Hello world! Been a while since I've popped by here, thought I'd update since I actually rode a bit this time around the sun.
A few life updates: been in Vancouver for a couple years, hopefully back to Victoria in 2017! I've been working for www.VeganSupply.ca for the last year and half, pretty awesome gig, I run the website, do customer service, and a million other things.
I didn't ride much for the latter half of 2014 or 2015, it's odd to admit, but I'm totally spoiled from living in Victoria. I was in Fairfield, literally a stone's throw from the 'Waterfront' by the Ross Bay Cemetery, and if I wanted to ride 30mins or 6hrs, I was immediately on a damn fine road, and had little to dissuade me.
Vancouver is a whole other beast. I'm pretty central (near Knight & 37th), and while I commend the bike routes and the excellent routing as a cycle commuter, as someone who wants to ride steady and (relatively) hard for a few hours without interruption, it's freaking hard.
It's a 10-20min 'commute' to get anywhere remotely low-disruption (stop lights & stop signs more than 300m apart), and even then you're still dealing with a lot of traffic, and limited options. I know if I'd come from somewhere else, I'd probably be grateful for the opportunities, but I just can't find my cycling groove here. On the road, or CX (Pacific Spirit Park is nice, but nothing like Royal Roads or even the Goose), or even offroad (rode out around Seymour a few times, very heavy free-ride orientation, and XC riding is a struggle..) I've been unable to find anything like the Dump or Tzu. Just some nice technical XC riding.
This year I at least started riding again, big thanks to Ken for being my riding buddy and getting out there. The year 2016 in numbers looks something like:
Distance 4,155.7 km Time 175h 58m Elev Gain 36,493 m Rides 150
There's a lot more commutes in there (when in Vic, I logged maybe 2-3 longer commutes PER YEAR, although I commuted around for chores several times a week.)
I did make it up Cypress once this year at least!
Just for fun, here's the previous 3 years for comparison:
Distance 691.6 km
Time 38h 13m
Elev Gain 6,153 m
2014 (stopped riding regularly around July)
Distance 5,217.4 km
Time 198h 54m
Elev Gain 46,802 m
Distance 13,058.6 km
Time 476h 54m
Elev Gain 116,073 m
hahah..just a little change from 2013.
One other highlight for me was adopting Fiona the hamster, she was a rescue (thank you Small Animal Rescue of BC) and brightened my life every night for nearly two years. We got her in January 2014, we don't know how old she was, at least 6mos tho.
She was pretty unsocialized, was terrified of being touched, and disinterested in us humans. But after a few months, she started to warm up to us, and her amazing personality started to come out.
She was endlessly curious, and every night she'd get to romp around the bedroom (we'd block the doorway), and zip around, her feet making a little pitter-patter as she'd scout every corner and nook and cranny to see what was going on. She was actually quite the athlete too! I realized I could hook a bike computer up to her wheel, and so started tracking her running - I eventually even set up a Strava account for her!
By then she started slowing down, but I think her record was over 8hrs, and she'd go about 3km per hour!! She was definitely putting me to shame in the athletics department. ;)
She passed away Dec 4th from old age...it was really hard seeing her decline, knowing how active she was. I can't express how much I miss that little fuzzy monkey.
Incredibly I don't have any shots of her on the wheel, she'd always be on it in the middle of the night, so rarely got to witness her...who knows, maybe she was screwing with me, sitting beside it and just spinning the wheel...haha ;)
I also need to add one comment about pet hamsters: don't ever buy one from a store. Don't get a hamster for children either. It's a horrible misconception that 'hamsters are good starter pets', or that they're appropriate pets for children.
They sleep during the day, and are up late and night and early in the morning. They really shouldn't be handled, and don't like being held or pet. They need a LOT more space than those stupid fucking cages most people typically imprison them in. We made a pretty large 'compound' for her, but I still feel it was inadequate (and would let her range in the bedroom for an hour each night before going to bed.)
Other than the fact they can fit in the hands of a kid, there is no aspect of hamster life that suits a child.
If you can make the time and space to care for a hamster, please find a local rescue (sadly, SPCAs often don't take them in either) and adopt one (they are solitary so never keep more than one in an enclosure, but the pet rescue will tell you this).
You must ensure they have a reliable running wheel - they are very active animals, even more-so than dogs. (How many dogs will run upwards of 8hrs in a day?? Her average was 2-3hrs.) Build them a large enclosure (and be careful, they're very clever!! We found out ours was inadequate when I woke up one night to scratching noises on the floor, and when I turned on the light Fiefer was sitting on the laundry basket!!) After careful observation her 'compound' was secured.. Send me a note privately if you need any tips on this. We used a 2' x 4' base, with 1" posts and 'chicken' wire, and 8" of duct tape lining the top to prevent her from climbing out.
A photo posted by Dave Shishkoff (@vegan_cyclist) on
These wonderful little beings are so often neglected, but have very specific needs, and if allowed to thrive can really show off how unique they really are. I didn't expect this when we adopted her, I expected her to be pretty one-dimensional, but Fiefer totally obliterated that stereotype. I can talk for hours about all her neat personality traits, and all the things she would do. Just look how long this is already, and I've hardly said anything!!
Anyway, I wanted to make sure that this message got out about hamsters, and hope fewer of them live as prisoners to children.
So back to riding.. December has been pretty sucky in Vancouver as well, it started snowing on December 5th (the day after Fiona left us, oddly), and we're getting another snowfall warning today on Dec 31st. There's been snow on the ground for nearly all of Dec, that's got to be some kind of record..? This is one area that Vancouver has really disappointed - while some of the lower bike routes like 10th and Ontario are clear, the ones near me (Ridgeway, Dumfries) have been ice sheets nearly the entire time, making commuting by bike a real challenge. If trying to bike around Vancouver, your best bet when hitting icy roads is to pop over to the sidewalk for those particularly bad stretches.
