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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Falling From Fourth

Ahh...'cross on the island is over..went out with a high and low. The course we designs for CrossVega was AWESOME. People raved about it. Low was that i went into the race sitting 4th overall in Intermediate, and after being unable to perform, plus a flat, i've probably dropped to 10th or so...nuts. Anyway, catching up on the week:

Saturday - OBB Ride

Still wasn't feeling very great, cold still lingering. Headed out on the OBB ride, planning to ride an hour and a bit. Funny group, rather small, and we had *two* flats before leaving Oak Bay!! I realized i was still feeling like crap. Fraaaack..not looking good for Sunday. I stuck with the group to Mt. Doug, then turned left on Shelbourne and cruised back home. Power deets:
 Entire workout (166 watts):
    Duration:      1:03:14 (1:11:33)
    Work:          622 kJ
    TSS:           64.1 (intensity factor 0.784)
    Norm Power:    204
    VI:            1.23
    Distance:      27.911 km
                       Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    590    166     watts
    Heart Rate:      82    180    148     bpm
    Cadence:         32    138    91     rpm
    Speed:           3.9    66    26.7     kph
Not much power, and even this was draining.

At noon headed up to Shawnigan Lake School with Jen, Roland and Katie, and met up with Norm, Chris, Dan and Ian Craib to set up the course.  Below is the 'general' map.

There was some wiggling in the whiteish bit in the middle, and the field on the lower right was my domain...and i turned it into an epic, challenging sequence, features some tight turns off the top, up a small rise, which drops into a mud pit, then back up immediately (which got quite slick) and then a short straight into 'The Flush', basically a mini whirly-whirl. Another short stretch on a trail to the three off-camber V's. The first most rode, the second was a challenge, and very few could ride the third. Then another short straight, a tab more elevation, and then a drop in an S bend corner that was also very challenging, with riders slipping out and unclipping with great frequency...the goal there was to slow riders before the chute into the woods, which was a fast downhill - it woulda been a bit nuts to have riders hit that with speed!

From there was the downhill, which became a river overnight (it was mostly dry Saturday, i swear!) That river hid many sharp rocks which caused most to flat...myself included. In the woods was a short 'singletrack' technical section, and then out onto a road section that continued downhill. From there, back to a trail which had a very technical riser/berm, and tight turn back to the main trail, that led to the stairs. Best placement for stairs, imo as well, as you were fully recovered by the time you hit them. Long set too, but i actually managed okay on them.

That continued with the uphill..up a road, then a short cross over to more wooded, rocky trails, and up and up and up...into the bottom of the rugby field, some more climbing getting ABOVE the rugby field, and then around it..ugh! Once back nearly where we started circumnavigating the field was the real mud...it just got worse each lap, real wheel-sucking stuff..haha.. A 5 meter drop and short stretch before the barriers (just two), another downhill on the road, and then back up to the lap/finish point.  From there a long uphill road to the grassy field. It was a LONG freaking course, nearly 3.5km by my estimates. Awesome to ride tho.

Sunday - CrossVega!

Ahh.. The Island Championships...double-points for the series too, and i'm flattened by a cold. I had a decent first lap, stuck with the front through the grass:

I think one person might have snuck by on the stairs:

After that it went downhill on the uphill. Several people eased by as i had no high-end to power up the climb...so sad..trailed the group around the field and then lost contact on the road..

(Thanks to Mical and Danielle for these shots!)

And basically kept moving backwards from there all race.. The grassy field allowed me to bridge up to a rider a time or two, but that was about the only momentum i could manage.. And then i flatted to boot..haha..

Other riders had good races tho, Geoff Pendral won our race, Roland pulled off another impressive 4th place finish, securing his victory of taking the entire series! (And then he raced Expert later on too, what a maniac!)

Teammate Jen had a rough race too. Battling it out with Glenowyn for a couple laps, but then flatting as well as a few mechanicals. Still, she managed to hold onto 3rd for the Open Women's field, awesome work Jen, nice job representing! =)

The event finale was pretty swell, with TONS of awesome prizes for the draws, and nearly everyone must have walked away with something. Gotta thank Vega, Green Cuisine (vegan chili and corn bread for racers!) and Pink Sugar for helping with prizing for OA. =)

It was bittersweet as well, as the series was finished...wouldn't be seeing so many faces, especially Normon and Wendy, who have done SO much work to make the series happen. Norm won the Top Organizer's award from CyclingBC this year, and rightly so! Cross on the Rock is a golden, magical event, thanks to these two!

