Friday, January 30, 2009


You've probably seen Flight of the Conchords at some point singing about business time.

Not sure if you've even seen the socks, but they're legit.

I knew these guys were funny, but only recently have I discovered their show on HBO. Move over YouTube, I've got some episodes that need watching.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

SJBC Winter Series Final ITT Race Report

Got in a moderate warmup and would have like something longer. I didn't have any significant expectations coming into this event as the last ITT back in late October my powertap was on the fritz. I didn't know if my power would be anything close to what I did at San Bruno or if it might be compromised due to the aero position.

Out of the blocks I wanted to slowly get up to my target watts, but not too fast. I thought hitting 370 would be a good target, so I tried to throttle it back to around 350 for the first couple of minutes. For some reason I just wanted to go faster. The data supports this as I ended up averaging 382 watts down Santa Teresa.

When I turned onto Willow Springs my 30 second man (Daryl) in front of me was only about 12 seconds ahead. He's a lightweight climber so I figured I wouldn't catch him on the hill. Counter to when I did this race last and stayed at my threshold on the climb, today I decided to hit the climb harder. I averaged 446 watts on the climb and almost caught Daryl. I sped past him on the technical descent and motored away.

Once on Oak Glen/McKean I kicked it up a gear and decided to see what was in the tank. I went flying by John Christensen with such speed and so close to him that I actually apologized after the race for the potential scare. 402 watts leading up to the last climb.

Somehow I was able to hold 402 up the climb and then flew down the hill past the Cinnibar Golf Club entrance. Thankfully the truck at the entrance decided to let me pass first as I was doing around 43mph!!!

Crazy yet I was still averaging around 402 on the rest of McKean and then onto the slight rise on Bailey just before the downhill section. I had to scrub off about 5mph coming into the first corner, but quickly got that back upon a smooth exit from the apex.

Through the last downhill corner and back up to 43mph! The final two minutes hurt like hell. Tunnel vision was kicking in and I was finding it hard to concentrate on anything past 20 feet in front of me. Luckily I had ridden this stretch of road yesterday so I knew there wasn't any obstructions in the road.

Holding 528 watts for the last two minutes hurt oh so good. Why? Because I had just squeaked in at 37:57! My goal for 2009 was to crack the 38 minute mark and I had done it. It also puts me in some cool company with other strong TT guys who have done sub-38 times on the same ITT course over the past eleven years (35:29 is the record by Clint Graver in 2002).

All told I was really surprised I was able to hold this kind of power in the aero position. Sub-38 minutes of work at a normalized power of 406 (average was 397) feels pretty satisfying.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Yeah for Brooke

I tried to leave a comment for Brooke on her latest post, but no luck. I just wanted to say that I too had Lasik almost 9 years ago with the same doctor and my vision has been outstanding ever since! You'll do great and the outcome is amazing.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sweet Sweat

During these winter months...

Ok, who am I trying to kid with this intro. Norcal is having a great warm spell and the summer cycling gear is in full effect. However, suspend your beliefs in reality and allow me to some freedom of written expression.

During these winter months there comes a time when I realize that one of my key feedback mechanisms decides to hibernate like a groundhog. I'm talking about sweat. The salty stuff that tastes oh so refreshing when you lick your upper lip after spending three hours in the saddle tackling climbs up and down the Santa Cruz mountains. It's a welcome reminder of all the hard work you just.

But during the winter I find that sweating is one of the first things to go (along with helmet hair since I almost always wear some sort of cap). With this recent warm spell of weather it was nice to see how my body hadn't forgotten to sweat. While in the middle of an eight minute threshold interval on the TT bike I somehow was distracted enough to glance down at my right wrist and notice a small pool of liquid work. With the position of my forearms and hands, this part of my wrist was just basking in the sun and creating a nice little pool of sweat. Ok, this is a bit extreme in describing what I saw, but it was mesmorizing, really.

In a week or so I'm sure the weather will change and sweat will be a thing of the past. It's cherising those little things that get you through those hard intervals that make you want to hurl.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

2009 Beat the Clock TT Schedule

I was excited to see that the 2009 Beat the Clock TT series now has their schedule published for the year. I've been wanting to do this for a while but haven't made the effort. Now I'm motivated and might actually do the race solo and as part of a 2-man group for some additional practice.

If you have a passion for doing TT's head on up and do these as they support a great cause (Lance Armstrong Foundation).

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A very troubling dream about a missed TT start

I just awoke from a dream that was real enough that it caused me to wake up at 6:57am this morning and be very thankful it was just a dream and nothing more. Here it is...

It's a nice warm spring morning in Northern California as I'm heading to a small town somewhere in the Central Valley for a Velopromo individual time trial (ITT) event. Having never done this ITT in the past I didn't know what I was in for, but I was excited nonetheless.

