This blog/site is a collection of my thoughts, articles and other general excitement tied into cycling, training and competing as a vegan bike racer and athlete.

Articles of Interest:

Friday, April 29, 2005

Comparative Anatomy -- Nutrition

PETA now has a website on something i've always found interesting, a comparative anatomy between carnivores, omnivores, herbivores and humans.

I'm not saying PETA has the final word on this, but i find it interesting...the physiological similarities seem to indicate that we're mainly veggie.

The site is here, lotsa info to consider, and here's a breakdown for instant gratification:

Jaw Motion
Carnivore Shearing; minimal side-to-side motion
Omnivore Shearing; minimal side-to-side motion
Herbivore No shear; good side-to-side, front-to-back
Human No shear; good side-to-side, front-to-back

Teeth (Incisors)
Carnivore Short and pointed
Omnivore Short and pointed
Herbivore Broad, flattened, and spade-shaped
Human Broad, flattened, and spade-shaped

Teeth (Canines)
Carnivore Long, sharp, and curved
Omnivore Long, sharp, and curved
Herbivore Dull and short or long (for defense) or none
Human Short and blunted

Teeth (Molars)
Carnivore Sharp, jagged, and blade-shaped
Omnivore Sharp blades and/or flattened
Herbivore Flattened with cusps vs. complex surface
Human Flattened with nodular cusps

Carnivore None; swallows food whole
Omnivore Swallows food whole and/or simple crushing
Herbivore Extensive chewing necessary
Human Extensive chewing necessary

Carnivore No digestive enzymes
Omnivore No digestive enzymes
Herbivore Carbohydrate-digesting enzymes
Human Carbohydrate-digesting enzymes

Stomach Acidity
Carnivore Less than or equal to pH of 1 with food in stomach
Omnivore Less than or equal to pH of 1 with food in stomach
Herbivore pH of 4 to 5 with food in stomach
Human pH of 4 to 5 with food in stomach

Length of Small Intestine
Carnivore 3 to 6 times body length
Omnivore 4 to 6 times body length
Herbivore 10 to more than 12 times body length
Human 10 to 11 times body length

Carnivore Sharp claws
Omnivore Sharp claws
Herbivore Flattened nails or blunt hooves
Human Flattened nails

Off-hand, the only things i can think of that we have in common with many carni's is forward facing eyes...tho many herbi's are this way as well. Oh, and we kill a lot. =(

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Run! (My First Running Race - TC10K) -- Log

So, i did it! I trained for about two months (note: i've never run before)...didn't really run much the last two weeks..ooops! (What can i say..i prefer to ride my bike!)

I thought i'd come in at 48-49mins, but turns out i'm actually recorded at 46:46! Much closer to the sub-45min time i was hoping for...sticks me around 792 overall, the 642nd male, and 103rd in the Male 25-29 Division. My buddy Brandon ran a blistering 39:02 for 136th. Although he hasn't trained much, and had a bum knee for the last three months, shows the difference a history of running can do! (I'm not sure if any other the other pro's are vegan...so that would make him the fastest vegan there...) Luckily i can still whoop him on two wheels. ;)

Wee - still passing people!
So...the run itself. Got up at an ungodly hour...some time after 6am. Bleh. Made a nice smoothie (1c soy milk, three bananas, few strawberries, glop of maple syrup, pineapple chunks, and some Progressive Vege Greens powder) - lotsa liquid there..almost four cups!

Then noodled over to Sarah and Brandon's and we geared up and hoofed it over to the starting line.

Holy crap there were a lot of people. (~11 thousand i guess!) A sea of bodies in shorts and sneakers...pretty funny. I worked my way into the 45-50min section, and huddled there. I wasn't very nervous..it was just a stupid run. haha

Countdown came and went, and we were all still standing there - takes a while for all the bodies to get moving. Brandon recommended moving up one category, i now see why.

We started moving, slowly, and this was probably the most fun part of the race for me. I quite liked passing people! It was fun running around, weaving my way forward. I did this for about the first 5km i'd guess...then it started to thin out a little. Pretty crazy. (Also, i prefer sprinting to running..)

Other than that, it wasn't very eventful... The course was mostly uphill, or at least seemed that way...not many places to recover, which made it a bit more tough. I also got a little warm...i was wearing shorts, plus a base-layer tshirt, and my Organic Athlete biking jersey. Could have done without the base-layer.

