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:

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Oh Penelope, Are You Full Of Air? -- Log

And so the wheels turn...i'm still putting on piles of miles, and am really enjoying spending longer amounts of time on the bike. If i ever score me one of them tiny MP3 players, you may never get me off the bike. ;)

Here's the 411:
Thu - Madison Night! Vinko and i ended up paired-up for the night...prolly not the best idea putting the #2 and #3 guys in the league together..heh.. It was a really small turnout, four teams and mostly 'B' riders, but it was still a fun race.

The first 10mins were 'neutralized', so we stuck together, keeping the pace down so we could practice our slings. At the bell, Smitz beat Vinko to the line, but we got our 3pts.. The race was timed, 20mins, with two sprints, one at 10mins, then at 20. After 10mins, we no longer had to stick together...

After the bell, the pace picked-up very quickly, and suddenly we were really racing! Vinko and i worked together well, with some pretty solid exchanges. We were exchanging every lap, so it'd be a 500m sprint, then off for 30-40 seconds, then back in...very fast pace, making for a pretty intense event!

A couple laps after the first bell, Vinko made a solid break from Smitz, and i made it a bit bigger from Bart (Smitz partner, who i ended up riding against), then we maintained that to the end, and snatched the final 5pts. Luckily, one of the other teams got the 3pts, so they got 2pts, and that left us in 1st place! Woohoo! My first gold finish of the year!!

I'm gonna try and sneak another Madison night before the end of the season...what a great race. Very intense tho..it's total intervals...sprint, rest, sprint, rest.. I feel a bit more comfortable getting into a rhythm when riding, and maintaining a solid pace, but this is a neat change.

Fri - I'm no maniac. Day off!

Sat - Did a longr ride w/Sarah, ~120km. Felt great, did the Up'n'Over, which used to be a devastating climb...but felt pretty mild now. Sarah rode quite strongly for someone who hasn't been putting on many miles!

Sun - Rode with the BSide group. Really weird day, a few guys took off the front right away...we didn't pursue.. Then a few others broke off, and we pursued them. When we caught them, they'd caught another bunch of guys, and suddenly we doubled our numbers to around 25 riders.

The speed picked up, and in the climb before the airport a number of guys were dropped... I was at the back of the pack, so did a little pursuit to catch the front. Then it was the Airport sprint, which i took...tho no one challenged me..wimps!

Took the short-cut at Land's End (i usually do, good opportunity to eat), along with Pat. We saw a half-dozen guys ride ahead, and a bunch were behind us. After the short-cut, a couple guys motored by, and we jumped on for a while...but decided to drop off and catch the main pack behind us.

Oddly, we never saw them... We rode through Sydney, and Pat had to turn off at the Red Barn. I figured the pack would catch us by then, but no dice. There was also another bunch of guys that was supposed to be behind us, but i think they took the short-short-cut, and were ahead of us. So, i ended up riding the final hour solo....which was fine, lets me ride in my ideal training zone. I do miss a bit of convo, and getting a break from the wind tho..heh..this *is* Victoria after all!
This next week isn't too exciting, Sprints on Monday, a ride or Field Test on Tuesday (might save that for next week..) Prolly take Wed off, and then Endurance Night on Thursday at the track, i'll prolly invite a bunch of friends to watch, this will prolly be one of my better race nights of the year. Prolly do another ride Fri, and more on the weekend - woohoo!

(Subject title from 'Penelope', by Pinback.)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

600km And Rising -- Log

Yes..by some freak chance, i've put on about 600km since Friday...holy crap.

The last few days have looked a little something like this:
Sun - BSide ride. Plan was to take it easy. I felt surprisingly spry (after doing 5.5hrs/160km on Sat), and jumped in a few sprints, and chased-down a few attacks. It was funny tho, i'd sprint to catch whoever was ahead, then they'd pull off to let me do a pull, and i'd be like "sorry, i was just in it for the sprint!"- hahaha.. I *did* end up taking it easy for the last third of the ride tho, thank Jeebus.
Mon - riding out to the track, i was actually really starting to feel the last few days..i toasted my slow-twitch muscles on Saturday, then fried whatever fast-twitch i had on Sunday, which left me with an arsenal of no-twitch muscles on Monday. =)

Which was fine, we did Flying Laps, which is a full circuit of our 333m track. One guy (Smitz!) actually got within' a second of the track record (19.5 seconds or so..) Not so fast with me, landing a 23.29. Didn't pick up much speed, 55.5kph in the effort.

