America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Does it bother you to miss workouts?

Two days straight for me. Yesterday was a rest day so I didn't mind so much, but today?! it makes my skin crawl to miss a scheduled workout. Oh well.. tomorrow I'll double down and maybe ride to Ninigret again.. Life requirements have shifted- I'm deeply engaged in some cost estimates to renovate three Providence high schools- 30 science labs total. My bid is due tomorrow and the process has really worn me out together with the major efforts in between to try to close some huge sales of previous bids. The weather is partly to blame too. We're a one car family at the moment and with the not-so-great weather, I've had to drive to work, or else I'd already have 112 miles this week! Fine and dandy- I don't want to be too wound up for Sunday's Blue Hills Classic! Just saying, I hate when life gets in the way of training.. Some quality volume and rest these next three days will prepare me nicely for Sunday morning. .

Monday, April 26, 2010

Do you know why 6 is afraid of 7 ?

The answer is below..
No racing for Murat this weekend, not even any real crazy hard training- I did enough of that Mon thru Fri.. and it appears I've logged 305 miles this week in 17-1/2 hours overall. Not that I didn't want to race TP and Quabbin, I did.. but I really need to bring my A game to the start line of any hilly road race, and this week's volume put me at about a C or D for form, and I'm not that interested in racing myself into the ground and off the back, not to mention driving 2 hours each way and paying $30 a pop for the privilege. I'll save that kind of commitment for the road races that I care about- like Blue Hills. Now if TP and Quabbin were flat criteriums, I probably would have found a way to be there. The risk/reward ratio is a lot more favorable.. You can bang your head against a wall "training your weaknesses" but as a friend recently shared with me on FB:

"Don't let what you cannot do, interfere with what you can do." -John Wooden
That's good advice, IMHO.
the answer to the riddle, per our 6 year old son Reis: "because seven 'ate' nine". He told that one out of the blue today while we were driving home from IKEA. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ninigret No 2

It's not that I won it or anything, so I won't bore you with a race report. The interesting story is that I rode my bike down to the race, then I raced, then I attached my headlight and rode home. 86+ miles in about 4:14. I've done this ride before, and it has always paid dividends the following week. I got home in the pitch black- about 9:15. Previous attempts to do this ride ended up with severe cramping both during the race and on the ride home. Yesterday I did a little better- one calf cramped a tiny bit for a moment and that's it. Added to my two bike commutes to work on Monday and Tuesday, I already have 200 miles in 3 days. Today is a rest day- hopefully a bike path bike ride with my son if anything at all. Racewise- I tend to hold back a bit when I know I need to ride home afterwards. Feeling a little fresh at the end of the crit, I easily took my place in the lead out train and got 3rd in the field sprint. The usual suspects had broken away and had a big gap. Nice big field last night also included G-Diddy in his 1st ever [Wed night] Ninigret Crit. Didn't see him after the start as I think he was tail-gunning at the back, enjoying himself. That's what it's all about. Interestingly, my first 60 minutes riding into the wind down to he race was my CP60 for the day, racing was actually easier than the ride down. Nice tailwind on the way home was thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

2010 Rick Newhouse Criterium Kid's Race

Watch how fast these kids go past the camera!

Solobreak Wins Rick Newhouse Criterium

And he did it Solo- (he can't sprint his way out of a wet paper bag).
You heard it here first.

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2010 Rick Newhouse Criterium Results

Sorry to exclude the Women's and Juniors races, but we needed to get going! I'd like to salute the ArcenCiel team for their hard work and for successfully managing a first class event, per usual. Hat tip to Dave Potter and Dave Foley for taking the 35+ win and the 45+ win, respectively. Gratitude to Randy and Todd for burying themselves at the front on the final lap of the 35s- wish I could have done you proud in the field sprint. And to everyone who raced in today's miserable weather (especially the kids)- I salute you as well for not being a weenie.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Year To Date PMC 2009 and 2010

These charts give you an indication of training load. (top one is 2010, bottom one is 2009) The blue line is CTL- Chronic Training Load- a running average of TSS for the past 42 days. The pink line is ATL- Acute Training load- a running average of TSS for the past 7 days. The yellow line is TSB- Training Stress balance.
I know that some have a low opinion of this data, primarily because it doesnt account for the fatigue caused by life requirements, work, stress, wife, kids, mortgage, weightlifting, running if any, etc.. It's strictly bike induced stress that's given here. Anyway, it looks like in 2009 I didn't really begin to pour on the volume until April.
The PMC chart at the bottom shows you more of 2009- (thru June) I left the cursor one what I consider to be my peak of 2009. The high peak ATL (pink) that is shown indicates the day that I rode down to Ninigret, raced, and then rode home.
At any rate, I really like looking at these charts and getting a good idea of how much "work" is being accomplished (another word which is unpopular for some of you) especially when you can pinpoint your better performances and see the stress levels where you were successful.
I do not consider myself a maven on these matters- I'm learning more every day. I definitely consider myself a fanatik of analyzing the numbers though. it's like a hobby within a hobby.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tour of Turkey- Rifat Caliskan's family presents

