Tuesday, May 31, 2011
This Thursday I would like to go over a new skill that I have been reading about that people can use in training and racing. For this to work, I need more people to show up then last week.
What I think would be fun to practice this week is called "Drifting." Drifting is a skill that is used on hill climbs for bigger dudes and non-climbers. We can go over the details on Thursday in the parking lot, unless people want to discuss it via the comments section. I think for this to work, we should change our meeting time to 6:30 at Walmart. We have more then enough daylite hours now.
The route will be Walmart-Church Ranches-Retreat Road-Lochend Road (hill climb #1)-Big Hill Springs Road-Bears Paw Road (hill climb #2)-Burma Road-Church Ranches.
Here is maplink http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/35963418.
I look forward to seeing some comments and lots of people showing up.
Just wanted to add one thing to the post. In the early spring, we saw at least 20 girls at the "Intro-Tactics-Lakeview is Great-Tom is Awesome at PowerPoint-Dan talked way too much" session. In the 6 rides we have had, there has been 3 girls total show up. Come on ladies, get your gear ready, put it in the car and plan to show up. It is scientifically proven that riding in a group will improve group riding skills. It is also proven that riding up hills on your bike will get you to the top of that hill, on your bike.
This is your perfect chance to show us your climbing legs and beat the boys up two small little bumps in the road.
The other reason I want the ladies to show up is that I have spent so much time riding with Harley, I called my wife Harley, she wasn't impressed.
My name is Nicole Evans, and as part of my Human Condition class at school, I have to do a Service Learning Project. For my project, 3 friends and I decided to partner with an organization called Bicycles for Humanity. This international NGO collects used bikes, parts, frames, etc. from developed countries and sends them to communities in Africa. Once the bikes arrive, they teach the community members how to repair and look after them, so that the donations they make can be maintained. The amazing part about this is that old bikes that are just sitting in our garages over here, can literally change someones life over there. It provides them wtih a cheap, easy to maintain, environmentally friendly form of transportation that can allow them to go to school, get jobs and take care of their families and communities.
Our fundraiser consists of two parts. On June 10, 2011 we will be holding both of them at the Richmond/Knob Hill Community Hall, right across from the school. From 4 - 7 pm we will be accepting bike donations as well as monetary donations. Anyone is welcome to come, donate, and get a little bit more information about the organization. The second part is a charity concert. This concert will be only for people 18 and under, and will feature 3 bands from our school - Float like Stones, Random Task Collective and Prozak Cat. Tickets are $5 or a bike donation and anyone under 18 is welcome. Please email email@example.com if you would like tickets. Tickets will also be available at the door, but please be advised that we can only allow about 100 people into the concert, so if you want guaranteed tickets, please let me know ahead of time!
Bike donations of any size or any condition are welcome! If you cannot make the collection day, or are unable to transport the bikes you may have, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Bicycles for Humanity you can either email us, or check out their website www.bicycles-for-humanity.com
Thanks so much,
Monday, May 30, 2011
The regular WNS TT will proceed at the usual time of 6:30 PM. Registration for the Alberta Games qualifier will start at 6:30 PM and racers will go at 7 PM.
Parking options are at the intersection of 549 and 762 on the gravel road only; Millarville and ride the 10 k west on 549 as a warm up or be hard core and ride from Bragg Creek or Calgary. If Mike G can ride up Anarchist with deep dish front, disc on the rear and TT helmet, you can ride from Calgary. The 10k TT will be over before you know it, particularly if we get a west wind so a good warm up will help. Please comment if you can help.
So, with Pigeon Lake RR behind us, and nothing on the Alberta road schedule for this weekend, I'm heading to the Swift Current Cycling Classic out in Saskatchewan. I've heard from some Saskatchewan racers that this is a fun, well-organized event that is becoming a "must-do" race on the calender. Four races in two days: a TT and RR on Saturday, Crit and Hill Climb on Sunday. Check out www.cyclingclassic.ca for info.
I'm staying with a friend who lives in a small town about 45 minutes south of Swift Current (he's also doing the race), and he's open to having a few other dudes and/or dudettes crash in his basement. I'd like to say I can offer transportation, but with two bikes, wheels, and gear stuffed into the back of my Ford Focus, space could be tight.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
It was a dark, dark, dark day today, as I went to work dragging my feet and feeling extremely depressed. Like 25 other Speed Theory cyclists, I just came back from spending upwards of a week or so “living the dream” biking on some of the best roads in Canada: ride, eat, sleep, hang out with a super group of people and then do it all over again the next day, and the next, and the next... Today’s cold and rainy weather after the long weekend couldn’t have been more appropriate. So now I reflect. I reflect on how awesome the Speed Theory Penticton camp turned out and how many more Speed Theory cyclists I met and got to know really well over the week.
