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:

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Film Features Vegan Athletes -- Veganism

This looks pretty neat:
[from Corvallis Gazette Times]

Three Corvallis residents are making a movie that will track a week in
the lives of three vegan athletes.

The full-length film will be a combination of instructional video,
documentary and reality show, said Robert Cheeke, the Corvallis
resident who came up with the idea for the movie and one of the film's
three subjects.

Cheeke is a professional bodybuilder and a vegan, meaning he doesn't
eat or use animal products. His diet consists of plant-based foods,
and he doesn't wear leather or fur.
In addition to Cheeke, the movie features Kay, a professional dancer
and part of the off-Broadway group STOMP, and Brendan Brazier, a
professional triathlete.

The video examines each athlete's specific nutrition needs.

"We're calling ourselves the vegan fitness team," Cheeke said.
There's even some comedy in the film, he said.

In one section, for instance, some of Cheeke's friends talk about his
transformation from a scrawny, 130-pound high school kid to a
200-pound bodybuilder.

The film is yet to be named. The group has brainstormed about 20
possible titles, but Cheeke wants to wait to pick one that everyone
agrees on.

The movie will be available in DVD format, probably around October, he
said. He hasn't decided on a price yet. Cheeke will be selling the DVD
on his Web site, and the two other athletes, who both have Web sites
of their own, will be doing the same. It may also be available at
amazon.com and possibly at the First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op.

On the net: www.veganbodybuilding.com/, www.brendanbrazier.com/,

full story:

Friday, June 24, 2005

13 Days -- Log

Ride ride ride...got no time to type. ;)

It's been a busy couple weeks since my last report! Seems like all my log reports start like this...so why change a winning formula? ha ha..

I ended up riding a record-breaking 13 days in a row...i was feeling quite drained by the end of it, and i might still be recovering from it. Glad i did it tho, strength and endurance are still gaining, yip!!

Last night was race night as usual, the GVCL night, where the local roadies come by to join us. Gina Grain, a top Canadian women's cyclist (mainly Crit rider) was also out with us, very cool!

I decided to try a bigger gear tonite, and went with a 47x14, which is about a 90.6. Wow...what a difference. Not as much spin potential, but accelerating is so much easier....

First up were some keirins, for fun. I got a good position, second after the bike, and just sat on Jeremy's wheel, who pulled through the whole race, and came in first. I got an easy 3rd. I should have probably tried attacking, might have done better..!

The Points race wasn't so generous, and i ended up getting lapped for the first time in a while...but it was a FAST race, barely dipping below 45kph. Hit a new top speed of 60kph...wow!

There was one moment of excitement for me; there were about 10 laps left, and i saw Matt from OrganicAthlete Victoria was making a break...so i sprinted ahead of the pack, but as i caught him, he pulled up and dropped off...and no one else came with me. Bummer....that was the end of that, and i just sat in with the pack to the end. Not sure what i placed, but i'm guessing it was below 10th. Nothing to celebrate, but i'm glad to have sat in with such a fast race.

Here's my breakdown from the last couple weeks:
Thu (June 16th) - Day 8, ended up an easy day, rode to the track, rain appeared, rode home.

Fri - Day 9, Observatory Repeats w/Andy, did five, plus one easy one with Andy. All were under 8min, 7:22 was my fastest time, and hit that on the 1st and 5th repeats. Now doing it in a 53x21/23. Evening went to the track, noodled around.

Sat - Day 10, long, intense EM ride w/Sarah. Basically, for the first 3hrs i pulled, that way i could stay in the HR zone i wanted, as could she. Completely ran outta juice at the 3hr mark (need to bring two Clif bars for these rides), i stuck to Sarah's wheel for the last half hour. Logged 109km, great day!

Sun - Day 11, basically a RR, rode out to Elk Lake to watch the 1/2 Ironman. These guys are pretty impressive. Chatted with Brendan Brazier for a bit as well.

Mon - Day 12, didn't have much pep, but still got all new PB's! 200m - 13.40, 500m - 40.28 (previous from last year was over 42), and for fun the 666 (two laps) - 53.64. (Never did that distance previously.)

Tue - Day 13, 2.5hr EM ride w/Andy, starting to feel lack of recovery.... Nice upper-body workout in the evening, perhaps i'll write about this in more detail soon. Basically i've come up with a routine to hit all major upper-body muscle-groups, for maintenance and slight growth.