I have been following the results all week with mild interest, but today I caught a photo in the article by Cycling News which made my heart skip a beat. The jersey for best climber was awarded to Remi Pauriol by the family of Rifat Caliskan, who was at one time, Turkey's answer to Eddy Merckx. Rifat was a personal friend of our family. He raced with my father in the late 60s and when I was in Turkey back in 1989 as a very promising junior, he guided my training that summer to the podium of a big criterium [points] race in Corum. I finished 2nd to that year's elite Turkish National Road Champion, with junior gearing. I smoked every junior there of course, making me the virtual winner of my age group. I also snagged 10th in the road race the day prior. Little did I know at the time that my lithe 145 pound frame had just achieved the very peak of it's bike racing career. Life requirements and family misfortune made it a downhill journey from there on.. So I digress. The name Rifat Caliskan reminds me of so many things though. Rifat passed away recently, not too long after my father was taken from us by lung cancer.
Above, André Greipel (Team HTC - Columbia) took a hard-fought victory in stage five.
Rémi Pauriol was awarded the red jersey of best climber by the family of Rifat Caliskan, the famous Turkish cyclist from the 1970s who passed away five months ago.

Ninigret No 1

Looking at the weather prediction for this weekend, it was apparent that racing enjoyment would be curbed quite a bit on Saturday, making it all the more attractive to go to Ninigret last night. The same tired script played out of course, with all the big engines detaching themselves and surfing the field for an hour- Gary A- Tobi S- Billy Y- Billy M- Adam S- Randy R- Todd B (hope I didn’t miss anyone) they duked it out for the win (I think Tobi got it) while us mere mortals in the field worked it as a training race should be worked. I went for a prime at one point and got outgunned by a tall dude who I think is a junior (?) Anyway, I’m glad I didn’t quit because it was a 2 place prime (Nice six pack of Narragansett Lager- Ninigret has the best primes!) I almost tossed my cookies after that sprint, and had to really dig deeeeep to stay attached to the field- something made a lot harder by the many folks who were dropping out and jumping back in every other lap. I was getting gapped and it was even more painful to go around the bodies that were being spit out the back. This was a windy edition of Ninigret for sure. At 5 to go I had pulled myself together in the sprinter’s lounge and started moving up. By the time we heard the bell, I was 5th wheel. On the back stretch I was 3rd wheel. We had barely hit the final left hand curve and I became impatient and started my sprint 333 yards from the line. My leadouts were cooked and it was time to either GO or be swarmed and end up fighting for a wheel or a clear path. Field sprinting for 8th place? Meh... It’s a training race. Why not practice some sprints? I wasn’t exactly sprinting from the back of the field.. The correct thing to do would have been to hug the right hand curb, but that’s not what I did- stupid me- I left a lane open on my right side and [correctly] held my line to the finish. Tall junior rider and someone in Cox uniform passed me on the right. 3rd in the field sprint- I’ll take it. It was an excellent workout. The bad news is that when I got back to the car, my wife was in the driver’s seat while my son was kicking a soccer ball around. I put the bike up on the car, yelled at Reis to get in the car and jumped in the passenger side- I was cold. What do you think we left leaning against the car as we drove off? A Bontrager Race-X-Lite front wheel. We do not recall running it over, but it sure as hell didn’t make it into the car. I’m hoping a good Samaritan saw us drive off and is holding the wheel for me. It matches my Powertap wheel and I really want to get it back. Has a blackwall Conti 4000s tire on it and a Polar magnet on the spoke. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Heeding the call of nature