My own pics of the Masters/Womens and Elite race, plus details on course features can be found here:


Tuesday - Training, 350w/5min Effort

Wasn't sure how i'd feel, or if i'd be able to do anything on the bike. Plan was to head out to the Observatory, do a short effort on the way, and see how that felt and go from there..

Off the top i didn't feel too great, legs a bit achy, but a few minutes in it started coming together, and by the time i was on Interurban, i felt mostly "normal"! Legs were pushing the watts they should, and felt lively. YAY! A little late, but glad to feel good.

Around Camosun i put some pressure to the pedals for a minute, and it felt fine. HR and breathing increased at a normal rate. Okay, on to the Observatory for a 350 watts and 5min test (hopefully one and the same!)

I've been curious to see how my power compared to when i started doing my 350w intervals.  My first test saw me holding 350w up to the first switchback in under 4mins, but failure at that point. Wasn't able to carry on.  Also, my 5min PB was 341w, although that was from a year ago...i never have a reason to give my all for 5mins! It's either much shorter (5-30seconds) or 20mins+. (Were i racing track, my 5mins would be much more relative..) Anyway, i had my recent benchmark of ~4mins.

Started off, felt pretty good. Held the watts with relative ease...and managed to feel this way until the steep bit before the switchback...by then was breathing fairly heavily, but far from done. Upon looking at my data, i had actually hit that point around 3'30, and had been holding 360w!

I powered as much as i could while corning the switchback and then back uphill...close to the top of the first stretch i could feel myself beginning to fade, but i wasn't going to give up.  Got out of the saddle and maintained as much as i could sustain...i was going to get myself to the buildings..... Still 20m to go, and i was DYING. Breathing so hard, legs very unhappy, i crested the section, sat down and tried to continue pedalling, and there was nothing. That was all i had....

I didn't know what i'd done, i didn't switch over to the timer, so i wasn't sure i'd even ridden 5mins. I cooled down for a minute up there, breathing heavily (a worker there commented!), and then pointed downhill, and made tracks back for home.

So turned out i HAD ridden 5mins, so there was a chance to break my previous PB...and i did, yeah! I managed to average 350w - woohoo! I'm pretty happy to be hitting a PB this late in the season, and esp. after a crappy weak of non-training and illness.. I suspect i'm capable of more, but i think this was the one timeframe i hadn't gotten a PB in this year, so nice to complete that. ;)

Here's the full session details:
Entire workout (201 watts):
    Duration:      1:31:44 (1:34:54)
    Work:          1096 kJ
    TSS:           118.2 (intensity factor 0.882)
    Norm Power:    229
    VI:            1.14
    Distance:      44.426 km
                         Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           0    863    201     watts
    Heart Rate:      78    190    159     bpm
    Cadence:         25    124    94     rpm
    Speed:           3.9    56.1    29.3     kph

And here's the 5mins breakdown for shits'n'giggles:
Peak 5min (350 watts):
    Duration:      5:01
    Work:          105 kJ
    TSS:           15.2 (intensity factor 1.347)
    Norm Power:    350
    VI:            1
    Distance:      1.668 km
                         Min    Max    Avg
    Power:           106    492    350     watts
    Heart Rate:      133    190    183     bpm
    Cadence:         52    99    82     rpm
    Speed:           12.5    26.9    19.9     kph
Funny to think i burned up a banana doing that. =P

I had also pinned 190bpm for the final 30 seconds..owwie.. Funny to think that in previous years i'd spend quite a bit of time in that range...much less this year, doing more TT stuff, etc.. I think if i could maintain this effort to the top, i would finish around 6'15..far from any record, but i'd be happy with that! Holding 350w for another minute+ would be quite an achievement...i was DONE at 5mins.

Coming Up

Will jump on the bike for a short ride tomorrow. Planning to head to the mainland for Saturday and Sunday which feature the final BC Cup and Provincial Championships for cyclocross, it'd be fun to see what the events over there are like.  For the Provincials, i'd have to race Elite, which will be hilarious, i'll be lapped by most of the field, but hey..heheh

After that my season is FINISHED!! December will feature less time on the bike, and more fun-oriented, including lots of trail time on the RIP9. Also, will be heading back to Crag X to climb - really, really looking forward to that!

A few quick links:
US Cyclocross Champ Ryan Trebon's Workout - Adjusted for You
Funny to see that a pro is doing pretty much the same workouts as myself! Although i was doing mine a bit harder, spending time quite a bit above my Fieldtest output, but slightly below SS for the 'under' (260w v 270w).