Tue - did a 2.5hr solo EM ride, felt pretty good, except one portion, where i was near the water.. The cool air didn't work with me, and i had trouble keeping my HR up, it was weird...once i got a little more inland, my HR went back up nicely, and i felt great again. I find i feel the best in a nice, dry heat... Also averaged nearly 32kph on this ride...yikes..

Wed - ROAD RACE! Yay, my second road race, i rode the 'B' category again. This time the course was Caleb Pike, and Kevin, Sarah and i got there nice and early to ride it a few times. This is the last 'crit' style league race of the year.

Much more flat than Newton Heights, tho there is one big hill which you can coast most of the way up. There are two corners, but braking is minimal for both.

The young Oak Bay rider was there, and i marked his wheel... (He actually did some work this race, including bridging a big gap. Props to ya buddy!)

The race started fairly slowly.. The first lap went by and people started picking up a little speed at the front, but no one really made any serious break attempts. Sarah and i were working together, sticking close. A few people would break off the front, and i'd jump in with them, but a real break never occured.

I also initiated a couple breaks, but when i'd pull off the front, whoever was on my wheel wouldn't carry through. Pretty lame. After a few more laps, and not seeing that anyone in the pack was a real threat, or likely to succeed in a break, i took it easy and mainly sat in.

We hit the final lap (12 total, ~2.5km course), and a couple guys got off the front. I was a tired from pursuing a break on the hill, but luckily Sarah stepped-up, and bridged that gap.

Alex, a guy i'd met on a Burnside ride, did a really cool thing then. He said 'get on my wheel, i'll pull you up' - and he did! Lead me through the fast section, and kept me close to the front of the pack, i got a good recovery there.

Unfortunately, the final climb resulted in some bunching, and several guys in front of me slowed-up, blocking me in. I had to dig deep to get around them, and then pursue the two Oak Bay guys (the youngin', and Adrian, who comes to the track.) I think i used up about half my sprint in that effort...... (Oh, and did i mention i totally hammered my shoulders in a workout yesterday, and my chest and back today? I had very little upper-body strength that night..)

Oddly enough, the 'A' group was just ahead of us at this point..if we didn't pull off the course, we would have caught them..!

We cruised down the hill, and i was in a good position for the final sprint. Too bad i got sapped... The OB super-twins initiated the sprint, and a few wheels (including old Dave from the track) got ahead of me. I sat on Dave's wheel for a few seconds, then saw the line coming up..! I peeled out of the saddle and gave'er! Got ahead of Dave, and was riding neck and neck with a woman from Team AdventureBound. Ahead were the two OB wonderboys, no chance of catching them... I dig deep and with a few pedal strokes cleared by AdventureBound, and crossed the line 3rd! Woohoo! (I think Dave got 6th, and Sarah came in 7th. This was her first road race, and she rode very well!)

Brutal sprint tho, it was slightly uphill, and i'd gone into too big a gear... I think if i'd stayed seated, and had my RPM a little higher, i might have been able to get a lot closer to the young'uns, and not had to worry about other riders quite so much. Also, my form in out-of-saddle sprints really sucks...i *never* practice, since it's not that useful on the track. I guess that's something i'll have to focus more on over the winter.

Overall, i'm pretty happy with my performance, i didn't work as much this race, and rode pretty smart...just gotta maintain that through the *end*! Gotta remember to get near the front at the end of the final lap on this course.. Also, team strategies would go a long way in this....no one else works together, and 3-4 coordinating riders could devastate this course, there are great opportunities for breaks almost everywhere. I'll be working with Kevin to improve in this area.
The miles are really starting to sink in now tho..actually feeling kinda tired. Tonite are the Madison's at the track, it prolly won't be too exhausting. I'm likely to take Friday off, then a couple group rides on the weekend.

Got a few funny links: two video clips from the Daily Show with Jon Steward on the Tour:



And a neat article in WIRED about the efforts people use competing in the Tour:


Looking forward to the Madison's tonite, should be a hoot! =)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Carmichael on Salt and Resting Metabolic Rate -- Info

A few interesting links...first, an article on how much salt an athlete should consume. Nothing too exciting, but good to know. And i recommend using a 'whole' salt, like Celtic or Real Salt. Both these include a bunch of other minerals.. Table salt and sea salt are little more than sodium chloride. (Yep, 'sea salt' is actually almost no different than 'regular' salt. Both are heavily processed, and all the other minerals are stripped away.)

The second article is on resting metabolic rate. (Scroll down to the second question.) RMR is basically how much energy your body needs to maintain itself if you were basically 'resting' all day. This is an absolute baseline, and you should avoid going under this if you are training. (Even if you are trying to lose weight. If you go under this, your body's metabolism will actually slow down, and you'll start to store even more fat!)

