Archives for January 2013

Rocky Hill Ranch – Cat 3 Full Loop

Full Cat 3 race loop at Rocky Hill Ranch, ridden 2 weeks before 2013 race

Black bars appearing on [Read more…]

Week 2 Training Report

Well, 2 weeks of training are in the books and I am happy to report that I am still on track.

The weather was flat out gorgeous here this week with temps in the mid to upper 70’s, even breaking into the 80’s. That is pretty insane for January, but I’ll take it. Hopefully this doesn’t mean this summer will be temps in the 110’s…

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Tuesday’s ride was 3 sets of 8 minute Steady State intervals with 6 minutes of rest between. I knocked these out on Betty down at the park doing laps on the 1 mile dirt loop. While the ride isn’t all that exciting, it is a great place to do this kind of riding. Turnin’ Cranks as I usually refer to it, I can slap in some ear buds and jam out while getting my time in. It’s rare that anyone is out there and I’ll only occasionally see someone out there jogging or walking their dog. I feel much safer than road riding and I can still get in consistent training levels!

Thursday’s ride was more of the same. I stretched that ride out a little longer to help me make sure I could hit my 6 hour per week riding goal. All in all, for both days, my legs felt great and I felt that I was really putting out solid effort in my intervals. In analyzing Strava’s estimated power numbers, I am showing improvement, even putting up my highest ever short term power numbers (5 & 10 minutes), which I feel are the most representative for this kind of ride.

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On Saturday I snuck out for a short spin on nearby trails to buffer my time a little. This was just a standard ride effort and I didn’t push hard to give myself plenty of recovery for my planned big ride of the week on Sunday.

For Sunday, I planned to head out to Rocky Hill Ranch to pre-ride the Cat 3 loop, get a feel for my pacing, as well as put in a good long ride.

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I got up early, packed up and headed out. I hit the trails about 9AM and rode with a buddy who is also racing out there in 2 weeks. Our plan was to do the race loop at about 80-90% race pace and then follow that up with a 25 mile loop of the rest of the trails. I was feeling awesome and I pushed a little harder than the 80% target, probably hitting between 90 and 95% of my race pace loop.

Interestingly enough, even at our perceived 90% race pace loop, I still beat my actual race time from last year’s Rocky Hill Roundup by about 8 minutes. That gives me a lot of confidence for a strong showing at the race in 2 weeks. I’m still developing my actual race strategy, but I’m feeling good about my chances to finish strong in this race, and dare say I could podium depending on how many strong racers show up that I don’t know about.

We didn’t end up doing a full 25 mile loop after our race loop. I could tell that we were both pretty tired and neither of us wanted to risk a crash due to tired bodies, so we cut the loop short and headed for the truck.

I got back in Austin in time to run by the bike shop to drop off Betty for her tune up, clean up, and basic pre-race prep. I’m going to be switching to a 1×10 drive chain setup with a 32T cog up front. I’m adding an MRP Chainguide. Also found out that my drive side bearings are shot in the bottom bracket, so replacing those, swapping out rear brake pads. Basically getting the gal as race ready as possible by first race day.

I also have a bike fitting scheduled for this Thursday. I want to make sure that I’m dialed in fit wise as I am also planning on starting to upgrade some other parts such as stem, handlebars and seat post. Looking for ways to shed some weight where I can. I would love to get the bike under 26lbs with some easy upgrades, we’ll see…

So two weeks to go before Race 1. I’m feeling good and looking forward to the race! This coming week will be a challenge to get my 6 hours in as my weekend ride time will be limited next week due to having family in town and other family obligations. Gonna try to squeeze it in anyway!

Hermosa Tours – Durango to Moab Day 3

Back in Spring of 2012, my buddy Todd and I decided to plan a trip to mountain bike from Durango, [Read more…]

Week 1 Training Results

I hate riding on a trainer as much as I hate that

I hate riding on a trainer as much as I hate that

Well, the first week of training is now in the books. I started the week off on Monday with a spin at the local park. I kept it in zones 3 and 4 for about an hour. Tuesday was my first Interval workout and due to weather, I was forced to try out the CycleOps trainer that I just bought.