No I’m not referring to growing a tail, or taking a wiz, or laying some cable or seeing a man about a horse. (What ?) it’s just that lately, my body is telling me to sleep lots. Maybe I’m “tireder” than I realize what with the racing I did Sat and Sunday and the supposed rest I was supposed to be getting last week and what did I do- I commuted to work almost every day, making for another 200+ mile week. Physically I feel great. Monday after work I took out a TT bike that is on loan to me and tried it for size. That was a 40 minute ride to Goddard Park and back- I did a lot of stopping and adjusting. The bike’s not for me.. Yesterday, I had the benefit of knocking off from work early and you would think that a 3-4 hour ride would follow, but for whatever reason, I really “did not feel like it”. Instead, I took a two hour afternoon power nap- and slept more deeply than I have in months. It was hard to snap out of it, but I got up feeling very fresh. Let me also point out that I have gone to bed at 9:30 for the past two nights.. It’s normal, right? To have days where you don’t feel like riding your bike? This morning was another case of the blues maybe. I got up at 5:00 am, all stoked about riding to work and back.. then I see that it’s 39 degrees outside. This makes me feel less than inspired, so after horking down a bowl of Mini Wheats, I went back to bed for another hour. Signals I’m getting from the body seem to indicate that this extra rest will make my next build period all the more effective. My weight is steady. My HR as I’m just sitting around is in the low 50s. No infections or allergies are bothering me. I guess this is what it’s like to really get some rest? Finally bought a new strap for my Polar HRM yesterday. Was worried that it wouldn’t work as I use the old 720i, but it took the signal in a heartbeat (that’s a pun).. REI told me to bring it back if it didn’t work, no questions asked. Got a nice 20% discount on it too, for being an REI member. Now we can start to look at my “decoupling”, whatever that means. Hopefully this strap feeds a signal to the Powertap too.. Ninigret tonight? I’d have to cancel a 7:00 appt with a contractor at the new house, and leave work early in order to be there. Should I let this well-rested-fresh-ness go to waste? Let’s see what kind of mood strikes.

For those who wondered, my performance at Myles Standish was the pits, but the data I gained from my peak hour was excellent- better than I expected. It’s nice to have something positive come from a day which, on the surface, appears unsuccessful.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wells Ave No 1

I usually do not wait until April to do my first Wells Ave, but hey I'm glad I missed it last week! 15 people crashed and 5-6 were taken to the hospital. The A field was fit and strong today, it made for some good racing. I wasn't really put into much difficulty the whole race, except for the first 8-10 minutes. Anticipating a bell lap, I went clear on lap 3 or maybe 4. The gap was ginormous because of the tailwind on the back straight. As I am rounding the corner and expecting to claim my prime, a turbo-charged J. Spinelli went past me like a hurricane. Alone. I was in no-man's land for one full lap after that. He became a dot up the road and I spied a good sized group approaching from behind. Skip, Tobi, Thad, Ward.. Among others- they were going very hot and left me in their vapor trail. This was a mistake on my part. I should have shut it down and recovered right after JS passed me. Instead I kept grinding it out.m but the primary reason for going to Wells Ave today was to race HARD and get a solid chunk of CP60 data. That's what I was thinking about while wasting myself for a few laps there. Yesterday's poor performance from Myles Standish made me determined to go and do some work at Wells. So back to racing- the early break in pursuit of JS went through me, never to be seen again until they lapped the field (boy, when I fall apart in a race, it's effin serious- legs simply "no va"). So I ended up jumping back in the largish field. I did some work at the front and logged some beaucoup watts for a few laps. A field prime is announced and I'm up there ready to pounce, but its neutralized. Next lap- almost the same thing happened- but people were hesitating. I came up the right hand gutter from 2nd wheel to what I thought was an easy win. I did not expect to be challenged and that's why a CB guy took it from me in the last 20 meters, fair and square. I salute the guy.. But what's with the smarky attitude and looks from certain young blow-hards in the field afterwards? Indeed I was both gassed and pissed so I was heard shouting "what the FUCK are you looking at" on the back stretch. Not proud. Apologies for getting emotional about a stupid prime. This made me determined though.. 4 laps to go the bell rings one last time (surprisingly) and it's 2 places. Teammate Adam S is giving me a textbook leadout.. Until a log jam of cars going 20 mph impedes us. Neutralized. We pass the finish and the bell rings again. I'm at the very front and in control of my fatigue. I swing wide after the corner. Couple of JS's teammates light it up right after the corner, hard. I jump on to take 3rd wheel. For having a lousy day yesterday at Myles Standish and missing the break and losing two previous primes, it was nice to win that last one. Glad to have had a safe race- I shut it down on the last lap- what is the point of sprinting in a field populated by 14 guys who lapped you?
I must say- the switch to 172mm cranks was definitely correct. It "feels" like I can accelerate much more successfully, both on yesterday's climb and in today's sprints. Thanks for reading.
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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Beaucoup volume

The verdict is still out whether I should regularly do this bike commute, which.. at 27 miles each way, totals 216 miles between Monday evening and Friday morning. Tack on any training rides or race mileage from Saturday and Sunday.. and I can have 300 mile weeks all summer long. I need to figure out how to manage this effectively and make sure I am not adding unintended fatigue. Sometime in May I expect to begin working from home 1-2 days a week and that will change the program quite a bit. In April I need to really pour on the volume if I am expecting to properly let the spring unwind in May. I didn’t crack 1000 miles in April 2009, but it appears this will happen before April 20th this year. To wit I already have 288 miles and it’s only the 8th. It’s also a rest week and I am skipping Ninigret tonight even though I know it will be epic with the warm toasty weather outside. My commutes this week are in the 2 watt/kg range, and I’m enjoying the hell out of taking my time and noticing all the things there are to notice on a 27 mile journey. So it’s active rest for me all week.. until Saturday.. when I expect to be doing something special- might be a field test, might be some racing in MA, or a combination of both. It’s time to hit the reset button and go into a new build period using an accurate new FTP. I want to do some time trials. How many choices are there in our area? Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, April 06, 2010