Thu (June 23rd) - race nite, described above.

Fri - Ob repeats w/Andy, still getting faster, new PB of 7:11 on the first one. Moved down to a 53x19/21 in order to keep my cadence under 60rpm. Did 6 repeats, all under 7:35. Last was around 7:25. (Note, the record for the Observatory is 5:11, done by Laurie Munn in '95. Wow.)
My upcoming schedule will prolly match the above... I might take it easy on Sunday, some more recovery might be a good idea.

For my general fitness, i'm finding my legs are almost always feeling strong, but my lungs seem to be my 'bottleneck', and my limiting factor. I believe this the preferred balance as far as fitness goes. (ie, legs giving out before lungs, or vice-versa.)

Time to get some sleep!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Vegetarian vs Omnivore Diet: Cycling Stamina

Just came across this, it's from 1968:
Dr. Per-Olaf Astrand conducted an informal study of diet and endurance using nine highly trained athletes, changing their diet every three days. At the end of every diet change, each athlete would pedal a bicycle until exhaustion. Those with a high protein and high fat meat (carnivore) diet averaged 57 minutes. Those that consumed a mixed (omnivore) diet, lower in meat, fat and protein averaged 1 hour and 54 minutes: twice the endurance of the meat and fat eaters. The vegetarian, high carbohydrate diet athletes lasted 2 hours and 47 minutes, triple the endurance of the high-protein group. (Source: Astrand, Per-Olaf, Nutrition Today 3:no2, 9-11, 1968)

(Story Link, thanks VeganRepresent Forums!)
Of course, this is far from conclusive or even well controlled, and it's already well established that carbs are essential in providing lasting fuel to muscles. I'm guessing the resistance/wattage was kept the same, etc.. Anyone have any more recent/thorough studies like this?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Tube Dispensing Machine! -- Fun

This is pretty darn cool - they've converted cigarette dispensers to give out new bicycle tubes!! Brilliant! =)


Thursday, June 16, 2005

New Dr. Gregor Newsletter -- Article

Hello veggie-curious readers! ;)

The latest email newsletter from VeganMD Dr. Gregor has been posted:


Topics include:
A. Making the Healthiest Food on Earth Even Healthier
B. Treating Springtime Allergies with Spirulina?
C. Figs Fight Fatigue
D. Heart Attacks, Side-Effects, or a Healthy Diet
E. Plant-Based Diets Beneficial in Pregnancy
F. Soy and Cancer: A Meta-Analysis
G. Dairy Diet Myth
-Chicken Out of Urinary Tract Infections
-Campylobacter Joins the Resistance
-The Hard-Boiled Truth: Salmonella and Eggs
-Don't Wash Your Meat
-Bacteria or Cancer
I really enjoy Dr. Gregor, besides being rather brilliant, he's also kinda witty. Quirky little comments in there to break up the seriousness, nice touch. =)

In the first item (A), he discuses how nutrients in foods interact, and that an avocado in a salad can actually increase anti-oxidant absorption because they are lipophilic (literally 'fat loving'). I wonder if this works for olive oil? I don't really want to add an avocado to every salad...but i always use cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil.. Adding certain herbs seems a really good idea too.

Anti-oxidants are useful to athletes because they can help with inflammation (ie, well-worked muscles), and increase recovery (wee - back on the road faster!)

Next up, a warning for blue-green algae/spirulina... Neurotoxins are found in most varieties, it has been recently discovered. Some will be safe, but it's important to figure out which ones first.

C is a neat article about the benefits of dried fruit. (I also read recently that raisins can actually inhibit dental decay, due to antioxidants i believe..) I never knew sesame seeds were so high in fibre tho!

I tend to buy white pasta (bad, i know, but i certainly can't afford w/w pasta six times a week....) but i religiously sprinkly sesame seeds (as well as nutritional yeast and some olive oil) on every plate, hopefully this added fibre makes up for the crappyness of the pasta.

D is another example of how a vegan diet is more effective (and safer!) for people with heart disease in reducing cholesterol levels.

E tells us veggies are high in magnesium. =)

F is more vindication for soy, and a nice jab at the bonehead that is Joseph Mercola.

G is about the rather conclusive dairy study, showing that basically the more dairy kids drank, the bigger they became. (This wasn't following a dozen kids...try 12,000 over several years.) Very good info, read it if you're considering giving up dairy. You don't need those hormones!!

