Thursday, October 15, 2015

This past weekend was the Hilly Hundred! It seems like it has some of it's luster lately. I remember having to do it and others were going as well. Now it seems like I'm saying I should do it. I headed down early with Ian and met his buddy Scott for the ride. The route kind of sucked and the first 30 miles was pretty rough. Found out as well the Sunday route was basically the Saturday's route backwards. Pretty lame, especially with the rough roads. It also looks like the turnout was a bit lower as when we got back there were not cars parked everywhere. 

That afternoon I headed up to Michigan for the Lions game! Bonus I was able to listen to Michigan crush Northwestern! Madelyn came up with me to spend some time with Grandma Kathie and the dogs. Pretty much her favorite thing! We stopped at one of my favorites A&W on the way up. Madelyn wanted McDonalds and was mad at first, but on drink of that RootBeer Float and she was hooked! We swung by on our way back as well! 

The following day I went with my Dad and brothers to our annual Lions game. I'm pretty sure we are going to have to go to another way as I don't think they really tried getting beat 44 to 17. Sad thing is that wasn't the worst game I've been to. The good thing is that everyone left early and we were able to score some good seats. We never leave games early so we were able to be a part of the 5,000 fan sarcastic wave. That was awesome!


While at the game Madelyn and Grandma Kathie did some crafts. Madelyn made Halloween decorations for everyone.


We headed home on Monday, but first made a stop at Johnson's Giant Pumpkin farm. It's a pretty awesome place as you not only get to get pumpkins and apple cider / sugar donuts, but also get to feed and pet all types of farm animals. My Dad though it would be fun to let a Emu peck food out of his hand! It looked more painful then. Others who tired dropped food right away after on peck, but he hung tough.

 Madelyn wanted to drive the Mystery Machine back home, but good thing she didn't because as soon as we finished our A&W she was out cold! I guess listening to Lions bashing on sports talk radio wasn't helping her stay up. Not even the talk of Michigan vs. Michigan State this weekend could keep her up!

Monday, October 05, 2015

IT'S A BOY! After having 2 girls, the third one is going to be a boy! I guess we can get rid of the pile of girls clothes we've been holding onto. Time to get boy things like footballs, trucks, dirt and etc. I just hope he doesn't take all my toys like I did with my Dad! 

Friday afternoon I got a new toy to borrow for a while. I got to ride a Giant Defy. Pretty fun! It is a gravel road bike and I was trying not to confuse that with cross bike with some trails near by. It is always fun to take the road less taking. Plus it had Sram Hydro 1 x 11 on it and that was pretty awesome to play around with. 

All week Madelyn has been part of a cheer clinic and was able to cheer at the first quarter of the Avon football game. That was the longest quarter of football ever! It was one of the first really cool days and the wind was ripping through everyone. It made me really excited about riding this winter. Not. 

Sunday afternoon it was beautiful again I took the girls out to Zoo Boo. Madelyn was able to wear her costume and get some early trick or treating in at the zoo. Carolyn also got candy which she will be sharing with everyone else. Though the peanut butter crackers will be hers. 

Game time tonight and Carolyn is ready! She don't care that the Lions are 0 - 3. No fair weather fans here. She's my football buddy and with a  little brother coming I will have two. Though to be fair Madelyn does come by now and again and throw in a cheer. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

World Championships

Headed out last Thursday for Virginia with my Dad. Plan was to ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway on Friday and Saturday and watch the Elite Men's Road Race on Sunday. We were also meeting up with Ian, his finance Amanda and Mr. TruTrainer himself Jeff. I was excited about riding the climbs I did way back when in the Tour of Virginia in 2007 along with team camp with Rite Aid in the same year.

My Dad and I got out there early enough for a ride on Thursday evening. It was a quick hour on the parkway as the sun was setting. Just a perfect evening.

The next morning as we waited for Jeff we thought about how we would ride in the raining and foggy conditions. We decided the best option would be head a bit north where it seemed like it was raining less and ride on Skyline Drive. It actually worked out quite well as the weather wasn't as bad and we did get in a nice 45 mile ride.

That evening we went out for dinner and I mentioned getting a chocolate ice cream smoothie, but Jeff and my Dad said we could head back out as we ate sort of early. I knew it would never happen and it didn't. They assured me they would. I could have went, but I shut down after 8pm. So even though I am younger, I pretty much fit right in.

The following day was much of the same with the weather. We just went for it. It was actually quite worse. I decided that I wanted to at least do the Winter Green Climb. One of the biggest climb in the area. I figured the climb itself would take 40 - 50 minutes, so I could just ride down, do it and back to the car. My Dad and Jeff weren't up for a 7 mile climb that averaged 7.5% so they stayed on the foggy parkway. Ian and I headed down and had a great ride back up. Though at the top it was hard to see more then 10ft in front. Felt pretty hardcore though. Since it was way better at lower elevations we just decided to ride back down and to the hotel.

The following morning we headed out early to the race in Richmond. It was a bit slow at first, and sitting there for a several hours went by slowly. But luckily there was good company and a giant big screen to view the complete race on Libby Hill. As the race went on it got really exciting! What a finish! I haven't seen a reaction like that for any winter in a bike race. Of course it was like only the second or third bike race I've been to that I wasn't in. It was great to see my friend, and former teammate, Brent Bookwatler rock the front of the field the whole race and come in with a top 20.

Following the race we drove straight back to Indy! That was long drive and long night / early morning, only made worse by watching the Lions lose on Sunday Night Football in the back of the car. We didn't get back till 4 am. The next few days were long and no on Wednesday am I only starting to feel normal again!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

FasCat Camp.

