Posts tagged ‘videos’

Skiing and cycling – an unscientific comparison

So I mainly just wanted to upload a video of my kids in their first ski race yesterday, but I thought I would compare and contrast cross-country skiing and cycling as part of the post. First, the video:

Josiah is the boy taking off running without any ski poles. Analise is skiing next to my wife at the back. One of the things that my wife and I connected on when we first met each other back in 2001 was the similarities between her cross-country ski racing and my bike racing. Kristine first started to ski when she was only 2 or 3 years old. And she would ride in a backpack with her father skiing even earlier than that. Through elementary, middle, and high school, Kristine ski raced in the winter eventually earning a full scholarship to the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay to ski collegiately. I didn’t start bike racing until high school and college, but I dove right into it so that I experienced many of the same things she did: from the travel with a small group of guys usually to a very rural area, parking in fields (snow covered fields for her), and then taking your body to the limit racing against others. Also, the training – most skiers run or bike in the off-season to maintain the aerobic fitness required to excel in the sport. Up here in Wisconsin, many serious bike racers (Greg Lemond for example) switch to cross country skiing and ski racing to maintain aerobic fitness for biking when it finally thaws out late into spring. In Alabama, I’m fortunate to be able to ride year-round. Part of the adventure of biking for me is the ability to travel from point to point and explore new places so much more efficiently than if you were running. Skiing has the same allure because you are able to travel through the woods and explore trails much more efficiently than snow shoeing.

As far as the racing goes, I’d compare the ski racing more to mountain bike racing or cyclocross racing on non-technical courses with more of a notion of “getting the hole shot” and pushing yourself mostly alone or chasing one or two skiers just up the trail without as much drafting as in road racing. Still, there is a drafting component particularly at the elite end of the sport where the speeds are much closer to 20mph than 10mph, and there tend to be large groups of skiers able to maintain the same speed throughout the race. The tactics are different because of this, but you still see skiers attack each other and change pace to try to drop the others. Cross-country skiing at the winter olympics is by far my favorite winter sport to watch … not the least because of the way the skiers push themselves to the absolute limit. In any close cross country ski race finish, the skiers will fall over as soon as they cross the line because there is not enough energy left in their muscles to support their body weight. Cyclists push themselves similarly to that extreme, but because we aren’t standing up we can usually manage to keep the bike upright as it coasts to a stop. Although in one close finish this past year, three of us sprinting at the end of the 105 mile Rouge Roubaix race all fell over on the side of the road into a grassy yard … completely spent, utterly exhausted, but also undefinably happy – and we were only sprinting for 2nd place!

Of course, I buck the trend a bit when I visit from Alabama … bringing my mountain bike and enduring the cold weather for a week in some truly epic rides rather than cross country skiing. Today I’m traveling point to point to Heartwood cabins where Kristine and I had our wedding reception back in the summer of 2003. We’re going to spend a few days up there so Kristine and her dad can do some good cross-country skiing on the trails up there … while the kids enjoy ice skating, sledding, and a little bit of skiing. I’ve got a three hour ride planned to get there today, and then a couple four to five hour rides planned for the next couple days taking me through the snow mobile capital of this area (Danbury, WI), and across the St Croix into Minnesota. Heartwood looks completely different in the winter covered in snow, but that’s the beauty of the northwoods – each of the seasons up here transforms the land into a completely different amazing world.

Dale, Kristine, Anna, and Kat finishing the 2012 Birkie 50KM ski race togetherDale, Kristine, Anna, and Kat finishing the 2012 Birkie 50KM ski race together

Family ski 2007 - from front to back - Analise, Aunt Anna, Aunt Kat, Kristine, Josiah, Papa Dale, and Uncle Hal. I was out there too, but I took the picture.Family ski 2007 – from front to back – Analise, Aunt Anna, Aunt Kat, Kristine, Josiah, Papa Dale, and Uncle Hal. I was out there too, but I took the picture.

December 28, 2012 at 12:36 pm Leave a comment

More videos from our weekend in South Carolina

In my post yesterday about my 176.5 mile end of the season epic ride, only uploaded a few of all the videos I took. Here are the other ones, including roller coaster road and a short clip of the climb through the fog up NC-215 to the parkway.

October 9, 2012 at 8:42 pm Leave a comment

Rapha Rising Climbing Competition – Days 4, 5, 6

It’s 4AM – time to start my longest ride ever.
At midnight, celebrating with @beautifulwife the end of a very long day of riding.
Wednesday – Day 4 – 249 miles, 42,200 feet of climbing
These two pictures above bookend my longest ride ever with the most climbing ever. Getting up at 4AM and then riding all the way until midnight with only a few breaks along the way. Even though my grand total was exactly 248.84 miles and 42,200 feet of climbing, my Garmin lost 24 miles of GPS coordinates. So only 225 miles and 38,000 feet of climbing counted on Strava towards the climbing competition. I’m still waiting for official results, but I believe it may have been just enough to win the “one-day challenge within a challenge” for the Rapha race bag given to whoever climbs the most on Wednesday.

I rode laps around my neighborhood for the first hour or so until it got light enough for me to venture out onto the main roads. I kept it nice and slow on the laps since I was hand carrying a flashlight and because I knew that I had a long day ahead of me. I was really, really sleepy and had a lot of negative thoughts about how on earth I was going to last 20 hours of riding. The repetition of the 1K lap along with the really sketchy corners in the dark didn’t help with my motivation. But then I started to notice that the sky was getting lighter. Each 2.5 minute lap would see the sky brighten ever so slightly until I could see the sketchy corners clearly and could start going a bit faster. This was all it took to get rid of the negative thoughts, and I was ecstatic by the time I headed out of the neighborhood.

