Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Promise (half) kept

A couple of months ago I gushed about relaunching Cycledork with daily reports about my progress with the Reoch-Zonneveld training program. I've stuck with the program but have neglected my reports. Short version: it's going better than I expected even if it has been an ass kicking one day at a time.

Longer version: I'm impressed that so far the 31 workouts I've done have been progressively more difficult and subtly more ass kicking. As mentioned previously, Reoch-Zonneveld is 50 interval workouts meant to last 26 weeks. My plan was to complete the program in 50 plus days. I started the program, went hard and productively for nine sessions, then had a family health concern (everyone is well — it was benign stuff that had malign symptoms; objective data demonstrates the stuff was benign) that kept me off the bike for a few weeks. So I started from the beginning again in mid June and mostly rode six or seven days a week, the four days I took off last week notwithstanding. The intensity of the endorphin rush merits the obsession.

Data I've gathered, as I expected, indicates I am indeed riding myself back into shape. The 10 pounds I expected to lose over the course of the exercise? Lost. I can go at least an hour anaerobic. My resting heart rate is now typically in the low 50s after being in the 60s at the start of this exercise. If I'm going to time trial Sept. 1, I've still got some work to do, but I'm confident I'm getting it done.

Today's data:
Weight: 143.0
Average heart rate: 157
Maximum heart rate: 183
Music: Squeeze, "Up The Junction"; The Avett Brothers, "Die Die Die"; Gorillaz, "Feel Good Inc."; Janis Joplin, "Call On Me (alternate take)"; NOFX, "The Moron Brothers"; John Fahey, "The Holly and the Ivy/The Cherry Tree Carol"; Patty Griffin, "Rain"; Freddy King, "Sen-Sa-Shun"; Kr├╝ger Brothers, "If I Had A Sweetheart"; Jimmy Buffett, "Come Monday"; The Rolling Stones, "Factory Girl"; Jimmy Buffett, "Everlasting Moon"; Guitar Slim, "Things That I Used To Do"; Wynonie Harris, "Lovin' Machine"; Roy Buchanan, "Soul Dressing (live)"; Mahgeetah, "My Morning Jacket"; Pearl Jam, "Evil Little Goat"; Gilberto Gil, "Quilombo, o El Dorado Negro."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The hibernation has ended

I never stopped loving bicycles. I just lost, temporarily, the motivation to write about them. And for that matter, to ride them. More on those things later.

The good news, particularly for me, is that I'm back on the bike and with a specific focus. Over the weekend a friend of mine sent me a pdf of The Reoch-Zonneveld Indoor Winter Workout Program. It's 50 one-hour trainer sessions meant to get racers through the winter. The sessions are progressively more difficult. Since I learned of this document — from this same friend, as a matter of fact — I have been fascinated by it and striven mightily to obtain a hard copy of it. Amazon, eBay, zip. A grand total of 23 hits on Google. So my friend might as well have been sending me cycling's Gutenberg Bible (219,000 Google hits; 21 copies extant). Obviously, I would love to have my own copy but it appears to be as rare as, well, a Gutenberg.

What I'm going to do with Reoch-Zonneveld is ride myself back into shape. I'll probably take a day or two off each week. But for each day I do ride, I'll provide, at the very least, my end-of-ride weight, my peak heart rate during the ride and the music I listened to during the ride. My guess is that by the time I've done all 50 I'll be about 10 pounds lighter and my peak heart rate will be lower. If the stars align, I'll time trial again shortly after I've completed this program. While I'm explaining all that, I'm also going to do some catching up on other topics.

Today, for instance, I weighed 153.4 pounds. I didn't consider heart rate until I was on the bike, so that'll wait until tomorrow. I ended with a decent sweat but wasn't winded. Today's music: Janis Joplin, "Dear Landlord"; Old Crow Medicine Show, "Fall on My Knees"; Hank Williams, "Dear John"; The Brian Setzer Orchestra, "Jumpin' East of Java"; Steve Miller Band, " Rock 'N Me"; Otis Redding, " Cigarettes and Coffee"; African Music Machine, "AM-FM"; Rusty Bryant, "Lou Lou." I cut the music early because the scientist came home and I wanted to be able to hear what she had to say.

