Posts tagged ‘videos’

Mountain biking in the rural northwoods

Seven and a half years ago today, Kristine and I got married in a beautiful little town called Shell Lake followed by our wedding reception about 45 minutes away even further north into the northwoods of rural Wisconsin at a retreat center called the Schwan Center. Today, I biked from Shell Lake 32 miles up through the snowy backroads and snowmobile trails arriving to meet Kristine, her parents, and our kids for a short mini-vacation at a cabin in the same conference center where we had our reception. Here’s a recap of today’s adventure mountain biking on snowy roads and trails in very rural parts of Wisconsin.

The basic story of the ride is that the roads got snowier and snowier as they became more rural. My Garmin worked great, but the route I had planned ahead of time didn’t upload correctly to the device so I had to stop every now and then at an intersection to figure out which way to go. I just generally had to head north though, so it was fairly easy to navigate by the setting sun. Some of the roads were really easy to ride on because the snow was hard packed, but other roads which saw a lot of snowmobile and car traffic had really loose snow that was hard to ride on. I think you can tell by the graphs below the location of the most difficult roads by the spots where my speed and heartrate are lowest.

The graphs below are all screenshots from my Garmin data: http://bit.ly/hPSb0r

Route map – aerial view – look at all the lakes!

Garmin speed data – note the lowest speeds on the second half of the ride

Garmin heartrate data – low sections corresponding to low speeds

Garmin temperature data – much warmer today than Sunday – still below freezing pretty much the entire ride!


County Rd N north of Spooner


Lots of deer tracks in a field next to County Rd N


Beyond County Rd N, road getting snowier


Garmin bike navigation on the mountain bike in the snow


Frozen lake with beaver or river otter holes in the ice


Snowy roads, some good snow, some loose snow, the trick is finding the right snow


Looking the other way on the same road.


Pear lake – frozen with ice fishing house, snowmobile trails


Our cabin in the woods


Snowy access road to the cabin – this was the best road of the whole ride because the snow was hard packed and fast!


Up close view of my mountain bike after the ride

Lastly, here is a video I took towards the end of the ride crossing the Namakogen River on State Hwy 77. If you easily get motion sickness, you may not want to watch!

December 28, 2010 at 11:29 pm Leave a comment

Epic ride finishing week atop three Strava leaderboards

The Samford student chapter of the ACM organized a ride today leaving from Chelsea High School and climbing up one of my favorite climbs – Double Oak Way. Three brave students and one crazy professor (me) met at 1:00 to complete the ride. We were waiting on one person before the start of the ride, so we found a 30+% gradient grassy downhill to have a little fun on before the start of the real ride. I’ve told the story of the ride in pictures below. At the bottom of the post, I explain about Strava and my position on the leaderboards after today’s rides.

It was definitely cold with the temperature below freezing for the entire ride. Note the min, max, and average temp for the four hour ride.

Samford computer science students John, Adam, and Greg brave the conditions AND the Double Oak Way climb up Double Oak Mountain

Me along with two of my students – John and Adam – on the top of Double Oak Mountain

Adam descending grassy hill with a few snowflakes visible.

Greg descending grassy hill – taken from slightly different angle more edge on – check out that slope!

Me descending grassy hill – view from front

Watch a video of John descending the hill after the ride

I finished the week atop three Strava leaderboards – best climber, best commuter, most rides – plus 3rd overall. I climbed over 34,000ft for the week, commuted 214 miles or even more if you count my commute today from church back to my house, plus 14 different rides this week totaling 348 miles

December 13, 2010 at 1:50 am Leave a comment

Texas Tough USA Crits Finale Race Report

Zoomed in view of the start/finish stretch before the start of the Cat 2/3 race.

Race report
Raced and fought hard to a 30th place finish out of a strong field of about 100 starters. I got caught up in a crash near the middle of the group about 10 laps into the race ultimately skidding to a stop holding onto the original rider who went down – a United Healthcare rider – who had just stood up as other riders squeaked past us. The hardest part of the race was when we were put back in one lap later at the very back of the peloton, which was being led by the entire Hotel San Jose team as they were chasing a six-man break that had gotten away without them because of the crash. About 10 laps later the pace had eased up, and I was able to work my way up to near the front of the group where I stayed for the remainder of the race. In the end, I missed a seven man move that escaped on a $1000 prime lap. One lap later, I moved into position to keep ahead of the “swarm” on the downhill, when Ben Zawacki from Team Ion attacked off the front to chase the group of seven. I had an opening, and so I launched off the side of the group, thinking that if I could reach Ben then perhaps the two of us could make the bridge — but Ben already had a great gap by the time I attacked, and I couldn’t close any so I sat up after the downhill to conserve energy for the finish. In the end I fought hard for position, finishing 18th in the field sprint, which meant 30th for the race with twelve riders off the front.

