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.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Oatmeal + Blueberries + Bananas = YUM! -- log

mmmm...oatmeal with bananas and blueberries..good stuff. (Guess what i'm eating right now!)

I came across a neat article that has '18 Tricks to Teach Your Body' - tips like how to overcome the urge to pee...tho i don't know if this would work for women..?

Looking forward to trying the 'clear a stuffy nose' trick on the next ride i get a runny nose on (see previous blog entry on why we get runny noses on rides!!)

OrganicAthlete has sent out the design for the 2006 gear, here's the jersey and shorts. I absolutely love the shorts, with the 'GO VEGAN!' on the back! I'll never take 'em off! (Ew.)

Greg Descantes has posted pics from the Burnaby event on his site, but there were none with me! Post a note if you know of any other sites with pics from the Nov 12-13 race.

Training has been alright, tho i'm finding the cold to be *very* draining. In the summer i was out doing 2-3hr rides six days a week, including racing 2-3 nights, but my five day training schedule, with most rides being under 2hrs is sucking the life out of me..!! I'm pretty sure it's not the training itself, but the cold. I'm guessing it takes a lot more energy to keep warm, and so it's just that much more draining..

I've managed to figure out how to keep my feet moderately warm, here's the process:

feet -> CoolMax socks -> fleece socks -> shoes -> Pearl Izumi booties -> MEC 'Rain Boots'

You may recall me getting new Specialized shoes a few months ago, i still *love* them. Very comfortable and stiff, i still feel like they're a little extra efficient in transfering power...

The PI booties are really tight-fitting, and supposed to be waterproof, tho they're not..nice fleecy interior tho. The MEC 'Rain Boots' are basically looser (not loser!) booties made of vinyl, which are completely waterproof (and cut out all the wind.)

I can go three hours in our lovely just-above-zero climate and have cool, but not cold toes. (Which are tied to your nose.)

I've decided i'm gonna chop down my training schedule a bit..do a few less excercises while out (ie, i did two sets of Descending Intervals instead of three), and i won't feel bad if i cut the ride a little short..and i'll also make sure i make it to the gym, make that more of a priority. It's stupid to risk burning out in December. =P

Right now my focus is on a race in Jan, then i'll take it easy for a little bit, then start up the schedule and aim for the Track Provincials in June. Come April it should be nice enough again to go 100% and not be suffering from the cold.

Here's what we'll find if we crack open the Training Log:
Sat (Nov 25) - 2hr EM w/Kevin, first ride w/no HRM

Sun - 2.5hr EM, went out with the BSide group. Over by Conroy there was some black ice, and tho i recovered from a skidded tire, four other guys went down....not great. They were okay, but it still sucks a lot of life out of the ride.

Initiated the sprint once more at the Airport, i think i did a good job! Shout out to racer and reader Lisa Sweeny, nice chatting with ya! =)

Was only supposed to do 2.5hrs, but was out for 3 - it was actually really nice to log a solid 90kms, haven't quite hit that mark in a few months i think..!

Mon - Rest day! Did some chest and shoulders at home.. I'm hoping to be able to bench my bodyweight (150lbs) by Jan 1st...i haven't been putting too much effort into this tho, so it'll be unlikely.... (My upperbody is rather weak..tho getting stronger.)

Tue - 1.5hr EM w/2x DI's (75/60/45/30 second Descending Intervals), they went well! I rather enjoy DI's...well, compared to other intervals..hehe
Will be hitting the gym tonite, now that my oatmeal is digested! Will do the typical Tues routine; legs, abs, bi's and tri's.

Still no change on the MuVo, i'll try and mix it up next time! Still enjoying what i've got!! =)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Fast On Bike, Slow On Blog -- Log

The title says it all! =)

It's been an interesting few weeks.. Finally settled into my new home, routines are becoming normalized, settling into new patterns, etc..

This week has been a bit sluggish, busy with work, and my Heart Rate Monitor has been giving me grief - i've replaced both batteries, but for some reason it's not keeping my HR, it just blanks out...very annoying... I'll be taking it in tonite, where they'll send it to Norco for warrenty..but that means i'm out my HRM for a few weeks...and it's critical for my training..bleh..

Also, on the left is a pic i stumbled on today, it was last Dec, we went for a hike out at Sombrio, and everyone wanted to cross a river...so we all took off our shoes and rolled-up our pants and shocked our bodies with this 'freshness'. ;)

Also came across a neat article that discusses how cold feet can weaken your immune system, and make you more succeptable to colds.. Same with your nose. So keep your feet warm on rides! (And hikes!)

