Tuesday, February 6, 2018

This city desert makes you feel so cold; It's got so many people, but it's got no soul. 
And it's taken you so long to find out you were wrong. When you thought it held everything

Sunday, December 31, 2017


Strava says I got more miles in this year than last year, but 8 less miles than 2 years ago. ..

I hope to get in as many miles as I can this year.  My goal is to have fun, do a few races and make more improvements.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Not Dead Yet.

Well I am now heading into a new year five years away from 50.   I do not feel the way I was told I would feel at this age.  I feel like I did at 18 years old.  The one thing that has changed the past 2 years, is I am less likely to ride outdoors in the cold weather.  I don't think my age has anything to do with my motivation (or lack of) to riding outdoors during colder weather,  I think access to better technology to simulate biking indoors is the reason.  Who wants to ruin bike parts with salty conditions and mud?  Not me.  For indoor spinning now days with online group rides and races, I can almost tolerate spinning on a trainer.  I just need a bigger fan.  I have a bit of renewed motivation to keep in shape for some gravel road races as well as a few XC Mountain bike races, next season.  I have been a bit better at work-life balance, at least I can sleep at night without my phone going off.  Now I just have to keep busy because if I am too busy riding, working and doing yard work, I leave little time to "get old" right?

My Goal for 2018:  To get in at least 100 miles (indoor or outdoor) per week (winter).  For the winter months,  also do at least one online race every 2 weeks.  For the summer months, get in 125 miles per week. with one ride exceeding 50 miles per week (unless its sloppy weather).

Monday, August 22, 2016

Work-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance is essential for everyone, but especially if you are an older athlete, wishing to be somewhat competitive...  But work-life balance is even more important for the quality of life that keeps you healthy.  Happiness is an important element of health!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Getting too old to be riding long and slow.

I read up on some articles by older cyclists, including Ned Overland and they say the same thing.  I have come to the conclusion based on by readings and my current experience that I am best served with shorter far more intense workouts.  This allows me to gain strength and recover faster for the next ride.  Back in 2012 and 2013 I did a lot of long rides with a less than race pace speeds. Only during races did I ever get my heart rate up to my Zone 5 range.

This year, I have done only 5 outdoor rides up to this point, where as this time last year I think I easily had 20+ outdoor rides.  Its fine because the outdoor rides I have done really were leg burners.  January 3rd, was the first and almost the last winter ride.  It was almost 60 miles with cold winds and very hard efforts on the second half of the ride.  This ride along with sick kids resulted in me getting the flu.  For the next week after getting sick, I had trouble recovering, so I had essentially taken a week off.  The first workout after barely recovering was a moderate workout and then the following was a power test at BK Labs.  Actually it was only an attempt at a power test as I could not finish.  I decided that I did not want to risk getting sick again so I continued to primarily spin indoors.  It took some getting used to.   Yes I do have a CycleOps Indoor Cycle (IC400pro), and I have been using it on-and-off for over a year now,  but never at the level or intensity that I do now.  Spinning indoors and really working up a sweat takes some "getting used to".  But I did get into a groove, and doing on line races and routes did help some. 

As I got used to the indoor cycle with the lack of real outdoor airflow, I really was able to focus on efforts.  I kept most of my workouts at 60 minutes or less, but almost all of the workouts at Zone 3 - Zone 4 or Zone 4 - Zone 5 ranges.  It seems to be working though.  The last outdoor ride was over 3 hours and I felt that even the last 30 minutes of the ride that I still had significant power for a few sprints.  I also did a 3 hour spin Sunday (March 6th) and the last 3 minutes I was able to hold 540 watts for most of the end sprint.  So while endurance is important, its really power that I needed to gain and I think I have made some improvements there.

There is a book called "The Time Crunched Cyclist" and it also mentions getting the most out of less cycling time. While my time may not be as "crunched" lately as it was last year at this time the concepts still apply.

Other good reads: "Fast After 50"

This summer I will continue this model and this will naturally include more single track / trail rides.

Past Races.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Being slow and getting faster...

I used to think, if I get faster, I'll have more people to ride with. As I improve my riding and overall fitness and power to weight ratio, I am finding that this isn't alway the case.

In the beginning, when I started out, as a beginner I had better fitness and climbing abilities that most of the beginners I raced against. In the "beginner class" for mountain bike racing, you get all kinds of abilities competing together because some of the guys have ridden for a while but never participated in a race, others used to race motorcycles/motocross and others, like me had no previous experience.  So inorder to get a good race result, I had to really rely on my strengths which were not many,  I could not handle a bike very well, so my cornering and my downhill decents were horrible, I had no endurance, but lucky for me the beginner races were not very long.  I realized as a beginner I could climb hills and basically found I could make up for lost time in technical sections by "playing catch-up" on the hills.

Things started to change when I moved up to "Sport Class", there were more experienced racers, many who were in sport class for multiple years by the time I got there, many were not only good bike handlers, they were climbers (some of them anyway) and had more endurance which was needed since these races included at least one extra lap compared the beginners.  So I had to try and get into group rides to try and keep up with my peers, of course many of them were a bit to fast for me.  Even some coaching for a very short time helped by at least showing me why having more than an occassional ride was essential to improving as an athlete.  Within this time frame I started doing a few dirt road / backroad rides with guys that lived near me like Robert Lucia, Jason Melecosky and Paul Bailey.  I could barely keep up if at all so these did not last long for me,  but I did more of these kinds of rides by myself.

Moving up to the "Expert Class", happened after my fitness finally started to improve, but I was still not training with many other riders and my handling skills were still subpar.  I started riding again with guys that lived near me like Jason Melecosky and Paul Bailey, they actually did more than the 2 or 3 laps at the local trails, they would go on what felt like REALLY LONG backroad rides.  WOW,  thats where I felt like I was being drilled like an Army Private in bootcamp.  But this is what it took for me to gain not only the endurance but the sustained efforts that are required for power on the longer climbs.  As a result of doing these, I felt like I could finally keep up with groups of riders who were historically faster riders than I.  It was the TNT rides (mentioned on a previous post), that really started to have an impact on me.  This however took the place of rides I did with others, but I got faster.

Late 2014 to present, I have actually made more improvements.  I am riding with guys who I looked up to (when a ride is organized).  These rides add a certain element of mutual effort/competition, some of this could be due to Strava, or simply racing up a little climbs. I still have to ride to a training schedule so that limits how I ride depending on the day of the week.  Now certain days of the week I am forced to ride alone again, and now with indoor cycling that allows me to use Wattage/Power meter to measure my efforts, I am seeing huge improvements.  I also see improvement on my handling skills as I tested this in Georgia and with the inclusion of a single speed mountain bike I'm learning to be a better rider by being more efficient on the decents as well as be more aggressive on the climbs especially the steeps ones.

Now that I have a structured (still needs some adjustments), I train with a purpose, and sometimes the purpose of a day's ride can result in an exclusion of others, regardless if they are faster, slower or at the same abilities as me.  So getting faster doesn't mean more opportunities for riding parnters, it just means I am getting faster, and if I want to continue with improvements, I have to train for me, and not train for others.  The fun group rides are also important, but they must fit your schedule, not the other way around.

I hope this helps others who are learning like I am.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Indoor spinning

Yes, I have been doing some indoor spinning.  Thanks to Jason B. for inviting me over for some training sessions, I feel that I really have a chance for improvements this season.  I have been working my way up in the wattage,  I cannot say right now what the wattage is, but lets just say its getting up there.  I will let it be a surprise the week before Barry Roubaix Race.