no matter what you do it is still going to happen. However, it still pays to be informed especially since this little bump caused so much discomfort and prevented me from training the past couple of days.

I like being informed and I am glad that we have so much information available to us out on the web, but we have to know that we do not really know most of the sources out on the web and if that particular person has the best information. Again by some of the descriptions I had self-diagnosed the bump as a cyst and by reading how most deal with cysts that caused my anxiety to rise a bit. Sure having to have a cyst surgically removed and the thought of having that private region exposed on the table can cause the anxiety to rise, but it was post removal that caused me the most anxiety because it would require stitches and a few weeks off the bike or training. As time passed in the next couple of days considering that this would impact my training I could no longer deal with the thought and sought counsel with a doctor recommended to me by a cycling friend. The doctor is an avid cyclist himself and cycles a minimum of 200 miles a week. Surely a guy that does that much time on the bike would have encountered this issue not only personally but also with some patients.

 Medical Diagnosis and Treatment
Sure enough as I met with the general practitioner for the first time he was eager to talk about his cycling training and told me that he had a lot of personal experience in the matter. Obviously he needed to look at the bump and immediately he said not to worry it was an infected hair follicle. Whew!! That was an immediate relief of the anxiety of having a surgical removal of a cyst. You see how I needlessly stressed about a self-diagnosis from a lot of so called web doctors? I worked myself into an anxiety for no reason, but I am very grateful to have met not only this doctor, but a doctor that is an avid cyclist. Being that he is an avid cyclist his view then was to get me back to training. The doctor prescribed the antibiotic, Doxcycline Hyclate, the topical Mupirocin to kill bacteria and Lidicaine topical so that I can apply an hour before training so that the area will be numb to discomfort while it is healing. Now I must say since my information is on the internet that do not take this information to be your self-diagnosis. This is exclusive to me as prescribed by my doctor.

Future Prevention
As the good doctor finished up writing the prescription he changed to the topic of chamois crème. He mentioned that over the years he has tried many types of cycling specific crèmes to other items like those for diaper rash, bag balm and other items. I have used a variety myself and recently I had fair luck with Udderly Smooth and Chamois Butt’r, however, as I started to extend my training time and especially those longer days lately extending the miles to 80 I notice that these solutions were not holding up to time, heat and friction. There lies part of the problem. The other could be potentially not cleaning quickly enough. Imagine that on a five plus hour ride with heat, tremendous amount of sweat, friction and a trace of bacteria the environment becomes like one said on a web page, “an incubator for bacteria.” It may not be enough that I change quickly into dry shorts following a ride and long commute home to get cleaned up in the shower. It may be that we need to address that situation much more quickly.

My plan going forward. Again this is what I plan and I will state that I am not a cycling expert nor am I a doctor so take this for what it is, but it is just a plan to be a bit more careful with post ride hygiene. Especially since this small issue with saddle sores can be much larger than we know and can destroy weeks of training. It has also knocked pro cyclist out of the tour.

Perhaps one cannot totally prevent an infected hair follicle, cyst or blister, but we can try.
  • Always use clean shorts – I do this for sure and I would suspect most people do this most basic step.
  • Use a good lubricant – This is something that one may want to experiment. The Doctor suggested Queen Helene Coco Butter. It is cheap at discount stores or It has some good reviews on the web and seems to hold up under extended time. I purchased a 15 oz. container for less than $5 and will give a test. (Coach Levi's review)
  • Use a sanitary wipe post ride – I purchased a store brand version of Wet One’s for babies. It is not harsh and will help kill bacteria if you have a commute home. I will do a quick wipe of the area before putting on dry shorts.
  • Use an anti-bacteria soap – Dial soap is my choice since it is not expensive and it is anti-bacterial
It is important for me to note that saddle sores can occur for various reasons and they may not always be defined by the medical society with such broad terms. It could be a cyst, it could be an infected hair follicle or it could simply be a blister. It may be caused by bacteria or it may be caused by a poor bike fit, cheap cycling shorts or bad saddle fit. Best thing to do is go to your doctor if you have an issue and have it looked at rather than delaying treatment or getting anxious over what it may or may not be. To Know Your Sore see your doctor if it is significant and causing anxiety, discomfort and distracting from enjoying cycling.

