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, August 17, 2010

Letter to the Editor re: Velodrome

The Times Colonist published my letter to the editor today, you can check it out here:


It's been pretty heavily edited, below is the original of what i submitted, for your reading pleasure:
Dear Editor,

It’s been two years since Colwood Mayor Dave Saunders, Les Bjola and the rest of the West Shore Parks and Recreation Society (WSPRS) Society locked the Greater Victoria Velodrome Association (GVVA) and all other users out of the velodrome.

Much to the surprise of many, yes, the velodrome still sits there, idle. It’s fenced in, but is just as usable as it was two years ago, before the WSPRS’s failed bid to fill it in and build a new soccer stadium. It’s an undeniable fact that this facility remains one of the best velodromes in all of North America - even after two years of complete neglect.

Instead of allowing user groups to return, WSPRS maintains their commissioned ‘safety report’ as a reason for the track to remain closed. In doing so, WSPRS loses income opportunities from multiple groups that would utilize it, preventing numerous local groups from benefiting from this Commonwealth legacy. Not only do velodrome enthusiasts use it for training and racing, but several other cycling and triathlon clubs also used it. Youth cycling, including elementary and high school programs would also visit the track. Why? Because the velodrome is the safest place to ride a bicycle on Vancouver Island, and coaches can keep an eye on people at ALL times. It’s ideal for many cycling uses, including parents who’d bring their kids to learn to ride a bike.

Income is also being denied to the Juan de Fuca Recreation Center, as none of these groups are contributing any longer, and instead WSPRS goes further into the red in payment for the temporary fencing. How does this make any sense when the Center is already so short of cash?

The safety report itself is specious at best. One example claims the movable goal posts a hazard. (Yes, the operative word is movable, and a two foot push is all anyone had to do to negate this ‘concern’.) The GVVA has offered to fulfill and address every single concern, including spending money to patch the worn infield, which isn’t even used by the velodrome users. (Might I add that the WSPRS has neglected the artificial surface for years, and was to have put aside money for this inevitability, yet now expects the GVVA to pay for it if we are to access the velodrome ever again. How is that ultimatum in any way fair?)

Mayor Saunders and the WSPRS have been petty and small-minded in these affairs, and it is their neglect and failed interests that denies Victoria’s cycling community fair use of an important and desired facility.

Victoria pro-cyclist Ryder Hesjedal had an amazing Tour de France, and has on numerous times spoken in favor of our velodrome, and its special place in our community. Even his concerns seem unconvincing, and fall on deaf ears as well. (I wonder how would WSPRS respond of Ryder asked to train on the velodrome?)

We’ve heard enough excuses; if Saunders really wants to prove his support for cycling, it’s time he worked with the GVVA and developed a plan to allow users to return, and post haste. We could have a couple months of usage this year, if he would simply relent and try working with us instead of against us. And it would involve little more from the WSPRS than handing over a key.

Dave Shishkoff
Director of Racing & Events
Greater Victoria Velodrome Association

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    Sunday, August 15, 2010

    Bike Bike Bike Bike Bike

    Lot's more riding going on!

    Thu, Aug 5th - Over/Under's

    Back up to the Ob for my pre-CX prep, the lovely Over/Under intervals. Tonight looked something like:

    2mins U (260w) - get's me past the second gate
    1min O (350w) - ends a bit before the first little steep bit before the switchback
    2min U - gets me about 1/2 way up the first steep bit after the switchback
    1min O - gets me to the first level of buildings
    1min U - gets me about to the fire hydrant
    1min O - top!

    4mins rest ride back to the bottom...

    293w total average suggests a 'perfect' effort (ie, 5x260w + 3x350w /8), and they looked a little like this:

    #1 - 298w
    #2 - 292w
    #3 - 290w
    #4 - 289w

    Slacking a bit for the final one, but overall pretty happy with my first set for the season.

    Sat, Aug 7 - CCC Dallas Drag!