I felt pretty good, and was maintaining a sub-45min pace come the 8km marker, but that was when i really started to 'feel it'. Lungs weren't so happy any more... Legs felt alright, overall. No knee problems. Same with the hip flexors, which bugged me for the first month and a half of training.

Around there i found myself near three women in a column, one was running hard like me, the other two were chatting...keeping up this pace like they were out for a walk. WTF?? Here i am, HR ~185/94% max, and they were barely outta breath!! Good grief. (Good for them tho!)

We hit another hill, coming up near Fisherman's Wharf, and i had to slow down..and that was the end of me doing the passing, and began the last 1.5km of people passing me. =)

I just hung on, maintained a slower pace, and tried to stay out of the way of everyone else. There was this one kid who must have been half my age galloping along like it was nothing..i'm sure he beat me.
Not so fun any more..
Note how both my feet are off the ground!
Turned the corner onto Gov't St, the last hundred meters, and crossed the line. It was OVER!

Saw Brandon there, looking fresh as a daisy..we hung out for a bit, waiting for familiar faces..then went down to the Inner Harbour, where there was some food and drink. Had a few orange and banana sections, and water. I can't believe it, but they were handing out yogurt and milk. How disgusting!!! Besides all the horrid things with milk, it's got almost no carbs...what good is that for recovery after an event like this? Sheesh.. (They should have been giving it out at the beginning of the race...that would have narrowed my competition down a bit!)

I'm told my time is pretty good for a first-timer, esp. who's trained for only two months. My HR average was 183bpm, and went as high as 190 (didn't sprint at the end...too many people.)

I gotta say, running KILLS my cycling. And i've still yet to hit a point where i actually *enjoy* it. I'm at the point where the discomfort is minimal...but it's nothing like biking to me. I *love* being on the bike. I could do without the running...

I'm gonna keep at it tho... Run at least once a week through the summer..come the fall i'll pick it up, run a few times a week, and see how it goes. If it's any more enjoyable by then, i'll maintain that through the spring, and give the TC10K another serious go.. If not, i'll prolly just run for fun.

The main thing that'll benefit me for next time is the worst - i just need to run for longer amounts of time. I ran outta juice at the 8km marker mainly because my body just wasn't used to maintaining this type of effort that long...

That concludes my first running race experience! Thanks to Andy for the pics, and to D'Ambrosio Architecture and Urbanism for having me be on their team, i think Brandon and i showed them we vegans are winners. =)

Monday, April 25, 2005

Would You Like Ketchup On Your Blogger? -- Log

Alright, been mighty busy! I'll post separately about my TC10K run experience, but here's what i've been up to the last couple weeks:

Apr 10 - 18th:

Nothing too crazy, did the Burnside ride on Sunday, rode w/Andy Monday for 2hrs, plus Sprint Night at the track, got my fastest time of the year of 14.2 on the 200m...didn't have a lot of 'kick'.

Tuesday went to the gym, 30min run on Thu, plus raced Thu evening - got creamed in the Chariot race, felt great in the Miss'n'Out, tho ended up 8th (boxed in), got dumped in the Keirin, and held onto 5th for the Scratch. Running is not good for riding...legs weren't too lively.

Sat went for a ride with Sarah, meant to run Sunday, took it off..went Monday, 45mins run. First time knee ached a bit...prolly since i haven't been running much. (Not good since the race is less than two weeks away..)

Monday was also Pursuit Night at the track, everyone did either a 2 or 3k ride. Kevin and i went last...legs were frozen tubs of slag by the time i got on the bike, posted a 4'44" on the 3K. Ouch. Kevin was very fast tho, posted the second fastest of the night. He is among those to be feared. ;)

Apr 19th-24th

Tuesday did a 3hr solo ride, EM-pace. Also went to the gym in the evening. Wed did an hr run w/Heather, knee felt fine. Thu was Race Night at the Track - i was a pancake on two wheels. Got lapped in the Scratch and Points races. Lesson: running is BAD for cycling!! I managed to hold on for the final Snowball race to tweak into fifth...since several others dropped out. Just what my ego needed. =)

That Thu was the first 'Mystery Night' at the track, and the Scratch was an 'unknown distance', and the Points laps were unknown too. I think it was quite popular. Same with the Pursuit Night - first time i think we've ever had a dedicated night to pursuits, and i think people were happy to have that opportunity....even if they froze their hiney's off waiting. (I'm the newly elected 'Race Director' for the track, for those who don't know....and so i get to plan out what we'll be doing each week. You can find a PDF of the schedule here. This is why i'm concerned about the experiences of the riders. =)

In the Points League, i'm currently standing in 5th position overall...with 4th only one point away...oooh..sooo close.. Matt is dominating tho, more than twice as many points as me. Eeep!

