Friday, May 30, 2008

Scott Plasma Pro

After 2, top 15 finishes in flat, fast, and what seemed to me to be dangerous crits, I decided to limit my crit racing moving forward to 2 starting in 2009. The crits I've chosen are relatively "safe" and include some rollers that will cause some separation and again make things safer. At almost 40 with 2 kids and being the sole bread winner, I can't afford a broken collar bone or anything else moving forward. Call me a whimp but I say I'm pretty darn smart!

So what's my focus for 2009 and beyond? Road races and time trials. I think my road racing will benefit significantly from time trialling and throwing in the occasional sprint triathlon such as Tri the Midlands on 6/21, I will benefit from having a TT specific bike and gearing my training towards these events. If everything goes well, I may enter the SC State TT Championships in October.

I'm staying with my team's (Harrell's Bicycle World) bike sponsor - Scott and will take delivery of my Scott Plasma Pro next week. I was a little bummed because I'm a Campy guy and all of my wheels are Campy and I was already thinking that at a minimum, I would need to change the free hub on my Zipp 404 tubular (not the one with the PowerTap SL hub) from Campy to ShimaNO and ride using PE or heart rate. That was the plan up until I found the ShiftMate from Jtek Engineering.

ShiftMate allows you to mix ShimaNO and Campy components such as in my case, a Campy cassette with a ShimaNO derailleur and shifter and have it shift as if it were a complete drivetrain. In addition, I can use index shifting instead of friction. This little device installs just behind the barrel adjuster going into the rear derailleur. This little piece of heaven is only $35, significantly less than new free hubs, cassettes, etc.

Updates - recent purchase

Well I sold my bike on eBay for significantly more than I anticipated. The guy who purchased it is from CA and actually bought it for his son who will not actually grow into the bike for another 6 - 12 months. Nothing like spending $3,000 for a 2 year old bike that doesn't currently fit and for what I assume is a teenager. I guess the old saying is correct, "fools and their money are soon parted."

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I cut my 4 hour ride short today by an hour as I just couldn't produce the power and I felt wiped out. From Sunday to today, I racked up a TSS of 759. Keep in mind that my average weekly TSS since 3/1 has been 397.

Next week is a transition week where Supercompensation occurs and I'm definitely looking forward to it.

Monday, May 19, 2008


2006 Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL Size 54

** Does not include Campy Bora wheels - see description

* Campagnolo Record Carbon Rear Derailleur
* Campagnolo Record Carbon Compact Front Derailleur
* Campagnolo Record Carbon Compact Crankset – 172.5mm with 50/34 chain rings
* Campagnolo Record Carbon Ergopower shifters
* Campagnolo Record Ultra Narrow chain
* Zero Gravity Ti brake calipers
* Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbon Flow Saddle – white
* Ritchey WCS Carbon seatpost
* Ritchey WCS 4Axis Aluminum stem 110mm
* Ritchey WCS Aluminum anatomic bars
* (2) Arundel Dave-O Matte Carbon bottle cages
* Look Keo Carbon Ti pedals
* Campagnolo Eurus clincher wheel set
* Campagnolo Chorus steel 11-23 cassette
* Campagnolo skewers
* Continental GP4000 clincher tires
* Approximate weight – 15lbs


Plan for today called for a 4 hour "easy" ride. Not sure what easy means but with 20+ mph winds on and off for 4 hours, I was pretty spent when I got home and it didn't feel like an easy ride. I guess I'm still feeling the effects of yesterday's ride which consisted of:

4 x 8 on 6 off alternating each minute of work or on time between 260W and 300W.

Time to rebuild the right Campy Ergoshifter as the shifting is no longer crisp, I'm missing gears, and out of the saddle efforts is causing the chain to move down a cog. Once I get the bike fixed and cleaned up, I'm putting her up for sale in order to get a TT bike.

The numbers for today were:

75.63 miles
TSS: 188.7 (.678)
NP: 190W
AVP: 171W

Friday, May 16, 2008

New Shoes - Shimano SH-R300

My Specialized BG Carbon shoes were showing some signs of wear - BOA tensioning system loosening up during races - so I decided to indulge myself with a pair of Shimano SH-R300 custom fit shoes. These shoes are amazing and they are extremely comfortable, supportive, and transfer all power to the pedals. I left the insoles in the oven for a minute too long and they shrunk, and they are now useless. I removed the insoles from my Specialized and finished the molding process. The insoles that came with the shoes have a built-in odor eating protection and air holes that match the vents in the bottom of the shoe. I will probably order another pair of insoles in the event my feet need a little more ventilation when the temperature reaches 100F.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

5th place - Georgia Cup Series 7 Road Race

Saturday almost didn't happen. With 5 minutes to spare, my wife dropped me off on a street corner and I rode a few hundred feet to where the Cat 4/5 35+ riders were assembling for the start of the race. I felt awful having just finished a big meal 60 minutes prior to being dropped off and not being warmed up properly. The official mentioned that we would be neutral for 5 miles in order to get the peloton out of town. What a relief. My frustrated look turned into a smile. Nothing like a neutral roll out to get the juices flowing!