You can use this page to calculate yours, then refer to the link above to see how much you should eat in a day. My RMR is apparently close to 1,700 kcal...so i need to eat this much, plus however much i excercise (my heart rate monitor gives me an estimation.) Last Saturday, after my 5.5hr effort, i would need to add 3,500 to the above (plus a bit for other daily activity, and recovery) to meet my energy demands. That's alotta pie! =)

It's also good to use this to make sure you aren't eating too much as well...no sense in putting on weight in fat if you can help it, it's just dead-weight up the hills. (If your velodrome has hills. ;)

Saturday, July 23, 2005

It's Like A Drug -- Log

I'm pretty sure it's addictive...i definitely feel 'better' after riding...and if i go a few days without, i suffer withdrawl...! I also enjoy it immensely...does this stuff come in a needle?

So another week gone by, including another successful race, and nice, long ride today:
Tue - rode w/Andy out to check out the course for an upcoming Triathlon, out by the airport, was a 3hr ride, not too intense.

Wed - rest day! Did a bunch of work. *gasp!*

Thu - Points Race with the Victoria Cycling League...where a bunch of roadies come down to take us to task...fun fun!

Unfortunately, Team Dr. Walker is much like T-Mobile, where each of us are interested in getting our own points...so we're not much of a cohesive unit.... It was basically several of us against three Organic Athlete guys, and they did a pretty good job securing 2nd & 3rd place. One of their guys (a time-trial specialist) made it off the front about 1/2-way through the race. I told our team he was a TT guy, but no one really made a move to pick up the pace too much.. I was tired from doing a short pursuit after a sprint at that point. Luckily he never caught us, tho got very close....his other two teammates were doing a good job defending, by slowing down the pack when they got to the front.

Overall the race was great for me, i was in on the first 3-4 sprints, getting points, plus several later on, including crossing the finish line 3rd (after the guy way off the front, and on big Matt's wheel - woohoo!) My efforts in the sprints got me 5th place as well, which was well-earned.

My strategy was pretty simple - don't work too hard, don't chase down breaks solo, get good positioning before the sprints, and sit on a wheel on the sprints. Worked like a charm. =)

This victory moves me from being tied for 5th to 3rd overall in the 'A' points listing - yip!! Unfortunately the next guy (speedy Vinko) is ~30pts ahead of me, and it would take a miracle to get anywhere near him......i shall try tho, as i defend my position..!

Fri - turned into a slightly longer day than expected! Went for a 2hr ride with Andy in the morning, then out to the track for Madison practice, and logged 115km for the day. D'oh!

(Madisons are a special track race, where teams of two riders work together in a points-format race. It's sort of a tag-team effort, as only one person is racing, and the other is sitting/resting above the blue line. Every few laps, the other person comes down as his/her partner is getting close, and gets literally slung into the race, where they basically exchange speed, and the other racer goes up to rest. It's a very fun experience! I've organized Madison races for next week. Fun fun!)

Sat - big, long ride with Kevin! Logged 160km (100 miles) heading up the Malahat (local moutain), around Shawnigan Lake, out to Duncan, Cobble Hill, over and around somewhere else, back to Shawnigan, back up and over the Malahat and into town. Took 5.5hrs, and averaged 29kph. That's the longest ride i've done in a while, and definitely the fastest i've ever done that much concrete..! It was basically just the two of us (Jim from the track came along, but turned back at Shawnigan), and we were riding two-up most of the time, so no draft.

I felt really great the whole time, we never really went too hard, keeping a nice pace, right in the HR zone that works really well for me. Couldn't have been more perfect.

For food, i had a couple Clif bars, two bananas, a baggy of figs, almonds and dates, and my orange drink, as well as finishing off three bottles of water. Oh, we stopped before the final climb at a corner store and had a soda. Mmmm..sugar! Didn't sit so well on the climb, but i was fine overall. Unfortunately there isn't much better to buy at a little shop...the juices are all pretty gross too. Oh, my HR monitor tells me i burned through 3,500 kcalories...wow.
I'm looking forward to more of these rides..! I felt fantastic at the end...neck was a little sore, but other than that i felt amazing, and could have easily ridden another couple hours...which is a really incredible feeling. Really nice to know i can pile on the miles and not suffer! I didn't really know until i did it. I think my next longest ride is ~110km, but i've done that several times.

This next week is gonna be pretty fun too!

On Monday, we're doing Flying Lap attempts at the track, which is a full-lap sprint for the best time. We do the 200m a lot, but the 333m should be interesting.. More Madison practice afterwards.