Getting back into a gym routine has been nice, especially working on my upper-body again! Oddly, i haven't really lost too much strength, and i'm just about back to the weight and reps i was doing last spring..!

I've also noticed that my hams are stronger than my quads...using the leg extension machine vs leg curls... Anyone know if this is normal for cyclists? Talking to other folks at the gym, their quads are always stronger.. Am i in the wrong sport? What uses hamstrings? hehe

I figure it's pretty unlikely i'll be attending the December event in Burnaby, it's quite unlikely i can get away for a full week...so i'm now focusing on the event in January, and i've moved back on my training schedule for this...woot! So i'll be repeating what i did for the last few weeks...ahh well!

The Ethics Buying Collective (local, organic and vegan!) is on the next order cycle, check it out if you're in Victoria!

Here's what i've been up to:
Mon (Nov 14th) - just got back from Burnaby, rested!!

Tue - 1.5hr RR, i actually didn't let my HR get over 136bpm...harder than it sounds!

Also worked out at the Oak Bay rec centre, legs, abs, plus bi's and tri's.

Wed - 2hr EM, legs felt tired from WO, yucky day, didn't come across anyone else on the road..was also very foggy.

Thu - started on the rollers, was supposed to do intervals, but HRM wasn't registering..got frustrated..cleaned up the garage instead (needed to be done and is now much more tidy, weight bench is set up and organized, room for bikes, and tools are now handy with a workspace!

OB WO in the evening, legs and abs of course, plus a little back.

Fri - resterrific!

Sat - 2.5hr EM w/Kevin, still foggy

Sun - 3hr EM w/45min RS, i got the RS out of the way right away...was late, so everyone was gone, pursued for almost 25 minutes..hehe It was very foggy, and so didn't even see the group until i was about to catch them!

Mon (Nov 21) - rest day!

Tue - 2hr EM, HR still fucking up

WO @ OB, pretty much the same as last Tue. How's that for routine? =)

Wed - 1.25hr EM, nothing exciting

Thu - 1.5hr EM w/5x10s HSS, just following the program lightly until i get my HRM figured out...

WO @ OB, again, same as last Thu, also did some chest and delts when i got home

Fri - that's today! Blogging piles instead logging miles. =)
Miraculously, the tunage has remained the same, check previous entry!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

47 Degrees of Veloration!!

Woohoo - i survived Burnaby!

It was quite a thrilling experience! The Burnaby Velodrome is an indoor, 200 meter wooden track, with 47 degree bankings...as you can see, it's pretty steep! You need to maintain around 30kph in the corners, or you'll slide down (which a good number of riders did..! I wore my 'No Tumblies' tho.)

Riding on wood was pretty wild, it's quite springy and makes a continous noise...calling it a 'Thunderdrome' isn't really too much of a stretch..it is kind of thunderous, especially with the way the sound reflects off the dome.

The most notable thing was coming out of the corners - you actually feel yourself 'pulling G's', especially at higher speeds - there's a little bump there, and you feel yourself getting 'sucked' into the track. You can see some pics here.

So Mike (thanks for the transport and two pics!) and i arrived in Van on Fri night, and he dropped me off at Brandy's place, who's a good friend and vegan activist, whom i met and lived with at the old Vegan House in Toronto. We went out for some vegan Chinese food, and had these 'drumsticks' which were quite incredible - i haven't had anything grilled like this in the last 15yrs, and it had a crispy 'skin' which reminded me very much of chicken..ahem...legs.. If 'real' chicken tastes like this, i can see why people want to eat them..but the vegan version is quite good too! Leave them chickens and their legs alone people! =)

Saturday morning we got to the track around 8am, and immediately i felt a little intimidated.. It's funny, because it's quite a bit smaller than ours (in Victoria, 333m), but a *lot* more difficult to traverse.. And i wasn't entirely sure how one gets rolling on it....! (Turns out you can get on the apron, and just sorta sling yourself into it.)

It was open track for the first hour, so i suited up, and gave 'er a go.

It felt *really* strange. The wood shifted ever so slightly underneath, and i was paranoid of sliding off (which i'd seen a couple riders do before i even go started! No serious injuries tho.)

I got in a paceline and started to feel a bit more comfortable...but still wasn't entirely sure of the corners...i was still a bit sketchy, and it's hard to look behind yourself, since you want to keep an eye ahead of you! It's also quite a bit more narrow than our track.

The corners hit you very quickly, so unless you're used to riding it, looking behind yourself or around is a challenge.

