Archive for March, 2012

More spring climbing for the Specialized Climbing Challenge on Strava

Chasing Josiah up the hill at the end of my ride – wearing @strava bibs and #southerncx jersey
iBike data annotated at peaks (click to enlarge)
Today was an easy day with a big criterium tomorrow in Dothan. I spent most of the ride looking for good hills in the shade to do repeats on. The nice thing about the hills through neighborhoods like Bluff Park and Green Valley is that you can practice criterium cornering using gravity to help you accelerate up to crit speed rather than wearing yourself out trying to punch it up to 30mph to head into a corner. The course tomorrow has a pretty good hill so that will make for a bit of climbing, but I’m likely to be even farther behind Robin who is crushing the climbing over in England. Jeremy in France is catching up with his climbing in the Alps, and Guido from Australia is not too far behind. That’s four riders in three different continents pushing hard in the Strava virtual competition. That’s the beauty of Strava — bringing riders from all over for virtual competition.

March 31, 2012 at 5:36 pm Leave a comment

Lots of climbing stats

Today was quite a combination of rides — hitting a new personal record of shortest distance to 5,000′ of vertical gain on the way into work and then hitting 5,000′ ft again in less than 30 miles on the way home from work. Both rides were pretty slow with lots of weaving on the steep parts and several roller coaster repeats. The best thing about the roller coaster repeats is that they are insanely fast in the 53×11 on the descents and then nearly instantly into the 39×28 — that’s a lot of wear and tear on the derailleurs. No wonder I have broken three front and one rear derailleur in the past year and snapped several cables.

Morning ride (annotated) – click to enlarge

Afternoon ride topocreator map – annotated – click to enlarge

Annotated ibike data from morning ride (click to enlarge)

Annotated ibike data from afternoon ride (click to enlarge)

Finally, here are the garmin screenshots:

March 29, 2012 at 6:28 pm Leave a comment

Tour de Tuscaloosa Power Data

First, before the power data – here’s a video that my wife got of the Pro/1/2 criterium finish Saturday night where I got 5th in the race, 4th in the field sprint.

And now for the data – first the summary data, splits, and HR/Power graph for the criterium and the road race.

2012 Tour de Tuscaloosa Criterium Pro/1/2 lap splits
				Power				
Lap	Time	Miles	Avg	xPow	Max	HR	MPH
1	2:58	1.2	245	259	871	155	25.2
2	2:53	1.2	291	286	879	164	25.7
3	2:41	1.2	353	385	996	176	27.8
4	2:53	1.3	324	331	821	180	26
5	2:59	1.3	305	313	997	175	25.2
6	2:47	1.3	223	229	814	167	27
7	2:45	1.2	284	303	941	174	27.4
8	2:54	1.2	274	285	840	170	25.7
9	2:50	1.2	269	294	856	174	26.2
10	2:53	1.3	282	310	932	172	26.1
11	2:56	1.2	310	382	877	175	25.5
12	3:01	1.2	267	288	831	177	24.8
13	3:04	1.2	208	221	720	160	24.3
14	2:54	1.2	218	233	736	159	25.6
15	2:58	1.2	232	229	727	163	25.2
16	2:48	1.2	262	271	790	170	26.5
17	2:57	1.3	248	254	920	167	25.5
18	2:36	1.2	353	352	925	179	28.8
Total	52:01	22.5	274	312	997	170	26

Annotated heartrate and power data from Saturday’s Pro/1/2 criterium (click to enlarge)

2012 Tour de Tuscaloosa Road Race Pro/1/2 lap splits
				Power				
Lap	Time	Miles	Avg	xPow	Max	HR	MPH
1	22:04	9.6	274	305	963	161	26.1
2	21:41	9.6	262	281	801	157	26.6
3	21:45	9.6	292	310	808	166	26.5
4	22:35	9.6	254	273	641	155	25.6
5	23:17	9.6	257	276	604	153	24.8
6	23:28	9.6	254	268	697	152	24.5
7	18:41	8.0	313	332	950	166	25.8
Total	2:34:57	66.1	270	295	963	158	25.6

Annotated heartrate and power data for the road race (click to enlarge)

Now for the detailed data graphs and plots … first the critical power curves for both the criterium and the road race. I tied one power record in the criterium, and I set three new personal power records for the road race as indicated on the graphs.

Pro/1/2 criterium critical power curve (click to enlarge)

Pro/1/2 road race critical power curve (click to enlarge)

Here are the pedal force / pedal velocity graphs which highlight the different amount of force being applied to the pedals at different cadences.

