Monday, March 26, 2012

Prairie Roubaix Recon No. 1-Done!

Thanks to David, Steve and Thomas for joining the recon on Sunday. The temperature wasn't quite the 8 degrees that was promised but we did enjoy the beautiful frost covered trees along the road.

It was great to see David hammer through the gravel at full speed! Steve is riding stronger than ever. And Thomas? Well what can I say?

We rode for just over 2 hours while I attacked the rollers mercilessly!

Hope to ride with you next time...

(On route to the course)

(Marcy rippin' the gravel descent)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Road Racing: The Playlist

Welcome to all the new (and vet) Speed Theorists. For those of you new to the whole road racing scene, here's a little primer on how the average road race sometimes pans out:

Getting There

Since road racers tend to be cheapskates, car pooling is the preferred option. And, if you're really serious about
road racing, your bike(s) are probably worth about three times as much as your car. For example, here's me and Harley heading off to Provincials last year in my 2000 Ford Focus.

The Warm Up

The average dude will probably get to the race a good hour to an hour and a half before the gun to register and warm-up (Well, unless you're Speed Theory emeritus member Lockie H., but that's another story...). At the early season races, there will probably be a lot of chit-chat about winter training:

Rider One: So, how was winter training?
Rider Two: Horrid. I reno'd my basement and went to Disneyland for Christmas and New Year's. Just did a few spins on the trainer. You?
Rider One: Great! Was in a solid, progressive program spinning three nights a week and weights two nights a week. I'm going to crush this thing!

Both riders are lying through their teeth. Rider Two's basement "reno" was installing a dedicated bike room complete with computrainer, plasma TV, and enclosed a/c unit. On vacation he brought his new Cervelo (Christmas gift to himself, since he runs "solo" in all aspects of life) to California and rode five days straight. Rider One's "program" lasted two weeks in November until he aggravated an old knee injury from high school football and hasn't been on the bike since.

But, at some point the chatter stops, and the race gets going.

The Breakaway

So, the race starts and everyone's pedaling down the road. At some point, a few guys are going to decide they don't like the constraints of the group, and they'll try to go at it alone in a breakaway. If the pack is smart, they'll let them go. It's a long race.

Fighting for Position

Meanwhile, back in the pack everyone's trying their best to stay out of the wind, especially if there are some viscous crosswinds. Try not to get guttered, otherwise it's going to be a very, very long and very, very lonely race for you. I know. Trust me, I know...

The Bridge

Now, after a few kms of racing some rider might think to themselves "Hey, you know, that break might actually hold to the finish. Maybe I should drop any sense of commitment to work with the pack and try to bridge up." Sometimes it works. Sometimes the dude just winds up flailing around in no-man's land between the break and the pack, not wanting to admit failure and slink back into the peloton.

The Chase

At some point the pack will decide it's time to throw some coal in the locomotives and reel in the break. They've been out there for a good long time and are probably cooked. But, it's going to take a coordinated effort, and if anyone doesn't pull their weight, the chase might not work.

The Catch

So, it's about 5 kms to go to the finish, and the break's just about caught. Normally, one of the break's members will go off the front in a last ditch effort to solo for the win . Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't.

The Sprint

So, with about one km to go everyone's throwing elbows and boxing each other out fighting for the front. Hopefully the team's "designated guy" has managed to hang on, and after all his teammates have buried themselves in the front working for the guy, the sprinter gets to go for the glory.

The Prizes

Now, I'd love to say that winning the cat 5 GC at Swift Current Stage Race is the pathway to a pro contract and summers spent in Europe, but that would be a lie. In reality, all one can hope for is enough cash to fill the gas tank for the drive home.

Good luck, everyone.

Prairie-Roubaix III Info and Tech Guide page. READ THIS IF YOUR ARE RACING or VOLUNTEERING.

Thanks to Carson Bannon for another wicked poster.
The iconic Spring Classic is back! 

Volunteer website here!

Video of the course here.

