Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mountainous bicycle rides, trucked at Bloomingcross, and other random ramblings

Two mountain bike rides in two days!!!  Not that uncommon for me generally, but it had been 52 days since last riding fat tires.  Blasphemy, I know...but now I'm going to give a list of excuses that don't really matter.  Fool's Gold destroyed my brakes, my rear triangle had to be warrantied, and CX is so damn much fun!  Anywho, it was good to get out on the Cheroneca trails Tuesday and Wednesday last week and I'm pretty sure my handling and line choices were better than they had been all summer (though that didn't take much!)

Sunday was Bloomington and I had high hopes to finish well, even after preriding the course.  The main reason for high hopes being that USGP was coming up and as it stands now I've got shit for starting position (about 11th row).  Coach and I discussed a new race strategy that involved NOT taking the holeshot and saving those matches for mid race.  So, I hit the first turn third wheel  and moved up to second quickly... then, two minutes into the race, the plan failed.  A gap of about a bike length had opened between me and the leader starting into a straight away when the guy in third decided he was going by on the narrow side.  I had no idea he was there until my pedal went into his front wheel and he and both bikes stopped and I kept going.  Based on garmin data, speed was about 16-18 mph, though the garmin couldn't tell me how many times I rolled or how far I slid...

As for the crash, I can't pass all the blame, because once it happened and the leaning started I didn't react fast enough to get away, but the whole thing could have been avoided with a simple, "On your left" or a pass on the open side of the course.  I'm not going to try and deny a pass two minutes into a 45 minute race.  All was mostly well though, so back on the bike and off we went.  Derailleur hanger was bent, but the course was flat enough I could stay out of the easy gears and I rolled in for 8th of 18 on decent legs at best.  Not at all what I wanted, but that's just how it goes sometimes.  It was enough to hold onto the top spot in the series, but it doesn't look like that will last much beyond 7 races.  For the next two days it felt like I'd been hit by a truck, but nothing broken or torn so I feel pretty lucky honestly!

Power - revisited...
Saturday I got a call from Mike about a powertap for sale at the swap meet, and I'd been pondering for some time about buying one so since the price was right, I took it home.  What's this mean?  Well, I'm not totally sure but watch out world, I'm joining the ranks of overdataanalyzing cyclists!  It will help me to follow coach's workouts more closely and it'll allow him to track what I'm doing more accurately... power numbers don't lie like heart rate!

Looking from the road (because of course only villans would be getting tours) the course is going to be pretty awesome!  Some of the features (visible from the road of course) include a 0.2km-ish paved start, a couple of super steep ride/run ups, barriers immediately on the other side of 5 foot dirt speed hump, 30 yards of 8" deep fine sand, a soft steep descent, lots of velcro-like grass in an open field with a few twists, some barely 3m wide trail through the trees with sweet twists, and of course... the green monster!  I'd lost a good deal of excitement about this weekend after learning that OVCX 3's were not receiving call-ups (I guess we'll see what happens on Saturday) but seeing the course (from the... umm... road) I'm looking forward to it again!!

If you're in Louisville this weekend, come down to Bandman Park on River Road and see what cyclocross racing is all about!!!


  1. go ahead and get the wko+ software for the power analysis. if your using training peaks through your coach you can directly upload to that with that software. the new version has quadrant analysis were you can see if your cadence/power efforts are the same as what your race cadence/power effort are the same. according to the power google groups alot of folks train one way and race in a different manner. so it kind of hones in your training. you'll love the power numbers once you learn how to interpret it all! then your gonna hate to ride the mtb without the powertap because it messes up your power management chart by estimating the value. over data analyzing cyclist??? who would do that?

  2. I've heard WKO+ is the way to go, but I have a Macbook and will need to run some version of windows or something to run the software. Know anyone currently using WKO+ on a something other than a windows machine??

  3. Use Firefox to run the WKO+ software. IMHO thats the better way. On a windows system use google chrome. I'vebeen using the training peaks stuff on my mac w Safari and not had problems but Ive noticed far beter results with firefox

  4. nope...reason #1 to not run macbooks. software complications by far. quick search on google groups wattage forum came up with this

    sounds complicated but may work....they are using the older wko+ in that i think. or as bsegal is talking about if you just wanted to run training peaks you could. i believe the training peaks has a performance management chart now but it seems i can do more stuff on the computer software than i can online...atleast it is easier.

    there is a rumor on the wattage group that has been going on for a while that there will be a mac wko but its been going on since oct 12th of 2009 or so.