After 30mins, i decided i would switch to the B category, rather than A, which is what i signed-up as. There were considerably less riders in A (~9 vs 18 in B), but i didn't feel comfortable at higher speeds, and getting out of the saddle felt really weird... (Plus i hadn't been on a track for several months..)

Now for the races, just two events the first day:

SATURDAY (link to full results)

First up was the 200m and sprints, but i decided to pass, since sprints aren't really my thing...tho in retrospec i really wish i did...next time!

Next was the Scratch race, which was only 5km (30 laps) - i really don't enjoy short scratch races, and this was *really* short - don't forget the individual pursuit is 4km..!

I had a bit of a rough time of this one, i hit my aerobic limits rather quickly, and in the final laps got dropped rather harshly..full results weren't counted, but i'd guess i was in the 10th-12th range.

My second and final event for the day was a 16km (80 laps) Points Race - my favorite!

Again, had the same problem with maxing out aerobically - my average HR for the 20min effort was 181bpm..!! I managed to score one point in a sprint, and placed 11th (oh yay.)

I figured out on Sunday what my problem was -- i was running too small a gear! I rode both those with a 47x14, which would be fine on a cool day with breeze in Victoria, but simply not enough for a long race indoors...

The day finished with sprint finals for everyone else. The B racer who cleaned up (Eric Smith from Alberta i believe) posted an amazing 11.9, which would have landed him in third in the A's..!! Fast guy, will have to watch out for him in upcoming years! He's only 19 17(!!) too!

Sat nite hung out at Brandy's, and we made caramel and vegan 'Turtles' chocolates..nummers..

SUNDAY (link to full results)

Turned out to be a very full day with six events!

First up was the Keirin rounds. I'd switched up to the 48x14, and rode much more strongly. In the first heat (only one went through) i pretty much tied for second...which threw me in the repechage (second chance!) Eric Smith was #1 of course...

The Rep faired much better - i sat on the wheel of the fastest rider, and in the last third of the final lap powered over her, and cleaned the finish line! Woohoo - i made it into the Keirin finals!! (And the first time i was first over the finish line in a race in Burnaby, yay me!)

Next was a very interesting race, the Elimination to Scratch race. Basically, the first half of the race is a Miss'n'Out, where every other lap the last rider over the line is out of the race. They did this for half the field (9 riders), and then it was an 18 lap scratch race. I basically did a 'Holz' (hehe - local rider reference), where you hang out at the back, and just inch ahead of the last few riders each sprint...often boxing them in too. This worked quite well, and i made it all the way to the Scratch portion! Details on this one were a little sketchy, but i think i tried an attach in the final laps, but got dropped, and finished 6th. Not too bad! Starting to feel like a bike racer again!

The Chariot Race followed, and i was grouped with Mr Speedy, Eric Smith, in the first round, and of course he blew everyone's doors off.. I managed to stay with him for about 8 pedal strokes off the start, then he pulled away...and i watched him gain about 20m, and then he just sat there, and that was that, and i was eliminated, tho i came in solidly 2nd in the heat..drat!

A full Elimination Race (Miss'n'Out) followed - pretty wild with 19 participants! Again, i just hung in at the back, getting the full benefit of the draft, and squeeked ahead of the last rider after each bell, maneuvering into the group and avoiding elimination...15 times. =)

I somehow 'missed' the bell when there were four of us left, and landed in 4th place...which was dissapointing, because i actually still had some kick left in the race and could very likely have made it in the top three were i paying a little more attention..... But i'm happy i did that well, i was very please with how i played my cards, getting out of tight spots, and really 'feeling' the race. (Typically i'd get a spot one or two bikes from the front, and just sit there..not really being too active...)

This lead to the Keirin finals! Unfortunately i got a rather crummy position (5th), and couldn't really do much with it, and ended up in 5th. Still, it was nice to make it to the finals. (The pic is from this race, and that's me in the blue, second from last!)

The second last event was the Win and Out, which is where i had my best moment of the weekend!

Win and Out is a race i usually don't enjoy..every other lap the bell goes, and the *first* person over the line 'wins' and is out of the race..so on the first bell, the first person over the line gets 1st place...then on the second bell, the first person over the line gets 2nd, and so on, 5 people deep..

They did it slightly different in Burnaby, which i quite liked - they made the sprints every four laps, rather than every lap. So Eric Smith of course fires it up, and blows the field apart and secures 1st place. A few more solid attacks, and 2nd and 3rd place are taken. After the third sprint, another rider immediately breaks, and i jump on his wheel! Woohoo! A break! Half a lap later, he pulls up (i presume to let me pull), and i continue the attack - gotta do something! (The race only goes to 5th place, and being ahead of the pack is a very good thing.)