If you are NOT part of STC or Crankmasters, you MUST have a valid 2012 ABA racing license. If you do not, you cannot race. The ABA will send us a list the day before the event, if you are not on it, you do not race.

OK, here are some details about a  wicked Alberta Spring Classic.

Women: As part of our current initiative to encourage women to get out and race. We are going to offer free admission. Sure this doesn't save you a ton, but we want it to indicate that we are thinking about you and will continue to give you perks to come out and race. Now get out and race!

You may park in the spots indicated. Notice NO PARKING inside or along race loop.
Parking: As we all have encountered on many occasions, for some reason farmers are the most stressed out when it comes to people on 'their' public roads. Please park somewhere AWAY from the race course and ride the couple km's into the sign-on. We will have a tent there for people to put theirs jacket's/bottles/etc for after the race. All you need to race is $15 and ID/ABA license/UCI license. Use the ride in as warm-up. The registration for this race is going to be super casual, so no need to stress about being early. The less cars on Glendale the better the chances we hold this again. PLEASE DO NOT PARK INSIDE THE RACE LOOP !!

Porta-potties: There will be 3 toilets at registration. They are predominately there for the women (and they will be pink!), but are open to everyone.

Registration:  This will be done when you RIDE up to the race start between 8:00 - 8:30am. You will drop your jacket and leggies under the tent and sign on. You will show us your VALID ABA race license, sign the waiver, slide over $15, and get ready to hammer at 9am!!

Littering: Of course no littering. We will leave the race course exactly how we found it.

Locals: We are hoping the locals will be accommodating to us. Please be courteous and friendly. Having ridden this loop hard a few times now and held this event once, it would be great if we could use this course year over year, it is totally awesome.

Ambulance: We have hired a full ambulance for this race. Aaron Paramedical.

Spectating: The best place to watch this event would be on Willow Way as it is slightly uphill, twisty, almost cobble quality road, and has the feel of a spring classic. Please bring out flags, air horns, face paint and take pictures. Let's show those Belgians who REALLY likes cycling more! If you can get some totally awesome photos of some awesome action, SpeedTheory Cycling will reward you.

Categories: We have intentionally made these Cats dissimilar to the ABA Cats for two reasons. The first is to ensure no one thinks upgrading points will be awarded. The second is to let you race where you want. If you are a Cat4 that wants to see if you can keep up, then race CatA. If you are a Cat2 that is out of shape, race CatA or we will call 'sandbagger'.

Jerseys: This is pretty early in the year to expect everyone to have their team jerseys. Don't worry about having a proper team jersey for this event.

Body Numbers: Don't wear your ABA body numbers or number plates. We are currently debating using our own numbers, or none at all. You will find out at registration.

Bikes: I am racing on my road race bike with 25's. No other modifications. I have heard some people wonder if CX bikes are going to be used. You can, but they will be slower than your road race bike. In the video, I had 23's on and was able to hammer as hard as I could on the gravel. The only reason I am going to 25's is so I can lower my psi for Willow Way.

Awards and Results: Awards will be based on bragging rights this year, and will increase as the years go on. Imagine being able to say to your kids you podiumed at Prairie-Roubaix, that is priceless. As for results; you will know if you are top 5, if you are not, be pumped you finished and thank all the volunteers on your cool down then set your sights on Velocity Stage Race, forget about results.

Volunteering: If you cannot race, or want to watch the action instead, please consider volunteering. I have set up a really slick sign up sheet. Please use an email that works as this is how I will communicate with you pre-event. Go to volunteer site here.

Get pumped: We are less than 4 weeks away!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Club Email

I just sent out a pretty long club email to all members. If you didn't get it let me know.

If you haven't signed up for STC yet this year, now is the time. We will probably do a second round of clothing in the coming month and that will be the last for the year.

If you aren't racing Prairie-Roubaix or have a family member that is planning to watch, please consider a volunteer position. We will have a sign up list up in the next week.



