Snowing and Sick

11026057_10152674493546711_3574487263593300085_nThe past 7+ days have mostly consistent of it snowing a LOT in Colorado (4th snowiest February on record!) and me blowing up radioactive colored chunks of mucous. Fun times… Nah, not really. After forced rest from training followed by too many days riding indoors, I finally threw on as many layers as I could and ventured out for a few hours in bloody cold weather (-9C). It’s manageable as long as the roads are dry and it’s not sleeting.

One cool part of the last week is that I had another US national track champion contact me asking about the SRM rail mount that I designed. That got me off my ass and back to the drawing board to figure out a more final design. I’ve got a kickstarter in the approval cue, a couple possible manufacturers, and a video I need to finish.

11037572_10152674005536711_7681298299173923022_oGetting closer to the final design!

Gluing

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When life serves you a dose of sickness, why not turn that into an opportunity to get your pre-season tubular gluing done! I broke out my trusty can of Continental Rim cement and completed the mission… Well, the first thin layers.

Sick

I guess 6 weeks of not missing a single training ride and not getting sick was a good run considering my exposure to the daily germs that get brought home from my kid’s daycare. Somewhat good timing as Colorado is in the process of getting hit with a ton of snow. Time to do stuff that doesn’t get done when I have to train!

It’s all about that buzz…

It’s been a while since my last post and the blog was looking a bit lame when I removed my old sponsors (I’m riding without a team or any official sponsors) so I got rid of the older heavily customized wordpress theme I was using and replaced it with this more generic one. Keep it simple, right!

Last year I finally made the jump from mechanical to electronic Dura-Ace… I liked it so much I decided to throw a similar setup on my time trial bike.

2015-2-14_dura-ace_di2

Along with the groupset upgrade I figured I should get a newer frame to replace the decade old relic that I’ve been riding.

felt_bicycles_da1_frameset_2015If all things go to plan, I should be adding a 2015 Felt DA1 to my existing race quiver (2014 FC road bike and TK1 track bike) very soon.

I’m now about 5 weeks into working with a new coach, and thankfully I’ve gone from somewhat hating / needing a break from cycling, to being really motivated. Training has been going great and it’s nice to see some decent fitness gains already. I can’t wait to get stuck into some Colorado racing this season; however, there’s still 6-7 weeks more work to be done before that happens.

Live High, Train Low

Since moving from sea level (Hawaii) to moderately high altitude (Denver, and now Parker) training has definitely been a struggle. It took a good 6+ months before I finally felt somewhat normal vs. wanting to pass out during intervals at 6000ft. I worked with a coach for some of 2013 and most of 2014 but never really saw any tangible gains. The coach likely new what he was doing, but unfortunately not so versed in the challenges of LH-TH (Live High, Train High). In an ideal world, athletes follow a LH-TL (Live High, Train Low) lifestyle. This is feasible in locations such as Utah where you can live high in Park City, and drive down to Salt Lake City and train low; however, it’s not possible to drive to a location with low altitude as that simply doesn’t exist within a realistic driving distance. I recently read anything and everything I could on the topic of altitude training and also bugged someone with 20+ years of experience with world class athletes and altitude.

As such, I’ve got a few changes for 2015.

– A new coach
– Better knowledge of living/training at altitude and a plan to manage my training a lot better (LT-TL)
– A race calendar that’s already planned out vs. 2014 where I only raced a few times (The least racing I’ve done since 1995 other than the first year I was in Colorado and did zero racing)
– No team and no sponsors (Can’t say I didn’t try; However, finding a team in Colorado just never gained much traction. I’m either too slow, too old, not old enough, or live in the wrong zip code)

I’m back!

A few months ago I flipped the off switch on my blog and unplugged myself from a lot of cycling stuff for various reasons – No real point in going into the details. It’s the first day of a new year so the past is the past. Now that I’ve had time to reflect, assess what went wrong in 2014, and what I want to achieve in 2015, it’s time to look a head and get back to work on becoming the fastest ~35yr old cyclist I can be.

Happy New Year!

Hilton Staycation

Last week I had a few days of vacation from work then 2 days spent at my companies annual business meeting at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. The last night we stayed at the hotel and it was so good we decided to stay there for a second day. Between the meeting and hotel stay I didn’t get to train on Thu, Fri or Sat, which probably resulted in some much needed R&R. One of my sponsors it the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island but I hadn’t stayed at their Waikiki location until now.

