Monday, August 31, 2009

D3O - new style body armour

This is an interesting new technology... D3O is an orange goo that is soft and mold able but when impacted it turns into a solid...

Watch the video here as the test subject gets whacked on the head and knees with a snow shovel.

The assumption is that you change a sharp blow from a high load impact on a small point to a low load over a much larger area. Which is standard for body armor. The point being that this may be lighter and more comfortable to wear for many applications.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ceder Photos

Thanks to Duane Martindale for pictures...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

BCMCA Nanaimo Ceder RR - 1st

Very nice but long day... Park-n-Ride from Horseshoe Bay, 25 minute ride to the venue... warmup, race....

Ceder is a long 20km course, we do it three times... I got a small gap, 300-400m about half way through the second lap. Ray Wagner and Derek Tripp eventually bridged over and we managed to stay away from the 50's and most of the 60's (who we had just caught)... Never did catch Dave Mercer and Ray Morrison though.

Nice finish, I managed to stay behind Ray and Derek in the last km.... jumped with 400m and finished with about a 6-8 bike lengths.

So 1st in 50-59 and 3rd overall.

Then it was 25 minute ride back to the ferry... As I rode out of the parking lot to head back the rear dérailleur cable broke so I was stuck in the small cog with only the front big and small rings... Luckily no big hills... Luckily it broke after the race...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Training for Short HC in Senior Games

The BC Senior Games is in a couple of weeks... and it has a short hill climb, the climb from Spanish Banks up to UBC.

Just long enough to be an HC... about 2km at 3.6% grade. Probably, I think, about 4:00 minutes.

The bigger question is how to train for it.. I'm looking for a similar climb close by. It appears that the best I can find is David Ave. Steeper and shorter. But perhaps close enough to simulate.

Using the bike calculator I get the followingUsing the bike calculator I get the following..

I'm not quite sure I believe the time. The only time I can find in my power files for the SP HC was 4:39 in the Pacific Populaire last year. And that was slightly lower for watts, higher for weight, lower temp etc etc...

But certainly it appears that doing 1.65 along David should give me a reasonable simulation.

I did 3 tests on the David HC today: 4:34-4:25 ... so I think a good test. The 4:25 number was staying up in the sprint position for the entire climb. Almost 10 seconds faster even though more aero.

Are you getting enough Vitamin D?

What do you do when you are out on those long and solitary training rides in the country... I listen to podcasts... Not too loud so I can't hear traffic and just some human voices to keep me sane..

One of them is Security Now! featuring Steve Gibson, normally expounding at (very) great length on various security (for your Windows system generally) issues. Always at length and in depth.

Another popular one is ABC's (that's A for Australian) Ockham's Razor. A short weekly podcast given to lectures by scientists (yes real actual scientists...) and other educated types. The point they are intended to illustrate is Ochkam's Razor, the simplest explanation is usually the correct one (that simplifies it but that suffices for a description..)

By coincidence both of these podcasts had the same or similar topic a few weeks ago. Ockams Razor had Prof. Christopher Nordin presenting a short talk entitled "Preventing osteoporosis", (listen or read here.) One of the main suggestions being that Vitamin D supplementation would be greatly beneficial (and save millions of dollars a year in hip replacements alone in elderly patients if supplementation was started in mid-life.)

Security Now! had a change of pace with Steve going over at great length what he has found out about Vitamin D and its possible role in our health. (listen or read here.)

The main point is that there appears to be an epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency. Mainly due to less exposure to sun as people stay indoors and cover up more and use sun blockers when outdoors. But also because as people age it becomes much harder to get sufficient Vitamin D as your skin becomes less able to produce it using sunlight.

The second point being that there appears to be wide spread correlations between low Vitamin D and a large number of different ailments. As suggested in the Ockham's Razor podcast osteoporosis (from lack of calcium which in turn may be due to low Vitamin D); possible links to flu, Seasonal Affective Disorder, autism, various cancers etc.

Finally that the only way to get sufficient Vitamin D is through supplementation (especially as you get older). And that like treating Anemia with iron, you need to do blood testing to ensure you are not too low (more supplemenation) or too high (less.)

I have trouble with Anemia and yes, there also appears to be a link between that and Vitamin D...

There are some other interesting points concerning the type of Vitamin D to supplement with (you want D3, D2 is converted by your body to D3, and you need more of it.) And the amounts. The current suggested allowance of 400 IU appears to be far too low (possibly set from amount of Vit D in tablespoon of Cod Liver Oil, known to prevent Rickets and not cause any problems.) The conservative safe upper limit is suggested as 2000 IU.

The good news is that Vitamin D supplements are cheap. Steve quotes about $10 to get a 120 6000 IU pills. Take one every three days. Literally pennies a day..

