Saturday, March 31, 2007


Well, tomorrow is finally the first race of the year, and in spite of the weather I'll be heading up to Sheboygan and I'm definitely ready to race. I've had a decent week of training, I'm feeling light on the pedals, and I'm ready to put the hurt on some other riders. I've heard the course has some pretty narrow roads and it's hard to pass during the race so I'm going to start myself up front and hopefully stay there the whole time. I'm sure that a lot of guys will be there as it's the first WCA race of the year so the course will be pretty congested. As long as I don't go down I'd be happy, but I'd be happier staying upright and taking a win so I'm going to give it all I've got. I'm sure everyone else has done their due diligence for training so it will be tough but I'm confident in what I've done as well and can't wait to see how I stack up. If I don't end up doing well then I'll know I've got some work to do and I've got two weeks to make something happen before the next race. Well, not much to say now, I've got to do some stretching tonight, get the bike cleaned up a bit and get all my clothes ready. See most of you tomorrow, good luck!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Some Pics

Great night on the trainer....2 hours with 4x10min Steady States. No problem keeping at 92% for 10minutes and recovery was super quick. I went from 173bpm to 118-120 in about 30 seconds after each interval, which means everything is firing as it should. If I was overtrained my HR wouldn't recover as fast or even get that high. If I was undertrained I wouldn't be able to do the whole 4 x 10minutes, so I know I'm feeling good. Here are some pics of the new bike...CAAD 8 with all Campy Record Carbon and Easton Carbon components. Campy Eurus wheels. Also, some pics of the new team kit.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Now I'm Ready To Race

Well, after a few days of recovery on Sunday and Monday I was ready to pick up the pace again today and I actually felt really good considering I felt like crap on Saturday. I did an easy 50 minute ride with my wife on Sunday and then an easy 45 minutes on Monday just around the neighborhood. I think I summed up both rides when I told my wife that I was just being a "bike rider" and not a "bike racer" when I went out to ride. I enjoyed just taking the time to go slow and ride, sometimes I forget to do that and it's nice to slow it down every once and a while and remember what it's like to just ride your bike without worrying about HR or intervals. So that leads me to today when I WAS worrying about those things as I kicked it up and stopped being a rider and started being a racer again. I did 2 hours on the trainer after dinner tonight with the last 50 minutes being a Tempo workout, along with a 5 minute cooldown after that. I had no problem keeping my HR at 162-165 for 50 minutes, I was sweating like crazy in the basement but my breathing was steady and I was pedaling on air. Tomorrow I'll do 2.5 hours on the trainer with 4 x 10min Steady State intervals as I'm assuming the forecast will be correct and it will be raining. Thursday may possibly be an outside ride as the forecast is a little iffy and if so I'll do about 90 minutes outside before it gets dark and then another 60 minutes inside. Friday will be an easy 60 minute ride and then Saturday is our team presentation. We will do the photo shoot and then go on a 90-120 minute ride and I'll be doing some Power Intervals to get the legs revved up and I'm sure we'll do a couple of sprints for fun. After that we'll be grilling out and talking race strategy ahead of Sunday's race. Well, that's enough for now, I have to be up at 4:00a.m. and at work by 5:00 so it's time to hit the hay. I'll post some pictures tomorrow of the new bike and our new team kit, until next time.....

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Feeling Sore....But In A Good Way

