Monday, October 26, 2009

Treachery at its finest!

"Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill."

Saturday was the annual "Sprint Clinic" at the Superdrome hosted by former US National team member Jeff LaBauve.

I attended this clinic last year and got enough out of it to make it a mandatory class for myself and anyone I coach that races Juniors or Category races (not for Youth A/B).

This year I brought Landon with me, since he is already showing promise as a sprinter and has never even seen a Match Sprint event much less competed in one. I geared my bike down to a 48x16, which is the maximum race gear for Landon's age group. I wanted to do the drills with him myself so that he didn't get paired up with another inexperienced youth, at least at first.

After we worked through the Slingshot and Razor drills, plus a 200m TT, it was time to get real and and do some racing!

My goal here in addition to the ever-present one of having fun was to show him not just how to ride 2 laps slowish and one lap all out, but to expose him to things other racers will do to him in a real competition.

Our first attempt took off with me leading him out. First lap...pretty dull. Just me looking over my shoulders at him. He was changing positions enough to keep me guessing and switching where I looked from, but never tried to jump me. Second lap he faked an acceleration on the back straight but I faked back. I started to take him uptrack going into 3, and had him almost to the rail into 4 when I used that wonderful thing known as gravity (and my well-developed descending muscle) to jump. By the time he was able to respond, change directions and get moving I had a decent gap and was hammering for all I was worth. The little bugger nearly caught me at the end but I managed to hold him off.

Not so much in the second race. He lead this one out. With 1 1/2 to go, he had rolled up high and I was down and back. He dove and we were headed for the same spot in the lane at the same time, so I backed off to avoid a nasty crash (or his first lesson in head-butting). I knew that his speed was going to be too much for me to slingshot good job in whipping Coach Kev!

Had some other fun racing against Erin P heads-up and then a 5 person 3 lap scratch.

My legs were shot the rest of the day and the next.

Cyclist to pray for: Pat. He could use some work...


Friday, October 23, 2009

Recovery week

I had a coach for 6 months this year, and learned a number of valuable things during that time.

1) I'm overweight (already knew this)
2) Shaving will gain me 2 watts (or so he says....I'm still furry)
3) I have more ability than I think I do
4) Recovery weeks are a good thing
5) I hate recovery weeks
6) Other things as directed by management

After last weekends solo/racing/LBS ride mileage-fest, I have taken this week off to recover. I did ride the trainer last night in Zone 2 for an hour....nothing to get excited over, but burned a few calories along the way while watching the first Mission:Impossible movie

My next ride of any note won't be until Sunday, or maybe Monday. Saturday is the Sprint Clinic at the track with Landon, taught by Jeff LeBauve....superstar sprinter in his day at the high levels of the sport.

I've been getting more rest and sleep than normal and have spent much of my non-riding time reflecting on the things of God. Sometimes in prayer, sometimes in meditation while pretending to watch whatever medical/legal/police drama was on at the time.

Recovery may not be quite so bad after all...

Cyclist to pray for: Mason. Appendix issues suck, especially when you're 8.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Crikey I'm Creaky, but not too Cranky!

I was able to get in almost 200 miles over 5 rides in 4 days last week:

Thursday...laps at White Rock lake in the Fall Mini-Series at the Superdrome (7th out of 10)
Saturday morning....28 mile ride from BikeMart with a good friend
Saturday two categories at the Superdrome (and a spectacular leg explosion that forced me to abandon both cats...)
Sunday afternoon - 45 miles easy solo spinning to Frisco and back with no goal.

I hurt. Legs, back, left knee....ugh.

But it was fun.

So there.

When I was in my 20's I would have done twice that and gone back for more on Monday.

But I'm not 20-something anymore. Now I aging cyclist. :)

Cyclist to pray for: Chris G.


Friday, October 16, 2009

round and round we go...

White Rock Lake is arguably one of the best/most popular locations to ride "inside the loop" of Dallas. In the last 20+ years that I've been on a road bike, its been my destination of choice for long, uninterrupted rides.

Back in the mid 90s, large numbers of faster cyclists would show up after work to ride a 3 mile stretch along the west side of the lake back and forth many times. This is the side that had the smooth asphalt street. There is a trail as well, but any cyclist going over 5 mph stays off of it to keep away from Grandma, skaters, joggers, dog walkers, etc.

Even the cars that drive around the lake are really nice about when and where they pass us for the most part. Half the lake is 20mph speed limit, the other half 25.

In those 20 years, I've probably done 1000-1500 laps.

And its still a nice ride, despite me knowing every turn, crack, rock and bird out there. By name.

Yesterday during my split shift I spent the afternoon getting some more laps added to my tally. Before I even left the office, I knew which direction I was going to go not out of habit, but based on wind direction. With a cold front that came through and NW winds on an overcast day, you want to be riding into the wind going north on the West side, so the trees can shield you.

After 4 laps consistently in the 30 minutes range for the 9.3 mile loop, I reversed the last of 5 and went counter-clockwise so I could finish on the smooth stretch with a (mostly) tailwind.

Not a bad ride. 47 miles, 18mph avg and met a really nice guy on my cooldown. Had a great 20 minute chat in the parking lot with him while I packed up to head homeward.

Sometimes, you just default to a ride you know by heart, sometimes you explore new ground. I'm lucky to have been able to do both this week.

Cyclist to pray for: Sherwood. Continued good things in his life.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

An advantage of being an aging cyclist...

...young cyclists give you credit you may or may not deserve!

