Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Revolution Team Training Camp

For the first time I'm starting to feel like a bike racer again. It all starts with training for training camp and the of course training camp. I've never been one who likes to go into training camp not feeling fit.  I've been to many training camps and it is usually the most enjoyable points of the season. You get all the riding, and racing but without the pressure of racing and twice the amount of fun!

First up was a Training Camp with the Revolution Cycling Team that is a team that my dad help runs. Most of the riders are from Michigan and northern Ohio. Last year they came down to Brown County, Indiana, in my neck of the woods, and they returned this year. With my new gig I had the opportunity to head down and help navigate the may roads. 

The Revolution Team in front of the family cabin where we would meet before and after riders, for meals and evening activities. 

The coach in me decided they should make the training not only fun, but also beneficial! Upon arrival Thursday I decided they should do some race openers to prepare for the planned 8 mile TT the follow day. An 8 mile TT also happens to work out to be a solid 20 minutes effort that works for a nice field test. So most jumped out of the car onto their bikes and we headed out. The weather was absolutely gorgeous as it was 80 degrees! Most of them just came from 30 degrees and snow in Michigan and northern Ohio! Being in Nashville, IN there are plenty of hills to hit and I made sure we started off with a nice climb on the way to the course. Once there we did our openers. 

All aboard for some 'jakerpacing' 

That night we headed to a local bar for some dinner and as luck would have it they had a bluegrass group playing some music. With the late evening ride there wasn't much time in the evening so everyone basically headed to bed. 

The next day we got a late morning start as we waited for temperatures to warm into the 60's. We headed out to the planned TT course and really started camp off strong with a 8 mile effort! I don't know about the others but I was 2 miles in thinking that this was the worst idea ever! I don't do many field test or even recommend athletes doing them often (unless necessary) and 5 minutes in it was becoming all so clear. Typically with racing a lot and hard training you can nail your FTP down pretty well. Everyone was a trooper though and put out some strong efforts. 

I ended putting in a good effort even though I felt like stopping about 7 times. I guess that is when you know you are going hard 

From there we headed out to do some endurance riding, for some. I guess some were more like tempo and threshold. Whoops. I have to say that I was rather good however. One guy admitted later that evening to purposely going off the front to egg me on. I've turned a new leaf however and am not as high strung. I gladly let him hang out there without chasing or picking up the pace. I was proud of myself, especially when I learned he was doing it on purpose! One of my favorite parts of new comers to the areas is when you come up to a climb that looks like a wall in front of you! Most of the climbs aren't that long in distance, but with the steepness they do take time and effort! 

I took us down a short dirt road section. Unfortunately the roads weren't in road cycling shape as they just placed down some huge gravel stones. We ended up with two punctures in the short kilometer stretch. We actually ran into the mountain bikers who were having their own adventures on the dirt roads which were even tough for them!

With all the rain we had the previous days they were having their own problems. They seemed to still enjoy the adventure. 

There are a few nicer places to stop near Nashville, but why stop there when  you can stop somewhere that makes you feel like you are in the middle of no where! 

That night we met in the family cabin and had dinner and games. We came up with a game of cycling Jeopardy. I helped come up with some questions that I thought would be easy enough. I guess not all riders are so versed in random cycling facts. I will have to come up with more softballs next year. All they had to do was guess my name and they could have got most right. HA! 

Heading out of the park across the covered bridge. Just be careful not to get your wheel stuck between the boards! 

The following day riders seemed to be in good spirits still, even after a hard previous day training. We headed out for some more hills and pace line work. The pace lining didn't last too long as the hilly terrain makes it tough. But they did a great job pacing it well not to blow the line up! I basically picked a route where we could hit every hill around Nashville from both directions. Some of the riders mentioned before they wanted to finish in the park as they wanted to ride the roads there. I knew we would do this the next day and that this would make a difficult finish, but why not! So after 3 hours of hilly riding we headed to the park. There we were greeted with 2 big climbs, one of which that had pitches over 20% and a nice switchback! I was even suffering up that last one! No easy way up down there for sure. 

No problem for these two! 

The brown county switchback. I remember doing this 12 times in the race down there. Not sure how after riding it just once! Ouch! 

That night we had made a taco bar that was delicious and they handed out some awards to the hard working campers. We had awards for the best tt, climber, the rider who HTFU, and finally the happy camper award to the one who was the most valuable at camp! Each winner was well deserving. I'm just glad I finally got with the training or I would have struggled keeping up with a few! I was getting pushed on every climb by a couple! Luckily I did train or would have been dropped. Even the old man (my Dad) did great. For a guy who trains very little he was basically talking the whole time! Obviously we weren't riding fast enough! 

