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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Monday, April 20, 2009

Rolling Through the Spring

Hello world - it's been a fun winter/spring!

Been getting out on the Niner a lot, loving life on the mountain bike and trails again. I'm typically out riding offroad 1-2 days a week. Sessions have been getting really long, when riding out (which is about 2hrs right there), i'm typically on the trails for another hour or two, plus there are often breaks...today i left at 9:30am, got home at 3:30pm, and had a FANTASTIC day! I jokingly posted this as my Facebook status this morning, and pretty much worked out that way:

"Dave is going to have such a magical day that Mickey Mouse is going to wear Dave's ears!"

hahahaha.. I wouldn't say the day was magical, but it was pretty fun to be out all day, and enjoy riding with friends (Ian, Rita, Roland and Mike.) The Dump is clearly uphill from my place.. Typically takes about 60-65mins to get to the top of the Meadowbrook trail from my house, but the ride back today only took 50mins, and that was in a headwind!

The time offroad has been really helpful i think, giving me what my elite cadre of cycling advisors (ECCA) are calling 'muscle toughness'. Over the years, training for the track has left me strong at 110+rpm, but below that and i start to suffer.. Well, i still suffer, but increasingly less-so. It was really obvious the last couple 'cross seasons (getting beat by people i'd stomp on the track!!), hopefully things will change a bit more this year... Basically, mountain biking is more demanding on the legs, and i've been leaving it in the middle chainring for almost all my riding, so there's a lot more grinding than one would ever do on the track...and that should pay off everywhere, including the track, where in theory i should be more comfortable with bigger gears...

My mission on the road has been pretty swell. As stated in my previous entry, i have two training focuses for 2009: sprinting and time trial power.  Got a lot of solid standing start sessions in earlier on, and have been developing sustained threshold efforts, which is something i've sucked at (ie, holding a threshold effort for 25mins, like in a TT or race longer than 25mins!) One goal is to be able to hold 300w for 25mins, which is about the time that kind of wattage should land me in the Sidney TT series. I'm able to hold ~260w for 30-40mins in my CTS Tempo workouts, and have been doing some uphill (Observatory) efforts of 300w - last time i did ~7:20 four times...so that's over 29mins holding 300w, although it's not the same going uphill, and with a larger break between efforts. I hope it suggests this is do-able tho. ;)

Got *most* of my summer bike together - Campy Chorus (10sp) and SRAM Red cranks. Get this, i went with compact (34t/50t) and 165mm. HA!

The compact allows me to spin a bit more on hills, and the 50t is actually very handy, allowing me to (EASILY) know exactly what gear i'm training in, relative to the track (ie, 50x15). The shorter crank arms also allows me to spin in sprints, and an added bonus is that in the TT position (and drops) i can get lower, as my knees aren't coming up so high (take note TT riders...also more efficient as your legs aren't spinning around quite as much, and one of the strongest TT riders *cough*IMMORTAL*cough* on the island swears by 'em. ;)

The frame is a Blue RC6, which is actually just a loaner. It's a pretty swell frame!! Surprisingly comfy, and very race-oriented design, which allows me to get as low as i want in the front.

It's just a temp that OBB is lending me (THANK-YOU!!) until my *real* summer bike arrives: the Ridley Noah Team, and yes, in GREEN. It's totally overkill for me, but hey, you only live once! I was going to get something much less exciting, but when i saw this, i couldn't resist. The real bonus is how well it'll double as a TT machine...but the main attraction is how advance it is as an aerodynamic race bike. I'll be swapping the parts off the Blue, and getting some fancy deep-dish wheels as well. This thing will fly, and i'll be winning all the group rides. =P

Racing has been slow to start, the track is still out of comission, which has been exceedingly frustrating. Haven't gone to any road events so far, although i'm planning to head out to Caleb Pike on Wednesday, assuming it's dry. That should hurt.

I've been in two MTB races tho - the Island Cup series is pretty fantastic! So far i've been racing Intermediate, as they end under 2hrs -- i'm not nearly ready for racing 2hr+ events! I'm still used to races that are under 13 seconds to 15-20minutes. Even 'cross races, which were 40-50mins, were brutal. (Tho hopefully that'll change this fall!)

First race was in Port Alberni, a very technical course with LOTS of mud. Had an awful start (had to go to car to get clothes, food, water, etc), passed all the other beginners and intermediate riders (26 total!) to finally catch the top women, and stuck with them for the second lap. Finished 3rd there. Second race in Cucumberland, much bigger field, and much better start, paced myself very well, and finished much closer in time to the top Intermediate rider, but only 6th.  Will likely remain in Intermediate for another 2-3 races, then should be strong enough to move up to the Expert field (which are typically 2-2.5hr races). Next race is this Sunday, Hammerfest in Parksville/Nanaimo - woot!!

I've been posting a lot of my training details online in my VeganFitness.net Training Log, including wattage output for many of my intervals (sprint and TT). That's the best place to get detailed info if you're curious.

Also, check out the VeganFitness.net Wattage Table, where those of us with wattage meters post our PBs, from 1sec to 2hrs, including w/kg breakdowns for each number. Pretty neat to see where everyone's strengths are! I've been pretty happy with my own results, i've gotten PB's in most areas in the last few months, so i continue to get stronger. =)

I've also posted photos from the last few months, check out my second Dave Noisy gallery, with mostly MTB shots, but also my new bikes, and other fun odds'n'ends.

The 2009 OrganicAthlete Victoria team has been coming together quite nicely! We've got more sponsors this year (including Eatmore Sprouts - how cool is that?!), and some new faces! Jen from 'cross joined us, as have Victoria new-comers Ian and Rita. Alyssa has also joined the team. Also new is Sarah, rounding out the women's team.  Emile and Kevin are returning and looking strong! Hopefully we'll see Evan too, assuming he isn't entirely consumed by work! There are a few others out there as well who have yet to make an appearance (David and Matt!) and some potential people (you know who you are. ;)

If there are any local vegans or like-minded people interested in joining the club, do contact us!! We're welcoming any riders who are looking for a bike club that that cares about the world more than race results. =)

See ya on the road or trails!!

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

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