Thursday, December 25, 2014

Training - Merry Christmas

Yesterday and today were family days. The Missus was home from work so the three of us (her, Junior, me) spent the day together. Yesterday Junior was a bit fussy, I was absolutely exhausted, and it ends up he was probably coming down with something; today he's been running a 100-102 degree fever pretty consistently. His normal "eat everything and then ask for seconds" became more of the "pour clementines from one bowl to another".

Nonetheless, with the weather a crazy 55+ degrees F, with sun supposed to come out, the Missus encouraged me to get out for a ride. It's really unusual for me to train outside in the winter but with March/April weather… well I had to get out.

I had a last little delay as Junior wanted to lay down and snuggle with his blankets. After holding him a bit he passed out. The Missus took over when I transferred him to his bed, shooing me away to go ride.

Because the weather was unusual I'm noting what I wore:
 - Bib knickers, "roubaix" material.
 - LS base layer
 - LS insulating base layer (not wicking)
 - LS jersey
 - wind vest
 - head thing
 - my Canari winter gloves
 - regular shoes, socks
 - Sidekick booties

Maybe a better way to do it:

Head: head sock thing
Neck: Turtleneck bit from a base layer
Torso: 3 x LS jerseys, wind vest
Legs: 1 x knickers
Feet: regular socks, regular shoes, booties
Hands: regular winter gloves

I was a bit warm since I felt warm when I started down the driveway. Realistically I could have gotten rid of one of the LS layers, maybe the insulating one, and replaced it with a SS jersey. I also could have used some "roubaix"/thermal shorts - I have a full "roubaix" long sleeve + shorts skinsuit and that would have been ideal with the LS base layer and the wind vest.

But I wore what I wore and with daylight rapidly fading I headed out.

I had been fiddling with my bike in the trainer room. My tape was a wreck, I wanted to mount a second bottle, I wanted to find a way to mount a frame pump, etc. I'm also reorganizing said bike room so I've been sorting through a lot of things.

Therefore I started full a pretty good load out, a pretty good set of supplies. A tube each for the 60 mm valve front and 80 mm valve rear, and an extender to let the 60 mm work in the rear. Spare dropout. Multi tool, two of them, including an 8 mm allen wrench and a chain tool. Spare KMC Missing Links. Some other stuff.

I also Strava'd the ride with the phone. I had my SRM going (and checked the slope thing a few times to make sure the weather didn't radically affect my numbers. Our unheated basement, at 64 degree or so, is pretty close to the 55 degrees or so outside, so the numbers weren't far off, just a few ticks.

Today I weighed in at an "off cycle" 167 lbs. I say "off cycle" when I'm at the heavier point of my weight. I was "on cycle" by the time I went for the ride, and after I weighed… I have to go weigh myself.

Ha. Exactly the same weight, down to the tenth. Haha.

Oh and when I set out I'd eaten about 1200 cal. With about 900 cal burned I'm at a net of under 300 cal for the day. Therefore I should be able to eat a bit tonight for dinner.

Compare that to the 175-179 lbs I weighed most of the summer and it's a dramatic difference, a good 10 lbs loss. I felt it immediately heading out of the complex. I have to climb a hill that's a good minute effort at 300-450 watts.

Today I peaked at 529w on that hill and did about 12 mph on the hill. It took me less than a minute and I slowed dramatically at the top just because.

Sept 27th I peaked at under 370 and struggled to go 9 mph. It took me about 1:20 to do the hill.

Aug 3rd I hit just under 390w and struggled to hit 10 mph. It took about 1:15 to do the hill.

There's another little hill I want to check but it's so short and in the middle of the loop so it's harder than checking the first few minutes of a given ride. On a great year, like 2010, I was flowing up the hill in a 53x14 at 25 mph. On tougher years it's hard for me to go 16-18 mph. I'm curious what today was like - I did it twice and both times it felt easier than any recent memory.

I hadn't been out in a while so I had some of the normal twinges from being able to ride in the saddle. They were gone by an hour into the ride but I was pretty aware of them, just in case they didn't go away.

I also learned, again, just how unaerodynamic it is to stand up. Given the choice I'll stay seated at speed, or stand while on the drops. However today, going along in a stream of traffic (I know, traffic on Christmas?), I stood while on the hoods for a short hill. It was like I hit a wall I slowed so much.

In a field, standing on the hoods is not a big deal.


Big deal.

(Specialized did a simple wind tunnel test and it showed that for one rider - sample size was one - there was a significant savings aerodynamically in the draft by being on the drops versus being on the hoods. I thought about that today while I was on the hoods. The rider in question was a relatively tall woman based on the head tube size of the frame. I, of course, am a relatively short-legged guy so when I stand up I catch more wind proportionally speaking, so there's that.)

I did a loop and a half of my normal Quarry Road loop, trying to get my favorite right turn in (10/202 to 315) so I could do a big jump. The first lap I did an half hearted jump, deciding to make the effort only after I was clear of the turn. The effort ended up a 1000w peak, 600w for 10 second kind of effort. Definitely subpar, but fun and invigorating for a late December ride.

I figured I'd do it for real on the next loop.

Unfortunately the light turned red just before I got to the light the second time so I didn't do the second jump. I thought about it but instead decided to save it and see how the final half mile hill went. Ultimately it went about normal, based on Strava's "recent effort" comparison. I went significantly faster once this year, significantly slower twice, and within a 10 second window the other 5 times.

Yes I've only done the Quarry Road loop 9 times this year.


It's my normal outside training ride and I used to do it 1-2-3x a week. I guess I haven't felt the need to ride outside much the past few years.

So with that I headed in. I wanted to get one last picture of the bike, in its current iteration, before the deep freeze sets in.

After the ride, Christmas Day.
Photo taken with my LG G2 phone camera in "dynamic mode"

Thoughts on the current iteration of the bike.

The bottle placement accentuates the length of the bike. I kind of like it. With the pump, the taillights, the bag, the bike has a very rear mass bias look and I like it. All the stuff is grouped around the seat tube, leaving the front end of the bike a bit bare and way out in front.

I've been working on the downtube bottle cage - I think I'm going to put in new rivnuts instead of trying to file the current cage, as I want them a good 1 cm further up the tube. Instead of trying to get it done for the ride today I just used the seat tube cage.

For the record I never touched the bottle during the ride.

I combined the two Blackburn mini pumps (one carbon bodied, one regular plastic) into one "best condition" carbon one. That's the pump peeking out from behind the seat tube.

Both blinkie lights have full strength rechargeable batteries.

The saddle bag has all my training ride stuff in it. It's short the third tube so it's a bit baggy looking. With a third tube it looks like something out of a catalog, perfectly formed.

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