Thursday, March 31, 2005

Leg Shaving

Came across this amusing tidbit in this week's RoadBikeRider newsletter:



So why do cyclists shave? Should you? Let's examine the pros and cons.

Pro: The Crash
You'll wish you'd shaved when some ER intern who hasn't slept in 29 hours starts wire-brushing Route 66 out of your gams. Believe me, extracting gravel from flesh is worse with hundreds of tiny, dirty, grasping hairs in the way.

Con: The Hassle
It's tough enough brushing your teeth and combing your hair every day. Do we really need one more item on the personal-grooming agenda?

Pro: The Rub
If you get massages -- and you're a sore, lactic-acidy fool if you don't -- you need bare legs. Why? Massage oil + hair = Superfund cleanup site.

Con: The Look
You're wearing shorts at the family picnic when soused Uncle Sal the Teamster wonders aloud why (a) you shave your legs, and (b) any grownup with a driver's license rides a bike in the first place. Go ahead, you explain. I'll be over by the potato salad.

Pro: The Other Look
Shaved legs make your muscles appear bigger. Other riders think you're serious. Maybe they won't attack you on Vomit Pass. If they do, you'll glance at your bulging quads, get inspired and hang on.

Con: The Con
You and your hairy legs show up for a group ride. Somebody snickers. On Vomit Pass, you attack. The snobs are too stunned to respond. You break away, leg hairs waving goodbye in the breeze.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Updated Team Website

I think I finally beat the demons of CSS positions and browser compatibility that have been making updating the team website a very painful process. The updated site is now live:

http://www.mobilemoneyracing.org/

Monday, March 28, 2005

Snohomish Road Race

Saturday's event was a road race near Monroe, WA (which isn't too far from Seattle). My race was scheduled for 4 laps around an 11 mile course with rolling hills and one nice little climb.

Unfortunately the wet weather has returned to the Pacific Northwest and Saturday's forecast looked dreadful. I woke up to windy, wet conditions (the weather guy actually got it right!), packed up my stuff and headed for the course. The first problem of the day happened on the drive. Somehow I made a wrong turn and ended up arriving late. By the time I registered and got dressed it was 9:15. We were scheduled for a 9:35 start and I had done absolutely no warmup (usually a warmup is 30-45 minutes). To make things worse my bladder wasn't cooperating and I had to choose between the bathroom and a warmup. I opted for the bathroom. And with that, I went to the lineup in the cold rain with absolutely no warmup in my legs. This was going to be fun.

Somewhat luckily there was a neutral rollout of a couple miles from the staging area to the race course. The lead car kept the pace high so we wouldn't get too cold, which got my heart pumping nice and quickly. This was the extent of my warmup and the race commenced at the best of the largest climb (ok, it wasn't big in the traditional sense, but the biggest on the course). Did I mention this was going to be fun?

After the initial surge up the first climb (and listening to my body saying "What the fuck are you doing to me?") the peloton settled into a reasonable pace. Sometime on the second lap I felt a squishyness in my rear tire. This could only mean that I was loosing air. We were still climbing so I kept going for a bit because the wheel car was nowhere in sight, but when some of the bigger downhills came into the picture I pulled over and waited for a wheel change.

Obviously, following the change I had been dropped from the peloton, so I put the hammer down to see if I could catch back up. As my heart rate soared into time trial range I couldn't help but remember how much I hate field tests. :) I passed several people that had been dropped by the peloton. A rider from another team hopped on my back wheel as I passed him but didn't have the strength to take a turn leading, so I ended up hauling his ass around for 15 miles or so. At one point there were three of us working together, but in the end I couldn't catch back up and finished up the race behind the main field (not exactly sure where).