Well, since I got back from Blue Mounds I've been doing quite a bit of biking but not nearly as much as I initially thought I would do while on vacation. I did get in 22 hours on the bike this week and for the most part the hours were equally split between difficult rides and recovery rides. I did my long rides in Blue Mounds and every hour of those rides were in the difficult category as I was going uphill it seemed like most of the time. 30 seconds downhill.....then anywhere from 5-10 minutes uphill....repeat. Wednesday I did a 2 hour recovery ride on the trainer and Thursday was 3.25 hours on the road at an endurance pace for the most part. Friday was a 4 hour ride out to Delafield and back and that was endurance pace as well. Yesterday was my first Drop the Doc ride of the year and for the most part it was a miserable ride as it was foggy, raining, and I also blew 2 tubes on the way to the ride from Andy's house. The actual riding part was good though as the pace was pretty fast and I didn't have any problem hanging in there, although I could tell that the wet weather and lack of stretching was affecting my left knee and hip as they seemed really tight the whole ride. The ride total for yesterday was a little over 3 hours including the ride from Andy's house and the Doc ride. I'm not sure what I'm going to do for a ride today, we have some family commitments today, mainly running around dropping off cookie dough for my son's fundraiser so depending on the weather when I get back I'll decide on my ride then. If it's nice I'll do a longer recovery ride but not before I clean my bike as it's a complete mess from yesterday's ride. My chain is dry and I got mud and worms caked on every other moving part I think.
This week it's back to work, so it's back to riding for 75-90 minutes outside right after work and then finishing on the trainer once it gets dark. March 31st is our team photo shoot and get-together and then the first WCA race of the year is Sunday, the 1st. Can't wait! Now let's hope it doesn't snow or anything. Well, more updates to come this week, until next time........

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Could Be Better

I spent the last couple of days in Dodgeville doing some rides around the Dodgeville and Blue Mounds area getting my ass kicked by some nice long and steep hills. I did a fair amount of mileage, 81 miles on Monday and 63 on Tuesday and I didn't exactly feel that great either day. Monday was a long 5.25 hours and the ride ended with me cold, tired, and bonking after doing some good climbing, with the most daunting climb being the one up to the tower at Blue Mounds State Park. I felt pretty good to start with and then as the climbs began to take their toll along with the 25mph winds I started to slow down quite a bit. I'm still heavier than I want to be and I could tell that my extra weight was not helping me get up hills any faster, I still don't think I'm any faster up the hills than last year either. After I got back to my car at Governor Dodge State Park I loaded up on a carbo recovery drink, changed clothes and headed to my hotel to shower and change. After that I ate a fair amount of food from Pizza Hut and sat in the hot tub at the hotel to help with my recovery. I was asleep by 9:45 and woke on Tuesday to ride with Dave on a route that would again take us back to the big climb up to the tower at Blue Mounds. I could tell when I woke up Tuesday that I was still sore and tired from Monday's ride, and I knew it was going to be a slow day for me. As the ride progressed I could tell that in spite of everything I did to recover I was going to struggle big time up the climbs. Sure enough I was dying after the first few climbs and had nothing in my legs to get up them at faster than 6-7 mph. Dave was doing really well and in spite of the 10lbs extra that he has on me he was able to put me to shame on the climbs. I know that I have a lot of work to do to get back in to my old climbing shape but I felt pretty pathetic on these 2 rides. I guess that is what I went for, to improve my climbing, and if anything I think I will reap the benefits of struggling for these 2 days later down the road. It can only help me to do these types of rides and I really can't wait to do it again once my fitness is a little bit better. I did have the new CannonDale with me and it felt really good, the bike certainly wasn't holding me back as this bike is equipped for speed. It has all carbon Campy Record components and Easton carbon bars, stem and seatpost. The one thing I really liked was the Easton flat-top handlebars, they feel great on the hands when climbing and they were great on the few flat roads when I was able to rest my forearms on the flat tops. I would recommend these bars to anyone, they are a big upgrade over the normal round top bars.
So anyways, the training will go on today with a 2 hours recovery ride on the trainer today as it's pretty wet outside and then tomorrow will be another ride of about 3.5 - 4 hours depending on the weather, which right now calls for 49 degrees and 20-30mph winds. It will be tough to fight the wind so we'll see how much I can handle. Friday is supposed to be 54 and partly cloudy so I'm looking at doing about 5-5.5 hours on Friday hopefully with less wind and then Saturday I'll be doing the first Drop the Doc ride of the year in the morning. I have some family obligations from 2:00 until 5:00 on Saturday afternoon so I may be able to squeeze some more riding in after the Doc ride but we'll see. If I can't get in another ride before then I will ride the trainer some more at night after the family stuff. Sunday is calling for a 40% chance of showers with a high of 59 degrees so if the rain holds off I'll be doing another 4.5 to 5 hours. Well, that's it for now, I'll definitely update in the next couple of days, until next time.......

