Wednesday, December 30, 2009

There is Good Snow on the Birkie Trail!

We got up to Hayward for a couple of days after Christmas. It sure is great that Kathy's sister and her husband built a cabin up there, it make it a lot easy to get there especially in the winter!! They do not have as much snow in Hayward as we have in Southern Minnesota and Iowa, but they do such a great job of grooming the Birkie trail that the skiing was great. They have instituted a parking fee to help pay for trail maintenance. $10 a day for a car is a bargain for such a good trail.

It was a really quick trip so I only got a couple of opportunities to ski. The first day was a slightly icy, it got above freezing on Saturday and by the time I got out on the trail, it was just before dark, and it was starting to ice up a little. Over night it snowed an inch or so and after they rolled the trail it was about as good as it ever is.

As for the skier, my heart rate pretty much max'es out on the hills this time of year until I can get myself a little more economical in terms of the exertion it takes me to skate up the hills:-) Sunday's Route and Heart Rate Data

Friday, December 25, 2009

SUP, And What Is That You Say?

This is my latest watercraft - a Stand Up Paddleboard. Apparently, Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is the hot new sport in some parts of the world. I had vaguely heard of it but truthfully had never even seen a picture when my friend Ty decided that we should inaugurate a new sport in the mid-west-- running rivers on SUP's. Of course neither of us wanted to buy a board, for all we know, we might not like it, so we decided to make them. The board to the left used to be a block of pink insulation foam, but with some work with a planner and a few layers of fiberglass here it is now.

I took my rough shape from Stuey Campbell's 12'6" Penetrator. From what I read, his design is more of an immersion hull (like a kayak or canoe) than a surfboard which most seem to be adapted from. I was not able to get much a sense of how much rocker to add. I shaped what seemed like a little rocker in the front, maybe an inch over the first few feet and less in the back. It has a dropped deck (about 2" from the top) and a pair of scuppers in the back to drain any water that might come over the sides.

I made a couple of paddles so I could try it out, never mind that it is the middle of winter in Minnesota. I am pretty sure that I must be the first SUP'er on the Straight River. It was a traffic stopping affair in Owatonna on Christmas Day!

I think Stand Up Paddleboarding is going to take a little practice to get completely comfortable with. The dropped deck seems like a good addition because it lowers your feet closer to the water surface, and it helps to keep your feet toward the center of the board. I do not have a fin yet but you can see from the video that I am probably going to need a big one to get this thing to track. It is a good thing I put that fin box in the bottom.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sighting in the Conquest Pro

Ok, so here is the deal. I was thinking about going deer hunting this weekend (emphasis on the was). I have not been doing much hunting lately, but I needed to pick some things up in Duluth this weekend, and it is deer season in Minnesota, and I was pretty sure my friend Steve would have thought it was a fine idea. Being a little impulsive, I came up with this plan last Thursday, and got it approved by the family powers that be. Then I got sick and basically slept for the whole weekend last week (that means the garage still needs cleaning), and Kathy pointed out that we eat red meat maybe once a month and if I actually got a deer it would be about a 10 year supply, not to mention that she and Linnea are not all that fond of venison to start with so it would probably last even longer. So the deer are safe from me this year! But there was a nice tree stand just off the loop we were doing our intervals on today so I decided to mix sports a bit...

Today's workout was suppose to be 4x90 second race paced intervals which John and Kat rounded that up to an even 10. This was my first real workout since getting sick, apart from and intermittent bloody nose, it felt pretty good. We did them on the usual loop in George Wyth Park and put one set of barriers in the course. I apparently pushed the wrong button on my monitor so I did not record my HR data but my heart rate was lower than usual, but my perceived effort did not seem less than usual.

It is nice to be back riding again!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Had a Nice Ride on Thursday and Have Been in Bed Ever Since

I decided to come back to Owatonna on Thursday, because I had a full weekend of things to do back in Iowa. After doing the interval workout that was planned I met up with a couple of guys from the Owatonna group who were planning a night ride. They showed up on road bikes (I was on my CX bike) and after trying to hang on at over 20 mph in the dark I decided to let them go. I came back into town at a nice easy pace but about 20 minutes after I got home it was clear, I have the flu! I had the chills, and a headache, and a cough, and almost all of the H1N1 symptoms. Now it is Sunday and I have really not been out of bed since Thursday night. I am really glad to have the opportunity to slowly build my immunity to this particular virus!