There were 26 riders who joined the group throughout the week, with at least 15 riding each day. Highlights included not getting caught in the rain (within regulation time) during the rides, climbing to Chute Lake on 8km of gravel on grades upwards of 15 per cent, and hitting Anarchist-light, Richter’s and Apex all in one day. The US ride was awesome and the group nailed it from border to border. Thanks to Derek, Emily, Mike G. and Darcy for hosting the last night BBQ.
It was the most relaxed group since we started going out as a team three years ago, and I love it that way. There were many days when a couple of groups would head out to do completely different rides and in some cases, one group would split four different ways half way through a ride. Carolyn and Cheryl told me they are thinking of leading a “C Group” next year. I suspect the group would partake in lots of vacationing-type activities during the rides like beach stops, winery stops and a lunch boutique or two.
All categories and levels of cyclists were covered in the group so don’t ever think you can’t come out and have a blast with us next year. I already can’t wait. To that end, I’m up for feedback. The Speed Theory Penticton week has grown and improved over the past three years primarily from looking at what can be done better. I’d love to hear your comments. If you don’t want to post them, please send them to Trev and he can forward them to me. Until next year...
Monday, May 23, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Hi! If any of you are running in the upcoming Scotiabank marathon/10km/5km race on May 29 please join our team, Simon Says (you don't have to fundraise to help), to raise money for the Foothills Academy. It's a non-profit school for kids with disabilities which my son Simon attends. It's an amazing school and really helps kids who have challenges reach their potential. Go to Join a Team...choose Simon Says...password simonlee.
Thanks, Diana :-)
Friday, May 20, 2011
It was a great, relaxing, fun riding day. It was a good day to get us ready and rested for Day 7 when we head south of the border for a big 226km ride. Giant’s Head was fun. Everyone made it up to the top and then regrouped at the bottom before splitting off and heading to various destinations. Most of the group headed out behind Summerland to the Scout camp and the rest of us headed to the coffee shop before riding back to Penticton. It was a short day for most of us, but tomorrow will more than make up for it. The coffee was great.
A bunch of us went out for dinner tonight and it turns out the group that went to the Scout Camp did Giant’s Head a second time on the way back. Way to go peeps. After the big day tomorrow (we meet at 7 a.m. to begin the ride), Mike G and Darcy are hosting a BBQ at their place. I hope everyone can show up. Mike G. will post directions and the details here a little later.
That’s all I got today. It was short, sunny and lots of fun to hang out on vacation on Penticton.
The Summerland sprint from the view of the lead out bike between Thomas and Harley.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Day 5 has come and gone and the only thing I have to show for it is beating Marilyn up to the gravel on the Mt. Baldy climb. During the ascent I totally pulled the chute. My knees hurt, my quads are bricks, and after 40km of easy riding, nothing about me was warmed up and ready to tackle the Mt. Baldy loop to Osoyoos, let alone the 16km climb to the gravel section. So, after establishing my hill climbing dominance to Marilyn, I met up with Mark who had bike issues and then proceeded to call Carson (with confidence) and had him pick us up just north of Oliver.
In other news, while Mark and I were riding north to meet Carson (he’s nursing a really bad- and slow- Achilles), a motorcyclist lost control coming towards us and fell off his bike. He slid straight and the bike crossed our lane and into the ditch. He got through it without a scratch and then Mark and I took a deep breath. And then I napped. That was my day. It was nice.
Mike H, Mike G, Thomas, Trev, Carl and Harley continued on the loop to Osoyoos. Another group headed back down to Oliver and then onto Osoyoos where they were going to try and climb Anarchist and beat the Mt. Baldy loop group to the summit. Cheryl and Carolyn went into Oliver for lunch and then meandered their way back to Penticton via White Lake Rd. One other group did the Naramata Bench ride again to recover from yesterday’s Ironman Loop. Guys, fill us in on the rest of the rides today and how everything went down. How did the “Race to the Summit” finish? How was lunch in Oliver? Did anyone else nap?
Tomorrow is Summerland and Giant’s Head…and most likely a lengthy coffee shop stop for some of us. We head out from Denny's at 9 a.m. Brent, you're coming with us tomorrow, right? Right??? Be cool.
Check out the Garmin file. That is some serious elevation gain!
From the Desert of Oliver!