Tuesday will prolly do a short ride. Wednesday i'm planning on doing another road race, this one's at Caleb Pike, and is supposed to be fairly 'rolly', and well-suited for a trackie. Yip!

Thursday is Madison night, racing my first Madison!

I'll prolly rest Friday, then do a couple more rides on the weekend, including another long one (hopefully!) Tomorrow will be a fairly easy spin as well.

Keep the rubber side down, and hairy side up! =)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Toight Loike A Toiger! -- Log

First, a technical suggestion: check your bolts.

My shifting had been rather wonky, and felt like i was losing power when pedaling hard.....turns out three of my chainring bolts were loose!! So check them bolts every now and then and make sure everything is toight....toight loike a toiger!! (Think Goldmember from the Austin Powers movie. I loooooove goooooooold...)

Took last Friday off, it was crummy weather anyways... The last few days have been quite good:
Sat - Joined in the BSide group, hoping for some intensity...and i got it! Nice fast and consistent pace... I held up well in the Airport sprint, thanks to a good lead-in from a fellow trackie. Land's End was quite fast, i was redlining it on the hills!! Stuck in with the pack, and by the end of that section, our ride had averaged over 35.5kph for the first hour...woot! 65km and 2hrs later, we'd sunk that down to a 34.5kph average speed. Certainly not a Tour pace, but pretty fast for me.

An interesting observation: As your riding speed increases, the hills actually get smaller.. To my brain, certain hills have been morphing into slight inclines.. Very weird.

Sun - My plan was to just sit in for an hour, then peel off and go home...but i was feeling good, and the pace was pretty decent..so i ended up deciding on the 'next turnoff' until the actual end of the ride. 1kph slower pace from Saturday..haha.. The Airport sprint was good as well, i lead out and held-off most riders.

Mon - Sprint Night at the track, got all new PB's! Whittled 0.2 seconds off my 200m time, pulling in a 13.22, and hitting 58.5kph in the attempt. Still gotta get that under 13....

In my lung-gouging Kilo attempt, in spite of a crummy start, i managed to take 5 seconds off my previous PB, clocking a 1:21.91. The other guys were around 1:16, so i'm getting there....

My slow-twitch muscles are getting pretty fast...hahha
Today will be out for 3+hrs with Andy, prolly an easy ride Wed, big league-night Points race (72 laps, 24km), ride on Friday, plus Madison practice....i'm organizing a Madison race for the following Thursday..woot!

Wanna be my Madison partner? =)

Monday, July 18, 2005

20 20 20 20 20 20 20 and Lance

This is a pretty funny little video:


Also, a really interesting interview with Lance, in Playboy of all things:


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Crack Is Baaaad -- Log

I share this with you because i care..

Riding back from the track tonite, we passed this old dude suffering up a hill, and he was wearing these small shorts...so small you could see the bottom of his old, wrinkly, red ass. Horrid.

We had to stop at a light, and he overtook us...we ended up riding very slowly to stay well behind him..no pun intended.

Okay, had to get that out, thanks for staying!

It was Race Night tonite, and it was 'Mystery Night', which is proving to be fairly popular! Several riders are away in Portland for the races there, so only about 10 A's were there...still some good competition!

First up was a Unknown Distance Scratch (thus the 'Mystery' in Mystery Night!) All we know is when 'we hear the bell, go like hell'.

I decided tonite i'd play it smart, and sit in more than usual, and not try to pull too much....which was a pretty good strategy! I was actually feeling quite good and peppy...the rest is a good thing!

In the race there were a few short attacks, but we pretty much held together, dropping a few peeps, until the bell, and i rolled in 4th, not too far from the front. Them legs are doing something special these days! (The race ended up being 32 laps, fyi. Top speed of 55kph for me.)

Next up is the 'Unknown Bell' points race...it was 42 laps, with 7 unknown sprints, plus the final on the 42nd/final lap. I managed to get points in the first five bells, including getting 1st through the fifth bell, which was the lap right after the fourth!

I clung in for the fourth sprint, got 3rd, and before we crossed the line, another bell went! The two guys (Chad and Marcus) in front pulled up a bit, and i just went with my momentum, and zipped by, all the way to the line! Chad and Bart were on my wheel for that. Felt pretty good.

I didn't get anything the next bell, there were a few attacks in there...then i got another 3rd, and then a 2nd (6 laps to go), and then i was spent.. I just sat in, and couldn't barely accelerate for the final sprint...which was fine, i knew i'd done quite well, and wouldn't have made too much difference. Final points tally had Chad with 34, Marcus with 27, and little 'ole me with 14 points for a solid 3rd place finish. (Next guy had 7pts.) I topped 56kph in that one....average speed was in the low to mid 40's.

