Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tempo on Wednesday Owatonna on Thursday

Thursday Night I rode with the Owatonna group. It ended up being a pretty intense evening with me barely able to hang on Todd's wheel. He is really riding strong this year! He just peddled away from me at about mile 13 and I never saw him again, or anybody else for that matter.

Thursday Night's Data

Great ride Wednesday morning! 40 minutes in zone 3. My average HR was right where it should have been-- 163, mid zone 3 for me. Following John and Kat, I did find my heart rate accordioning a bit. It would drop into zone 2 going down hill, and would climbing into zone 4 on the hills as I tried to get back on Kat's wheel.

Wednesday's Data

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Back to the Intensity

I had planned to do the Ironman century ride yesterday, but the weather was cold, wet, and windy so Kathy and I stayed home.

As of today our training plan has us back into the intervals. Doug joined Kat, John and I today we started with 5x15 second max effort intervals into the wind, then 5x15 on the Walnut street hill, then 2 5x15 sets on Lookout hill. That makes 20. The thing about these short intervals is that it can be hard for me to mentally push myself to max effort when I am a little less than completely motivated (as was the case today), and they are so short a pulse monitor does not really give much of an indication of effort the way it does with a longer interval.
John and Doug

On the frame building front, I am continuing to fair and pull the foam into shape. The other home build CF frames I have seen have straight chain and seat stays. In this design they are bent. I cut them to shape but needed to find a way to make them both symmetrical and bring them to the right curve. To do this I laminated a 3/4" strip of 4 oz S-cloth (lightweight, fiberglass) to the inside of the chain stay, and them used blocks to push them into a wooden form that I cut to the right curve.

After the Resin set, it looks like this worked!! Now I will haveto repeat this with the seat stays.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

a Nice Ride and Some Metal Work

Today was cold and wet. It is suppose to be colder, and wetter, and windier tomorrow so we probably will not be doing the Ironman century ride. there was a break in the weather this afternoon and Kathy and I were able to get out for a nice low intensity 35 mile ride.

On the bike frame front I put together a jig to hold the foam core while I laminate the Carbon Fiber. I modified the basic plan for the jig that Marc Pfister posted on Instructables. He entitled it "The Simplest Bicycle frame Building Jig I could come up with." His jig is really designed for welding or brazing a frame. Mine is not quite as simple as his, I modified it to have a more clearance to get the carbon cloth on the backside. I am still figuring out the fixtures that I will use to hold the foam is place at the seat post, headset tube, bottom bracket shell, and the rear dropouts. I am thinking I will cover it with plastic wrap before I use it. so that all of the nice adjustment features of this design do not find themselves expoxied in place.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

An Easy, Windy Day

Still in the midst of a recovery week, my ride with john and Kat this morning was suppose to be a level 2 effort, but it ended up being about 1/3 in level 3. After the race last Sunday I have moved my training zones up a bit, I was able to maintain fairly level HR at about 181 for more than 30 minutes (Sunday's data). So I was not exactly sure where I was at when I looked at my pulse monitor. The real reason had more to do with trying to keep up with John and Kat, on gravel and hills into the wind....

This evening I rode with the Owatonna group. It was a good ride, in spite of the wind blowing steadily at just under 30 mph. Kathy did a great job of drafting and we were able to keep up with the lead group all evening. When we got home Linnea was putting the finishing touches on the best homemade pizza I have ever had: Pizza Recipe.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Easy Week of Training

This is a recovery week in my training plan so I just did an easy 20 miler today on my cross bike. I did pretty much the same thing yesterday. It felt good to just go out and ride easy in the sunshine (and the wind on Monday).

I am starting to carve the foam core for the MTB frame. I couple of things that I am re-learning. Styrofoam is easy to find but not so easy to carve and fair. I am using 2" Dow Blue Board for this attempt, and it is working though not quite as well as I would like. I just ordered some 1" polyurethane foam sheets, from Aircraft Spruce for attempt #2. For now, I have a styrofoam core cut and I am in to delicate process of fairing it. It looks like having a foam core is going to add about weigh 4 ounces extra unless I decide to dissolve it out when I am done. It is going to take some creative thinking to get the eccentric chain and seat stays into position before they are laminated.