Max speeds – south cove dr

My first destination was South Cove to get in some super fast descents before traffic started to pick up. There were people out jogging and walking (seriously, how do you people get up that early on a regular basis??? That is some serious motivation). But the nice thing about the S Cove Dr descent is that it is so steep that it is rare for anyone to try to walk or jog up it. So I let it all fly and hit these max speeds approaching 60mph just about every lap.

After the S Cove loops, I went over to Skyland Dr to do my first set of roller coaster hill repeats. Unfortunately, I nearly t-boned a German shepherd that gets out of its yard occasionally on the first descent down the roller coaster. I decided to come back later and opted instead to head on over to Vestavia Dr and then back home to say good morning to the family before Kristine left for work and the kids left for a day of playing at Grandma’s house.

Looking east towards the first thunderstorm of the day

After a nice breakfast, it was back out again – this time heading through hilly, curvy, fun Georgetown over to Bluff Park and Green Valley. When I climbed to the top of Green Valley I could see a thunderstorm building to the east not too far past my house – but the storm was heading south and not going to hit me over in Bluff Park. It was cool to watch the sky darken and to be far enough away to see close to the top of the storm. I continued riding through Bluff Park and made my way over to Vestavia to get water at the Publix grocery store. Then as I made my way to the top of Vestavia, I could see a huge thunderstorm that had built over downtown which was hidden from me because of the ridge line. I thought maybe I had enough time to dip down into Homewood and then back up the Hwy 31 climb while traffic was light – but as I was descending Hwy 31, I had a perfect view of lightning striking the Vulcan (less than 2 miles away) and decided to cut through Brookwood and try to make it home. I made it about 1/2 mile before the storm hit hard with heavy downpour and lots of lightning. I continued on making it home where I took these videos:

After a long lunch trying to wait out the thunderstorm, I had to eventually head back out in the rain. I had just made it over to Mountain Brook and started climbing over there when my Garmin shut off – went completely blank. I turned it back on, but as soon as it made it past the startup screen, it would shut off again. I did this several times – almost in a panic because here I was 8 hours 48 minutes into my ride and I was thinking that the Garmin might be in the process of losing the ENTIRE RIDE. So as much as I wanted to do the entire ride in a single file, I decided to try to reset the Garmin while it was on the “picking up satellites screen”. This worked AND it saved the entire ride. So that is why I have annotated the screenshots at the end of this post with the approx total time and total elevation gain.

Cahaba River at Grants Mill Rd from canoe landing

Nearly 40% incline down to the canoe landing

Since it was still raining, I decided to head over to Karl Daly since it is more straightforward without very many turns. By the time I had made it out to Karl Daly, the rain was gone and the sun had come back out. I climbed Karl Daly from all three sides going for a KOM on the long version from the Grants Mill road bridge (after snapping these pictures of the canoe landing on the cahaba river). I was 130 miles into my ride at this point, but I still felt great and set a new KOM on the climb. No power meter to pace myself, but I basically went as hard as I felt reasonably possible with 120 miles still left to ride. I did get the KOM (sorry Kyle!)

Then it was back down the Irondale side of Karl Daly to cut through the Irondale neighborhoods back into Mountain Brook. There is a steep descent that leads to two traffic lights. I normally turn at the second light – rarely missing the first light. But today the first light was red and I decided to go ahead and go through it since there was no cars coming out of the shopping center where I was turning left. Not a good decision, especially since there was an Irondale police officer at the intersection. He came after me in the shopping center and was absolutely furious asking if I had a death wish. He ran my social security number through the system with the dispatcher since I didn’t have any ID, gave me a stern talking to. Thankfully he didn’t give me a ticket, and I learned a lesson – obey the law. I was very respectful to him, and told him that it was a mistake, a bad decision, and I shouldn’t of done it – but he was still really angry even several minutes later after calling in my social security number and everything. The only other time I’ve gotten pulled over while biking is when I was drafting an unmarked state trooper on Hwy 280 towards Lee Branch. I didn’t realize it was a state trooper because I was focused on the rear end of the car and brake lights. He also was really angry when he pulled over into a bank after turning his lights on, but after a couple minutes he cooled off and we ended up joking together about the whole thing. This officer, on the other hand, was really upset. Don’t mess with the law in Irondale, folks.

Analise and Josiah high five me on the way up the hill past our house

On the hill past our house. Heavy training wheelset doesn’t make for good climbing, but it makes for GREAT descending!

A couple hours of climbing through Irondale and Mountain Brook and I was home for refueling again. Kristine was home from work, and the kids were home my parents’ house so they came out to cheer me on a couple laps.

Samford University from Vestavia Dr

Very lucky one-off iphone 3 self portrait (no reverse camera) on the top of Vestavia Dr

Mountain goat statues that get moved all around the yard at the house at the top of the Vesclub descent

This was a really short stop at home – just to grab a quick bite to eat and refill my bottles before heading back over to Hoover / Green Valley / Bluff Park / Vestavia for some last minute climbing while there was still daylight. The Vestavia Dr area is a favorite of mine along with these mountain goat statues at the very top of the Vesclub descent.

