Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cycling Near Seminole State Park

I had the opportunity to cycle the roads near Seminole State Park in southwest Georgia over the Thanksgiving holiday. I was very fortunate to be able to share the holiday with family and also get out to burn off a few calories on some very flat straight roads, but what a joy it was to get out and explore some of these rural roads in south Georgia. The temperatures were pleasant enough to wear summer gear, but with the open fields and some stiff wind it was an effort to hold speed at times. I cannot imagine how hot it must be to cycle these roads in the summer, but fall, winter and spring must be really sweet.

It did not take long to feel at ease with the roads and the drivers that I encountered were very friendly. When passing they gave me plenty of room. Perhaps flat roads are not everyone's sweet place to ride, but to me it is much like training indoors, but much more mentally stimulating. Certainly with the flat roads and winds at times there is plenty of opportunity to train at level for sustained periods of time.

Park Entrance
Lake Seminole within Seminole State Park
Highway 39
Highway 285
Harvested Cotton at Highway 39
Highway 39
Three Notch Road
Lake Seminole at Ray Landing

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Giordana Silverline Bib Tights with Pad

During the season changes one of the hardest decisions is what to wear. It doesn't matter if it is a new rider or a veteran of many years I can hear several comments or questions about the weather and about what a person intends to wear on the ride. When you have a day that starts in the 30's and warms up into the 50's or higher you certainly want to have layers on that can be removed as the body's core temperature and the day's temperature rises. The more years I ride the more refined my technical gear becomes. My gear bag during the fall and spring is full of options based on weather conditions. However, I felt as if I needed another addition with some mid weight bib tights. Something between wearing shorts with leg warmers and the Pearl Izumi Amfib bib tights that are for really cold days with cold winds. The Amfib tights are a thicker material with a wind front that to be honest seem to be restrictive to me, but again very good for very cold days.

With a lot of options for bib tights out there I did some web research and still could not decide so I rolled the dice and selected the Giordana Silverline Bib Tights with Pad. I wanted something that felt less restrictive and had a pad so that I did not have to double up and wear bib shorts underneath. I had the perfect weather to do my test as these bib tights are rated for weather in the 40's and 50's degree Fahrenheit and today's ride started in the low 40's. One of the general rules to selecting clothing for colder weather is to start the ride feeling cold because it will not take long before the body's core warms up and there is potential to get over heated and sweat heavily. I generally follow this rule and start my rides with the feeling of being uncomfortably cold. Sometimes to the point where I am almost shivering. A good many of my veteran friends prefer to dress warmer. Selecting clothing is a personal preference and what I can say as a review may be meaningless to the next person.

What I had hoped about the Giordana Bibs would be a mid weight material. The material is Super Roubaix, which is a light fleece-backed Lycra and it felt to me like it lightly hugged my legs and yet was not restrictive. They actually felt less restrictive than my favorite Desoto bib shorts combined with leg warmers. These particular line of bibs does not have a wind protection front and at these temperatures I want the cool air to slightly penetrate the fabric and cool my legs. During the ride with a cool winds in low 40 degree F temperature the amount of air that was able to pass through the fabric was almost perfect to me.

At times during the ride where a quick out of the saddle sprint up a hill there was no sensation of feeling restricted by the material like I have experienced with other bib tights. The pad that is used in this line is the OmniForm MC-3-O.F., which I have no idea what all that means other than does it work for me or not. The pad is thinner than my preferred "400 Mile" pad in my favorite Desoto shorts. I must have a more sensitive undercarriage than most because I cannot seem to adapt to the rigors of longer distance cycling and minimal pads. However, the pad held up okay for me on today's 60 mile course. I am not sure if it would be sufficient for me on a century, but I typically keep my miles shorter in the colder months anyway. Overall the fit and feel is excellent in the weather range between the 40'

Conclusion: I give these bib tights very high marks. Out of a 5 star high I would give them 4.75.