Happy 2014! A Quick-ish Summary of 2013 - Riding, Gear and More.
Happy New Year, world!
It's been another fun year on the bike - for those not following me on the Strava (my profile here), it's been another great year - got out 4-5 days most weeks, really started logging more distance (including several 5-6hr rides!), and average ride length grew as well, as i felt stronger. (For example, instead of a more direct route to the velodrome, i'd add in some extra distance so my ride there was over an hour.)
Lost some weight as well - usually am in the 162lb range, and for more than six months i've been down around 152lbs. Still kinda surprised when i step on the scale, i keep expecting to float back up, but this seems to be my 'new' weight, and i'm not complaining as much on the hills..haha..
My power has been good - it hasn't dropped any since i lost weight (which was a concern, often weight loss also means power loss).
I didn't focus quite as much on racing, probably the TT got the most focus - and it payed off! Got my Sidney Velo PB from 2012 (24:49) down to 24:31. Bummed i didn't crack 24:30, but one more goal for next year! Didn't do too much on the track, and cyclocross was going well until i got sick in early October, and that lasted nearly three weeks (a few days i was on my butt, but after it just sort of lingered.) So that fouled my fitness (which seems to drop quickly if i'm not out riding a lot....grrr...) Oh, and in the VCL i tied for 12th (or 11th depending on how you score it). Very surprised by that, as i only went to a few events...but it really helped by winning one of the Hill Climbs! haha - that's right, for 2013 i'm somehow the KOM for Neild Rd!!
Had no problems completing the Festive 500 again, that'll be my third patch! Weather was especially nice this year, don't think i got rained on for a single km of it!
Gear-wise, my favorite new items are the Specialized Purist bottles, the Bell Javelin TT helmet (lets you keep your head low with the full visor, essential for being more aero, imo). Similar feature with the Smith PivLock V2 shades - never want to have glasses with a frame again!! I can keep my head low, and still see ahead of me. My latest fancy purchase is a Sugoi RSX jacket, with a new PolarTech material (Neoshell?) - it's like GoreTex, but significantly more breathable. And it really is! I freaking love this thing! When it's wet, it keeps the water off, but when it's dry, it breathes so well that i'm a LOT drier than i am wearing any other shell in cool weather. It's not quite as wind-proof as GoreTex, so you also want slightly warmer layers, but it really pays off. Speaking of GoreTex, my Gore booties (GoreTex) have been AMAZING - they make a huge difference and am often surprised my feet are still dry when it's pouring out, and they've held up really well too.
Looking ahead, i'm hoping to pick up some of the new Specialized Turbo tubeless tires. A bit worried as they 24cc, and my fenders are already pretty tight with 23's. But the Hutchinson tubeless tires have got to go - they have horrible grip in the wet. For bigger purchases, i'm considering electronic Campy, probably the Chorus....the nicest thing being that i can put my aero clip-on bars, and still shift with the remote plug-ins...that would be swell. =)
I've been riding in Vancouver a lot, as my sweetie Lesley lives there (and our 6 month anniversary is in January, woowoo!) - we come back and forth between cities, and it's been cool to ride new roads, and one real stand-out feature are the mountains - Cypress and Seymour. Rode up both a number of times over the summer, pretty amazing to train on, wish we had something like that near Victoria. Also joined up with the Mighty Riders group there, really nice people if you're looking for a firm Sunday ride.
Of course the Oak Bay Bikes ride is a staple, joining in the Saturday ride when i'm here, and the Sunday ride is really great too, lead by Joe and Kim - easier pace, but usually turn off up towards Durrance, and the pace picks up...which makes for a nice warm-up. Great people on both ride as well.
Been rocking many of the same supplements - Vega is still a big staple, the main products i rely on are the Sport Protein (vanilla) and Recovery Accelerator (tropical mango). I'll usually mix both into orange juice after a ride, very tasty!! Maca is also REALLY amazing when i'm particularly stressed (either from training, or life-stuff as well.)
I'm also still finding the Purica Recovery to be very beneficial, especially when i'm logging more miles and it helps keep the fatigue at bay! And their Cordyceps i think help add some endurance, perhaps helping with my TT training, and keeping the legs turning over during long rides.
Those are the highlights, off the top of my head! It's been good to see veganism in more and more headlines, and with people out highlighting that they're vegan, hopefully it's helping to make it more accessible to people, and show companies that there is a demand for vegan people.
One wacky area is 'gluten'. Personally, i have no issues with it, and enjoy my fair share (avoiding processed foods, but there are lots of healthy whole foods with gluten, like Silver Hills Bread, one of my favorites!) Somehow GF foods are EVERYWHERE, despite the fact that about 1% of the population has a sensitivity. On the flip side, over 2% of the population is vegan (and upwards/above 10% in a lot of areas are vegetarian) yet we don't see 'vegan' sections in the grocery store. It's bizarre how it's taken off, despite having a smaller population base.....shows just how powerful trends can be. (And no, many GF foods are not vegan...you'd think they would be tho. Lots of egg and dairy allergies too.)
Gonna wrap it up there, but let's take a peek at my year in numbers, according to Strava!
Year-to-Date Distance 13,244km (2012 - 12,944.4km) Time 498hrs (2012 - 482hr 42m) Elev Gain 117,420 (2012 - 103,583m) Rides 285 (2012 - 216) (bunch more commuting!)
Bikes (Total distance)
Niner RIP9 551k (2012 - 357.3km) Ridley Noah 14,517km (2012 - 7,294.9km) Ridley Orion 11,232km (2012 - 6,633.3km) Ridley X-Night 2,952km (2012 - 1,914.3km) * note - totals are cumulative, so the '2012' number actually includes 2011 as well.