Anyway, if you've read this far, thanks. I'll try to make it worth your while to continue.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Spills and thrills

Versus has an ad for the Tour de France targeting a low-road demographic. "Next time you're in your car," an English-speaking rider intones, "at 50 mph, strip down to your underwear and jump out the door — and that's what it's like to crash in a professional bike race."

[Update 7:20 a.m. July 14: I have since learned that the intoning voice belongs to Jonathan Vaughters, directeur sportif for Garmin Chipotle.]

This afternoon I performed the extremely slow-speed equivalent. At this left turn, which I've made dozens if not hundreds of times, my back wheel slid out and I bit pavement. So what if I was going 1/10 as fast as the rider referred to in the ad. My road rash is still impressive even if it's not uncomfortable and my kit was appropriately underwear like. My right foot popped out immediately and my left came out with little effort. Only one water bottle came out that I was able to quickly grab and run to the curb. Evans Road is not heavily trafficked so I was not at risk of having any body or bike parts crushed.

The frame, tires and wheels appear to be fine. Road conditions were great. I wasn't on paint (Phil Liggett warned about that during Saturday's rain-soaked stage), the weather was dry, dry, dry and the surface on this recently repaved road is practically virginal. The intersection is near the more or less flat top of a long hill and I had slowed considerably to let a car pass before I turned. The only thing I can think of is that I dropped too far left for the turn at too slow a speed.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Suckin' wheels

I did the 100K Firecracker Ride this morning in about 3 1/2 hours, thanks to the people in front of me. As I rode I saw a few other folks I know but no groups I'd ever ridden with. So I'd catch the end of a paceline, let them tow me along in their draft and then move forward to another group when the line came apart. This is a very rude way to ride, but I did it anyway. Some of the pulls I got were incredible and I would've been happy to reciprocate but I was only allowed the front a couple of times. Anyway, when I got home I was comparatively fresh as a daisy. Lesson? If a solo stranger can catch your line, let the stranger pull when his or her turn comes.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Just like in the movies

I may live in a Bicycle Friendly Community but it may also be a cycling culture backwater. The Triangle is more than 500 miles from the closest venue for the Bicycle Film Festival. Full programs have been announced for New York, Toronto and Minneapolis. Two historical films, "Road to Roubaix" and "The Six-Day Bicycle Races" and lots of the shorts look real interesting. Fortunately for rustics such as myself, both of those features are available on DVD. It's not just racing documentaries. There are also classics such as "Breaking Away" and what appear to be nice bits of nonracing movies and advocacy. In short, something for everybody — as long as you're there. Thanks to Savant Guardian, who lives close enough to go, for the tip.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Impending disappointment of Olympic proportion?

This post may be premature as the Olympics are still six weeks away. The word now is that NBC will put the squeeze on online content from the games to keep people glued to their televisions. What concerns me is that, even with DVR, I won't be able to get wall-to-wall cycling. NBCOlympics.com and the official Olympics site appear to be intensely uninformative about what will be broadcast. Perhaps my anxiety will be for naught but I am waiting to be convinced. If you've got better information about anything from keirin to the road race, please share.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

On the road again

Of the 400-plus miles I've pedaled this month, the overwhelming majority have been cranked out in the privacy of the garage on the trainer. So today was something of a novelty as I was illuminated by sunshine, buffeted by wind, restrained by road resistance and humbled by hills. In other words, it was a real, normal ride. But enough has changed that I could tell it had been a while since I'd been out. Some roads have been repaved. Tobacco is maturing. The blazes for next Friday's Firecracker Ride are already down. That reminded me to practice signalling in case some group lets me catch a wheel — and to hope I catch a wheel to make some of the more inclined sections more tolerable.