On a non-training note I have started to shape the Stand Up Paddle board. I have done enough to observe that surfboard shaping is a really messy job! This feels so much like when I made my first sea kayak. I had never been in a kayak when I made my first. I have never tried Stand Up Paddling. It could be could be I will not like it or I will not have enough balance to stand on the thing :-) I do think it would be funny to see a group of them coming down the Cedar River. . .

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Woah Today's Workout Counted!

Monday was a nice easy recovery ride. We stayed on the roads, didn't work all that hard. It was a bit windy but the ride was excellent.

Tuesday we were back into the real training again. The plan called for intervals 2 mins. on 2 mins. off; 1:30 on 1:30 0ff; then 1 min. on 1 min. off, then 3o seconds on 30 seconds off. We did 3 sets of these intervals on the practice fields behind the dome. The grass was wet and the ground was soft in some places. We were suppose to be in zone 5b-5c. When I look at the charts for the workout I am not sure I made it, I had 2 minutes in Zone 5a. The 5a time all came at the end of the 2 minute intervals so I wonder if this might be a matter of my heart not catching up with my effort. I sure hope so, because I cannot imagine pushing much harder. In fact it was good that John and Kat where there or I might have pushed a lot less :-)

Today's Interval workout

I am still trying to decide if I am going to go for the run that is on the plan for today. It is so easy to skip them, but I do think they help.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Red Barn CX Classic

I was in Minnesota this weekend, so I looked to see what races there might be. (The Twin Cities is not far away). I saw this race, and when I looked at the flyer it said it was at the Erickson Bros. Tree farm near Taylor's Falls, and I was thinking "hum, if I remember right I there was this guy name Erickson who started a tree farm with his brother somewhere." When I looked a little closer I saw that there was a Erick Erickson who was the race director, and I was thinking "hummm if I remember right, Paul Erickson had a son named Erick." So I didn't know anyone at the race except one of the tree farm bros. and the race director who was about 6 mo. old the last time I saw him, but at least I knew someone!

It was a nice race course, about 1 3/4 miles per lap. It was mostly flat, winding around the Christmas trees, there were 2 run ups, one short and muddy the other long and steep. There was an interesting technical section of 180's on the septic system mound, and a few mud pits. All and all it was a fun course. I was quite a was down among the finishers, BUT it didn't get lapped by any of the 45+ riders.

Red Barn CX race data

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Recovery Week

This week was a recovery week. Thursday was a high cadence, low heart rate workout. I tried to keep my cadence around 100, but I found myself getting a little impatient with the low effort and my heart rate climbed toward the end. It is great to have John and Kat to train with, especially on a grey day just before a downpour. It would have been pretty easy to roll over and go back to sleep.

Thursday's Cadence workout

Friday I was back in Owatonna, and did a short 10 ride in Kaplan's woods. It has been windy the last couple of days so it was great to be in the protection of the trees. My calf muscle is not completely healed, and I spent a fair amount of time running up the hills.

Friday's workout in Kaplan's Woods

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Last Week or So

Last week was one of those stressful weeks where the race on the weekend served more as a stress reliever than a chance to perform well. On Tuesday we set up a practice course at Washington park and as we were pre-riding what was suppose to be a race simulation, something that felt a little like a big rubber band snapped in my left calf muscle. Needless to say that was the end of the race simulation. The injury does not appear all that bad but the rest of the week was so busy getting ready for the annual lock-in we sponsor for 400 middle school and junior high kids that I did not have another chance to get out riding. So I came in the the race lacking both training and sleep. Still, all and all it was a pretty good race, the course was excellent. It would have been really fast if we had not had as much rain as we have had. As it was it was pretty slow and soggy.

Psyclofest Heart Rate and Speed Data

On Monday Kathy and I had a nice easy ride on the roads around Owatonna. It sure is getting dark early these days. We came in with our lights on. Tuesday I did some easy riding in Kaplan's Woods Park in Owatonna.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Neither Rain nor Snow.....Hummm...... Actually............

I would not be winning any blogging awards lately! But my training is hanging in there pretty well, around rain storms and snow falls anyway. Today was a great day in Iowa, and the plan called for practice starts. Where you get clipped in and go as fast as you can for 90 seconds. We did 2 on pavement, and 5 on the trail north of Black Hawk park. The trail was rough in places with plenty of recently fallen leaves and sticks to make for an interesting time: Tuesday's Bike workout.

Later I did a nice easy run on the trails in Hartman Reserve. I was looking for some hills to run on and there were enough there to get my heart rate high enough. Tuesday's Run.