I pull for half a lap and then pull up...and i look back...and i'm all alone! I see there's a good 30m between me and the next rider in pursuit, and i decide to gun it!! Sure, there are 2 laps until the bell, but what the hell!

I charge forward, and put everything i've got into the pedals...i look back every half lap, and no one seems to be chasing too hard, tho they're still there.. I decide to just focus ahead and keep the pressure on...i'm not sure if anyone else has enough left to attack hard and catch me (and i was still not feeling too confident from Sat), so i keep pounding the pedals.

The bell goes, and i'm really starting to feel it.....half a lap left, and the announcer is talking about how the pack is closing on me...faaawk!!! They looked a safe distance away last time i peeked!!

I keep as much pressure on as i can...the white line gets closer and closer...the announcer keeps going on about how much they're closing, and i hear wheels and chains right behind me....gaaah....it would be just my luck that i attack hard like this and get caught at the line..!!!!

I keep it up...my whole body is working to keep the pedals going..i'm almost wiggling....and i cross the line.......but no one is ahead of me... Nor even beside me..!

I look back, and they're a good 40m back... Crap!!!! The announcer did this a lot during races (pretended that the pack was closing on a solo rider when she/he was really quite safe), and i'm guessing what i heard was just the way sound reverberates and reflects off the roof (i could hear conversations in part of the centre where no one was...!)

But, anyway, my attack worked beautifully, and i secured my second 4th placement. Woohoo!! What a great note to end on! =)

Last was the Olympic/Team Sprint, which i did with Scott and Sara Laliberte, but we only got sixth..second O Sprint i've done with Scott tho (him, Marcus and i did pretty well (4th) at the Provincials.)

Mike and i booked it immediately after that, and somehow managed to catch the 3pm ferry, and made it into Victoria at a decent hour (i was expecting to get in around 10pm!!)

I thought that was a great weekend; it was a thrill to ride the Burnaby track, and the competition was great too! Riders from all over, including Alberta and the US (Washington and possibly Oregon), and they were all a blast to ride with - very friendly and good-spirited. Definitely looking forward to more events with these guys, tho i'm guessing i'll ride A next time...now that i'm feeling confident riding the Burnaby Velodrome. =)

FOOD: Since i'm vegan, and food is a big part of that (understatement of the month?), here's a breakdown of what i ate:

On Saturday i had some Natures Path oaty squares with almond milk and a serving of Vega for breakfast. Throughout the day i snacked on orange/pinepple juice, Barbara's Organic Blueberry Fig Newtons, and another serving of Vega and a Vega bar. I purposefully ate light, since i had the Points race right after lunch.

Sunday i had the same breakfast, and again had more juice, Vega powder and a bar, and for lunch i hate half a loaf of Manna bread - it digested quite nicely, and i find to be a great race food.

I meant to eat a few Clif Shots, but never got around to them..heh..

That was my first Burnaby racing experience, thanks for reading! (Below is the sexy new bar tape i put on my track bike...rrrrrr...)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Going To The Big City -- Log

Ahoj! Yes, i'm still alive! Been even more busy than usual.. Moved into a new house (Vegan House II!!), still unpacking some, and have had a bit more work than usual..plus training and other responsibilities.

As the heading suggests, i'll be ferrrying over to BC's capital city Vancouver (huh huh, am i funny?) for their first of three Burnaby Velodrome events. You can see the event schedule here, i've signed up for pretty much everything but the sprints...eeep! Also signed-up as an A, but we'll have to see what the competition is like. If a bunch of super-fast guys are there, and i'm gonna get my ass completely kicked and lapped and eliminated from each race, i'll drop down to B...hard to say what'll happen until i get there. Another consideration is that i haven't raced at Burnaby before....

It's a very different track from what i'm used to.. Much shorter (200m vs 333m) and *much* steeper (47 degree banking vs ~33 degrees i believe.) You have to maintain a speed of 30kph, or you'll slide down...pretty wild..!!

I'll try posting something each day, tho i can't promise.. Will be having fun in Vancouver as well, i'll be staying with my friend Brandy while there, and she's invited other friends from Van over for dinner tonite, and we'll be (ahem) experimenting with candy, making various caramelly/chocolatey treats (think we can pull off a vegan 'Mars Bar'??) I'm making the excuse i'll need the sugar for the next day's racing..hehehe

I've also been using Vega powder (thanks Brendan!) much more regularly, and i'm pretty sure it's having a positive impact..check out the brochure on the website. It's got some great, alkalizing protein from four sources (hemp, brown rice, pea and flax), macca and chlorella, a few other herbally ingredients, plus a full compliment of vitamins and minerals. The 'natural' flavor is actually really nice too, a hint of vanilla, it mixes nicely with fruit juice. Yummy stuff!

