Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Looking For Potato Fields

I need to start riding outside now, not towards the end of March when I typically poke my head out of the cave. I also need to start working on my power: my (in)ability to use force and speed, basically my gear size divided by cadence. Hill intervals would be an excellent way to help me improve this area. The problem is, until we move the clocks forward in Spring, I can’t get home and ready to ride before dark.

I was thinking about this on the way to work this morning and it dawned on me that my office is perched on top of one of the highest points in Southern Michigan. Granted, Southern Michigan is pretty flat, but leading up to my office is a climb just under 2 miles long. It starts off gradual but turns up at an 8 degree grade for the last 100 yards. I spend five nights a week with my daughters but I have Monday and Thursday evenings to myself. I can change in my office, do hill intervals for an hour, and shower at my work before going home. How did I not think of this before? It is like a lost hiker that dies of starvation and his body is discovered in the middle of a potato field. There are solutions to all my problems, I just need to open my eyes.


  1. Hi from N. Wales. Reading your stuff has made me fancy dragging my
    GT Tripple A frame/Marzocchi Bomber front end - Hard Tail out of the shed where it lives with the lawn mower! I'm wondering what my distance running will have added to my pedal power. Not that I was ever as serious as you. I did a couple of 100k endurance rides and just the one race of 20 miles. i mainly used the bike for fun, and training for mountaineering goals. Anyway hi from N.Wales and good luck with your challenges!

  2. Hi Neil, Running's like anything else - you start with a few strides and build up. In my case 3 miles at the beginning of my first year and the Snowdon marathon at the end of that same year. I was dogged by injury due to over-pronation that year, however like you I'm a soldier and battled on to overcome the problem.

    There is also a school of thought that cycling's no good for running and vice - versa. Unless you're a tri-athlete of course! 11 miles is a short run when you've done 26.2 - the way I like to look at it is 'Time on your feet' just like 'Time in the saddle?'
    For the Ultra i have planned 33 hill miles, I'm looking at a minimum of 7-8 hrs on my feet!

    (Sorry if you already read this on my blog)

    PS I agree with you on the generation thing, my dad was amazing with his hands and his ability to work stuff out - stripping marine diesel engines and putting them back together again for what amounted to be fun. I've picked up a few tricks but not enough. The main issue I have is time, I'm not sure if I have less of it than he had, or I'm trying to cram too much into it.