Monday, December 31, 2012

Comet - Finishing Up 2012

Distance: 61.8 miles
Avg. Moving Speed:  17.3
Moving Time: 3:33:51
Total Time:  3:49:32
Ride Total TSS: 196 (0.728 IF)
Group going out and Solo on the return
Enjoy the group ride with Robert Wilhite and gang on the way out. Do a steady cadence as much as possible on the back.
Ride Description:
I saw Robert's post on Facebook stating a winter conversation paced group ride at the Comet and thought it would be nice to meet him and some of his friends and ride a few miles. All of them were super nice and very pleasant to ride with. At mile 20 about 4 headed back and the rest of us continued on toward the tunnel. It was really nice chatting with Sam and Sam on the way out. There were two of them a guy and a gal and both very friendly.

Once we arrived at the tunnel I decided, for time's sake, to head back and try to be home when my wife got home to share this New Year's Eve on the couch watching TV like usual. We finish out the year in grand celebration style and stay up until almost 10 pm on some years. The pace on the return was steady at times, but there were a few momentum killers while navigating around some folk.

Bottom line it was nice to finish out the 2012 with this ride and with this group.
My hope is that all my cycling buddies and those that read this blog now and then will be able to rack up a lot of great miles in 2013.
Nutrition Intake During and after the Course:
24 oz from Bottle #1 water, Glutamine, maltodextrin
Hammer gel @ mile 20
Hammer gel @ mile 50
Post Ride | 24 oz from Bottle #2 water, Glutamine, maltodextrin and a Cliff Bar
Home | protein drink
LOOK 585, Garmin 800, Powertap SL+
Overall Powertap Data: 
Entire workout (128 watts):    
    Duration:      3:43:04 (3:49:37)
    Work:          1708 kJ
    TSS:           196.3 (intensity factor 0.728)
    Norm Power:    153
    VI:            1.2
    Distance:      61.821 mi
                     Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    691    128     watts
    Cadence:         7   -   82     rpm
    Speed:           0    25.9    16.7     mph
    Pace             2:19    0:00    3:36     min/mi
    Crank Torque:    0    1596    143     lb-in
    Temperature:     44.6    59    48.1     Fahrenheit

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Comet - Easy Spin

Distance: 35.8 miles
Avg. Moving Speed:  17.7
Moving Time: 2:01:24
Total Time:  2:04:19
Ride Total TSS: 116.6 (0.75 IF)
Spin easy
Ride Description:
It almost felt a little bit eerie out on the Comet today. I have been there when it was quiet, but this was like visiting an old ghost town. There were a few people scattered here and there, but very few. At times it was just me and the squirrels on certain parts.

As far as riding/training goes my only objective was to keep my legs active in the last few days of this year. With all the Christmas socials and other things my miles and time are down this month and my CTL has dropped to 72.
Nutrition Intake During and after the Course:
24 oz from Bottle #1 water, Glutamine, BCAA
Post Ride | 30 gram protein drink, Cliff Bar
Home | Quiche
LOOK 585, Garmin 800, Powertap SL+
Overall Powertap Data: 
Entire workout (147 watts):
    Duration:      2:04:20
    Work:          1098 kJ
    TSS:           116.6 (intensity factor 0.752)
    Norm Power:    158
    VI:            1.07
    Distance:      35.754 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    483    147     watts
    Cadence:         8    246    75     rpm
    Speed:           0    25.5    17.3     mph
    Pace             2:21    0:00    3:29     min/mi
    Crank Torque:    0    1218    173     lb-in

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sweat Guard - Prototype

Tomorrow I will get my trainer bike back from Cannon Cyclery with new cables, cleanup, new bottom bracket, chain, cables and housings. This bike was due for all the work described just out of regular timing of maintenance, but in the case of this bike it has taken an extra dose of punishment by the amount of sweat generated training indoors. Even my Garmin 800 that I use as a head unit was getting swamped so I needed to figure out a way to provide a little more protection for the front end of the bike while using the rollers. Using a towel on the bars while on the rollers has been cumbersome and takes some of my concentration away from training (staying balanced as well) and more with keeping the towel in place.