Long overdue update

Wow, I guess the last time I did an update, Denver was cold (snow), and I was living in Denver. Fast forward a few months and I’ve moved down to Parker, it’s definitely not cold (Frequently reaches temps above 90F), and I’ve done a bit of racing among other things.

I went to Texas in mid May with non-race-ready legs to race the Matrix Cup at the Superdrome in Frisco. It was cool to go back there as that’s where I won my first two national champion medals/jerseys at Master nationals in 2010 (before the UCI decided to scrap the 30-34 age group). While my results weren’t anything worth writing about, it was good to get stuck into some racing, and come away from the weekend with lessons learned and all my skin intact. There were definitely a few close shaves and plenty potential for crashing.

Last weekend I headed down to Colorado Springs to race the US Grand Prix of Colorado. This year it was a UCI Class 1 event so I wanted to use it to bag as many UCI points as possible. The first event on Friday morning was the scratch rate and the field was plenty stacked… Tim Veldt (Silver medalist at track worlds earlier this year), various other riders with World Cup track racing experience, and some of the best riders in the US. The race went from good to bad pretty quick as I couldn’t breathe… I got lapped once, fought as hard as I could, but could only manage 16th out of 17 riders. Not great. I didn’t have any asthma medication with me so I ended up getting medical attention which was bloody nice. The medic was pretty shocked when she listened to my lungs with a stethoscope… After that I got my bike ready for the individual pursuit – an event I’ve been training pretty specifically for since last year. The first heat was Andrew Herzfeld, but he decided to scratch when the official deemed his extensions about an inch too long. So, instead of having 5mins to wrap up my prep, get my helmet and aeroshoes on etc., the officials decided it would be cool to start yelling at me to get to the start line. I had a mad scramble to get ready and was told I didn’t have time to put on my aero shoes. Jeez, thanks asshole! The same official that fucked my pursuit at nationals last year was playing the same BS. I chose to just ignore his stupidity and get to the line. I rode a 54×14 which was definitely adventurous, but managed to cover the 4km in 4min 56sec. Not blistering fast, but 10+ seconds faster than I’ve ever gone at COS. I’ll take it! That result got my 9th in the IP and put me in about 12th overall in the omnium. Again, not great, but that’s a good chunk of UCI points to hold onto!

After a long afternoon break, I was back at the track at 7pm for the evening session (Elimination Race). I lined up on the black line, and after a crappy push from my holder, scrambled to get onto the wheel of Tim Veldt. Seemed like a good wheel to follow! Lap after lap passed and I felt pretty good for once with rider after rider getting eliminated. Man, I might have finally got this elimination race figured out! Not so fast… I see my official buddy on the back straight pointing at the bunch calling a rider out. I pointed at myself and shouted “me”? to which I got a nod in response. I wasn’t aware of where I’d been eliminated, but dropped down the track a little baffled. After packing up my gear, the head official came over to me and told me that I was disqualified due to continuing for 3 laps after I was told to get off the track. Evidently there was a display of some sort track side with eliminated rider numbers on it… During the race I was trying to hold my position while a Trinidad rider was doing his best to push me down onto the apron so wasn’t exactly focusing on anything left of the track surface. After walking around and explaining what went down to my wife, I went back to talk to the official to make sure there was no problem with me racing the remaining events. That was not to be, I was told that it was a “harsh decision”, but my weekend of racing was over. I tried my best to explain myself to the official (Andy McCord) but he didn’t care to hear anything I had to say. Nice, great way to promote the sport. Weekend officially ruined along with a nice stack of UCI points gone along with it. Fuck. I should have gone to Japan to race like I originally planned.

Before the weekend of racing I taught myself Autodesk Illustrator so that I could design a rail mount for my SRM. I’ve seen all sorts of creative methods of attaching powercontrols to saddles etc. but none of them looked that great. Fast forward a week or so and I had a mount designed and the 3d print of the prototype arrived the day before the race in Colorado Springs. I got to test it out for a few events and it worked perfectly. After COS, I made some more refinements to the design and have revision 2 ordered. There’s been some solid interest in it from a few riders I know along with a 2x Olypian, so hopefully it’ll be whizzing around on the bikes of some fast folks before too long.

Spring Rollercoaster

Compared to the weather forecast in Hawaii (80F with a +/- fluctuation in temp of about 5 degrees), Colorado’s weather is definitely more of a rollercoaster! It teases you with 70F temps and a cool breeze (perfect for training) on day, the follow that up with arctic conditions more suitable for huskies and a sled! Fortunately, the weather seems to have been playing ball around my training schedule (crap on Wed when I have an OFF day, and great on the weekends when I have longer rides.