This past Sunday I raced the Vande Cross in Moline IL. The race was 60 minutes. I think that is the longest cross race I have done. The course was great, I stayed under control for the whole race-- it was a good day! Vande Cross race data

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wow I have not blogged for a long time!

It has been a while, quite a while, since I have written! Since then I have paddled in Yellowstone, and in the San Juan Islands. I have finished the front half of the roof. A new school years is well underway.

As often happens with me in mid to late summer I loose some of my motivation to train, and this year was no different. But I am back riding again, have been for the last few weeks. My first cross race of the year was yesterday, and like most races, I do not measure my accomplishment so much in terms of how I place, if I did I would quit! So I was 7th out of 10. Not all that good of a place but I felt good and I am glad I was there. It always seems that I need some sort of event to keep my riding, or paddling, or whatever going.

Here is my heart rate data from the race.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Kinder Gentler A Group and Saved by a Train

I rode with the Bike Tech "A" group again tonight, and for the first time I pretty much stayed in contact for the whole ride, that's a first. Wel,l I was helped a little by the train that crossed the road east of Finchford, but all the same I did not fall competely off the back (like usually happens :-) We did the Finchford loop, the group pretty much stayed together until the sprint up the hill into Finchford, I couldn't hold the pace and I dropped back into the second group, and stayed there until we caught the leaders waiting for the train. Then the was a nice fast ride into Janesville and back into Cedar falls (The group split in Janesville (I guess some wanted the fun to last a little longer). Tuesday night's group ride

On Monday night I rode out to Dike and around through Hudson and Waterloo for a nice easy 48 miler. (It did wonders for my crabby attitude). Monday night's ride

Saturday I rode with the Owatonna Group. I was lazy and was not able to convince myself to get out of bed to go with Kathy on the 7:00 am coffee ride, so I joined the 9:00 group and we did the 4 churches loop for windy 40 miles. Saturday's ride

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Little Singletrack, and Nice Ride Up and Back

On Wednesday I got out my "vintage" MTB and did a little fat tire riding. John and Kat are getting ready for the Leadville 100, and I am getting ready for "who knows what." Anyway we rode up to the Boy Scout camp and did a lap around the trails on the south side. After a little side trip through the nettles trying to find the south trails). It looks like they have been working on the trails-- they were in great shape. I always forget how fun it is to ride trails like these! With the ride up and back it made for about 35 miles. Wednesday's mountain bike ride

I went back to Owatonna on Thursday afternoon so I was able to ride with the group up there. It was a fairly easy 35 mile ride (after we got about 10 miles of speed out of the way). Thursday night's group ride

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Every year about this time I end up getting really busy with things that interrupt my routine (yes I do sorta have one) and my training takes a big hit. The last couple of weeks I have gotten a lot done-- sculpted a complete set in worship furnishings for an event up at Luther College, made 26 sterling and bronze crosses, preached a sermon every night for most of a week, went camping, paddled my kayak (family speed) in Lake superior. What I haven't done is ride my bike. That's right, it has been almost 2 weeks.

So you might wonder what possessed me to ride with the Cedar Falls "A" group tonight. I am kinda wondering that myself. On a good night, when I am well trained I really can't keep up with them. All-in-all it was a good ride. They slowed down 4 times during the ride, and then they would start off at a pace that was slower than usual for a few miles and than slowly turn on the speed till as Carl described it "your eyes crossed." That happens to me at a much slower speed than it does for Carl!

The ride was a bit over 40 miles and it did feel good to get back in the saddle again. Tuesday Night's route and ride data.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Neither Wheels or Paddles or Even Skis

Ok, this really doesn't have much of anything to do with wheels, paddles, or skis, apart from the fact that I have been working pretty much non-stop on these worship pieces for the last few days and haven't even had time to ride or paddle. Some months ago I agreed to make a set of worship furniture for a youth event at Luther College. Well like usually happens with me, I did give it quite a bit of thought, I even made the large free standing cross a month ago (well to be completely honest it is not free standing yet-- but it well be!)

I decided to confine myself more-or-less to things that were left over from lasts year's serve weather. The wood for the cross came form the Cedar River which flooded, and for the rest I decided to use the wood from a maple tree that blew down at the Center. The problem was, that apart from a large section of the trunk of the maple tree that I used for the top of the altar, the rest was sawn up into firewood sized pieces. That meant finding a way to join the pieces together in a way that would both look good and would be functional. (The top of the altar weighs about 150 pounds, so the base has to be both strong and stable.)