I came up with the prototype shown below just out of quick trip to the large box home supply store to pick up some Lexan and hardware putting the project cost at less than $20 and it took me less than an hour to build this first prototype. The tools that I used were a radial arm saw to cut the Lexan and a drill press for the remainder of the work. I still need to find a way to attach the guard, but more than likely I will use zip ties. Also I planned on using rubber stoppers for the feet, but all the store had for this size was cork. I will probably have to order the rubber stoppers for the next version.

This might look goofy, but the cost for damaged components is too much to be concerned with looks.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Comet - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Driving down the skies were looking sketchy and a few drops on the windshield, but it turned out great

Distance: 38 miles
Avg. Moving Speed:  18.4
Moving Time: 2:05:01
Total Time:  2:10:07
Ride Total TSS: 141.6 (0.81 IF)
Spin the cranks
Ride Description:
The Good
  • It was warm enough this December day to wear summer gear
  • I had my Garmin 800 warranty replacement on the bar
  • I paced some guy going out and his pace was solid and steady
  • The rain held off
  • I didn't hit anyone or crash
The Bad and The Ugly
  •  There was a lot of people out on this warm day and I had to play it safe with slower speed
  • Came up on a bad crash with the woman still laying on the pavement. Pretty serious road rash and a deep gouge down her forearm to her elbow. That was the bad and the ugly. Glad she wasn't hurt worse. I think she was comforted by the people that stopped to give her encouragement and make sure she could get back.
Nutrition Intake During and after the Course:
24 oz from Bottle #1 water, Glutamine, maltodextrin
Post Ride | 30 gram protein drink, Cliff Bar
Home | vegetable soup, crackers, skim milk
LOOK 585, Garmin 800, Powertap SL+
Overall Powertap Data: 
 Lap 1:
    Duration:      1:00:01
    Work:          637 kJ
    TSS:           81.1 (intensity factor 0.904)
    Norm Power:    190
    VI:            1.07
    Distance:      18.914 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    526    177     watts
    Cadence:         10    206    78     rpm
    Speed:           0    25.6    18.9     mph
    Pace             2:21    0:00    3:11     min/mi
    Altitude:        867    1093    964     ft
    Crank Torque:    0    1352    197     lb-in

Lap 2:
    Duration:      1:05:30 (1:07:45)
    Work:          546 kJ
    TSS:           54.6 (intensity factor 0.707)
    Norm Power:    148
    VI:            1.07
    Distance:      18.993 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    409    139     watts
    Cadence:         8    206    70     rpm
    Speed:           0    22.9    17.5     mph
    Pace             2:37    0:00    3:26     min/mi
    Altitude:        859    1094    968     ft
    Crank Torque:    0    1382    172     lb-in

Entire workout (156 watts):
    Duration:      2:07:54 (2:10:09)
    Work:          1196 kJ
    TSS:           141.6 (intensity factor 0.817)
    Norm Power:    171
    VI:            1.1
    Distance:      38.343 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    639    156     watts
    Cadence:         8    206    74     rpm
    Speed:           0    25.6    18.0     mph
    Pace             2:21    0:00    3:20     min/mi
    Crank Torque:    0    1743    183     lb-in
    Temperature:     62.6    66.2    65.1     Fahrenheit

Saturday, December 8, 2012

BBC Shortened

Absent from the picture is the Garmin 800 and in its place is my trusty back up Garmin 305.

Bike is looking good thanks to Curtis Henry at Cannon Cyclery for new cables, housings and tune-up

Distance:  37.8 miles
Avg. Moving Speed:  16.4
Moving Time: 2:18:04
Total Time:  2:21:10
Ride Total TSS:123 (0.73 IF)
Just ride
Ride Description:
I started feeling a very slight mist as I rolled out of the parking lot. There were some other cyclists that had already rolled out. Among them I saw Gary, Keith, Neil and Peter's car so they must have been some of the first to head out and their cars were still there when I returned. Jamie was on her way to park at the Sosebee Bike Park and stopped to say Hi when she saw me stopped at an intersection. Quite a few people out on their bike for this gloomy and rainy day.

I had several reasons to do a short ride today. The first was it felt like my legs were in full rebellion and not wanting to budge while it is raining just makes for a tough day on the bike. The rain wasn't a much an issue, but still an issue. Anyway it still beat doing another day of indoor training.