10/10/2013 Update

Another sore that I am trying to figure out, but also finding it difficult to find good information is a pressure sore and from the description it sounds much like the type of sore that I have experienced in the past. A friend that is a veteran racer and cycling coach informed me a little more about pressure sores that are caused by poor bike fit, but can also form from being on rough pavement, sitting down hard on the saddle, fabric fold, seams or other issues generated by excess pressure in sensitive areas. A couple weeks ago I was on a short standing climb and remember sitting back down and hit that sensitive crease on the saddle. When I got home I felt a small pea sized hard lump and soreness just like the original problem. If this is a reaction to impact and there is inflammation/swelling and soreness it is much like bumping your noggin on something and getting a lump. Immediately after the post ride shower I used a small thin ice pack that I use treating injuries and wrapped it with a paper towel, placed in the crease of my shorts (not cycling shorts) and left on while uploading my ride data. By that evening the swelling had gone down and the next day I was able to train again. There was some tenderness in that area for a couple of days, but I was just mindful not to impact the area again in how I would sit back down on the saddle, avoided hitting cracks and holes in the pavement that causes jarring to the area and was careful not to rock in the saddle. I still want to learn more about pressure sores to make sure this is what is going on, but it makes sense at the moment.

9/17/2012 Update

Since this post I have had a number of times of friction type saddle sores and at this moment I am treating a couple of blister type sores on each side of my legs at the crease. A few months ago I finally noticed what is causing my trouble. This past weekend I did a 90 mile route on Saturday and another 40 on Sunday, plus a number of hours last week training on rollers. On Saturday I noticed that either the seam at the pad or maybe a slight fold in the material at the crease of the leg and it was a very slight annoyance. Not something that was enough to really stop the bike and make adustments so I kept on, but with that many miles of friction and heat it was enough to open up the skin.

At the end of Saturday's ride I quickly changed to dry clothes and did not hesitate to get into the shower and clean the area with an anti-bacterial soap. As soon as the soap touched the area there was a burning sensation and I knew there was potential trouble brewing. Following Sunday's ride it was a repeat of putting on dry clothes immediately and rushing home to clean with the soap and apply an antibiotic ointment. I keep a bottle of Bactine in my gear bag for road rash or saddle sores and should have applied this. I am sure if I had it would have caused me jump about 6 feet, but I should have done this.

I am glad this is a blister type of saddle sore because it will probably heal in a day or two and it may not impact indoor training this week if I continue to do the home treatment and cleaning. I applied some zinc oxide (commonly used in baby products for diaper rash) this morning after training and it seems to be soothing the discomfort of chafing. An area of chafing or blister type of sore is much better to deal with than having a cyst type that may need medical treatment.

Keep it clean so you can keep training! Best wishes and fast recovery on your issue.

This just part of my collection of Desoto shorts that I keep in circulation. Training consistently it is nice to have clean shorts that you can trust. I consider these shorts to be the best cycling investment that I have made. It allows me to train almost daily and have clean reliable shorts. Of course each of us must find the brand that works for each individual preference.

I doubt that I could hold up for 400 miles and I don't think I will ever try to give that a test.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Brewery to Horn Mountain - 80 Mile Training Ride

Garmin Connect Ride Data
Garmin Ride Summary (totals):
Distance: 80.8 mi
Moving Time: 05:05:39
Avg Moving Speed: 15.9 mph
Max Speed: 37.5 mph

80 Mile Group: Neal, Kit, Glenn, Peter, Richard, Gary, Mike Q., Ron, Rod, Darren and me 
55 Mile Group: Diane, Mike R., Jamie, Nancy, Alan, Edgar, Jack, Tim and Derek

Goal: Rack up some decent time in L3

The Ride:
What an interesting day for me. I was forewarned early in the week by my wife that if I was to do an eighty mile training route not to mess around and get on home. Believe me I did what I could and yet the fate of the day made for some unexpected changes. More of that later.

Eleven of us started from the brewery at 8 am and with the time change the sun was just barely up and yet the temperatures felt nice to me at 51 degrees (F). I was wearing my new Free-Flite Jersey and shorts with no warmers and enjoying the warm up. We kept a moderate to calm pace on our way over to Adairsville to pick up the 55 mile group and then head on toward Horn Mt.

With twenty people in the group it seemed tight and congested to me, but still a great group that I trust to hold their line. Yet it was still difficult to see pot holes and potential hazards. I am not sure of the name of the one road, but it was very rough and had quite a few holes and humps to dodge. At one of the turns the group stopped at a church and I kept on going toward the Horn Mountain climb. Climbing Horn is when some of the stronger caught me and a new guy, Darren, looked like he was breezing up this short steep challenge. On the descent Jamie, me and a few others took off again and once again I ended up in solo mode for a very long time on Everrett Springs Road or better known to cyclists as the "Pocket". Once again a small group caught me and went on by.