Pro/1/2 criterium pedal force vs pedal velocity (click to enlarge)

Pro/1/2 road race pedal force vs pedal velocity (click to enlarge)

And finally here are the power maps for the two courses:

Pro/1/2 criterium power map (click to enlarge)

Pro/1/2 road race power map (click to enlarge)

March 26, 2012 at 7:28 pm 5 comments

Tour de Tuscaloosa Road Race

(You will want to watch this video below with the volume turned down – I love my fanatical wife! This is me winning the 2012 Alabama State Road Race Championships (Pro/1/2) today at the Tour de Tuscloosa)

Quick thanks and shout out
Thanks to all my teammates today. We ended up winning the state championship medals in 3 categories – me (Cat 1), Justin Bynum (Cat 2), Kevin Paulik (Cat 3). Kudos also to two other riders from Birmingham taking the Cat 4 (Jason Kellen) and Cat 5 (Boris Simmonds) medals.

Race Summary
The Pro/1/2 race had about 60 in it with lots of strong teams. I attacked hard when we reached the bottom of the first hill on the course about 1/2 mile into the race. Stuart Lamp (Nashvillecyclist.com) came with me initially but then ended up pulling a hamstring before the top. Jan Kolar (HomeSmart/L5flyers) bridged up to me across the top and the two of us drilled it. Behind, a group of six had formed and caught us shortly before Sam Sutton Hill (short and steep). Our group of 8 worked moderately well together, and we were flying! But some riders were struggling and I felt our pace was going to drop soon so I attacked again on the third lap at the same spot where I had attacked at the beginning of the race and again only Jan Kolar was able to respond and come with me. He asked me “Are you sure you want to do this?”. I looked back and saw Andy Crater coming across and said “Yes, let’s go!”. Andy joined us and we were rolling hard with Emile Abraham leading the chase behind. We hit the Sam Sutton Hill with maybe a 5-10 second gap – which Emile crossed solo to us like the hill wasn’t even there. Once it was the four of us, we were gone.

We worked well together, and it was clear that a very interesting race was playing out behind us based on the time splits we were getting from the moto official. It’s the first time I’ve heard “3 minutes to the field – it’s crazy back there” as a time split. This was after we had gotten a time split of 2’30” to a break of thirteen, 3’30” to the field. Half a lap later, we got the “it’s crazy back there” time split. Then we didn’t get any time splits for about 2 full laps (20 miles) until we got a time split of 3’30” to the field. We thought everything was great until maybe half a lap later when we got a time split of 2’30” to a chase group of six. Then a lap later we got a time split of 1’30” with a little more than one lap to go. By the top of the feedzone hill we had gotten a few more time splits (apparently the moto ref was bouncing back and forth b/t our group and the chase) and the gap went very quickly from 1’30” to 1’00” to 50″ to 45″. We were in full blown panic mode at this point and drilled it hard pretty much the entire last lap.

Andy Crater came into the last corner first and attacked hard on the short steep kicker section of the feedzone hill. Emile and I quickly chased up to him with Jan coming off our group. Andy sat up as soon as he was caught and neither Emile or I came around so our pace dropped to 14mph. Jan crawled his way back up to us. I was afraid of the chase group catching us at that pace, so I went back to the front and ramped the pace back up to 21mph across the false flat in the middle of the hill. As we got closer to the top, I knew that I had to attack hard on the hill because Andy and Emile would easily beat me in the flat sprint across the top. So right as we reached the steepest part of the climb when I was still on the front and our pace had dropped back down to 14mph again, I jumped hard from the front and immediately got back up to 21mph and kept it above 20mph for nearly the rest of the hill. This was enough to get a big enough gap to ease up at the 250 meter to go sign and come into the finish line solo. With my wife and kids there cheering frantically, it has to be one of the sweetest wins in nearly 20 years of bike racing.

Behind us, I found out after the race that it was Joey Rosskopf and Frank Travieso driving the six man group also containing my teammate Pat Allison. Pat ended up fourth in that group for 8th in the race, which was the 3rd place Alabama rider (bronze medal). My teammate, Justin Bynum, finished in the second chase group for 17th in the race, but he was the 1st place Alabama Cat 2 rider to take the gold medal.

After our race was over, my other teammate Kevin Pawlik took the gold medal in the Cat 3 race.

What a great day for Tria Cycling p/b DonohooAuto.com and Infinity Med-i-spa!

