Thursday, September 24, 2009

Home Wind Tunnel Kit at Costco!

Available now at your local CostCo...

When I saw this at CostCo today I couldn't help think that at last someone was finally making a Home Wind Tunnel Kit for doing low cost Time Trial aero testing... Given the number of Tri-athletes around these days you never know, it could happen.

Alas the tunnel portion appears to be only about 12" across... and at $649 ($449 today with $200 coupon!!!!) probably not quite what I'm hoping for.

Track Racing starts this week, time to set goals for next year

But I'm taking a week off... at least...

BVC is starting the Fall track series a week or two early this year.... after we pushed the road season late into September and I did the BC Senior Games...

And we are having unseasonably warm weather.... the last few days would have counted as a heat wave most summers in Vancouver...

Sigh :-(

Anyway, I'm staying off the bike until probably next week. Maybe, if the the weather holds I'll do a social ride on the weekend... just to keep the legs limber... Can't actually remember the last time I went on a social ride.

I will be at the track on Friday for the racing... Pick up the results and I got voted onto the BVC Board, first meeting this Friday after racing.

Also time to think of goals for next year..
Need to determine goals for 2010... So I can start working on them ....
  1. Higher FTP for TT
  2. Higher one minute power for RR
  3. Extend RR endurance from 1.5 hour to 2 plus hours
I'm hoping to get more weekly practice TT's happening locally next year and a couple more TT races. That will both help build FTP and benefit from a higher FTP.

The second and third goals would (hopefully) get me fast enough to actually get on the podium for some Cat 4 type races. I was reasonably good at staying with the peloton this year in the sanctioned races, only to get dropped either at the last sprint hill or during the final sprint.

Or just running out of gas, especially on hot days with lots of Anaerobic and Endurance work. Dove Creek RR being a good example.. Pulled everyone around and ended up with leg cramps in the last lap..

It may be an idea to do the "B" group in Spring Series next year. They race between 80 and 120 km (C only does about 60-70.)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

BC Senior Games Wrapup - 2 Gold, 1 Bronze

BC Senior Games finished... results the same as the Comox weekend earlier this summer. I finished 1st for TT and HC, 3rd for the RR. Bill Yearwood was 2nd for the TT and HC and 1st for the RR.

The RR was going reasonably well until the finish. The plan was to follow Dave Kosick and Bill Yearwood through the final corner and then sprint to the finish (about 300m).

Unfortunately we caught up with a lapped rider right at the corner... Bill and Dave managed to get by him but then he turned across me so I had to go really wide loosing all my speed and letting Bill and Dave get (at least) a 30-40m gap...

Then with the bumps and whatnot getting around the obstacles my chained dropped to the little ring and I was sitting there spinning... took a few seconds to find a cog suitable allowing Pat Ferris (I think) to almost get by me... Got a gear with about 100m to go and managed to get back to 3rd just at the line.

Today was the HC... As planned I did it on the TT bike. I knew that Bill and Dave would do well over that distance. Both are strong but don't have as much endurance. I can beat them on longer TT's and HC's (like Seymour, Cypress or Mt Washington...) but 4-5 minutes would be a lot tougher.

The end result was 4:24. Bill at 4:33 and Dave at 4:36.

Neither of them used their TT bikes (although Bill did use an aero helmet.)

So assuming I was correct in thinking 15-20 seconds advantage for the TT bike... it looks like that got me the Gold... :-)

The TT bike was setup with my climbing wheelset (Bontragger XXX Carbon Wheels with Vittoria EVO CS Tubulars) which are about 500 grams lighter than my normal race or TT wheels.. and a 12x27 cassette.

I started in the big ring and shifted to the little ring about .6km in where the grade gets over 3.5%. Then shifted back to the big ring at 1.45km where the grade drops back down below 4%. This worked reasonably well to allow me to keep my cadence up. Overall cadence averaged 89. Which was quite comfortable for the TT bike.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

BC Senior Games ITT - 1st 22:13

BC Senior Games 15.8km ITT today.

Managed 22.13 for 1st 55-59 and best time overall by about a minute...

See here for Bikely Route. This is a reasonably difficult course.

The first 4km goes out from Ferguson Road to under the bridge and back, averaged 40.9 km/h... Hard to get any speed up.

Then it was out to Iona with a tail wind, average 46.2 km/h.

They ran us right into the parking lot with the turn-a-round right where next to where the park toilets are. Caused a certain amount of futzing about getting through the parking lot.

And then crunch time all the way back against the wind... 40.7 km/h.

Overall, 42.7 km/h. 292 PAvg and 293 NPAvg.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rich Wharton had a tweat pointing at a Paul Smelders blog post here titled What EXACTLY is happening when you can’t keep up on the CT.

He gives some of the math involved and explains why you can or can't keep up when doing an ERG mode workout.

An ERG mode workout is where the CT attempts to keep you at a specific wattage. You cadence (speed of wheel effectively) is ignored. Just what your power output (watts) is. If you are putting out too much, the CT lowers its braking, not enough and it increases the braking so that you need to increase torque and therefore increase power.

This is great as long as you are in a Zone where you CAN keep up... Say the target is 220 watts... Go a little high and it eases you off. Go a little low and it pushes you back up... Net result is you do 220 watts +/- a very small amount for the prescribed time.

But if you are in a Zone where you CANNOT keep up... Say the target is 350 watts, now for the first while things go well. You hit the target and the CT keeps you there... But as you fatigue and can no longer stay at 350 watts, the CT notices and wants you to go up... So it increases the breaking so that you will increase torque.. Of course if that is more than you can do, more likely it will cause you to fall farther back as your cadence slows, and the CT will then increase breaking, and the end result is you stop completely....