Friday was another light run, Saturday was a rest day, and Sunday was the TC 10K. More on that soon!

This week will probably look like this:
Mon: Sprints at the track, hopefully not too tired to post a decent 200m and Kilo time!
Tue: 2-3hr ride w/Andy, gym in evening
Wed: hour run w/Heather (then watch The Incredibles! Yay!)
Thu: Race Night @ Track
Fri: 2-3hr ride solo or w/Andy, plus Track in the evening
Sat: ride w/locals
Sun: not sure..mebbe ride w/Burnside
Fun fun..starting to piece my schedule around the track now..and running is over thank cod.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Article on Organic Athlete! -- General

Hello racing fans! I've not updated the blog for the last while because of some weird FTP problem on Blogger's end...it's been resolved, and i've got a little catching-up to do. =)

Here's a neat article i came across, nice to see a few more vegans out there on two wheels:

Group promoting vegan lifestyle

Special to the Herald

Cyclists, like other endurance athletes, need a substantial amount of calories before, during and after training and races. As such, plenty of manufacturers of plenty of products -- energy bars to recovery fluid drinks -- are touting their wares at the Sea Otter Classic.

But perhaps the most unique of the estimated 250 vendors on the infield of the Laguna Seca Raceway is not a particular athletes' product, but an athletes' diet lifestyle.

OrganicAthlete, based in Sebastopol, promotes a vegan lifestyle, the diet void of animal products.

Two cyclists competing this week are among the organization's corps of professional athletes.

Christine Vardaros of Mill Valley, a 2003 member of the U.S. National cyclo cross team, competes for Velo Bella, based in Santa Cruz.

Professional mountain biker Jason Sager of Austin, Texas, is also part of the vegan organization.

"I am not a physiologist, but I feel this is a very healthy way to live," said Vardaros. "I rarely get sick, my bones are good, I build muscle easily, and I recover quickly from hard training and eating.

"I don't feel that comfortable being a proselytizer, but I can certainly recommend it. The foods are much easier on my body, they're more easily digestible, there's fewer toxins, just as few examples of the benefits."

Kristin Armstrong, Meet Lance Armstrong|

Since she began to gain national exposure three years ago, Kristin Armstrong, professional cyclist, has often been mistaken for Kristin Armstrong, ex-wife of Lance Armstrong, the six-time Tour de France winner.

But until last week, the two cycling Armstrongs had never met. The Tour de France winner surprisingly showed and competed in the Lemire Memorial Grand Prix in Ojai.

Kristin Armstrong, the 2004 Olympian, also competed and then maneuvered her way through a large crowd and introduced herself to the other Armstrong.

"I said, 'Hey, Lance, it's Kristin,'" explained Armstrong, following her second place Friday in the women's circuit race. "He finally looked over and said, 'Oh, I've heard a lot about you,' and I said, And I've heard a lot about you."

The two Armstrongs laughed, and Lance Armstrong, pro cyclist, signed a poster for Kristin Armstrong, pro cyclist.

Doctor, Computer Tech, Beer Rep|

Tina Pic will be 39 years old next month, but the overall women's road race leader has no idea what career she'll pursue when her cycling career ends.

"My husband keeps saying, 'You can't do this forever,"" said Pic. "But it's not easy giving up something you love to do."

Pic, a competitive rider for 10 years a two-time national criterium champion, has a marketing and finance college degree and also was preparing to pursue a medical degree. Professional cycling interfered with both careers.

"I really don't know what I'll do," said Pic. "I was a beer rep for four years, and maybe I should do that again? I really don't know why I stopped. I liked the job."


Friday, April 08, 2005

First Track Race of the Year! -- Log

And so it has begun..

It was a pretty blustery day, i rode out to the track and battled the wind the whole way...great way to start the night. ;)

A few more familiar faces were there, nice to see my extended two-wheeled family out and about!