Monday, March 19, 2012

Info Session: Pentiction training week May 13-May 19

On Monday, March 26 (one week from today), from 8:15-9 p.m., at the Speed Theory store- 735A 10 Avenue S.W.- I'm hosting an information session about Speed Theory's Penticton training week. I'll cover what we've done in the past; what to expect this year; and some hints on how to make your week as enjoyable, relaxing and fun as possible. If you are new to the team, new to traning camps in general or want more details on the seven-day camp, drop by for the meeting. See you there.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Frank at the LA Marathon.

We all know Frank has been on a rampage in terms of his running for the last two years.

On his first marathon Frank held 6min/mile pace through midtwenties in km and then the distance caught up with him but he stuck it out and finished with an average pace of 6:14min/mile for a time 2:45:56.

Amazing time for a first try. Holy cow.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

400KM with Trev

Tom Baker - Ride God for the 400KM
We missed the start, I blame Trev and his stomach, as we were running a tight morning deadline he was piling food on his plate, a big pile.  We were only nine minutes late but with a flat course and a tail wind for over 100km's it was going to be tough to catch the lead group and it was.  There were six strong experienced riders in the lead group and they were taking full advantage of the terrain and conditions.  Now Trev thinks he's in race and we need to close the gap quickly,  I on the other hand understand 400km is a long way and once we are through this stretch of terrain we will hit 200km of headwinds.   Keeping Trev calmed down became one of the common themes throughout the ride.  We saw the lead group just as they were heading off into the headwind, we dealt with the checkpoint and we were off after them.  This was now our kind of riding so we closed the gap in 40 minutes a total time of 4:40 minutes to catch them.  We now slid into the peleton thankful for the help in the wind.  Trev started doing massive pulls at the front, another theme throughout the ride.  We had one sketchy rider in the group which made me super nervous and irritated Trev to the point you could just feel the attack coming on.  Sure enough off he goes, I'm on his wheel three riders bridge up and now were down to five of us.  We lost two good riders but felt keeping the pressure on was the right thing to do.  Mike, Russ and Ed were our riding companions for the rest of the ride, great guys to ride with and strong riders.

Riding in the early morning darkness

Smooth Group Riding
It was a very flat course but lots of wind until dusk and for the most part we were smart in our riding.  I think we made one tactical mistake not taking in enough nutrition at the early afternoon check point and we almost paid for that later.  We were low or out of water and food but a Chevron gas bar was carefully located in the middle of nowhere that we took advantage of.  The other downside of the tactical error was that we were well supplied when we hit Chez Susan's gourmet food stop and rolled right by, I was kind of bummed about that.  We hit the last check point that was manned (?) great guy, good food, he even had beer, tempting but not smart with 80km's to go.  After chowing down we rolled hard toward the finish, did I mention Trev was doing hard pulls?  We had one stop to get our night riding gear on then rolled for home.  Ed powered down with 15km to go and Russ stayed back with him while Mike, Trev and I rolled into the finish.  Ed and Russ rolled in a few minuted behind us.

I felt tired going into the ride but I had a good ride and with the exception of sore knees faired well for a big early season ride.  Trev was sore on ALL bike contact points and I only hope Marliyn is not mad.

There is a 600Km coming up early April, let me know if your interested, good base miles for the late starters :)

Heads Up: Pentiction training week May 13-May19

This year’s bike training week in Penticton is running from Sunday, May 13 (Day 1), to Saturday, May 19 (Day 7). For those of you who have never heard of, or participated, in this bike training week, here’s a brief over view:

  • Seven days of cycling in the Penticton area.

  • The rides range from 60km to 230km and you can make them as easy or as hard as you want.

  • There are two ride options every day - one long and one short. The long rides range from 80-230ish km while the short rides range from 60-160ish km.

  • If you are uncomfortable riding alone, make sure you ride with a buddy. If you are tentative about coming because you don’t want to be caught by yourself for 30-40km (expect this to happen throughout the week regardless of skill level), invite a friend you regularly ride with to join you for the week.

  • There are NO coaches, support vehicles, chefs or massage therapists (or any therapists for that matter).

