2011 Christmas eve ride

This year was a bitter sweet Christmas eve ride as we enjoyed our time together on the trails.
We got the dogs out for a short ride before most folks showed up, then headed out for the group ride around 11am. There was a bunch of climbing, and we ended up exploring an unknown trail which ended up looping us back around to mid-climb, then we got to bomb back down the trail again – good times!

We had a water crossing that had no bridge – w/ a smart phone in my pocket, I figured it was safer to walk than take a $200+ dunk/phone renewal.

Post ride we hung out with our friends and the dogs, and remembered our friend Jeff.

Good times with Great friends!

Hope you have very Happy Holidays and enjoy time spent with friends and family!!

Winter Cycling Training

This is the time of year when Mother Nature tries to fool you into thinking that the winter will be easy and you will have beautiful days to ride all Winter.

Winter weather head gear

One Winter several of us at a local bike shop got together and did twice weekly spin classes. We started in the first of the year, and it was good to do it with a group. But suddenly our guy that had to lock up when we were done got a change of schedule and we could no longer spin – a month later, the time had changed and we were once again out on the road. But I feel like I was starting all over again.

Many people do all kinds of training this time of year, only to burn out or stop due to the cold and/or wet weather in the early Spring. Remember not to do too much intensity and do not do too much mileage this time of year, unless your plan and commitment is true, and you follow through to the new year.

Remember the old story of the tortoise and the hare – steady wins the race.

Chess table
Have the proper Winter cycling gear to get you through the cold and dreary days.

Don’t let that happen to you!
1) Get a Trainer
2) Have prepared workouts that ramp up the intensity.
3) Do the workout and get OFF the bike! Riding the trainer can be more challenging for you mentally than physically! Do a workout and get off the trainer.

best cycling upgrade

Many cyclists are curious what the best upgrade for your bike is – but what we seldom want to consider is that the best upgrades is actually for the motor!

I saw a post by a friend that stated they got a new pair of wheels and then stated: “Hey, that’s the most important upgrade you can make!” I had to post that they go the best “bike” upgrade.

Cycling is all about each person’s ‘Power to Weight’ ratio. One of the main ways to increase your power to weight ratio is to either increase your power, or to reduce your weight. Ideally you would do both.

1. A problem with increasing your power is that many people have various methods for doing it. Also, you have to be very consistent and have a good plan both on and off the bike – this is where having coach helps.

2. The problem with reducing weight via the bike and components is that there is a high price vs. reward. BUT the most important part of the bicycle (the Motor) is where the most performance improvements can be made!

For instance, what is the greatest aero-drag, a bicycles motor. Where can ‘most cyclist’ shave the most weight? Probably their gut.
Last Spring I lost 10 pounds from my stomach area – I don’t think there is anywhere that you can loose 10 pounds from a bicycle (and still safely ride it), especially in a span of a couple months.

Gym goers and personal trainers have a saying: “Abs aren’t made in the gym, they are made in the kitchen” What can cyclists take from this is that health and peak performance begins with what you use to fuel your body.

Another great saying is that “you can’t out-train a bad diet”.

2012 Winter weather forecast

The Farmers Almanac has finally released their predictions for the U.S. 2012 Winter weather conditions. As always, this is just predictions fluctuations will occur.

As usual, it looks like the South-West U.S. has some of the best winter training weather.

The Northeast is predicted to have average temps, but be very stormy.

For here in the Southeast the forecast calls for a mild winter, Cold and dry initially, then scattered showers. This doesn’t mean that it will not be cold this winter, just that it should not be as severe as what it was last year. This will allow for an uptick in the pace of the early season packs as many cyclists will be able to train outside together, increasing their speed in the early season races.

Florida looks to have the best winter weather in the Southeast – dryer than normal and mild winter temperatures.

“If the weather is a common reason for missing workouts then achieving high goals is unlikely.” ~Joe Friel

Farmer’s Almanac 2012 Winter Weather forecast.

Here is a more detailed Southeastern forecast

Scattered showers in the Spring will still have cyclists inside on the trainer. Let’s face it being below 40 degrees and wet makes riding the trainer seem like a good idea! Here are 2x a week for 12 weeks worth of Wind-trainer workouts that will get you through those rainy days indoors. These workouts can be done on the Windtrainer or outside!

Bike WindTrainer

These workouts will make you

1) Leaner!
2) faster!
3) stronger!

What to expect:
-Heart rate based intervals of varying length and time each week.