VeloNews: Clinchers for Cross
I'm of course a huge fan of the Mud tire (esp the original green Mud). The Wolf is also pretty solid for racing in these parts.

And more pics from Sunday:

Rita's Pics:

Jamie's pics:

Regan's CrossVega Photos

Happy Thanksgiving to the US readers!

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    Thursday, November 19, 2009

    It's Not Too Late To Give This a Title

    Oi, that's been a rainy week.. Catching up:


    Went out on the OBB group ride (meets at Oak Bay Bikes at 9am, be fendered and extendered if wet!) Felt good until Land's End, took a long, strong pull, 375-400 watts for a minute, pulled off as it went uphill, ended up at the back of the big pack, and tried to recover a bit...another brief downhill, moved up mid-pack, then up again, and worked back near the front....a stop and left turn, and someone (Craig Richey i believe - not this one) got on the front and "turns the screws" putting the hurt on.

    I could bridge up, still wiped from the earlier pull..there was a small group (4) of us that chased until the airport, no dice.. Another much bigger group caught us, but it wasn't terribly cohesive, and ended up being a lot of work to stay in, with people not at all working as a group. At the Interurban sprint, i went really early, and gave several peeps a wicked lead-out.

    Legs felt like lead, i attributed it to the weather - it was the first real cold ride i've done, with temps in the 3-5 Celibate range. Turns out that i'd just been really given'er! Highest TSS on an OBB ride since i got WKO+ in May. Here's the data:
     Entire workout (184 watts):
        Duration:      3:13:13 (3:34:22)
        Work:          2124 kJ
        TSS:           256.6 (intensity factor 0.896)
        Norm Power:    233
        VI:            1.26 
        Distance:      99.424 km
                             Min    Max    Avg
        Power:           0    1222    184     watts
        Heart Rate:      79    186    151     bpm
        Cadence:         33    128    90     rpm
        Speed:           0    61.1    31.0     kph
    NP of 233 over 3.25hrs, and the TSS of 257 is a big jump from my previous hardest effort of just over 240. Normally they're in the 220-240 range. The cold and fenders are slowing things down a bit too, but 31kph is a pretty fast average speed..for the peak hour we were averaging just under 35kph.

    Also got some new gear, needed some new shorts, and figured i'd chop two carrots with one swipe, and got full leggings. The Sugoi RS Zero Bib Tights are pretty sweet, although it's a little material-heavy over the belly which got a big sweaty, but otherwise a winner! I'd say good in temps 1-9C, or 3-12C if raining.


    Headed out to the Dump for this rainy day! Got a lift out with Laura and met up with a bunch of my favorite MTB buddies. Wanted a relatively short ride, no need to push it before next weekend, which is the Island Championships for cyclocross, CrossVega!

    Jamie and Steve (left) had ridden out and already spent an hour on the trails. (They got in ~5hrs by day's end!) Matt, John, Laura and Alex rounded out the bunch. We headed out, and bee-lined it to the bottom of the new Fun Trail extension - nice work SIMBS! At the top i think we made a wrong turn as we ended up hiking up parts of Hot Cherry..but soon enough were on Dave's Line working our way up to the top.

    I hadn't been on the MTB for over a month, but for some reason i was having an awesome day, no tumbles and riding most everything, sweet! Grip felt surprisingly good, i'd switched my front tire over to the WTB Weirwolf, which is a 2.55" monster, but surprisingly light at ~750g. On the rear i had the Victoria Standard, the WTB Nano Raptor (~650g). I bet OBB orders more of the Nano's than any other shop on the planet... Both are Stan'sd, and down in the 20psi range. I was sticking to everything and felt supremely confident, and had an awesome day out with these peeps. Fun doing the trails i normally do backwards, and threw in Snakes'n'Ladders we well.

    Here's my power summary (yep, i have an MTB PowerTap!)

    Entire workout (158 watts):
        Duration:      1:05:24 (1:55:47)
        Work:          619 kJ
        TSS:           87 (intensity factor 0.893)
        Norm Power:    232
        VI:            1.47
        Distance:      10.866 km
                           Min    Max    Avg
        Power:           0    1003    158     watts
        Cadence:         34    201    80     rpm
        Speed:           3.8    37.9    10.3     kph

    Fun day, looking forward to spending more time on the trails once 'cross is over!