For those who are less familiar with my history, i've only recently (last fall) begun putting more effort into training - previously i was a 'weekend warrior' who'd race in the B category, but was a total fair-weather rider, who'd get out for one, maybe two rides a week.

This was the first winter i actually rode through..normally i'd take Nov-March off. =)

So this is the first year i'm racing with the A group - who'd normally blow by me when they accelerated a bit. Last night i discovered i can now keep up, until they accelerate a lot. haha

The first race was a 20 lap Scratch race, and it's started off at a reasonable pace, then would get faster and faster.. Vinko broke off the front for a very brave solo attack, i was too far back in the pack to (at least try and) jump on. He held this for most of the race i believe.. From there, the pack broke up a bit more, and Chris ended up tanking a group of us for several laps (wow - he just held the front!) as we tried to catch Vinko. Soon tho, Marcus and Matt blew by, and i had little extra to give, so i hung in with Bre and Chris, who all ended up ahead of me to hand me a sixth-place position. Not too bad for my very first race in the A category. =)

Next up was a short, 20 lap Points race. Unfortunately several A's went home, which left a smaller field. Matt also flatted out, basically leaving Vinko, Chris and myself, and that's pretty much how each sprint turned out, giving me a 3rd place finish pretty much by default. Which is fine by me. =)

I'm really impressed with how fast everyone is! Although i can now keep up with them in the bunch, it's pretty amazing how strong they all are when the sprints kick in. I've still got a ways to go before i'm competitive to these guys! If you're reading this - you rock, and it's an honour to race and learn from you all. =)

I'm also pretty happy with how my training has paid off - i've now got the cardio engine i need to keep me in the pack, which was my goal for the winter, so that feels pretty darn good. Now i've gotta build up more power to try and hang in on the sprints. Vrrm vrrrm..

Whatever happens tho, it's great to be out racing with these guys again, they're all an inspiration to me.

My training schedule is now up in the air, but will prolly look like this:
Fri: easy night at the track, practice some skillz
Sat: Observatory repeats w/Andy plus 2hr ride
Sun: Burnside ride
Mon: maybe RR w/Andy, Sprint Night for sure
Tue: should run..haven't been running..gym in the evening
Wed: ride w/sprint starts or other strength excercise
Thu: race night!
I took this last Tues and Wed off as well. Tues went to see Sin City. Holy crap, i did not enjoy it. Very specific target audience there no doubt...and i'm not it.

Keep on riding!!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Fixed-Gear Bikes Article in WIRED -- News

There's an interesting story in WIRED News today on fixed-gear bikes:

Fixed-Gear Bikes an Urban Fixture

* Often brakeless and always exciting, single-speed track bicycles are not just for kamikaze bike messengers anymore. Hipsters are flocking to "fixies" for the bikes' simplicity -- and their street cred. By Ryan Singel.


Monday, April 04, 2005

Track Season Has Begun!!

Woohoo - first night on the track this year, very exciting! Lotsa familiar faces, good to see 'em all, as well as a few eager, new ones! Several of my teammates weren't there, which was kinda sad...hopefully they'll be out on Thursday!

This means i finally got to ride my Kona on the track...pretty sweeet! After a few adjustments, it was starting to feel pretty good. I immediately noticed the difference in power-transfer.. I pedal harder, and it starts to fly....gotta like that. Very solid.

After about 20mins of warm-ups, we started the night with Team Sprints, a good way to begin! (Thanks to Matt for organizing as well!) I think the team i was on posted the fastest time..tee hee.. I was the 2nd guy.

I felt quite beat through the night tho. Although not a lot for many riders, the 240km or so i've done in the last three days had its toll on my legs.... It was weird - i could keep spinning pretty quickly, but i just didn't have the 'ooomph' needed for a successful sprint.

My first Flying 200m was an interesting experience.. I'm riding a 48x15, and i decided i'd actually hit it with a lot of speed (rather than go slow and 'jump'), and when i got out of the saddle coming through the corner, i had little more to give! I was practically at my top speed! Not sure if this is because i was tired (or remnants of my flu) or if my gear was too small.. Once i sat down, i felt right, and even after the line i felt pretty good....i could have kept the pace up. (Good sign for the Kilo..) Stuck to the black line very nicely as well - the upper-body conditioning i've been doing paid off well!

