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Entries in cyclocross training (100)

What a difference a day makes

So, from piss and moan on Thursday to taking the day off Friday, I feel like a new man. Unbelievable. I have to remember to actually do that every now and again. It's like someone set the reset button to reboot me.

Today was epically gorgeous here in zee Repoobleek. Bobby and I got out for a 100% cross focused training ride this AM. We both feel air changing.

We did 20 x 20's up Poorman's today to work on maintaining porting technique while being under stress. You are climbing this slog of a dirt road suffering but the goal is to be able to maintain your composure (e.g. on/off bike technique) while suffering. In the 59th minute of a cross race, you'll be thanking me for this Bobby. You want to be able to be as smooth and efficient when the body feels like it can't. Suffering up this slog a few times a week is helpful for that late race assurance.

We moved on to Elk's and set up shop. Slow speed technique training over the PVC's. Fun. Took some pics and vids.

What did YOU do to get ready for cross today kids?!!

Mr. Boberino
The pit bike felt niiiice.
The PVC's are back from hiatus.

Wasted after the effort.

On Off On Off On Off On Off On Off On.....

'Cross specific training is on. Transitioning from all that climbing to speed flat land power combined with getting the body ready for the repetition of all the cross specific stuff is beginning to take over and take precedence.

On the the bike...port...remount...pedal....repeat repeat repeat. I love it. It's like meeting an old friend again you love hanging out with.

What'd y'all do today to get ready for cross?

How to build your own port-o-barriers (BostonCross style)

So, I'm thinking I am all that plus tax in designing my little PVC training barriers when I see a google alert sniff out this gem from the lads of BostonCross. Their approach is fairly straightforward but require the need to 'stake' themselves into the ground where mine use a legged approach. You can see the article here on their great 'cross focused site. Or I've JPG'd their freely accessible PDF here:
What did you do today to get ready for 'cross?

Mmm. Singletrack.

My lady and I are almost free! We're going to head up to Winter Park, MTB Capital of the World (or whatever the slogan is), and rip it kids...on our fat tires. So, in exchange of talking about Handy Manny, arbitrating border disputes over who's Transformer is whose and like 'stimulating' topics, we get to hang, drink some beers and rip it together. Invariably we'll fall into talking about our boys a huge proportion of the time. Such is life.

Got out today on the 'cross bike boys and girls. What did you do? I repeated 'weak side' remounts until I was dizzy. Nice and slow. Just dialing it all in. When's the last time you practiced getting back on the bike via the side that makes you look like a retard? Gotta practice! It's like eating peas. Ya just have to do it.

Tick tock Tick tock

Slow steps next to the bike. Leg raising, wrapping over the seat. Sliding into it. Foot finding pedal. Other leg following and finding as the cranks come up to greet it. All in one motion. Dialing. Dialing again and all at super slow speeds. The self clinics have already started. It's like blue balls. Gotta get some relief. Can't take not doing it any more. Dialing in the technique over and over. I want to have 1,000 cycles in before my first race. I will not lose because of technique ( will be because of engine! ha!).

The clinics will start, people. August. I'll be emailing. Bring friends. It'll be a hoot. I've got this plan that is part Ben Turner, part Jan Wiejak and by extension part Joe Ball and part me from shit loads of trial and error. Focuses in on basics that smooth you. No ugly American syndrome.

See ya out there!

This is why you and i are not PROs

Two words: holy crap. This is why we are not PROs. Christan Vandevelde is proving yet again why he's a freak:
Honestly, this is massively impressive. You should hit Dirk's blog for this article about Chritian yesterday at the TdF and link over to the TrainingPeaks site to check out the WKO files (if you have CyclingPeaks) to see his data. For a 155 pound guy (which Christian is), doing 415w for 5 minutes is off the charts. Tremendously difficult. I can 'also' do that (e.g. 400 + for 4-5 minutes). How? Doses of truckers speed and red bull chasers. No, seriously because I am 35 pounds heavier and just the application of that my 180lbs of Irish Fury to my pedals will raise the wattage....but it is the gravity/grade of hill that comes into play. Yup, power to weight. Sure I can do it, BUT I AM GOING 1/2 THE SPEED! For me to hang, beyond being doped, I'd have to be in the 550 to 600w range for that same duration of time which is crazy talk. This above is power to weight in action. Unbelievable.