    Nothing too fancy here, intended to go out Tuesday, but was feeling a bit under the weather.. Kept it short, got out for an hour and a half, took the Goose out to Interurban, W. Saanich and then Prospect Lk, back in town along the Goose and the waterfront. Stayed dry!
    Entire workout (207 watts):
        Duration:      1:30:07 (1:32:53)
        Work:          1108 kJ
        TSS:           108.8 (intensity factor 0.855)
        Norm Power:    222
        VI:            1.08
        Pw:HR:          5.47%
        Pa:HR:          11.23%
        Distance:      40.942 km
                            Min    Max    Avg
        Power:           0    782    207     watts
        Heart Rate:      78    185    162     bpm
        Cadence:         27    141    94     rpm
        Speed:           4    63    27.5     kph

    Didn't feel too great tho - i should have been feeling really peppy with the time off, but i've got some low-level cold...nose getting running, and feeling gross when going above threshold power.  Speed was slow because on the ride back in the wind picked-up BIG TIME. I was brought nearly to a standstill at 300w in a gust!!

    Took today off as well, still not feeling great..will likely chill tomorrow (with some commuting thrown in), a small effort on Saturday and then:

    Cross on the Rock Island Championships: CrossVega!

    That's right - CrossVega - i got them to sponsor the event..haha.. It's out at Shawnigan Lake School on Sunday, racing goes from 11am until after 4pm, and i'll be starting at noon. Come on out! Details here and here.

    Final race of the year on the island, double points! The course isn't really my cup of tea, i prefer much more technical, this will be a pretty fast course...but the climbs are relatively mild, so it might go alright.... Saturday will be heading up to set it up, yip!

    RideCam #25

    For the uninitiated, i almost always have my camera (one of them waterproof ones from Olympus) in my jersey pocket, and pull it out on occasion while out and about, my latest series is here:


    Some highlights:

    Jon Taylor leads one of our 'Cross Clinics.

    An arbutus tree at Hartland.

    Ran into Liz in a matching jersey!

    A rainbow ruins an otherwise beautiful pic, Roland, Mike and i are headed to a VCX session.

    Alison Sydor also lead one of our 'Cross Clinics, she had some really useful tips, and people loved it despite there being a rainfall warning that day!

    So, i've got Shawnigan this weekend, and next weekend i'm planning to head over to the mainland for the final two 'cross races in the province - a BC Cup on Sat, and Provincial Championships on Sunday. I won't be a factor at all on Sunday (i have to race Elite..d'oh..) I'll try to keep from getting lapped by too many peeps..haha...

    It's getting late, so i'll cut it short there. G'nite!


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      Thursday, November 12, 2009

      Fifteen and Four

      An epic weekend of racing!

      Saturday - Children of the Corn Cross at Sluggett Farm

      What an epic affair! This was the most 'authentic' cyclocross i think we've ever seen on the island.

      Mud. So much mud. Rain. Cold.

      It also started very poorly for me - i did a pre-ride lap (damn thing too nearly 15 minutes!) After, went back to the car to put on my race shoes and fresh socks (soaked).

      I'm geared up, heading back, a few other riders are changing as well.. I am just about to the course, and i hear the siren go - the START siren! Gah!

      The race started about 200m up from the lap/finish point, which is about where i was...shit!! I get on the course and immediately start chasing - this sucks!! The course starts in the grass with a long straight stretch and a smooth, wide corner, some twists and barriers. I'm about 500m in and i'm starting to catch the trailers..well, that's two down out of almost 30! After the barriers is a short, very twisty wooded section, i'm just about on the back of the pack, and am there as we come out to a muddy section that leads back to the grass....i get by another person struggling.

      Once on the grass, it's the longest straight on the course, i gun it, pass another 3-4 riders, and then we turn and hit thicker mud...it's rideable the first lap, but not after..  This leads to the creek crossing - it's over a foot deep, and over a meter wide!! Feet wet again. Yip.

      It's a pretty steep scramble to the top in slippery mud...then an uphill stretch with several more shallow crossings...one seems perfect for sucking in a 'cross wheel... I've maybe caught another rider, they're all moving a bit faster now.

      From the top of this section we weave through a few backyards, and then into another slick muddy section with a couple short sprints off the bike up steep embankments. And then, into the dreaded cornfield.

      On my pre-ride, there were several rideable sections, at least the first 100m into it. It was already churned up waaay too much, and spots were getting deeper..by the end of the race i was frequently stepping in mud up to my knees!!

      This was an awful, long section.  Maybe 300m in this stuff. So slow-going for me. Here's a shot heading into this mess, one of the only ones from this race from Katie, oddly!

      After the mud was this human-made 'hill', basically a stand they made that we have to ride up and over! Right after that is the lap/finish point...gaaah...one lap down, three more to go. It was a very slow course!