The time wasn't spectacular, about 14.5 seconds. I'm used to seeing 13.5's or lower...but everyone was getting at least a half-second higher than normal. It was about 8C outside, so it makes sense. Guess it's gonna be a little while before i get that under 13 seconds. =)

Also did a matched sprint with Jeremy, that was pretty fun. It was his first one, he wasn't sure what the deal was, but after some good instruction he jumped me, made a couple meters on me, and held it to the line. Good stuff!

The only issue with the bike is that the front tire is rubbing on the fork.. It's a 22cm tubular, and it's just too big for the fork despite filing down the crown. Charles gave me a couple of his old 19cm tires, and so i'm planning to set one up near the end of the night on Friday. They're Conti's too, very, very nice of him.

I also bid farewell to the old rental Purple KHS which has been my faithful companion on the track for the last three years. I hope the next rider will enjoy it as much as i did!

On Sunday, did the Burnside ride again, felt a bit better than the Sat ride. Earlier today went out for a couple hours with Andy again, he's starting to pick up some pretty good speed! All you tri racers better watch out. ;)

Not sure what the rest of my week will look like, now that my schedule is different with three nights of riding. Most likely do a 'Foundation/Endurance Miles' ride on Wed, race Thu night, ride w/Andy Friday with Observatory hill repeats, easy night at the track Fri night, and a couple rides on the weekend...seems like i'm gonna be spending a fair bit more time on the bike now - yippee!!

On a slightly different tangent, i've been pretty busy creating promo stuff for the Velodrome Association, including this poster and the race schedule (both PDF's.) I think people in the club are pretty happy with the results, which is a nice feeling. =)

Now i must sleep! G'nite y'all!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Diss This Christmas -- Log

Hello league of blog readers! Below is a harrowing account of my training regime to become the fastest vegan on two wheels. (Maybe only on my block..but the title will be mine!!)

On Thursday, since i was still getting over from the blechular day-flu, Andy and i watched the 2004 Tour de France (DVD, 4hr version.) Pretty inspiring stuff! Amazing how they go up hills faster than i go down... Lance is a machine, wow. It was kinda scary watching the progression of the interviews tho...as the days wore on, he became more and more gaunt..practically Skeletor by the end of the tour...fueled by rage in his battle to beat He-Jan (Ullrich). I've read that you can burn as much as 10,000 calories in a day of racing in the Tour...wow.

There was one scene where Lance was riding up one of the hill time-trials, and we saw 'EPO LANCE' and i was gonna catch a screen shot of it....but i just did a quick Google Images search, and there it was! Hilarious someone else saw it, and did the exact same thing..haha.. (Yes, that's Lance in the pic too..heh..)

I don't have any idea if he's done EPO or anything else..i've read a few sections from LA Confidential, and there's some interesting citations, tho it's all circumstantial. From what i've heard, Lance has never actually come out and said 'I have never done EPO or any drugs', so that's a little suspicious.... Unfortunately cycling is rife with drug use, so what canya say..

Back to me; on Friday Andy and i went out for a brick, which featured a 2hr ride, followed immediately by a 30min run. I was surprised at how easy the transfer was, tho we hadn't ridden too hard either. My Organic Athlete biking shorts are fine for running in as well, i discovered.

Saturday morning, i could still feel a bit of the flu lingering.. Hoped the Burnside ride would be moderate, but they picked it up quite a bit not too far into it...dropped off...then caught up to some folks...took the shortest route around the airport into Sydney, hung out with a couple riders getting coffee, rode on.. The faster portion of the group caught up with us before long, and we jumped on.

Surprisingly, they weren't going too terribly fast, so i hung with them to Royal Oak, where i turned around to meet up with the not-as-fast group, and chat with some friends since most of the ride i hadn't seen them. They happened to be right around the corner from an annoying hill...which i got to do twice..haha

Was planning on taking Shelbourne back in, and cut the ride short, but Pat convinced me, and Roger and Tony were riding a good pace, so i stuck with them until McNiell and tooted back home. That got me 80km in 2hr40min...again, more than i wanted to do. =P

Hopefully i'm healthy enough that this won't exacerbate the remnants of my flu...i guess i'll find out tomorrow when i go for another ride...hahha

Happy weekending world! =)

(Title a weird mix of lyrics from PIL's Covered.)

PS - posted in Daylight Savings Time!

About Me

Dave Shishkoff
aka Dave Noisy
Victoria, BC

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Contact me and let me know if you're a vegan cyclist with a blog!

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