Chain Stay blocks attached.
Styrofoam core carved, fairing begun.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ok Call Me a Fool

Well to understand this latest plan, you have to know something about me. I am both a technique junkie and someone who believes that I can do just about anything if I put my mind to it. The first sea kayak I ever paddled I built from scratch. A longtime ago when I decide that the wood carving tools I wanted were too expensive, I found and anvil and a forge and made them myself. Same with bronze casting. I figured, that if Paul Grandlund (a sculptor who lived in my home town) could cast bronze, so could I. So began and extended period of trial and error where I built a foundry and taught myself lost wax casting.

Soooo when the money that we were setting aside for Kathy's new carbon fiber road bike went as an added contribution to this year's taxes, the old-- maybe I can do it myself mantra kicked in. After all I have been making composite kayaks for about 10 years now. The internet is such a great resource for someone like me. I actually found a couple of guys who have DIY'ed composite bike frames already: How I Made a Carbon Fiber Bike in my Garage and How I Made My Carbon Frame at Home. Now It usually takes me a couple of trials to get what I am looking for and in this case something that I am confident enough in to ride. I am starting with a MTB frame for myself first. (I would much rather have a frame fail under me at MTB speeds than have a road frame go under my wife!). So we will see, the jig is underconstruction, The dropouts, bottom bracket shell, and the headset tube are on the way. The foam for the core is ready to be cut.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My First Criterium

Today I did my first criterium today at Eagle Point park in Dubuque IA today. The last time I did anything close was when we used to race on Tuesday Nights in Fargo, and that was 30 years ago! The good news is that I did not crash or cause any crashes, the not so good news was that I was 7th out of 8. But hey I was the oldest Cat 5 rider there today, 20-30 years older than most (notice how I can put a good spin on even the most unimpressive of results). Actually it was a lot of fun. I ended up pulling the second oldest rider around the course for most of 8 laps and then he out sprinted my at the finish, but what the heck, I really just do this sort of thing for my mental health!

The really interesting thing for me today was my heart rate. It was consistant for 35 minutes at almost 180, and during the sprint at the end it was 191. Wow I did not know the old thing would still beat that fast!! My heart rate data for today. This means lactate threshold is probably higher than the 169 I have been using this spring.

We had 6 riders from the Bike Tech team at Eagle Point today, this is my friend Mike leading in the Cat 4 race:

Wow Look at That Vintage Jersey

Kathy thought it would be a great idea if I came home on Thursday night to ride with the Owatonna, group and do a little yard work on Friday. I had an all day meeting on Saturday, and It looked like it was going to be a great day, and she was willing to take it off from work.

I my usual haste to make get out of Cedar Falls, I forgot to bring along a jersey. So far this year it has been cold enough that I was wearing a fleece top under my jacket-- well Thursday night and Friday were way too nice to wear fleece so I really had to dig to the bottom of the drawer to come up with this long retired jersey.

I used to think that it was really out of style-- now I am thinking wow look at that vintage jersey from those days when helmets were styrofoam with lycra covers, and I was not as old and fat as I am now. As it turns out Kathy had just cleaned out her desk at work and found this photo, it is from the Chequamegon 40 in 1990 I think: Ben is 26 now and Linnea 24, but low and behold I was just as bald then as I am now.

This was a pretty intense week of training for me sprintervals in the cemetery with John and Kat on Thursday morning. A fast 20 miles on the wheels of Todd and Dave on Thursday night (so fast that I dropped off after 20 miles and rode in by myself :-) Friday was a nice recovery ride with Kathy, and a beautiful day.

Workout links:
Thursday Morning
Thursday Evening
Friday Afternoon

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wow the Weather is Getting Nice

The weather has been getting nice! I think this is my favorite time of year, cool but not cold, warm but not hot. I have been getting some good rides in the last few days!

Saturday was the largest group ride I have seen in Owatonna since the mid 80's. I counted 18! we headed South of town to Hope and then west to 218 and back into Town for about 30 miles. It was a nice ride a little intensity as Tom and I chased leaders on the way out, then I rode with Kathy on the way back into town. Saturday's route and data.