  • Giordana Silverline Bib Tights
  • OmniForm MC-3-O.F. pad (can be ordered without a pad)
  • Super Roubaix
  • Ankle zippers
  • Reflective highlights
  • Recommended for 40's and 50's degree Fahrenheit range (I could go into the 30's with these)

Lastly I purchased these bib tights from Classic Cycling in Harrisburg, North Carolina. This was my first order from this online reseller. I selected "free shipping" method and was not sure they would arrive in time for a review this weekend so I sent an email and the response was fast and friendly. The package was already underway and arrived on time. They have a nice selection of high quality cycling apparel and gear with good prices.

Modified Rose Pedal - 50

Ride With GPS Data
Garmin Connect Data
Moving Time: 3:39:53
Distance: 60 miles
Avg Moving Speed 16.6 mph
Elevation Gain: 2,972 ft

Group:  Kit, Keith, Mike, Gary, Edgar and me

Goal: Enjoy a conversation paced ride with friends and spin a few miles.

The Ride: Thanks to Gary for creating a modified version of the marked 48 mile Rose Pedal route that had a couple new roads to try out. I started at 8  a.m. to get in a few extra miles and then joined the guys starting from Creekview High School for the 50 mile course at 9 a.m.. Even though the skies were looking dark grey and it had the appearance of a cold winter day the weather really wasn't that bad while we were moving. Once stopped and the cool wind blowing it felt a bit colder.

My preference is typically a flat type road that I can get into a steady pace and train. Rolling hills are typically the opposite for me as I struggle to get into a steady groove, but the rolling hills of the Rose Pedal route seem pleasurable to me. The rolling terrain also does not fit my typical style of training where I am supposed to hold near threshold type of power output for sustained periods, but again the rolling terrain is a nice test of the legs once in a while just to make sure they can deal with the quick out of the saddle efforts on some of the short steeper hills.

The best part of the day is riding with this group of guys. The pace was fairly calm. Calm enough to throw a few jabs of teasing back and forth, which happened to be Mike's day as we joked about him being our ride leader. But I think each of us received a jab at some point during the ride. Dark skies and cool wind, but still a great day to be out with friends on the bikes.

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course: ~26 oz. of water with Hammer Perpetuem, BCAA's, Gluatamine  (1) Cliff bar (1) 40 gram Whey protein post ride recovery drink (1) post ride tuna salad, toast, pita chips about 60 minutes following the ride.

The Weather: Heavy overcast sky @ 45 degrees, End @ 50 degrees, breezy conditions.

Bike: Cannondale six13, Garmin 800, Powertap SL+

Overall Power Data:
Entire workout (132 watts):
    Duration:      3:43:02 (4:04:22)
    Work:          1769 kJ
    TSS:           266.8 (intensity factor 0.848)
    Norm Power:    174
    VI:            1.32
    Distance:      60.869 mi
    Elevation Gain:        2360 ft
    Elevation Loss:       2346 ft
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    780    132     watts
    Speed:           0    36.8    16.4     mph
    Pace             1:38    0:00    3:40     min/mi
    Altitude:        1012    1292    1188     ft
    Crank Torque:    0    1588    143     lb-in

Why do I have this image posted on this blog entry? We had two cars that not only appeared to be very close to us, but one actually looked to intentionally veer toward us while passing. Perhaps the general public does not realize that this is a new law. Perhaps there has not been enough public notice.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Brewery to Craneeater Road

Ride with GPS Data
Garmin Connect Data
Moving Time: 4:22:05
Distance: 70 miles
Avg Moving Speed 16.2 mph
Elevation Gain: 2,800 ft

Group:  Too many to count or attempt to jot down names.

Goal: Keep a steady pace if possible

The Ride: Sometimes you just don't know until you go. Go out and see how the legs will do that is and I found out at some point that it was going to be a tough day for me. But I will get to that later.

My intuition was to go out on a solo ride and then at the last moment I changed to ride with Diane and friends on a route that she had planned. Thanks Diane for once again rallying the troops to a ride.The word must have spread quickly because this was probably the biggest group I have seen roll out in weeks and it was great to see some people like Jeff, Margaret, Nancy, Kit and some others that I have not seen in a while.

