Saturday, February 28, 2009

A good week of training

I had a good training week. After weeks of wishy-washy, more days off the bike than on, and the fact that I struggled a bit with Tour de Palm Springs, this week was hunker down week. Palm Springs was the first ride of my "season" so I don't feel so bad about struggling a bit. With the Solvang Half-Century in March, the Tour of the Tucson Mountains in April, and possibly the San Diego Century in May, I'll be spending a lot of time on the saddle and more time than ever before on climbing. Its time to put serious ass time on the saddle.

This week was all about getting back into a training routine. During the week I did 3 rides, all focused on time trialing and doing cruise reps. My ride today, Saturday, was completely focused on hills. Coach Sean, had me go out and find some 6 minute climbs. My task was to go up but not go above my Zone 5a heart rate. I accomplished that for the most part, but not entirely. Although only about 30 minutes of my almost 3 hour ride was spent abouve that zone. With roughly 1520 feet of climbing, and thankfully about the same in descents, it was a challenge, but it was fun. Training my weaknesses.

This is what my ride looked like today:

The weight loss program also went on hiatus for a few weeks, but I am now back on track. Tracking all of my food through the Livestrong website and their "Daily Plate." Good tools and a very impressive amount of foods listed in their database. I'll report more on that as I become more familiar with it. In any case, I've been keeping track of my food intake all week.

Another bit of fun news, is that the rest of the year I'll be wearing the 53x11Coffee kit on the organized rides I'm participating in. I mentioned this to my students the other day and they thought it was completely appropriate for me to be sponsored by a coffee company that caters to cyclists. I want to extend a big thank you to Evan Laurence at for agreeing to be a sponsor even though I'm not a racer. My students are also thankful that I will be well caffeinated.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tour de Palm Springs

Tour de Palm Springs
Sat, Feb 14, 2009 - 57.10 mi
57.10 mi in 04:40:03 hours at 12.23 mi/h on Specialized Sequoia Elite.

This was my first Tour de Palm Springs. I have to admit it was a tough ride. The day was cold and windy. I rode in long tights and wore a fleece jacket the whole way around. The first 25 miles or so one is either going on an upgrade, actually climbing or fighting the wind. I think it took me an hour to do the first 8 miles or so. There were a couple of nice downhills, but once those are over the ride from Palm Desert back to Palm Springs is on an upgrade. The lesson of this ride is similar to past lessons...climb, climb, climb.

I had some trouble with my HRM, at the start my computer wasn't working well, it paused itself. so there is about a mile gap. along the route there were some power lines that created some screwey readings. Like a HR of 250 and a max speed of 57.
Posted from My Cycling Log

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cruise Intervals.

Wed, Feb 11, 2009 - 16.90 mi
16.90 mi in 01:15:31 hours at 13.43 mi/h on Specialized Sequoia Elite. [Cycling] A good ride today, felt good. The first half was tough there was a strong cold headwind, but the return was fun. I used the CTS do the Tour it was fun doing the reps with Chris Carmichael and Mari Holden yelling encouragement in my ear.

20min warm up
6 reps of 6 minutes each in zone 5a/5b
3 minute recoveries between reps
4 min. cool down.

I forgot my HRM so the HR are guestimates, but I think they'd be pretty accurate.

Tomorrow is just an easy ride to work out the kinks and then nothing until Palm Srpings!

Posted from My Cycling Log

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Looking towards the sky in Palm Springs

Tue, Feb 10, 2009 - 16.40 mi [Cycling]
16.40 mi in 01:09:57 hours at 14.07 mi/h on Specialized Sequoia Elite. [Cycling] It was a good ride. Mostly stayed in Zone 3 and low zone 4. It got cold after sunset, but it was fun overall. Not sure how ready I will be for the Tour de Palm Springs, but I'm not too concerned since it's my first time out there.

For me Palm Springs is like a tune-up ride. It's a chance to assess where I'm at and it gives me a month to work on getting ready for Solvang. Which in turn gets me ready for Tour of the Tucson Mountains.

At this point, I'm carefully monitoring the weather in Palm Springs this Saturday. Doesn't look good. I'm hoping the long-term forecast clears up as we get closer to Saturday.