Let me just say this right now, spinning on a trainer sucks balls. I hope the weather allows me to get my rides in because if I have to spend too much time on this contraption, I’m not sure I’ll be able to pull off the training I have planned.

I had planned to do an hour with 8 minute intervals, but all I could stomach was 40 minutes… Torture!

Fortunately Thursday allowed for a ride. I hit the road for an hour. I’m going to have to try adjusting the saddle as it doesn’t take long before my rear end is hurting. Not to mention that parts on the nether region start going numb and that is just not a pleasant sensation at all.

Saturday I was finally able to hit the dirt. I put in a 2.5 hr ride in the dirt in excellent conditions. I didn’t go for any PR’s and just planned to keep steady for the full ride. I finished up extremely drained, but feeling good.

Unfortunately that was to be the last of my riding for the week. But I didn’t have my 6 hours riding goal and I really wanted to hit it, so last night I busted out another 45 minutes of torture on the trainer so I could hit my goal.

First race is 3 weeks out and I need to be as consistent as I can over these next few weeks. I want to make a good showing at this first race and prove to myself that I’m not being delusional in my goals of a top 5 series finish for 2013.

I’m planning on taking the bike into the bike shop either later this week or early next week to have a full tune up performed. I’m also going to go ahead and ditch my front shifter and go 1×10 for races. Currently I have a 36 tooth big ring so I think I’ll drop down to a 34. I’m tempted to go with 32 but I want to make sure I don’t cheat myself too much on the upper end.

Let it begin!

Well, I have already slipped on my training and it hasn’t even started yet! Due to weather and scheduling conflicts, I was unable to begin training last week and thus have started this week!

I did managed to cut out a bit today for a short EM ride. An hour of mid-range effort. A pretty easy session all in all. It was chilly at 46 degrees, but dry, so I opted to ride the Kona on the nearby park trails. I bundled up pretty well and headed out.

My legs felt the cold and I hadn’t ridden since last Sunday so an simple day felt right. Tomorrow will be the first planned interval day and I’ll probably try to do it on the road bike. Hopefully it won’t be too cold or windy!

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2013 Cycling Goals

Grommet on the Spesh

While I have detailed my 2013 racing goals, I thought it would also make sense to make a few general cycling goals.

  • 2400 miles
  • 150,000 ft climbing
  • Average 6 hours saddle time per week over the year
  • Biking trip somewhere in Colorado or Utah
  • Biking trip somewhere in North Carolina
  • Finish the Enchilada Buffet

Obviously want to increase my fitness and keep increasing my skills.

I also want to get back to riding more with my grommet. She’s a rock star =)

2013 TMBRA Racing

36491130-MellowJohnnysClassic-260Well, 2013 is upon us and it is time to put some goals in riding!

My first and foremost goal of 2013 revolves around the 2013 TMBRA racing series. I’ll be racing in the 40-49 CAT 3 bracket.

For 2013, the format has changed from a spring and fall series to a single year long series. Of 14 races, your top 8 races will be included for your overall standing. I did 4 TMBRA races total in 2012, so my goal is to at least double that this year to take a shot at finishing competitively in the overall 2013 series.

The 2013 race schedule currently looks like this:

Feb. 9-10 Smithville
Feb. 16-17 Waco
Feb. 23-24 Comfort
March 2-3 Mellow Johnnies
March 16-17 Abilene
March 23-24 Big Ring Challenge
April 6-7 Solovaca
April 20-21 Pace Bend
May 4-5 Big Cedar
May 18-19 Warda
Sept. 1 Camp Eagle
Sept. 14-15 Huntsville
Sept. 28-29 Ruston
Oct. 12-13 Tyler

The start of the series is less than 5 weeks away and will be one race after another for 4 weeks straight. That is going to be a struggle to make them, but those are 4 races that I really want to make. We’ll see if I’m able to manage it, although I am fully expectant to miss at least 1 of them due to family commitments.