  • If you come, know how to at least change a tire on your own and bring the necessary tools and supplies to do so.

  • On Saturday, May 12, at 2 p.m., the Bare Bones Duathlon is being put on by the Penticton Triathlon Club. For those cyclists who own a pair of running shoes and get off on pain (don’t all cyclists?) it would be a good way to kick off the week of training.

Next steps for you: If you are coming, book the time off work and then book a place to stay. Rental houses/apts/condos work the best and a lot of times are cheaper because you can jam in a bunch of people and it usually comes with a full kitchen and laundry. Over the next few weeks/months I’ll get into details about what to look forward to during the week, the seven days of riding and post a summary document that gives a check-list of sorts.

Fine print: To ride with us during the week, you have to be a Speed Theory member, an Alberta Bicycling Association member OR purchase insurance for the week, which is nominal and we’ll set up a link to purchase it in the next few months prior to May 13. No insurance, no riding with the group. Your bike must be in working order, safe to ride and you must ride with the safety of the group in mind. These rides range from 60km to 230km so we can be on the road for a long time with only access to the tools we carry and sometimes with no phone coverage. We’ll support each other each day, but understand a certain level of independence is important.

I’m hosting an information session about the Penticton week at the Speed Theory store on March 26th, after one of Trev’s spin classes at 8:15pm. If you have questions, post them in the comments section and I’ll answer them there for everyone to see. If you need to get a hold of me directly, e-mail me at ryanandkylaatgmaildotcom..

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Around the Bend 400km, Arizona.

Stephen has one pace... Relentless. Stephen introduced me to the 400km event distance today...whew, that is a LOT longer than 300km?!?! Pacing was crucial and taking in calories ALL day was the key for me. The stops at the check points were a little longer, the time in the big ring was a little less. Total time was 14hours17min, not sure of 'riding time' yet. Started in the dark (6am), finished in the dark (8:17pm).

Will post some pictures when typing isn't an excursion. This shows our bikes all ready to go the night before. Boy that bike doesn't owe me anything.


First Tracks on P-R?

So, can Sarah and me claim first tracks on P-R this year? Harley, she didn't have any problems on gravel when she was riding with me...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

'Ride to Conquer Cancer' preparation talk.

Today Alex and I gave a talk to quite a few of the Enbridge employees who are taking part in this year's 'Ride to Conquer Cancer'. Due to the average person's complete unfamiliarity with cycling as a sport, they are equally unfamiliar with cycling for long distances, in bad weather, over hard terrain, importance of nutrition and so on. The talk reiterated over and over that a little bit of preparation goes a long way in cycling and the 2 days spent on the bike can actually be enjoyable!

Alex and I offer a Friday morning cycling class to novice/intermediate riders (or 'want-to-be riders') that is designed to obviously get them a little more fit, but also teach them many aspects of 'cycling' that will make the event far more enjoyable. If you know of anyone that would benefit from this type of training/class, make sure you make them aware of it!

The link to the info about the class is here.

Also: I look like a little tiny version of a human when compared to Alex like that ?!?! I should never stand beside him.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Paris-Nice Stage 2... a lesson in cross winds.

Well, I can think of another large expanse of area other than France where there is a lot of wind and the possibility of racing in cross winds.

Today's Stage 2 of Paris-Nice was attacked like a Classic and the peloton was shattered in a strong crosswind. One of my favourite riders won and only a handful of GC possibilities remain.

You can watch Paris-Nice live streaming on if you don't mind being stuck watching for a couple hours (a trainer session perhaps?).

I am pumped the season has started!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

2012 Strade Bianche live streaming race THIS Sat.

I am a huge fan of training on gravel for all the inherent benefits associated with it, and I am a massive fan of racing on it! (Hence the Prairie-Roubaix Classic).

There is a World Tour race this Sat. morning that has large sections on gravel. Most of the current stars will be there. Gilbert, Ballan, Evans, etc.

Get up early on Sat. morning and be on the bike spinning at 6:30am watching the live stream of the event!



Full Calendar