Archive for June, 2011

Greenbush Road Race – Tour of America’s Dairyland – Day 5

Notice anything missing in this picture??? Answer – my iBike came loose on one section of bumpy road. There was no way to tighten it back up while riding so I had to wait for one of the screws to come completely off. Then I could spin the iBike around to unscrew the other screw. Finished the race with the iBike and my iPhone in my pocket.

This was a fun race course through the Kettle Moraine State Forest area near Greenbush and Elkhart Lake. The course was rolling with several steep rollers having gradients well over 10%. I got into an early move that lasted 3/4 of a lap. The field brought us back, and I drifted too far back in the pack so I missed the counter attack and a subsequent chase group that hung in front of us for a while. Then as people in our group started to pull out of the race, the chase group left the field for good which meant that the rest of us were racing for something like 12th or 13th. Still, I wanted to make a race of it so I tried to get in a few moves, and I tried to keep the pace in the field rolling.

On the last lap, Steve Tilford attacked after exiting the forest. A couple guys bridged up to him, and I was sorta in disbelief that I had just missed another move. An ISCorp rider attacked into the headwind a little while later. I was at the front and determined not to just wait for a field sprint. So I attacked to bridge up to the ISCorp rider. I attacked hard and was able to get away cleanly. I looked behind and saw that the field hadn’t responded so I poured everything into it not saving anything for the sprint. I made it to the ISCorp rider right as we were making the lefthand turn to take us through a long section of crosswinds. We worked hard together and could see the field strung out behind, but they had waited too long to start chasing. Up ahead we were closing on the break of three who appeared to have merged with the remnants of the chase group that had been gone since the second lap. I need to see the results to see my exact placing to determine if that is what happened. In any case, we couldn’t quite close the gap to that group, but we stayed ahead of the field. I couldn’t compete with the ISCorp rider in the sprint after doing a lot of work so I sat up and eased in just ahead of the field.

iBike power data for half of the greenbush road race

Here is a map of the course, plus here is a link to interactive stats from the ride – http://app.strava.com/rides/778406.

And here are the Strava lap splits…

NAME  DIST   SPEED    POWER     HR      TIME
1 lap 9.9 mi 25.6 mph 375 watts 157 bpm 0:23:07
1 lap 9.8 mi 25.8 mph 376 watts 149 bpm 0:22:59
1 lap 9.9 mi 24.8 mph 343 watts 147 bpm 0:23:53
1 lap 9.8 mi 24.4 mph 328 watts 148 bpm 0:24:16
1 lap 9.9 mi 23.5 mph 302 watts 144 bpm 0:25:09
1 lap 9.9 mi 22.9 mph 287 watts 144 bpm 0:25:48
1 lap 9.9 mi 22.9 mph 279 watts 141 bpm 0:25:52
1 lap 9.9 mi 24.9 mph 338 watts 154 bpm 0:23:49

Finally, here is a gallery of pics from the day — some from the race and some from Minneapolis / St Paul where the rest of the family had a fun day on quite a few adventures of their own.

June 20, 2011 at 10:20 pm Leave a comment

Waukesha Criterium – Tour of America’s Dairyland – Day 4

Finally, I made it into the top 20 to score a point towards the overall omnium. I am excited about the road race tomorrow with its double points and long distance (about 80 miles). I had a great warm-up ride with lots of climbing up some very steep hills in Waukesha. None of them gained more than 150′, but several of them were in the 10-15% gradient range.

I had a not so good start somewhere in the middle of the pack. I decided to try the outside line, and it seemed to work on the six-corner course. I gradually moved towards the front, but then when the pace slowed down on one of the laps, I was able to attack from about 50 riders back from the front and move all the way off the front into a chase group chasing a break. The field was pretty much right on us, but from this point on in the race I was able to stay at the front of the field. I went with several moves and was hoping to be in position to go for a prime. The finish was great except I lost a few positions when I became convinced that the rider next to me was about to plow into some slower moving riders at the finish line. I eased up to consider my escape options for the pileup that was for sure going to happen, but at the last second he slammed on his brakes to avoid hitting them. Still, he was able to pass me in the process and a couple riders to his right also passed me literally on the line. Frustrating.

