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I suck

Folks, so sorry for the weak amount of postings. I have been incredibly busy with work and just not motivated at all to say much of anything. I will try and get some good stuff going on soon but need to get on a bike and sweat a bit. Hotel spin bikes suck but training on the road is what it is.

More this week then a break.

NAHMBS

Not to be confused with NAMBLA. I wish I were at the North American Hand Made Bicycle Show back in my 'ol Left Coast home. My boys Mike and Paul are showing their sexcellent wares again this year. Last year Mike unveiled his 9'er to great accreditation (see photo from last year Mike sent me). Mike's billet-ing (note the stays on this bike) is insane and now being leveraged by other frame builders as he is a mechanical engineer and he leverages 3D CAD's to have all parts CNC'd robotically. I wish I were there to support him this year!

I'm sure all you bike sluts have wasted your lunch breaks eyeballing CyclingNews' coverage of the NAHMBS and seen Vanilla bicycles Speedvagon....and it is SICK. It's a 1X1 cross bike but note the details such as the seat post extension to the frame with the canti cable being routed through. So many intricate details. Yummy. Sacha's got to throw some Dugast's with that creamy white sidewall on this beauty though. These Tufo's look bunk. (Photo from www.cyclingnews.com).

The bike that stole my heart due to it's simplicity is this Richard Sachs. I can't get over it. It is so clean that it is obsessive for me to look at (or rather for me to STOP looking at). I think I want to hump it a little. Hump. hump. (Photo from CyclingNews.com).

I'll continue to day dream for now about hand made bikes.

Hump.

Hump hump.

Glor-ree-frickin-ous!!!!!!!

Glorious. The Republic I thought I lived in is back. Maaaaaybe 5 or 10 degrees warmer but absolutely gorgeous. Sun warming muscles on long rides. Today we had a mass of RM-Izze's show up at Amante. The woman's team showed up in force for Couch's echelon and pace-lining clinic. We helped out for a bit then we split off from the clinic and threw down. We rolled fast for a while and then decided to recon Boulder Roubaix and the course was in great shape. I got the Boonen like visions out there today. Very little mud believe it or not on the course. Longman, Bobby, Hix, Sharpe, and Neeeeequette laid wood on each other. Sorry about all the attacks guys. You helped me get my intervals in and the suffering in the sun was so sweet. Painful yet sweet. Longman, you impressed.

Yesterday in anticipation of this weather, my big man got his upgrade. B-Money Dwight from BCS hooked up my boy with this Scott he's been eye-balling. He, Dwayne....everyone made him feel like a total Rock Star with the pro treatment. The bike was prepped and waiting for him and they had it staged in like the middle of the shop awaiting him right next to a Scott Addict SL and some other eye candy. Rad. Thanks guys.

Of course, with Daddy washing his bikes today apres ride, the boys in the 'hood had to get in on the act. Got to teach 'em young to take care of the equipment (yes I am rubbing of my anal retention uber-young to take care of their sheeit and some day line up ot their races with some of that sparkling fresh bar tape. Mmm. Fresh bar tape).

On the road again this week. Hotel gyms await me and I'll again be attempting to avoid the cocktails with the schmoes who actually enjoy being away from their real lives. I hit my stopwatch when I get on the plane and stop it when I hit DIA.

An evening with Dirk Friel

Last night, our friend Dirk Friel came to RM and personally gave the team the tutorial on how to use the TraningPeaks and CyclingPeaks software. This is stunning as a bunch of chumps liek us were getting the same touch that ProTour teams like Astana Predictor-Lotto and T-Mobile get from Dirk directly. Training peaks was a sponsor in 04/05 and now back as a prime sponsor for 07 and will be emblazoned on our sides like you see here in our old 04 uni's.

The tutorials went great and his walk through of how ProTour teams are really engaged these days with TrainingPeaks was awesome to listen to. Interestingly, as most teams are pushing towards a complete no-doping policy, the side benefits of having all that data (aside from super fit athletes) is data to fall back on to 'prove' rider workloads...essentially to validate teh cleanliness of the squad and that their performances are very real and not medicinal. So, TrainingPeaks is sort of like the Sarbanes Oxley of the athletic world! Maybe keeping ProTour teams out of Enron-like equivilents of doping versus dismal financial ethics.