March 25, 2012 at 6:43 pm 2 comments

Tour de Tuscaloosa Criterium

Criterium race summary
First criterium of the year – fast, strong field – happy with a top 5 finish. I went with a good break on the second or third lap, but I was outnumbered with some really good sprinters – I believe Andy Crater, Emile Abraham, and Frank Travieso were all in this break so I wasn’t very committed to it knowing that I wouldn’t stand a chance in the sprint against those guys. When we got caught, my teammate Pat Allison launched himself into the next move. A couple laps later, they were caught just as Joey Rosskopf (Team Type I Sanofi) and Oscar Clark (United Healthcare of Georgia) slipped away in a perfectly timed attack. I missed the move, but I was near enough to the front by the bottom of the hill to attack to try to bridge. This didn’t work as I never got a good gap and just ended up pulling the field for the last third of a lap. On the next lap, Frank Travieso (Team Coco’s) attacked hard and got a gap solo. I attacked and bridged up to him right as we caught Johnny Brizzard (Subaru) who had also been off the front chasing. We were closing in on the leaders, but the field was closing in on us so we gave up the chase. At this point, I was pretty cooked and slid to the back part of the field with maybe 6 or 7 long laps left in the race. When I saw three laps to go, I started moving up and made it up close to the front by the bottom of the hill on the last lap. Frank Travieso launched like a missile at the bottom of the hill – which then detonated the field as everyone panicked to try to catch him. I ended up in good position by the top of the hill but still maybe 10 riders back from the front. I swung out a little left and attacked to move up. A second or two later, three riders moved over in front of me to start their sprint before the second to last turn. I immediately latched onto this mini-train and came around the last two turns in 4th position in the field and ended up passing one rider to take 5th for the race – with Joey up the road taking a solo win and Frank just ahead of the field taking 2nd. My teammate Pat Allison came in just behind me for 6th. Kristine did some amazing cheering and got a good video of the finish and some from earlier in the race – will post these tomorrow after the road race.

March 24, 2012 at 9:58 pm 2 comments

Spring climbing

After yesterday’s long climbs in Huntsville, today was a different style of climbing – numerous short, steep climbs. Check out the iBike gradient graph:

Numerous climbs – click to enlarge and count the changes in gradient from up to down and then post in the comments how many “hills” there are. I don’t have time to count but I would guess 100-200 hills instead of maybe 20-30 hills yesterday?

Also, I was inspired while riding through Mountain Brook to post some pictures of the beautiful spring flowers. I didn’t have my camera with me – so I’ll have to post a few of the pics from my parent’s house this past Sunday. Imagine riding past house after house with all different kinds of blooming flowers – particularly azaleas, dogwoods, and bradford pears. It was an interesting contrast to yesterday’s ride in Huntsville, which went through some really rural countryside where instead of the tended flowers, you get wildflowers in the fields and beautiful dogwood trees blooming underneath all the really tall pine and hardwood trees in the woods. Two contrasting climbing rides, two contrasting spring flower explosions, two fun adventures.

redbuds, azaleas, and a couple dogwoods

March 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm Leave a comment

Climbing to the moon

Annotated ride map (click to enlarge)

It’s spring break this week in Alabama, and so my good friend Lennie and I took our families up to Huntsville to the space and rocket center. While they were enjoying exploring all about space, Lennie and I drove on over to Keel Mountain to explore it and Green Mountain. We ended up climbing Keel Mountain 3 different ways and Green Mountain from both sides. Then I headed back up the front side of Keel one final time. The descents were awesome hitting 55mph+ on four different descents. My favorite of the day was definitely the Green Mountain west side descent which has a horizon drop-off (i.e., where you can’t see over the horizon) at >50mph. Exhilarating. It was REALLY flat though between the mountains, but it was worth it to enjoy time riding with Lennie and to explore 5 new climbs! I’ve posted the iBike data for each of the five different climbs. The last climb up Keel (Blowing Cave Rd) was by far the steepest at 26% max gradient, although the east side of Green Mountain was steeper for longer sustained sections.

Annotated iBike data for the entire ride (click to enlarge)

KEEL MOUNTAIN NORTH SIDE (1st time up)
Dist:        1.61 mi (0:13:31)
Energy:     208.8 kJ
Climbing:     837 ft (Strava CAT 3)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power       0  257.4   527  W
Gravity   -22  231.0   509  W
Speed     0.0    7.2  21.9  mi/h
Elev      469    896  1306  ft
Slope    -0.3   9.71  16.8  %
Caden       0   62.5    93  rpm
HR        104  150.3   163  bpm
NP:264W IF:0.95 TSS:20 VI:1.03
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039
168 lbs; 3/20/2012 11:36 AM
90 degF; 1012 mbar

NOTES: We passed a HOUSE on the climb that was being pulled 
up the mountain. They got stuck in one of the switchbacks. 
There are two switchbacks on the climb. The descent is crazy
fast - you've just got to remember when to jam on the brakes
before the two switchbacks.
KEEL MOUNTAIN SOUTH SIDE
Dist:        1.90 mi (0:15:27)
Energy:     217.0 kJ
Climbing:     855 ft (Strava CAT 3)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power       0  234.1   442  W
Gravity  -275  205.4   419  W
Speed     3.6    7.4  19.1  mi/h
Elev      479    938  1332  ft
Slope    -4.4   8.39  22.8  %
Caden      34   61.6    98  rpm
HR        110  140.3   156  bpm
NP:245W IF:0.88 TSS:20 VI:1.05
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039
168 lbs; 3/20/2012 12:12 PM
87 degF; 1012 mbar