To the snowy landscape of Mount Baldy! 27km of climbing later.
I would strongly encourage all the regulars that have been coming to still come out and practice the pacelining and drafting. We can't understate the importance of those skills. If there is a senior rider coming tonight, please take the leadership role and help mentor the other riders.
If by chance I get all my tasks done, I will rush to the meeting spot to ride with the group.
There might be some new guys coming out tonight that want to see what the team is all about. Be nice, say nice things, use your manners and let them know about the hand signals etc.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Day 3 – The days are starting to blur together. Yesterday we had three groups roll out to attempt various versions of the Ironman loop. Everyone completed the loop and then some. The first group with Carolyn, Cheryl and Shelley took off at 6 a.m. They made it to Osoyoos the same time as the second group (Anarchist/Ironman/Apex) and then continued on up Richter’s and beyond. The second group then spent 20 minutes in Osoyoos using various washrooms, stretched, high-fived each other and then climbed Anarchist…or what we now refer to as “Anarchist-light” or “Anarchist-4.7%”, because “climbing Anarch(ist) to the Summit, is not the same as climbing it only to the Bigfoot statue.” The second group stopped at Timmies after the descent, continued to high-five each other for about 25min and then continued on their way chasing Jared’s elusive dream of Anarchist, Ironman and Apex in one day.
The third group began the day at 7 a.m. and went for the Ironman loop/Apex climb. Everyone met up in Keromeos, shoved Subway, Coke, and chocolate in their mouths, high fived and then chased Apex. By this time it was becoming a very (very, very, very) long day, even with a tail wind over The Rollers (I remember having to take a moment).
Apex. Ohhhhh, Apex. It never gets easier. Harley, Mike H., Darcy, Tomo, Marylin, Trevor, Thomas, Ryan, and Mark all made it. I couldn't even enjoy the descent I hurt so bad. Jared, we did it. Nine people started, with six of us finishing the Anarchist/Ironman/Apex loop.
Day 4 – Due to my inability to flush lactic acid out of my legs and then turn it into something productive, I took Day 4 off and played on the beach and took in some wineries. I’ll leave it to someone else to spill it about today.
Day 5 (Thursday) – It's going to be a big day, lots of km and about 40km of gravel. It’s going to be a grunt…but, as my toddler daughter would say, “Awesome, Ka-dish!” Start time: 7 a.m.; breakfast at Denny's: 6 a.m.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Day 2 is a wrap with time to spare and everyone now focusing on Day 3. There are some discrepancies around what time each ride starts on Day 3. I’ll get to that, but first the Day 2 recap:
There was climbing and paved roads, climbing and gravel roads, and then more climbing. And the views from the Naramata bench were enough to distract us from all of that blood, sweat and tears (I had a tear or two trickle down my cheek during the gravel road section) that we were about to experience up to Chute Lake. Everyone made it to the gravel road that leads to Chute Lake, and that is wicked cool. At that point, half the group headed back to Penticton and the rest attempted to climb the next 8km on gravel road to Chute Lake. At least three people (Mark refuses to give me more details) turned back during the climb and Frank, Thomas, Harley, Derek, Ryan and Marci made it for coffee at the Chute Lake “resort”. The 8km section was much like Apex, but on hard packed sand. It sucked going up and unnerving coming down. It turns out Chute Lake Resort isn’t so much a resort as a very large old cabin with lots of “character” and they did open up just for us and let us warm up inside.
Day 3: There are two start times for Day 3. If you are going on the Ironman/Apex ride (180-190km) you are beginning your ride at 7 a.m. If you want to meet before the start time and have breakfast at Denny’s so be it. In the past we’ve shown up around 6-6:15 a.m. for eggs and stuff.
If you want to ride the Ironman/Apex ride and add the Anarchist climb when you get to Osoyoos, then we are beginning the ride at 6 a.m. This early start time sounds like garbage, but the ride is 240ish km and we need to leave enough time to get back without having to worry about sunlight, which I don’t think is going to be a problem. Another thing to consider: I only added the Anarchist ride to this day purely for bragging rights. Jared Green attempted it last year and failed to make it back before having Marilyn bail him out with her car. If I- I mean“we”- get back in one piece, Jared has nothing on me- I mean “us”, which is awesome. I’ll be at Denny’s around 5-5:15 a.m. getting my eggs in. If the timing works out, we should all see each other in Osoyoos or on the way to Keromeos.
Any questions? Leave them in the comments section and I’ll get to them early this evening.
Tthe wind was out of the SE at a fairly steady 45kph gusting to 50. I checked that on weather stats from Edmonton so it’s not an exaggeration.