Why don't we hear more about this? One of the problems is that Vitamin D supplements are cheap and patent free. So big pharma has little or no interest in studying the subject.. Unless they can come up with something they can get a patent on they will not spend money or doing trials or studies. So this research must be publically funded and done on a more ad hoc basis.

So, are you getting enough of Vitamin D? The answer could be important to your overall health.

Live long and prosper.... take your Iron and Vitamin D pills.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

PezToolbox: Toolbox: Time Trial Basics – Part II

Pez Toolbox has another good article on TimeTrialing here.

They go over a number of basics to practice. As always some good advice.

Canadian Track Nationals - Silver

Andy George proved to be the better over 50 go-to-guy yesterday... We had a very small turn out. Only five riders. Three local, one from Vancouver Island and one from Ontario.

Andy had the best pursuit time (2:36 vs 2:41 for me...) Then managed to stay on my wheel for almost the entire 25 lap Scratch race, to take first with me a couple of bike lengths behind..

They shortened the points race to 40 laps (originally billed as 50). It proved to be cat and mouse the entire way. With me on Andy's wheel or him on mine. Early on Dave Kosick gapped us and nobody bothered to track him down. So he took the first two sprints. With Andy and myself duking it out for 2nd and 3rd... I almost got the 3rd sprint with a jump that got a bit of a gap. But Andy got me at the line by about 5-10cm...

It didn't seem to matter if I went first or followed, I couldn't quite match his finish...

Anyway, Silver for the overall. I'll have to work on the sprinting for next year.

No power file for the race as they don't let you use bike computers... :-(

I'll have to add a workout with guestimatted TSS for the day.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

BCMCA Langley RR

Also known as the 0 Ave and 232 St course...

I was under strict orders to NOT get out front and work hard today.. saving the legs for Tuesday and Track Nationals...

So a pretty easy day overall. We (the Fifties group) caught the Sixties on the last lap on 0 Ave... and almost immediately after that we where all caught by the Forties... Then had the fun of doing the last half lap with the bigger pack. They pushed the pace on the final little hill before the dog leg before the uphill sprint finish... I had a bad position around the turn and never did get close to Bill Yearwood (who is far far far better than I am at cornering...) on the final sprint.

Most likely we could have stayed off the forties if I had pushed the pace up a bit by working the front. We averaged > 40kmh on laps 2 and 3. But then for the next four laps we dropped back down to about 38-39kmh. There wasn't quite enough interest to get organized and really push up the pace.

Next week we are over in Nanaimo for the Cedar course.. I'll won't be constrained like today.

N.B. The PMC graphic at the top left of the blog is not being updated currently. I just upgraded to Vista and the new version of Office Excel doesn't like the spreadsheet that generates the graph... Haven't had time to figure out why.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

BC RR Champs - Atomic Course

As expected a tough race.. 80km... While they where awarding prizes based on Masters A/B/C we all raced together. About 20 Masters A, 30 Master B and 16 Master C riders.

This lead to the expected, with most of the Master C riders getting dropped. I don't have the final results yet, but it appears that 3 or 4 survived to the finish. Then a couple of straglers (including me). Over half either gave up or where pulled when they where lapped.

The pace today was a killer. The first three lap times where 15:57, 15:06 and 15:36. The C group in Spring Series was averaging about 18 minutes (that was a colder day too though, 15C, today was close 28C.) Last year in the Atomic RR we did a couple of laps at 16+...

With this setup (racing all Masters together) there is a significant advantage to the lighter hill climbers. They can get up the climbs and then get dragged around the course by the younger guys. If we started just the Masters C's together, they might be able to get up the climbs faster, but its unlikely they could stay away as they endurance riders would track them down on the flat parts.

Effectively they end up as a breakaway (WRT to the rest of the Master C's) that are taking advantage of another category. Normally of course that would not be allowed. But here it is allowed.

IMHO this goes against the purpose of the race which is to find the best BC RR rider in each age category. They even banned radios to (presumably) eliminate team tactics. But then then effectively allow some riders to draft off another category to stay away from their peer group.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Door Zone Video.

As one of the comments says, why do they paint lines that put me where I can get killed...

Please see this Door Zone Video... it could save your life.

Please try and get your local politicians and police to watch it as well.

Monday, August 10, 2009

BC TT Champ - Tony Routley giving me physio

Usually I can only get my arm that high under the strict supervision of my physiotherapist....

The earlier pictures had a nice CBC sign behind the podium... the wind blew it down.

Tony was 2nd... Bill Riley was 3rd and couldn't wait for awards.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mt Seymour HC - 46:00.450

Close enough... 46:00.450 was the official time...

Would have been a bit faster but we had a miserable wet day ... Not as cold as last year but enough rain that we where soaking by about half way up...

So I'm quite happy with my time. Over a minute faster than last year..

I'll post more once the full results are available.