The group ride was starting at 9 a.m. so I went out 8 a.m. and did about 12 miles, returned to change to some lighter clothes and then rolled out with the group. Those first solo miles were brutal as I have not quite acclimated to the colder temperatures. A quick look at my phone it reported 27 degrees F. Just about everything felt uncomfortably cold except the air was stinging the exposed skin on my face. The last few miles I began to warm up enough to shed a few layers before the group ride.

I struggled to get into a groove while in the group. If I went off the front it seemed to cause a chase and mixed in the group I was feathering my brakes and coasting a lot. I knew that I needed to get in a position to get some steady time putting some constant torque on the pedals so I dropped off the back to ride solo. Plus it did not take long to figure out that my legs were fatigued from training this past week. Hindsight, I should have done less miles today or just taken the day off to rest, however, it was nice to get out on the bike regardless.

The big group that rolled out of the brewery split into about half early in the ride and I was with the front half some of the miles. It looked like they had a comfortable pace going. Since I was either off the back or at times out in front of the group I cannot testify as to how the ride went for them. It looked like they had a great time.

All I can think about now is taking a nap. Perhaps that is what I will do now.
I hope you had a great ride or training today and this week. Until the next one.......

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course: ~26 oz. of water with Hammer Perpetuem, BCAA's, Gluatamine  (1) Cliff bar (1) 40 gram Whey protein post ride recovery drink (1) post ride chicken club sandwich on toast about 30 minutes following the ride.

The Weather: Sunny Start @ 27 degrees, End @ 60 degrees, calm air at the start with breezy conditions later in the ride.

Bike: LOOK 585, Garmin 800, Powertap SL+

Overall Power Data:
Entire workout (124 watts):
    Duration:      4:26:42 (4:52:55)
    Work:          1989 kJ
    TSS:           249.8 (intensity factor 0.75)
    Norm Power:    154
    VI:            1.24
    Distance:      70.919 mi
    Elevation Gain:        2073 ft
    Elevation Loss:       2072 ft
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    742    124     watts
    Cadence:         7    231    82     rpm
    Speed:           0    36    16.0     mph
    Pace             1:40    0:00    3:45     min/mi
    Altitude:        646    1019    808     ft
    Crank Torque:    0    1088    135     lb-in

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Comet - Tempo

Ride with GPS Data
Garmin Connect Data
Goal: Tempo Effort for 2 x 60 minutes.

Ride Notes: I was not sure what to expect after having a near 300 TSS yesterday and how that would impact today's effort. Much to my surprise the first 60 minute interval went so well with a 0.9 IF that I gave my legs a break on the second interval and just enjoyed cruising back to the parking lot at a little easier pace.

It is pretty neat to begin figuring out how much load I can put on this body. Training is supposed to be progressive in nature. I think it was cycling coach, Ric Stern that used to always say, "you are either training or detraining." I want to push this body to the edge and when it adapts I am going to push it a bit more. I have to admit sometimes I push it a little too far and I need an extra day of rest, but I would rather flirt with that line than to go too easy. I have a long way to go and for now I doubt I could hold the wheel of a mediocre Cat 5, but maybe someday. Maybe someday!

Nutrition: ~26 oz water, BCAA's, Glutamine, (1) Hammer gel

Weather: Sunny 62, slight breeze

Training Summary:
Total Distance: 36 Miles
Total Moving Time: 2:01:38
Total Avg. Moving Speed: 17.9
Total TSS: 143.8 (0.82 IF)

Interval Power Summary 
Interval 1:    Duration:      1:00:07
    Work:          623 kJ
    TSS:           82 (intensity factor 0.909)
    Norm Power:    186
    VI:            1.08
    Distance:      17.847 mi
    Elevation Gain:        327 ft
    Elevation Loss:       208 ft
    Grade:         0.1 %  (129 ft)
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    590    173     watts
    Cadence:         7    -    83     rpm
    Speed:           0    25    17.8     mph
    Pace             2:24    0:00    3:22     min/mi
    Altitude:        494    649    584     ft
    Crank Torque:    0    1680    181     lb-in