I am happy with the baptismal font stand. The font itself will be a vessel of some sort (I have not seen it yet) that was savaged from Parkersburg last year after the tornado. I am still deciding if I am happy with the altar. I wanted both of these pieces to have a sense of destruction and recreation in them, so there are both sanded and finished surfaces, and split surfaces. The altar base seems a little clunky to me, but it will be good enough for next week, and after that I will either get used to it or rework it later :-)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Austin Race

On Sunday Kathy and I came home via Austin Minnesota and raced in a 25 mile road race there. It was a great day and the conditions were excellent . This race has been grow lately and I think there were about 105 racers in the mass start, including a big group from Silver Cycling in Lakeville, and a group of 26 from Owatonna. That is really a little hard for me to believe that Owatonna could field that many riders!

Kathy won her age class! Yea Kathy!!! It was fun to watch her come across the line.

I am clearly stronger than I used to be on the bike, but I am beginning to think I am dumber too. I felt good for the first half of the race, really good. Hung in with the lead pack, and here is the dumb part I felt so good, about 10 miles into the race, I went off the front with a breakaway group and before I knew it I was leading the breakaway into the wind! dumb, dumb, dumb. Next thing I know I look down at my heart rate monitor and I am at level 5.1! Woah that was not going to last for long, when we switched to a crosswind and then a tail wind I was majorly out of gas, and I sorta limped in about 5 minutes after the winner.

It was a good day and a nice race! It was good to see all of the Owatonna people, and to see this race grow!

A Great Weekend!!

We went camping again this weekend! Wow, second weekend in a row! I have this great friend Steve, and he has this great piece of land down by Lansboro. You would think that going camping on the 4th of July is something that you would need reservations for and would be a invitation to a crowd. Well, for 3 out of the last 4, 4th of July's we have been able to camp "down on the creek," and there has never been another soul around! It is glorious.

Seeing as how there is a nice trout stream running right through the campsite, I did do a little fishing, (I got a MN license, and trout stamp just for the occasion). The fishing was not all that great but I did catch a few. Not bad for the effort I put in. I think I am loosing my "fishing patience" as I grow older. Here is the funny fishing story. So I get caught on the branch on the other side of the stream, and instead of walking across and unhooking it by hand I give the pole a snap, where upon the hook comes right straight at my mouth and hooks itself in my lip (I am thinking that if fish could laugh....

On Saturday Kathy and I got a 50 miler in on the Root River Trail. It was not as busy as we were expecting, but like all trail rides it did have its share of inattentive riders, but I guess that just adds to the excitement.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Ride That Almost Didn't Happen

Kathy and I rode to Lincoln school to meet up with the Owatonna group tonight. We forgot that some were going to head down to Austin to ride the race course for Sunday's race. We are both planning to do the race so Kathy decided to take the last place Larry had is his van and I after a little thought decided to ride home and drive myself down. Problem was Kathy locked the door to the house and had the key. They did come by (I was not sure where the race started in Austin), unfortunately Kathy did not have a key for the house. After I had more-or-less decided that I would have to stay home we realized Kathy did have a key to the car and a drivers license sooo we were off to Austin.

The race course is 25 miles, on some sweet roads north of Austin. We rode an easy ride with Ann, Andrew, Larry, Casey, and Jim. A light breeze out of the north made for a little extra work going out but a fast return when we headed south on the way back. It was a good night and good chance to ride the course before the race! Thursday's Heart Rate and Route data

It looks like there are going to be over twenty people from Owatonna at the race on Sunday-- wow that's a big group! I wonder if there ever have been that many Owatonna folk participating in an out of town race? I guess I better wear my Straight River jersey so that I can be counted as a part of the group.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Two Easy and One Hard

I have had a couple of nice easy rides the last couple of days. John and Kat are getting ready for the Firecracker 50 and the Triple By-Pass in Colorado and they are tapering. Tonight I went on the Bike Tech shop ride, It was pretty big group and they looked fast! They were. I am choosing to measure how I do on these rides based on how long I can stay with the them. Tonight I hung on for about 9 miles, falling off a mile or so from the corner north of Dike. They regrouped there and I was able catch back up with them and stay with for another 4 miles or so. Then I pretty much chased them all the way to Hudson BUT--I could see them almost the whole way that's an improvement over last time! Tuesday night's group ride

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Manatuk is Good!!

