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, March 26, 2012

Just a few updates!

Island Cup MTB #2 - Cobble Hill

'Hill' is an understatement, with massive amounts of climbing (i climbed 766m in 20km that day!), but even tho i'm far from being a climber, the course was really fun, with amazing sections of singletrack that wound their way back down. Finished 11th in Intermediate Men, happy with that. I stopped to help out Roland tho, he was having some troubles with his new bike (a 29er!) and i knew i was far from contention for the podium, so thought i'd give him a hand (his chain got behind his cassette.)

Here's my Strava data:

OA Victoria Club Accomplishments

Updated our chart of our Chapter race results, check it out! This year the OrganicAthlete Victoria cycling team will mainly consist of Jennie, Marty and myself, look out for us on the roads and trails!

Vegan Origins

Peter (@ReadyForPlanB on Twitter) has a cool 'Vegan Testimonials' project with over 50 stories of why people went vegan, and here's mine! For those who've ever wondered why i went vegan. =)

Video: Home Powered By Cyclists
This is is a amazing video (i share videos pretty rarely), but this is of a 'normal family' who's home is powered by 80 cyclists for a day, it provides an amazing visualization of how much energy appliances use: http://youtu.be/uVK6w1Fldxw
From Vega: Superfoods Nutrition Chart

I'm not sold on the 'superfood' idea, i think it's just food - but this is still a neat chart with a breakdown of nutrients in a number of particularly nutritious foods.

A Big Ride

I've been enjoying the longer rides, so this weekend was a pretty solid go - on Friday i went for an MTB ride, Saturday was the OBB ride (got 4th in the sprint) and added a bit more for 117km, and then Sunday i went all out, logging over 5hrs and 150km, and just a little elevation:

Victoria Vegan Festival!

Will wrap this up with a blog posting with an exciting event coming up, the 1st ever Victoria Vegan Festival, from Friends of Animals and Sarah's Place, to be on Canada Day, July 1st in Market Square - it's gonna be an amazing celebration of veganism in the city! Check out our side for more: http://VictoriaVeganFest.com

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    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    Some 'Aero Testing', 1st MTB Race of the Year

    Hey there sports fans!

    Last week i went to the track to do my 2x20m session, and i thought i'd try a few different positions while i was out there, and see if there was much of a difference (i think this is a variation of the Chung Test!)

    Since it was 2x20min, i figured i'd try different hand positions for 10min periods. The weather was pretty good, but cool. Very little breeze. The only significant change was that the sun was setting so the first 20min i was in the sun and the area was a bit warmer. It felt cooler the second effort...in theory that ought to mean a slightly slower time, but it's probably not a significant issue in this case.

    I was on my winter bike (fenders) and my hand positions were:

    #1 - middle of the bar tops
    #2 - hoods, arms flatish, bent over a bit more
    #3 - middle of the tops, same as #1, maybe a bit lower
    #4 - drops

    Here's the wattage (AP) and speed for each 10min segment:

    273w / 34.8kph
    270w / 35.3kph
    267w / 34.7kph
    260w / 35.2kph

    #1 and #3 are fairly close, as expected. #2 and #4 are more interesting. It's a bit more speed in the first, and #4 is really significant as the watts were a fair bit lower (getting tired), but the speed was about the same as riding 10w harder - so in theory at ~35kph riding in the drops saves me over 10w.

    I'll try to mirror this in my next few efforts, see what results!

    Also, the first Island Cup MTB race was last Sunday here at Hartland (The Dump!), and i had a pretty good event. There were some good duels with other riders, and my main focus was maintaining a certain pacing strategy - ensuring i ease off on the gas before particular technical sections (like the technical bits going up Crazy Horse, Rollie Ridge and that nasty grade at the end of Crossover) and i managed to get PBs in my lap times (30min, 32mins), and much better than i was expecting (32-35min). Last year i was so gassed that i'd hit a few of these sections and have to get off the bike to get over the technical bits. This year i planned to get off and use my CX skills in a few spots (that nasty bit on the climb on Crazy Horse, and the big, wide rocky corner on Skull Trail, which i normally ride, but knew it'd be faster just to run), and then ensure i have gas in the tank for the others (which i did!) So, well planned.

    Admittedly i eased off on the first half of Shock Treatment as it was really muddy and got some in my eye the first lap...so could have snipped a little more time if i wasn't slowing down for puddles...i'm such a fair-weather weeny. ;)

    I rolled into the finish, and goofed around before the line, delaying 10-15seconds, and then there was a riding coming up behind so i weaved over across the line, but they scored him in front of me - boo! So 11th in Intermediate (B) Men. Whatev's, i know i beat that guy. =P

    Planning to head up to Cobble Hill next week for #2 in the series, and avoid the second VCL (local road race series) on a hilly course.

    Safe riding!

    PS - here's the poll from my last entry, if you haven't voted already, when do you find you perform best?

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      Friday, March 02, 2012

      It's 2012 Time!

      Happy Spring everyone! How do we know it's spring? Why, i shaved my beard, so it must be spring. =)

      Bye-bye Beardy! Not how i look now!

      Training has been great, logging solid miles and watts, if you're not on Strava, you should be! Very fun program, works if you've got a GPS unit (including apps for Android and iPhones!) It's free, and tracks your ride (and runs any other activities) and keeps track of 'segments', which are sections of road people have programmed in, such as hills and regular ride routes. It's fun to see if you were moving particularly fast in a part of the ride, here's a short spin from Thursday as an example:

      You can see there that i moved pretty fast up King George Terrace this day (chasing Clay).

      Another cool feature of the site is that it's also social, so you 'follow' other riders (near-by friends, friends in other cities, and even a number of pros like Clara Hughes and Simon Whitfield!) Every day you get an email listing all the rides from the last day, and you can log into the site and there's a timeline of those rides as well, where you can comment, heckle or complement others in your cycling community.