Ahh..stats. Rode a bit more this year...significantly more elevation.
I seem to be averaging 1000km a year on the CX bike, but again you can see the importance of a nice winter bike - i still spend nearly half my riding on it!
That's a wrap, thanks for tuning in, and hopefully i'll blog again before 2014. ;)
For Sale: Wired PowerTap SL and Salsa TT Frame/Bike
I've got a couple items for sale: my wired PowerTap SL, and the Salsa TT bike/frame, read on, and and post below if you have any questions!
Wired PowerTap SL built to a Mavic OpenPro - $600
This is a well-used wired PowerTap SL hub (purchased in 2008 i believe), but has held up well! Was sent to Orange for servicing in February when i was finished using it. It's been used as my winter training wheel for the last few years.
This is a wired PowerTap, so unfortunately it isn't compatible with Garmin units (it won't pick up the power data). It's built up to a relatively Mavic OpenPro rim, which has had one winter of riding in it. No major wear, lots of life left in it.
It currently has a Campy freehub (cassette/sprockets not included), but if using Shimano/SRAM, will swap over to the appropriate freehub for the cost of the part.
In addition to the 'Little Yellow Computer' and wiring harness (with cadence sensor) is a second, brand new wiring set, also with cadence, so PowerTap can be used on two bikes without the hassle of swapping the cables. Only thing missing is the heart rate strap (needs an ANT+ version.)
Asking $600, OBO! My suggestion is that this is perfect for a winter bike, to track your winter training.
This is a pretty unique frame! Salsa El Go Go full scandium 54cm frame with carbon fork in green,
i'm basically giving away the frame, which has been well-used although
in good condition with minimal markings and scuffs. Just looking for $$
for the very lightly used parts (most just a few rides, except the brakes), which include:
Asking $400 for the full package. If interested in MOST of the parts,
can sell off independently. Can also offer a deal if you get cranks i have (Campy Chorus, compact, 170mm) and/or seatpost (Thompson) as
well for more of a complete package.
Can't believe another year has gone by. 2012 was a pretty good year on the bike, will try and post some sort of highlights update some time. Looks like i didn't update anything since March...eep!
This year focus will return to the track...training will be split between tt/ftp and sprinting. That ought to be fun! Who wants to join me afternoons on the track for 20min threshold sessions? ;)
Here are a few items for your pleasure:
How do you keep track of your training or what's coming up? For a few years now i've been going to the CalendarLabs website and printing up items from their site:
I print out the Monthly calendars, which leaves a good amount of space each day, and use a clip to hold 'em all together.
As events come up for the year, they're quick and easy to add in (i'm going to try using some highlighters this year to add some color and distinction. ;) And since they're all there, it's really easy to figure out your build-up for various events, week-by-week. I'll keep track of all these, which are handy to review:
Also, since it's just a clip holding it all together, it's easy to add other sheets (there are a few local series, with a bunch of dates through the year, keep it all handy). And whatever training sheets you might have.
Pretty neat stuff! I'm pretty sure i logged all my rides (except commuting), so this is pretty complete. Don't have this for 2011 (this would be a nice feature in the upcoming version of WKO+ - i have so much data in there, but so much of it is 'lost'.)
One thing this highlights is in these parts the need of a decent winter bike. I knew i logged a fair amount of mileage on my Orion, but i would never have guessed THAT much! Also surprised by the distance i rode in CX too, would have been a fair bit more had i not had a terrible crash (low point of the year! Luckily nothing broken, but out of action for about a month.)
I just tweeted this, so might as well share here - it was pretty tasty!
'Hill' is an understatement, with massive amounts of climbing (i climbed 766m in 20km that day!), but even tho i'm far from being a climber, the course was really fun, with amazing sections of singletrack that wound their way back down. Finished 11th in Intermediate Men, happy with that. I stopped to help out Roland tho, he was having some troubles with his new bike (a 29er!) and i knew i was far from contention for the podium, so thought i'd give him a hand (his chain got behind his cassette.)
Here's my Strava data:
OA Victoria Club Accomplishments
Updated our chart of our Chapter race results, check it out! This year the OrganicAthlete Victoria cycling team will mainly consist of Jennie, Marty and myself, look out for us on the roads and trails!
Peter (@ReadyForPlanB on Twitter) has a cool 'Vegan Testimonials' project with over 50 stories of why people went vegan, and here's mine! For those who've ever wondered why i went vegan. =)
Video: Home Powered By Cyclists
This is is a amazing video (i share videos pretty rarely), but this is of a 'normal family' who's home is powered by 80 cyclists for a day, it provides an amazing visualization of how much energy appliances use: http://youtu.be/uVK6w1Fldxw
I'm not sold on the 'superfood' idea, i think it's just food - but this is still a neat chart with a breakdown of nutrients in a number of particularly nutritious foods.
A Big Ride
I've been enjoying the longer rides, so this weekend was a pretty solid go - on Friday i went for an MTB ride, Saturday was the OBB ride (got 4th in the sprint) and added a bit more for 117km, and then Sunday i went all out, logging over 5hrs and 150km, and just a little elevation:
Victoria Vegan Festival!
Will wrap this up with a blog posting with an exciting event coming up, the 1st ever Victoria Vegan Festival, from Friends of Animals and Sarah's Place, to be on Canada Day, July 1st in Market Square - it's gonna be an amazing celebration of veganism in the city! Check out our side for more: http://VictoriaVeganFest.com
Last week i went to the track to do my 2x20m session, and i thought i'd try a few different positions while i was out there, and see if there was much of a difference (i think this is a variation of the Chung Test!)