I was hoping that there would be big enough waves to give my new surf kayak a try. Today was the day. The wind direction was not all that good (from the southeast) with the waves running more-or-less parallel to the north shore of the lake, but I did find a place on Stoney Point with maybe 2 1/2 foot waves, not the biggest but enough to give it a try.

This Kayak is the 8th one I have built (all Nick Schade designs), but this is the first plywood boat I have made. The Manatuk is a surf specific design, and I put boxes in the bottom for surf board fins (I have no idea if I will need them or not). Like all things I try for the first time it was a bit of a "learning" experience. I messed up the stain and ended up painting the boat. I installed the center fin box too far back so I might have to add another in front someday if it is a problem.

It seems to surf well. In my full sized sea kayaks, as soon as they start to gather momentum on the front of a wave, they lose their stability and want to go sideways and roll. This little 8 1/2 footer seems to track right down the front of the wave. I will be anxious to get it out in some bigger waves but so far it feels great!!! I am glad I made it.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Today Had None of yesterday's Amenities

Well our plan for today was to get up early and ride to Grand Marais. That would have been about a 170 mile round trip. Well, today was not yesterday. Instead of warm, sunny, and calm-- it was cold, rainy, and windy, so we slept in. Then we went and got coffee and, the bears be damned, we took it right into the tent and drank it, (we were in a campground inside the city limits of Two Harbors). Finally about 10:00 we decided to give it a try, from Gooseberry to Little Marais instead, a much shorter ride-- about 60 miles total.

We drove up to Gooseberry State park so we could start on the Gitchi-Gami trail, and headed off in a light rain and medium head wind. Kathy was pretty sure that the reason we did not see anyone on the trail was how steep the hills were. There were a lot of steep bike trail signs to be sure, but I was thinking that it was the fact that it was windy, and wet, and cold. OK I better admit it. For years I have been likely to tell people how I used to call Kathy on the phone at work (which is inside and has no windows) and mention to her that it was raining or whatever and she would tell me "no, it says right here on Well today we were in the tent deciding what to do and I pulled up Accuweather on my Iphone to look at the radar to see what the rain was doing. I could get Two Harbors to come up but for some reason the radar image would not. She was commenting on how cold it was, and I said-- "no it is not all that cold, it is 75, it says so right here on my Iphone..... Ooops, she pointed out that you can't see your breath when it is 75

We rode up the length of the trail, and then on toward Little Marais on the North shore drive, This road varies from being a good bike friendly road with a nice wide shoulder-- to a narrow 2 foot wide path between the white line and the guard rail. There was a nice shoulder heading out of Silver bay, but it ended a few miles north of Ilgen City, so we turned around a little early, making for a 52 mile ride.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sea Kayaking on Lake Superior

Kathy has not been sea kayaking all that much lately and we have a trip to the San Juan Islands planned for September so I really wanted to get her on the water and have it be a good experience. Today was the day! We put in at Split Rock Creek (might be river, but it was creek sized as far as I could tell.) and paddled up around the lighthouse to the Madeira wreck site, and back, (about 8 miles). The wind was calm, the water cold, and the sun was bright-- can't get much better than this on Lake Superior.

I had not put in at Split Rock creek before, and I really wanted to save the State Park sticker and the special entrance fee they charge to get into the light house area. BUT this did take a little work-- dragging the kayaks about 75 yards down to the creek (and more to the point back up when we were done), and going under the highway, and out into the lake.

The lake was pretty much calm as glass for most of the paddle up and around the lighthouse. After getting Kathy's skeg down she was able to paddle just as straight as me :-) (The kayak she was paddling has a lot of rocker and so it turns really well but it does not like to go straight).

It was a great day! Tomorrow we are planning to bike up the North Shore drive for a long (maybe very long) road bike.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

An Even Hotter Day in Iowa

These last few days have been really hot! Tuesday's ride was easy. A nice 35 mile recovery ride in levels 1 and 2. You know it is humid when you pour water over your head in the middle of the ride and it does not get any cooler.Tuesday's Data

Thursday I did hill intervals with Kat in the morning on Lookout drive. These were quick 30 second sprints, but this is the steepest hill I know of in Cedar Falls and between the heat and the steepness, I was ready to stop after 20. Thursday Morning's hill intervals

I was back in Owatonna Thursday evening supposedly getting ready for out trip to lake Superior for a long weekend of paddling and riding. Kathy really wanted to ride with the group for a little while (ended up being 38 miles. I rode on Todd's wheel for about 14 miles or so, and then he just pedaled away from me (like usually happens :-), after that I slowed up a bit and rode back into town with Kathy and the "B" riders. Thursday Evening's group ride