Now speaking to being a ‘competitive’ finisher… What do I mean by that? Well, I could take the easy road and say I want to be a top 10 finisher. I believe that is a fairly easily attainable goal. Or I could up the ante and say I want to be a top 5 finisher. Which would mean I would need to improve some, but not necessarily a lot, to be a top 5. Or I could push even harder and say top 3 or even finish first!

Well, top 3 or first would be a stretch. It would require a lot of gains in a short amount of time to pull that off. While I feel that I have the heart and dedication to put in the amount of training that I think it would require to manage that, I flat out don’t think I have the time to pull that off. Running a business, supporting a wife running her own business, and raising kids, along with their own school and extra curricular activities… I have a hard time consistently getting in more than 4 hours on the bike per week as it is, and I feel I’d need to at least double that…

So what do I shoot for? I want to make an achievable goal, but I don’t want to sell myself short either. This is really my sweet spot year for making a run for the top. I’ll be one of the youngest riders in the bracket (not that it really makes that much of a difference), and I expect to have to move up to CAT 2 in 2014, which will again put me at the back of the pack and even higher training requirements to be competitive.

So in my mind, this is it. Go for the gold or go home and all that. Go big! As much as I’d like to say I’m going to go for #1, I just do not feel that I could pull that off. So top 3 it is. I’m going to gun for being in the Top 3 for the 2013 series.

2012 Recap

Turn of the year and it is time to reflect on my 2012 cycling results.

The beginning of 2012 was a hard one. My mother was murdered in Dec of 2011 and I turned to hitting the trails a my main outlet of getting my mind off of it all. I was out on the trails every possible moment I could be. It was the only time that my mind was tied up enough to not focus on what had just happened. I attribute much of the way I was able to handle all that was happening to time spent on the trails.

That’s not to say that I’m over it or anything, but at least I’m not plagued with what happened to my mom at every waking moment.

Anyway, I’ll leave some of that to a later time. I still don’t like to think about it much…

In other areas, 2012 shaped up to be a banner year of biking for me. I completed 180 hours, nearly 1,500 miles on the bike. Of course over 200 miles of that came in 1 week during my Durango to Moab trip.

I did my first races. My first race was at the Mellow Jonnie’s Classic and then at the Pace Bend and Rocky Hill races. I finished 32, 33 and 34th respectively in the CAT 3, 30-39 division. Not too impressive, but it gave me a taste for racing and got me hooked!

In the Fall I managed to get another 2 TMBRA races and 1 local race, the El Deguello. I fared better in the fall races, placing 5th, 7th and then 1st in the El Deguello. Uh oh, now I’m getting a big head =)

The highlight of 2012 would be the Durango to Moab trip which I still haven’t chronicled here on the site. The weeklong trip with my best friend Todd was a fantastic journey and one I can’t wait to expand on in the coming years.

I also purchased my first full suspension bike, a Kona Hei-Hei, and sold my Specialized Stumpjumper hardtail. The hardtail was faster, but the Kona is a better all around ride.

Kona Hei Hei

I also got in a couple of rides in North Carolina in Pisgah National Forest with my younger brother. That was fantastic as well.

Rented Specialized Epic

Rented Specialized Epic

bentwheel3I also expanded my gear lineup. I bought a GoPro for the trip to Colorado and made the transition to bib shorts. While those riding with me may disagree, I have to admit that I much prefer riding with bibs. No extra fabric to get caught on things, no plumber crack, good support, good chamois, and much cooler in hot weather. I have only ridden without my bibs a couple of times since purchasing these and I don’t forsee myself going back, although I could see wearing a baggy shell from time to time when I’m more worried about looks and less about function (which isn’t often!).

While I had a fair bit of mechanicals towards the end of the year, I was blessed to not have any serious injuries. I hope that bit of luck continues onward.

All in all, 2012 was a fantastic cycling year and I hope 2013 exceeds 2012!