I passed the store stop and ate while on the bike and kept as good a pace as I could in some head winds. I messed up when the route on the Garmin map crossed itself and instead of going straight I turned and headed back on a road that we used coming out. I thought something did not look right and by the time some of the features looked familiar there were too many miles to go back. This also caused me to lose a little time, but then after leaving Adairsville a female cyclist, later found out her name is Jane, yelled to me and asked if she was near the brewery. I knew she was lost in a bad way because she said she was on the marked 31 BBC route. We were no where close to that area.

I was thinking about the my goal to get home quickly, but there was no way I could just abandon Jane. I slowed down on the "75 Hill", which is a long straight climb that parallels I-75 so that she could at least keep me in sight. For the remaining miles I had to keep a watch and not get too far in front of Jane so she would not take a wrong turn. I know when the two of us rolled into the brewery parking lot she was very appreciative and the guys waiting for her were as well.

I did not mind sacrificing some training time to help a fellow cyclist find the way back. It is the right thing to do and I know there have been so many times in my newbie days that have helped me out. It is the least we cyclists can do for each other whether it is strangers or friends.

It all worked out. I rushed home to upload the ride data and jot down my thoughts of the day.
As usual I am blessed to have my cycling friends and the sunny warm day is a blessing. Blessed to be cycling!

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course: ~52 oz.of water with Maltodextrin,Hammer Heed, BCAA and Glutamine, (1) Hammer gel (2) Cliff Bars (1) 40 gram Whey protein post ride recovery drink .

The Weather: Sunny, Start @ 51 degrees, End @ 78 degrees

Bike: LOOK 585, Garmin 705, Powertap wired

Power Summary: (Based on Coogan's Levels)
Summary Table of Minutes of Duration in Each Training Zone
  Level   Minutes       TSS
      1      8.15      2.98
      2    141.33     84.85
      3    104.64    114.20
      4     42.67     53.64

      5      0.00      0.00
      6      2.20      7.83
      7      6.57     21.93

Overall Power Data:
 Entire workout (120 watts):
    Duration:      5:09:30 (5:22:20)
    Work:          2197 kJ
    TSS:           314 (intensity factor 0.791)
    Norm Power:    158
    VI:            1.32
    Distance:      81.254 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    588    120     watts
    Speed:           0    38    15.7     mph
    Pace             1:35    0:00    3:49     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      0    44    6     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    0    924    138     lb-in

Climbing Horn Mountain
    Duration:      17:04
    Work:          202 kJ
    TSS:           30.5 (intensity factor 1.036)
    Norm Power:    207
    VI:            1.05
    Distance:      1.747 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    362    198     watts
    Speed:           0    10.1    6.1     mph
    Pace             5:58    0:00    9:46     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      0    44    22     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    0    556    270     lb-in

Friday, March 18, 2011

New Specialized Purist Logo Bottles

This unique bottle from Specialized has a silicon dioxide coating on the inside that acts much like a glass and shields from mold build up, stains and odor. The Purist helps water taste like water instead of plastic.

•Translucent smoke color, clear cap, white graphics
•Specialized Purist Bottle (you can read more about the characteristic of the bottle here (
•BPA Free / Recyclable LDPE / Easy to Squeeze
•MoFlo Cap (higher flow amount compared to the normal water bottle) with removable valve for cleaning
•Silicon Dioxide coating on the inside that is comparable to drinking from a glass and will prevent mold, staining and odor buildup.
•Water will not taste like plastic
•Cleaning instructions are like most bottles except do not use anything that might scrape the interior surface. The coating is infused, but best not to scrub too hard.
26 oz. Logo Water Bottle

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Brewery To Nickelsville Road

Garmin Connect Ride Data

Group: Diane, Jamie, Lori, Elizabeth, Nancy, Mike Q., Gary, Rod, Peter, Joe, Alan, Chick, Derek and me

Goal: Have some good sustained time in Tempo (L3).

The Ride: I was somewhat surprised and grateful that we had fourteen roll out. It was a great group and with the hope of the weather increasing from the high 30's to the low 70's with full sun. It seemed to be a good day to try to put in another 80 mile ride. I had been anticipating this route for several weeks and perhaps a few others were as well.

At the store stop Gary, Mike and Derek decided to split off for a different route home and a few more miles down the road the group split again. As I mentioned I really had my hopes up to do this route and yet I had some sharp pains along the right side of my leg, perhaps an IT Band issue and had to make a quick choice to split off and go back with Diane, Alan and Peter or take a chance that my leg would be okay and go the full route. I decided it was not worth the risk to the group or myself to keep pushing northward..

Nancy, Joe, Elizabeth, Chick, Lori and Jamie did so good by deciding to keep going forward for the full route. Unfortunately one of the roads on the route was in a terrible mess with large gravel and they had several flats, but all of them did great and returned safely.