      My profile is here (follow me!) and check out my "Following" page to find a bunch of other cool peeps, local and abroad. It all makes a bit more sense when you start following a few peeps, and log into the 'Dashboard' page. =)

      It's 2012!

      So, what's in store for this year.. I think i'll go back to focusing on the track. Despite my strong disagreement with the behaviour of the GVVA board, track is still my 'strength', and it would be silly to give it up. Will focus on bunch races, Keirins and Madisons.

      On the road, will continue to give'er. The new VCL schedule is out, and amazingly a lot more flat races, with several Western Speedway and Windsor Park (on several Sunday mornings!!) crits - that's more my style!

      Oddly, been enjoying the longer rides too, was out for nearly 5hrs a couple weekends ago with Sarah Stewart, and actually *enjoyed* it - insane! Check it:

      A Year Later, Road Tubeless

      I've been riding road tubeless tires for well over a year now (Oct 2010?), and there are some good points and bad points. (Road tubeless tires are like MTB tubeless tires - there's no tube, just a strong seal between the tire and the rim, and usually goo that seals punctures.)

      The best is that i've had 2 flats in that time - the first all i had to do was stop and put some more air in the tire as it resealed. The second was 'catastrophic' and (heaven forbid) had to put in a tube (had nearly forgotten how that works!)

      For a winter riding set-up, it's amazing. The typically wider rims make for a solid contact patch, and can run lower pressure if so desired (i'm typically 90-100psi, ~160lbs). The rolling resistance is pretty good as well.

      There are some downsides, there is a very limited selection of tires (really, two from Hutchinson, and one from Maxxis. Overall i like the Maxxis better. There is one from Specialized as well, but it's really just a re-labeled Hutch.) Due to the low development, weight is still very high. The listed weights are very conservative, and i'm finding they're typically 20g heavier (ie, 290-310g.) Sure, we're not using tubes, but there's still goop in there, so overall weight is a fair bit higher on a race set-up.

      The other real bummer is a near complete lack of non-OEM compatible rims. About the only option is from Stan's, and i've had a terrible experience with the Alpha340's. First failure was a 24h laced to my PowerTap - after ~3 months of road use i found 3 nipples pulling out of the rim. They said 'use the 32h' (that helps with my 24h PowerTap hub..) But ironically, a couple weeks later, my 32h PowerTap from my winter bike ALSO had the exact same problem. (Although i had ridden it a fair bit longer.)

      I replaced the 24h with another Stan's rim, and it's blowing up now as well (it lasted 2mos of CX racing.) The 32h was replaced with an OpenPro, which i managed to convert to tubeless, but is barely worth the effort - 7 layers of their tape and about 30minutes of fuckery with the air compressor i managed to get a tire to inflate. I do NOT recommend converting OpenPro rims to tubeless and am on the lookout for a 32h replacement rim.

      This summer i'll not be racing tubeless (although did last year). Hoping to build up my 24h PowerTap to a Zipp 303 or 404 Firecrest (and get a matching front wheel.) Gonna try out latex tubes and go back to my trusty Conti GP 4000S tires (which i've had good puncture resistance with, just don't let anything touch the sidewall!!) I'm taking suggestions for other clincher deeper rims that my shop can build...

      On a bright note, the 2Bliss/2BR Captain CX tires from Specialized were freaking BRILLIANT. I struggled with the non-tubeless version (mega-burping), and was so happy to get these. In testing, i got down to 20psi with no burping (although it was really waaay too squishy to ride in anything but thick sand or mud in a straight line.) Most of my racing was in the 28-35psi range (i suspect this translates to a lower pressure w/tubes). I will be getting a non-PowerTap tubeless wheelset for CX this fall. (I've found training/racing with power for CX is nearly pointless...i'm really better off guessing my efforts in relation to TSS, etc..)

      A Few Fun Pics

      Here's a few select shots from my RideCam32 gallery:

      Doesn't look like much...is that a potato in my spokes? heh - fell off the counter and stuck there.

      Here's a shot of my 'cockpit' on the winter bike (Ridley Orion). Got the PowerTap since it's an older wired model, the Garmin Edge 500 (best cycling computer!!!) and of course a little bell, totally Pro. ;)

      The Serfas True250 light has been fantastic for road riding as well. 250 Lumens is plenty, can get 2x 2.5hr rides on one charge, and really convenient/fast quick-release mount. Easy to stash in the pocket too if heading out when light and not sure if you'll need it.

      Came across this bullet-bike on a night ride along Dallas, apparently the guy bought it 'for fun'! Really got it moving too!

      This shot's from riding back along Lagood Rd from the Boxing Day TT (which i won!!!) That's Megarath and Alex Hui up ahead.

      Let's Wrap This Up

      So race season really begins next week, there's the VCL at Caleb on Sunday (Mar 11), but i'll be going to the Dump for the Island Cup MTB race. From there will be a few more road and MTB races, and hopefully the track opens in April.

      In the vegan food world, a few recent highlights are the peanut butter chocolate swirl coconut So Delicious, their coconut-milk yogurt, the burgers from Gardein (so very good), and the mandarin orange Crispy Chick'n...SO YUMMY. I've been finding the Vega Sport protein to be handy, and they've launched their new Vega One product as well (updating the Whole Food Meal Replacement).

      Jon Watkins has started a blog for local cycling race stuff, check it: http://victoria-bike-racing.blogspot.com/

      Are you on Google+? I'm actually liking it better than Facebook or Twitter, and post neat stuff there regularly, circle me and say hi!

      That's aboot it, let's wrap it up with a poll, feel free to discuss any topics below as well:

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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!

        Organic Athlete

        Oak Bay Bicycles

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