Good times! If i keep this up, i might even manage to make my goal for the season, and get in the top five of our league. =)

The last week was pretty laid-back, training-wise. I took Friday off (crappy weather) and went to visit friends in Vancouver on Sat & Sun -- time off the bike is a good thing sometimes! I found out that MEC is selling entire Shimano drivetrains...you can buy Dura-Ace shifters, derailleurs, cassettes and probably even the cranks....nuts! I didn't pay too much attention to the prices, not knowing what to compare them to, but i'm sure they're pretty decent.
Mon - Pursuit night, i got a new PB, doing the 3K in 4:26.52, taking about 10 seconds off my previous PB.

Tue - Ride w/Andy, after a couple hrs, Andy had to go, and i started to ride solo, and suddenly had terrible stomach pains.... I had some toast with jam before the ride, and on the mouth of the Crofter's Organic Mango Spread was some mold.....it looked isolated, and there was half a jar left, so i decided i'd finish it off...bad move. Crofter's sucks, i barely had that jar two weeks, and just about every jar of their jam i've ever bought has gone moldy *very* quickly. I won't be buying that crap any more. The Cascadia Farms stuff has been great, i don't recall ever getting any mold with them.

Anyway, after laying down in a field for 5mins, i felt a bit better, and noodled home. Was back to normal within' an hour, but that really ruined my ride. Don't buy Crofter's.

Wed - Rode 2hrs w/Pat, decent pace, and exchanged several attacks for fun, it was a great ride.
The rest of my week is pretty general....gonna do some more solo Tempo riding tomorrow, go with the Burnside crew for some intensity on Sat, fairly easy solo-ride on Sun, and back at the track for Sprints on Monday.

Have a great week, and watch out for old men with short shorts!! And Crofter's jams.

Vegan Runner Destroys Record -- Article


As you know, i'm not much of a fan of running, but this dude is pretty impressive...winning a 100 mile trail race (7th in a row for him), then two weeks later winning a 135 mile road ultra marathon in an hour less than the previous record...and he's vegan.

From the article:
Other runners said Jurek's feat is even more impressive because it shows his body is operating at a level other athletes can only dream of achieving.

Dan Moores, owner of Auburn Running Company, said Jurek's vegan diet, in which he eats only organic food without any animal products, may have something do with his incredible endurance, but his genetics are likely adding to success.


Moores said Jurek is also very in tune with his physique. As a physical therapist, he knows his limits. Plus, he's focused his whole lifestyle around running and trains extensively.
The last point there is sorta moot....is Jurek the only runner who focuses his whole lifestyle and training on running?

Anyway, good work Scott!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Newsflash on the TDF Coverage -- Humor

Just saw this on a message board, too funny not to share with my posse. =)
"Today, sadly, Mr. Liggett broke the terms of that agreement. When David Zabriskie had his unfortunate accident today, Phil failed for 40 seconds to put it in the context of whether this would impact Lance Armstrong or whether Lance Armstrong would would have fallen, or asking what Lance Armstrong must be thinking about this accident right that moment."

When reached for comment, co-commentator Paul Sherwin said, "I had my 'Lance Stopwatch' going -- it's what we use to help remind us when it's time to mention Lance again." Continued Sherwin, "When Zabriskie fell, Liggett started actually talking about how disastrous it was for the rider, instead of -- as is proper -- talking about this would affect Lance and how he would no doubt have words of advice on the proper way to ride a bicycle for young Zabriskie. When twenty seconds elapsed, I signaled to the timer. Then thirty seconds elapsed -- still no mention, so I made the sign of the Texas Longhorn, the code we use to signal that we need to immediately divert the conversation toward Armstrong. Still nothing."

Visibly shaken, Sherwin finished, "After forty-five seconds, Phil managed to bring the conversation back round to Armstrong, but by then it was too late. OLN Security was knocking at the door, ready to escort Phil from the premises."

Interviewed in his hotel room in Paris, Liggett looked like a man who has lost his best friend. "I'm a huge fan of Armstrong," said Liggett. "I haven't pretended to be impartial for years. But between Bob Roll and that marionette Al Trautwig, our Armstrong-centricism seemed pretty well covered, and I suppose I briefly let my guard down. I wonder what Lance Armstrong thinks about that?" Then, realizing the habit of mentioning Armstrong even when completely irrelevant was still with him, Liggett briefly looked melancholy -- which is the British equivalent of an American having a complete nervous breakdown.

