Friday, July 29, 2011


Had the pleasure today of getting out for the "Apple Friday Lunch Ride". Nice ride with 6 of us, Magdalena, Stonebrook, Elena. I should ride Elena NB more, a good place to work on your descents without going way up the mountain.

27k of climbing in July. Good stuff. This has been a rough couple of weeks on the home front with my wife working, but have snuck in some riding including a route around SF going up some steep hills (was defeated on Dalewood - I was in full on paperboy and a car came up from behind and I had to bail). My weight is steady at 193.

I really need to find a time to go ahead and try to do a fast OLH.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Calaveras, 7/20/11

Went to Calaveras this AM with Jason Thorpe and Dan Steffan.

We rode a brisk pace, including the climb over Dublin Canyon as a prelude. As we approached the climb I debated how to deal with it. I decided I wasn't really feeling "super" so maybe I'd try to follow Jason's wheel and then see how it went.

Instead we got to Geary and Dan, who was in front, slowed just a fraction and off I went. I actually felt pretty decent so I just kept going.

Result - 11:36 for the listed climb of "Calaveras, South to Summit" 2.8 miles at 3.8 percent grade, a PR by 25 seconds. Good stuff. I felt slow on the rollers following but that was a PR as well. Now, I haven't been out there since February and the PR was in November, but a PR is a PR. And it was a good overall workout - 50 miles in 3 hours including a coffee stop, with 2400 feet of climb.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chain Reaction Shop Ride, 7/7/11

My wife has been out of town for 2 weeks so I didn't get a ton of riding in lately. The first week I managed a few rides down to SSF or Belmont at snail's pace, having had enough trouble getting my son to daycare that I missed all the rush hour Caltrains and had an hour to burn. The second week I did almost no riding other than my typical commute, sneaking in only a trip to Los Altos to pick up my AV kit and getting a quick spin through Rancho San Antonio and going up Mora Trail (steep!)

I did get some good riding in on a Sonoma weekend in between her two weeks, doing 2 rides with my buddies. I decided that I would not attack unless attacked, and then I'd see what I could do. I felt *very* comfortable - amusing given I am always feeling dread on the SF2G rides which have gotten harder and harder and harder. On the small climb up Canyon Road @BOORider put in a dig to give some guff to a triathlete who was weaving across the road in his aerobars, I followed and was really feeling not too bad. Then Troy cracked, and I decided to see what I had left. Amazingly, my legs responded. Not bad.

The next day we went up Mill Creek Road and I had a similar strong day on that climb, including the super steep section at the top.

This week, I was able to get some riding in. I did a set of small hills on Tuesday - Jefferson/Page to Moody/Mora/Mt Eden. I did try to push the Jefferson climb and came up 3 seconds shy of the PR. Somewhat annoying since that was set the day before the Hamilton climb and I've been doing a lot of riding. Within the Strava Error seen on Dan's blog, but still frustrating. Then again I was going from a couple of weeks off.

One thing that's been interesting about this year's training, is that while various climbs I do have allowed me to track progress on PR's via Strava, I don't have a lot of comparison to previous periods of personal fitness. I have several sheets of paper in a box that have the PR's from the 2000-2003 era, where I was making steady progress before various life events slowed things down. But I hadn't really climbed any of those climbs other than the one OLH I did a few months back that showed me I was doing "OK". And that was done on a day I felt very very tired.

So this AM, I went on the CR Shop ride that goes up Kings Mtn. I hadn't been up Kings in the last couple of years. The climb seemed very very long - it's a lot longer than the climbs I typically do (Jefferson, John Daly to Highway 1 merge, Polhemous). I started out on the wheel of the shop owner's son Kevin, the shop blog seemed to indicate that Kevin was a negative splitter which might just be what I wanted to do. But about 1/4 of the way up I went ahead and rode past him - he dropped out of sight for a bit but lo and behold he was maybe 5 seconds behind me at the top.

Anyway, got to work and did the download. 28:28 from Tripp to the top. I was pretty sure that was in the range of my old PR. Got home, pulled out the old sheets of paper, dug around, and saw that my old PR was... 28:28. I think I could go faster, we started pretty slow. For reference in the same month as that PR, I did my OLH PR of 20:41.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Skyline ride, 6/14

Did a solid Skyline ride today on the heels of a solid week last week with over 200 miles. Last week inlcuded the Thursday Pen Velo ride, was good to go mix it up on one of these informal race like group rides, to assess not only fitness (coming along ok) and comfort among the wheels (not so great - I messed up the turn from Sand Hill to Whiskey Hill pretty badly and wasn't doing the best job of making sure the rotating paceline on Canada went smooth).