This was timely... I missed getting out on the bike yesterday as I had to run out to Richmond to get the "race package" for the BC Senior Games... And it was a beautiful evening... Today I need to do a race tuneup ride for the ITT tomorrow and it is raining... So I may end up on the CT...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Peak Athletic Performance and Vitamin D (updated)

Of course you say you can always find a study that proves what you want... etc etc...

But as this article by John Jacob Cannell MD points out, Vitamin D is actually a steroid hormone and there are multiple research studies showing that IFF you are Vitamin D deficient (and almost everyone is...) you can improve your performance by getting your Vitamin D levels up to "normal" (as in what you would get if you where twenty again, and working outdoors in the summer at a temperate latitude if you are light skinned or farther south for darker skin.)

And here is a Citation for Athletic Performance and Vitamin D

Update 2009-09-14: The above is only available behind a PayWall.... I did managed to find another summary and comments from another Natural Health Doctor Blogger.... (this site does require "free" registration...) He points out something I missed early, that Cannell suggests that there is a correlation between Vitamin D and Fast Twitch muscles...

My goal this winter is to, somehow, increase my anaerobic power, which as I understand things means more fast twitch...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cypress Part Deux HC - 1st 55-64

An absolutely fantastic day for a fall hill climb.... A nice turn out.... With 13 people in my 55-64 age class.

My time was about 38:30. Should have been about 10 seconds faster. The guy I lead into the very last turn finished 38:20 and I would have been there with him, except I hit a pothole and blew out my rear tubular.. So had to limp up the last 200m to the finish line.

Luckily (didn't know it at the time) another 55-64 rider, Michael McPhalen was right on my rear wheel, so almost lost 1st place... He was only 3 seconds back at the finish...

Michel Pelletier was just a little way back from me most of the way up. He took 1st in the Clydesdale division with 38:44... This was just a warmup for him, he is doing the Mt. Baker climb tomorrow.

Overall I was 22 out of 118 men. So not too bad.

Fastest time up was Sebastian Salas with 29:54.

The course was slightly different from the spring version...

Here are the two bikely maps:
  1. Chicks
  2. Glotman Simpson
The Chicks race starts at the bottom (Cypress Lane) and goes to to under the Power Lines.

Glotman Simpson started at the works yard and went to the turn off to the cross country area, then followed that up a few hundred meters.
  • Length: 11.82 - 12.24
  • Elevation gain: 675 - 681
Very comparable... But with a difference in times.
  • Time: 38:20 - 36:54
The time difference is due to the first part of the Chicks version being flat enough that the Mass Start gets a lot of speed up on the first 1.5km. The Glotman Simposon race extends past the Chicks finish by a similar amount but you don't get the same speed.
  • Chicks First 1.5km - 2:45
  • Glotman Simpson last 1.5km - 4:55
So that easily explains the 1:30 difference in my time today.

So possibly a slightly better overall result than the Spring.

Now it is out to the garage to rip the tubular off that wheel and prep it for a new one. It is the light Bontrager XXX Carbon that I use for hill climbs and I'll want it next week.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wow - 45 days of racing so far this year

Just reviewing the year so far.... I'm up to 45 days of racing...

That's counting one for each day or evening of track racing.... and allowing one each for the DoveCreek TT and Mt Washington HC even though they where on the same day.

And still have the Cypress HC, BC Senior Games for road and the Fall Track Season...

Good thing I don't do Cyclocross...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cherry Point RR - Photo Finish

A wet but luckily not cold day... Derek Tripp was pushing the pace all day to try and catch Dave Mercer and Ray Morrison (over sixty group) for the overall race...

Ray Waggoner took my advice and got off the front on the long backside climb with one and a half laps to go. And managed to stay away.

The rest our 50-59 group was down to about five people (and I think an over 60 who grabbed our wheels when we caught up with them.) Two young guys (Shane Savage and someone else) caught us with one lap to go. We simply couldn't stay on their wheel as we went up the long backside climbs.

That trimmed our group down to three, Derek Tripp, Bill Yearwood and myself. Bill lead us into the finish followed by myself and Derek. I jumped with about 300m to go. Probably a bit early as there is a little rise there... Derek managed to get around on the outside for a win by about a half a wheel... Bill and I where within about a half a tire width... Consensus was that I was second and Bill third. Could have gone either way.

The sprint climb was the hard part of this course. 420m, 30m of climbing. Average 6.6% grade, but actually a bit steeper at the bottom and top... We where averaging about 1:05 seconds, about 380 watts average.

Ergomo had a problem, the CPU stopped recording altitude properly after we went through a heavy rain shower in lap four and five. Hopefully it will be ok after it dries out.

Thanks to Duane Martindale for the photos...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

David HillClimb - TT and Standing

Three tries on my short practice David Hill Climb. Twice on the TT bike and once standing up on the Road Bike.

The TT bike comes in as the clear winner... 4:14, 4:22 (with 10 second wait for traffic light!) and 4:26 for the standing attempt. So it appears that TT has clear 10 second benefit compared to standing and "sprinting" the entire way (which in turn appears from last weekend's testing to be slightly faster than sitting.)

I'll try and get some ideas on the Spanish Bank HC this weekend if the weather co-operates... VVV 10k ITT is on Saturday morning. I'll head over to Spanish Banks after that.

For now looking at a profile from last year (we went up it for the Pacific Populaire) it appears that the main part of the climb will be 3.4% over 2km. And the Bikely profile seems to agree with that. There may be an extra few hundred meters at the bottom and top that will reduce overall grade.

The average speed for David HC was about 22kmh. I'm expecting for Spanish Banks will be more than 27kmh. So the benefit from the TT bike will increase.