Jan 31, 2008

Jan 29, 2008

A few weeks ago, I was complaining about the winter gloves I got this year. Now, I've been doing a lot of riding in cooler temperatures lately (and since I don't want to seem like a big whiner), so I thought I'd write about some of the clothes I've really enjoyed having.

My go to article this year has been my windbreaker from Bellwether (in a toned down blue, not yellow).
Its a lightweight, tightly woven nylon thats just about completly windproof, but it packs down to about the size of a softball. I take it on just about every ride, in case it gets a little cooler than I thought. Its cut perfect too, so it doesn't ride up my arms or flap in the wind.

My Pearl hat is warm and (pretty much) windproof, but still thin enough to bring on every ride. It also comes on every ride.

This is my new favorite:
Its Louis Garneau's cycling version of a track jacket. Nice and warm with fleece on the inside and its totally awesome. Does it do much that a jersey over a shirt wouldn't do? No. But I still wear it every chance I get.

Jan 27, 2008

Trevor Ride

I went on my first group ride of the season today, the Sunday morning 'Trevor' ride. Its where all the local strong guys show up and turn the screws extra tight. It was a 65 mile out and back affair, hilly at first and flatter the second half. I got dropped,
around mile 30. Its better to get dropped in January than June.

Jan 24, 2008


So I was getting ready to go for a ride this morning and I couldn't find my tights. It was just cold enough that I needed something covering my legs or else it would be a miserable ride. Well, after a decent amount of procrastinating and lollygagging and hoping the temperature would go up ten degrees in an hour (it didn't), I did what any other snobby, style concious, young cyclist would do......

..... I put an old pair of jeans over my chamois. Now, wearing jeans on a bike may be about as acceptable as wearing jeans while you ski, but it turns out that its pretty comfortable on a 30 mile ride. I stayed warm, didn't sweat to much and nothing rubbed or caught on anything. So if you're hard up for some leg wear on your bike this winter, put a rubber band around your cuff and have at it!

Jan 17, 2008

Manifesto '08

OK, the titles are getting a little dramatic. I'll cut back on it in the future.

Anyway, its that time of year again. Training is about to begin and I've got to figure out what it is I'm training for. This will be the first time I've trained and raced in New York. Training should be a little easier considering I won't be fighting the cold streaks and 18" snowfalls of SD in February, March and April, just a little rain and ice. This is good, because I can spend more time on the bike and less time in the weight room. Everyone in cycling seems to be getting away from base miles and moving towards weights and (more often) intervals. Now, I understand and agree with most of this thinking, but last year I seriously skimped on the base miles early in the year and I think it hurt my ability to do medium to long intervals later and thus my ability to keep up when the screws were tightened in a race. So this year I'm focusing a large chuck of my training on endurance and sub threshold training. I'm hoping I can get a half dozen centuries in before SMSP intervals start.

My big goal this year is health related. A good way of measuring you blood sugar long term is an A1C. A normal person has one of like 5. A healthy diabetic has one in the sixes (or more realistically under 7.5). Last year, after race season, mine was near 9. So the goal this year is under 7.5. You'd think it wouldn't be hard right? Exercise is supposed to stabilize blood sugars and all that good stuff. Unfortunately, I would just become so unstable during races that I'd need to overcompensate just to prevent a crash into hypoglycemia land (the Dakota 5-0 was nuts). With the help of my new best friend and a little bit of focus, I think this year will go better. Its time to grow up a little bit..

My other goals are to win a race, upgrade to a cat 3 and do well in one big mountain bike race. If I win a road race, I'll basically have the upgrade. I can't wait to get out of the cat 4/5's. The tactics in the lower categories aren't very realistic, since breaks never succeed, and the crash last summer has me a little nervous. Hopefully everything will calm down a little bit when I get to a higher category.

As far as races go, I'm going to do mostly road. There are a few crits on Long Island I'll enter and a number of crits in Prospect and Central parks, which I'll use mostly for training. I'd like to enter at least three road races, because those are what I enjoyed the most last year. I really liked the Proctor Cycling Classic and tickets are super cheap to Chicago, so I'd like to make it to that again. For mountain biking I'd like to do the Dakota 5-0 again, but otherwise I'll try to make the NMBS races at Windham or Mount Snow. Tboughts is planning on doing a bunch of the regional mtb races, so I'll probably do a couple of those, too. I liked how I picked my races last year, only entering events I thought I had a chance of winning. It helps my confidence when I'm not constantly finishing mid pack (and it feels good too).

I'm not sure what I'll do in the fall yet. I could just take it off, but I'm not sure that's a great plan. I don't think I want to run a whole lot more, but maybe a 5k or two would be fun (a sub 20:00 5k would be cool). 'Cross racing looks interesting, but I'm not sure I can make the investment in a new bike. I haven't played soccer in a long time, it would be really cool to get back into that. So I've got my options, I've just got to figure out which one I like best.

Jan 15, 2008

I still get chills every time I see the climax of a Mighty Ducks movie.

Jan 1, 2008

Really cool cars are one of the reasons I got into Mechanical Engineering in the first place. This just further justifies my decision. Makes me want to work for Proctor and Gamble.