Since it was 2x20min, i figured i'd try different hand positions for 10min periods. The weather was pretty good, but cool. Very little breeze. The only significant change was that the sun was setting so the first 20min i was in the sun and the area was a bit warmer. It felt cooler the second effort...in theory that ought to mean a slightly slower time, but it's probably not a significant issue in this case.
I was on my winter bike (fenders) and my hand positions were:
#1 - middle of the bar tops
#2 - hoods, arms flatish, bent over a bit more
#3 - middle of the tops, same as #1, maybe a bit lower
#4 - drops
Here's the wattage (AP) and speed for each 10min segment:
#1 and #3 are fairly close, as expected. #2 and #4 are more interesting. It's a bit more speed in the first, and #4 is really significant as the watts were a fair bit lower (getting tired), but the speed was about the same as riding 10w harder - so in theory at ~35kph riding in the drops saves me over 10w.
I'll try to mirror this in my next few efforts, see what results!
Also, the first Island Cup MTB race was last Sunday here at Hartland (The Dump!), and i had a pretty good event. There were some good duels with other riders, and my main focus was maintaining a certain pacing strategy - ensuring i ease off on the gas before particular technical sections (like the technical bits going up Crazy Horse, Rollie Ridge and that nasty grade at the end of Crossover) and i managed to get PBs in my lap times (30min, 32mins), and much better than i was expecting (32-35min). Last year i was so gassed that i'd hit a few of these sections and have to get off the bike to get over the technical bits. This year i planned to get off and use my CX skills in a few spots (that nasty bit on the climb on Crazy Horse, and the big, wide rocky corner on Skull Trail, which i normally ride, but knew it'd be faster just to run), and then ensure i have gas in the tank for the others (which i did!) So, well planned.
Admittedly i eased off on the first half of Shock Treatment as it was really muddy and got some in my eye the first lap...so could have snipped a little more time if i wasn't slowing down for puddles...i'm such a fair-weather weeny. ;)
I rolled into the finish, and goofed around before the line, delaying 10-15seconds, and then there was a riding coming up behind so i weaved over across the line, but they scored him in front of me - boo! So 11th in Intermediate (B) Men. Whatev's, i know i beat that guy. =P
Planning to head up to Cobble Hill next week for #2 in the series, and avoid the second VCL (local road race series) on a hilly course.
PS - here's the poll from my last entry, if you haven't voted already, when do you find you perform best?
Happy Spring everyone! How do we know it's spring? Why, i shaved my beard, so it must be spring. =)
Bye-bye Beardy! Not how i look now!
Training has been great, logging solid miles and watts, if you're not on Strava, you should be! Very fun program, works if you've got a GPS unit (including apps for Android and iPhones!) It's free, and tracks your ride (and runs any other activities) and keeps track of 'segments', which are sections of road people have programmed in, such as hills and regular ride routes. It's fun to see if you were moving particularly fast in a part of the ride, here's a short spin from Thursday as an example:
You can see there that i moved pretty fast up King George Terrace this day (chasing Clay).
Another cool feature of the site is that it's also social, so you 'follow' other riders (near-by friends, friends in other cities, and even a number of pros like Clara Hughes and Simon Whitfield!) Every day you get an email listing all the rides from the last day, and you can log into the site and there's a timeline of those rides as well, where you can comment, heckle or complement others in your cycling community.
My profile is here (follow me!) and check out my "Following" page to find a bunch of other cool peeps, local and abroad. It all makes a bit more sense when you start following a few peeps, and log into the 'Dashboard' page. =)
So, what's in store for this year.. I think i'll go back to focusing on the track. Despite my strong disagreement with the behaviour of the GVVA board, track is still my 'strength', and it would be silly to give it up. Will focus on bunch races, Keirins and Madisons.
On the road, will continue to give'er. The new VCL schedule is out, and amazingly a lot more flat races, with several Western Speedway and Windsor Park (on several Sunday mornings!!) crits - that's more my style!
Oddly, been enjoying the longer rides too, was out for nearly 5hrs a couple weekends ago with Sarah Stewart, and actually *enjoyed* it - insane! Check it:
A Year Later, Road Tubeless
I've been riding road tubeless tires for well over a year now (Oct 2010?), and there are some good points and bad points. (Road tubeless tires are like MTB tubeless tires - there's no tube, just a strong seal between the tire and the rim, and usually goo that seals punctures.)
The best is that i've had 2 flats in that time - the first all i had to do was stop and put some more air in the tire as it resealed. The second was 'catastrophic' and (heaven forbid) had to put in a tube (had nearly forgotten how that works!)
For a winter riding set-up, it's amazing. The typically wider rims make for a solid contact patch, and can run lower pressure if so desired (i'm typically 90-100psi, ~160lbs). The rolling resistance is pretty good as well.
There are some downsides, there is a very limited selection of tires (really, two from Hutchinson, and one from Maxxis. Overall i like the Maxxis better. There is one from Specialized as well, but it's really just a re-labeled Hutch.) Due to the low development, weight is still very high. The listed weights are very conservative, and i'm finding they're typically 20g heavier (ie, 290-310g.) Sure, we're not using tubes, but there's still goop in there, so overall weight is a fair bit higher on a race set-up.
The other real bummer is a near complete lack of non-OEM compatible rims. About the only option is from Stan's, and i've had a terrible experience with the Alpha340's. First failure was a 24h laced to my PowerTap - after ~3 months of road use i found 3 nipples pulling out of the rim. They said 'use the 32h' (that helps with my 24h PowerTap hub..) But ironically, a couple weeks later, my 32h PowerTap from my winter bike ALSO had the exact same problem. (Although i had ridden it a fair bit longer.)