OLN has moved swiftly to replace Liggett, putting former color-commentator Al Trautwig in his spot. Said Trautwig regarding his promotion, "Lance Armstrong. Lance Lance Lance Armstrong. Armstrong Armstrong Lance Lance Lance Lance. Six-time Tour de France winner. Lance Armstrong Lance Armstrong, Lance Armstrong."

"This is going to work out just fine," said the OLN spokesperson.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Finish Line or Succubus - You Decide -- Log

Once again, Sprinter's Dream was the theme on the track for tonite's racing...and i left all my fast-twitch muscles at home!

Actually, they're over on Newton Heights. hahahah

We had a great turnout, despite the dark clouds - 14 A and 9 B riders. Bart, who's been kicking serious butt in the B's has been 'promoted' to the A group...muahaha.. (Fantastic work buddy!)

First race of the night was a short scratch race...my favorite (not!) Normally, it's 15 laps of hell. (One lap = 1/3rd of a kilo, so 5 kilo's in all...barely gives me time to warm up!!)

The pace was pretty moderate tonite, with constant short attacks... It was actually pretty fun with people going off, and chasing them down, only to see it happen again.

With about four laps to go, the pack slowed down, and i was feeling peppy, so i gunned it a bit, made a quarter lap, but no one was with me, and i certainly didn't have it in me to hold off the pack...i dropped back in. Sat in for a few more laps, then the bell, and everyone was off, and i was spent...haha I was around 9th place. Stupid scratch race. =P

Next up were the Chariot races (one lap, all-out sprint from standing start), we were split into two heats. In mine, Clarkie gave me a fantastic push, and i ended up at the front until the last 30 meters, then three guys whooshed past, and that was that. (Needed to be in the top 3 to continue.)

On a really funny note, Matt (pictured at right at the recent Nationals, very nice shot Andrea!) was held back for a good couple second by his holder, Gerry, in his first Chariot heat....everyone had a good 20 meters up on him by the time he actually started rolling....and the powerhouse STILL won by about three bike lengths. Simply incredible...Matt is the man. =)

Last race of the night was a keirin (6 laps, motorpaced the first 4), and there were 9 of us...one big heat.

We get rolling, and i'm in a really high starting position, so didn't have a lot of options for positioning... Ended up behind Clarkie in a second line behind the durney(motorpacer) which isn't such a bad place to be...i'm getting a draft, plus i'm boxing a few riders in!

We do our four laps, the durney pulls off, and the race has begun! Two laps to go!

Riders jostle for positions, some moving up, others down...intensity picks up... I'm trying to get on a fast wheel....Clarkie pulls up, he's finished with with pulling...speed picks up more, and there's half a lap to go! Five guys take off in front of me, and suddenly i'm alone!

Still having a little pepper in my legs, i gun it! I wheel around Dr Walker and Bart is ahead by a bike length...the finish line is quickly approaching....and not getting any further or slower!! I dig deep and spin hard..! 10 meters and i've caught his wheel!! I drive for the line, and beat him by a tire! That gave me 4th place, behind Matt, Jeremy and Marcus, woohoo!!

I've been having some pretty good success in Keirins, i really love how they wind you up..it's much easier for me to keep up with the strong guys when we're already going 50kph, rather than having to get there from 40kph...and then trying to get above 55! (Of course, big and rapid accelerations are the specialty of these guys...) I hit 55.5kph this race as well. Not a record, but pretty good for a guy with no fast-twitch muscles. ;)

The last race really made my night, and i went home pretty happy. =)

Also, i got my new jersey, looks similar to Matt's, above, but is short-sleeved. I like the new design, good work guys! Only problem is sizing.. Seems our sizing structure has changed to accomodate all the 'larger' folks out there. 'Medium' used to fit me quite snugly, but with our Super-Sized society, a Medium is now a bit loose. I'm gonna try to see if anyone got a small to try out and maybe switch...and hopefully it won't be too small. (It's currently a bit loose around the arms and chest, and long as well. I'll fill it a bit more as i continue to build my upper-body, but the length is hard to get around..)

Not sure what kinda training ride i'll do tomorrow...maybe i'll take it easy and go to the track in the evening to noodle around..we'll see! Looking forward to taking the weekend off, and tripping over to Vancouver. =)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

My First Road Race! -- Log

Ah-ha! So i finally went out for one of the weekly Wednesday Night Crit races - woot!

Tonite was the Newton Heights 'hilly' crit. I'd heard terrible things about this, and was expecting the worst..... Big nasty hill is all i've ever heard.