It was another day without the Garmin 800 to track the ride. I had the iphone/Wahoo adapter and app running in my back jersey pocket and mounted the trusty ole Garmin 305 to the bars. No problem for the 305. It always seems to work fine.
Nutrition Intake During and after the Course:
15 oz from Bottle #1 water, Glutamine, maltodextrin
Post Ride | 30 gram protein drink
Wes Man's Grill | Club sandwich, fries
LOOK 585, iPhone/Wahoo app, Garmin 305, Powertap SL+
Overall Powertap Data: 
 Entire workout (133 watts):
    Duration:      2:16:58
    Work:          1089 kJ
    TSS:           123.9 (intensity factor 0.738)
    Norm Power:    155
    VI:            1.17
    Distance:      36.456 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    572    133     watts
    Cadence:         30    239    80     rpm
    Speed:           0    37.2    16.0     mph
    Pace             1:37    0:00    3:45     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      0    74    15     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    0    766    150     lb-in

Friday, December 7, 2012

Power Sensor ANT+ Head Unit

With a few other companies in the news as adding to the power meter market like Rotor, StageOne, Brim Bothers along with the current mix it is surprising that there are not more options also coming out for a solid head unit. The following is pure personal opinion and experiences are no doubt going to be different per individual. The past couple of weeks just looking around at the options I was just surprised there are not more on the market and no rumors of anything coming as far as I could find.

I have been using the Garmin Edge series since the 305 came out and then started using the 705. At the time I had the 705 my power meter was a wired Powertap so I used the LYC. Last year I upgraded the wheel to ANT+ and then soon after upgraded to the Garmin 800. Within a year I have returned two 800's for exchange under warranty and I am really hoping the replacement arrives today so that I can have it for my long Saturday training ride. At this point I really wished I had not sold my 705 and not bought the 800.

While this exchange has been in process I have been using my backup plan with the iPhone/Wahoo ANT+ case/Wahoo app and have come to the decision that using the iPhone is not a great option for me personally. I have used it before with the other exchange, but forgot some of the frustrations of using the iPhone. Last Saturday on a 4:30:00 hour ride the fully charged iPhone only made it to 3:50:00 or 66 miles of a 74 mile route. Because the battery died before I could hit save there were some download frustrations, but it did save the data. On Sunday I had to use my phone and did not have time to fully recharge before a 2 x 60 and I just barely finished the ride and saved the data before the battery died. Both times the battery went dead with my putting the phone to sleep (turning off the display) to extend the battery life. I had to do both rides using RPE, which was not a real big deal, but still no comparison to the battery life of some of the dedicated bike computers. I know there is an external battery from Wahoo that will extend the battery life, but I'm not really keen on strapping more crap to my bars.

Another drawback has data upload. From the phone app I have to email the data file to myself and then open it in WKO+ then save it. For the most part the data seems okay with a few metrics missing like speed and distance. When I upload to Strava just about all the metrics that are normal for Strava are present. When I upload to Garmin Connect quite a few metrics are missing or seem irregular and there are no power metrics at all. When I upload to RidewithGPS many of the typical metrics show up except power. Uploading to TrainingPeaks all the metrics seem to be valid. Having wireless upload from the iphone using wifi or phone signal is nice especially since my latest issue with the Garmin 800 is the USB port was rusting and my computer would not recognize the unit (seems to be a common issue with the 800 and the 500 searching the web. If you cannot connect, the unit is pretty much worthless for data tracking).

With all this going on and searching the web I started doing some comparisons. The table below was something I created to help me look at some of the options. In summary it just seems to me that Garmin still prevails as a general ANT+ power sensor head unit compared to what is out on the market right now. The Cycleops Joule GPS seems like a worthy option and is very similar to the Garmin 500, but from what I could tell with the research it lacks two things that are important to me. One is no power smoothing while in motion (it looked as if this was overlooked when it was released and may be added as a firmware update later). One of the bigger issues, if I read things correctly, is there is no start/stop button that is valuable to those of us doing intervals and it auto pauses everytime you stop motion and there is no option to control this. You can do an interval start / stop, but you have to navigate through the menu to do it. I should have checked, but one user mentioned that the Joule is not an option on the WKO+ Device Manager and stated difficulty importing to WKO. I am not sure if that is true. Maybe a user here can verify.

Thanks to Mark for commenting: Golden Cheetah v3 supports direct download from the Joule GPS.