Once me, Alan, Peter and Diane arrived near the T/A we had about 65 miles and I decided to track back to add miles and see if I could find the group that had done the full route. I did not find them, but was able to get in my 80 miles for the day.

We all had to deal with some sharp wind gusts on the return, but with such a beautiful day with full sun and warmer temperatures I did not seem to mind the wind too much.

Sun, miles of pavement, friends and bikes. Another day of getting our Cycling Addiction fix.

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course: ~32 oz.of water with Hammer Heed, Maltodextrin,BCAA and Glutamine, (2) Hammer gel (2) Cliff Bars (1) 40 gram Whey protein post ride recovery drink .

The Weather: Sunny, Start @ 39 degrees, End @ 71 degrees, Winds from WSW 11 mph

Bike: LOOK 585, Garmin 705, Powertap wired

Garmin Connect Overview
Total Distance (mi) 82.37 
Moving Time 4:49:56 
Avg. Moving Speed (mph) 17.0 
Max. Speed (mph)33.6 

Time at Power Level (Based on Coogan's Levels)
Summary Table of Minutes of Duration in Each Training Zone
Level Minutes TSS 
3.40 0.54 
116.57 71.01 
146.83 173.98 
13.69 13.16 
0.00 0.00 
2.20 5.02 
5.61 20.81 

Power Summary
Work (kj) 2039   
TSS 284.8   
IF 0.773   
Norm Power 155   
  Max  Avg 
Power636 118 
Speed (mph) 34.2 17.1 
Pace (min/mi) 3:31 
Crank Torque663 134 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rolling in Tempo

Goal: My hope was to complete a 3 hour indoor ride at Tempo (L3).

The Indoor Ride:
My hope and plans for today was an eighty mile ride at the brewery were canceled due to rain and wind. Last week the eighty mile really gave my CTL a nice boost and I ended last week with ten hours of training. This week I was running short on my training time and could not afford to just do a couple of L4 intervals and I did not think I had it in me to try another couple of L4's today. I was right and now that I can look back after training this morning I am sort of glad that the rain interfered with the eighty mile ride. Not for my cycling friends,but for me. I woke up with a headache, which is rare for me and had a rough night of sleep.

After a few tasks around the house I got everything prepared downstairs to attempt this epic indoor training event. Epic for me anyway. I have done two hour indoor sessions before but on those days I was feeling a lot better than I did this morning. I put in new hub batteries for the power meter, set up two fans, got some movies and my ipod ready. I also had a couple gel packs, put on my best pair of cycling shorts because I wanted to eliminate every thing that could pop up as an excuse later in the training session.

The first hour went pretty good. The second hour went pretty quick, but I could tell at the end of the second hour my hips, lower back and hamstrings were ready to call it a day. I started in on the third hour and noticed I was struggling to keep my effort up in the Tempo zone. I got off the bike and tried to stretch, but between how my body was feeling, fading in power output and my head hurting I was ready to call it a day.

I did not make 3 hour plus effort like I had hoped and my TSS did not add up to much, but there was something pretty good about sitting on the e-Motion rollers for over 2 hours. One, it was a constant effort, whereas, out on the road in a typical group ride for two hours there is some coasting and more opportunity to shift around on the bike and even stand up. Sitting on the e-Motion rollers it is not quite as comfortable as riding on the road for real, but still much better than sitting on the trainer. I did stand up on the rollers a couple of times, but unlike standing and coasting on the road the effort has to pick up in order to stand on the rollers or at least I have to maintain effort. I suppose with more experience I will be able to do these type of things. I sure am glad I purchased the e-Motion rollers.

I am fairly content with my training today even though I fell a little short of my goals and well short if we had done the eighty mile ride, but considering how I feel at the moment I am just glad I got something done. Otherwise the CTL would have taken a big tumble.

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course: ~48 oz.of water with BCAA and Glutamine, (2) Hammer gel

The Weather: Rainy, cool and windy outside

Bike & Equipment: Felt F45, Powertap wired, e-Motion rollers, 2 fans and some movies

Power Summary: (Based on Coogan's Levels)
  Level   Minutes       TSS
      1      0.08      0.00
      2      5.86      4.46
      3    135.43    132.49
      4      0.00      0.00
      5      0.00      0.00
      6      0.00      0.00
      7      0.00      0.00

Overall Power Data:
 Entire workout:
    Duration:      2:22:12

    Work:          1280 kJ
    TSS:           134.6 (intensity factor 0.764)
    Norm Power:    153
    VI:            1.01
    Distance:      38.362 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    238    151     watts
    Speed:           0    20.5    16.2     mph
    Pace             2:56    0:00    3:42     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      0    12    6     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    0    351    178     lb-in