I ended up doing the Vesclub descent well after sunset – then I realized that instead of being stuck doing laps in my neighborhood for the rest of the night – I could do laps over in Countrywood and Dolly Ridge. I discovered this when I had to ride home in the dark from that area with no light – and it felt very safe so after a long stop for dinner with the family, Kristine kicked me out of the house telling me to go get the last 38 miles I needed for 250 miles for the day. I headed out needing to average a fairly high speed to do it. I got more and more motivated as I got closer to midnight. But at 11:15 PM (about 8+ hours into my second ride of the day and only 45 minutes left to ride), my silly Garmin cut off again. This time, unfortunately, I lost everything from after dinner – about 24 miles and 4,000 feet of climbing. I didn’t realize it, though, because the ride was correctly listed in my history as 126 miles. It wasn’t until I uploaded it to Strava that I realized the GPS coordinates were not stored so Strava would only recognize 102 miles of that ride.

Even though I didn’t know all of this at the time, the second power outage on my Garmin really cut my motivation. I was trying to do some math in my head to figure out if I was going to make 250 miles, given that I needed 14 more miles and had less than 45 minutes to do it. I incorrectly calculated 30mph when in fact it was only a bit less than 20mph. So I cruised on home no longer trying to hit 250 miles, but instead trying to hit 400km which is about 248 miles. I figured I could do that … but as I started to do laps with Kristine cheering me on and taking pictures at 11:30 in our neighborhood, I recalculated and figured I might be able to make it all the way to 250 miles. This renewed my motivation in a big way, and I really hit it hard – each time up the hill in front of our house, I sprinted like the end of a night criterium. When all was said and done, though, I only made it to 249 miles as the clock rolled over to 11:59PM – which I decided would be my stop time.

Then I spent the next 3 hours trying to figure out how to merge all three ride files into one file – and to figure out why the total was only showing up as 225 miles. Eventually, I figured it all out – but there was nothing I could do to recover the missing 24 miles. Grrrrrrr. 249 miles, 42,200 feet of climbing, 1 crazy hard fun cycling adventure!

Ride history for Wednesday

1st ride details, 109.18mi, 19143ft climbing

2nd ride details, 126.79mi, 20810ft climbing

3rd ride details, 12.87mi, 2247ft climbing

Thursday – Day 5 – 52 miles, 7,636 feet of climbing
Easy recovery day today started out with a short ride to the grocery store with Josiah. My forearms were the sorest part of my body from all the shifting on my long ride on Wednesday. It was really difficult to shift by the end of the day! We bought a few things and headed home for a nice relaxing day watching the tour de france. In the early afternoon, I headed out for an easy ride and ran into somebody who lives in the neighborhood across the street from us. We rode together all the way through Mountain Brook to the Irondale turnaround and back – before I took off to head to my brother’s house for a birthday dinner. After dinner, I headed back home and did some more climbing in the dark. Legs were starting to feel better by the end of the day. There was a huge thunderstorm blowing up just to the north and I managed to snap a picture of some lightning (although I only got the afterglow).

The most interesting thing that happened during the ride was early on when I passed this guy only slightly faster than he was walking up a hill carrying a big log on his shoulder back up to his truck. He asked me “Are you doing this for fun, or because you have to?” I thought for a second and then said “A little bit of both”. And then I proceeded to spend the next hour of my ride thinking about how complex a question that was that he asked me and how complex an answer could be given – but was boiled down to “a little bit of both”. I was thinking I would go into more detail on my blog post about the answer to that question – but it requires more thought and I’ve spent too long on this one already!

Storm cloud brewing over downtown Birmingham

Storm cloud brewing over downtown Birmingham with lightning afterglow (righthand side)

Friday – Day 6 – 57 miles, 10,261 feet of climbing
My legs were still feeling tired today – wrists/forearms all better. I really wandered on this ride although I basically did all of my normal routes hitting the Green Valley roller coaster loop several times. The only thing out of the ordinary was the Hwy 31 sidewalk climb – which I normally only do on my commutes into work. It has been 2 months now since the end of the semester so it was fun to revisit a climb I haven’t done in a couple months. Plus, I wanted something easy and steady towards the end of my ride, and yet I wanted to go snap some more photos from the top of Vestavia Dr. The mountain goats didn’t disappoint as they were in a new position today.

Mountain goats in a new position – plus one goat was missing

Finally, here is a gallery of photos and screenshots. Most of these are from my ride on Wednesday – but the ones from Thursday and Friday I’ve tried to pick out and label as such. Also, the Garmin screenshots are in order starting before sunrise and ending after dark.

July 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm 6 comments

Out west – day 13 – Barn Burner 104 MTB race

Me and Josiah immediately after the finish

Great race today at the Barn Burner just outside of Flagstaff, AZ. This was by far the hardest race I have ever done – 104 miles of double track forest roads – some very bumpy, some very sandy, some very crazy, all of it a whole lot of fun! I was happy to finish 4th overall, but sad to lose my Garmin Edge 800 with approx. 25,000 miles on it.

Race Details – the dust bowl
It was a Le Mans start, which means you ran to your bikes mounted on bikestands or being held by your support crew. I opted to have Kristine hold my bike so I wouldn’t have to try and extract it from all the bikes jammed together on the bike racks. I ran kinda slowly because I don’t run well and because the terrain had some lava rocks and there were tons of people jostling together. I met Kristine behind the bikestand area, mounted my Garmin and took off running through the grass to get back to the dirt road. By this point dust was everywhere, and I was easily 100-200 riders back.

The first mile of the race was on some dusty, sandy rutted roads so it was really hard to see a good line and you didn’t want to get caught in the deep sand so I could only pass a few people here and there – but as soon as we turned onto the main forest road, the terrain tilted upwards on a long false flat. I passed probably 100 riders through here. At the beginning it was streams of riders that I was passing, but then it has started to break up into small groups – so I started to catch and pass these groups.