Posted from My Cycling Log

Getting excited about the Tour of California

This is a cool versus video clip from their Tour of California Preview show last weekend. Last year we went up to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to watch the last stage. This year we're thinking of doing the same and then watching the last stage in Escondido, which is very close to where we live. It will be fun to see Lance ride.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ensenada-Rosarito Rides again!

I'm happy to spread the word that the Rosarito-Ensenada Fun ride is back on for 2009. When I did the ride back in September, organizers had announced that it was the last year that they would be doing the ride. I'm not sure what had prompted this, it's always been a very successful ride. The only thing I can think of is that the increased violence in the are had diminished registration and the number of riders. As of a couple of weeks ago the website stated that the ride had been canceled, however over the weekend I checked and the ride is on again!

The site states:

"Thanks to support from our participants and from the Mexican Tourism Board, we are pleased to announce the 30th Anniversary Rosarito-Ensenada Bike Rides!"

As in the past there will be a ride in both Spring (April 18, 2009) and Fall (September 26, 2009).

I've done this ride three times. It's a great ride, streets are closed to traffic. It's a beautiful ride down the coast, then it turns inland to a long and challenging climb before winding it's way down to the coast again and the fiesta in Ensenada.

This is a great ride. I'm glad it's on again and am looking forward to participating again this year.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My 2009 Goals

Looking back at 2008 I can say that it was a very good year for me in many respects. This was certainly true on the bike. For the first time I rode the Rosarito-Ensenada fun ride from start to finish without getting off to walk over the big climb of “El Tigre.” I rode the longest ride I’ve ever done (80 miles) at the El Tour de Tucson in November. And I rode more miles in one year than I had ever ridden before (2,242 miles). I began working with coach Sean Burke, in August, about a month or so before Rosarito-Ensenada. Much of the strength and success I experienced in my last two rides of the year are due to my work with him. Overall last year was a great success. But there is room for a lot of improvement.

So 2009 is going to be the year that I reach some important health goal:
  1. I will lose 50 to 75 lbs by El Tour de Tucson (Nov. 2009)
  2. I will ride at least 3,000 miles for 2009.
  3. I will complete my first Century.
  4. I will ride a full El Tour (109 miles)

In many respects the cycling goals are the easy part. The weight loss has proven to be more of a challenge. My plan to accomplish the weight loss is to be much more strict with myself in following the Weight Watchers program. I will continue to work with Sean, he has helped me become stronger, has shown me how to work on my weaknesses and his encouragement and support have been priceless. And to add a level of accountability, I will be posting weight loss results here. So check back and see how things are going.

Which leads me to another goal, that’s only tangentially related to my goals. I want to Tour de Bike, to be more than just a training log. I want to share information about what’s working for me, what’s not, but also, all things cycling related, from pro-races to reviewing events, equipment, etc. So, stay tuned!

For the next year some of the events that I will be participating are the following. I can tell you that the first 3 I’m already registered for. Organizers of the Rosarito-Ensenada ride had announed that the event would be cancelled. as of this writing it's back on the calendar! For me it means that I may not do the Amtrak Century, but for now I've listed it as tentative.

2009 Events Schedule:

I’m excited for 2009, I’m looking forward to the Tour de Palm Springs next week. I'll be doing the 55 mile ride. It's the first time I've entered that event. Molly and I will be spending Valentine’s Day on the bike. I’ll let you know how it goes.

2008 Tour of California HIghlights

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tue, Feb 3, 2009 - 20.10 mi [Cycling]

Tue, Feb 3, 2009 - 20.10 mi [Cycling]
20.10 mi in 01:18:52 hours at 15.29 mi/h on Specialized Sequoia Elite. [Cycling]

I had a good ride on the Strand today. I lucked out, there really wasn't that much wind, which is a rare occurrence. I did my repeats and I was pleasantly surprised with my mph.

Warm up 15 minutes Zone 1 and 2

5 Reps 8 min. Zone 4/5a & b (160bmp - 175bpm)

Recoveries 3 to 4 minutes each. Tried to get my HR down to about 150bpm before I started the next acceleration.

There was a short cool down, I probably could have done some more reps but the sun was setting and I had a long commute home.

below zone: 28:24

in zone: 49:27

above zone: 1 min.
Posted from My Cycling Log