I really wanted to write up a whole long blog on this one as it was a great week. But seeing that it is a week late I thought I'd better just get something up to show for it! 

The drive into FasCat on Thursday was a rude welcome compared to last weekends 70's and sun. We were a bit concerned with the weather forecast for the weekend, but were trying to stay positive and were hoping we would catch some nice windows for riding. But you really can't be surprised, I mean it is the Rockies!

I felt bad for my athlete Leon who was coming from Florida! I was hoping he owed enough warm weather gear!

Friday afternoon we spent at FasCat on the wahoo Kickrs and did a Lefthand / Lee Hill loop on them with video! Saturday it cleared out enough for us to head out Saturday morning. It wasn't looking good but 3 miles into the ride we saw the follow car on the side of the road and stopped and shelled off a bunch of clothing!

Leon not only came prepared for the weather but also do some climbing! From 80's, sun, and flat roads at sea level to snow, wet, cold and elevation. He got stronger each day and by the last day he was putting out the best numbers of the weekend!

We had a fantastic group this year! It seemed everyone enjoyed the snow on the mountains a bit. Of course having a follow car to add and subtract layers does make it nice. Thanks Nate and Allen for following us!

Here is Leon and I at the top of the Pinecrest climb on Saturday afternoon. At the top of this one we could easily see our breath!

The last day we did Flagstaff! One of the most famous climbs in all of Boulder.

Everyone was still smiles after we had accumulated over 10,000 ft of climbing, over 150 miles and 8 hours in two days of riding. Basically hitting every climb in the Boulder area. How did we celebrate after we rode up Flagstaff on Sunday? We rode up Sunshine to Poorman, of course!

Not pictured were some good moments as well. Such as watching Playoff Hockey, eating pizza and homemade salsa at Jason's house and then of course the mandatory trip to Reubens. Though Tucker mentioned some kind of dessert that I never got. I guess he owes me.

Breeze On!

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

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Shoveling Snow Out East and Winning Bike Races Out West

I can almost sum up my athletes into 3 categories right now:

1. Those who can ride daily and are winning races
2. Those who get a bad day once a week
3. Those who haven't seen pavement in months

My athletes out in California continue with their success as their racing season is in full swing now. Sumer A was able to pull out a win in her women's race that had 57 participants! That is a big women's field! Then Lance C was able to help a teammate secure victory this weekend as cycling is a big team sport. Great job!

A few of my athletes that have been stuck inside have been crushing it as well. Mike J rode 8 hours on the trainer this weekend!! I didn't recommend that, but he knew what he needed as he has been stuck indoors quite a bit this year and he has some long endurance events coming. And by long I mean days in a row with very little sleep. I'm still convinced he is a bit crazy. Then Eric U who lives out in New England spent twice that much time shoveling snow as it seems like it will never end! How bad it is it out East? My athlete Chad W who refused to buy a trainer caved in and finally got one after two years and he has been on it a number of times now.

Then I have Colorado athletes who seem to get a bit upset about some of the bad weather they have been getting. Now I know some of it has been bad timing with it showing up on the weekends, but I'm also sure that most of them have gotten their cycling tans  started.

As for myself I'm back on the train, well rollers after another long hiatus. I didn't see any light at the end the tunnel, meaning riding indoors everyday and I just don't have the motivation or will power for that. But now I am feeling it, even though the forecast isn't great. Spring can't be that far now. Can it? My athletes have been doing it, so maybe I should step up as well.

I'm approaching that 30 CTL. Maybe by the end of next week? We will see. All riding will have to be done indoors. Luckily I got hooked up with Zwift Island and I can cruise on that. That keeps me pretty motivated and it helps also break up intervals by having lap goals. Still been playing a bit with it, but it's pretty awesome I was also able to ride with a few of my riding buddies here in town from the comfort of my home.

I'm up front, my buddy James right behind me and Ian catching up. Apparently their is something called the Zwift affect where you ride harder because you are racing others, doing KOM's, Sprints, and etc and get caught up in it, Yeah it's true. Been there. I was even so excited about getting it that the first night I got on in my underwear just before bed to test it out. I found myself sprinting for a KOM once I realized what was going on. 

Breeze On

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

FasCat Victory Board

My athletes are off to a fast start this year.

Chris M has started off the year fast, literally! He has won his first 3 races of the season! That takes me back to 2003, my first collegiate road season, when I finished my first 7 races in second place. He is doing much better with 3 W's! Great job Chris!

Photo of Chris following one of many attacks on the day of his latest win. 

Lance C. also got a win this past weekend. His main focus is on the road, but he was able to pull out a win in a mountain bike race for his age group and 4th overall! 

Also I haven't updated in a while, but I had another athlete overseas finish off the Tour of Sufferfest. This is a nine day event where you do all the Sufferfest Videos like as stage race. These are tough enough to do once a week! He was able to ride at the proper percentages for all the efforts, which isn't easy. It turned out to be a lot of anaerobic work and finish days off with an IF higher then .9 Great job Erik L.!!

Lot's of good things coming this year for my FasCat athletes. All of them have put in the hard work this winter when nobody notices or sees it. Now all that hard work is about to come out and be shown! 

Breeze On!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Hello 2015

Life is busy and like many things the blog took a hit. I hoping to bring it back. At the same time I hope to start riding again. Currently I am in a completion agains Jason, who also took some time off, to see who can get their CTL to 30 first. #raceto30CTL Currently I'm at 11 on Training Peaks after doing 4 days in a row. The last two have been outdoors which is way better.

This weekend is looking nice with temperatures in the 40's and I'm hoping to get some much needed TSS. 

Breeze On