Interval 2:
    Duration:      1:02:46
    Work:          499 kJ
    TSS:           55.6 (intensity factor 0.729)
    Norm Power:    149
    VI:            1.13
    Distance:      17.933 mi
    Elevation Gain:        183 ft
    Elevation Loss:       372 ft
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    585    133     watts
    Cadence:         9    -    81     rpm
    Speed:           0    29.5    17.1     mph
    Pace             2:02    0:00    3:30     min/mi
    Altitude:        451    651    540     ft
    Crank Torque:    0    1629    145     lb-in

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Brewery to Cagle Road - Steady Pace

Ride with GPS Data
Garmin Connect Data
Moving Time: 4:52:28
Distance: 80 miles
Avg Moving Speed 16.5 mph
Elevation Gain: 3,000 ft

Group (headed toward Fort Mt.): Me :-)
Group (headed toward Horn Mt.):  Gary,  Mike Q., Neal, Keith, Jamie, Chuck Peter, Diane, Mike R., Craig, Joe, Elizabeth, Edgar and a few more I believe.

Goal: Keep a steady pace if possible and try to end with about 300 TSS and 0.8 IF

The Ride: It was a tough struggle for me to decide to go on a solo training ride and especially when my start time and location lined up with my group of friends. Part of me really wanted to hang with them and I followed them the first couple of miles until our routes parted ways. I do hope they had a great time. From that turn forward it is sort of hard to do much on color commentary about my ride. I will just note a few things.

I suppose the most unsettling thing about going solo this morning was how dense the fog was and how long it remained with me on the route. I had on my vibrant yellow Sugoi Helium jacket with a red flashing light on the saddle, but I know that cars are not expecting cyclists to be out on these rural roads in this condition. Fortunately I am here to write this so everything went okay. It was nice that I only saw a handful of cars on the way up and most of them were going the other direction. One sheriff passed me so I supposed I had his approval. Other than that I really enjoyed the route. I do this route quite often, but it does not get old to me and I really enjoy Cagle Road for some reason.

Performance and training wise my goal was not necessarily to go out and hammer an eighty mile route today. I just wanted to pedal at a steady state and end with something reasonable so I can train tomorrow. Also to minimize any coasting, drafting was not an option and basically just make my legs feel virtually every mile. Out of the 5 hours on the road I had about ten minutes stopped and most of that was unfortunately waiting for the restroom at the gas station / turning point and a couple of very brief stops along the road.

I ended just under my intended goal, but that is okay. It is close enough and if I had gone much harder I would have gone over and that would make the intervals tomorrow suffer. I have my wife's blessing to go out tomorrow after church for the 2 x 60 minute intervals. I hope the legs can recover quickly because tomorrow afternoon is hammer time.

Nutrition Intake During and after the Course: ~40 oz. of water with Hammer Perpetuem, BCAA's, Gluatamine  (1) Cliff bar (1) Hammer Gel (1) 30 gram Whey protein post ride recovery drink (1) post ride Tuna sandwich on whole grain toast about an hour following the ride.

The Weather: Very heavy fog to sun much later, Start @ 39 degrees, End @ 57 degrees, calm air at the start in the fog with breezy conditions later in the ride.

Bike: LOOK 585, Garmin 800, Powertap SL+

Overall Power Data:
Entire workout (138 watts):
    Duration:      4:58:29 (5:08:03)
    Work:          2471 kJ
    TSS:           295.9 (intensity factor 0.772)
    Norm Power:    158
    VI:            1.15
    Distance:      80.414 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    581    138     watts
    Speed:           0    32.1    16.2     mph
    Pace             1:52    0:00    3:43     min/mi
    Altitude:        640    905    746     ft
    Crank Torque:    0    1690    152     lb-in