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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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Silver and Bronze -- Log

Oh my..is it ever crappy out. Like 6C, windy and rainy. What a great time to write in my blog!!

It's been a great week other than the weather (which has been consistantly gross...little sun, cool and on the verge of rain. Even went for a short walk yesterday, it was sunny, and after 25mins it started raining!)

Been ramping up the intensity in my training, and starting to feel a bit more speedy..!

Monday did some intervals before the first Pursuit Nite at the track. Only one other person, Vinko, showed up to race the 4km Pursuit. (Thus the silver! ;)

My first pursuit of the year, it was a cool night, and i think i went off a little too hard..which wasn't helped by seeing Vinko take off like a rocket and gain 40m on me in the first lap or two...heh.. Was he trying to Kilo me?

Anyway, i lightened up the second and third laps, feeling some of that lovely build-up in the legs, and he continued to make significant groud. Crappity. Started pouring on the power after that, and his gains slowed significantly...managed to hold him off until about lap 9 or 10. When he passed, i managed to pick up speed (was ~39kph, got back up to 42kph.) Stayed 10-15m back from him the rest of the race, got a sluggish 6:04, but i know this will be improved significantly with better pacing, and perhaps by using aerobars and not doing intervals beforehand. ;)

That put me in second by default, but hey, i'll take it!

Also, on Wednesday i raced the Latoria course again. The B field was about the same with ~30 riders. We rode a lot faster this time round, overall.. Most of the race we could see the A's just ahead of us.

In the first half, i kept a close eye on the front of the pack..if there was going to be a break-away, i wanted to be in it!

There were a few attempts, and even one that looked pretty promising with about 6 of us, but alas, no dice. After chasing a few breaks (and often bridging in the process) i decided i'd just sit in more, since it was obvious the pack wouldn't let anyone get away.

Come the last lap, i knew i had to act to prevent the same thing from happening as last time (ie, getting swarmed and my position 6 bikes back becoming the 25th position back..!) So i dashed for the front.

Luckily, a few other guys decided to keep the pace up, so there was no swarm. Coming around the second-to-last corner i kept moving towards the front, where Lauren from Straight-Up was sitting. I'm not sure how, but i ended up on his wheel...and he offered to do pull a lead-out - sweeeet!

So i just sat on his wheel while he maintained a very strong pace. Come the final corner he pulled off and yelled GO! and so i punched it!

Which is really nothing remarkable, since i'm no sprinter.

I flew up the first part of the hill, in front of the whole pack - woohoo! The some dude whizzed by (not sure who yet) and i kept cranking... Final section of the climb to the line, and Chandler, also from the track, powered by and that left me happily in Third (now i've gotten 3rd on all the courses...heh..) Again, i need to learn how to gear for the final sprint...once more i was in too big a gear, and couldn't get on top of it, losing power (and no doubt looking epileptic.)

So yay me - silver and bronze!

In the gear hunt, i've gotten myself some new gloves (Specialized BG Comp, in the black) which are pretty comfy and well-designed. My eBay Ultegra SPD-SL pedals should be arriving next week, i'm very excited to try these things out!

In sad news, my MP3 player has gone missing...somewhere between here and the track.. So, looking for a new model, if anyone has suggestions.. Something between 1-4gb with a built-in USB port and that takes AA or AAA batteries.. Any recommendations?

As for today, will our hero get his hiney outside or on the rollers? Not looking too promising... Gotta take days off every now and then, right? Gotta rest from celebrating the Bunny Geebus yesterday!

The Logbook
* Fri (Apr 7) - Rest day!

* Sat - 2.5hr EM w/4x8m Climb Repeats, nice to visit the Ob, bumped into Sarah there and rode back and did the waterfront

* Sun - 2.75hr EM, w/Kevin, took a tumble flying around a corner as i realized my front tire had a leak and it slid out from under me! I noticed my bike felt odd earlier, but it felt like the rear..so i stopped and checked my rear wheel...it was fine... Lesson: check the front too! Got a nice bruise on my hip (which has healed!) and a small scrap on the elbow.

* Mon - 3x3m PI's, plus the above-mentioned Pursuit

* Tue - rest day

* Wed - race above, plus another 2hrs EM riding to-and-from the race

* Thu - 1.5hr EM, rode out to the track but it was rainy, rode home

* Fri - celebrated the Bunny Jeebus! Ate lots of vegan goodies and had brunch with friends..yum..

* Sat - a rest day, to recover from the Bunny Jeebus perhaps..? Or maybe some time on the rollers..? Only time will tell..
Will likely jump in with the BSide group tomorrow, got 200m's and Matched Sprints on Monday (weather permitting!), road race on Wed (Newton Heights!) and a big points race on Thu, woot!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Back on the Track! -- Log

Yay - back on the track!

Last Monday (sprint nite) got rained out, but tonite the weather was damn fine, and nearly twenty riders showed up to spin some circles!

It was nice to see some familiar faces, as well as a few new ones.

We were split pretty evenly between A, B & C categories, so we decided to start the year off with a mass scratch race with all riders - fun stuff!

It's a nice opportunity to test our fitness...there were a few light attacks, but overall the pace was pretty steady, if on the slow side. I felt a lot better than i did this time last year...getting dropped and lapped! (Tho admittedly the pace was a bit slower than the first few races last year..if memory serves.)

I felt good tho, i think i have a really sold base behind me from my spring training, and now i've got to focus on getting some quality intensity in. Which i got a bit of tonite!

In the short 20 lap scratch, we basically held together, until there was a lap and a half to go, and i was at the front of the paceline, so i just held it and gunned it! I was in a 48x15, so i was quickly spinning out, and for the last 3/4's of a lap, i couldn't get on top of it, and Vinko flew by with Jim on his wheel, and i trailed them over the line. Not too shabby.