Insane power

Did a final day of climbing today to finish up the week. Boups and I hit Lee Hill to Jamestown Plus to Lefthand for sprints behind cooter-mobiles to repeats on Olde Stage. Compact day as it was all in our back yard. cracked 15 hundy on the PowerSlave again doing sprints but all is naught in comparison to Boups. Holy shnikees. He shows up on his Yeti cross bike this AM as he cracked his aluminum road bike (at the BB of course) with road tires affixed and a single ring 53 x 27. Yup. He proceeds to bury it up all this elevation today. Hilarious. Boups, get tested at BCSM kid. You're freakish.

West and weewaxashun for a couple a days and hopefully I can swing the STXC at Research this week. May not be able to but I am craving it again!

Who is het denken over veldrijden??

Ik ben! Ik ben!

24-7 x 365. That is when you should be thinking 'cross. ST last night got my intensity juices flowing. For my peeps in the Boulder area, I'll be getting the annual 'cross clinics going on again. Again, my goal is to ensure you look as good a s you feel during your racing and avoid the nonsense you see in the pic which for me is as enjoyable to watch as it is for me to chew on tinfoil.

More info in the coming weeks on times/places.

Photo by AbbiOrca

How to build your own port-o-barriers

Who's thinking cyclocross! I am! I am! In fact, I never stop thinking about it. I just watched the 2000 Worlds again for the zillionth time last night. Love watching Groovy-daal work the mud. In other words, I watch and study 'cross as an obsession. Rewinding again and again and again to see how Ik Sven takes a line with insanely low tire pressure in the Dugasts; *or* how Erwin ports the bike Belgie style, finessing the bike on to his shoulder and arm around the head tube in such syncopation you need to see it in slow motion; *or* how De Clercq stutter steps his muddy climbs to conserve energy.

It's all in the details and that's where cross races are won and lost.

So, what makes a cross rider great? Technical savvy. I love putting pain to roadies who fumble through 'cross courses like a deer trying to walk across ice. 'Cross, if you haven't figured it out yet, is a game of not only sheer maintenance of power but also of utter grace. The power keeps you at the front but the grace ensures it is damn near impossible to bridge to you.

Technical savvy off the bike is what makes the best cross riders the best. And to be specific, it's the barriers that above all are the bottleneck and gating factor (no pun intended) to those desiring a podium spot. When you can flow effortlessly through the barriers and reduce all amounts of friction through your transition and get back on the bike fluidly, folks without those same skills fumble, waste energy and when they finally remount and get going again, they have to add those additional watts of power to get back on your wheel. Compound that wattage expenditure over the course of 60 minutes and those without your barrier skills have burned WAY too many matches.

So, how do you get better? Practice, dummy. And to practice you need barriers. Back in the day, we used to drive our cars to a schoolyard and pull out wooden boards we'd made. That is retarded, and this will enable you to be mobile by bike, carry 'em in a back pack and have LOTS of barriers as well to set up multiples. So in my quest to make American 'crossers LOOK way better than our stereotypical bumbling selves, behold my secret plans.

What do you need?

For 4 complete barriers you need

  • 16 22" sections of 1/2" PVC tubing (for the top bars).
  • 16 18" sections of same 1/2" PVC tubing (for the legs). NOTE: you may want to go as high as 19" for a bit more height on the leg tubes. The 18" tubes are high but just slightly lower than the UCI height.
  • 8 3-way joins for 1/2 tubing (buy extra 'cause they break)
  • 12 2-way joins for 1/2 tubing (buy extra 'cause they break too)
I bought all this stuff at the local hardware store for like $20 bucks. I had them cut it there into the section lengths specified above.

This is what the 2 and 3 way sections look like (the 2 way on the left, 3 way on the right). You can find them near the PVC tube section in your hardware store.

I drafted up a little diagram for y'all in Visio to show you how this stuff fits together:

When you get them all cut up, throw some stickers on the long top sections. This makes it SUPER easy when you get to your course site and pull 'em out of your back pack to know which are the top and which are the leg tubes. They all fit nicely into a backpack as follows:

And when you are at your site, set 'em up (takes about 2 minutes) and begin your practicing to dominate the competition! RM'ers training using the port-o-barriers in action:

Roller derby....

Tomorrow's race will be epic for sure. The secret will be warmth and MTB skills. Bring it the F on. Our new Craft stuff will keep the engine warm tomorrow.

Today, rollers. I am really becoming a fan of these. Been riding for years and never tried them. A bud who moved to Washington gave me a p.o.s. set of them like a year ago. With all this snow, I was getting bored so tried them out. Got up first time which was promising. Man, you need some focus at first. Aim sneaked a snap of me today in the cellar sweating a bit before I bring the boys to see Happy Feet.

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