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Off To Dodgeville

Tomorrow morning I am off to Dodgeville bright and early with the intentions of starting my ride off at Governor Dodge State Park at approximately 9:30. I'll be doing anywhere from 4.75 to 5.25 hours and right now the weather looks pretty decent, about 46 degrees with clouds in the morning giving way to sun in the afternoon. After the ride I'll eat a big dinner, relax in the hot tub and watch some basketball. After an early night most likely I'll be up Tuesday morning and hopefully ready to be off on the bike by 10:30ish. I'll be doing about 5 to 5.5 hours and then basically will repeat the same activities of eating, sitting in the hot tub and watching some TV. If the rain holds off for Wednesday it will probably be about a 4.5 to 4.75 hour ride but with more climbing as I'm hoping to do the Blue Mounds climb multiple times. I'll be heading back home after Wednesday's ride (or Tuesday if rain is definite for Wed.) and then Thursday will be a nice rest day. I'm really looking forward to hitting some new roads and doing some climbing this week as I need to get better at lugging my overweight (178lbs) butt up hills before the race season gets in to full swing.
As far as training went this weekend, I got in 4 hours yesterday and felt really good but didn't really try to push it as I was resting up for the remainder of this week. Today I was in Chicago with my family and my parents the whole day and will be hopping on the bike within the hour to just do an easy 2 hours on the trainer. After that it I'll be finishing off the remainder of my packing for the little trip and then it will be off to bed. I'm looking forward to lots of riding the next few days, and more importantly I won't be thinking about work so that will help relieve a lot of stress. Until next time........

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Finally...An Update

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, life has been a little frenetic. Well, I've been sticking to the program for the most part, but I've had some re-occurrences of knee pain so I'm a little peeved about that. I thought all was well but after I got back from Florida I think the lack of stretching and riding caught up to me. I jumped on the bike Sunday after not keeping up with my stretching routine the whole time I was gone and I think that affected my knee and hips. I did ride Monday but skipped Tuesday as I fiddled with my position again. I rode again last night for 2 hours on the trainer and felt a little better as I rode pretty easy. Tonight I'll be doing medium duty work with weights and then will ride for 2.75 hours on the trainer. Tomorrow I'll do another 2 hours on the trainer and then Saturday I'll be doing 4-4.25 hours. I have to be in Germantown Saturday for my son's school activity so I'm going to ride from Germantown to New Berlin after it's over and my wife will drive the car home. I picked a route that goes from Germantown over to Holy Hill and then south to Pewaukee, over to Mukwanogo and then up to New Berlin, it's about 76 miles. Sunday I have to go to Chicago with the family for something at the Science and Industry Museum that we bought tickets for a while ago. I'll ride for about 1.5 hours in the morning before we go and then 2 hours after we get back.
Next week I'm on vacation from work and was hoping to have good weather so I could ride quite a bit, but it looks like we are going to get some rain and thunder storms. Monday and Tuesday look o.k., with temps in the low 40s and only a slight chance of rain on Tuesday. I'll be staying overnight in Dodgeville and will ride for at least those two days around the Blue Mounds area and if the rain holds off I will stay overnight Tuesday as well and ride there on Wednesday. After what will hopefully be 3 good days of riding I will only ride for about 1.5 to 2 hours on Thursday as I'll use that as a recovery day and I also have appointments at with my doctor for an adjustment and then I'm going to the Bike Doctor for a fitting in the afternoon. I'll also probably get a massage after the fitting as well. Friday if the rain holds off I've got a ride planned from New Berlin to Whitewater and back, exactly 100 miles. We'll see what the weather holds for the following weekend but after my hundred miler on Friday I'm only going to do about 2 hours on Saturday. Sunday will be another 5 hour ride from New Berlin to Alpine Valley and back.
Well, things aren't going exactly as planned and I don't feel nearly ready enough to race on the 1st, but I just have to keep riding and hope that everything falls in to place. All I have to say is I can't wait for the nice dry weather of summer, March weather is usually not a lot of fun to ride in......until next time...........

