Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fat Policeman: "You Cyclists are Arrogant"

Last night was an easy/recovery cruise ride. The weather was great, and it was a fun night/afternoon to be on the bike. Despite the great weather, not many non-cyclists were down at Hains Point.

I rode with Mike Streans for a bit, nice guy. We discussed many things, ranging from politics, to bike training, and to cycling genetic abilities. Fun stuff. He peeled off to ride with a very nice lady in an NCVC kit.

At that point, I saw Matias. We cruised around discussing cycling, triathlon, and world domination. At one point, Matias said something I couldn't quite make out. It turns out he said "Police".

Despite not heeding his warning, I still slowed to single digit speed. There wasn't a car in sight. I rolled. I hear the roar of a moto engine, and realize what I have done. We rolled through one of the dreaded stop signs right in front of a fat policeman.

He rolls up next to us yelling, "You cyclists are arrogant!" I thought I was going to get a ticket. That would have been my first ticket ever! My 12+ year streak of ticketless driving (riding too?) was about to end.

Fortunately, he must have been headed back to the Global HQ for the Park Police, and his shift was ending. He rode off after repeating his "You cyclists are arrogant" statement three times. He must have been late for dinner.

I have nothing against policemen. By and large, they are great. I know there are some officers of the law in the peloton. But there really is no need to harass some cyclists who are out having a good time on a nice night. There weren't any other vehicles around. He was just on a power-trip. Hopefully he doesn't treat tourists that way too.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Aerohelmets, Skinsuits, and Latex

This past weekend I tried out some new toys. I purchased a generic skinsuit from Voler, some shoe covers, a bunch of latex tubes from Michelin, and a set of Bonty Race X Lite TT Aerowing tires. I tested out the stuff along with the new position tweaks and documented on camera (except no skinsuit)

Everything was put to the test at DC Tri's annual TT down at Hains Point. I managed to navigate the 5 loop course, dodging some runners, cars, stop signs (sans stopping), and other fun objects to complete it in 33:24 or 34:06, depending on where the course stopped. Last year it was 4.9 laps, and this year it was 5. Either way, its right around 28.5 mph. Wind was fairly strong out of the N. Position seems to be working quite well. Shooting for 29.xx out in San Diego in on 10/11.

The gate to gate sections averaged 350 watts at 29.0 mph. The sections between stop signs were a tad slower, but watts were the same. Given my large former swimmer shoulders, that means the aero position is coming along pretty well. The course in San Diego has no turns, so that should help to boost speed and watts a little bit.

Fortunately, fitness is returning after being quite sick. Earlier in the week, there is no way I could have done ~34 minutes at 350. Hopefully wattage will be back soon enough.

I think I'm going to test out a Giro Advantage 2 and/or a LG Rocket, because those are a little shorter than the Kronos helmet I have now. A slightly shorter helmet will likely work slightly better, as it will be even with my back. Think those might fit a little better?

Matias and I have a bet. We are going to guess each other's times for our races. I'm doing a 20K TT, and he is doing Ironman Hawaii. Whoever is off by a greater percentage buys the other a beer. I honestly don't know if I am supposed to guess my time or his. Good thing is either option results in a beer.

Oh yeah, fast clinchers with latex tubes are just ridiculously fast. There is a discernible and quantifiable improvement in speed. Earlier this year I was racing on Michelin PR3s with butyl. Bontys with latex seem to be about 0.5 mph faster...or 15 watts, pick your poison.

My brother--Patrick--had his maiden voyage this past weekend on the new surfboards we purchased. I secretly scheduled this late season TT as a reason to get back out there to get some good surf.

Savageman was this past weekend. First time not participating for me. There is some beautiful and challenging riding out there! I hope to return at some point for sure. For posterity's sake, here is video of the wall from last year in 2008:

Some of the related videos are really classic. They demonstrate just how steep and torn up that road is!

Is the Tues/Thur Hains Point noon ride still speedy? I might bust out the TT stuff for some good/strong efforts.

I need to figure out how to make these posts less boring. I like numbers and data, but I'm not sure that is what readers (are there any?) are looking for!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sick Fitness

Things were (note past tense) going great up through quite recently on the bike. Bike fitness was at an all-time high, at least for FTP. Two weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to win Strasburg as well as Gundel on back to back days.

Here are two photos from Gundel, which I like:

Yeah, I should be sprinting in the drops...next year...I promise. Got an upgrade to 3 too, so that is cool.

Unfortunately, the flu (ie sick fitness) hit me really hard this week. I've been on the bike the last two days, but they have both been just totally weak. Went to do a tune-up ride today, but I found myself hacking away out on the ride. No dice.

This blog might link to GamJams.net now, but it might not. I have to figure out exactly how to make that happen. I have to install some site tracking scripts and stuff, not really sure how to do it. However, it can't be hard if all the other guys figured it out.

No pavo (turkey day) for me this year. My sole focus currently is a 20K TT out in San Diego in October. I grew up there, and it is a great reason to visit the parents. Maybe I can do some surfing the day before the TT; that sounds like the perfect tune up ride.

Patrick and I picked up two of these type of soft top surfboards(below) for when we are back in San Diego. The place was going out of business, so we got both boards for $160 total--that is an amazing deal. I used to be able to surf a short board quite well, but those skills have atrophied now that I am land-locked. Soft long boards are great. They are very bouyant, and they actually turn fairly easily. They are perfect for us when back in town, especially if we have friends who want to learn to surf too.
I want to try some cross stuff too. I should be crazy fit from an FTP standpoint in October, so I might as well see if I can put that FTP + triathlon flying dismount skillz to the test on a cross course. I'm sure I will just make a fool of myself, since I'm not much of a technical guy, but it sounds like a good excuse to fill cycling water bottles with beer ;-)

How fun does this look?!?!