Here is all my iBike power data and lap splits from Strava.

iBike power data for the Waukesha Criterium


Strava ride map – interactive data here – http://app.strava.com/rides/773236

NAME	DIST	SPEED	 POWER	   HR	   TIME
1 Lap	0.8 mi	27.5 mph 294 watts 149 bpm 0:01:56
1 Lap	0.8 mi	28.8 mph 381 watts 162 bpm 0:01:51
1 Lap	0.8 mi	30.7 mph 450 watts 166 bpm 0:01:44
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.8 mph 438 watts 167 bpm 0:01:47
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.3 mph 407 watts 172 bpm 0:01:49
1 Lap	0.8 mi	30.4 mph 408 watts 170 bpm 0:01:45
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.3 mph 410 watts 169 bpm 0:01:49
1 Lap	0.8 mi	30.1 mph 461 watts 169 bpm 0:01:46
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.3 mph 388 watts 165 bpm 0:01:49
1 Lap	0.8 mi	31.0 mph 449 watts 165 bpm 0:01:43
1 Lap	0.8 mi	31.3 mph 423 watts 166 bpm 0:01:42
1 Lap	0.8 mi	28.5 mph 347 watts 166 bpm 0:01:52
1 Lap	0.8 mi	31.0 mph 438 watts 175 bpm 0:01:43
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.8 mph 445 watts 171 bpm 0:01:47
1 Lap	0.8 mi	28.5 mph 379 watts 166 bpm 0:01:52
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.6 mph 395 watts 162 bpm 0:01:48
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.8 mph 396 watts 170 bpm 0:01:47
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.8 mph 414 watts 170 bpm 0:01:47
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.8 mph 424 watts 170 bpm 0:01:47
1 Lap	0.8 mi	31.0 mph 442 watts 171 bpm 0:01:43
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.8 mph 428 watts 171 bpm 0:01:47
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.0 mph 380 watts 163 bpm 0:01:50
1 Lap	0.8 mi	30.1 mph 408 watts 168 bpm 0:01:46
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.3 mph 405 watts 164 bpm 0:01:49
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.3 mph 406 watts 165 bpm 0:01:49
1 Lap	0.8 mi	28.8 mph 373 watts 162 bpm 0:01:51
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.3 mph 374 watts 164 bpm 0:01:49
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.8 mph 424 watts 159 bpm 0:01:47
1 Lap	0.8 mi	30.1 mph 443 watts 163 bpm 0:01:46
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.6 mph 373 watts 159 bpm 0:01:48
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.0 mph 368 watts 160 bpm 0:01:50
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.6 mph 373 watts 166 bpm 0:01:48
1 Lap	0.8 mi	30.1 mph 407 watts 171 bpm 0:01:46
1 Lap	0.9 mi	30.1 mph 408 watts 168 bpm 0:01:46
1 Lap	0.8 mi	30.4 mph 362 watts 170 bpm 0:01:45
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.0 mph 385 watts 172 bpm 0:01:50
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.8 mph 408 watts 168 bpm 0:01:47
1 Lap	0.9 mi	29.3 mph 338 watts 159 bpm 0:01:49
1 Lap	0.8 mi	30.1 mph 424 watts 163 bpm 0:01:46
1 Lap	0.8 mi	30.4 mph 437 watts 164 bpm 0:01:45
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.3 mph 365 watts 167 bpm 0:01:49
1 Lap	0.8 mi	30.7 mph 457 watts 172 bpm 0:01:44
1 Lap	0.8 mi	30.4 mph 421 watts 170 bpm 0:01:45
1 Lap	0.8 mi	28.8 mph 358 watts 169 bpm 0:01:51
1 Lap	0.8 mi	28.5 mph 350 watts 163 bpm 0:01:52
1 Lap	0.8 mi	30.4 mph 369 watts 167 bpm 0:01:45
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.3 mph 372 watts 172 bpm 0:01:49
1 Lap	0.8 mi	29.8 mph 406 watts 166 bpm 0:01:47
1 Lap	0.8 mi	31.3 mph 423 watts 169 bpm 0:01:42
1 Lap	0.8 mi	31.6 mph 462 watts 174 bpm 0:01:41
1 Lap	0.8 mi	31.0 mph 476 watts 180 bpm 0:01:43