The course was a nice 4-corner around the American Airlines Center arena in Dallas. The course had a short (but steep) 6% uphill immediately after the start/finish and a longer but more gradual downhill on the back side of the course. The uphill was with a tailwind and the downhill was into a headwind/sidewind blowing from the west on the most exposed part of the course. I got a call-up before the start, and that is the first video posted below my heartrate/power data. Two helicopters were hovering over the course to stream the race for a local news station. Also, there was a giant jumbotron screen for spectators – so it was an exciting race to end my 2010 season – although I am planning on racing the Alabama state time trial (Oct 2) and the Tour de Cullman (Oct 23) for some good fun and training!

Trip details
This race was a crazy trip for Kristine and I as we made the 650 mile drive (one-way) from Birmingham to Dallas on Wednesday after I finished teaching my Wednesday afternoon class. Then Thursday night after the race, we “turned and burned” and drove the 650 miles back to Birmingham to make it back in time for my 9AM Friday class. We were gone for a total of 40 hours, 22 of which was spent driving, about 3 hours of racing and warm-up, a few hours during the day on Thursday hanging out with friends, and only 8 hours of sleeping. We shared the driving on the return trip, spent the night with awesome friends at the Christian missions organization (Mercy Ships) where the two of us met which was on the way to Dallas, and had an all-round great time.

TopoCreator map of our return trip from Dallas back to Birmingham

Texas Tough, Dallas, TX, USA Crits Finale 2010-09-16
Dist:       38.22 mi (1:24:04)
Energy:    1207.3 kJ
Cals Burn: 1154.2 kcal
Climbing:     549 ft
Braking:    -13.9 kJ (-1.2%)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power       0  239.4   793  W
Aero        0  112.3   661  W
Rolling     0   36.3    50  W
Gravity  -508    0.5   436  W
Speed     0.0   27.3  37.8  mi/h
Wind      9.1   16.3  31.5  mi/h
Elev      363    375   387  ft
Slope    -4.5   0.01   6.1  %
Caden       0   78.2   115  rpm
HR        128  178.9   192  bpm
NP 271 W; IF 0.979; TSS 134.2
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039
173 lbs; 9/16/2010 5:56 PM
87 degF; 1012 mbar

Annotated heartrate data corresponding to the graph below …

  1. The race started with a neutral lap – riders inches from the pace car completely surrounding it on both sides, too!
  2. The wreck in Turn #4 ten laps into the race
  3. The hardest part of the race, hanging on and trying to move up with Team Hotel San Jose drove the pace chasing the break
  4. Easier – fighting to stay at the front

2010 Texas Tough USA Crits Finale Heartrate Data

Annotated power data corresponding to the graph below …

  1. The wreck in Turn #4 ten laps into the race
  2. Bridge attempt late in the race (about 6 or 7 laps to go)

2010 Texas Tough USA Crits Finale Power Data

Note the drafting differences (i.e., difference between the white line and the blue line) in the two different parts of the race. In the first red circled area, the pace is super fast and I am just hanging onto the rider in front of me. In the second circle area, you see more places where I am attacking or moving out into the wind to try to continue to move up or maintain position at the front of the race. I love being able to see this data on my iBike, and over time I am hoping it will help me figure out how to better mete out my energy for crits.

Videos from the race – Kristine took these videos on her iPhone.