Monday, March 12, 2007

Playing Catch-Up

Well, I'm back from Florida, it was good to be in the warm weather but now I have lots of catching up to do. I had a hell of a day at work as I had to go through all of my voice mails and e-mails and return calls and update all of my projects. At home, I'm making sure all the bills are paid and reading my Sunday paper still and going through all the regular mail. As far as the bike, I got a few new parts while I was gone so I have to throw those on the new bike. I did get a chance to ride yesterday but not as long as I had hoped because our flight was delayed getting back. I only had time to ride for 2.5 hours before sunset but it was a good ride although I could tell I'd been off the bike for a few days. I suffered on a couple of hills but I pushed the pace the entire way, as evidenced by my average heart rate of 165 for the ride. I was cooked afterwards but it felt good to finally be outside again, hopefully the weather keeps up. Tonight I got out after work for about 1hr 15minutes before it got dark, thankfully I brought my light with me to light the way for the last 5-10 minutes as darkness crept in before I knew it. It was an easy ride and normally today is a rest day but I figured it was nice outside so why not enjoy it. Well, I still have some phone calls to make, and some laundry to do. I'll get back in to the swing of things as the week progresses, so you'll be seeing some regular updates this week. Until next time............

Thursday, March 08, 2007

In Florida

I'm in Florida on business so not much to say other than it's warm down here, about 80 degrees. We had a long day yesterday so I didn't get in a walk or any other physical activity. Our Suites have a b-ball court but no fitness center, hope to play basketball after work today for a decent workout. I've avoided the beer so far, only one Jameson on the rocks last night, that's it. I ate a healthy dinner but then failed on dessert, strike 1 was a piece of caramel cheesecake. So I'm not feeling too bad, I'll try to make it to Sunday without getting 3 strikes, we'll see. It's hard not to eat something when it's free, especially something as good as cheesecake. Until next time......

Monday, March 05, 2007

Nice Weekend.....

.....Well, kind of. I didn't ride outside yesterday, stuck to hitting the trainer down in the basement because, for one, it was a little bit windy and the temps weren't all that great, and secondly the wife wanted me to do some cleaning around the house during the day. We had some running around to do as well so it was just easier to hit the bike in the evening. As I mentioned yesterday morning I planned on doing another 3hrs30min last night and I did just that, and unfortunately I couldn't start until 7:00 so I finished at 10:30, which made for some difficulty falling asleep as I was wide awake after my ride. I will be doing another trainer ride tonight after work, only 3 hours though just due to time constraints as I have to have some time to get ready to leave for Florida on Wednesday. Tomorrow will be 3.5 hours total but it will be one in the morning and 2.5 at night. So when I leave for Florida on Wednesday I won't feel too bad about not being able to ride while I'm down there as I'll have done 13.5 hours in the 4 days prior to leaving, not too shabby. Well, other than that, my weight was down to 176.5 as of this morning, that's the lowest I've been since about 1997 so I'm feeling pretty good about that. Now that I have virtually no arm muscle pretty much anyone could beat me up, but I'll just kick them if it comes to that.
Lastly, the powers that be are meeting today to determine if cycling in the Professional ranks will continue as we know it because no one can play nice and they all want to take their ball with them when they leave. I mean, c'mon, is it really worth ruining the racing season to prove a point? Maybe it is but I think the one thing that the UCI and the race organizers are completely overlooking is the solidarity of the riders. When push comes to shove it's ultimately the riders who will decide what's best for themselves, not the UCI or the ASO. Let's hope that they get this squared away so that we don't have to watch Paris-Nice or Le Tour with watered down French Continental teams.......until next time........