The plan was for Daryl to make a breakaway attempt on the second lap somewhere on the south leg by the correction line. If possible, I would then bridge up to him and hopefully there would be 4 or 5 riders to widen the gap. If that failed we would do a second attempt on the third lap. The gang was also on to help protect me so that I had the goods to bridge up once he was away. Special thanks to Brice, our newest member who made a huge effort to keep me out of the wind. I know it cost him most of the matches in his legs.
The pace was crazy hard. Some really strong dudes were pushing the wind and making the pack, including yours truly, suffer. With that said I felt good and had my mental game working for me. I hit the ditch once when my front wheel was making noises in the derailleur ahead of me... not a good sound. The pack was unstable. The wind, hard pace and the gutter riding made it difficult for anyone to hold a nice line.
The second lap was moving along at a blistering pace of 24kph when Daryl shot off the front. “Shot off” might be an exaggeration but going faster than the group required herculean effort as the head wind was so brutal. He and one other fellow got away only by a hundred feet or so. It was up to the rest of the team to make it stick. Brice slowed a few guys up who were trying to chase them down. Jay and I were in a perfect position to keep the hounds at bay. We were 3rd position, side by side so we just eased off ever so slightly. A few guys went around which we let go. I was hoping they would catch the lead group so they had a few more guys to work with. Then some idiot decided that he would break up me and Jay. We were shoulder to should and this guy drives between us knocking Jay down and I nearly hit the pavement. I was in shock for a second then I sprinted up and yelled at him for a few seconds (until I couldn’t breathe anymore). I stopped to see how Jay was. He was getting back up so I got started again. The wind was so strong that a 15 second gap required a very hard effort. I managed to catch back on but it cost me to do so. Jay and two others were not so lucky and were now off the lead pack. The fellow later apologized to me but it is Jay and the others who were taken out of the race that he needs to apologize to. It was unquestionably poor judgment and un called for.
It took me a few kilometers to recover and make my way back to the front. There I caught up with Matt leading or in third position in the pack. Together we got up front and began our blocking tactics on the very fast stretch leading west. We were working hard enough that it was tough to pass but not hard enough to make any gains on the away group. Two guys got away and bridged up. Now there were 4 of them.
Matt and I continued to lead the pack for much of the north leg. It was taking a toll on us. Once we hit the wind again we were no longer in control. The pack was slowly being reduced as more and more guys fell victim to the pace and the wind. Daryl and the lead group were also having troubles. The winner apparently took off and the remaining was swallowed up by our group.
The leg heading west was hell on wheels. The boys up front were setting an absolutely blistering pace. Even though it was mostly a tail wind, being off the wheel ahead of you was certain death. Every light on my instrument panel had gone red but I just kept saying to myself DO NOT GIVE UP, DO NOT LET THAT WHEEL GET AWAY. We got to the next corner and I was nearing failure. A 4 second break around the corner for recovery and the gas was back on full throttle. Daryl (who I thought was Matt) had pulled the plug and given up. I passed him and thought he would catch my wheel. I eased up to let him catch up so we could work together to get on to the main group. It was not going to happen. The pace was so fast that we could not catch up for the sprint finish. Not that I was capable of any sort of “Sprinting” into that wind. It took just about everything I had to stay upright and moving forward to get over the finish line.
I don’t remember where everyone else finished. In the end I think I was 12th place behind Daryl. I won’t know that for sure until the results are posted. It was an excellent team effort by the entire Cat 5 team. Alan and Steve were instrumental in keeping the pace moving at several points during the race. Steve tells me he was ‘the man’ getting an echelon going on the third lap. I saw Rob W hitting it hard early in the race against that wind.
Thanks to the Velocity group for putting on the event and for the race officials who endured that crazy wind (and who let us on the crit course when we arrived late…. another story for another time). Lastly, the strong dudes pushing the pace up front. You guys made it an exciting and hard race.
Cat 4 GC: Physio Dave 5th, Slayer Dan 6th, Flying Bike Mike 12th
Cat 5 GC: Darryl 3rd, Matt 8th
Women GC: Rhonda 9th
Cat 4 RR: Slayer Dan 10th, Physio Dave 11th
Cat 5 RR: Darryl 7th, Tom 8th, Matt 9th
Women RR: Rhonda 9th
Race 1 Time Trial - Saturday Morning Time Trial
We all gathered in the parking area to the recreational park to start warming up. The sun was out, the mosquitoes were out and the wind was blowing at a pretty steady 30-40km crosswind from the west.