      I picked off several more riders, and was in a small group duking it out for a while, but i couldn't really sustain a lot of power, and the cornfield was sucking the life out of me...

      I ended up 15th, over 7mins behind the leaders, which included Roland. The farthest i've finished behind him! Ugh..

      For lotsa entertaining pics, visit here:


      I'm definitely not an 'authentic' 'cross racer!! The more i'm off my bike, the worse i'm going to do sadly..i'm a bike racer, first and fore-most! Short sprints are manageable, but beyond that...eeep!

      Wendy Simms race report has been posted on Island Sports News.

      Sunday - Cameron Cross at Juan de Fuca

      Entirely different day! Sunny, warm, relatively dry. The course was significantly different as well! I had no idea what to expect, although with a long climb, i suspected that i would not fare too well.

      The race started on a paved stretch, we went 200m and then a sharp left into a narrow gateway, and then singletrack uphill. I was in the 2nd row for call-up (yay!).

      I kept up front going into the singletrack. We started uphill, which went for maybe 350m. None of it was steep, just a gradual climb. Near the top, i looked back, and i was in a lead group of about 6 riders, and ~20m behind was another smaller pack, an no sign of anyone else.. Kevin Knock was riding at a crazy pace, gapping the rest of us.

      At the top of the climb was the only section that i'd have to run - but it was a long, windy section up a steep rocky section. I feared this would be the end of me... I kept up for the first lap, and the group of us began the long descent.

      This was the redeeming part of the course for me. It was a very long 'descent', in a Super-D way. Basically, working our way downhill with a number of short power climbs into tight technical corners. And most of it was on the hillside, so it was perhaps 80% off-camber grass. As the lap progressed i passed one or two riders who were either slow moving, or wiped out.

      At the bottom was a long stretch through boggy grass (that got worse and more sloggy each lap), into the barriers, around a corner, and into the lap-point and finish line. After that was a couple twists into the 'alley', which had two big stair drops, covered by plywood. The second one was particularly steep, and i nearly bit it a couple times coming down!

      After that, were a couple more twists, and then onto the grass and back to the climb. Behind me in the above pic was Guy Gensey, who was on my wheel for much of the race, keeping me honest!

      So it turned out that the climb wasn't too bad for me - i was careful to maintain a steady pace, and conserve some energy for the run-up at the end....i would pace myself so by the time i reached the top i would be DEAD, as at the top there was a short 20m boggy flat, but then the downhill hit, and i could recover there. I think that was one of the key elements for me: plenty of potential recovery on this course. There were a number of spots where pedaling hard weren't terribly beneficial, as you'd be hitting a corner quickly, and have to slow down into it...so i carefully maintained a steady pace through each section, and would power out of each corner to get my speed up (and then ease off on the pedaling a bit).

      As the laps progressed, i worried that i'd not be able to maintain my pace...i was really hovering above my redline. I'd passed a few more riders, and only one rider had gotten by me: the young (16) Michael Brinton who's proving to be a diverse and strong rider!! This isn't our first encounter. ;)

      With a couple laps to go, i knew it was only Roland ahead of me, and Geoff Pendrel (former pro downhiller!) was in sight (couldn't close the gap tho), along with Michael. Not far behind was Guy...on the final lap i was pretty worried he might catch me...but i kept a level head. Steady up the climb, and as fast as i could manage on the run-up. He was right on my heels by the top!!  I jumped on my Salsa and powered away into the downhill - it started off with a nice fast drop into a long grassy stretch. I opened 20m immediately, and as we wound our way down, i continued to increase it.  Getting to the bottom, i knew that i was safe, and eased off a bit.. I could also see Haldor was maybe 100m further back -- pretty impressive considering he's riding single-speed!!

      Nearly tripped on the final barriers, and eased across the finish line. 4th!!!! Yeah!!!

      Hanging out with the other top finishers Geoff and Roland, chatting about the race. Roland has been having a stellar season, and collected his first win as well, but it was by the smallest margin yet: just over a minute from me.

      I'm pretty happy with that effort, nice to ride a course that suited me pretty well. Would probably have fared even better without that final run-up, but hey! Also, i think it worked for me being the 2nd day of racing -- i'm pretty used to this from the track, where we commonly race 2-4 days consecutively.

      Another two amazing race days, thanks to Normon and Wendy, and the other organizers. =)

      More pics from Katie here:


      And Wendy's race report on ISN. Check the links below for a few more related items!