Lost water bottle
Right before the lefthand turn onto the next rutted sandy section, I latched onto the back of a fairly large group of maybe 10 riders. It was here that I realized that mountain bike racing requires a lot of trust/faith in the rider immediately in front of you. You are trusting that they are going to take a good line and not crash. This section of the course really emphasized that trust because there was so much dust you couldn’t see the ground in front of you – you could only barely see the wheel of the rider in front of you. It was at this point that I lost a bottle when the road unexpectedly dropped a good 2-3 feet into a rounded rut/hole. I wasn’t expecting it so my weight was forward and I ended up coming out of the hole doing a front wheelie. Luckily the ground was smooth long enough that I could get the rear wheel back down without flipping over the handlebars. Hitting the hole popped out my water bottle so I did the entire first lap on one bottle.

Lost Garmin
Not too long after the front wheelie, the group I was in came out onto another stretch of road which was much harder packed. I went to the front and tried to rally the troops, but I ended up dropping that group and catching one or two more groups until I finally latched onto the back of the lead group. I knew I had reached the front group because there was no more dust in front of this group. This was towards the top of the long gradual descent before the first climb. This part of the course was super fast, and we were absolutely flying single file trusting the rider in front of you to take a good line. For about five minutes, this was my favorite part of the race, but then I felt something hit my knee. I thought it was my only water bottle popping out of the cage so as we are motoring along I’m looking down and doing a double-take to see if it’s my water bottle. It wasn’t, so I continued staring hard at the wheel in front of me following his line. Then I glanced at my handlebars and noticed my Garmin was gone!!! I debated for another 10-15 seconds about turning around or keeping on going. I realized the Garmin was worth too much to just abandon – so I turned around and rode backwards on the course. It had been a couple minutes of fast riding since I had felt something hit my knee (which I assume now must have been my Garmin), so I had to ride back a long ways but I never did see it. It is quite an understatement to say that my motivation was completely gone by this point in the race. I was about to attack the Strava KOM challenge segment hard, and now I not only wasn’t going to be able to do that – I had lost my great position at the front of the race and given the leaders a good 5 minute head start.

The Strava climb (1st climb)
Frustrated at not finding my Garmin, I went flying up the climb that started shortly after the stretch of trail where I couldn’t find my Garmin. It was the more technical of the two climbs on the course, but I didn’t care – I just flew past everyone no matter what line I had to take. By the top of the climb, the race was all blown apart and people were by themselves and no longer in groups.

The rocky technical descent
After the top of the climb, there was a short rolling section followed by the longer, rockier, and more technical of the two major descents. It started out super fast on a mostly clean but a few high speed rocky sections that you could roll over, but then there was a hard left turn on loose dirt that required clipping out for balance that immediately led into some nasty rocky sections that you just had to blow threw as there wasn’t much of a clean line. I went really slow through here on the first lap – getting passed by two riders, the second of which came by probably 10 mph faster just riding over all the big rocks I was trying to avoid. So that is when I learned that you can do that – just bomb over rocks at 30mph – the bike and wheels can handle it these days!

Once I reached the bottom, I continued passing riders all the way to the start of the second climb – the longer, steeper, and less technical stair stepper. In fact, I almost ran right into the back of a small group of three because I had been so intent on catching them that I wasn’t looking for turn signs. I caught them right at the turn and had to slam on the brakes skidding for some distance before stopping just shy of ramming into the last rider. I immediately passed them and continued passing riders all the way up the long climb.

The fast descent that gradually became slower
At the top of the long climb was a super fast steep descent. I didn’t have my Garmin, but it felt like I hit 50mph on this descent on the first lap. There was one clear, clean line between loose gravel/dirt and larger rocks on either side of the foot-wide line, but the line was clear, non-washboardy, and had no rocks in it — on the first lap! I almost wrecked here on the second lap because I tried to take it at the same speed as the first lap, but 1100 riders doing that descent on the first lap had loosened up soil on the clean line and created a bit of washboarding so that it no longer felt safe to go really fast. So each lap of the race, this descent got a bit sketchier and slower for me.

After the steep, sketchy part was a harder packed fast double track that went next to some sort of campground before turning onto the original national forest service road leading back up to the two-way Barn Burner entrance road. I flew through this part catching one or two more riders, and I heard someone yell out “ninth” as I made the turn in towards the barn.

The pit crew
At the end of each lap, you have to dismount your bike and run through the barn. Below is a video of me coming through the barn at the end of my second lap. You can see Analise waving the chain lube that I desperately needed because of all the dust/dirt on the course. My pit crew was just like a Nascar pit crew! Josiah would hold my bike, while Analise would hand me bars/gels/chain lub and Kristine would refill my bottles with gatorade. I would stand there eating and drinking whatever I could get down before Kristine finished with the gatorade. It was so awesome – less than 30 seconds to have two new bottles, a lubed chain, more gels/powerbars, and then off again.

The second, third and fourth laps
On the second lap, I was caught by a rider wearing a green Trek kit and the two of us worked together catching another rider to form a group of three. We worked well together all the way until the second climb where I rode away catching and passing a few more people on the climb finishing the lap in 5th place.

I rode the first half of the third lap alone eventually catching Derek Wilkerson who was in 4th place at the time. We worked well together catching and dropping the third place rider. Derek was a far better descender than me and had to wait for me after the descents. At the end of the third lap, I stopped with my pit crew to refill bottles and gels while Derek had enough to keep going.