Yesterday was an off day for me, so I decided to abuse some young legs at the Superdrome, as I do pretty much every Wednesday and Friday from April through November.

Some days I'm teaching them how to stop and start a track bike without falling over. Some days I'm just pumping tires and switching cogs. But every day at least one of the local ankle-biters has some question for me about equipment, race strategy, training tips, etc.

My response to most of them? "Ask Suzie!"

No...just kidding....I only pull that one out for things specific to Superdrome owned equipment or the drills Suzie is having them do that day. If they want to know about gears, tire pressure, how to race a Points race or similar I tell them what I can.

What never ceases to amaze me is how young folks will give automatic credibility to any adult that is not their own parent. Many times I've watched a parent tell a kid what to do on or at the track with no success. I can tell the same kid the same thing 1 minute later and they hustle off to get it done.

Even more amazing is that these kids have seen me race, yet they still give me props!

I've said it a million times over the years both in and out of cycling environments....if you want to feel young, go hang out with some kids. Volunteer at your local training crit, track, club rides etc as a helper or ride leader. I get to spend time with teenagers from our church youth group as well.

Cyclist to pray for: LB. God knows what is needed.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

OUCH!!!! OK, thats better....

Limited time and wet roads forced me onto the trainer last night as expected. After my 42 mile easy effort on Monday, last night I figured I'd wake the legs up and do some intensity work.

After fixing the trainer wheel by replacing the cassette spacer that I had to pull off and put on my race wheel a few weeks ago I hopped on and put in Coach Troy's Spinerval DVD - 3.0 - Suffer-O-Rama (a more accurate title has never existed).

I normally do really well with this particular torture method. I have a few others, but this one I can actually complete without passing out and waking up in a pool of sweat, bike parts and sawdust in the cave.

Not last night. Dagnabbit.

I got maybe 20 minutes into it and was in the middle of a 5 minute tempo set alternating standing and seated. I generally like this set but tonight about 2 minutes into it my quads shouted their favorite battle cry to me - "Siddown fool!"

I shouted back things you cannot type on a family-friendly blog and finished the 5 minutes. And pressed the Stop and Power buttons on the DVD player.

Did another 20 minutes or so of "up/downs" which is 30 seconds standing, 2 min rest, 30 second high rpm, 2 min rest...repeat.

Did an hour, went through two sweatbands, burned some calories. Not too bad.

Off today, so I'll make the kids at the Superdrome suffer instead while I stand there and yell intelligent things like "go faster!" and "turn left!" The best part about yelling this brilliant highly educated encouragement to kids on the track is that they can't hear it very well. I figure I sound like Charlie Brown's schoolteacher's angry husband. Sweet.

Cyclist to pray for: David Clinger. To stay on the right path, now that he has found it again.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ride with no purpose...

My employer is awesome. I am allowed to work a split shift twice a week where I leave at 11am, and then finish my 8 hours from home in the evening. The purpose of getting these two afternoons off is to have the daytime to further to ministry of IC3. Sometimes that means meeting with a church or association leader, sometimes leading a group ride, and sometimes it just means training rides so I can continue to be active in the race community without being a laughingstock....

The weather yesterday afternoon was right on the cusp of being too wet for outdoor riding, by my standards. My standard is simple...if I'm going to HAVE to clean the bike, I don't ride in it. If I get caught in the rain, fine. But I don't go out in it intentionally.

Looking like it would be good, I decided to get in a "longish" (for me) ride of 40+ miles. I convinced Landon's mom to let him go out with me for a bit, since he was out of school and just hanging at the house (on his 14th birthday). It was an easy sell...

I rode the 12.6 miles from my house to his, and we headed south with no particular destination in mind other than "towards the Superdrome/RBM." Nice, easy spinning pace since this is a recovery week for him, and base miles for me. We found that even in the middle of a Monday afternoon, Legacy in Frisco is a nice clean road to ride on with one small section of construction. We did encouter some mist, which decided to change into "very light rain" so we turned around and headed back. All told, I hit 42 miles for the day and my bike got a bath, which is a rarity.

I got my miles, Landon spun his legs a bit and Fellowship was had. One of the better rides I've had in awhile.

Cyclist to pray for: Andrew - fast recovery from a jacked up collarbone.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Just keep plugging along...

Not too much has been happening of any note since my last post.

Raced the Cotton Patch Challenge in Greenville, TX. I knew I wasn't going to stay in the lead so I hammered along until I dropped at the 23 mile mark. Chased a few break attempts down and stayed at the front while I was in it. I figure why not have a good time while I still have the legs, yah? Total sufferfest the next 30 miles :)

All of this has been to get me ready for the Fall mini-series at the track that runs through November. Results have been mixed. I've felt strong and ridden well but the placings don't show it as there are some VERY strong guys in the 35+/Cat 4 that should be upgrading to Cat 3 any day now (Yes, I'm talking about you Joel and Bob!!!).

I've spent quite a bit if time with Landon and the other junior track racers getting them up to speed as a volunteer helper during the Superdrome Youth Devo program. Sometimes I'm needed, sometimes I just air up tires but its all good either way.

Landon is doing well on the track and the road. He did 18.1 mph avg for 28 miles with me this last Saturday in a RBM training ride. Nice. Need to get him to the 36 mile endurance level very soon, and work on his spin in the process. Its good, but can always be better...

All for now..

Cyclist to pray for: Todd M.'s family. He passed away on a ride Saturday, details unknown at this time.