H covers illnesses connected with 'superbugs', and we've got the lovely quote:
"Taking over a thousand food samples from multiple retail markets, they were not surprised to find evidence of fecal contamination in 69% of the pork and beef and 92% of the poultry samples as evidenced by E. coli contamination."
Yum. UTI's are linked to E. coli contamination, and many women might benefit from cutting poop-covered meat from their diets.

Read the article for the rest, lots more interesting info. All references are listed in the article as well, for the more studious or skeptical readers.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

D's Diner -- Log

Got so much i wanna post, but so little time!

I'll start with a little log-entry catch up! Last training log entry was a ride on Sat, June 4th. I took the 5th off, and from there we've got:
Mon (June 6th) - 2.5hr FM ride with Pat in morning, plus evening sprints at the track, did a pitiful 1:26 in the Kilo. (Come on, gotta get under 1:2o at least!!) First Kilo of the year i believe.. 13.89 in the 200m as well.

Tue - 3hr FM ride (kept HR in zone, over 30kph average speed!), easy 30min run w/Brandon (second run since my 10k!), plus 1.5hr upper-body workout (at Chez Shish, i've got pretty much all we need with Brando's weights. Nice to have control over the moozak. =)

Wed - rest day! (And boy, did i rest hard!)

Thu - Sprint Races at the track, got trampled...7th in the the Miss'n'Out, then last or near last in the Keirin and Chariot (stupid me pulled the whole Keirin..duh!!) Had to leave early, so missed the final scratch.

Fri - Ob (hill) repeats w/Andy, did 5, all under 8min, getting stronger! Starting to do it in my big chainring. Saw Christina Briante there as well, nice to talk to her, she did well the following Sunday at the Atomic race.

Sat - Rode w/trackies, 3.5hr, did Sooke then water, lotsa hills, a few good sprints, fun ride!

Sun - rode w/Burnside group, i just sat in the pack, rode about 2.5hrs...semi-recovery ride!

Mon (June 13th) - Pursuit night at the track, did a decent Team pursuit, and got a 4:32 in the individual 3k event. (Previous time was about 4:50 two months ago, pretty good gain!) Still got a ways to go tho, a 4min time is considered great...tho pursuit isn't my focus at all. I'll be happy if i can drop another 10-20 seconds by the end of the year.

Tue - 3.5hr EM ride w/Andy - felt great, we did our King of the Hill comp again, but i overpowered him on all accounts... Anyone have any ideas on how to give someone an advantage on a hill climb, but still allow the stronger rider to do a 'maximal effort'? I gave him upwards of 30 seconds of lead-time, but i still flew by him...going 37kph on the final climb while he said he was at about 13kph...oops! I was feeling pretty strong at least..heh.. Also did a 1hr upper-body workout here again with Brandon. I quite like my setup! In the winter, it'll be nice to work out several times a week without having to go to the gym. (Just do legs there now..)

Wed - planned a day off, but Pat emailed, so did a 2.5hr FM ride. This now makes 7 days in a row on the bike...will prolly ride every day until next Wed... Feeling good tho! Other than the hills, i'm not really 'killing' myself (tho i guess i did on the pursuit on Monday..)
The rest of the week will look much like the above.. 'Mystery Night' at the track tomorrow, fun fun! Unknown distance Scratch, and unknown bell Points race. =)

More Ob's on Fri, group ride Sat, Sun i'll ride out to the half-ironman that Brendan Brazier is in (vegan athlete extraordinaire! Came in 2nd in 2002.) Mon sprints @ track, Tue 3.5hr ride, etc, etc..

More vegan info to be posted soon!!

(Entry title is a Les Claypool and the Frog Brigade song. =)

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Making a Splash -- Humour

A friend sent me this gallery from a MTB race in Sweden:


Click on the pic for the next...hilarious endo shots, as all these people experience how deep the puddle really is! (They were apparently all warned before reaching the 'puddle'. ;)

Discussion on it/originating here:


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Alcohol and Testosterone -- Article

In a recent magazine with several articles focusing on male health i read that 'the consumption of alcohol decreases production/secretion of testosterone for 24hrs following consumption'.

I personally never drink alcohol, but most other riders do...and considering how important testosterone is in building muscle, i should probably just keep this to myself. *evil grin*

But i won't...haha..

Doing a quick search on Google for "alcohol testosterone decrease" brings up a good number of articles, a few of which i'll link to below.