I was so tired I figured I would never see him again, but a relay rider came flying by on the long gradual false flat leaving the barn. I hopped on his wheel and dug deep to stay there and soon we had caught up to Derek who tagged onto us making a small group of three. I was digging way too deep, so when we turned onto the dusty long descent I decided to back off and do my best to pace myself to hold onto a top 5 finish. I cramped on the Strava climb, stopped, went easier until I got caught by another relay rider towards the top. I was able to stick with him until the descent, but then he dropped me hard on the descent. I was caught by one more team rider on the section leading into the second climb, and he really lifted my pace again – but he flatted shortly before the start of the climb.

I went up the final climb knowing that I would need to go slow to keep from cramping again, but I continued to pass lapped riders many of whom were walking there bikes up the steep sections of the climb. I was able to solider on in a very easy gear to make it up the climb – but there were definitely sections I was wondering if I was going to have to get off and walk. I kept thinking that at any moment whoever was in 5th place would come cruising by. It didn’t happen though, and I made it up to the top, down the sketchy descent, and then turned on the gas one final time to make it to the finish line. It turns out that I was over 12 minutes ahead of 5th place so I could have taken the finish a little bit easier.

At the finish (as you may be able to tell from the picture at the top), I was exhausted. It took a while to be able to get out more than one or two coherent sentences in a row. I sat on the gatorade jug for quite a while drinking chocolate milk and cokes.

Two final videos before all the pictures – the first is of my finish. Look at Josiah cheering me at the top of the video near the far track, Analise near the turn, and then Kristine filming the video. It was awesome to come through there and see my family cheering me on. Also, there was a cool dirt bike track next to the barn so that the kids could spend the hour and a half between laps riding up and down the jumps and around the berms. Analise is tackling one of the jumps in the second video.

Analise, me, and Josiah after the race
Podium for 30-39 yr old males … 2nd place for me … Ken Chlouber handing out Leadville entries!

June 4, 2012 at 12:37 am Leave a comment

2011 Tour of America’s Dairyland Summary

What a great race series the 2011 Tour of America’s Dairyland was. I’m already looking forward to next year. This year featured 9 criteriums, 1 road race, and 1 time trial. The criteriums were a mix of hilly technical courses and flat, fast courses. This was my first time to race more than six days in a row. By the end of two weeks of racing and riding, I had ridden/raced 824 miles (383 miles the first week and 441 miles the second week). To put that in perspective, that is 15 miles longer than our drive home from Madison, WI to Birmingham, AL. The 441 mile week is my sixth 400+ mile week of the year and most likely the second longest week of my entire racing career. I had a 500+ mile week in college.

All of our criteriums were timed at 90 minutes and depending on the average speed worked out to be around 45 miles in length. The race was so well organized, thanks in part to having a nearly identical schedule very day. I didn’t have a lot to do besides race, so I would frequently start warming up during the pro women’s race and continuing warming up during the masters 1-2-3 race before checking out the course for a few laps during the downtime that was scheduled between the end of the masters race and the start of the pro men’s race. That down-time meant that every one of our races started on time because any kind of delay earlier in the day was worked out by the time our race started.

The road race was an excellent course through the Kettle Moraine state forest area. The hills and crosswinds combined with some rain during the first half of the race made for a challenging course. I was disappointed that I put so much effort into an early break that was brought back and then missed both the break of the day plus a large chase group. I was stuck in the field until the last lap when I bridged to a solo move and worked together with the rider I caught to finish just ahead of the field. It was a good finish to an otherwise disappointing race performance.

Favorite picture and favorite video… the picture is Lapham Peak where I rode to on my rest day in lieu of the Ripon time trial. The video is the last lap sprint of the last race of the series in Madison, WI.

Panoramic view from the top of the Lapham Peak tower (click to enlarge)

Here is a summary of all my results from the races. I was hoping for more top 20s, another top 10, and a top 5 in the road race. So my results weren’t quite what I was expecting, but it was still great experience, great racing, and the longest race series that I have ever done!

Day 1 – Shorewood Criterium 46th 42.6mi 28.0mph 177/191 291/891
Day 2 – Thiensville Criterium 33rd 40.2mi 27.4mph 169/189 291/1242
Day 3 – Grafton Criterium 51st 39.9mi 27.8mph 168/187 281/1360
Day 4 – Waukesha Criterium 20th 40.7mi 27.3mph 167/186 259/845
Day 5 – Greenbush Road Race 17th 79.0mi 24.2mph 148/179 199/1100
Day 6 – Schlitz Park Criterium 19th 37.8mi 24.8mph 158/177 266/939
Day 7 – Ripon TT (rest day) 61.7mi 14.1mph 116/151
Day 8 – Sheboygan Criterium 26th 40.9mi 27.6mph 158/180
Day 9 – Fond du Lac Criterium 26th 43.1mi 29.0mph 158/183
Day 10 – Downer Ave Criterium 16th 49.0mi 28.1mph 160/183
Day 11 – Madison Criterium 9th 43.6mi 28.3mph 159/189

Finally, here a few maps to help illustrate the scope of our fun summer bike racing adventure…
Annotated map showing our entire trip.

Annotated map showing all the places that I raced.

Map showing all my races and commutes to/from awesome host housing in Brookfield. I saw quite a bit of southeastern Wisconsin frequently opting for side streets and country roads instead of interstates.

June 29, 2011 at 3:43 pm 3 comments

Madison Criterium – Tour of America’s Dairyland – Day 11

Strava map of the Madison Criterium course – 2011 Tour of America’s Dairyland

Mmmmm – chocolate milk at the finish in front of the capitol after 11 days of racing

This was a great way to end up the 2011 Tour of America’s Dairyland. I put the course map first because it highlights the unique location for this criterium. We raced around the Wisconsin state capitol building in Madison. The course was a square with a downhill leading into Turn #2 and #3 and then an uphill leading into Turn #4 followed by a short flat finish.