I replaced the 24h with another Stan's rim, and it's blowing up now as well (it lasted 2mos of CX racing.) The 32h was replaced with an OpenPro, which i managed to convert to tubeless, but is barely worth the effort - 7 layers of their tape and about 30minutes of fuckery with the air compressor i managed to get a tire to inflate. I do NOT recommend converting OpenPro rims to tubeless and am on the lookout for a 32h replacement rim.
This summer i'll not be racing tubeless (although did last year). Hoping to build up my 24h PowerTap to a Zipp 303 or 404 Firecrest (and get a matching front wheel.) Gonna try out latex tubes and go back to my trusty Conti GP 4000S tires (which i've had good puncture resistance with, just don't let anything touch the sidewall!!) I'm taking suggestions for other clincher deeper rims that my shop can build...
On a bright note, the 2Bliss/2BR Captain CX tires from Specialized were freaking BRILLIANT. I struggled with the non-tubeless version (mega-burping), and was so happy to get these. In testing, i got down to 20psi with no burping (although it was really waaay too squishy to ride in anything but thick sand or mud in a straight line.) Most of my racing was in the 28-35psi range (i suspect this translates to a lower pressure w/tubes). I will be getting a non-PowerTap tubeless wheelset for CX this fall. (I've found training/racing with power for CX is nearly pointless...i'm really better off guessing my efforts in relation to TSS, etc..)
Doesn't look like much...is that a potato in my spokes? heh - fell off the counter and stuck there.
Here's a shot of my 'cockpit' on the winter bike (Ridley Orion). Got the PowerTap since it's an older wired model, the Garmin Edge 500 (best cycling computer!!!) and of course a little bell, totally Pro. ;)
The Serfas True250 light has been fantastic for road riding as well. 250 Lumens is plenty, can get 2x 2.5hr rides on one charge, and really convenient/fast quick-release mount. Easy to stash in the pocket too if heading out when light and not sure if you'll need it.
Came across this bullet-bike on a night ride along Dallas, apparently the guy bought it 'for fun'! Really got it moving too!
This shot's from riding back along Lagood Rd from the Boxing Day TT (which i won!!!) That's Megarath and Alex Hui up ahead.
Let's Wrap This Up
So race season really begins next week, there's the VCL at Caleb on Sunday (Mar 11), but i'll be going to the Dump for the Island Cup MTB race. From there will be a few more road and MTB races, and hopefully the track opens in April.
On the Strava site (if you're not on there and have a Garmin unit or GPS smartphone, get on it, and if you follow me, i'll follow you back!) i noticed the 'Rapha Festive 500' contest, where you log 500km from Dec 23rd to 31st, and then maybe get to win stuff! Hurrah - seemed like a fun challenge!
I was especially inspired after a week of dry riding, and logging some good hours throughout December, and i've been really enjoying my time on the bike (much more so - often as my ride ends, i'm happy to be home and get off the bike, but lately i actually want to keep on going! Kind of unusual for me, as a trackie where the moto is 'the shorter the better'!)
So i jumped into the contest, and here it is:
RIDE #1 - Friday, Commute (12.4km, only 487.6km to go!)
heh - it's a contest right? Every km counts! I knew i was going to log a few km commuting going to the climbing gym and riding around doing some chores, so here it is. =)
In other news, i had checked the results, and by this point some people from Australia had already logged over 400km in 2 days - yikes!! I have 12.4km!
RIDE #2 - Saturday, Oak Bay Bikes Group Ride (98.6km, 111km Total)
No better way to get things started than my weekly group ride from the Oak Bay Bikes shop. As mentioned, we've had a spell of fantastic weather, so the light rain wasn't a chore. Given it was Xmas Eve, we kept the pace really civil, and only five of us rode the full route.
Doug, Dan and company, nearly back in town.
RIDE #3 - Sunday, Xmas Day Torrential Downpour
(29.2km, 140.2km so far)
The day was promising to be a crap one, but i managed to pick the single worst hour to be out...it just poured while i was out..very demoralizing. Entire ride consisted of heading out to the Switch Bridge, a common meeting spot where some others were possibly into an Xmas Day ride, and ran into Dan Leonard, who was logging a ton of km that week, and so encouraged him to join up to the Rapha500, and he quickly got the job done, the first in Victoria, and all of Canada i believe!
The wind was so strong that on the final stretch of my ride, despite just cruising along, i got a PR for a 4km section...
Just a bit of wind and rain this day.. Pictured is my trusty Ridley Orion winter bike, note the proper 'Wet Coast' fender & extender. ;)
Happy to be heading home and drying off..
RIDE #4 - Monday, Victoria Wheeler's Annual Boxing Day Time Trial (85.9km, 226.1 - almost 1/2 way!)
Always a fun test in the middle of our winter, the TT itself is just under 14km, on a pretty flat route. In the past i usually podium or am close to the top, usually not too many 'big hitters' out, and in part to lax participation from clubs, i managed to pull off one final win for the season! (Results)
Was expecting rain, but it held off, and enjoyed the ride back into town with Alex and Megan.
I nearly cracked this day and gave in.. It had been pouring rain for about 48hrs (didn`t bother going out Tuesday), and no sign of it abating. The only redeeming value was that it was a balmy 12C outside thanks to the wind from the south. But that still meant wind.
Many awful experiences to share from this, but perhaps the worst was any descent, with the rain smashing into my face and no optics due to the rain...after the big descent on East Saanich Rd, i opted to ride as few hills as i could... Misery was compounded with headphone issues, so even music was a frustration.. As i was on my way back into town, things started to come together, and i nearly enjoyed the last hour, despite the persistent weather conditions.
One of my few comforts..my home-made cocoa-orange chocolate chip energy cookie-bars - vegan of course!
I'm sure people are jealous they missed out riding in THAT for nearly 3hrs!