The O-synce Navi2Coach really looks like a nice unit or comparable to the Garmin 705 that I am currently wishing I still had. It is not a company that is well known in the states and doing a search I could not find it for sell or much about it. In one of the online manuals it mentions having TSS/IF/NP available as one of the unit displays, but the power metrics were not listed in the function bullet items. It looks promising though and I hope they can broaden their distribution market.

The Wahoo RFLKT is not really a dedicated unit. It is merely a receiver unit for the iPhone. It allows the user to put the phone to sleep in their jersey pocket (I do most of my long rides solo so I always carry mine anyway). The phone sends a signal to the small display unit on the bars. The unit has a very long battery life, but again all of that is useless if your iPhone cannot hold the charge for the duration of a long ride or if you did not have time to recharge fully before your ride. The receiver unit will also control the phone with a start/stop interval buttons, display change and music control if you do that sort of thing. By having this unit it will help extend the phone battery and it puts your phone in less crash damage or weather related risk. Plus it has a much small footprint than the iPhone on the bars.

I could have put a whole lot more comparison data in the table, but I put some of the primary things that are important to me while looking at some of these things. Maybe this post will be helpful to someone just getting into training with power and considering the different head unit options.

By the way I just ordered a Garmin 500 that I will use as my primary unit on familiar training routes and keep the 800 for routes that are less familiar (lots of twists and turns) where the map will be useful. At least the 500 is less expensive and has a good reputation for display control, extended power metrics available and uploads to just about any website or power tracking software like the 800. I hope that Garmin will make the next units as durable as the 705.

Select the image below to enlarge.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Comet - 2 x 60

Distance: 40 miles
Avg. Moving Speed:  18
Moving Time: 2:13
Total Time:  2:21
Ride Total TSS: 125 (0.73 IF)
Keep a steady tempo type pace out and back
Ride Description:
Another super nice day for December 2nd. Not much else to mention other than it was a good steady pace despite the amount of people out on the pathway enjoying the great weather.
Nutrition Intake During and after the Course:
20 oz from Bottle #1 water, Glutamine, maltodextrin
20 oz from Bottle #2 water, Glutamine, maltodextrin
Hammer gel @ mile 20
Post Ride | 30 gram protein drink, Honey Stinger Waffle
Home | grilled cheese sandwich and soup
Felt B10, iPhone / Wahoo App, Quarq Cinqo
Overall Power Meter Data: 
Entire workout (133 watts):
    Duration:      2:21:11
    Work:          1130 kJ
    TSS:           125.2 (intensity factor 0.731)
    Norm Power:    153
    VI:            1.15
    Distance:      40.823 mi
        Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    520    133     watts
    Cadence:         2    104    62     rpm
    Speed:           0    43.6    17.4     mph
    Pace             1:23    0:00    3:27     min/mi
    Hub Torque:      0    80    18     lb-in
    Crank Torque:    0    813    176     lb-in

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Brewery - Cagle Road

Distance: 74 miles
Avg. Moving Speed:  17 mph
Moving Time: 4:20:00
Total Time:  4:25:00
Ride Total TSS: 260 ( 0.76 IF)

Keep a steady pace out and back
Ride Description:
This was a bad technology day. My 2nd Garmin 800 had to be sent back for repair or replacement under warranty so I used my back up plan with the iPhone / Wahoo Fitness app and it also failed. The battery died at mile 66, but it also does not do as nice a job as a dedicated bike computer for several reasons especially when one is using a power meter recording data at 1 second intervals. With the recording and the display on it will drain the battery fast or least when doing a 4+ hour ride.

Anyway the important thing was the weather was absolutely fantastic for December 1st. I could have worn summer gear, but was not totally uncomfortable in a light base layer and leg warmers. I saw Derek at one point and shared a few miles, but this was a typical out and back type of day.
Nutrition Intake During and after the Course:
24 oz from Bottle #1 water, Glutamine, maltodextrin
15 oz from Bottle #2 water, Glutamine, maltodextrin
Hammer gel @ mile 20
Cliff Bar @ mile 37
Post Ride | 30 gram protein drink
Home | chicken salad sandwich
Felt B10, iPhone / Wahoo, Quarq Cinqo
Overall Powertap Data: 
Data today was too unreliable to upload
Data was manually entered into WKO+