And finally here is an annotated gallery of photos from the day:

June 19, 2011 at 11:42 pm Leave a comment

Grafton Criterium – Tour of America’s Dairyland – Day 3

Dropped a LOT of money at the bike shop today to buy replacement pedals.

Today started out with a trip to Wheel and Sprocket – very nice bike shop based out of southeastern Wisconsin. I picked up the Speedplay pedals shown above for $352. With that fresh on my mind, I was really hoping to win some money in the race tonight at Grafton. I finished 14th last year, but this year I rode a really good race until 2 laps to go and finished out of the points and out of the money. The highlight of the race turned out to be taking 4th in the mid-race USA crits points prime. I missed the counter-move that ended up sticking even though I was right there when the move went. I was still recovering from trying to go for the prime and then being in a five-man break for a lap. I fought hard to stay towards the front, and with two laps to go I was sitting third wheel. Unfortunately I got bumped kinda hard going into Turn 5 and started losing position from there all the way to the end of the race and finished maybe in the top 40 or maybe not. Update – just saw the results – 51st. Wow, there were a lot of people in front of me.

Here is all of my power and heartrate data…
Strava map highlighting one lap of the course. Here is the link to the interactive Strava data – http://app.strava.com/rides/763664

One interesting note about the power graph below is how visible the mid-race prime and break are — particularly in terms of cadence and heartrate — much, much smoother in a break than accelerating, braking, etc… constantly in the field.
iBike power data for grafton criterium

