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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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    Dave Shishkoff
    aka Dave Noisy
    Victoria, BC

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