Rain Monday kept me off the road, Tuesday was hill intervals, and I followed my friends John and Kat as they worked on cornering for their up coming citeriums. We did about 40 short 20 second hill repeats in this workout. I am remembering the first time I rode with John and Kat, it was last year, on the same hills, I think I went around about 3 or 4 times and decided I had enough.... Tuesday's Workout

Today was a tempo workout. It was suppose to be 30-40 minutes in zone 3. For me it was more like zone 4. John and Kat are certainly in great shape! With the extra intensity, I was able to stay on Kat's wheel for the whole 40 minutes. The last time we dd this workout I fell so far off the back that I did not even see them when they got back to town :-) Wednesday's Workout

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tempo, Sprintervals, and Recovery

Wednesday brought a nice tempo ride with John and Kat. John led the way into a moderate head wind, Kat was on his wheel and I was on her's. We moved in an out of the draft to get the right wind resistance to keep our heart rates in zone 3. When we turned and headed back in with the wind I dropped behind-- surprise! my level 3 is not John and Kat's level 3. It was a good ride!

Thursday was 4 sets of Joe Friel's sprintervals-- 3 x 15 second max effort sprints followed by a 3 minute max effort interval. These felt pretty good today. I still feel like my endurance is lagging behind my strength. Great day to ride, nice to see the sun!

Friday was a nice recover ride with Kathy. I tried to keep my effort in zone 2. There was a pretty strong wind out of the NNE. It was a lot easier coming home than it was going out!

Routes and Data:

Wednesday's Tempo ride
Thursday's Sprintervals
Friday's Recovery Ride

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

You know its Spring When the Snow Storms Only Last a Day

Sunday brought snow! enough to make it hard to drive. I thought it was going to take a while for the roads to clear, but I was wrong!

Monday afternoon was such a surprise to me. It was looking pretty good. The roads were clear, the temperature was not too cold. The wind was blowing about 25 mph out of the NNW but the day was too much of a gift pass up. So the level 3 ride that was on my plan meant a 12 mph ride out to Finchford and Janesville, following by a 24 mph ride back.

Tuesday Mornings plan was hill intervals 30x 20 second all out sprints. John, Kat, Dave, and I rode on Walnut street and circled around the block for 1:40 rests. I am still feeling strong, but my endurance sure has a ways to go!

Routes and Data:
Monday's Ride
Tuesday's Ride
Dave Heading up the hill

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Before the Snow Falls

I had a couple of good rides so far this weekend. Friday evening was calm and cool, Kathy and I went for a 20 miler with some of the Owatonna usuals. Well they really are some of the new usuals. The funny thing about groups that you have ridden with for a long time is that they have a way of changing both members and personalities. This is a fine group of folks to ride with, but it is different.

There are people I can't keep up with at the moment, I used to have to go out of town for that honor (I never have been all that fast, so I never had to go very far out of town) but now..... I can just show up for one of the rides in Owatonna, and have to push zone 5 just to hang on someone's wheel. And there are people who I don't see on bicycles much anymore-- well I guess that is the way of it.

Saturday's ride felt like we were sneaking in ahead of the storm. There were 11 people out for this first shop ride of the season. It was a nice ride but the clouds off to the west were building and the temperature was dropping, and there was a distinct feeling of snow in the air. After the ride I came down to Cedar Falls a day early to get ahead of the predicted snow. From the sounds of it I maybe should have put the ski box back on the car-- I hope the weather wizards are wrong about the snow

Friday and Saturday's ride details:
Friday's ride
Saturday's ride

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A New Plan and Some New Motivation

Ok I downloaded a new plan so that I can be prepared for my morning rendevous' with John and Kat at Cup of Joe's. Being something of a follower I think I will follow Joe Friel's Build, Peak, Race for Criterium, Under 50; Even though I have never raced a criterium and I am no longer under 50 lol. Here is what I can tell from my tagging along with them today: My strength is not too bad (I was right there on the short 20 second intervals.) But my endurance is miserable!! (I pretty much lost sight of them by the end of the 3 minute intervals!!

Well I am getting ready for the imaginary criteriums that I am not planning to race

Here is a sumary of today's ride: Thursday's intervals