Friday, February 25, 2011

2011 Iceman Registration Opens 3/1/11

Just another public service announcement. Iceman registration opens at 10:00 AM EST on March 1st. The race itself is on November 5th. I assume it will sell out quickly since the race is limited to 3,700 people. Limited? That number seems crazy high for a post season race in Michigan. It’s smart to set up a Swift account before March since registration gets a little crazy. I’m not sure the course can handle 3,700 racers. The registration website can’t. But it’s worth all the drama (and $75) to get in.

The Iceman race is in Traverse City. TC is beautiful. If one were to fly into the Cherry Capital Airport from out of state, and didn’t bother to look down below at the passing frozen wasteland that is the rest of Michigan, they would get the wrong impression of our state. TC is hilly and wooded and has the Lake Michigan shoreline. Down town Traverse City has interesting shops and cool bars; just a good atmosphere. If TC had any use for automotive engineers, I would never leave.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Relationship

I bought a new bike today. And she's gorgeous. Scandium tubing and clean tig welds. By "new" I of course mean used. The fact that she had someone in her life before me isn't discouraging in the least. There could be a few lingering issues from her past but nothing I can't fix.

I almost bought this bike; a very nice carbon fiber BH CX bike with Ultegra components that's on sale at an amazing price at Speed Goat. I put the cursor on the "buy" icon, and gently taped the mouse, just gentle enough not to buy it. I would leave my desk to get a coffee, come back, and tap the mouse again. I couldn't quite bring myself to buy it. On paper it looked like a better choice but it just didn't feel right. Buying a bicycle is an emotional decision, not a rational one.

My new Kona is a single speed, not because cyclo-cross isn't challenging enough with a geared bike but because I like single speeds. Single speeds are clean and sincere. And since I am going to be racing my single speed mountain bike this season, it almost made sense to buy a single speed cross bike to train on. That's what Cyclo-Dan said when I told him I was looking at this bike. He knew I needed a nudge.

The bike came with an extra fixed gear wheelset. I could ride around down town Ann Arbor with all the hipsters on fixies, and maybe get that tattoo I want.

All right then, back to something a little closer to reality. We just got a foot of snow so she will stay in the garage for a few more weeks. I keep going out there to gawk. The previous owner sold her to buy a custom Quiring single speed ti cross bike. I doubt he is more excited than me.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Almost Training

Earlier this winter, John left a comment on one of my posts suggesting I get Chris Carmichael's book: The Time-Crunched Cyclist. John got fast last year so I figured I should at least look at this book. The premise of The Time-Crunched Cyclist is that it is better to carefully follow a high intensity, low volume (6 hours a week) plan than to partially follow a more traditional, high volume schedule. Hard to argue that. Riding more than 6 hours a week is just not feasible for me. I have been doing a half ass job following Joe Friel's book, The Cyclist's Training Bible, for the last few years. I am going to try following Carmichael's plan to the letter.

I start next week. I have been increasing my training effort these last few weeks in preparation for this. Today I took a test to establish training intensity ranges; two 8 minute all out efforts. I'm still doing this half ass, I should be using a power tap to record my watts. I'm just not that serious about training. Anyway, a flawed plan is better than no plan at all. I am going to use heart rate as my basis for intensity. I averaged 169/170 BPM for each attempt. Last year I figured my lactate threshold was around 170 so no surprises there.

OK, now that I publicly stated my plan, I'm obligated to follow it. Or go back and do some serious editing later. It will hurt either way.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Essence of Being Average

I just down loaded a month worth of HRM files. Hum… I could have sworn I have been riding more than this. I did forget my HRM for a few rides and I have been spending more time on strength training than I have in past seasons but regardless, I need to pick it up a bit. I am going to start working out in the morning to squeeze in a little more time lifting and on the bike. I have never been real successful getting in quality workouts at 4 AM. Just making coffee this early is a chore.

I am planning on doing the Ragin’ Raisin race on April 16th. A 36 mile road race on dirt roads this early in the season sounds horrible; however, I need it on my schedule to give me a clearer sense of urgency. And the starting line is riding distance from my house.

This race has a team competition option. Teams made up of women or people over 35 have points added to their over results to level the playing field. 35? Really? I would give more than I will openly admit to be 35 again. 35 year olds are kids really, sophomores in the game of life, still capable of generating significant watts.

This is the first time I have been offered a handout because I am, I guess, disadvantaged. Silly, that's all.