      A bit pooped from the weekend, i thought i'd mix it up, and hopped on my MTB on this grey, near-rainy day. If i was feeling spunky, i might have gone around and up Durrance Rd, and in the 'back' way to the Dump, and then downhill out (Who's Yer Daddy, Nightshift, Skull, Shock Treatment and Executive to Meadowbrook Rd).

      That didn't really materialize, but instead i went and investigated a bunch of singletrack trails off the Colquitz trail system, which i ride to get out to the Dump (from downtown you can avoid roads almost entirely to Prospect Lake Rd.) Found some fun alternative sections, and also checked out some of the trails up around Camosun Interurban/PISE, which were pretty fun. A few fun options to liven up the ride out.

      Here's my PowerTap data:
      Entire workout (180 watts):
          Duration:      1:55:55 (2:01:55)
          Work:          1255 kJ
          TSS:           135.7 (intensity factor 0.838)
          Norm Power:    218
          VI:            1.21
          Distance:      41.359 km
                             Min    Max    Avg
          Power:           0    869    180     watts
          Heart Rate:      71    179    145     bpm
          Cadence:         32    212    84     rpm
          Speed:           3.9    45.4    21.5     kph
      heh - the cadence isn't 'real' on there, just guessed by the software. I'm pretty sure i didn't hit 212rpm. ;)

      Wednesday VCX

      Final event of the season! Over at Topaz Park under the lights. Funny as we're encircling the soccer field as kids are playing there, we're racing around on the grass. =)

      Felt pretty good, and got in a good workout. Had a great first four laps, leading a group of four riders, but by the time the final lap came around, i faded and fell back. Roland and i were maintaining the same pace, except he took off at the start and was maybe 200m ahead. ;)

      30mins solid race workout, over an hour on the bike total.

      CrossVega - November 22nd!!

      Details are still being sorted out, but the final Cross on the Rock event is likely to be called CrossVega, and i have the pleasure of designing much of the course! OA and OBB will be the primary sponsors, and we're going to design an awesome Island Championship race course at Shawnigan Lake School. More details to come, we're heading out tomorrow morning to scout out the grounds... The date will be November 22nd, plan to come out and race or cheer!! Food will be all vegan, aiming for chili and corn bread, cupcakes and more!


      As usual, lotsa stuff i've come across:
      The Fiery Tumble
      haha - it was caught on film!! You might recall me highlighting how i nearly fell into the fire trenches, here's the evidence, click through the sequence as i nearly get torched!!

      The Lightest Bike in the World
      Title says it all. ;)

      Roland Spills, Still by Still
      Another great photo sequence as Rollie narrowly avoids biting it on Sunday!!

      Cameron Cross Pics
      A bunch more pics from me of the Masters, Women's and Expert races from the Sunday, good overview of the course.

      Northerners Steal SSCXWC09: Drew MacKenzie and Kari Studley Golden in the Mud, Seattle Crowned 2010 Host
      My 'cross buddy Drew took his second SingleSpeed World Championship title - nicely done, earning the coveted golden speedo!!!
      That's it for now! This weekend i'm planning to return to the OBB group ride on Saturday, and Sunday might see a MTB ride...happy trails!

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        Friday, November 06, 2009

        A Moderate Week

        A fairly easy week training-wise, just a couple 2hr EM rides, partially due to feeling a bit under-the-weather on Tuesday, and a double-header race weekend about to esplode!

        Tomorrow is a flat but muddy course at Slugget Farm in Saanich, and Sunday is a hilly and grassy course at the Juan de Fuca Rec Center (home of our beloved velodrome that we've been locked out of: screw you Dave Saunders you gurgling idiot!!)

        My two rides looked a little something like this:


        Entire workout (208 watts):
            Duration:      2:01:09 (2:04:49)
            Work:          1502 kJ
            TSS:           146.9 (intensity factor 0.856)
            Norm Power:    223
            VI:            1.07
            Distance:      61.235 km
                Min    Max    Avg
            Power:           0    833    208     watts
            Heart Rate:      79    180    157     bpm
            Cadence:         21    118    95     rpm
            Speed:           3.8    59.4    30.5     kph

        Entire workout (208 watts):
            Duration:      2:11:45 (2:16:55)
            Work:          1632 kJ
            TSS:           160.4 (intensity factor 0.858)
            Norm Power:    223
            VI:            1.07
            Distance:      66.168 km
                Min    Max    Avg
            Power:           0    711    208     watts
            Heart Rate:      70    179    157     bpm
            Cadence:         29    122    95     rpm
            Speed:           4    55.5    30.4     kph

        If i'm anything, i'm consistent, apparently! Similar but different routes.. I lucked out Thursday, it was raining all morning, and for the 2-4pm window that i snuck out, it was dry, and we actually had a few sunny breaks! Also, thanks for the company from Lysanne.