The Cat4’s consisted of Mike Hoang, David Holmes, Larry Welsh and myself (Slayer Dan). We were all pretty eager to get on the road and the conditions were setup pretty good for me. A rolling course with strong crosswind favors riders that can generate raw power.
We all hit the course within a few minutes of each other and set pretty fast times. David had an excellent time of 14:11, slotting into 4th place, I was 14:13 slotting into 5th place. With bugs crushed into my teeth and spit foam spattered all over my TT helmet, I was very happy with my effort. The top 10 riders were separated by less then 15 seconds! My personal goal was to ride the TT like a tour prologue and go ballistic.
David and I were super happy with our times and slotting into the top 5. We had established great momentum for the upcoming races and looked to create some kind of strategy for the criterium race later that day.
Race 2 Criterium – Saturday Alberta Research Park
Steve Waters and I were first on the scene to pre-ride the criterium course. Steve must have taken good notes on our “Introduction to Speed Theory and Racing Meeting” we had in the spring. Steve was clearly not distracted and well prepared for his race with all the proper gear, including the correct brake pads. We got our bikes out and hit the course. It was very gusty on the course with wind blowing hard between the buildings on the east side of the course. I had a wheel change and took off the deep dish front for the regular wheel.
The Cat 4 plan was to ride safe and move me up the field near the end and sprint it out. Larry, David and Mike are great crit riders and wanted to help me with my confidence in that race. The race started out really fast with many groups moving to the front. ERTC was patrolling the front of the group, sending guys off on solo attempts. I was in the back third of the group for the first few laps, keeping my eyes on Larry and David. I was able to move up the group and stay in the middle. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the signs for laps but could not get my brain to work at this point. The gas pedal was down all the way and the winds made it hard to take your eyes off the course for a second.
The entire Cat 4 team secured positions in the top 20 riders and rode smart to stay upright and safe. Mike and I found Larry and we all progressed up the line to get into better spots. I was not paying attention and did not hear the last bell, when we hit the last corner, Larry setup the perfect leadout for me and we blasted by several riders on the last climb to the finish. We were a bit late though. I finished 15th, Larry got 16th. I wish I had been more attentive to the signage though, when I crossed the line, I had so much left in the tank. With my criterium experience, I was pretty happy that we all made it across with no crashes. We hung around the course to watch the later categories ride and enjoy the sun, it got windier as the day went on. The Cat 1-2 and Cat 3 races were even gustier then ours, kudos to those strong dudes.
Race 3 – Road Race
The weather report for the day was not good. Clear skies-good, warm-good, howling wind-bad. Howling like your mom catching your brother stealing someone’s car bad. I can’t remember ever riding a training ride in conditions like that. The plan for the day was to try and stay together, hit the last corner, put a 4-man echelon line together and lead me out for a sprint. On lap 1, it was chaos trying to get the group together to move through the wind safely. People getting stuck in the gutter, passing on the wrong side, and blocking like crazy. A small group went off the front with ERTC, Rundle Mountain sending guys off. Immediately, David and I went to the front to organize an echelon. Lots of yelling taking place, finger pointing at gaps and rode side riding lessons going on. Junior riders in the way, not rolling through and typical players blocking. My role was to be at the front as little as possible. Actually, as it was texted to me by Harley, I was not supposed to be near the front, EVER! Typical ABA race, no one wants to work, sit in and wheel suck for 89.5 km. David and I closed that gap with help from Nicklas Ryan with little help from the field. On laps 2 and 3, much of the same, me on the front or 3rd rider, too much time in the wind and getting gassed.
The race plan was still in play and heading into lap 4, a small group of 4 broke away. At this point, I could only watch. I had dipped into the reserves too many times and wanted someone else to chase down. Bicisport refused to work. I think the exact words were “Why would we do any work.” Well, I have heard that story from those guys before. They were protecting a junior rider all day and didn’t take a single pull, and tried eating a power bar with his elbows resting on his handlebars. I’m not sure who coaches that type of riding, especially with conditions as bad as they were yesterday with crosswind. A few expletives directed at him changed his position in a hurry!
We were getting to the 3rd last turn when the race leader Jevon attacked. I wanted to at least mark him to protect my GC position. Instantly, David, Larry and Mike and I were together and hammering. We made the turn west and it was on, like original 6 Boston vs. Montreal on. We were pounding after Jevon. Nicklas Ryan, the Bicisport not taking a pull junior in tow, came with us. We had two RMCC boys with us and it was all out effort. We shattered the field at that turn. David and I did some monster pulls to bring back RMCC and they were just ahead of us. The tailwind was so strong, our echelon was perfect and we were making gains. With the final turn in sight, we had our plan taking shape.
