Monday, May 28, 2007


I leave Auckland this morning after only being here about 24 hours. Here are a few pictures that I managed to take on this short and busy first leg.

My flight out of Los Angeles.

My home for 13 hours.

A shot of Karangahake Canyon which we had to drive through on our way to a customer visit.

A gold mine in Karangahake Canyon that was abandon in 1912.

Hopefully, I will have more time to take pictures later in the week in Australia.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Wobble Naught Woes

I have never really been comfortable on the bike that I race. On longer rides, my shoulders get sore as does my neck and sometimes my elbow. I decided to go do a Wobble Naught fitting to try to shed some light on what the issue may be. I booked an appointment with Keven Saunders at KGS Bikes in San Antonio. Kevin is the only Wobble Naught fitter in Texas according to the Wobble Naught site.

The process to me was fascinating. We started out by taking measurements for about 30 minutes. Things like femur bone length, ankle positions, etc. Then Kevin took the information and plugged it into the Wobble Naught program and it basically spit out measurements for setting up everything on my bike. The cleat position on my shoes, seat location, blah blah. Kevin set up the cleats which were way out of the recommended location (too far forward). Then he adjusted the seat height, leveled the seat which was a few degrees out of level, and shifted the seat back from the forward position I had it in. Check. Going smoothly. Next measurement was the reach from the widest part of the seat to the center of the handlebars. No go. My fear was correct. The frame was too long for me. I thought that perhaps it could be adjusted out with a shorter stem. No go. To put that short a stem on the bike would have dramatically diminished the handling of the bike. We stopped the process there. My current bike has a 55 cm top tube c-c. I need a 52cm c-c. Kevin and I agreed that the best thing to do would be to stop there because we came to a problem that couldn't be fixed. I have already ordered a smaller frame and will take it back to Kevin for set up as soon as I can get the parts switched over to it. I am disappointed for sure, but I am happy to know what the issue is and what it takes to fix it. I would highly recommend the Wobble Naught process for the serious riders and racers out there who want to make sure they are in the correct position both for comfort and for generating power.

It was a short relationship, but she was a good girl. Bye my friend.

The measuring table.

I had to put my ass against that board so he could do some measurements from my sit bones. I think. :)

The adjustments we did made a difference for sure for my lower half, but only made the reach issue worse because the seat had to be moved back from the position that I was riding it.

Other news:
I am at LAX as I type this post awaiting my flight to Auckland. I am in Auckland for a few days. I then go to Australia until June 3. Some friends of ours recently moved to Brisbane, so I will be spending the weekend there with them. It should be fun. I then head to Bangkok and return home on June 8th. I fully intend to maintain what fitness I have while I am there. Hopefully the facilities won't be total crap. One thing is for sure. Two-week trips are too long when you have small children. I miss Bug immensely already and the trip has just begun.

I remembered my camera and cord this time so I will be sure to post pictures along the way. Have a good weekend and good luck to all of you who are racing today.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Results Are In

My coach at Wenzel Coaching, James Karthauser, needed some lactate threshold information for my June training plan. I had the testing done by a fitness coach in Austin named Sean Ahmadi who is at Pinnacle Elite Fitness.

The pain chamber.

Feeling pretty good here.

Starting to hurt a bit now.

After the testing I was able to sneak in a ride with my favorite riding partner, The Bug.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Coughs, Snots and Pedals

Today was my first day back on the bike after being sick. I still have a bit of a cold, but wasn't waiting any longer. And besides, the weather today was absolutely perfect (75 degrees), so how could I not ride?

Today was my Push workout where I keep the cadence at 70 rpm and keep my HR in a specific zone. Hills can throw a wrench into the plan, but for the most part I was able to keep my HR in the required zone.

I headed out Fitzhugh Road to McGregor and out across Hwy 290 to Creek Road and then back up Bell Springs. The ride was a short 33 miles, but was just about right for how I felt. The bike of choice today - Retro Rocket.

Some of the low water crossings are still flowing down here. I was going to attempt a World Record bunny hop over this, but chickened out and just rode across it slowly. I know. I am a wuss.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Feeling Run Down

I have been sick since Sunday night. I have the typical runny nose, coughing, and congestion. I took Monday and Tuesday off from training. Today I made myself get on the stationary bike at my hotel, but only lasted 30 minutes before I was toast. This will be a week of no progress and possibly some regress. SIGGHH. Hopefully the weather will be good this weekend and I will get two good days of riding in.