Monday, June 22, 2009

It's Hot in Iowa

It was hot in Iowa, I think the distortion on my Iphone camera is about right for today, a little bit like melting. One of things I really like about biking, as compared to running on a day like today is that it is still relatively comfortable on a bike in spite of the heat and humidity. You just have to keep the water going through. Today's ride was a 50 miler with an hour's worth of level 3 speeds in the middle 10 minutes, 30 minutes, and 20 minutes. For the first 2 I drafted behind John and Kat, coming out into the wind when my Heart rate dropped below 3. The last one I did myself, and of course I was quite a bit slower (but my heart rate was higher). Monday's Data

Saturday, June 20, 2009

100K and Get Me To The Church On Time

I was really wanting to get a long ride today in today, but I really had a wedding I had to officiate at, at 4:00. I met up with John and Kat and we headed west of town and into a light wind. They were planning to get 5 hours of saddle time in, I was hoping to get 100km in before my wedding at 4. after a couple hours, I turned south and headed into Parkersburg and then zig zagged the gravel roads on the way back watching both the time and the distance. I got back to town with 65 miles, and time to spare. It was a great day for a ride!! I seem to appreciate good weather even more considering how likely it has been to rain on my bike ride lately. Saturday's Ride

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Back in the Kayak Again

Between Thunder storms I got a 10 mile or so kayak in today on the Wapsipinicon river. My friend Reece saw a nice Burl that he had to have when he was paddling there a couple of weeks ago. I volunteered to help, as it turned out it was a pretty good paddle as well. We put in quite a ways down stream of the drift wood in question, passing under a couple of bridges before we got to it. I towed it about a half mile (that was a pretty good paddling workout in itself) and then left it under a bridge that we could drive to so that I would not have to tow it the whole way back to the truck, it was a lot of work especially when the heavy piece of wood when aground, which happened fairly often. Anyway it was a good paddle. Then came the strength training part, rolling that great big hunk of wet wood up the bank and lifting it into Reece's pickup. It was a good day all in all, so much fun that I forgot to take any pics.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Race Paced Intervals

Today's intervals were longer. Long enough that I would not be able to stay above my LT for the length of the interval. They were suppose to be sub threshold efforts for 20 minutes. My data looks like I was on the low side of zone 4 top of zone 3 most of the time. If I have my zones figured correctly (which I may not have) I should have been working a little harder today! This workout felt good-- I was noticing the lag between my effort and my heart rate today. Most of the time I was drafting behind John or Kat and then I would come out into the wind to "adjust" the resistance to keep my heart rate at the right level, but I would have to come back into the draft before my HR got to the right level or it would continue to rise for 30 seconds or so even though I was drafting, and I had to come out of the draft well before my heart got down to the bottom of the range or it would continue to drop for a while even while I was out in the wind.
Wednesday's workout

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Mysterious Case of the Foaming Shorts

Today was my first workout after the team time trial on Sunday-- I did have a couple of 3 mile power walks with my daughter, but I am not really counting them. Today's workout was 15, 30 second hill sprints which we did in the rain on the trails around Prairie Lake. There probably would have been too many people out and about on the trails to do intervals there if the weather was better, but today, apart from a few die hard fisher folk, we were the only ones around. I felt remarkably good today! Tuesday's interval workout data.

The strange thing about today was the way my bike shorts oozed foam! There are pictures of this phenomenon but I am not going to post them. John and Kat did seem to enjoy telling me that my hind end was dripping foam, and apparently, the harder I worked the more foam I produced. In retrospect I am thinking that the problem could be a faulty rinse cycle last night when I washed the shorts, but of course one cannot be completely sure...

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I have never done a team time trial, and I was not really planning on doing this one. I had agreed to coordinate the volunteers for the race. There was always a possibility that I might race, but as of about a week ago we had found a group of 4 to make up a 3rd Bike Tech team, and I was thinking that it would probably be best is if focused on the volunteers and not on racing. Well Landon and Richard showed up at the race, and John had suggested that I bring my bike along just in case. Well with the three of us we could make a team-- we just couldn't have a flat tire lol. I am certain that I was the weakest link in our last minute team, but we seemed to work pretty well as a team (I am hoping I was not too much of a boat anchor for them!) We averaged a little better than 22 mph on the 58 mile course, which for me is exceptional.