I started about mid-pack and sank backwards on the first few laps so that by about the fifth lap I was somewhere in the back 1/3rd of the field. Eventually, I started feeling more confident about the race and started to move up. The best place to move up was immediately after turn #1 on the run-in to turn #2. This meant that you had to take turn #2 on the inside, but then you were in great position sheltered from a pretty strong cross-wind on the fast stretch from turn #2 to turn #3. The problem with this line, though, is that the inside of turn #3 wasn’t the best place to be if somebody decided to cut you off. This happened several times where I lost a lot of momentum and had to accelerate hard up the hill between turn #3 and turn #4.

Towards the middle of the race, I had worked my way far enough forward to attack when a $100 prime was announced. I got a gap after turn #1, but was chased down by about halfway up the hill before turn #4 by a Garneau Test team rider. I ended up crossing the line 3rd behind the Garneau rider and a Foundation CRC rider. Then I tagged onto the back of two more riders who had attacked from the field. Our five-man break lasted about a lap before Kenda brought us back. The move of the day went fairly early on with Dan Holloway (Kelly Benefits), Timmers (Garneau Test), and Sergei Tvetskov (Aerocat) braking away and gradually increasing their lead. Kenda chased hard, but the short hilly four-corner course did not lend itself well to a steady chase.

About 50 laps into the race (out of 70 laps), I attacked going up the hill into turn #4 hoping that a prime would be called on the next lap. As I attacked, somebody yelled “Watch out for the squirrel”. I was a little frustrated because I was thinking that they were calling me a squirrel even though I thought I was riding a very good, safe race. In a hilarious coincidence, though, there was actually a squirrel that was in the road at that exact spot at the time that I attacked. The squirrel was dodging back and forth trying not to get run over and eventually leaped over the barriers to escape. Kristine was right there and watched the whole thing – including the person yelling “watch out for the squirrel” so she can verify that they weren’t shouting about me!

After my lap solo, there were a bunch of attacks / chases. I ended up sliding pretty far back in the field, but with about 10 laps to go I decided to do everything I could to move back up to the front of the field. With a couple laps to go, a group of 3 had separated themselves from the field and were just a few seconds up the road. With one lap to go, I had worked all the way to the front of the field sitting second wheel behind Emile Abraham (Aerocat) who was setting a very fast pace on the last lap. He attacked going into Turn #3 at the bottom of the hill and I went with him. I stayed on his wheel until his teammate, Josh Carter, who had been just behind me attacked and Emile sat up. I swung out to the left of Emile and gave it everything I had getting passed by only Chad Hartley (Kenda) between Turn #4 and the finish to place 9th.

Here is a link to the interactive Strava data:

Lap 1  0.6 mi 23 ft 24.9 mph 319 watts 149 bpm 0:01:23
Lap 2  0.6 mi 23 ft 28.0 mph 421 watts 159 bpm 0:01:14
Lap 3  0.6 mi 23 ft 27.6 mph 433 watts 157 bpm 0:01:15
Lap 4  0.6 mi 23 ft 28.4 mph 421 watts 161 bpm 0:01:13
Lap 5  0.6 mi 23 ft 26.9 mph 362 watts 159 bpm 0:01:17
Lap 6  0.6 mi 23 ft 28.0 mph 400 watts 157 bpm 0:01:14
Lap 7  0.6 mi 23 ft 30.0 mph 470 watts 162 bpm 0:01:09
Lap 8  0.6 mi 23 ft 28.0 mph 429 watts 161 bpm 0:01:14
Lap 9  0.6 mi 23 ft 27.2 mph 338 watts 159 bpm 0:01:16
Lap 10 0.5 mi 23 ft 27.6 mph 369 watts 162 bpm 0:01:15
Lap 11 0.6 mi 23 ft 29.2 mph 413 watts 155 bpm 0:01:11
Lap 12 0.6 mi 23 ft 27.2 mph 368 watts 160 bpm 0:01:16
Lap 13 0.6 mi 23 ft 26.5 mph 364 watts 159 bpm 0:01:18
Lap 14 0.6 mi 23 ft 29.2 mph 465 watts 161 bpm 0:01:11
Lap 15 0.6 mi 23 ft 26.9 mph 363 watts 163 bpm 0:01:17
Lap 16 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.8 mph 453 watts 172 bpm 0:01:12
Lap 17 0.6 mi 23 ft 27.2 mph 455 watts 162 bpm 0:01:16
Lap 18 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.8 mph 441 watts 153 bpm 0:01:12
Lap 19 0.6 mi 23 ft 29.2 mph 413 watts 152 bpm 0:01:11
Lap 20 0.5 mi 23 ft 30.4 mph 445 watts 153 bpm 0:01:08
Lap 21 0.6 mi 23 ft 27.6 mph 375 watts 158 bpm 0:01:15
Lap 22 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.8 mph 430 watts 156 bpm 0:01:12
Lap 23 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.0 mph 378 watts 154 bpm 0:01:14
Lap 24 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.8 mph 450 watts 160 bpm 0:01:12
Lap 25 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.4 mph 463 watts 156 bpm 0:01:13
Lap 26 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.8 mph 484 watts 158 bpm 0:01:12
Lap 27 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.8 mph 494 watts 159 bpm 0:01:12
Lap 28 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.4 mph 398 watts 161 bpm 0:01:13
Lap 29 0.6 mi 23 ft 26.9 mph 426 watts 168 bpm 0:01:17
Lap 30 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.4 mph 417 watts 160 bpm 0:01:13
Lap 31 0.6 mi 23 ft 29.6 mph 503 watts 178 bpm 0:01:10
Lap 32 0.6 mi 23 ft 27.2 mph 431 watts 173 bpm 0:01:16
Lap 33 0.6 mi 23 ft 25.9 mph 449 watts 164 bpm 0:01:20
Lap 34 0.6 mi 23 ft 27.6 mph 402 watts 155 bpm 0:01:15
Lap 35 0.6 mi 23 ft 27.6 mph 381 watts 147 bpm 0:01:15
Lap 36 0.6 mi 23 ft 27.6 mph 412 watts 148 bpm 0:01:15
Lap 37 0.6 mi 23 ft 26.2 mph 400 watts 155 bpm 0:01:19
Lap 38 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.4 mph 443 watts 159 bpm 0:01:13
Lap 39 0.6 mi 23 ft 29.2 mph 425 watts 154 bpm 0:01:11
Lap 40 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.8 mph 445 watts 155 bpm 0:01:12
Lap 41 0.6 mi 23 ft 29.2 mph 406 watts 157 bpm 0:01:11
Lap 42 0.6 mi 23 ft 29.2 mph 472 watts 158 bpm 0:01:11
Lap 43 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.4 mph 399 watts 151 bpm 0:01:13
Lap 44 0.6 mi 23 ft 26.5 mph 407 watts 150 bpm 0:01:18
Lap 45 0.6 mi 23 ft 27.2 mph 363 watts 151 bpm 0:01:16
Lap 46 0.6 mi 23 ft 27.6 mph 391 watts 156 bpm 0:01:15
Lap 47 0.6 mi 23 ft 25.6 mph 409 watts 169 bpm 0:01:21
Lap 48 0.6 mi 23 ft 27.2 mph 446 watts 156 bpm 0:01:16
Lap 49 0.6 mi 23 ft 27.6 mph 352 watts 145 bpm 0:01:15
Lap 50 0.6 mi 23 ft 27.2 mph 421 watts 140 bpm 0:01:16
Lap 51 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.0 mph 434 watts 147 bpm 0:01:14
Lap 52 0.6 mi 23 ft 27.2 mph 396 watts 153 bpm 0:01:16
Lap 53 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.0 mph 393 watts 150 bpm 0:01:14
Lap 54 0.6 mi 23 ft 26.5 mph 381 watts 149 bpm 0:01:18
Lap 55 0.6 mi 23 ft 27.6 mph 414 watts 151 bpm 0:01:15
Lap 56 0.6 mi 23 ft 25.2 mph 363 watts 152 bpm 0:01:22
Lap 57 0.6 mi 23 ft 26.5 mph 432 watts 157 bpm 0:01:18
Lap 58 0.6 mi 23 ft 29.2 mph 405 watts 149 bpm 0:01:11
Lap 59 0.6 mi 23 ft 27.6 mph 403 watts 160 bpm 0:01:15
Lap 60 0.6 mi 23 ft 31.9 mph 408 watts 161 bpm 0:01:05
Lap 61 0.6 mi 23 ft 27.2 mph 460 watts 172 bpm 0:01:16
Lap 62 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.0 mph 426 watts 167 bpm 0:01:14
Lap 63 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.0 mph 433 watts 166 bpm 0:01:14
Lap 64 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.4 mph 465 watts 164 bpm 0:01:13
Lap 65 0.6 mi 23 ft 29.6 mph 518 watts 162 bpm 0:01:10
Lap 66 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.4 mph 380 watts 164 bpm 0:01:13
Lap 67 0.6 mi 23 ft 26.9 mph 435 watts 168 bpm 0:01:17
Lap 68 0.6 mi 23 ft 26.5 mph 463 watts 167 bpm 0:01:18
Lap 69 0.6 mi 23 ft 28.8 mph 421 watts 173 bpm 0:01:12
Lap 70 0.6 mi 23 ft 31.9 mph 560 watts 181 bpm 0:01:05

Finally, Kristine and I got some good pics from the day – check them out in the gallery below! Summary post tomorrow…

June 28, 2011 at 3:21 pm 1 comment

Downer Ave Criterium – Tour of America’s Dairyland – Day 10

I think I may have cracked the top 15 on this one. I was really happy with the finish as it was a complete turnaround from yesterday. Even though I was again at the very front with one lap to go. I was able to hold my position and not get passed by anyone in the sprint. There were thousands and thousands of dollars worth of primes including one ultra-prime for $5600 won by Isaac Howe (Kenda), but I was never in position to go for any of them. That’s ok, though, because I really needed a good finish after yesterday’s performance.

The course was a triangle with turn #1 fast and straightforward, turn #2 acute on rough pavement, and turn #3 and #4 very fast back-to-back to make the triangle. I had a great start and came around the first turn in fifth position. I stayed up near the front for the rest of the first lap. Then on the second lap, there was a major surge on the backside of the course and I got caught in the wrong position and was passed by at least 50 riders so that I ended up in the back third of the field. I spent the next 20 laps or so moving up. The course was easy to pass people on, but it was also very easy to get passed. So my position varied greatly from front to back for a majority of the race. Towards the end, though, I hit it hard to get into the top 10 and then attacked any time the pace eased up. This kept me at the very front leading the field through the start/finish with one to go. I didn’t want to be at the very front so I eased up and then hopped on a wheel about 10 riders back when the surge came. I basically held this position until the end except for getting passed by a few people out of turn #2. So I think I squeezed into the top 15.