I had to get a Yellow Fever vaccination on Monday. I would blame that for my cold, but my cold started on Sunday. I will be in Thailand the first week of June. Thailand does not have Yellow Fever. However, if you are applying for a business visa and have been to a country on their "BAD" list in the past 10 years, you have to get the vaccine and submit the papers with your passport. I looked at the list. There it was. Brazil. FUCK!! So, off to the doctor to get my shot for $145. My arm is ouchie now. :(

I am leaving Cleveland tomorrow morning to go to Norfolk, Virginia to meet a customer to play golf. I would rather be going back to Texas, but how bad can golf be? I can't really complain.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Riding the Rocket

Saturday was a scheduled day off from training. Today I met a few guys at the shop at 8am and we headed out to do an extended version of the Dam Loop. I decided to take the Retro Rocket out today because the pace is typically slower on Sundays.

The ride ended up being right at 40 miles with a few nice climbs. It felt great to be back on the bike after a week of work travel.

The crew heading over the bridge that crosses the Colorado River.

Peter, the owner of Southwest Cycle Sport, hammering down the road.

Heading South on RT. 360. This was the last picture I took because everytime I took one I fell off the back and had to bridge back up.

I am in Cleveland and Virginia most of this coming week. Back to back weeks of travel just suck. I will do the Thursday Crit again the week after next and have signed up for the AT&T Crit in Downtown Austin

Other news:

The Bug got his first pair of Crocs this week.

Can you believe that they can now claim Organic Gum Drops?? And look at the price per pound on these things!

Today we went to Hamilton Pool for the first time. It is about 6 miles from my house and we have always wanted to check it out. We were pleasantly surprised to say the least.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Day 3 in the Gorge

This place is gorgeous! I wish I had more time to explore the area but the schedule is pretty tight. The view at the left is from my hotel room window. Not too shabby, eh? We are staying at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, WA.

Workouts here have been boring to say the least. I can't stand more that 60 minutes on a stationary bike. SO BORING! The good thing about the Life Cycle workouts is that it is easy to monitor your HR and cadence both of which my workouts are based on at this time. I think I am going to hit the stair climber this afternoon to substitute for my standing interval workout which I can't do on the road and refuse to even try to simulate on a horizontal Life Cycle. I can't wait to do some actual cycling this weekend.

The conference is pretty typical as far as these conferences go. Companies get up there and tell you how great their products are compared to every other company who makes similar products. It is all done in a sly way so as to avoid trade names. Over and over and over again for 3 days. The highlight of the trip for sure has been the golf outting which was yesterday. The course is superb and the weather was perfect. The best part is that we (scramble) shot a "69."

On another note. Anyone out there have any experience with the new tubular clinchers like the ones that TUFO makes? I am interested in hearing how close to tubulars they actually are in performance.

Have a good Thursday.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Reality is Cruel

He was one of the people that I thought brought true class to the peleton. Now he has shown me that there truly are no more heroes in this world.

Thanks Ivan.

I ended up riding the Spin Bike at Gold's on Saturday because I just ran out of daylight. I wanted to spend some time with the family and we had lots of running around to do. The weather was kind of a windy misty nastiness anyway so I don't think I missed much. On Sunday I did a short 30 miler with Sunflower. It was good to ride with here again. I forgot to bring my camera so there aren't any pictures to post. We did get chased by a Chihuahua that I clocked at a smokin' 14 mph. He wanted a piece of my ass. HA! Sunflower was laughing so hard she almost couldn't pedal.

Tomorrow I am off to Stevenson, WA for my meeting, and a little golf too. Sadly it doesn't look like I will have time to go rent a bike, but the resort is supposed to have an awesome fitness center, so I think I will make it through a few days there. Have a good week.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Thursday Night Crit Report (5/3)

The goal this week was to improve over last week. I decided that my whole day would be about getting ready to race.

I got out of bed and hopped into the shower. I took the razor to my legs and got them looking sweet. I got out of the shower and jumped on the scale and it read 196.8 pounds. Why is weight loss so damn slow?? Anyway, that put me at exactly 40 pounds lost to date. Not too shabby.

I had some kind of healthy tasteless cereal for breakfast and a glass of water. I then packed up the kit and bike and headed off to work. I limited it to 1 cup of coffee in the morning and then switched to water. I had some kind of bar snack thing at around 10 and some Goldfish at noon. More water. I wanted to have my lunch about 3 hours before I started warming up, so I ate the bowl of pasta/tomatoes/broccoli that I packed at around 2:15. More water.