Food done...back to the rain..
RIDE #6 - Thursday, Lucky Timing (66.7km, 372km total - two days left!)
It's been dry in the mornings the last few days, but still calling for rain in the afternoons and evening. By the time i wrapped up work, it hadn't started raining, so i opted to get out, and managed to keep dry!
I felt like i was gambling with this route - i kept taking small sections that wove me away from town, but not too far in case the rain started...
On my final stretch along the Dallas Rd. waterfront as the evening was settling in, i saw Sylvan up ahead and chased him down to chat for a bit, and see how his riding was going.. After turning around for the final stretch back along the water for home, it started to sprinkle, and the wind was picking up. Turned out that evening was one of the worst nights for rides, and Sylvan was just getting his Rapha500 started...!
RIDE #7 - Friday, More Commuter Miles (16.8km, 388.8km - one day after this, looks good!)
Okay, it's a bit cheap, but i wanted a rest day and needed to do some chores, so logged my 'recovery' miles as i went to my bike shop Oak Bay Bikes, visited my buddy Emile, did some shopping, and then went downtown later to my club OrganicAthlete Victoria's primary sponsor Green Cuisine vegan restaurant for dinner with a friend (and a shameless opportunity to plug some awesome sponsors. ;)
RIDE #8 - Saturday, The Final Stretch, Another OBB Ride (123km... ??? total??)
Eeep! It's looking good! The loop is ~100km, so i figured adding on about 30min will get me safely over 110km, which was the goal for the day.
Thankfully, while cold, it was dry! Cruised over to the shop, and there was a good turn-out, and we headed out. Two flats in the first 30mins delayed things, but no issues the rest of the way to Sidney.
There, met up with Peter and Sylvan, who were also finishing off their Festive500 duties - Peter had about 170km left to go, and Sylvan needed around 200km to ride. That meant they'd both been out for the earlier Tripleshot 80km ride - yow!
Sylvan, Peter and myself - the Rapha Three! What on earth is Peter doing with just knee warmers? It was below freezing when he started!
Usually from there the group splits into a more 'peppy' group, and followed by a more 'steady' group. The three of us started to roll out with the peppy group, but as it was only about 5 people, we opted out, as it would mean a lot more work (at the front in the wind)...!
So we hung back and headed out with a much bigger group than usual.
The Oak Bay Bikes group!
On the road on Land's End
With the riders off the front, it meant that none of us could win the ride sprint, which bummed me a bit, but i figured i wouldn't have a lot of gas in the tank anyway.
Things got busted up on the Panorama Hill (posted my second fastest time) thanks in great part to Rhonda, and we split the group in two - Peter and Sylvan were in the front with me, so all good.
The pace was pretty steady back into town. Just past Brentwood (i think) the lead group met back up with us, so the sprint was fair game again!
The Sprint Report, brought to you by Dave`s Vegan Cookies:
Geoff took off pretty early, just before the hill by the Observatory (later he told me he just wanted to go harder and get more of a workout) - no one really chased, but the pace was still fairly high. The 15-or-so of us kept it together down the other side and around onto Interurban. We could see Geoff dangling ahead, and Peter started to tow the group at a faster pace... He pulled off, i then chased for a bit, then fell back to sit in. Wasn`t sure if i was going to sprint or not..still had over an hour of riding to go!
Got shuffled around in the group a bit, and Adam De Vos blasted away as the pace eased a bit... He caught Geoff fairly quick, by Camosun. I contemplated bridging up, but we still had about 1k to go to the sprint, and there was a very strong headwind.
Peter got back on the front and picked up the pace again, and the gap really began to shrink. There were a few more people up front, pulling and pulling off...over the final crest i was 3rd wheel behind Guy and Trevor, and Guy was putting in an effort. I felt solid, and was in a great position, so decided i would sprint!
We were just about to hit the final 'double' - two little risers with the sprint line 50m beyond the crest, and Guy pulled off. Trevor usually puts in a good effort, and so i was hoping to soak his draft for another 20m or so to get me up the hill a bit more, but he stuck to Guy's wheel and didn't pick up, so it was go time!
I jam the pedals seated for a few strokes as we speed up the hill, then i'm out of the saddle hammering for all i'm worth! We fly past Geoff, who's clearly died, and 20m before the line i grin over at a flat-lined Adam as i'm leading the charge for the line!
I haven't looked back, so no idea who's coming up - but i press on knowing there's someone to my left... 5m and i can tell it's Tom Skinner. Uh oh! 4m...3m...the gear is feeling big...2m..1m...he's right there - i throw the bike, and it looks like my wheel hits the line first!!! I raise my arm, but so does Tom!!
It was really close, and it's New Year's Eve, so we agree on a tie for the final win sprint of the OBB ride for 2011.
At that point, Peter has logged all the kilos needed for his Festive 500 - another reason to cheer! We continue rolling into town, i also take the final King of the Overpass at the Switch Bridge. ;)
The group is really shrinking, and on Harbour Rd Peter and Sylvan turn off for a coffee shop stop. Geoff, Adam and myself carry on for the final stretch along the water, and afterwards continue on for a little while longer, just to ensure that i get the distance i needed - plus the sun was out, and i was feeling great, despite having logged 512km in such a short time (much more than i'm accustomed to!)
Big ups to Strava and Rapha Clothing for putting on the Festive 500, it was a ton of fun (despite the crap weather here!) Good motivation to get out and ride, and inspiring to see how others are doing (the current leader logged over 1,400km..wow!)
And mad props for the other four Victoria, BC riders who completed this - Dan (who may lead the country with 551km!), Peter, Sylvan (did i mention he rode about 460km in the final two days) and Jamie Cameron, who is in California for the holidays, and finished the Hincapie Grand Fondo today. Also congrats to Andrew Pickell from the mainland (Vancouver), who for all i know is the only other Canuck to complete the contest, and is new to the cycle-racing world!