    Another awesome event from Capital City Cycles, it was a wet night (after a couple days of rain) but didn't actually rain. Rode the OBB ride in the morning, logged 1.75hrs there, went moderately hard...solo'd away from the pack, made it to the sprint point with lots of time to spare, so stopped and took pics of the rest of the 'sprint'...no one really very eager in the rain...haha

    But the Dallas Drag was a hoot, about 20 peeps out, mostly fixies. Course started at the top of Beacon Hill, and then basically along Dallas and Beach Dr to the Gyro Park in the Caddy Bay village.

    I was expecting an ITT, but turned out to be a mass-start event...wooot! I wasn't feeling terribly motivated, so this was prolly helpful for results...hehe..

    We all took off, and after a minute a group of us formed along Dallas, strung out..sat in for a few mins, then got to the front and eased up the pace, pulling up by St Charles, and pulling off there. Halldor and Colin were still in contact, i got on the back..

    On KGT (King George Terrace) Halldor hammered up (he was riding fixed). I wasn't too worried, i knew he'd lose speed on the descent so i just maintained a strong chase. Unfortunately Colin underestimated how hard we'd hit it, so he fell back..

    Came down the other side, and caught Halldor fairly quickly, passed by and maintained a steady pace. Colin had just about bridged up, but we were heading up the hilly by the golf course, which is deceptively tough...not a lot of elevation, but long enough to make people suffer.

    Halldor set the pace up the hill and Colin fell further back. We rolled along Beach Drive, exchanging pulls, keeping a nice steady pace. We were approaching the incline by Willow's, and i was contemplating making a move there....we got up the hill and decided to leave it for the final...i was feeling fairly good, but Halldor had lasted this long, so i would really have to hurt myself to get away, and then have to sustain that...hahaha

    I figured early on the race would be won on the final, Uplands hill, if there were anyone still together....

    Halldor pulled off for me to lead the beginning of the ascent. That made me a little nervous, i wouldn't be able to see him if he attacked... But given that he's riding a fixed, and pretty big gear at that, i eased up...harder to spin up a big gear like that. ;)

    He didn't like that tho, and picked up the pace, expressing concern about Colin who was gaining on us.

    The thing about the Uplands hill is that the incline isn't what gets you, it's the 250m or so at the top before the ascent...so i sat on Halldor's wheel and planned my move for that. He was really hoofing it at this point, 20 seconds above 500w. He would have to be a monster to be able to sustain that, so i just stayed on him....

    At the top he pulled off, and i responded by maintaining that pace. I put it all on, averaging nearly 400w for a minute and a half, and pulling clear of Halldor and making some solid distance as i hit the final descent.

    I looked back, and had 50m on him - woot!! Who loves what's essentially a sprint after a hard climb? =P

    I eased off and was able to coast pretty much the rest of the way...

    Entire effort was 22:21, averaged 276w (321NP), but i coasted the last minute plus. Up to then, i averaged 295w for 20mins, which is a new PB for me! (NP 327w.) Course was about 13.9km (just a hair longer than the OA-TT.) Less elevation on this one tho.

    Halldor finished maybe 30 seconds off, and Colin, who worked his ass off all alone, was pretty close just behind him. Lot's of great efforts from the other fixies and riders, great to see peeps putting it out there!!

    Looking forward to doing this again some time. =)

    Tue, Aug 10 - OA-TT

    Speaking of which, back at it! A little bit slower, but i was feeling fairly fatigued...

    Anyway, here's the breakdown:

    Effort #6, Aug 10rd
    Section:  #1    #2    #3    TOT
    Time:     7:43  8:36  5:08  21:21
    Watts:    290w  266w  279w  278w
    HR:       174   182   184   180
    RPM:      102   104   105   103
    Spd:      38.1  38.4  40.1  38.8

    I got really hung up at Corner #1, a truck towing a boat was turning right in front of me, had to slow down quite a bit... Scroll down to the last entry to compare my previous five efforts. HR was a LOT lower than the last few times...another sign of my fatigue. Watts were a bit lower, but again, i think i'm putting out more when needed, and easing off when not....NP was 291w, so where they ought to be.