As mentioned, testosterone(T) is essential in building and maintaining muscle, as well as burning fat.

I've read that one problem for body builders and other strength trainers is keeping the T 'flowing'. Our bodies will pump out a bunch when we first begin training, and so we see big gains the first few sessions after we start training...but after a while the tap shuts down, and gains aren't as impressive... Many factors play into this, including T levels.

What is often done by weightlifters is to 'shock' the body, by mixing up a weightlifting routine by lifting much heavier weights for a session. This almost 'kick starts' some body functions, including T production. (An example would be with squats, doing 2-3 lifts at 80-90%RM (one repetition maximum) and repeating several times with a very short break...very draining, but effecting in 'shocking' the body and increasing T production.)

Again, getting the T flowing helps encourage more muscle growth.

Alcohol plays into this by decreasing the amount of T secreted from the testes, or actual T production. The theory is that the alcohol actually disrupts the chemical process in which T is synthesized in the testes.

All this would suggest that avoiding alcohol would be a good idea (well, duh, when isn't it), but especially if you're trying to build muscle. You can try this yourself by cutting out all alcohol for several weeks, and see if there's any difference in muscle gains...you might be surprised..!

Good luck, and below are a couple items with more info:
  • Article outlining many of the effect of alcohol (athletics.uscd.edu) including:

    Alcohol, when consumed in amounts typical with binge drinkers (most common among college athletes), can dramatically decrease serum testosterone levels. Decreases in testosterone are associated with decreases in aggression, lean muscle mass, muscle recovery and overall athletic performance. This can also cause testicular shrinkage, breast enlargement, and decreased sperm development in males. In females, this may cause an increase in the production of estradial, (a form of estrogen) which may increase the risk of breast cancer.
  • Large journal entry on the effects of alcohol on reproductive systems (niaaa.nih.gov)

Supersized Carnivores -- Veganism

This is an interesting piece, suggesting that early humans weren't hunters, but actually the 'hunted'. Some good arguments...especially the fact they couldn't chew/eat meat, and super-sized carnivores lived at the time. =)

You wouldn't know it by current world events, but humans actually evolved to be peaceful, cooperative and social animals.

Washington University, St. Louis, MO - In a new book, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis goes against the prevailing view and argues that primates, including early humans, evolved not as hunters but as prey of many predators, including wild dogs and cats, hyenas, eagles and crocodiles.

Despite popular theories posed in research papers and popular literature, early man was not an aggressive killer, argues Robert W. Sussman, Ph.D., professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Too Strong To Get Sick -- Log

Wow....i'm feeling a little crappy right now. I've had a sniffly nose the last week or so, but i've been more or less ignoring it. I think i've actually got a cold or something..bleh... (But i'm too strong to get sick!!! I'll wake up and be fine i'm sure. ;)

Still feeling good from my race last week, very happy with my results!

Lessee what i've been up to, made this a pretty easy week:
Sun - rest day, watched the Bastion Square crit, packed stuff up

Mon - moving day...long day...went well tho! Full body workout, was pretty beat by the end.

Tue - finished moving, finished cleaning old place, bye bye Vegan House! Next one in a few months!! (If you're reading this in Victoria and are keen on living in a vegan house, lemme know!)

Wed - back on the bike! Short but effective EM ride.

Thu - race nite at the track! Nothing too exciting, got 6th in a 25 lap scratch, and did a good job earning 5th place in the 54 lap Points race. Missed the break, from being at the back of the pack (did several extra pulls, and squeezed back in near the front, but the one time i go back to the pack.....ho hum..) Did well in a few sprints, and rode strong the whole time.

Fri - 45km RR w/Andy, plus went to the track to practice standing starts, added another 40km there.

Sat - 3.5hr LSD which picked-up a bit near the end. Replaced the chain (don't use Whipperman chains on Campy drivetrains...they wear out FAST! Stick with Campy.) and it kept skipping over the middle cogs in my rear sproket, not so fun...survived tho! Got a replacement casette today, so all should be good now.
Tomorrow (Sunday) is Andy's first big Tri race, i wanna head out to cheer him on, but feeling as crappy as i am right now, i'm not sure if i'll make it..bleh...will have to see when i wake up. :
Have a great week, sports fans. =)

About Me

Dave Shishkoff
aka Dave Noisy
Victoria, BC

Click for more!

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

Organic Athlete

Oak Bay Bicycles

Fueled With: Vega



Powered by Blogger