I'm kicking myself for using my good racing wheels/tires in a wet race. The night before I was looking at my heavy duty training wheels and a feeling that I should use them, but didn't listen to it. Somehow I think the heavier tire wouldln't have flatted. I have yet to get a flat on them in all of my wet weather training. Duh. Ya know, it doesn't matter how much lighter the race wheel is if it doesn't stay inflated. :)

Oh, and after that effort in the soaking rain I pretty much felt like I had been run over by a truck for the rest of the day.... ok, and Sunday's training ride wasn't too much fun either.

Snohomish Road Race

Saturday's event was a road race near Monroe, WA (which isn't too far from Seattle). My race was scheduled for 4 laps around an 11 mile course with rolling hills and one nice little climb.

Unfortunately the wet weather has returned to the Pacific Northwest and Saturday's forecast looked dreadful. I woke up to windy, wet conditions (the weather guy actually got it right!), packed up my stuff and headed for the course. The first problem of the day happened on the drive. Somehow I made a wrong turn and ended up arriving late. By the time I registered and got dressed it was 9:15. We were scheduled for a 9:35 start and I had done absolutely no warmup (usually a warmup is 30-45 minutes). To make things worse my bladder wasn't cooperating and I had to choose between the bathroom and a warmup. I opted for the bathroom. And with that, I went to the lineup in the cold rain with absolutely no warmup in my legs. This was going to be fun.

Somewhat luckily there was a neutral rollout of a couple miles from the staging area to the race course. The lead car kept the pace high so we wouldn't get too cold, which got my heart pumping nice and quickly. This was the extent of my warmup and the race commenced at the best of the largest climb (ok, it wasn't big in the traditional sense, but the biggest on the course). Did I mention this was going to be fun?

After the initial surge up the first climb (and listening to my body saying "What the fuck are you doing to me?") the peloton settled into a reasonable pace. Sometime on the second lap I felt a squishyness in my rear tire. This could only mean that I was loosing air. We were still climbing so I kept going for a bit because the wheel car was nowhere in sight, but when some of the bigger downhills came into the picture I pulled over and waited for a wheel change.

Obviously, following the change I had been dropped from the peloton, so I put the hammer down to see if I could catch back up. As my heart rate soared into time trial range I couldn't help but remember how much I hate field tests. :) I passed several people that had been dropped by the peloton. A rider from another team hopped on my back wheel as I passed him but didn't have the strength to take a turn leading, so I ended up hauling his ass around for 15 miles or so. At one point there were three of us working together, but in the end I couldn't catch back up and finished up the race behind the main field (not exactly sure where).

I'm kicking myself for using my good racing wheels/tires in a wet race. The night before I was looking at my heavy duty training wheels and a feeling that I should use them, but didn't listen to it. Somehow I think the heavier tire wouldln't have flatted. I have yet to get a flat on them in all of my wet weather training. Duh. Ya know, it doesn't matter how much lighter the race wheel is if it doesn't stay inflated. :)

Oh, and after that effort in the soaking rain I pretty much felt like I had been run over by a truck for the rest of the day.... ok, and Sunday's training ride wasn't too much fun either.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Onfolio Release Candidate Available

You can download it here.

Degreasers

Normally I use a bio degradable (citrus based) degreaser for getting grime off of my bike. Today I decided to try out a White Lightning's Clean Streak product. My bike was especially grimey after a long ride in the rain, so this was a good test for the product.

The results were astonishing (I'm sorry if I'm starting to sound infomercial-ish). I've never seen something remove grease and grit like this. My rear cogs are shiny as if they were brand new. No scrubbing required. Just spray this stuff on and everything rinses off. Of course, it is not bio degradable and I think I probably killed a salmon stream or bald eagle's nest. Kind of scary actually.. I'm going to go now and make sure the rest of my bike hasn't dissolved.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

CTS Field Test

On Friday I was scheduled for another field test. I hate field tests (hate!). It is just a complete suffer fest, performed twice. In case you don't remember, the field test is two 3 mile time trials separately by a 10 minute rest. The time time trial is an all out, eye crossing effort. Did I mention I hate the field test?