I forgot to hit the record button on my GPS so the data is only for the 2nd and 3rd laps. I was able to keep my effort under control for the whole race-- mid to high level 4 when I was pulling, and then (and this surprised me) I was able to drop to level 2-3 in the draft. Sunday's race data.

Friday, June 12, 2009

La Porte Friday

Today's ride was a nice 40 mile recovery ride. I met some new folks-- Jack and Liz, along with Dave and Kat we rode south and east of Waterloo on some great roads that were new to me. It was a great day and a great ride, apart from Davey being taken out by a motley pack of attach dogs a little west of La Porte.

There was a time, not so long ago when almost all of my ride time was like this-- fairly low intensity, wait for a warm day without much wind. This year has upped my intensity a bit, and that is great BUT--Today felt great! Friday's ride

Ok, I admit it, I am a little enthralled with all of the information that I can access from the Garmin 305 wrist GPS I usually have mounted on my handlebars. So I thought hmmmm-- I'll bet I can find the actual place and time where the dogs attached by looking at the data (I could). Then I thought hummm maybe I can get a better map maybe even a satelite photo of the location (I could). Maybe I have read too many spy novels in the past......

Thursday, June 11, 2009

2 Ride Thursday

This morning I rode with John and Kat for a short ride with a few hill sprints. Thursday morning's workout. They are getting ready to race the team time trial that the racing club is putting on this Sunday. I am helping with the volunteers and not racing so I really did not need to taper so I decided I would ride with the Thursday night "B" group. Problem was that there was no "B" group there was just Carl, and Steve, and Craig, and two of the trio that I am thinking Carl described as the "no mercy" crew in one of his last posts. I was hoping to hang on til we got out of town lol. I was able to stay with them till the SE corner of the Finchford loop, and then I was off the back. When I got back and looked at my HR data from the Thursday night ride it was not as high as I was thinking it might have been. I am not sure what that was about, but I have not rode with the A group before and I am thinking I was suffering a little from "the little engine that couldn't :-) but it was a nice evening and the wind was at my back on the way back into town, so what could be better?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Intervals and Drills

Today's workout was intervals and drills. We used the roads in George Wyth State park (they seem to be our flat course of choice for intervals lately). We started with 1o x 10 second intervals with 50 second recoveries and then 8 x 1 minute intervals with 1 minute of recovery, ending with 8 sets of one foot drills, (1 minute right foot, 1 minute left, 1 minute recovery). These are getting a little easier for me but are still hard especially for the last 20 seconds or so when form seems to fall apart especially on the top portion of the stroke.
Wednesday's workout.

Tomorrow will be an easier day-- John and Kat are going to do a quick tapper for the Team Time Trial that Bike Tech Racing club is putting on this Sunday. I will be coordinating volunteers and so I do not plan to race, but an easier day will be OK :-)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Race Simulation

Today's workout was a race simulation in Geo Wyth State Park. Karman joined Kat and John and I for a 30 minute level 4+ effort. Right about the time we got around the first lap a big group of elementary students walked up the bike path and stopped at the playground equipment next to our race course, so there were so children to watch out for everytime we went around the loop. eventually I figured out that it made more sense to go up on the road and ride around them. All in all, it was a good ride and from my data, it looks like I stayed a little more under control this week than last: Tuesday's race simulation.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Too Much Thursday

I have gotten a little behind on blogging the last few days. Thursday was a fairly intense day of training for me. In the morning I rode with John and Kat and we did anaerobic endurance intervals on a C-57 north of Cedar Falls. The plan actually calls for a hill that is quite a bit steeper than we can find around here, but the main issue seemed to be getting back down to the bottom within the 3 minutes of recovery time that were planned between each interval. The workout was 3 x 3 minute, 3 x 2 minute, and 3 x 1 minute intervals with 3 minutes of recovery between each. It sure does help to do this sort of thing with other people! Thursday morning's workout data

On Thursday night I was back in Owatonna , and the group that showed up was big-- 25 plus. I ended up riding pretty hard again in the evening this made for a day just short of 80 miles with quite a bit of intensity-- enough intensity that I fell asleep trying to write this blog Thursday night lol! Thursday evening's group ride

My collection of kayaks has not been getting much use so far this year. I have been having a shoulder issue that has really been showing itself when I have been shingling the roof. It has been bad enough that I was not sure that I could paddle, so I have been avoiding paddling completely so far this year. This week I finally tested that concern. I needed to collect a little Cedar River drift wood for a cross that I needed to make for an event up at Luther later this summer. I paddled upstream about 2 1/2 miles and then back down-- it was OK

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


The thing that is most different in the bike training that I am doing this year is that the workouts are not simply going out for a ride, sometimes hard, sometimes easy. They are much more structured and much more planned. In general I feel like my strength is better than usual but my endurance is not as good as it might be (I really have not been getting in as many long level 2-3 rides as I think I should).