We hit the last corner, the overall race leader had crashed, the RMCC boys exploded, and Mike was setting us up with our lead out train in place. The head wind finish was brutal. Our pace plummeted and it was fierce. Mike was a beast yesterday. He rotated threw and took some big pulls. With 300 meters to go, David hit his limit and set it up perfect for Ryan, Bicijunior and I. At 150, Ryan went and in the final meters, the junior came around me. It was awesome. I got third in that group. I had nothing left and all the time in the wind took its toll. We put a plan in place and executed it perfectly. It wasn’t for the race win but we protected our GC positions, rode really hard, and doled out some serious pain. We put on a pretty solid display yesterday of smart tactical riding with a very disorganized peleton. I am very surprised that were able to respond as we did in the final 10km with how much time we spent in the wind. Power metal and power riding baby!!!!
At the end, talking with Nicklas Ryan, it was great to see that have built another ally in the peleton with a team that is willing to work with us and get the peleton moving and racing. They rode pretty well and worked with us, helped out when we needed it. It would be nice if they would reward us with our efforts and drop back a spot at the finish ;)
I am so proud of how the Cat4 guys rode yesterday and how they put their race ambitions aside and supported me through the day. I am very thankful for the work you all did for me and I hope to pay you all back in the next race. It was awesome. Not sure how the race results ended up, they have not been posted yet, David was 3rd and I was 4th going into the RR for GC. With the race leader crashing, who knows where we ended up.
Great racing this weekend guys and lets keep it going.
I’m really looking forward to reading the Cat 5 report and the women’s race, I heard some of the stories at the meal and there were some good laughs. Way to go Speed Theory!
Sunday, May 15, 2011
170km - Log it! Anarchist didn't stand a chance. Out of 17 riders, 16 made it to Mr. Sasquatch as Brent saved himself for Apex. The ride to Osoyoos was tame but a good spin warm up before the climb. We met up with Godfrey and Trev in town and they joined the group up Anarchist after competing in the Oliver triathlon. The descent was super fun as always with Mike H. and Carson riding their top tubes to super sonic speeds and giving Ryan a slight heart attack each time they tucked into position. After returning to Osoyoos, the group split with some of us booking it back to Penticton, while the others lunched at Timmies. Tomorrow we're heading to Naramata Bench and then up to Chute Lake. I'm tired and can't type anymore.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Location is here.
Jugs of brew and appetizers are on the team - you're responsible for your meal.
See you there!
I'm a sprinter at heart, this hill climbing stuff is for lightweights!
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
This is it. Over the next four days a shwack of us are heading west to Penticton for the week. Here’s how the week is going to go down. I only linked to the long rides because the short rides will be either the same ride or a part of the long ride depending on the day. Also, we ALWAYS meet at Denny's (939 Burnaby Avenue W), which is part of the Sandman Hotel in Penticton.
- Day 1A: Saturday, May 14 at 9 a.m. - Meet at Timmies in Revelstoke (you can see it on your left when you first drive into town) for a breakfast sandwich and coffee. Whoever is in the parking lot at 9:30 will head up Revelstoke Mountain until we hit snow. Over the past three years, we never made it to the top and the distance will range anywhere from 10-50km. If folks want to continue riding when we get back to Revelstoke, that’s cool. I’m heading to the pool to do water slide intervals.
- Day 1: Sunday, May 15 at 9 a.m. – Osoyoos/Anarchist ride; ~120-180km
- Day 2: Monday, May 16 at 9 .m. – Chute Lake ride; ~70km
- Day 3: Tuesday, May 17 at 6 a.m. – Anarchist/Ironman/Apex; ~235km OR 7 a.m. – Ironman/Apex; ~180km
- Day 4: Wednesday, May 18 at 9 a.m. – The Wall/White Lake Road/Oliver; ~90-130km
- Day 5: Thursday, May 19 at 7 a.m. – Mount Baldy; ~180km
- Day 6: Friday, May 20 at 9 a.m. – Giant’s Head; ~70km
- Day 7: Saturday, May 21 at 7 a.m. – US ride; ~225km (PASSPORT REQUIRED)
There will be options for the short ride on Day 7. By then, all of us will have a pretty good idea of how we feel about ourselves and each other and what roads go where. Some options to think about for the Day 7 short ride are doing the Ironman course in reverse (160km), do the Apex climb up and down from Penticton (75km), go to the US border and back (130km), lay on the beach (0km), tour the Naramata Bench wineries on or off your bike (40km).