There are TONS of resources on the TrainingPeaks site in addition to distractions like fairly intimate pictures of Dirk's experience with the big teams. This one of Dirk offering Lance a bag of Doritos from the Predictor-Lotto car is hilarious.
More impressive is visibility into real data from guys like Mario Aerts. Bringing up Mario's *.WKO data file in CyclingPeaks is...well...humbling. It's not often that you see a human push 300+ watts for 25 minutes right there in technicolor.

So, we're psyched to be working with Dirk and training peaks again and try to be more competitive with all this 'data'.

iMacs are gud


I can't believe it. I've built software for Windo$ platforms for nearly 15 years and we got our first iMac here at home recently. Nice OS but it ain't all that plus tax. Having beta'd Vista, that is equally as sick (yeah it probably ripped off a zillion things from Mac OS...blah blah blah). The iMac's sweet and integrates lots of shite well and has fancy cameras built in (e.g. like shooting stupid pictures like this while sitting in front of the Mac. I can envision those poor psychos on Dateline NBC: To catch a Predator using this while rubbinng their....you know...uh thighs).

Anyhoo, is this post bike or 'cross related? No. But'll help me get blogilicious in the Summer when I tap in my video from the CX clinics and whatnot.

Make the sun come. Warm muscles, open jerseys, heat.

The White Stuff

Oy fricken Vay, man. It continues. This is out my front door. Yesterday, blissful sun and the beginnings of sun tan lines from my helmet straps on my head, to another round of the shite. Rally Sport bikes are getting abused by me.

This AM and this week I went extremely hard. Got to get the bad out. Stazio this weekend but still up in the air for me. I feel great but do not want to deal with knuckleheads and their twitchiness this early on in the season. I do not need to end up sliding into a curb at 30 MPH. That course is fast, somewhat fun, but always has sand and tight corners by the ball fields. These hour efforts in March do not matter. Mol matters. Short track and and having fun matters. My single speed matters. Putting smiles back on my face early in the morning matters so I can come home human and light up my wife and boys faces and not be a surly bitch. Combat the imbalance with balance.

Single Speed Training

Per my post below, sort of cool timing. From Cycling News:

Single speed advantages

Does training on a single speed bring any particular advantages? Obviously riding a single speed leads to pushing harder at times and spinning faster at other times, but does this bring any benefits to the rider when he transfers back to his geared bike?

Terry

Scott Saifer replies:

The single speed does force you to push hard on the pedals, developing power which you can use on your geared bike, and force you to spin higher cadences, which can help you develop your spin for sprinting or routine riding depending how bad you spin is to start with. If you went out and deliberately trained the same variety of cadences on a geared bike, you'd get the same benefit.

The major benefit of the single-speed is that it is different and so can keep training fresh and interesting for a few more hours now and then. I would not suggest using the single speed exclusively. If it is a fixed gear as well as a single speed, avoid spinning out on down hills. The single speed does not help make you smoother when the pedals are driving your feet, but only when you feet are driving the pedals.

Depth

Post Japan, things are going fairly good again. I am in love with my SS and am finding it hard to go on longer road rides when that bike just feels so good.

In the gym I have been going deep on the weights and core. Can't say that I am going to have a six-pack and all that (i think I'm skinny enough) but I can feel the difference in the depth of my breathing just by having given other parts of my body some attention. I have been going fairly deep on the leg presses as well to develop a deeper strength which I haven't done since...well a long time let's say.

So to see where rubber meets road on all of this, I have been doing this route which is great on the SS. Climb Lee Hill, bomb Left Hand Canyon to Heil Ranch, loop that puppy and re-climb up Old Stage back home. Perfect. Mainly as it is all so close to my house. Climbing LH on the single is tough with the 32 x 16 but perfect to sort of continue that core leg strength work I have been doing. Sometimes it feels like I am going to blow the chain right off that puppy but she's hanging in there.

I can not wait for heat. Open jerseys, blaring sun, warm muscles.

Japan killed me...

...A week of travel abroad and I feel like a bloated 'business guy'. Life is interesting for me like that. I kinda do everything at 7 kazillion miles an hour. Family. cycling, work. Don't know any other way. I'll probably have a heart attack so violent some day my heart'll blow out of my chest like that scene in Aliens.

Anyhoo, my pathetic run in Yokohama after traveling across the world did me very little good but my ride back at altitude with G Pent yesterday upon my return made me feel a bit better. Back in the gym today with my beautiful wife. Time to let the jet-bloat drain.

Belgium 2008.

The designer should be fired...

...for missing this glaring f-up. The Upside down/half obscured Discovery on their uni's looks horrible. Who missed that one?

Photo by Velonews.com