The last day we stayed in the park as our time was short with a noon checkout. Even though we stayed in the park this was one of the hardest rides. Not sure if many are familiar with Brown County State Park in Indiana, but they lay out is basically like a dumbbell. You have to big climb on both ends and a ridge road that connects both. So you can just do the up down loops or connect them with the 4 mile ride across the ridge. The climbs on both ends are tough. They are around 1.5 - 2 miles with a few steep pitches at 15 - 20%. We did only 36 miles in 2 hours, but ended up nearly 4000ft of climbing! Best part was that I was able to go a bit harder in a few sections and in doing so send Chad an email that his Strava KOM had fallen. 

Look down one decent! 

The south end has warnings about the descents. Nobody got off their bikes or fell off their bikes so it was a good day. 

So after 4 days we racked up over 10 hours of riding, 15,000 ft of climb, and a boat loads of TSS and kilojoules. The camp was a success and everyone went home tired! Now everyone including myself is taking some rest and going to get ready to get back to training by the weekend. I'll be headed to Colorado for another training camp. With some easy days I should be good by Friday! I'll have to do a few with this little one as she just got a new ride for Easter from Grandma Kathie and Papa Paul!


Breeze On


Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Riding Blind

So I had a little issue on Thursdays ride and since then have no longer had the use of a powermeter. For those of you who know me know what kind of trama that is for me.

For the first two days I'm pretty certain I spent more time trying to fix the issue then actual riding. That is the point you know you have a problem. Luckily the issue is being resolved quickly and effectively. 

Double dash of disappointment 

Once I gave up and was at ease with the situation I was able to enjoy three nice rides. Sunday I spent sometime in the hills near wilbur riding to my sister in laws for Easter, Monday I did an easy recovery ride to Madelyns soccer practice and today I just did 1 lap of my 20 minute loop hard. Surprisingly not only can you ride a bike without a powermeter but you can enjoy your ride and go hard!

It's good to be unplugged once in a while. But I've grown to it being my security blanket. I wish I hadn't but I have and I'll be excited for it to be back to normal this week. 

Got my watch set up. Been naked without it for about 3 years.

Two more days to Training camp one. 

Breeze on 

Monday, April 06, 2015

First Race


Shades of last season came back quickly. No so much the legs for racing, but the flats! First flat of the year came on Thursday's ride in a thunderstorm which was nice. Bought new tires and tubes on Friday to be ready for the race on Saturday.

My first race of the season was held where I pretty much grew into a decent bike racer which was on the campus of Marian University (formerly college back when I was running the place Hahaha...).



(Racing around Marian in the blue and gold)

This season I will be racing with Texas Roadhouse. I have been racing against these guys for years! They have always been strong and I have enjoyed it. I knew there would come a time I would join up with them and this is the year. I am very excited to racing with some familiar faces including Chad Burdzilaopiufapodkjf or something like that.



(Who wouldn't want to race with this guy)

I don't know if I have ever raced with someone as fun as Chad so I am looking forward to racing with him again this year.

Back to the race. This winter has been tough for me in terms of training. I basically had 3 months off the bike and then over the last two months it feels like I get 7 - 8 days of solid training then miss a week or so. Just trying to balance work and the family with riding. It seems to be easier now that the weather is nicer and the days are longer. So I went into the race not knowing what to expect and hoping not to get dropped.



(As you can see I had my game face and the eye of the tiger)

Well I didn't get 1 minute into the race when I thought it was over. I had a puncture! Of course I stood on the start line as my wife asked if I needed wheels in the pit and I said nah. She's pretty much always right. I thought it was going to be the end of my day. Luckily I'm not as wound up as I use to be or like some pro tour riders and I didn't heave my bike in anger. I thought about it rationally. Knowing the course was slightly more then an mile and being only 500 meters from the start area I gently guided my bike to the car changed my wheel and hopped back in at the end of the first lap. Perfect!

The rest of the race went with me working my way to front, getting there and going if I was the old me I'd attack here. Or see guys off the front saying to myself that looks fun, now only if I could. I remember two distinct times going man now would be the time to go and sure enough someone would go and get a good gap for while. So I know what I am doing, I just need to do it. I did end up hanging Chad out there as he had to follow some moves in the closing laps as I sat thinking instead of reacting and trying. I did end up helping a bit in the leadout on the last lap and took a turn on the front. Our guys went 1-2 through the last corner with 300 meters to go, unfortunately didn't finish that way. Next time.

Even though we didn't win Madelyn did. She figured since I raced for Texas Roadhouse we could have dinner there and she told just about everyone at the race we were. Well she got her wish, Texas Roadhouse it was. And no I didn't get a discount. But with food that good you don't need a discount!

Next up is two training camps! First I am helping my Dad and his team right down here in Brown County. We have an awesome 4 days planned! I can't wait guide them around some sweet roads! Then in two weeks I will be back in Boulder for a FasCat athlete camp. I am really excited about this one. I can't wait to ride with a couple of my athletes around the Boulder area. I miss the big climbs.

Breeze On