I got to the track around 5:15 and pinned my number on just as Mrs. T Nelson illustrated so well in her April 21st post. Perfect. I put my shirt on and went to register. “What is your number?" the dude asked. “191," I said. “Bro, you have that thing pinned on upside down.” FUCK! So I went back to the car and took off my shirt, undid all 8 pins, and pinned it on right side up. Dumb ass.

The Cat 3/4 race just began as I started to warm up, so I knew I had 45 minutes until my race. I headed up the road at an easy pace and returned at an easy pace about 10 minutes later. It was in the 80s, so it was hot enough to get a little sweat flowing. I headed to the car to slug down 1/3 of my Cytomax (which I am convinced is Tang). I headed down the road again this time at a faster pace doing a hard acceleration for 90 seconds. On the way back I did a few short standing intervals. I was back at the car with 25 minutes left until my race. I slugged another 1/3 of my Cytomax. I headed back up the road just to keep loose and to keep the sweat flowing. I was back at my car just as the Cat 3/4 race was ending. I slammed down the rest of the Cytomax and hit the track for a warm up lap. I wanted to time it so that when I was rolling through the start/finish line people would be lining up. I timed it perfectly and got a spot in the front row. Everything was going according to plan so far.

The field was a little smaller than last week. I would say maybe 27 to 30 were lined up in total. The Cat 5, 35+ Cat 4/5 and the Cat 4 women all race at the same time. I was signed up for Cat 5. After role call, we were ready to race. I heard music in my head from earlier in the day.

“Whiskey bottles and brand new cars;
oak tree you're in my way.
There's too much coke and too much smoke
Look what's going on inside you……”

The race got started and I didn’t accelerate as hard as some others from the line and ended up in the top 1/3 of the pack after about ½ lap. The race was starting out faster than I had hoped. After 1 lap I was still in the top 1/3 and my HR was climbing fast. After about 5 laps I noticed a problem. I was not advancing while other people were. This put me farther back than mid pack. I said to myself, “Come on dude. You gotta move the fuck up!” (I tend to swear at myself a lot during these self talks) I stayed on the accelerations coming out of the corners just a bit longer than the rest of the pack and was able to advance in the next 3 laps putting me back into the top 1/3 of the pack. At this point I was really starting to hurt. It was hot, my heart rate was almost maxed and we still had not seen the 5 laps to go card yet. I said to myself, “Dude, it is supposed to fucking hurt. DO NOT FUCKING SIT UP.” I looked around and was fairly certain that everyone else was suffering too. We were starting to lap people. We came through the start/finish line again and there was the card for 5 laps to go. The pace started to pick up on the next lap. We were coming around the corner by registration when all of a sudden, people ahead grabbed their brakes for a reason I never determined. One dude behind us couldn’t get stopped and headed off into the infield and I heard a THUD behind me. It was soft in there from the rain the previous day and he was fine luckily. We came around with 4 laps to go and I was starting to feel a bit better. I was still in the top 1/3 of the pack. 3 to go. 2 to go. Last lap. I said to myself, “Ok dude, time to put it all out there.” The pace was fast for about 2/3 of the last lap and then it was just all out. I think there were 2 guys about 10 meters out front and then the rest of the pack which got thinned out coming around the corner before the start/finish. The sprint to the start/finish is probably 100 meters. In the sprint I passed one person, but didn’t pass anyone else. They only posted the top 3 Cat.5s in the results. I think I was about 5th or 6th. I know that some of the people that finished ahead of me were 35+. So, a huge improvement over last week. I went from getting dropped with 5 laps to go to making the sprint. My average speed went from 22.5 mph last week to 25.1 mph this week (because I didn’t get dropped). My average HR was a screaming 93.7% of my measured max. Despite all the suffering, I had a smile on my face as I crossed the finish line. That feeling is what it is all about.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Work this week has been busy, but otherwise free of crises. I have been in the office for two weeks which for me is a long time. The trip to Washington next week will help break up the office monotony.

I am watching American Idol and there is a ketchup advert where some skinny fucker is dipping onion rings and fries. Man, I miss eating that stuff on occasion. No way am I going back to that life, but I still miss it. I have gone through the past 4 months basically hungry most of the time and I suspect that it will be that way for a few more months.

I went to Gold's tonight for my several time a week light weights and stretching. Why is it the stretching part that I really hate? It seems like the endless sit ups and back extensions, and blah blah blah are what I should hate.

I was doing some light leg work today and tweaked my leg a bit (see picture). I should be fine for the Crit tomorrow.

Crit tomorrow night. Time to "Cowboy Up" and improve. I will post a report tomorrow night or Friday.