    Good efforts from other riders, nice to see Hugh out! Don set a new course record, down to 18:23... If this heat continues, it may fall again this Tuesday! Details here: http://bit.ly/oavic-tt

    Sun, Aug 15th - SIMBS Poker Run

    Rode the Russ Hayes ride on Thursday, decided i was a bit too tired to do intervals, and would just try and sit in... It was a slower ride overall, but still went harder than i would have liked...haha Sat planned the same thing, some big efforts around the airport and up Panorama, but managed to hang with the front. Eased off quite a bit after that.

    Sunday rode out to the Dump with Chelsea and Halldor for the SIMBS Poker Run, a fun 'orienteering' type event where you ride to four different points at the Dump, and collect poker cards at each one, and then play at the end. Rode with Chelsea and Emily for this (Halldor wanted to hammer, and took off like a bullet!) We cruised and rode most of my regular route, getting cards along the way.

    Got back, and had crappy cards, which worked out fine as i won 'Worst Hand', 9 high! hahaha

    Fun day:

    Lotsa riding this week, got my TSS a bit too high, so will suffer next week, methinks:

    Ending     Duration Distance Weight HR  TSS kJ
    15/08/2010 11:36:58 313.48   72.0   152 779 7164

    Yerp...better off just edging over 700, not working my way through it...hehe..

    So this week, OA-TT on Tue, more O/U intervals on Thu if feeling decent, easier OBB ride on Sat as i'm hoping to jump in on the Pro City Hurricane Ridge ride.....yip! Gotta get up that hill some time this year...

    Ride on!

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      Wednesday, August 04, 2010

      Taking A Bit More T Out Of The TT

      It's been a slow couple weeks since the last update..

      Let's see:

      Sun, Jul 25th - Windsor Park Crit

      My favourite race course, but i was having an off day... Stuck with the pack for 10mins, but then got dropped...the surging was killing me. And we were averaging over 44kph. Hit over 800w nearly 30 times in that period. Gah.

      Long story short, fell off, rode solo, caught another shelled rider, worked together, pack came around..lasted 6mins, again, jam after jam... The guys at the front were keeping up a punishing pace, and it was impossible for me to move further up in the pack at that point... Solo'd again, and then found Peter Lawless, we chased for a while, then the pack came back, but i couldn't even stick at that point, rode solo for the rest of the race. Luckily not a 'big' event, so i finished DFL, which i'll gladly take over DNF! 50mins of pain tho.

      Kinda sucks, as i should have been in there...the lack of having a track is really cutting into my high-end. =(

      The following week i took off completely, chilled, no riding except for some commuting. A bit of a 'reset' as i start my build for CX.

      Sat, Jul 31st - OBB Ride

      Plan was to take it easy. Didn't. First day back on the bike after 6 days off..silly me. Hung with the (big!) pack until Brentwood, and i was really starting to feel like crap, so dropped off. A small group of us rode tempo back into town, it was what i needed at that point.

       Entire workout (196 watts):
          Duration:      2:55:27
          Work:          2038 kJ
          TSS:           233 (intensity factor 0.899)
          Norm Power:    242
          VI:            1.23
          Distance:      95.702 km
                           Min    Max    Avg
          Power:           0    974    196     watts
          Heart Rate:      90    190    161     bpm
          Cadence:         20    128    95     rpm
          Speed:           0    67.2    33.0     kph

      A rude return...haha..

      Sun, Aug 1st - 9:15am MTB Ride

      Thought i'd hook up with this group, hoping they were going for an easier ride...and hadn't ridden the MTB for a while.