Today the workout was intervals, 10 x 10 second intervals with 50 seconds of recovery. These seem to be short enough that your heart cannot catch up with the "on" portion of the interval, but today I did find myself feeling the lactic acid building in my legs in the last 3rd of them.
These were followed with 8 x 1 minute intervals with 1 minute of recovery. These are mentally much harder to do and I found myself "falling off" especially in the second to the last one where I was in Kat's draft.

After that we did pedal drills 60 rotations with only one pedal, followed by 60 with the other pedal, followed by 60 with both. I think I was suppose to have done 8 of these but the HR data looks like I only did 6 :-). These drills are much harder than I would have imagined. I seem to start off nice and smooth and them sometime after 30-40 rotations my pedaling gets very uneven at the top of the stroke and try as I might my leg seems to resist what my mind would have it do! Wednesday's workout data

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Graduation Party and a Little Biking and More Links then I Ever Have Posted

It really has been a little difficult to get much quality biking in lately-- roofing, painting, party preparations, the list of what else needs to be done is really long these days. Kathy and I had a good ride last Thursday evening with the Owatonna group, and the local paper came out to write a story about the Tuesday/Thursday group. Kathy is pretty much the longest active member these days. The Photo is from the Owatonna People's Press Article.

Saturday we took a little time from the last minute preparations for Kaia's party and rode in Carver's Death Race. The truth is my mind was not really in this race-- not that that would have made all that much difference, but I was thinking about all of the things I still had to get done that day. Anyway I got to ride this 25 mile, unofficial, unsanctioned, race with my good friend Kent. We have not done all that much together lately-- but he used to be my adventure race partner for a race we used to compete in, in Duluth every September, so we crossed the finish line together (5 & 6 of not that many). My Data from Saturday's race.

Today I met up with John and Kat. We did a 30 minute MTB race simulation on a loop in George Wyth State part that we used last year for cyclocross training quite a bit. It is a pretty flat loop but it is definitely off-road with a couple of technical issues to practice on. It was suppose to be a level 4 effort, I started out a little too strong, probably above my lactate threshold for the first 4 laps and then went a little harder for about 4 more (trying to keep up with Kat who looked really strong today!), and then my lactate level must have caught up with me and I dropped right to the high end of level 4 (what I calculate to be my lactate threshold). Tuesday's MTB race simulation

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back in Iowa, and Time to Breathe

The last few days have been pretty much dedicated to painting, roofing, and general preparation for Kaia's graduation party next Sunday. So finding both the time and the energy to ride have been a little difficult for the last week or so.

Kathy and I rode with the Owatonna Group on Tuesday night, for me it was mostly a Level 3 low level 4 ride which after a day of roofing meant my legs had done just about all they were capable of on Tuesday! It is pretty hard to take a good picture on the fly with an Iphone-- You have to hit a virtual shutter button on the side of the other side on the phone while pedaling, and steering, and hoping you don't drop the darn thing. Anyway, I got Dave and Jim and my shoulder lol. But there is a nice advertisement for My Friend Richard's B&B in Washington Iowa if you are ever in the area....

I have got a first layer of Carbon fiber on the bike frame now, I have decided that I will need to let the first couple of layers fully cure so the I can fill and fair out the imperfections that have become apparent now the the core is covered with CF. I have been trying to figure out a way to bond the dropouts to the top stays and chain stays. I chose Nova Cycle dropouts I did because they are set up for disk brakes. The issue is that I think they were really meant to be welded to an aluminum frame. The challenge is that I have to find a way to wrap them with CF well enough that they are not going to be a weak point. They have a ridge to strengthen them and that makes a sharp corners that is difficult to get the CF to wrap around. I have been thinking about this ever since I first attached them to the frame. Here is what I am trying, first I thickened some epoxy with fumed colloidal silica (my universal thickening agent of choice) to fill take up some of the space. I made some temporary inserts out of a couple pieces of bungee cord wrapped with electrical tape then I folded the CF around the corner and taped it into place-- more to come lol