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 weather.com... 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