Call-ups at the Texas Tough Grand Prix

Start of the 2010 Texas Tough Grand Prix

Early lap in the 2010 Texas Tough Grand Prix

Middle lap in the 2010 Texas Tough Grand Prix

The start/finish stretch underneath towering hotels and high-rise condiminiums
Racing in downtown Dallas, TX
Spending the night with friends from Mercy Ships in Van, TX
Eating breakfast at the iconic Dinner Bell restaurant in Van, TX

September 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm 1 comment

Dothan Cityfest Criterium Race Report

Oh so close to a late season podium… 4th place after 20+ laps in a 4-man break. Still, the Dothan Cityfest criterium was an awesome new race on the calendar this year in Dothan, AL. The Pro/1/2 race featured a $10,000 prize purse paid 25 places deep. My awesome teammates Stuart Lamp, Terry Duran, and I lined up with me in a field of about 30. Even though the field was small, the action (and temperature) was HOT. I had a front-row start, and clipped in first and took off from the gun. I didn’t get anywhere though and simply pulled the field around for the entire first lap. This meant that when the first attack went at the start of the second lap, I wasn’t ready to go with it. Fortunately, my teammate Stuart saw the move and covered it. The field came back together and I moved into position to go with the next move, which came from Andy Crater (Aerocat) who animated the action attacking repeatedly in the first 10 laps. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it that far in front of a fresh field before we were pulled back. I was pretty tired after the intense early laps and had slid back and missed the next couple of moves. My teammate Terry covered each one.

Then, about 10 laps into the race, there was a solo move from Emile Abraham (Aerocat). He got a good 5-10 second gap on the field before Team Ion moved to the front and drilled it back. I saw Crater move into position to counter attack and immediately hopped onto his wheel. An Ion rider, Winston David, also latched on, and we were off. When we passed through the start/finish line, I knew we must have had a good gap because the intensity of my wife’s cheering increased a notch or two. One or two laps later, John Atkins bridged up to us solo. I was still recovering from early moves and was struggling to maintain the pace that Andy and Winston were setting, but our lead kept increasing so eventually our pace settled down into something that I could maintain. By the time we lapped the field, there was only 4 laps left in the race. My teammate Stuart came to the front and set a very fast pace for the last 2 laps to prevent any of my breakmates from attacking. I settled comfortably into 3rd or 4th position when we were swarmed coming out of the start/finish line with one lap to go. I saw an opening on the left on the uphill between turns 1 and 2 and attacked to move to the front. Looking back, I should have attacked with the intention of breaking away b/c I think there is a chance I could have held it with the tricky corners in turns 2, 3, and 4.

Instead, I eased up and waited for someone else to make the first move. It came from Winston, who was one of my breakmates. Crater got on his wheel, and I was on Crater’s wheel coming out of Turn 3. About halfway down the hill, Crater attacked. It was a perfect attack and caught me on the wrong side of Winston so I settled onto Winston’s wheel as he chased to catch Crater. My thinking was that if he couldn’t bring Crater back, that at least I could come around him to secure 2nd or worst case settle for 3rd, still up on the podium. Instead, I wasn’t able to come around him, and John Atkins came around me immediately out of the last corner so that I ended up 4th in the sprint, beaten by all three of my breakaway companions.

Disappointing finish for me to an otherwise awesome race! The Dothan organizers went all out for this event, with excellent commentating by Chad Andrews, support for a very large kids race, and awesome prize money. All of this combined with the festival that was going on just down the street, it made for a great day of entertainment. Analise and Josiah both had fun in the kids races … and riding their bikes with me at the start of my warm-up on a closed street with railroad tracks to cross! Just before the start of the Pro women’s race, there was a 1 lap celebrity race with the mayor of Dothan, a congressman, senator, and other local government officials and celebs. They all road on the green single-speed cruiser bikes that Regions Bank has in their commercials and provides to universities like Samford. It started out like any other celeb race, but the finish was like none I have seen. The mayor completely decked out in a suit and helmet was sprinting against the congressman from out of the last corner all the way to the finish line. They were so close that you couldn’t tell who had won and they had to look at the finish line camera to decide it! Wow!! This really got the crowd amped up for our race, which turned out to be pretty exciting.

My teammate Katherine Herring had a great race with the Pro/1/2/3 women holding her own until she had a run-in with a hay bale on the last lap. Still, she picked herself up, and crossed the finish line in 8th place. Also, Sammy raced the 2/3 race earlier in the day taking 8th place even while battling a cold. But it was good enough for him to hold onto 1st place for the year long Alabama Cycling Series Cat 3 competition taking home the jersey. Also, our team snagged the team title which spanned all categories, and we got to take home a cool bicycle statue consisting of a bicycle frame welded onto a statue pedestal – very cool!