Here is a video of the women’s finish plus videos that Kristine took of our race:

Here are the lap splits for this 49 mile crit…

Lap 1  0.8 mi 26.8 mph 396 watts 151 bpm 0:01:53
Lap 2  0.9 mi 28.3 mph 435 watts 156 bpm 0:01:47
Lap 3  0.8 mi 28.9 mph 460 watts 164 bpm 0:01:45
Lap 4  0.8 mi 29.1 mph 463 watts 160 bpm 0:01:44
Lap 5  0.9 mi 27.5 mph 453 watts 166 bpm 0:01:50
Lap 6  0.8 mi 28.1 mph 425 watts 165 bpm 0:01:48
Lap 7  0.8 mi 28.6 mph 457 watts 159 bpm 0:01:46
Lap 8  0.8 mi 28.9 mph 439 watts 167 bpm 0:01:45
Lap 9  0.9 mi 27.1 mph 442 watts 167 bpm 0:01:52
Lap 10 0.8 mi 28.6 mph 404 watts 164 bpm 0:01:46
Lap 11 0.9 mi 27.1 mph 387 watts 162 bpm 0:01:52
Lap 12 0.9 mi 28.1 mph 438 watts 161 bpm 0:01:48
Lap 13 0.9 mi 26.1 mph 412 watts 172 bpm 0:01:56
Lap 14 0.8 mi 27.5 mph 400 watts 152 bpm 0:01:50
Lap 15 0.9 mi 28.3 mph 457 watts 155 bpm 0:01:47
Lap 16 0.9 mi 28.1 mph 449 watts 156 bpm 0:01:48
Lap 17 0.8 mi 26.6 mph 374 watts 152 bpm 0:01:54
Lap 18 0.9 mi 29.7 mph 550 watts 162 bpm 0:01:42
Lap 19 0.8 mi 27.3 mph 403 watts 167 bpm 0:01:51
Lap 20 0.9 mi 27.5 mph 424 watts 161 bpm 0:01:50
Lap 21 0.9 mi 27.5 mph 446 watts 160 bpm 0:01:50
Lap 22 0.8 mi 27.8 mph 416 watts 156 bpm 0:01:49
Lap 23 0.9 mi 26.8 mph 381 watts 162 bpm 0:01:53
Lap 24 0.9 mi 28.1 mph 444 watts 159 bpm 0:01:48
Lap 25 0.9 mi 27.5 mph 424 watts 157 bpm 0:01:50
Lap 26 0.8 mi 28.1 mph 407 watts 157 bpm 0:01:48
Lap 27 0.9 mi 26.6 mph 385 watts 154 bpm 0:01:54
Lap 28 0.9 mi 27.5 mph 442 watts 164 bpm 0:01:50
Lap 29 0.8 mi 28.3 mph 408 watts 157 bpm 0:01:47
Lap 30 0.9 mi 28.3 mph 452 watts 164 bpm 0:01:47
Lap 31 0.9 mi 28.1 mph 432 watts 159 bpm 0:01:48
Lap 32 0.8 mi 28.3 mph 411 watts 159 bpm 0:01:47
Lap 33 0.8 mi 29.7 mph 484 watts 159 bpm 0:01:42
Lap 34 0.9 mi 28.3 mph 443 watts 161 bpm 0:01:47
Lap 35 0.9 mi 27.3 mph 414 watts 157 bpm 0:01:51
Lap 36 0.8 mi 27.3 mph 384 watts 153 bpm 0:01:51
Lap 37 0.8 mi 28.3 mph 434 watts 154 bpm 0:01:47
Lap 38 0.9 mi 26.8 mph 417 watts 159 bpm 0:01:53
Lap 39 0.8 mi 28.6 mph 417 watts 159 bpm 0:01:46
Lap 40 0.8 mi 28.6 mph 421 watts 154 bpm 0:01:46
Lap 41 0.9 mi 28.3 mph 464 watts 156 bpm 0:01:47
Lap 42 0.8 mi 28.1 mph 447 watts 157 bpm 0:01:48
Lap 43 0.8 mi 28.6 mph 452 watts 158 bpm 0:01:46
Lap 44 0.9 mi 27.8 mph 454 watts 159 bpm 0:01:49
Lap 45 0.9 mi 28.3 mph 451 watts 160 bpm 0:01:47
Lap 46 0.8 mi 29.1 mph 491 watts 163 bpm 0:01:44
Lap 47 0.9 mi 28.3 mph 452 watts 154 bpm 0:01:47
Lap 48 0.9 mi 27.1 mph 403 watts 154 bpm 0:01:52
Lap 49 0.9 mi 25.9 mph 365 watts 152 bpm 0:01:57
Lap 50 0.8 mi 27.1 mph 345 watts 162 bpm 0:01:52
Lap 51 0.8 mi 28.3 mph 451 watts 161 bpm 0:01:47
Lap 52 0.8 mi 27.5 mph 396 watts 163 bpm 0:01:50
Lap 53 0.8 mi 27.3 mph 395 watts 161 bpm 0:01:51
Lap 54 0.8 mi 27.3 mph 391 watts 163 bpm 0:01:51
Lap 55 0.8 mi 29.4 mph 467 watts 165 bpm 0:01:43
Lap 56 0.8 mi 27.8 mph 402 watts 172 bpm 0:01:49
Lap 57 0.8 mi 29.7 mph 511 watts 176 bpm 0:01:42

Here is a link to the interactive Strava data:

Map of the course plus my easy hill repeats for warm-up

Heartrate and speed data for the race

Finally, here is a gallery of pics from the day:

June 26, 2011 at 12:15 am Leave a comment

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Brian Toone

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Anaerobic Threshold:
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Heart rate:180 bpm
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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