The other race of the night was a Miss'n'Out, again with all riders. I switched up to a 48x14, and sat in the pack for the first few laps, then ended up getting dangerously close to the back of the pack, getting squeezed behind and between other riders....which was not good! Once there was an opening, i wheeled out and went wide, up and over the pack, and rode beside Mike for a few laps. We joked about trading brownie recipes.

Another bell rang, and i decided to kick it into gear a bit more. Today i'm supposed to be doing intervals (so Lord Carmichael seys), so i had to get some intensity in.... I kept the power to the pedals, and within a lap, i had half-a-lap on the pack of 7 or 8.

It's an unusual maneuver for a Miss'n'Out, i don't believe there's any benefit to lapping the pack...but having a half-lap on the field might work in my favor if i keep it...

I figured it would end with the last two riders catching me in the final three laps...and we'd all be totally dead from the effort (me trying to keep them away, and them catching me) and we'd attempt the most pathetic sprint in history.....but somehow i held that half-lap, and before i knew it i was told the race was over (??!!) Yay!! I won a race! Of course, it wasn't an overly-strong field, and the points don't count for our League, but it was fun to be in that position for once. ;)

Managing these breaks is something i'm going to have to figure out for sure....although one can ride 'balls-out', and above your Lactate Threshold....it's not a very good place to be. Although your givin'er, it's my understanding that you'll prolly start to drop in power output...so it's actually better to back off and try to remain in a more reasonable heart range, which will ultimately allow you to maintain more power.. As i said, something i'm going to have to figure out for myself.

We've actually been discussing this over on Fixed Gear Fever, a cool trackie website/forum. Seems like a common strategy in the Pursuit is to hammer on the start, then back off for lap 2, and maybe some of lap 3. Then get up to about 90% effort, and hold that 'til the last third, and then give it all. I'll be trying this out on Monday, am very interested to see how this will turn out..!

In other news, re-doing the Vega site has paid me well, and i've been getting some new gear, including a couple pairs of Shimano Ultegra SPD-SL pedals off eBay ($100 per pair!) I'm excited to finally have 'real' road pedals, as opposed to the tiny-platformed SPD road pedals i've been riding for the last few years. (Waiting for my 'eCheck' to clear on Paypal, and then shipping...mebbe by the middle of the month?)

Also picked up a much-needed helmet from the good people at Performance Bicycles - i finally found one that matches my outfit! The orange and white blend in nicely, tho it also has seemingly inescapable blue in it... It's a Bell Ghisallo, and is quite comfy.

Other items on my 'list' include a cassette to replace my drivetrain (got a chain and 'small' chainring already), aero bars (planning on getting Profile T2+ bars), Specialized gloves (finding *good* gloves in Victoria is a real effort! Or i'm really picky...), and some shades...trying to find a pair of Rudy Project Ekynox on eBay...only seeing the 'small' versions right now. (I like these because they are huge - i'm still a Briko Stinger fan - and they also have good coverage behind the eyes, so sun doesn't leak in that way. Oh, and you look like a giant bug with them on. ;)

(Man, i love those Stingers!! I used to have those exact frames, and the crazy reflective blue lenses...they were awesome. Must check on eBay for more!)

I also won a bid on eBay for some fantastic Specialized road bars ($10!!), but unfortunately they're a different stem size from what i've got. I've heard that the DeRosa fork i've got is rather crappy (not very good handling, heavy, etc) so a carbon fork is likely in my future..and then i'll have to get a new stem, and it'll fit me bars. =)

Ahh..bike gear...heh..

Alright, let's see what i've been up to:
Wed (Mar 29th) - 2hr EM, actually bumped into my friend Rhi from the gym, she's just started riding, and is beginning to do triathlons...i keep trying to talk her into giving up the other two sports and focus on the good one. ;)

Thu - 2hr EM w/4x12m Steady State intervals..me likey the long, steady intervals. Also, final night at the gym until the fall.. Will do upper-body stuff, and light legs at home from now on...gotta figure that into my schedule...

Fri - Rest is Best!

Sat - 2.25hr EM, got rained on a bit...

Sun - 2.5hr EM w/4x10m SS Intervals, Kirby came along as well, nice to finally catch up with her!

Mon - Simply the rest....better with all that rest... (Huh huh..)

Tue - SUFFERAGE! Went out and did my CTS Field Test...got mixed results.. Apparently my Lactate Threshold has jumped 12bpm since i last did it in September. I find that very suspicious...will comment on this further in a future entry. (Supposedly my new LT is 185bpm...previous was 173...that's a huge jump in my EM intensity, i'm going to go for the 'middle ground' for now, and retest next month..)

Wed - 1hr EM, AMAZING DAY!! I think i not only had only knee-warmers on, but no booties, no vest, and i might have rolled my arm warmers down...!! Woot! Spring has be-sprunged!

Thu - raced!
Will chill tomorrow (mebbe noodle out to the track in the eve...we'll see..), then weather-permitting, hope to do a nice 4hr Shawnigan on Sat, and then more intervals or perhaps climb-repeats on Sunday.

Monday is Pursuit night at the track, excited about that.. Will take Tues off, and race the Lattoria road crit on Wed, more track on Thu, and then repeat!

So excited the race season is here....next month the Sidney TT's begin too, fun fun fun!

Keep on truckin'!

About Me

Dave Shishkoff
aka Dave Noisy
Victoria, BC

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Organic Athlete

Oak Bay Bicycles

Fueled With: Vega



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