Thursday, March 27, 2008

An Update

It has been sugeested to me that I get up out of the basement and do an update. Here goes.

I've just been really, really busy. Not just with the basment, but with team stuff. Amatuer hour in the basement is drawing to a close, and now it is time to bring in the pros, so hopefully that time suck will slow down a little.

If you are on the MOB, you know that I've been busy there also. The new MOB kits came in, and they rock! I hope we'll be seeing a lot of them this race season.

I've also started riding my bike to work whenever I can. Any day that I do, I get about two hours of riding in. Cool. I didn't ride today though. It looks like a frickin' winter wonderland out there right now.

Got to go. Later.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Remodeling Fun

We've been remodeling the basement, and decided to have a little fun.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Riding With Kids

It has sort of become my place to play the role of the seasoned adult on many of the group rides I participate in. I don't mind. Most of the reason for that is because I am an old man living in a college town. The kids come, and the kids go. It's always a little sad when they leave, but there always seems to be a new crop on their heels. When I can keep up, riding with the kids is great fun, and it is a great way to build up my fitness.

Today was another one of those days. Today's cast was (from front to back) Bryan Moritz, Matthew Hoffman, and Becca Finley.

This was to be my view for as long as I could hang with them.

It didn't look good from the start. Do you ever have one of those days where it feels like you are going to get dropped before getting out of town? That was me today. These kids are all strong riders, and I wasn't feeling it. That's a bad combination. After a bit I settled in, but anytime even the slightest hill appeared, I was off the back. I hung with them for an hour or so, but knowing the bigger hills were just up the road, I turned for home. It was fun while it lasted.

I cruised home with the wind for a while. Then, when I was close to the end, did some 30 sec sprint intervals to make sure that I was totally trashed by the time I got back to town.

It was good day, and I'm still smiling.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

WIll Winter Ever End?

I'm starting to get the awful feeling that this really is the beginning of the next Ice Age. I keep looking nervously to the north expecting see glaciers looming on the horizon. Even with all that OP and I went out for a ride today.

He showed up at my place at 9:00 sharp on his Ibex.

It was a little brisk (10 degrees) but it was great to get out and just ride!

The plan was to do a couple of hours on gravel before the sun worked its magic and turned our wonderful gravel tundra into gravel soup.

As you can see, there's still a bunch of snow out here in the country. That snow will all turn into broth for the gravel soup one day soon.

Paul got a little bonky towards the end. I could tell because he couldn't hold my wheel anymore. And that never happens. I prolly shouldn't be smiling about it.

We stopped any my place where he got a gel and some water, got unbonked, and then was was on his way home.

Up for tomorrow I think I'm up for an ass whoopin'. I'm getting out the road bike for the first time since some time back is August (I guess I've been a little too focused on the dirt/cross/gravel/ice lately). Its going to be an ass whoopin' cause Moritz, Hansen, and Hoffman are going. It should be fun, if I survive. Note to self, take a cell phone.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Weekend Plans

OK. Here's the deal. On Saturday it will be cold (5 degrees) in the morning. That means that the gravel will be blissfully slop-free for a few hours. I'm going to go out at about 9:00 for two hours. I'll probably head east on 170th. You are welcome to join me if you wish. You can ride out here, and we'll leave from here, you can ride with me in spirit, or you can just give me a call when I'm out riding. It's all up to you. If you wanna ride for more than two hours, you better start earlier, or mount fenders, cause its gonna get sloppy after 11:00 AM, and I want nothing to do with that right now.

For Sunday, I'm riding on pavement (GASP - I warned you) with Bryan and Matthew Hoffman (no, not that Mat Hoffman - I asked). We're leaving from the The Cafe at 10:00 AM. All are welcome. We plan to do about three hours, the direction will depend on the wind, and Bryan wants to go easy cause he's having some weird alien biopsies and probing done the following Tuesday. Going easy for him means balls to the wall for me, so it will be a great weekend!

If you want to join in the fun, leave a comment or give me a call at 515-290-7789.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Redemptive Suffering

Last week I said " . . . next week I'm back on the bike, regardless of the conditions".

Well here we are at next week. It's March, the first mountain bike race is in 6 weeks, and its time for me to add some intensity, regardless of the conditions outside.

So tonight I dusted off one of my trusty trainers. I'm proud of the fact that I have stayed of that implement of torture so far this winter. I did so hoping to avoid the burnout that comes from too much indoor riding. I've been riding outside when the opportunity presented itself, and have also been hiking, skiing, XC skiing, playing volleyball, etc., to keep myself from getting too soft. Another piece of good news is that I stepped in the scale this morning and my weight what the same (199 lbs) as when the season ended last year. Also, according to my scale, my muscle mass has also held steady. Now if I could just lose about 20 lbs of fat . . .

So anyway, enough messing around. My season began in earnest today with some real intensity. I did a blackout interval workout. That workout has become a real favorite on the trainer. It takes about two hours, but because you are mixing it up, the time goes pretty fast.

As usual, in the last phase (cruise intervals) I ramped up the intensity of the last two intervals to way past zone 5a. In in the last interval, I did nearly the whole thing in 5c (177+), and put it all out there for the last few minutes. I held my HR above 190 for a couple of minutes. At one point I saw 193 bpm. That is a new personal best for me. Last year my old high was 185 bpm. Conventional wisdom says that your max heart rate decreases a beat with each year. With training, mine seems to be increasing? Also following conventional wisdom my max should be 200-48(my age) = 172 bpm. I feel like I could ride all day at at 172 bpm. Whatever, I'll take it. I don't want to get too hung up on max heart rate, but it is nice to have the additional head room in a race. It's also good to see that I can put it close to the max and hold it for a while.

It really felt good to work that hard. It was definitely redemptive suffering.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Eighty cubed. That's the way I would describe our way home from Colorado. Why eighty cubed? I-80 * 80 mph * 80 degrees fahrenheit. That makes for a good trip home.

Some parting shots.

The mountain:

The Half-Pipe

Time to go home, cause everyone else discovered this place:

Next year . . .