On Sunday I took an early morning 3-1/2 hour ride and my legs were really fried from the crit racing at Chris Hinds on Saturday. Even so, I was able to average 19.5 mph and 195w- the ideal Tempo ride I guess.. It didn't occur to me that I forgot my pump until after I got home- a scary thought considering the bald/flat spot on my rear tire from all the wind trainer workouts.
Checking Chris Hinds Crit results at I notice that out of the 51 finishers:
10 are Cat 1
19 are Cat 2
11 are Cat 3
2 are Cat 4
9 are Cat "?"
Cool. That's a lotsa cat 1s!
Funny thing too- I showed up for the race without renewing my license! Almost drove home to take care of it too- then I was informed I could do it right at the race by filling out a USAC form- sweet! What a relief that was..
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Monday, April 05, 2010

Wells Ave Criterium April 4, 2010

The was a bad crash Sunday and the end of this very nice video shows some of the aftermath of it. I heard that 4-6 people were hospitalized. I hope everyone if going to be okay. If anyone knows who went down, please let us know.

Wells Ave Easter 2010 from pkl_limavady on Vimeo.

Teammate Matt K. won the crit, and the halfway prime, and he also won the field sprint at Chris Hinds for 7th. Nice work.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

2010 Chris Hinds Criterium Results

Sorry I could not get a shot of the 45+ event, but I will tell you that Dave Kellogg won it. The result at the very bottom is the 35+ race. If anyone has the overall mileage for the Pro race and the 35+ race, please let me know. I raced data free in favor of fast race wheels, but I still want to know my mileage/speed if anyone has it please. Thanks.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Reflections of a successful winter

Success? Relative to what? Well.. I used to be one of those guys who didn’t touch the bike until April or May, and who would go to the old Lincoln Criterium in June/July and get dropped every three laps, jump back in and try again.. until finally after 3-4 weeks of this, I could hang in there and finish the A race, sometimes on the heels of the top ten guys sprinting for the win. Things are different now. I race cross 5-7 times a winter. I ride 3-6 hours almost every weekend, all winter long. I build a 1000 mile base by the end of February. I use a powermeter and know pretty well where I stand on any given day.. and yes a lot of it is still “by feel”. The data does more to verify how I’m feeling than dictate how I should be feeling.

This past Saturday with Gewilli and those hills will stand as a ride that I consider critical- one that pays big dividends later on. A TSS of 300 calls for a rest day this early in the season- I was not interested in repeating the effort on Sunday. I did a one hour spin indoors, barely turning the pedals. Instead of resting on Monday, I rested Sunday, and moved up Tuesday’s workout by one day, which consisted of six intervals of 3:00 at FT +10%. This was a hot workout, but didn’t cause much fatigue, so I poured it on again Tuesday night, doing 1:00 FT efforts at 90 rpm separated by 1:00 Endurance efforts at 110 rpm (repeat 20 times, with 10:00 rest in the middle). This gave me some fatigue, but I felt like I could do more at the end of this ride. Wednesday- REST- no riding whatsoever. Yesterday I took the bike to work. Scheduled myself to do a couple of 15:00 FT efforts, but this is “easier” to do indoors (mentally, indoors is harder). I was able to eek out one of my intervals on the bike path, but the occasional slowing down and stopping related to traffic and mud and water took away from it a bit. Still, a solid effort.. and I was flying- slight tailwind. Once off the bike path, there is no possible way to ride hard for more than a minute without stopping or dodging traffic, so I just made the most of it- decided to make this ride home something special. I was feeling exceptional. Looking back on the power distribution chart, it’s evident that more than ½ the ride was spent over FT, ½ under. And overall, 15 minutes of coasting- that’s a lot of zeroes factored into the averages. This fast ride home pleases me.

Indeed winter could have gone a lot more terribly or incorrectly, or unlucky or injurious than it has. I feel pretty fortunate to have emerged from the past six months injury free, at a good fighting weight, and in competitive form. It didn’t just happen, it wasn’t all luck. I was executing a plan, not exactly doing it “by feel” all the time.. because for a lazy phuc like me, if I did everything by feel, I’d have slept-in until noon every Saturday and every Sunday for the past 6 months.

Tomorrow will be a good test to see if all systems are go, but again it’s all relative. April 3rd is not the time to call out the defining moment of your entire season, so I go into tomorrow with one expectation- to have fun. If I caulk up a top 10, I’ll be immensely happy, but not devastated if I’m tail-gunning all day. My “A” races are still more than two months away. Thanks for reading.