Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Life - Ad, Comments, and Training

It won't yell at you or put some not-safe-for-work things on your screen. But if you pride yourself on your awareness, this is a great wake up call.

"The Test"

I don't do much advocacy stuff other than say thank you when people in cars let me in or actually stop at a stop sign, but that ad is cool. If I was rich, I'd pay to play it all over the place.

Today I tried to take a break from things, mainly things on the laptop. "Laptop" nowadays means bike stuff since I've tried to separate bike stuff from everything else. One of the things I did was I made some corrections to GC (an error extremely obvious when I looked at it but not when I put it up in a daze). This meant opening up a bunch of programs, editing things, uploading them, doing the security dance my site requires to change things, and then checking to see how things look. This takes time - in the past I've spent upwards of 4-5 hours to get this done - and is one of the main reasons I posted the Bethel results to the blog.

The blog, as I pointed out before, also allows some user interactivity, including posting comments.

Since I get alerted whenever a comment is posted, I also read some of the comments. Frankly I was at a loss for words with some of the immense hatred out there. I hope the comment writers aren't coming to the races - to be so two faced (supporting Bethel and then posting such things about it) is kind of like pulling a Spitzer, just not as serious.

Anyway, this prompted me to take a break since Bethel is more a hobby than anything else (let's see, I spend half of Saturday, all of Sunday, and bits of Monday and Tuesday working on the race, don't make money except prize money I win... yeah, sounds like racing bikes doesn't it?). I decided to think about things for a bit and that means doing other things.

I did decide that I need to review my own policy on comments. I'll follow the lead of's user policy. One thing is that I won't allow any future comments aimed at specific, named individuals. Well, me, I'm fair game, because it's my blog. But no one else.

One thing I did today was to ship out my SRM head. Technically it's the PowerControl (the crank is the PowerMeter) and the way it's built the battery is not user-replaceable. I don't know why but it isn't. Think iPod. And it lasts about a year.

I didn't budget for that when I bought it but I figure it's like 2/3 of a flat race tire a year. It seems like it'll be a couple week before it gets back. My electronic training diary (WKO+) will suffer - my graphs will be all screwed up. It's one of those things - if you start plotting points and creating graphs, it's kinda neat to check out your progress (or not). So unfortunately my graphs will be a bit stunted for a while.

On top of that, the PowerMeter (the crank bit) battery lasts "about 10k miles" according to the kind customer service person who emailed me some answers to my questions. 10k miles. Hmph. Like two years. Or if they figure I'm riding 20 mph (I wish!), 500 hours. Three of my 2007 seasons. Maybe 18 months if I taper my training significantly this year. If I pick up the riding again (it's severely tapered in the last three weeks), I could do it in about 5 or 6 months.

I think if I got a job I'd get myself a - can you guess? - backup system.

I won't tell the missus just yet though because the whole idea with the SRM was not to have to buy a lot of stuff for it.

Anyway, since I'm not totally fit or burnt out, I want some feedback on my riding. See, usually, at the end of the season, I've taken all my various speed and distance measuring devices off the bike. It doesn't matter too much anymore and I start caring less and less. I know where I stand and a bit of training isn't going to change things.

But it's March.

And in March, everything counts.

March (and February and January) are the months where I crave the data, mostly because I keep seeing good news. Hey, I'm faster! Hey, I'm stronger! Hey, this is great!

Around May and June things start to taper. Oh, I'm the same speed. Oh, I'm the same strength. My sprint gets honed usually through August or September so in June I still get something. Hey, I can sprint faster!

Then in September things start slowing down. Weather eases. Joints stiffen. Bike slows.

So, seeing as it's March still, I thought it'd be a good time to stick a cyclometer on the bike - and the Cateye I won last year would be a nice one to put on. Only problem is that I can't find it. So I'll dig through some boxes and find it and stick it on the bike.

And maybe I'll surprise myself.

Hey, I'm faster!

I wish.


Murat Altinbasak said...

If you are without your power meter for a while, and if you use WKO+ software as I do, you can enter rides into it manually from the calendar. Everything from miles, duration, average watts, TSS etc can all be entered manually, with some of the elements self calculating.. I did this a lot in January when I rode the fixed gear more.. For average watts, look back at older files and find those with compatible duration and intensity- enter similar numbers to your manual entries. Better to be close with a guess than be way off with missing data. If you follow your Performance Management Chart, CTL, ATL, or raw TSS/day, this will be important to maintain.

Aki said...

Good point. I do use WKO+ and I have been keeping track of HR stuff at least. I didn't even think about guessing at intensities since I don't have a lot of data, but it does make sense.