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Is It Spring Yet?

Right now it's 17 degrees and fairly windy so I'm hoping that it warms up a bit so I can get outside today but we'll see. The roads still aren't the greatest but I've got my cyclo-cross bike so I'm not worried about getting my bike dirty, just more worried about the drivers that won't give me room because there are no shoulders on the road at all due to the snow. I'll give it an hour or so and then decide whether or not to hit the trainer again today or bundle up and go outside. Anyways, yesterday was a good day, on the trainer of course, with a ride of 3hrs 35min with 45 minutes of Tempo in the last hour. Everything felt really good yesterday, a rarity of late, and I'm ready to put my knee troubles behind me now I think. Today I'm going to do another 3 hour 30 minute ride if I hit the trainer otherwise I'm hoping for about the same if not a little less on the road. I'd be satisfied doing 2.5 on the road and another hour on the trainer if the temps decide to go up. It's 4 weeks from today until the first race, I want to be ready but I'm not going to push it to try to be 100% for the first race of April. Right now I'm planning my peak for July, basically for the same reason everyone else peaks in July, Superweek number one, and also for the State Crit and State TT Championships.
This week is going to be a crappy training week as I'll be in Florida for work from Wednesday until Sunday and I'm staying in a suite complex that doesn't have a fitness center so I can't even ride an exercise bike. Even if I were to rent a bike, there is no where I can ride in the area that we will be in, it's all interstate and 4-lane roads. I'll ride today though for 3hrs30min, tomorrow for at least 3hrs, which is normally a rest day, and then Tuesday I have my son's Court of Honor for Boy Scouts so I'll do an hour in the morning before work and then 2.5hrs at night afterwards. Sunday I will be back home at about 2:00 so luckily it's also the first day of Daylight Savings Time so I'll have plenty of time to ride outside. Well, that's it for now, time to go check the temps and maybe hit the road. Until next time.....

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Still Feeling Good

I rode again last night and my hips and knees felt really good but a minor inconvenience came up with sitting on my seat as a result of the change. Since I am now sitting straight or balanced on my saddle I am now sitting on both sit bones, whereas before I was leaning left to reach with my left leg since there was a discrepancy. Now that I am sitting straight I am sitting on my right side as well, which it appears I'm not used to as it is a little sore today. It seems that my right sit bones haven't touched the saddle in at least a year as evidenced by the soreness today and also the obvious leftward lean of my saddle. So now I just have to get my right side used to sitting on a seat again, which I don't mind doing since everything else doesn't hurt at least. I ordered a new seat yesterday that doesn't lean left so I won't have to keep scooting myself over as I gradually slide left while I'm riding. Anyways, I rode for 2.5 hours last night on the trainer of which 30 minutes was Tempo work and I felt great. I had no problem keeping my heart rate up and most importantly I had no knee problems with the bigger gears. Tonight the wife and I have to head to the tax guy to get our taxes done so the riding time will be limited unfortunately. We have to head to Lake Geneva to get them done (it's free so it's worth it) so I'll only be able to do about 90 minutes by the time we get back. I'll probably do one of my CTS DVDs though to make up the lack of quantity with quality. Tomorrow will be an easy 1.5 hours and then Saturday looks to be an inside ride due to the weather so I'll be doing 3.5 hours on the trainer. Sunday is still looking good with temps right around 30-32 with partly cloudy skies. The plan is to ride from New Berlin to Burlington to my parents house and then to Alpine Valley and back home. Should be 85 miles and about 5 hours including a quick pit stop at my mom's house to say hello. I've got my fingers crossed that the weather holds out. It appears that the weather will be getting better next week so hopefully that bodes well for the long term outlook for riding.

Other than that, not much going on, just bidding on a few parts for the new bike, counting the days until the first race one month from today, and waiting for that warm weather to get out on some long rides on the road. Until next time.....

My new straight saddle! My bike is silver, my team kit is red, should look good....