This is the last post before the trip. If you have any last minute questions, please post them in the comments section and I’ll answer them asap. I’m leaving for Revelstoke on Friday by 2 p.m. See you in BC.
Who's in for the Velocity race in 2 weeks. I have never done the race and am very excited to go up. It would be great to know how many Speed Theory dudes and dudettes are heading up to race.
Please post your race intentions.
I'm in for CAT 4 and I am planning on racing all 3 races. Don't forget to register !!
Hope to see lots out there,
Monday, May 9, 2011
Hill Climb TT: The first race, held under sunny skies, was a short, 3 km TT with a sharp, 12% climb out of the coulee at the end. We all laid it down as hard as we could, with Tom crossing the line in 3rd, me in 4th, and Brent in 5th. A good solid start for all of us.
Murray GM Crit: After grabbing some post-race food, going on a tour of Tunnels of Moose Jaw and soaking in the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa, we headed to the loacl GM dealership for the crit. Clouds were rolling in, and the rain started coming down, but the crit went ahead as scheduled.
This is probably the most unique course I've ever ridden. The course was coned right in the dealership parking lot, weaving around the inventory. At just over 500 metres long with six turns, it was a tight, twisty course with a good chance of crashing into the side of a GMC truck. But, Brent and I managed to stay upright, with Brent showing great form in front of his fan club from Regina for third place finish, and me rolling in for 7th with an SK junior who rode an awesome race. Tom was the smart one, cheering from the sidelines. Even with the rain coming down, I don't believe there was a single crash in any race.
Road Race: Sunday afternoon's road race started at the 15 Wing air base south of Moose Jaw. A fairly flat course with a couple of punchy climbs, a lead group of eight formed about 5 km in. "Breakaway" Tom went on a solo effort for about 7 kms, Brent and I ran some interference, but he was caught by the pack after an unfortunate detour at one of the turns. At the base of the final climb I misjudged my line in the corner, grabbed too much brake, got slightly gapped, but managed to chase back for 5th place. Tom rolled in for 4th, and Brent was 8th. Of special note are the two young juniors and the 71 year-old master's racer who hung with the lead group. It was very, very impressive.
Congratulations to all the winners in all the Cats, and a big thanks to Western Cycle Development Team, the Moose Jaw Pavers, and the Saskatchewan Cycling Association for putting on a great race. It was a bit of reunion for me, as I working at a college just west of Moose Jaw for a few years, and got to touch base with a lot of old friends.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
Last night we had a massive turnout for TnT. Jenn was there to represent the ladies and we saw several new riders come out for a pretty windy paceline ride to Cochrane. The group headed to !A and made its way along the at a good paceline.
Unfortunately, as we got to the end of the double lane road, we had a crash in the rear of the group sending Jeff onto the road pretty hard and Jenn into the ditch. From all accounts, Jenn did some fabulous riding to minimize her damage. Jeff was not so lucky. Twisted handlebars, scraped carbon, small holes in jacket, gloves and his brand new STC cycling shorts.
Oh yeah, Jeff also scraped his face on the road and will have some interesting shaving patterns for the next 2 weeks as his lip and chin heal.
We discussed with the group that stayed back with the riders to try and see what happened and what learning lessons we could take from the crash. We were not travelling overly fast and nobody wants to donate tissue if they can avoid it. It did sound like there was inadvertent half-wheeling which resulted into wheels touching.
In all conditions, we need to make sure that we ride a steady line, minimize half wheeling and be aware of our surroundings. I hope that in the comments section, some senior riders can post their comments on tips for team. Last night was an excellent example of the importance of practicing these skills and recognizing what is happening in the group. If you don't get the opportunity to practice, you are unable to develop safe riding practices and it will impact your race experience.
My wife came out to pick up bikes and riders and by the time we got back to ride start, Jeff's lip was pretty swollen and he was getting stiff. He sounded to be in pretty good spirits and will be fine. I'm sure Cam at Speed Theory will get his bike back up and running in no time.
So, thanks again everyone for coming out, I hope that the riders that continued on were able to work together and practice more of the essential skills that will make us the safest riding team in Alberta.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Day 1 of the training camp is on Sunday, May 15, which is 10 sleeps from now. It’s going to come up pretty quick so make sure you have your gear in order. As far as clothes are concerned, bring every piece of cycling clothing you have. The temperatures will probably range from 10-25 degrees so bring layers: arm warmers, leg warmers, lots of jerseys and (bib)shorts. You’re riding for seven days. It won’t take long before your clothes begin to smell like sun block and other things. We’ll most definitely get caught in the rain so be prepared. Bring fleece gloves, if only to wear them on the Apex hill descent and possibly Mt Baldy.