NAME	DIST	SPEED	 POWER	   HR	   TIME
1 lap	0.8 mi	24.2 mph 310 watts 152 bpm 0:02:04
1 lap	0.8 mi	27.5 mph 400 watts 163 bpm 0:01:49
1 lap	0.9 mi	27.2 mph 420 watts 162 bpm 0:01:50
1 lap	0.8 mi	27.0 mph 388 watts 165 bpm 0:01:51
1 lap	0.9 mi	27.0 mph 422 watts 167 bpm 0:01:51
1 lap	0.9 mi	27.2 mph 440 watts 166 bpm 0:01:50
1 lap	0.9 mi	27.0 mph 422 watts 165 bpm 0:01:51
1 lap	0.8 mi	27.7 mph 419 watts 161 bpm 0:01:48
1 lap	0.8 mi	29.7 mph 440 watts 165 bpm 0:01:41
1 lap	0.8 mi	27.2 mph 403 watts 166 bpm 0:01:50
1 lap	0.9 mi	27.0 mph 400 watts 166 bpm 0:01:51
1 lap	0.8 mi	27.7 mph 436 watts 163 bpm 0:01:48
1 lap	0.9 mi	26.3 mph 385 watts 160 bpm 0:01:54
1 lap	0.8 mi	29.1 mph 476 watts 166 bpm 0:01:43
1 lap	0.8 mi	27.5 mph 415 watts 162 bpm 0:01:49
1 lap	0.8 mi	28.3 mph 430 watts 168 bpm 0:01:46
1 lap	0.8 mi	29.4 mph 481 watts 169 bpm 0:01:42
1 lap	0.9 mi	29.1 mph 495 watts 170 bpm 0:01:43
1 lap	0.9 mi	28.8 mph 482 watts 168 bpm 0:01:44
1 lap	0.8 mi	28.5 mph 430 watts 166 bpm 0:01:45
1 lap	0.8 mi	29.1 mph 467 watts 168 bpm 0:01:43
1 lap	0.8 mi	27.7 mph 413 watts 169 bpm 0:01:48
1 lap	0.8 mi	28.0 mph 420 watts 169 bpm 0:01:47
1 lap	0.8 mi	28.5 mph 412 watts 167 bpm 0:01:45
1 lap	0.8 mi	28.5 mph 405 watts 168 bpm 0:01:45
1 lap	0.8 mi	27.2 mph 386 watts 176 bpm 0:01:50
1 lap	0.8 mi	27.7 mph 394 watts 170 bpm 0:01:48
1 lap	0.8 mi	28.3 mph 393 watts 168 bpm 0:01:46
1 lap	0.8 mi	26.7 mph 385 watts 165 bpm 0:01:52
1 lap	0.8 mi	26.0 mph 307 watts 166 bpm 0:01:55
1 lap	0.8 mi	28.0 mph 422 watts 167 bpm 0:01:47
1 lap	0.8 mi	28.0 mph 420 watts 171 bpm 0:01:47
1 lap	0.8 mi	27.5 mph 390 watts 170 bpm 0:01:49
1 lap	0.8 mi	27.2 mph 388 watts 171 bpm 0:01:50
1 lap	0.8 mi	29.7 mph 453 watts 173 bpm 0:01:41
1 lap	0.8 mi	28.8 mph 429 watts 169 bpm 0:01:44
1 lap	0.8 mi	28.8 mph 447 watts 169 bpm 0:01:44
1 lap	0.8 mi	27.2 mph 388 watts 165 bpm 0:01:50
1 lap	0.9 mi	26.3 mph 399 watts 168 bpm 0:01:54
1 lap	0.8 mi	26.0 mph 360 watts 168 bpm 0:01:55
1 lap	0.8 mi	26.7 mph 416 watts 174 bpm 0:01:52
1 lap	0.8 mi	27.0 mph 319 watts 170 bpm 0:01:51
1 lap	0.8 mi	27.5 mph 434 watts 172 bpm 0:01:49
1 lap	0.8 mi	26.7 mph 379 watts 174 bpm 0:01:52
1 lap	0.8 mi	26.0 mph 412 watts 174 bpm 0:01:55
1 lap	0.8 mi	27.5 mph 378 watts 177 bpm 0:01:49
1 lap	0.8 mi	28.8 mph 467 watts 184 bpm 0:01:44

Finish of the women’s race

This looks dangerous – bike swallowing railroad tracks encountered during warm-up ride (not in the race)!

June 18, 2011 at 11:51 pm Leave a comment

Thiensville Criterium – Tour of America’s Dairyland – Day 2

My day started out with a wonderful breakfast at the original pancake house – pecan pancakes, great coffee, and fiesta omelette

And my day ended with this – a broken speedplay pedal!

Actually, the broken pedal happened about a quarter of the way through the race, and the awesome SRAM mechanics had me up and running with replacement pedals to hop back into the race on the next lap. I was placed at the back of the pack but was able to move all the way to the front by the end of the race. There was one big wreck on the backside of the course with 3 laps to go. The course went through a couple blocks of houses with nice grassy yards which turned out to be escape routes for riders in that wreck and also when getting pushed out going into Turn #5. That is one of the visual images from the race that will stick with me — a rider going off the course and riding down a small embankment into somebody’s yard and then out the other side to hop back on the course!

A break of three escaped with about 10 laps to go in the race? I ended up 33rd which meant I was 30th in the field sprint. I fought hard for position, but cramped coming out of the last turn. I had a good wheel to draft though and was able to coast with only a few pedal strokes behind a large, fast rider to the finish. Only 9 more days of racing left!