As i'm riding out (nice 26km warm-up), i can feel my legs are pretty drained....looks like that Tempo ride did more than i thought!! I decide to just suck it up. Be the tough guy i am. Oh yeah.

As i'm getting close, i see a few other riders heading in that direction, and chat a bit with Daniel from the Victoria OrganicAthelete team. (He ends up winning the A race.)

There are a few nasty hills while riding to the sign-up/start line, but he tells me they aren't part of the course...phew!

We get up there, and i see Chad from the track, nice to have a teammate about! He says it's his first time riding this in 10yrs. He's riding A tho (i decided beforehand i'd stick in the B category, since it's my first road race, and i have no idea what i'm capable of..plus there ain't much in my legs!)

I'm hoping i'd be able to do a quick loop of the course before signing in, but sadly there's not enough time...

Soon, the A's are off, and we the B's follow a minute or two later... I jump ahead to the 3rd or 4th wheel, i dunno if people attack off the top, or what, but i wanna be there if they do..!

The course starts off as a downhill, a few nice corners, then a 90 degree corner which is really the only spot you need to brake in. It keeps going down after that, and then levels out, and takes you into a short, steep climb of about 30m (road, not verticle), and then another 25m of a not-so-steep-but-you're-already-juiced climb..and then the starting line! Rinse and repeat! (And yes, we all love uphill finishes!)

Takes about 3.5 mins to complete the circuit, and we're doing 14 laps.

We get to the top of the first lap, and the group is still mostly together...not knowing the climb, i gave it a pretty good go, and people are just starting to catch up as i cross the line.... I push on ahead into the second decent, woot! 13 to go!

I hit the sharp turn a bit too fast, and cross over into the other lane for a second. Lesson learned!! Must slow down. =)

I stay on the front for the climb, and then let someone else pull for a lap... This continues, and throughout the race, there are three of us taking turns pulling. Dwayne, who's a pretty fast time-trialer, another fellow, and myself.

As the race progresses, the speed stays pretty consistant, but people keep falling off....with a handful of laps to go, there are eight of us in our little group... I sit on a wheel for a couple more rounds, and with 2 laps to go i take the front, and hammer it down the hill. (Well, my legs were kinda rubbery, so it prolly didn't look like much...) Still, dropped a few more riders, we were down to five, with one lap to go. At the top i decide to sit at the back and watch what happens. I didn't push it too hard on the previous climb, so i'm feeling pretty good...

The decent happens without incident, and we hit the wall again..... I gear down, and spin my way up... People are out of their saddles, hammering. I'm keeping up no prob...but then the dude in front of me slows down, and a couple other guys are blocking me on the left as they pass...arrrgh!!

I have to slow down to get around those wheels....i do, and i'm at the top of the steep part, with another 25m to go, still uphill!

I hammer it!!! Off i go, and people vanish...just me and that line...and then i hear heavy breathing on my left....and a slight 'whoosh' on my right...Dwayne and the young Oak Bay rider whistle past, fighting for the line. OB gets it by a wheel, and then i'm across...woot! 3rd place!!

All in all, a fantastic race. The climb isn't really *that* bad...certainly not worth the complaints i've heard... It's nasty, but very do-able. In the final sprint, i must have looked terrible tho.. Not only am i not used to sprinting out of the saddle (you stay seated in track,since you're spinning so much at high speeds, no gears), but i'm definitely NOT used to sprinting *uphill*. Ouch....explains how i misjudged the distance when i sprinted..heh..

My only complaint is the OB rider... The guy just sat in, 2-3 riders back the *whole* race. He never once took a pull..... I'll remember this next race.. He said 'let's have a rematch!' Oh yes, we shall. ;)

This course will suit anyone who's been doing a lot of intervals, because that's exactly what it is. Rest, rest, rest HAMMER, then repeat.

I haven't been doing intervals at all (besides certain track races, like Miss'n'Outs), so as someone who likes to just grind out a consistant pace, it's a real challenge.

I definitely enjoyed it tho, and will return! I'll have to try out some of the other road races as well, the others are much more flat, apparently...hopefully i'll be able to wear people into the ground on these..hehe

I'm guessing i'll be pretty beat for the track tomorrow night..but it's all sprint races, so i wouldn't likely do well anyway. Should be getting my new jersey tho, woohoo! New digs!

G'nite y'all!!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Hey, It's Raining! -- Log

First rainy day in a while, it's been a while.