Upon getting closer to the town it became evident that a rather large new office park was receiving its finishing touches a few miles down the road. This office park was the jewel of the community. So much so it was easy to see as you got closer to the outskirts of town. As I got closer my directions to the start led me into this office park.

Hmm, not your typical location for a Velopromo event, but hey, I'm always game for something new. However, something didn't feel right about this event. I pulled up to the registration tent and the normal hustle and bustle that I normally see at races was absent. In fact the only people around were a few of the guys setting up barriers and tables.

I asked what was going on, but I never got an explanation. Was I here on the wrong day? Did I miss the start? Were they tearing down the course because the race was over? I was puzzled at the lack of information they shared with me. But they did point me to a dirt parking lot about a quarter mile away where I could park.

It seemed bizarre that nobody was there to race, but they didn't say that I wouldn't get to race, so I continued to unload the bike. I realized that I hadn't picked up my number from registration so I casually rolled over to the start in my street clothes and flip-flops. Upon getting back to registration I see two other riders at the start receiving their countdowns and rolling out on the course.

The race officials and Velopromo people see me and immediately begin telling me, ok, yelling at me, that I have 15 seconds before I have to start. WTF?!? When did my start time move up two hours? All alarms in my head went off and I immediately went into panic mode. No shoes, no skinsuit, no warm up...nothing!

My panic led to some crazy behavior. I started to yell at all the people near the start as I stripped down my clothing. Yes, I was going to race this ITT in my boxers and flip-flops, but only after turning the air blue with my immense displeasure of all things leading up to this situation. Rarely do I ever get this enraged and pissed off, but I was in fine form. I even began talking about myself and how irate I was in the third person ("Don't piss off this big guy any more or he'll....").

Right before starting the race I woke up.

I don't think having a cup of coffee will wake me up any more than I already am at this point. Getting jacked up in the morning off crazy dreams is not my idea of fun, but at least it reinforced one fear of mine. Show up on the right day for an ITT and give yourself plenty of time to warm up.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

This looks interesting

I woke up and saw this article sitting in front of me as I scanned the headlines. Interesting to see how Satyam is owning up to cooking their own books. If this goes down as the Indian version of Enron, I could see some big changes in how major corporations look at outsourcing IT tasks to foreign companies. Sure, optimization and cost efficiencies are welcomed by anybody in the corporate world, but on the moral side I can't see the justification in giving business to a company like this.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

WebEx & the iPhone

I just found out about this and am going to give it a shot since I'm a heavy WebEx user.

I tried to get the video to be embedded here, but the link didn't work...oh well.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

San Bruno Hill Climb Race Report

Category: Elite 3
Field Size: 20

Conditions: Cold, some winds, and a fog that got worse as you climbed higher

What better than a hill climb to kick off the new year?!? Ok, there probably are better things to do, but doing this the past two years how could I not do it again this year. My strategy was to race in the 3's to see if I could gain any BAT points for placing in the top 10 and to follow moves until I blew up.

Today wasn't a day for pacing. The goal was to go hard, find some strong wheels to follow and forget about going over my threshold. I was able to get a good warm-up in and things were going fine until I started to get ready for the start. A weird rattle was coming from my right shoe. I checked all the screws on the cleats and no luck. I got back on the bike to see if the cleat was loose, but it was solid. I double checked the cleat again and found that the rattle was coming from the end of the toe area. After playing around with my bootie I had an interesting surprise; a shiny new quarter fell out of my shoe! Whew, finding the source of the rattle was a relief, but losing 0.25 grams was a need to take change for the park entrance with me.

At the start the 3's were immediately in front of the M35+ 1/2/3's. Seeing those fast guys on my tail was actually a good thing. I knew they were planning to make a big effort to work themselves around the pack and get to the front. They'd be my ticket to get up there too. The whistle blew and we were off. Sure enough the leaders in the 35's came around (Chris Phipps, Tim Clark, Kevin Metcalfe, Michael Hernandez) and I latched on. Soon we were a lead group of around 30 riders and going strong, real strong. There was some draft available at the back of the pack, but not much. I was able to hang with this lead group for about the first 40% of the race (definitely a mental victory). There were some surges at the front and that caused me to fall off the back. Plenty of others fell off too.

I felt pretty good and clicked into the big ring as the road flattened out. Past the park ranger station and into the trees. I went to downshift and dropped my chain. I lost about 15 seconds due to this, but eventually caught back up with those next to me prior to the dropped chain within the next 3 minutes of climbing.

As the road pitched up and the fog got thicker it was difficult to know what was coming up. I knew where the finish line was and anticipated when I needed to turn it on. Kicking up the watts I crossed the line with a very respectable time of 17:27 (unofficial from my computer).

I was happy with my effort. 50+ seconds faster than last year and I was able to hold 415 watts. I won't know if I succeeded in placing in the top 10 for the 3's but just doing better than last year is reward enough. It was also nice to see a great turnout of SJBC racers and the success they had across the other categories.