And here are all the stats …
Strava map of the Thiensville criterium course. Interactive data available here on Strava – http://app.strava.com/rides/756346

Name  Dist   Speed    Power     HR      Time
1 lap 0.9 mi 25.6 mph 341 watts 160 bpm 0:02:06
1 lap 0.9 mi 27.8 mph 450 watts 170 bpm 0:01:56
1 lap 0.9 mi 27.8 mph 417 watts 171 bpm 0:01:56
1 lap 0.9 mi 28.8 mph 439 watts 172 bpm 0:01:52
1 lap 0.9 mi 27.5 mph 394 watts 172 bpm 0:01:57
1 lap 0.9 mi 28.5 mph 424 watts 170 bpm 0:01:53
1 lap 0.9 mi 23.9 mph 297 watts 172 bpm 0:02:15
1 lap 0.9 mi 9.8 mph  10 watts  160 bpm 0:05:30
1 lap 0.9 mi 27.5 mph 430 watts 167 bpm 0:01:57
1 lap 0.9 mi 28.5 mph 443 watts 169 bpm 0:01:53
1 lap 0.9 mi 28.5 mph 440 watts 172 bpm 0:01:53
1 lap 0.9 mi 28.3 mph 421 watts 169 bpm 0:01:54
1 lap 0.9 mi 29.3 mph 444 watts 168 bpm 0:01:50
1 lap 0.9 mi 27.5 mph 421 watts 170 bpm 0:01:57
1 lap 0.9 mi 28.5 mph 449 watts 168 bpm 0:01:53
1 lap 0.9 mi 28.5 mph 452 watts 175 bpm 0:01:53
1 lap 0.9 mi 28.8 mph 466 watts 178 bpm 0:01:52
1 lap 0.9 mi 27.8 mph 446 watts 175 bpm 0:01:56
1 lap 0.9 mi 29.0 mph 470 watts 175 bpm 0:01:51
1 lap 0.9 mi 28.0 mph 406 watts 172 bpm 0:01:55
1 lap 0.9 mi 27.8 mph 368 watts 171 bpm 0:01:56
1 lap 0.9 mi 27.8 mph 438 watts 167 bpm 0:01:56
1 lap 0.9 mi 29.8 mph 478 watts 178 bpm 0:01:48
1 lap 0.9 mi 27.3 mph 430 watts 171 bpm 0:01:58
1 lap 0.9 mi 27.8 mph 412 watts 170 bpm 0:01:56
1 lap 0.9 mi 27.5 mph 401 watts 172 bpm 0:01:57
1 lap 0.9 mi 27.5 mph 429 watts 170 bpm 0:01:57
1 lap 0.9 mi 28.5 mph 412 watts 170 bpm 0:01:53
1 lap 0.9 mi 26.4 mph 412 watts 168 bpm 0:02:02
1 lap 0.9 mi 26.0 mph 332 watts 161 bpm 0:02:04
1 lap 0.9 mi 26.4 mph 385 watts 163 bpm 0:02:02
1 lap 0.9 mi 28.3 mph 390 watts 172 bpm 0:01:54
1 lap 0.9 mi 28.5 mph 425 watts 165 bpm 0:01:53
1 lap 0.9 mi 28.0 mph 428 watts 165 bpm 0:01:55
1 lap 0.9 mi 27.1 mph 385 watts 169 bpm 0:01:59
1 lap 0.9 mi 26.2 mph 378 watts 168 bpm 0:02:03
1 lap 0.9 mi 27.3 mph 372 watts 171 bpm 0:01:58
1 lap 0.9 mi 27.1 mph 369 watts 174 bpm 0:01:59
1 lap 0.9 mi 26.0 mph 389 watts 167 bpm 0:02:04
1 lap 0.9 mi 26.4 mph 371 watts 169 bpm 0:02:02
1 lap 0.9 mi 26.8 mph 398 watts 174 bpm 0:02:00
1 lap 0.9 mi 27.3 mph 435 watts 174 bpm 0:01:58
1 lap 0.9 mi 28.0 mph 426 watts 179 bpm 0:01:55
1 lap 0.9 mi 29.8 mph 481 watts 184 bpm 0:01:48

And here is my iBike power data…
iBike power data for Thiensville criterium – Tour of America’s Dairyland Day 2

Finally, here is a mix of pictures from the day … some from my race and some from over four hours away in northwest Wisconsin where Kristine and the kids are enjoying a brief summer vacation in beautiful Shell Lake.