        Wish me luck this weekend!

        Links Of Interest
        Al Gore on ABC News, talks a bit about diet:
        Some comments:
        Methane is 20x more damaging than CO2.
        "I'm not a vegetarian, don't plan to become one."
        "But the biggest issue, by far, is CO2. And methane comes from a lot of sources...natural gas, coal mines, rice, a lot of sources."
        Good job, Al Gore. Way to ignore this "inconvenient truth".

        No Need for Vegans to Give Up Fat, Gluten, Soy or Cooked Foods
        Amen to that, Ginny! Veganism is not a deprivation diet, but should actually expand one's dietary horizon! Follow her on Twitter as well: http://twitter.com/TheVeganRD/

        MEC Reveals their New Line of Bikes
        I'm not really impressed...these don't seem like very good values. I don't think bike shops have much to worry about.

        Number of Animals Killed to Produce 1 Million Calories in Eight Food Categories
        An interesting visual.

        Beeb article on the confusing 'levels' of vegetarianism...let's not let this happen to veganism!

        NISSCCOTU Race Report by Wendy Simms
        Hilarious race report from Wendy from last weekend's Single Speed Championships, check it if you haven't already!

        Plus Some NISSCCOTU Video
        Some fun footage, plus i'm in there:
        * 3:05 - Air Vegan!
        * 5:35 - In the mud..

        NISSCCOTU GPS - Roland's Garmin Data
        Kind of cool to check out, Roland's GPS data from the race.

        Another Vegan Cycling Blog: Chronicals of the mtbVegan
        Twitter friend Regina's postings, a strong SS rider from Milwaukee, WI.

        All Things Cyclocross on the Island
        From the OA Victoria site, this link connects to most all the cyclocross stuff on the island. =)

        Alright, gotta keep on the prep for tomorrow, wish me luck!


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          Tuesday, November 03, 2009


          Survived the weekend! Saturday was the Nutcase Intercontinental Single-Speed Cyclocross Championships of the Universe, aka NISSCCOTU, and Sunday was World Vegan Day. A report on what we did is here.

          Training-wise, last week i rested up on Thursday and Friday, and then Saturday:


          Okay, is it me, or does this sound like some sinister beast, perhaps a North American relative of the chupicabra?!

          Anyway, the Errington (just outside of Parksville) race on Fletcher's Farm was a hoot, with an astounding number of ways to injure and maim yourself. =)

          It started off with a Leman's-style 500m foot-sprint...and it was not unlike Braveheart.

          I yelled FOR FREEDOM!!!!

          There were some chuckles..

          We were awaiting some fireworks to go off as a start signal. More moments passed. Norm's waving his pink arms.

          FOR MORE FREEDOM!!

          More laughter...and Norm just tells us to go:

          We're off - dodging cow patties in the process!

          And did i mention that we all removed our front wheels, and had to pick them up at the 250m mark, and then remount our wheels when we got to our bikes at the 500m mark?

          There i am off behind the Pink Normon. Drew, on the left, lived up to his costume, and is the reigning 2008 World Single Speed Champion. I'm back in the game, there between the pink princess and cow:

          The ride was short, as we immediately hit the 10 PACK set of barriers. Yes - 10 sets of barriers:

          I think i was lapped a few times whilst in the barriers..

          Luckily speed was picked up quickly out of the barriers as it was a bit of a downhill on the field, and a short curvy road and then the lap-point and Finish. From there, some more twists and turns, and into the wooded section, which had a loads of roots and tight twists. That spit us out on the descent over the fire trenches.

          Yes - FIRE TRENCHES!!

          They dug out two pits and filled them with wood, and lit it on fire, AIR VEGAN!

          Not everyone jumped the trenches, like my teammate Jen:

          Or ROLAND!! (Dishonoring Wendy Simms, who he's dressed up as!)

          Of course, i was the only person to take a tumble, very nearly rolling into the pit itself!!

          That was pretty much the end of my race there..chain was off, put it back on.  I hopped back on my bike, and then it clicked what people were yelling to me "straighten your bars!". Gah. Hop off, rotate my bars back straight.