These are great for cyclocross or commuter bikes. All come with necessary hardware (ie, hanger for the Paul's), tho the Neo-Retro's don't have brake pads, but will dig something up if desperate. Note: will sell Paul's set for $100 - light and strong brakes.
Two sets of cranks, note the 105's are 165mm length - give it a try, your spin will improve!
- Campy Chorus Ultratorque Compact (50/34), 170mm, w/BB Cups (not shown). Rings are relatively fresh, used a different set for cyclocross. Have extra chainring bolts (like $40 value). Bearings are looking pretty worn, re-greased but may need replacing. Very light crank, only selling because i prefer the 165mm length. $400
- Shimano 105 Compact (50/34), 165mm, well-used BB cups if wanted. Hardly used, maybe 5-6 rides total. A bit scuffed tho. $100
Thomson Masterpiece, 27.2, short 240 length. Freaking light. $80
Salsa El Go Go full scandium 54cm frame with carbon fork in green (unique!!), i'm basically giving away the frame, which has been well-used although in good condition with minimal markings and scuffs. Just looking for $$ for the parts, which include:
Asking $450 for the full package. If interested in MOST of the parts, can sell off independently. A deal if you get cranks and/or seatpost as well for more of a complete package.
Salsa ChiliConCrosso, 54cm, scandium w/orange Salsa carbon fork w/alloy steerer. Some of the nicest decals i've ever seen on a bike, total eye candy especially with the fork. Well-ridden (3 seasons), still in good condition, should be good for a few more seasons! Comfy ride, will miss it, upgraded to the Ridley X-Night. $SOLD!
Argon18 Radon, 54cm, alloy front triangle, carbon stays and fork, reasonably lightweight! Very well used, warning - was crashed. It was checked it out, only issue is a small dent in the top tube (barely noticed!) I would be still riding (happily!) but got a replacement. Still really like this frame, and funnily enough one of Victoria's fastest TT riders has this as his TT frame as well (Emile!) $150
2010 Niner RIP9, Medium, Orange, 4.5" front & back. ~29lbs. Breaks my heart to sell this, but i'm not riding offroad nearly as much. Will be replacing with a hardtail. Note the frame is practically new, replaced in Feb 2010, will carry 5yr warranty at OBB, and not ridden a ton since replaced.
As far as the bike goes, it's the best riding bike out there, period. If you want to hit the trails and simply have fun, this is it. It's not terribly fast uphill, but climbs really well, really nice handling and characteristics. Downhill is another story, and this things likes to go fast, and will add confidence, as well as pure pleasure. $3000
- Manitou Minute29 fork, 20mm bolt-on axel
- SRAM X9 shifters
- Avid Juicy 7 brakes, 160mm rotors, new pads
- Easton EA70 bar and new Pro grips
- Specialized side-entry bottle cage (allows for big bottles!)
- XT 170mm triple cranks, all rings recently replaced
- XT pedals
- newish XT Chain & SRAM cassette, 11-34
- Fr Der is XT, Rear Der is X0
- Raceface Evolve seatpost (no saddle, tho check out above, might toss in if offer good)
- wheels are Stan's ZTR Flow 29er rims with WTB Laser hubs, quite light
- WTB Prowler 2.1 front tire, Specialized FastTrak rear, tubeless ready. (Pictured is a different tire in the front, sorry, keeping the Weirwolf!)
Sad to part with this bike, but c'est la vie..i'm pretty spoiled with my other bikes! Organic stickers are optional. ;)
Extra - PowerTap SL MTB Disc
Another part i don't really want to part with, but i'm open to offers. PowerTap Wireless SL+ built up to a ZTR 355 29er, surprisingly light! Newish XT cassette. Includes the mounting harness and LYC (Little Yellow Computer) and Maxxis CrossMark, tubeless. $1500
Riding with a power meter can help put things in perspective.
So does riding Newton Heights! (One of the local weekly road race courses. Short, hilly course.)
There's really no hiding, and where the number of laps = Z, it's Z x [big anaerobic efforts].
I rode a few laps with the pack tonight, and then off the back, to get some baseline numbers.
A typical lap with the pack sees about 1min of climbing, and my wattage (at ~165lbs, plus a slightly heavier winter bike with fenders) was ~500w for that kind of effort.
It looks a bit like this: 650w for the first 22 seconds to get to the top of the steep bit, and then ~440w for the other 28 second. (There's about 10 seconds of easier climbing [like 300-400w] that you roll into at speed at the start.)
As the watts go down, so does the time to complete the climb..350w takes more like 1:30 to do. About 26 seconds still above 500w on the steep bit, and the other minute closer to 280w.
Watts will vary for weight, but that's a good baseline.
Watt It Means (har har)
Completing this course in the upper levels of the A pack requires being able to hold 500w efforts for 1min 15 times.
In universal terms that's about 6.9w/kg for 1min efforts.
Oh Yes - Recovery
Oh, and recovery. Typical lap times are just over 2mins, so you have 1min to recover...half is a coast down the hill, unlikely to see much race action there, but on the other side there could be attacks leading to the hill, so even if you can sustain the above, you *still* need to have something in the tank to respond to other efforts. Or if someone goes even harder up the hill. Etc. Etc.
What This Means If You're The Shish
Stay the frell* home!!!
My peak 1min power is 540w. As in: i ride as hard as i can for 1min, and it's gonna be around 540w. And then i puke a few times, and get towed home with my ass in a sling. (Okay, slight exaggeration, but definitely need significant recovery after that type of effort.)