Wish me luck in Burnaby, should be a total blast!! Here's what the history machine has to say:
Sat (Oct 29th) - 2.5hr EM w/60m RS, felt really good! Got some strong pulls in, had a nice little break-away, bridged some gaps, and managed a decent sprint at the Airport. On a side note, the battery in the strap of my HR finally gave-out! I've used this thing nearly daily since last December, that's pretty good!

Sun - 2hr EM w/Kevin, nice ride! Haven't seen my friends as much since i've been on this more specific program..

Mon - Rest!!

Tue - 2hr EM w/6x3m PI's, very gross, wet day..was supposed to do 7 PI (power intervals) but i ran out of time and had to head back into town (need a stretch that allows me to give 'er for 3min straight...) Also went to the gym in the evening. Now going to the Oak Bay Rec Centre, as it's only a few blocks from me, pretty nice! Lots of good equipment, tho it's also a lot more busy..

Wed - 50min EM on rollers - was supposed to do 1hr, but ran out of time again..i was riding in the evening..bleh..made for a very rough workout the next morning, the recovery time is important..! Also, maintained a nice, high cadence on the rollers, ~120rpm.

Thu - 2hr EM w/ 7x10s HSS, another *gross* day, this time with 45kph winds..!! Which made the High Speed Sprints a real trick. You're supposed to get yourself up to ~50kph, then sprint from there...but even going down a steep hill, i was barely hitting that in the sprint itself..!!

No gym in the evening, felt i needed a rest..was drained this week with all the moving, work, four new housemates, and all the other stresses of life..

Fri - sweet rest day..!!

Sat (Nov 5th) - 2.5hr EM w/75min RS, felt really good at the start, windy and cold again, but at the Airport sprint i jumped quickly before anyone else, which got me some good ground and secured the 'win' - yay me! Maintained a strong ride for my 75min, then was wiped after that.

Sun - 2.75 EM, rode with Kevin again, we watched the SNL with Lance on Fri nite, it was pretty funny...hehe..

Mon - rest day, but i didn't need it! ;)

Tue - 2hr EM, was supposed to do DI's, but dropped it as i have races on the weekend. Also put my full fenders on my bike, it's about time!

Hit the gym in the evening as well, other than slightly weary legs, i'm recovering from this much more quickly again!

Wed - 2hr EM w/75/60/45/30 DI's x 2, i actually like Descending Intervals! The very first one felt awful, but i think it cleared my legs out, and i felt great for the rest. Gonna have to do a hard effort, like a Kilo, before events to kick-start my cardio and clear out my legs...

Also beat the weather...1hr15mins in, just after i finished my second set, it started to sprinkle.. Luckily, i was a few mins from home, and did the rest of the ride on rollers - ha ha!

Thu - 1.5hr EM, did this on the rollers as well. Kinda nice being in the garage and looking out at the rain..hehe.. Borrowed my roomies laptop, and set it up in front of me and watched a couple episodes of 'Bones', a new show with the dude who played Angel.

Got some mean skills on the rollers now...can get up to a high RPM (upwards of 180rpm), and can also ride sitting up with no hands on the bars, mad skillz or what?? Getting started is still a little akward, and i don't know if i can start without a wall or something to lean against..heh..

Shaved my scraggley legs as well..about time!

No gym to, too close to event.

Fri - Rest day and travelling to Vancouver
Phew - i really gotta update this more frequently...i'm mostly unpacked now, so should have more time.

Of course, here's what's rockin' the MuVo:

Got a nice mix of newer, boppin' and rockin' tunes:
* Beck - Guero (Deluxe) - 05
* Blur - Think Tank - 03
* Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better - 05
* Ladytron - Witching Hour - 05
* Polyphonic Spree - Together We're Heavy - 04
* Spoon - Gimme Fiction - 05
* The Dismemberment Plan - Emergency & I - 99
(These are the albums currently in my Creative MuVo, 512mb MP3 player. I just set it to 'random' and soak up the tunes on my rides.. The MuVo isthebest flash-based MP3 player on the planet, btw! Click here for my top riding/training albums.)

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!

Organic Athlete

Oak Bay Bicycles

Fueled With: Vega



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