June 18, 2011 at 12:11 am 1 comment

Shorewood Criterium – Tour of America’s Dairyland – Day 1

Today was the first day of the Tour of America’s Dairyland, 11 consecutive days of racing all over southeastern Wisconsin. First, the thing that probably amazed me most about today … I had to wear arm warmers and the temperature dropped into the 50s by the end of the race. Keep in mind that summer is supposed to start in a few days! Here is a picture of the temperature after the race:

59 degrees by the end of the race … at the beginning of summer???

Annotated map of the race. Here is the Strava link – http://app.strava.com/rides/750355

SHOREWOOD CRITERIUM - STRAVA LAP DATA
Name 	Dist 	Speed 	Power 	   HR 	   Time 
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	26.3 mph 378 watts 163 bpm 0:02:57
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	28.4 mph 412 watts 173 bpm 0:02:44
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	28.1 mph 438 watts 178 bpm 0:02:46
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	28.3 mph 441 watts 179 bpm 0:02:45
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	28.6 mph 423 watts 179 bpm 0:02:43
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	28.1 mph 417 watts 182 bpm 0:02:46
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	27.6 mph 431 watts 179 bpm 0:02:49
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	27.8 mph 429 watts 177 bpm 0:02:48
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	28.4 mph 413 watts 180 bpm 0:02:44
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	28.4 mph 405 watts 178 bpm 0:02:44
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	28.6 mph 438 watts 178 bpm 0:02:43
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	28.3 mph 417 watts 175 bpm 0:02:45
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	29.0 mph 458 watts 177 bpm 0:02:41
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	28.6 mph 443 watts 175 bpm 0:02:43
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	28.1 mph 420 watts 172 bpm 0:02:46
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	28.3 mph 418 watts 177 bpm 0:02:45
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	27.1 mph 388 watts 174 bpm 0:02:52
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	27.8 mph 404 watts 174 bpm 0:02:48
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	27.9 mph 409 watts 174 bpm 0:02:47
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	28.3 mph 415 watts 174 bpm 0:02:45
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	28.4 mph 423 watts 174 bpm 0:02:44
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	26.8 mph 399 watts 171 bpm 0:02:54
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	29.7 mph 465 watts 173 bpm 0:02:37
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	27.9 mph 410 watts 175 bpm 0:02:47
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	29.3 mph 450 watts 182 bpm 0:02:39
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	26.2 mph 371 watts 179 bpm 0:02:58
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	27.0 mph 379 watts 176 bpm 0:02:53
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	27.6 mph 396 watts 181 bpm 0:02:49
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	28.6 mph 437 watts 180 bpm 0:02:43
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	27.6 mph 452 watts 180 bpm 0:02:49
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	28.4 mph 474 watts 183 bpm 0:02:44
1 Lap	1.3 mi 	30.3 mph 446 watts 187 bpm 0:02:34

And now for the race report, the course was a classic four-corner rectangular course with a chicane shortly after Turn #3. The road between Turns #1 and #2 was really rough. There were cracks, bumps, manhole covers, and more along the entire road. There was one bump high enough to launch you (and your bike) a few inches off the ground. I went over it a lot because it was one of the places to pass people. The rest of the course was pretty good pavement except for dips and bumps around manhole covers.

I started towards the front of the group and fought hard to stay there. I was a little tentative since this was my first criterium after my bad wreck at Sandy Springs. I decided to stay on the inside of all corners to maximize safety even if it meant having to accelerate hard out of corners. Still, there were a few close calls including one near-miss where the rider in front of me slammed on his brakes hard enough to lift the rear of his bike a couple feet off the ground essentially doing a reverse wheelie on his front wheel. I thought for sure he was going down and taking me with him, but he kept it upright.

Towards the end of the race, I was able to move all the way up to the very front. I think people were getting tired. With 3 laps to go, I got a bit swarmed though and never could move back up to the front. I fought to maintain my position and then passed a bunch of people at the end who had sat up. I’m hoping I squeezed into the top 30, although points were only awarded 20 deep. There is always tomorrow!