      Hammered out to Partridge Hills (up by Durrance Lake), the road aspect was fine as it was relatively steady, but i didn't really want to hammer in the trails....it seems these guys go at race pace once they're off-road! We enter in a spot i've never been - some sweet singletrack in there! (Check the map, you can go in and ride, there's only one trail.) My tech. skills were sucking, plus it's something i'm bad at: the loose dirt and crumbling wood/'sawdust'...so they were gone pretty quick. There was a hike-a-bike portion up to another road, and i just told them to go ahead. I didn't want to slow them down, and wasn't feeling like a hammerfest.

      So i rode back the way i'd come, and really enjoyed the trail in there. Got back to the road, and headed further up to the 'back' entrance to Hartland, and climbed up the back side of the Regional Trail. Bombed down Who's Yer Daddy, went up Inventive, across to the far side of Rollie Ridge, and then cut back down, Skull Trail, over to Shock Treatment and then out Executive, and the road home.

      Started rather unpleasant, but ended well-enough. =)

      Here's the Garmin data:

      Yip - nearly 750m of climbing...haha.. I guess there's a 'mountain' in mountain biking for a reason. ;)

      Tue - OA TT

      Yay - some more success!

      Managed to shave ANOTHER 10 seconds off my previous times!! Down to about 21:18.

      A few more peeps out this time, 7 in total. We timed the start pretty well, most of us finished in the same minute..haha..

      Wattage much more accurate this time around, let's take a boo - weather conditions were great, btw, ~21C and a slight breeze (~3kph) that seemed mainly in my face on section #2:

      Effort #5, Aug 3rd
      Section:  #1    #2    #3    TOT
      Time:     7:42  8:31  5:08  21:18
      Watts:    295w  278w  280w  285w
      HR:       179   190   190   186
      RPM:      100   102   103   102
      Spd:      38.0  38.7  40.3  38.8

      This reflects how i felt after the 2nd corner - really suffered around that portion... HR was quite high, and kept my cadence up too. Here's the others for comparison:

      Effort #1, Apr 20th
      Section:  #1    #2    #3    TOT
      Time:     8:30  9:10  4:56  22:36
      Watts:    305w  267w  274w  283w
      HR:       174   182   184   180
      RPM:      97    97    99    97
      Spd:      34.4  36.4  41.5  36.8

      Effort #2, May 4th
      Section:  #1    #2    #3    TOT
      Time:     8:24  9:01  5:08  22:32
      Watts:    291w  278w  286w  285w
      HR:       174   184   186   181
      RPM:      99    99    102   100
      Spd:      34.7  36.7  40.7  36.8

      Effort #3, May 18th
      Section:  #1    #2    #3    TOT
      Time:     8:36  8:57  4:56  22:28
      Watts:    281w  270w  268w  274w
      Est.Wts:  292w  281w  279w  286w
      HR:       175   185   187   182
      RPM:      101   102   103   102
      Spd:      33.8  37.1  42.1  36.9

      Effort #4, June 20th (watts kinda wacky)
      Section:  #1    #2    #3    TOT
      Time:     8:12  8:49  4:53  21:55
      Watts:    281w  260w  265w  269w
      HR:       179   187   188   184
      RPM:      99    103   107   103
      Spd:      35.5  37.5  42.0  36.9

      Wattage was a wee bit lower, although my NP was actually a bit higher, at 292w, and keep in mind that i coasted for a fair bit down a few of the hills....so those zeros bring it down quite a bit!

      I crushed the first two portions, i had to double-check the first one! But i suffered for the effort at the end..

      Gonna keep the TT's rolling each Tuesday until the end of August, check out http://bit.ly/oavic-tt for more details (and full results) if you'd like to join us!

      Will likely take tomorrow off, and on Thu head up to the Ob for a return to the Over/Under intervals....yip!

      Later taters!

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        About Me

        Dave Shishkoff
        aka Dave Noisy
        Victoria, BC

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