I just don't have the engine to compete with my peers at this event, straight-up, and there's nothing i can do about it (ie, hide in the draft). I can manage the slower 1:30 pace, but that's pretty much red line, and not a lot of fun, as i'm getting caught every 4 laps or so, and too fatigued to stand any chance of sitting back in...
It's an exercise in futility, if VCL points are the goal, and more than 10 riders complete the race. ;)
* bonus points to anyone who actually knows the reference
Today a good riding friend, Gillian Carleton, was smucked by a car (sounds like a similar situation to me a couple months ago, but apparently at a higher speed) and she'll need a few weeks to recover. This is really sad and frustrating news as she was really picking up speed, and had her sights set on storming a few big events (and she would have dominated!!) as well as organizing the OBB women's team; hopefully this doesn't hold her back, and i hope to see her back on her feet pronto.
That's how much racing there is for me...i've started, and will be going until the end of November - woo woo!
There will be naseousness, fatigue, mood swings, body image issues, elevated and depleted hormone levels...all as my body feeds a hungry set of quintuplets to maturity.
Who am i kidding, muscles never mature. I'd rather be pregnant!! =P
Anyway, back into the swing of things... First up, should mention i was smucked by a car a month ago. Well, technically i smucked a car. I was riding home on the Goose, and a car failed to stop at the stop sign, and i didn't have time to react other than run into the rear end of the Subaru. The driver was mortified, and apologized thoroughly, although admitted she didn't even see the stop sign, and was only looking for pedestrians at the painted cross-walk. She's new to town, and didn't expect faster moving cyclists on the trail, and only looked for walkers at the edge of the road. Not an excuse, but an explanation. And perhaps the City of Victoria could look into the matter, and present clear postings on this section of the Goose that it's also (primarily?) a bike trail, and to expect faster-moving traffic...
I mainly landed on my upper butt and back of my head...i was able to ride home (uncomfortably), but i discovered that that part of my butt is essential for sprinting and power efforts...took me three weeks to be able to hit over 1000 watts.... I think i'm mostly recovered now, hopefully nothing long-lasting.
Gear was damaged, and is being replaced, including my trusty old Argon18 Krypton (alloy front, carbon rear) winter bike frame...it lasted nearly 5 years i think....or was it 7?? In its place will be a full carbon Ridley Orion - yip! It should be ready tomorrow (thanks Oak Bay Bikes!) A few other odds'n'ends were replaced, like my helmet.
So, now up to two Ridley's (with my Noah of course), and will be three come the fall, when i upgrade my Salsa and switch over (most likely) to a X-Knight. Yum.
Lots going on, but haven't been out to some...missed the Blubber Burn due to feeling crappy, and similar issue with the Island Cup MTB race at the Dump (was kept up most of the night by people upstairs...ugh..)
So, first race was the VCL Caleb Pike. Ate just before the start, and my stomach crapped out when the intensity picked up...so it was a 1x100min interval for me...haha.. Kept ahead of the B's for an hour, so that was something.
Next race was the Dallas Rd Monster Drag, super-fun event and format. Let's just say 4th was actually 1st. ;)
Was really impressed with the fixie riders, many made it up the Uplands hill with the front, and stuck in for a while.
That was last Saturday, and Sunday was the return of the Latoria course to the VCL, still has a hill in it, but quite a few less meters of elevation.
Been burning the candle at both ends the last couple weeks, so didn't have a lot of kick, and again got dropped fairly early on. TT'd the rest of the event, and the B's didn't even catch me....how odd! Solid watts tho, despite fatigue.
Speaking of which, TSS for the last two weeks was about 805 and 840, and 700 is a pretty hard week for me, so it's safe to say i'm working it..hoping to get above 850 this week, but have a sinus issue that's putting me out, so might not quite achieve that, only did 1hr on Tuesday instead of the planned 5x5mins session.
Training has been great otherwise tho, lots of quality time the last couple weeks, couldn't do anything sprinty, so more like 2x20min efforts. But will be dropping down to 5mins efforts and shorter in the upcoming weeks. Not next week tho, rest week!
Is it just me, or is it harder to train when it's colder out...say below 5C?
Went out for my aforementioned intervals on Tuesday (with anti-blogger Gillian), and it was okay when i left my home... Met Gillian downtown, and as we left it started snowing. As we were cruising along the Goose out to Metchosin, it went from snow to sleet to rain..then stopped and cleared up as we turned onto Metchosin.
Got to the bottom of the quarry hill, and we went off to do our workouts, and as we started, it started hailing (or snowing like gangbusters). Ouch. Only lasted a minute or so, then cleared up again, pretty much for the rest of the day...
Still, was a bit chilled to start (was *slightly* under-dressed.) The first 20min FTP effort felt okay, looked like i was staying in the 265-275w range.. Rested a few mins, and went for the second effort. Felt sluggish, but pushed through, wasn't so fun closer to the end... I think the cold just saps it from the muscles.
Ride home was okay, but felt like work as well..felt beat when i got home.
Workout wasn't really all that great tho, by the numbers.. 257w for #1 (both NP and AP), and the AP for #2 was 260w. Oddly, it was 259w NP. How does that happen...?
Anyway, that's a bit short of the 270w i was aiming for...and it sure felt like i'd done it. HR was about right as well...and RPE.. I'm guessing it was just the cold.
Okay, so i think we all agree it sucks riding in the cold. What's worse, we now have a ton of snow in Victoria. Happy Birthday to me...hahah.. My 35th birthday will always be remembered as the one with all the snow.
Don't know if i'll make it out on the bike tomorrow due to this...maybe a trainer ride..? Maybe head over to OBB and build up my TT bike if my levers arrive...!
Well that's about it. I think i'll conclude with the honey badger video. What a badass he is! He doesn't give a shit about anything, that honey badger.