One minor screwup... The Ergomo went to sleep just before we started... didn't notice for 30 seconds :-(

BC TT Champs - 1st Master C

I'll post more details once I have the complete results...

But I managed a PB for the Squamish TT course, 51:38.

This got me first in Master C by almost 2 minutes (next up was Tony Routley).

From what I could see in the posted results the only people faster where the elite men and one Cat 3 and one Master B rider.

Tomorrow is Mt. Seymour... 46 minutes or bust...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

BVC Workout - pursuit and L2/L3

Track tonight. Did a 2k practice pursuit in 2:38. Which is pretty good, adding aero helmet, skinsuit etc should get that well under the 2:36 I need for Track Nationals...

Which are only three weeks away... and my chief (I think) competition, Andy George is racking up Gold Medals in the Police Games.. :-(

Finished with a half hour of L2/L3...

Another Tale from the Amazing Coincidences Department.... The 4-Runner has been exhibiting symptoms that some friends diagnosed as probably requiring a new starter... turn the key to start and just a a click, try again and it would work... Gradually getting worse, taking 2, 3 even 4 or 5 tries... Finally today I took it down to the local Toyota dealer for diagnosis and schedule an appointment. Pulling into the parking area in front of the service department I turned it off... To no effect, the starter was permanently engaged... Turn the key back on and the engine started. Turn it off and the starter would keep cranking... Well it just couldn't pick a better spot to fail... I just left it running and let the service guy handle it (he had to disconnect the battery...) Anyway, they will replace starter and hopefully we will regain possession tomorrow.. I'm just glad it failed at the dealership and not while wife was out in Surrey or I was up in Squamish etc..

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Westwood - new PB and a blowout

Out late to beat the heat again... actually quite cool.

Managed a new PB up Westwood (the direct route) 14:33, about 25 seconds faster. Nice little effort, Pavg 317. Wasn't actually pushing things until the last 4-5 minutes...

Unfortunately a blow out when I got back to the bottom so didn't get to do the second climb.

The new set of Bontrager Aeolus wheels seem to have the same problem as the old... I can ride them all day in a race, or anything flat... Do a long descent with a FULL STOP at the bottom and about 30 seconds later, BANG! The temperature of the rim is not that high... But it seems that it is high enough that if you don't keep the wheel rotating the casing can separate, the tube pushes out and we get a blow out. Probably not an issue for racing, not too many stop signs you have to stop for... but a bit disconcerting and annoying.

Things seem to look ok for both events this weekend. Good time until blowout on Saturday, equal too, possibly slightly better than last years pre-ride for the BC TT (and may have got the bad luck over in the pre-ride this year....) And hitting PB's on the HC would seem to be a good way to go into Sundays Mt. Seymour HC....

Cerevellum Cyclometer Ant+ with Video

Here is a cool idea.... Ant+ cyclometer with integrated video recorder that acts as a rear view mirror.... It comes with a small video unit that attaches to the seat post.

You can save 30 second video clips.

Hopefully with enough clarity for law enforcment to hand out tickets to those idiots who think buzzing a cyclist with accompaning screams and honking is such a lot of fun.

I don't particularily like the idea of a Big Brother society but the bad and dangerous behaviour of some parts of our society can only be changed if they can no longer get away with it. Laws are being changed to prohibit bad behaviour (South Carolina, vis minimum distance and throwing things at cyclists). Now we may a way to document offences which previously would more typically been a "he says she says" scenario.

Even without law enforement we can look forward to Best of Bad Drivers YouTube websites that can help educate people (and politicians) on how cyclists are endangered every day while riding.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

VVV TT - new PB 13:36, Squamish - Flat

Two TT's today... VVV 10k in the morning and then we pre-rode the Squamish TT.

Managed a new PB on the Velovets course. 13:36, 44.3 kmh average. I suspect that the hot humid weather helped...

Then it was out to Squamish... I was having a reasonably good ride I thought, with the typical slow down on the way back.. Then hit a massive set of pot holes with 6km to go and got a pinch flat. Comparing to last years pre-ride, I was almost identical in time to the turn around, about 24:55 and to the same point again almost identical time 43:35 to the 30.75 mark. So presumably would have finished about the same as last years pre-ride, about 52 minutes. Overall conditions where almost identical.

So presumably I'm in comparable shape to last year. That ride was after a rest day. Today was after doing a PB on the VVV TT...

Anthony King was up with a friend, he also flatted on the same pothole. Michel and George and I went to home depot and got some marking paint and did some work to try and make the potholes a bit more visible. The one really bad set (where we flatted) should probably have a marshall or at least some cones during the race. It is almost impossible to ride through them at speed without hitting one or more. Which may lead people into crossing the yellow line which could be bad... Better to get them slowed down. At 40+ you pinch flat (or worse...) at 20kmh you just get a bumpy ride...