Here is my iBike power data:

This race was in Shorewood, Wisconsin – a northern suburb of Milwaukee. Beautiful town right along Lake Michigan. Check out the pics below:

June 16, 2011 at 11:48 pm Leave a comment

One more ride in Nicaragua – to the beach!

I went for one more ride here in Nicaragua yesterday before a day full of very productive meetings talking about the future and vision of Nuevas Esperanzas. The ride started out through the one-way streets of downtown Leon before heading out on the main boulevard which was being repaved when we were last here in 2009. The road is absolutely amazing two and a half years later. There were many horse-drawn carts coming to town and horse riders so the only really challenge was avoiding the horse droppings that were sometimes hard to distinguish from mud washed onto the road during the heavy downpours the night before. The terrain was gently sloping on the way out of town, but then became much more rolling as you approached the coast. The volcanoes were visible through the nearby trees and plantations rising up above low lying clouds.

Strava map of the ride showing the line of volcanoes. And here is a link to an interactive map of the ride with elevation data: http://app.strava.com/rides/702182

Check out the pictures from the ride below … if some of the images below look blurry, click on them for a full-resolution image!

Volcan San Cristobal and Volcan Casitas – the highest volcano in Nicaragua (San Cristobal) and the volcano which triggered a devastating mudslide during Hurricane Mitch wiping out entire villages

Two more volcanoes in Nicaragua’s portion of the ring of fire

A beach road at Poneloya

The beautiful Nicaraguan coast on the Pacific Ocean

June 9, 2011 at 11:08 am 1 comment

Volcan Telica, Nicaragua

Post ride covered in tiny bugs similar to gnats that dissolve and die on contact!

Fun ride today out over the small hump of the volcano ridge line near Volcan Telica. The bike rode beautifully except for the bottom bracket and cranks coming loose towards the end. I didn’t have a camera with me, but there were tons of visual images that I’ll recount stream of consciousness style here …

* Roads were nearly empty with it being a Sunday morning and so few people owning cars. Every 10-15 minutes, I would get passed by a loaded bus who would honk well in advance of passing as well as giving you plenty of space on the wide open road. There were a few cars in between, particularly closer into town.

* So many modes of transporation: people were walking, riding bikes, several people riding on the same bike, motorcycles, several people on the same motorcycle, people pushing motorcycles, horseback (raced one horse), horse-drawn carts, school buses (local buses), microbuses (small vans that travel larger distances non-stop), a few eighteen wheelers, a few cars, and one or two taxis.

* The volcano hillsides were so green (we usually visit in the dry season, but it is the middle of the rainy season right now — speaking of which, it is thunderstorming right now as I write this)

* Steam and possibly ash coming from Volcan Telica made for quite a sight

* Porcupine, skunk, rabbit, and snake caution signs … gotta watch out for those rabbits!

* “Hasta America?” – I was asked by one person waiting for a bus …

Here is the Strava map and a link to the complete Strava data: http://app.strava.com/rides/680069
Strava map showing my route betwen the volcanoes

Chocolate milk in a bag – the perfect recovery drink

June 5, 2011 at 11:02 pm Leave a comment

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Lots of climbing via double oak rollercoaster repeats. Caution bham cyclists ... I flatted halfway down Hugh Daniel descent today - don't know if there is something in the road so be careful! This pic doesn't have anything to do with that other than Hugh Daniel is the gap in the middle ridge line. 10000 ft of repeats on double oak. Started my repeats with 3000 ft of climbing already in the ride. Love that there is a railroad tie at the steepest part of the climb on the tower side. Finally, the tracks may be hard to see, but there are a bunch!

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Quick reference stats

Anaerobic Threshold:
Power:315 watts
Heart rate:180 bpm
Maximums:
Power:1097 watts (5s)
Heart rate:198 bpm (5s)
AT power estimated by critical power curve in Golden Cheetah, which predicts I should be able to maintain 315 watts for 1 hour.

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