NOTES: This was a pretty steep climb. The 22.8%
max gradient was taking a diabolical inside path
on one of the switchbacks. This had a lot more
twisty sections and was a generally fun climb, but
tricky descent. The best part of the descent is 
at the top as you are coming off the mountain
as the descent starts out with a switchback 
that makes you feel like you are diving off
the top of the mountain for a free-fall.
GREEN MOUNTAIN WEST SIDE
Dist:        1.15 mi (0:11:07)
Energy:     169.5 kJ
Climbing:     690 ft (Strava CAT 3)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power      76  254.1   371  W
Gravity    11  232.4   360  W
Speed     4.2    6.3  16.7  mi/h
Elev      462    805  1158  ft
Slope     0.2  11.20  23.9  %
Caden      41   56.1    96  rpm
HR        120  150.8   166  bpm
NP:263W IF:0.95 TSS:17 VI:1.03
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039
168 lbs; 3/20/2012 1:19 PM
92 degF; 1012 mbar

NOTES: I've heard that this is one of the toughest
climbs in Huntsville. It was definitely steep with some
sustained 20+% gradients. At the last turn before the top
there was a car that had rolled and looked like it was left
there to warn people of the danger of the descent. It 
had police tape all over it with busted out windows. The
descent was amazingly fast but kinda dangerous. The 
car that had rolled was in a decreasing radius turn that
almost caught me off. Then you have a really fast section
into a sweeping turn that you can pretty much hit without
brakes leading into the fastest part of the descent. YOU
HAVE TO HIT THE BRAKES HARD LEADING INTO THE LAST LEFT!
I knew it and hit the brakes hard but I still almost didn't
slow down enough.
GREEN MOUNTAIN EAST SIDE
Dist:        1.82 mi (0:15:25)
Energy:     222.7 kJ
Climbing:     829 ft (Strava CAT 3)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power       0  240.8   358  W
Gravity   -63  209.2   353  W
Speed     3.9    7.1  17.3  mi/h
Elev      458    853  1294  ft
Slope    -1.2   8.88  18.4  %
Caden       5   59.8    92  rpm
HR        103  148.0   164  bpm
NP:253W IF:0.91 TSS:21 VI:1.05
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039
168 lbs; 3/20/2012 1:45 PM
87 degF; 1012 mbar

NOTES: I had climbed this once before, and it is still
really steep. It starts out with cement that has been
grated at the bottom to helps cars get traction. Then
it eases up a bit and rolls a bit on the way up. This
may be one of the coolest descents I've done with 
the rollers coming at 50+mph so that you have at least
one horizon drop-off.
KEEL MOUNTAIN BLOWING CAVE (STEEP!!!)
Dist:        2.19 mi (0:13:30)
Energy:     211.7 kJ
Climbing:     756 ft (Strava CAT 3)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power      89  261.4   431  W
Gravity  -462  206.1   461  W
Speed     3.4    9.7  24.8  mi/h
Elev      563    921  1326  ft
Slope    -6.9   6.40  26.2  %
Caden      30   63.1    97  rpm
HR        119  156.8   177  bpm
NP:281W IF:1.01 TSS:23 VI:1.07
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039
168 lbs; 3/20/2012 2:46 PM
85 degF; 1012 mbar

NOTES: This was by far the steepest climb
with several sections above 20% including one
26.2% section NOT in a switchback. There
is some gravel and dirt sections that are not
too rough but can catch you by surprise on the
descent. Still, you can get some speed on the
super steep sections because they are fairly
straight. Watch the dogs at the top and the bottom
of the climb/descent.
KEEL MOUNTAIN NORTH SIDE (2nd time up)
---------Selection Stats---------
Dist:        1.61 mi (0:12:29)
Energy:     213.6 kJ
Climbing:     820 ft (Strava CAT 3)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power      64  285.2   418  W
Gravity   -38  253.2   397  W
Speed     5.4    7.8  23.0  mi/h
Elev      561    976  1382  ft
Slope    -0.5   9.82  16.2  %
Caden      51   66.6    98  rpm
HR        131  169.5   179  bpm
NP:288W IF:1.04 TSS:22 VI:1.01
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039
168 lbs; 3/20/2012 3:15 PM
84 degF; 1012 mbar

NOTES: I wasn't going for the KOM, but I
was trying to put in a good time on this and ended
up 2nd behind Mark Fisher by almost a minute. That
would be a tough time to beat. Kudos to him!

Keel Mountain – north side – first time up

Keel Mountain – south side

Green Mountain – east side

Green Mountain – west side

Keel Mountain – Blowing Cave Rd

Keel Mountain – north side – 2nd time up

March 20, 2012 at 8:38 pm 2 comments

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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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