-Steady state intervals for climbing and Time Trialing

-Individual Leg Training (ILT) for forming perfect pedaling circles

-Spin-Ups to increase leg speed

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

Or for the rest of this Month, get the Wind-Trainer workouts a 9.95 value PLUS
Get all this:

$28.95 5 things for Fat Loss and weight management: – FREE!
$28.95 Stretching and flexibility for increased aero-dynamics – FREE!
$28.95 Four things for Stronger Cycling, training phases – FREE!
$9.95 24 Windtraining Workouts – Included!

ALL for just 14.95!

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Winter Bike League Maysville 2011

You know that Winter is about to cast her steely grip across the US when anybody whose is a cyclist rushes to Athens, GA to join into the Winter Bike League. They go in hopes of Fame and fortune that but a few have been able to attain, the stories of which have never been told – unless several adult beverages have been consumed.

Mineral Man and StrongerCyclist

I got a call from the Mighty Mineral Man himself, telling me that he was returning to grand form & was making preparations to rip the legs off any non battled hardened cyclists that dare forget his story. It had been a mere seven years since Mineral Man and your’s truly left their own mark in the Archives of the WBL.

As I do every year, I re-read last years WBL report . This year I was determined that my lack of mileage (from recovering from a recent Mt bike crash) wasn’t going to be the source of my suffering.
Greenville WBLer Derek.

Luckily, I talked my friend Derek into coming from Greenville to the original WBL & luckily he gave me 2 NUUN tablets at the start. I also filled up 2 flasks full of Hammer Gel, a clif bar, and a secret weapon, a pack of pop-tarts – yeah, I’m going old skool! I wasn’t going to let a lack of nutrition keep me from holding onto the front group.

WBL start Dec3, 2011

As the ride gently rolled out of town, everyone was all chatter and festive, seeing old friends, meeting new friends. Little did I realize the depth of the days field, but why would that surprise me? this is the WBL! I saw some great riders, a @Team Type1 rider, 2 Team Mountain Kakis riders, a Real Cyclist.com, Jered Gruber, Clay Parks, Hammerin’ HillBilly, FarmerG, the PACK SHOUTER, old motorcycle racers, and a score of cyclists that race! It was a stacked, packed, jacked field of 2 wheeled craziness about to embark on a slugfest. As we rolled outta town, you could tell everyone was giddy with anticipation!

Then, came the rolling hills. At the mid-field riders were being made into diamonds via the intense pressure of the leaders. All you can hear is the weazing wind of those putting in monumental efforts to keep themselves with the herd. As I looked up I realized that we were only half way up this roller and you have to pay attention as riders start to fall off the pace.

Pack is spread out on 2nd lap

I see a couple riders swerve around and then suddenly see why, 1 gal was lost in her personal hurt locker, I checked traffic, played frogger and eased over and became a pusher. I geared down, and asked if she wanted a push, when she looked over her shoulder I realized it was her weazing I heard. She was nearly hyper-ventilating. I got the two of us up to the same speed, but we still had a ways to get over this hill, and now I’m nearly weazing also. PUSH! Finally, I got her onto the flats, let her catch her breathe, and the ride continued along.

Once at the store stop, I filled the bottles, popped in the extra Nuun tablet, ate on a smore pop-tart and checked in with the Mineral Man & Gainesville fella’s. So far, so good! But as the group was knocking out the 2nd half of the ride, the rollers were back. Funny how you can’t remember much about a route, but once you are hurting you can realize this is where the hurt was put to you last time. We were on a skyward ascent, under I-85 when I had deja-vue. I dug down and my quads were talking to me, but I was able to throttle enough to keep my placing in the pack.

By now, I’m going through my second flask of gel. The quads and hamstrings are mumbling, but no mutiny yet. Onward, we march. I take every chance to throttle my pace. After each surge ahead of me, I catch up slowly – no big efforts. And no one is in any hurry to get around me either. Everyone is suffering.

Finally we round a corner and I realize we are just outside Athens, and have 2 climbs left. But the first climb I loathe. It is somewhat short, but man is it steep. Suddenly the pack starts to move all over the road nearly everyone is out of the saddle, rocking their bikes. Again, I make it with the group, and my mood improves, Athens is on a hill, and now that is the only hill left. Post ride Food and Beer awaits!

Interesting to hear the stories when your done and finally relaxing. Man, was I suffering when we were going past that white picket fence. “yeah, I remember that fence, that section SUCKED!”

You are suffering? Remember everyone is hurting, you just have to hurt just a little more to stay with them!
Most races come down to 3-5 minutes of who can suffer the most and that often determines the winner.