Heartrate, power, pictures, and video below …

Power data: 2010 Dothan Cityfest Criterium Pro/1/2
Dist:       26.83 mi (1:02:06)
Energy:     861.8 kJ
Cals Burn:  823.9 kcal
Climbing:     964 ft
Braking:      0.0 kJ (0.0%)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power       0  231.3   708  W
Aero        0  147.8   473  W
Rolling     0   34.5    50  W
Gravity  -511    0.6   328  W
Speed     0.0   25.9  37.5  mi/h
Wind      7.9   18.0  29.0  mi/h
Elev      271    287   309  ft
Slope    -4.8   0.01   3.8  %
Caden       0   79.1   104  rpm
HR        122  181.7   195  bpm
NP 270 W; IF 0.974; TSS 98.1
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039
173 lbs; 9/11/2010 7:05 PM
85 degF; 1012 mbar

2010 Dothan Cityfest Criterium power and heartrate data

2010 Dothan Cityfest Criterium Heartrate data

  1. Lots of speed and heartrate spikes corresponding to attacks
  2. This is where the 4-man break started
  3. Notice how much smoother everything is, but still in the red zone
  4. This is where we lapped the field
  5. Resting up for the finish, my teammate Stuart setting the pace
  6. The final lap

September 12, 2010 at 8:21 pm Leave a comment

Tour of Elk Grove wrap-up

Another year, another great trip to Chicago. We had a great time hanging out with friends both at and away from the race. Josiah played football for the first time and got his first real taste of baseball with the family that we stayed with. He loved it! We took our scenic drive route past Fermi National Lab and through the outskirts of far western Chicago (Batavia, Geneva, North Aurora) to drive slowly past a horse jumping contest that takes place every year this same weekend as the Tour of Elk Grove. The races went really well, but my results were only mediocre. Check out my reports and heartrate data at the end of this blog.

Saturday – big field, aerocat, kenda, jamis sutter home, is corp had strong teams, started out front row and fought hard to stay there — until the last lap where I lost a lot of position in a swarm going into the 180. Then trying to move up going into the next turn, I got bumped pretty hard and pushed into the gutter losing even more position, fought to get it back, ended up 22nd. So this race was perfect for me except for the very last lap where it counted most!

Sunday – 90 starters, same strong teams. I was more aggressive in this race with $1650 worth of primes on offer. I made it into a break with John Eisenger, agreed to split $100 prime when two more riders bridged up to us foiling that plan. John attacked and got the prime. This was a few laps before the $500 mid-race prime. Our break got caught shortly before the announcers rang the bell for the mid-race prime. A rider attacked hard and got enough of a gap to stay away for the prime.

I was in a couple other moves, too, so I spent more time today either off the front or recouperating mid-pack. With 10 laps to go, I was determined not to get swarmed again so I did a lot of work out in the wind, attacking whenever I heard riders coming up from behind. With three laps to go, I was in sixth or seventh position when the Jamis rider in front of me slid out on the 180 degree turn. I was already on his inside so I scooted by safely with no problem, but this created a split in the group. With three aerocat riders in the front group of 10 riders, they decided to drill it, but nobody else wanted to help work so with two to go we were all back together. I fought hard to stay at the front, but still lost some position in the 180 swarm. I came out of the corner better than Saturday’s race, though, and I think I started the sprint in about 15th place, moving up a couple spots to 13th by the line.

The kids raced the bigwheel race and Kristine got some video of the finish of our race both days. Check it out below:

Saturday’s 1/2 finish

Sunday’s 1/2 finish

Here’s a topocreator map of the Sunday’s race and warm-up. The race course is the part in the middle with the start/finish indicated and traveling in counter-clockwise fashion.

  • Nothing exciting to annotate here – just conserving energy for the finish

  1. Two-man break going for $100 prime
  2. 10 man field split after Jamis rider wrecked at front of field with 3 to go
  3. Field all back together for the finish

August 2, 2010 at 11:58 am Leave a comment

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Final score, our first win in a long time was a blowout! The bats finally came around tonight. Josiah just cleared the bases with a triple! Josiah hitting a line drive straight to the 2nd baseman.

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Brian Toone

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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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