Thursday's workout included a few short sprints to prime my body for today. It must have been the time of day (early morning) or what I had eaten (just a Clif bar), but I couldn't get my heart rate up too high. I was worried I wouldn't perform well today.

So, I made sure I was properly fueled and headed out to the course during the afternoon. As I settled in to the first interval I looked down and saw my heart tick up to 180 and then peak out at 181. That was pretty good. I have never seen it that high in a field test before. It looked like I was maintaining an average of 179/180 for the duration of the test, but it started to drop toward the end and my
average turned out to be around 176.

After a 10 minute break I started the second interval. My HR was running a bit lower, as I would expect, but seemed pretty good. I ended with an average of 174. Both numbers are about where I was for the last test, so I guess that means everything is ok. I really hope I don't have to do another one soon.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

West Lake Sammamish Parkway

Came across some very interesting information about the safety of West Lake Sammamish parkway and future plans for bicycles on this stretch of road. This is definitely worth reading if you cycling in this area.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Low Key Weekend

Even though there were two races on the calendar this weekend, I decided to take it easy and stick to training. Saturday's scheduled race was the third of the Mason Lake series. Frankly, I was getting tired of riding around that damn lake so it was easy to say no. Sunday's event took place in Sequim, WA, which is a ferry ride plus a decent drive away. I probably would have had to get up at 5ish to pull that one off and I wasn't up for it.

Unfortunately, both of my training rides took place in the nasty wind and rain that has returned to the Seattle area. On Saturday I didn't put on my rain jacket soon enough and ended up quite soaked by the end. On Sunday I was about an hour and a half from home when the rain hit and I realized I had forgotten my rain jacket. The two days of riding soaked in the freezing rain took a lot of me. Maybe I should have gone racing after all.

In other news, I updated the team website with a new design, so check it out if you get a chance.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Mason Lake Road Race #2

Saturday was the second of the three race series at Mason Lake. As with the others, this was mainly a training race for me. I find passing on the course very difficult and the race isn't long enough to really spread out the field. Having no hills doesn't help with the separation either. Anyway, it was quite fast like last week and I finished with the main field. Fortunately there were no crashes at the end, although I did just miss one at about the mid point of the race and had to play catch up for a few minutes.

I did manage to capture some HRM data this week and some more pics can be found here.

Flickr

Well, I started playing with Flickr. I'm still grokking the whole photo stream thing, but so far it is pretty cool, especially when combined with RSS. Anyway, my photos are here.

Julich's Cervelo

You'd think that winner of Paris-Nice would be riding the finest machinery money could buy. Not so for Bobby Julich. He was cruising along on a relatively normal aluminum Cervelo Soloist, not one of their fancy carbon frames.

The Soloist is a very affordable frame (~$1500) and also happens to be Cervelo's only "aero" road frame. Combined with the Zipp wheels, I wonder if it was really a significant aero advantage. Hmm... maybe I bought the wrong frame. No no, it's the engine that counts. I have to keep reminding myself of that.

Anyway, I came across this bit of info over here.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Compact Cranks

Pez has a great writeup of FSA's new compact cranks. Particularly interests are the facts about their use in Europe (very popular).

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Mason Lake Road Race

For many people, myself included, today officially opened racing season with the Mason Lake Road Race. Mason Lake is situated southwest of Seattle in the Hood Canal area. For the curious, here is a Google Maps link to play with.

The Cat 4 race started at 9:30 this morning and called for 3 laps of the 12 mile circuit around the lake. I think the race went quite well. The pace was absolutely blistering. We covered the 36 miles in about 1:26, giving an average speed of above 25 mph. I felt good and managed to stay with the lead group despite several breaks in the peloton. Unfortunately, with about 2km to go on the last lap I got caught behind a crash in the lead group and wasn't able to catch back up. Ah well.. it was the first race of the season, and is pretty much a training event, so no big deal.

Next weekend we'll be back at the same location, but will do another lap, for a total of 48 miles. Should be fun! I can only hope the unusually warm weather around here sticks around.