The race was pretty uneventful. Typical race where the peloton brakes going down hill and kills it going up. Don't quite understand the logic but it seems to be all the rage these days. The 5 mile run in to the finish was crazy. Riders were passing on the right in the area that is considered the entrance to a neighborhood. I disagree with the tactic and it borderlines on unethical/illegal. There were two significant hills in the last 1.5 miles that really separated the group. Fortunately, I positioned myself on the right side about 15th back with 10 miles to go and had a clear path over the hills as the weaker riders starting falling off.

At the 1K sign about 3/4 up the last hill, I looked down at my speedometer and we were doing 26mph. This wasn't a roller and it threw me off guard a little. As we crested the hill and safely made it through a major 4-way intersection, the road opened up as we were at the 200m sign but for some reason I just sat on and pedaled as fast as I could. I have no idea why I didn't shift to a smaller gear and jump out of the saddle and go for the win but I didn't. I crossed the finish line in 5th doing 41mph.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Making your own Sports Drink

As with everything these days, the cost of sports drinks continues to rise. In doing quite a bit of research on the subject, I determined that the best overall drink in my opinion was eLoad or EFS by First Endurance. Reason being they are both made with dextrose aka glucose and requires no additional process to convert the sugar to energy. EFS is loaded with BCAA and quite unnecessary for an on the bike drink and thus the reason why it's $1.60 per bottle.

I've been using the recipe below for over 6 months and give it "two thumbs up" for taste, convenience, and cost savings. The recipe is almost identical to that of eLoad Heat Endurance.

My recipe is based on using NOW Foods brand dextrose as ratios I’ve listed below are based on their dextrose that weighs 4g per 1.25 tsp.

For 20 oz
bottle mix the following for a 6.9% carb solution: (cost is approximately $0.43 / 20 oz bottle which includes postage for dextrose)

  • 13 tsp or 4 tbs +1 tsp of dextrose
  • Just under ¼ tsp of salt (590mg)
  • 1/16 tsp of NuSalt (162mg of potassium chloride)
  • ¼ tsp to ½ tsp of Kool-Aid powder – the amount is dependent upon how strong of a taste you require/desire

For 24 oz bottle mix the following for a 6.6% carb solution: (cost is approximately $0.48 / 24 oz bottle which includes postage for dextrose)

  • 15 tsp or 5 tbs of dextrose
  • ¼ tsp of salt (590mg)
  • 1/16 tsp of NuSalt (162mg of potassium chloride)
  • ½ tsp+ of Kool-Aid powder – the amount is dependent upon how strong of a taste you require/desire

Prior to switching, I was using First Endurance EFS and eLoad Heat Endurance and the cost per 24oz bottle was $1.60 and $1.39 respectively. Think of it this way, at 5000 miles per year, you are probably consuming a bottle every 20 miles or 250 bottles over the 5000 miles. At $1.60/bottle x 250 bottles, you are spending $400 on sports drink. Based on the recipe above and assuming you find the dextrose local and don’t have to pay shipping, you are spending $0.34/bottle x 250 = $85 or a savings of $315 that you can put towards carbon wheels!!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

New 5 sec power personal best

I headed out on Sunday afternoon at around 1:30PM with the temperature hovering around 82F. A perfect day to be on the bike with a slight breeze and low humidity. The plan called for 3.5 hours of hard riding so I headed to the lake which means plenty of hills. With this being the 3rd day of long sustained efforts, I decided to wake up the legs with a short sprint and see what I had left after having ridden 2.5 hours. I was quite surprised as I haven't been doing any sprint work and my legs were pretty tired plus I didn't go all out, but my 5 second wattage set a new personal best at 1144W.

The rest of the ride was uneventful and resulted in the following #'s:

Duration: 3:09:40 (3:14:50)
Work: 2150 kJ
TSS: 189.5 (intensity factor 0.776)
Norm Power: 217
VI: 1.15
Pw:HR: 9.29%
Pa:HR: 1.95%
Distance: 61.108 mi

Min Max Avg

Power: 0 1168 190 watts
Heart Rate: 83 160 138 bpm
Cadence: 29 141 90 rpm
Speed: 2.3 38.8 19.4 mph

More 4x8's

Plan for Saturday was 4X8' on @ 285W with 5 minutes between intervals as follows:

0 -1 minute: easy
1 - 2 minute: 385W
2 - 3 minutes: easy
3 - 4 minutes: 385W
4 - 5 minutes: easy

Feeling some residual fatigue from my hour ride the day before, I bagged the 385W intervals after the set of 8' in favor of easy riding. I dropped the wattage back on my final set of 8' in order to complete the 2 hard intervals.

1st 8' interval: 284W avg
2nd 8' interval: 278W avg
3rd 8' interval: 281W avg
4th 8' interval: 272W avg

Zone 2 for 1 hour

Friday called for an hour ride in Zone 2 or a power range of 213-238W. My legs started out a little heavy and it took about 15 minutes to get into a breathing rhythm but I managed 244W NP and 239W AVG power for hour. Average speed was 21.7 and distance traveled was 21.704 miles.