So this AM's ride, there were 2 primary hard efforts, a trip up Skyline Drive and Polhemous Road - to which we added the steep rollers on Hallmark and Crestview on the end. I chopped some nice time off my PR for both climbs - from 8:42 to 8:23 on Polhemous thanks in large part to a nice leadout from James VZ, and took 5 seconds (2:14 to 2:09) off my time on the steep section. And I didn't even really feel that fresh.

Weight has stayed steady to maybe dropping a bit to 193. So we're doing pretty good.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Couple of tough rides this week.

On Tuesday I got out and rode a few climbs in the South Bay. I went up Jefferson via Highland, which has been as close to a benchmark as I have, and managed to break the 10 minute barrier, lopping 5 seconds off my PR. I cruised through Portola Valley and since I was feeling good, took it hard across Arastradero and despite a headwind, took a few seconds off that PR. I ended up on Mt Eden and had a decent climb, cracking towards the top but was 30 something seconds faster than a year ago on a 4 minute climb. This all served to spin my legs up for Wednesday's main course.

On Wednesday myself and 7 other crazies hit the BART station at 5 AM and went out to Dublin to take on Mines Road and the backside of Mt Hamilton. I had done this ride exactly one year earlier so this would provide an interesting comparison. We rolled out towards Mines and hit the first climb shortly after the turnoff to Lake Del Valle.

I felt pretty uncomfortable on this one but that was OK because the pace was really quite fast. There wasn't a lot of chatting, and I was going to have to dig to stay with the group as we had assembled a really tough crew. I came over the top in 11:03, which is actually on the front page for the Strava segment (that won't last as there will be a lot of people riding this road very hard next week when the Amgen Tour comes through). Unfortunately this was 5 seconds off from the front 6 riders. I struggled to close the gap, and each time I got close, we'd hit some little roller and Brooks would hammer over the roller and open the gap back up. There are about a mile of rollers and by the end of them I was 20 seconds back. That meant I wouldn't see anyone for the next 15 miles or so. Fortunately Bret Lobree also got popped on the rollers so we had each other for company and even looked at a bit of the scenery. My time up that initial climb and rollers was 10-15 percent faster than the year before, so that's pretty good.

We regrouped at the junction and collected our thoughts for the test ahead. There are 2 little 1 mile or so pitches before the main event. The first one is a timed Strava climb held by Ammon Skidmore on last years ride where he really flew up this climb. Last year I was 9:12 on this climb, this year 7:27 despite misjudging the summit (my colleagues saw the true summit and attacked through the top). I felt pretty good on the second lead in as well, and we regrouped at the bridge.

I was feeling pretty worked at this point and when we started up the backside I threw in the towel and didn't try to follow the leaders. Nonetheless at my own tempo I did the 4.3 mile 8.4% climb in 39.32, 7 minutes faster than last year. I really felt undergeared (the leaders were all running compacts) - which meant I was VERY undergeared last year. I'm really pleased with this effort. Also pleased by chopping my time on the 19 mile descent from 59 minutes to 50 minutes. A lot of that was being better able to deal with the intermediate climbs but I didn't really lose sight of the lead group until said intermediate climbs. Overall a great day out on the bike and a confirmation of the hard work this year.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Back on the bike

Had a nice trip to Illinois and came back rested. Last week had some amusing rides, I flatted early on Monday and had to shorten the ride, on Tuesday I put a nail through my rim and had to abort. I did get a brisk bayway in on Wednesday, but not much else due to some other issues with sick wife and dog and kid. Nonetheless I really felt good.

Monday I went up Mount San Bruno via the backside with the group and had a good climb. I led out the 2nd group up the road and despite taking the wind had a PR by 35 seconds. The ride stayed fast in the flats and I felt very comfortable.

Tuesday AM I ended up getting very congested and didn't even go to work. This was starting to get annoying, did all the rest but having all my riding sabotaged. Then I ended up having several beers with an out of town friend who came in for a visit. So what better idea than to get up at 6 AM the next morning and ride hungover and sick!

I did make it out, and we went back up Mt San Bruno, this time via Crocker and threw in the Pack Saddle dirt loop. Fun! Despite feeling like I had been beaten over the head with a stick I had a decent climb up Crocker and felt very comfortable with the fairly fast group, even taking a flyer on Bayshore at the end. Not the best of ideas overall but you only live once.

Today I got out and rode up Jefferson and on to work. 10:20 up Jefferson, 3rd fastest, despite the lingering cold and carrying a backpack with shorts and 2 "Epic Burritos". I sprinted up the Arastradero bump past Page Mill and PR'ed even with the pack, and did the same on the Dirt Robleda path. My legs feel great even though my head is a bit foggy. We're doing fine.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Weds 4/20 - easy SM to Work

Took the train and did a quick easy 35 mile ride from San Mateo to work with the Google group, staying away from the front with great tactical astuteness. Put on knickers and brought out the Red Lemond to enforce "knocking around" feel and went out on the Moffett dirt as well.

Now, 5 days off! Well earned, 2135 miles year to date.