Have i mentioned that i'm the current poster-boy for VeganFitness.net? Yep, you can see my pertty little image right there..hehe

The last few days have been quite good, training-wise.
Sunday - another Bside ride, we went up the Malahat (biggest hill in the area) and down and around Shawnigan Lake (nice rolling route), and then back the way we came. I was quite happy with my climbing, somehow being one of the faster guys. (I'm a trackie, remember?) I'm definitely getting stronger. Will also have to bike out there more often! It seems so far away, but it was just under 100km for me, round-trip.

Monday - Sprint nite at the track, got two new PB's. Hit 57.5kph in the 200m, but i got a time of 13.43..i'm sure i rode faster than that tho! Also, in the Kilo, i got a 1:23.22, knocking three seconds off my previous time.

Tuesday - It started raining about 30mins out...i must admit riding in a summer rain (tho it was still kinda cool) is much better than those winter rainy days!

First time i've done a CTS Tempo ride. The idea is to ride about 90% of your Field Test result, but with a 70-75rpm cadence. Very different from my typical 100-110rpm rides in the same HR zone! (EM and Tempo are very close, intensity-wise.)

I was out for about 1:40, and did a full hour as a Tempo, felt great, and could feel my legs...similar to the MT/Ob repeats i do. It's going to be interesting to see what happens with these as i get stronger.... I was in my 53x13 and 12 most of the ride...hope i don't run out of gears! My average speed at the end was quite high too, i don't think i've ever ridden 32.5kph as an average speed on a solo ride..and that's with my HR down around 150bpm too.

It also felt a lot like being on the track, since at lower speeds you have a low cadence, so you don't spin out when you hit 55! Looking forward to doing more Tempo rides tho.
I'm thinking of entering the local crit race tomorrow (Wednesday), let's hope the weather holds! I hear there's a tough climb on it, i've never done the course tho... Sprint races on Thursday, i'm sure i won't miss my legs from Wed..hehe

Friday will do another long EM ride, prolly with another Tempo thrown in. Hopefully Andy is feeling better and can make it. Then, for the weekend i'll prolly zip over to Vancouver with some friends. Will be the first weekend off in a while..!

Have a good one y'all!

PS - Pat: i didn't tell anyone that a trackie beat you up the Malahat! ;)

Saturday, July 02, 2005

While The Quinoa Cooks -- Log

I've got a few minutes while my quinoa pilaf is cooking (quinoa with bok choy, kale, carrots, corn and ginger - yum!)

The Tour de Lance has begun, LA seems to be quite fit....coming in second in the ITT and passing Jan Ulrich.. A good sign for him?

The Canadian Track Nationals are happening in Calgary right now, three days gone, one left tomorrow. My friend and training pal Sarah is doing quite well! She came in 3rd in the 200m sprints, and 4th in matched sprints! Kick ass! (She's pictured, top left in the blue. Great shot from Andrea Brewer!)

Big Matt has also been doing quite well, getting a bronze in the matched sprints. Looking forward to seeing results from the rest of the races, gooooo team!!

We've got our new outfits as well, looking forward to getting a new jersey!

As for my training, took it fairly easy last week, taking Wed and Fri off the bike completely....first 5-day week in a while i believe...felt good to rest. They say you should do that a bit. ;)

Last Thursday's race was pretty good! Many of the A's were away (Calgary!) so there were five of us in total...

First up was a Scratch race, i pulled a 3rd in that. In the Miss'n'Out i tied for 2nd (both Chris and i crossed at the same time..well, i was ahead, but who cares? ;) Also got a solid 2nd in the first Snowball race of the year. (Brutal race, first person over the line each lap gets a point...and they go up with each lap, so the first lap is 1pt, 12th is 12pts, etc..) I had some good attacks on Marcus, who earned every other point.

That's about all the excitement for now....will be riding with the Burnside group tomorrow again, and back to much the same schedule after that.

Here's what happened since last Saturday, some neat stuff:
* Sat (June 25th) - pretty fast Bside ride, which i won (last rider..haha) Ave speed was over 34.5kph.

* Sun - rode with Sarah...wasn't really paying attention, but it turned out to be a pretty fast ride

* Mon - Sprint Nite at the track, hit new top speed in a sprint, 57kph. (Which reminds me, i've also added my 'Personal Bests' to my Bio page.

* Tue - went out to the track and did my CTS field test. I was a bit tired, so results weren't remarkable. Oddly, my HR was almost identical, but i went a fair bit further/faster. My training won't change for now, will retest in a month.

* Wed - rest day!!

* Thu - Race night, as described above.

* Fri - Another rest day, it's getting crazy!

* Sat - Burnside ride as described above.
Keep on rollin'!!

About Me

Dave Shishkoff
aka Dave Noisy
Victoria, BC

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