          Foolishly, i'd been trying to fully bunny-hop the trenches, but turns out (i learned the next lap) all you had to do was ride over them, you ought to have enough momentum to carry you over..haha.. It doesn't help my bars are pretty low, and the lower tire pressure also threw me off, literally, as it squished a lot when i landed! I'm no aerial artist at my best...

          Several people passed as i fumbled on the pits, and got going again, chasing down those i could. It mainly ended up to be dualing match between Tom and myself..i'd catch and pass him on the flats, and then he'd get by me on the climbs and barriers (you can see him in front of me in the 10packs above).

          There was a short flat across a grassy field, then up a short hill, some more wooded twists, then back down and into a cornfield:

          There were still stalks of corn sticking up, so it was like 'thuk thuk thuk thuk' as you rode through. That lead up to a short run-up, and into the mud. It started off with thick, boggy mud (with 'islands' of hard grass), and then onto a trail which was literally like riding on chocolate pudding. Luckily, the deep puddle that was there last year was quite a bit more shallow this year:

          That spit us back out onto the cornfield, and back up to the grassy field, another short uphill in the grass to the barriers, and then around the lap-point.

          On the final lap, Tom was having trouble with his saddle, which enabled me to get by and stay away.. There was another rider 50m ahead at that point, and so i gunned it! He had a big lead going into the barriers, but i was motoring through for once..helps having a little motivation!

          I actually manage to get out of the barriers just as he was about to hop back on his bike - YES!! I remount, and DAMN! CHAINS OFF!! Gaaaah.. I fumble with it, and look back, and my buddy Jamie is in hot pursuit too, trying to lap me! I get back on the bike, but with the 400m or so to go, it's not really much of a concern. I ease up to make it fairly close. ;)

          Thanks to Katie for all these pics! I finished 23rd (out of 33), it was only one category. Single-speed racing is not my cup of tea! I picked a pretty good gear for me (something like 34x19), it felt okay for the first half, and then a bit big in the 2nd half. It was such a rolly course that cadence was changing constantly, from 60-110rpm. I'll stick to the geared riding! Big thanks to our team sponsor Eatmore Sprouts, who gave us a good dose of healthy deliciousness to bring home. =)

          All of Roland and Katie's pics are here, and Dave Silver also has an excellent gallery here. Normon and Wendy's race report is a hoot too, and be sure to check out the pics - i don't know if the one of the two OBB fairy's jumping over the firepit was coordinated, but it's a hilarious shot either way. =)

          This weekend is the double-header around Victoria, with one race in Saanich (Slugget Farm) and the other in Colwood at the Juan de Fuca grounds (site of our poor velodrome.)

          Keeping the training fairly tame this week. I meant to get out yesterday, but was feeling a bit under the weather (my Sunday - World Vegan Day - was uber-busy, from 11am-9:30pm), and Saturday was also a lot of time out (left at 9am, got home at 8pm), and was pretty stessed-out planning for both activities in the day leading up. I'm a little more accustomed to a slower pace. ;)

          Today (looks nice out!), will head out and see what the legs feel like, might just be a 2hr EM, considering some 'Hard/Harder' intervals that Normon and Wendy suggested..that'd be 4mins @ 300w, then 2mins harder, say 350w. Prolly chill Wed, and another 2hrs EM Thu, and then race the weekend!

          If anyone reading this is interested in helping out with the Velodrome Association, our AGM is on Thursday, details here.

          It also turns out that i'm going to be designing the final race course for the Cross on the Rock series, on Nov 22nd out at Shawnigan Lake School, this should be interesting.....! Will be heading out on Friday to scope out the terrain and basic course.

          Links & Such

          A few items that might be of interest to readers:

          Another Vegan Cycling & Cyclocross Blog
          My friend Tanya (aka Vegan Vegabond) maintains an entertaining blog, check it out!

          Pure Sweet Hell "Cyclocross Film" (Three Minute Trailer)

          Very authentic trailer, check it out!

          Alcohol Stunts ATP Production
          Interesting piece, i'm already aware that alcohol inhibits testosterone production (so not a great idea to drink after a workout), also turns out that it stunts ATP production, which sprinters rely on to fuel their muscles.

          A Vegan Feminist Lament
          A blog entry from Carol Adams (author of The Sexual Politics of Meat) - really great piece, here's a quote:

          "When vegans eat with meat eaters, many of us don’t see “meat.” We see the remains of a morally abandoned being, at the center of the table, being buried into the stomachs of those around us. We are not just supposed to be quiet, we are supposed to be polite."

          That's it for now, keep on riding!

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            About Me

            Dave Shishkoff
            aka Dave Noisy
            Victoria, BC

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

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