Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Cold streak

Planned on getting up and out on the road at 7:30 this AM. Despite the wine and beer yesterday, I was up well before 7:30. About then, I looked at the temp and noticed it was hovering around -2F, with wind chills around -14F. I didn't see the sense in going out for a training ride when it was that cold, so I spent the morning with coffee in front of the fire and tending to some small nerd things. 

Ended up leaving home around 1:30 or so and riding the Mukluk 40 miles to Woodward and back, passing through Granger on the way there and back. It was cold (14F) but sunny, so the ride was relatively pleasant.  I took a bit of a break at the Casey's in Woodward and had a slice of pizza, cup of coffee, and a bottle of Hydrive so I had some calories for the ride back. The ride back felt a little bit quicker, even if it actually was about the same speed. 

I put the snow goggles on and tossed my Patagonia micropuff on as an additional layer for the ride back. The snow goggles kept my face warm, but my puff, along with the rest of the layers on my core, was soaked when I got home. I had an Icebreaker merino T on, followed by a 260 weight Icebreaker LS half-zipp merino baselayer, then a medium weight Specialized coat on top. I didn't feel overdressed, as it took me quite a few miles to get warmed up once I left the house. More work is needed on riding in extreme cold and not having dumb things happen to my clothing. The puff, as was expected, shouldn't be worn at all when riding. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Why am I doing this again?

Got up at 5:30 to try and get out of the house by 6 for a ride. I wanted to try and get 40 miles or so in towards the Rapha Festive 500 Challenge. The idea is to ride 500 km, outside, between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

I remembered that I needed to get the poultry we're having for Christmas dinner into the brine, so I spent 15 minutes wrangling a large goose and brining solution into a large bag while dressed in winter riding gear. Got out of the house sometime after 6. Halfway down the block, I realize I didn't have a helmet on. Turned around, got the helmet on and left. In about the same spot, my light quits working. Ugh, can't be having that at 6 in the morning. Turned around and swapped out batteries. Turned out of my neighborhood and noticed that my left foot isn't staying clipped in. Stop to adjust the pedal tension and check the cleat for crap. Ride another mile and stop to check the pedal tension again and raise the seat a scoshe. I'm now probably 20 minutes into my ride and I've gone all of 1.5 miles. I decide to not take this as a sign to turn around and press on westward towards Dallas Center.

Now I'm noticing the wind, the blowing snow, and the fact that my eyeballs are starting to feel more like ice cubes in their sockets. I pressed ahead in the dark for another mile and a half before I stopped and pulled my snow goggles out of my seat bag. Much better. Get to the point where I normally turn north towards Granger and head onto Woodward and decide that 40 miles is not in the books today with the temp (around 11F) and the wind (NW at 15MPH). Opt to press west to Dallas Center where I can snag some food and then enjoy the tailwind for the return leg. No more delays on the ride, other than biffing it when I hit a ice covered slope right at a stop sign. Coffee and donuts ensued at Casey's along with a side of people shaking their head at the guy on the bike. If I had parked a snowmobile out front, I bet they wouldn't have even given me a second thought.

Return leg was much more enjoyable with the tailwind and the ability to run big-ish gears. Got home just a bit before 9 AM, with 23 miles in the books. 1:41 to get to Dallas Center (7.1 MPH average), and 0:48 to get home (13.7 MPH average. Average temp for the ride was somewhere around 11F, not counting the windchill.

Not the miles I wanted, but better than nothing, and riding the fatbike sure builds leg strength. :)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Gettin' some miles

Got some miles and a bit of pain in this week. Bagged another 21 miles or so on the Singlecross on Tuesday between the work commute and a trip to Rasmussen's to pick up some parts that I had ordered in. I wanted to get one more ride in on somewhat skinny tires before the predicted snow storm arrived on Wednesday. 

The storm arrived Wednesday and threw plans into a bit of a spin. I wanted to bust the Mukluk out and ride in the first snow of the year, but I needed to be well rested for my scheduled VO2 test. Well, the snow came and we ended up with a little over 13" on the ground. VO2 test was rescheduled as the roads were really too poor to do any driving on. 

Thursday afternoon was the test. Overall I think I'm in better shape than I was in February, despite not riding extremely regularly these last few months. My threshold power is the same as last year, but I'm making it at 5 fewer beats per minute. My VO2Max is a bit lower than it was in February. A bit curious, but since I haven't been putting in a lot of intensity, I'm not terribly surprised. On the good news front, this for this round of testing, I made it through a minute at 380 watts and died during the sprint in the 400 watt range. Last year I made it through a minute at 340 watts and died at 360. I'm not a coach, but I think this means I've gained, and kept, a lot of overall base these last few months. I'm pretty happy with the testing results and they've gotten me stoked to hit the training hard the next 4 months. 

Saturday I finally got out on the Mukluk to get a taste of the snow, and to play with tire pressures. With temps in the low to mid teens, I was going to just ride 3 or 4 miles to snag some coffee and breakfast. I ended up in a groove and stopped for food at Zanzibar's around mile 12. The bike trails conditions ranged from unplowed to cleared to the concrete, with plenty of steps in between. I got home with 22 or so miles in my legs, all with the tires at around 7 or 8 PSI. 

I'm looking forward to getting out and snagging some more miles over the holiday break. I've signed up for the Rapha Festive 500 on Strava, which is 500km between Christmas eve and New Year's eve, so that gives me a goal to shoot for over the holidays. More base miles for TransIowa and TripleD. I think it's doable since I don't have a lot of other demands on my time this week.

Monday, December 17, 2012

TransIowa V9 - Here we go again.

My third assault on TransIowa will occur in April 2013. Prep started today in the form of discussions with JJ Bailey from Zoom Performance. JJ was instrumental in getting me into fighting shape for Dirty Kanza this year. (yes I owe my 5 readers the rest of a race write up) I have an O2 test scheduled for this Thursday to get training baselines set for the year. I will be interested in seeing how I compare to this time last year. I've managed to keep the weight gain off despite not riding as much - I'm only 5 lbs heavier than I was for DK.

21 miles on my Specialized Singlecross today. Let the games begin.

Friday, December 14, 2012

House Cleaning

I've got a bunch of stuff that is sitting around unused, and it deserves to be used. Bag has light usage on it. If you are interested in any of these items, comment to this post, or email me at SteveFuller at gmail dot com.

Arkel Commuter Pannier w laptop sleeve - $100