Bring lots of sun block. Make sure you have at least two water bottles filled with more than just water. I drink a carbo/electrolyte blend and carry a third water bottle of the stuff in my jersey for the long rides. Bring food. Like real food- sandwiches, wraps, left over pizza, donuts, beef jerky- in addition to energy bars and gels. We’ll be riding over lunch for most of the rides so make sure to pack one. Energy bars and gels begin to taste pretty bland after a few days, plus we’re not living on MIR.
Bring bike gear. Make sure you have the means to change a tire like extra tubes, CO2 cartridges and dispenser (know how to use it), and tire levers. Bring a portable pump if that’s your fancy. Make sure you can change a tire. As a rule of thumb, I bring enough tubes and CO2 to get me through one flat tire per day, which ends up being more than enough. Get a mini bike tool kit just in case something needs tightening. You may also want to clean your bike once or twice while you’re there. Bring that stuff too. There is a decent bike shop in Penticton, but everything is cheaper in Calgary.
I’ll post a recap of all the rides next week with dates and links to the routes plus start times for each day. In the meantime, get on your bike this weekend and start piling your gear for the Penticton trip. REMEMBER YOUR PASSPORT!
(so help me, if I forget my $%&@#!’n passport…)
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
We might have some tired legs in the group tomorrow night. There has been lots of chatter via email about the WNS Time Trial tonight and the big guns are going to take no mercy on each other. Darcy is talking some serious smack about his new found speed. Sounds like just has to take off his snow suit and should see some time gains. Thomas is also "poking the grizzly" with his Big John comments. I think Thomas's times would be faster if he wasn't dragging Big John with him around the course.
Anyways, Harley and I are planning a paceline ride to Cochrane and back on Thursday. All that plan on coming out will have to take a pull at the front. The purpose of this ride is to ready a steady Freddy paceline all the way with people pulling, rotating through and learning to draft. The pace will be a determined by the group, and we will decide if we will have neutral sections where we pick people up that get dropped.
Why is this important:
1. Practice drafting.
2. Realization of efficiency gains.
3. It looks really frickin cool on the highway
4. Bike handling.
5. Contributing when it is your turn.
6. Comfort in a group.
Some points to rememeber:
1. If the road is going downhill, let me take the pull, I weigh more then almost anyone on the team and you might as well take advantage of elemental physics.
2. If it is your turn to lead, by no means ever do you sit up, stretch, take a drink, pick your nose.
3. If your turn is over, don't be a hero, flick your elbow and move over.
4. Take your drink or nutrition when you are well back in the paceline.
5. Check over your shoulder once in awhile when you are in the lead to make sure you are not gapping the group. If you gap the group, you are sending a strong message that you are super strong and want to solo away. The group will then let you suffer in the wind for most of the ride and blow past you at the finish, and then proceed to mock you and remind you of your UnCancellara abilities.
See you tomorrow night at 6:45
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The ride left precisely at 9:31. We had 18 people at that point. As the ride progressed, other guys magically showed up. Out of nowhere Dave pulls up beside me, then with Swiss timing, Thomas and his band of brethren appeared at Plumbers road and 768 just as the lead group was passing by.
The ride was super fun. We had a huge pace line of 12 or so going heading west. It took a few rotations before we got it smoothed out. Before I knew it we were cruising along at 37kph with no effort. You need to experience that to know what it's like.
The turn heading north is where the beating began. The lead group was mashing it up the hills at 5000 watts. Brother Stephen was up front making sure that the pace up the hills was, well, relentless. That left a small band of souls to make all attempts to bridge up. At one point there were three of us; me, Darcy and Jay working a rotation at full speed. No kidding, we were a smooth, well oiled machine pounding back the miles at breakneck speed. If I had a heart condition of any kind, it would have reared it's head at that point.
The last 30 km saw Thomas with a flat which allowed everyone a rest and Rob W. to catch on. He had some sort of leg failure early on and was on his own for much of the ride.
Those who had something left in their legs put on some machismo surges at the end. My legs were cooked like a marshmallow at a boy scout jamboree but still managed a surge or two. I'm still in rehab.
I am away for the next few weeks so someone needs to post a weekend ride in my stead. The training effect is awesome but you also ride with your team mates and learn who to be with and how to make it happen race day.
How about a ride report from the women!
Sunday, May 1, 2011