Sunday, 21 December 2008 was a bit of a test day, yesterday was pretty easy with just 45 minutes on the rollers. Today was to gauge my fitness a bit.

Today was an hour and half on the rollers with 6 four minute steady state intervals of 27 mph (51x16) at 107 rpm, 180 watts (according to Krietler's chart), with my heart rate running right about at 155 for the duration of the intervals.

Those hurt. Tomorrow will be an easy day on the rollers. I may start swimming over at The Park Place once or twice a week. Take a look at the Krietler review at

Ride safe.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Wednesday - 2.5 hours. Tired Cowboy.
Thursday - a bit over an hour plus a yoga class in the evenng.

Friday - off.

Saturday: 2 hour with some 10 minute steady state intervals at 135-140 heart rate.

Watch here next week as Jeff and I start to develop my training schedule for January and Febuary. Jeff was 2006 Michigan State Road Race Elite Champ, a friend of mine, and was coached on-line by Chris Carmichael for 2 years

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Monday I clocked a pretty easy 45minutes, it was a long day working, I was pretty tired all day anyway and Saturday it had been over two hours and Sunday was right at two hours. An easier day isn't bad.

Here's a shot of where I've been riding lately. This is at the far north end of the Mercado and that's our shop in the background. There's a box to step up on and a small fan jammed between the seat and the rear fender on my yellow Trek.

So today is Tuesday and I watched "The House of Flying Daggers" on my laptop which I put on a pedestal right in front of my front wheel. Easy, steady state stuff. One hour fifty minutes.

It's time to get some real data. My friend Jeff is bringing in his Powertap and I'm going to do some tests to see the watts at some different tire pressures. Kreitler says 128 watts at 20 mph - presumambly at 120 psi in n both tires. It'll be real easy to test that out with my geared bike and then drop the pressure by 5 psi and see the wattage requiredments there. That'll allow me to set some guidelines for intervals later. Of course I'll be using 23mm tires - Michelins on all these tests to keep those values constant.

Feeling good about all this right now. It's easy to keep going when you're doing this sort of thing on a regular basis. I was at 187 lbs on the scale this morning, and last night I bought a couple of badly needed new pants - flat fronts even. While they were still 36's, of the 5 styles I tried on they certainly were'nt the biggest fact the were about the slimmest pant cuts I've worn in a long lng time.


Sunday, 14 December 2008

Starting over.....

Hey, ok, so this blog hasn't worked out the way I thought it would...even the whole "Staff Blogs" hasn't worked our the way I wanted. But here we go, perhaps a few of you will be interested in knowing what I'm actually doing "cycling wise" this winter.

I'm riding rollers pretty much every day right now, been doing it for just about a month now. I'm not entirely certain what my goals are for '09 right yet, there are quite a few possibilities....but what I am sure about is that I'm going to drop some weight over the winter and be rockin' when April gets here.

I've been riding 6 days a week for the last month, rarely less than an hour, and most days I've been getting in around two hours on a set of Kreitler 4.5" alloy rollers.

1st 3 weeks - The Alien I reviewed with a 46x16 at home .... ususllay watching a dvd on my lap top. Just riding easy, not specifically with any goals in wind other than to burn some calories. I went through a few Jackie Chan movies, Atonement, some others.
The last week - since we opened an actual store here in the building, I brought the rollers in, and I've been riding in the Mercado. I'll post some photos tomorrow perhaps. I've been dropping about a pound per week and right now I'm at 188+/-. The goal would be low 180's. When I raced in '00-'01 I was about 184, but I also know I needed to be lower than that back then. Who knows, ideal race weight for me is probably 175 or less, but at 63 I'd be really really hard pressed to get that low. We'll see what happens.

For now I'm going to keep up with the 1-2 hours a day and we'll see where it goes. Since I started riding in the Mercado last last week I've been riding the Milwaukee, first 49x16 and for the last few days with the 51x16. I'll also hook up the speedo, so I can give you all a better idea of speed, cadence, and likely power outputs.

For now, it's au revoir.


Sunday, 12 October 2008

Todd Springer's Wood Kiln

Hey Todd's got his wood kiln just about done, and it's time to cut wood for an October 25th first firing. Todd figgers he'll need 10 face cords, and the firing (to 2,380F) will take 3 days. So here's some photos.....
I decided to ride out to his farm on Old Mission Peninsula, about 10 miles from town. Here's riding east on Washington St.....lots of people out on bikes today.

And some walking.

Nope I'm not riding a fixed gear bike today, plenty of weather for that still to come.

Control panel.

The bomb.


Todd Springer


The view back to Traverse City

Todd's CSA Garden

His 104 year old barn.

Walking down to the kiln.

There's the chimney....

Unloading wood and catching rays.

Todd's new kiln.

I'll be posting some more photos during the firing...of the pots going in and the frantic stoking during the firing.

And here's a video of riding down Peninsula Drive on the way back.

Stay tuned.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Hot and a cold,

As I was getting off the plane here in Las Vegas for Interbike, I though: "Hmmm, am I getting a scratchy throat?" Sure enough over the next 12 hours the truth be known. Yes, whether it was a post-exercise-induced ailment, or just a regular cold, or a reaction to the forced air on the airplane I did come down with a cold. Damn.

The good news is that the worst part was Tuesday night and early Wednesday by Friday I'm feeling a great bit better, and this trip was not a time for feeling down on one's self. (the Debate just finished and I'm writing this at the World's Largest Super 8 Motel, pretty cool huh?)

I won't post a bunch of photos here, you'll have to go to to see some of the (eventually) 500+ photos from Interbike.

Last evening there were two major events:
1.The Finals of the US Criterium Series in the parking lot behind Mandalay Bay. Ten thousand people screaming...local Michigan man Mark Hekman from Grand Rapids at or near the front throughout the 60 lap race including taking a $500 Prime with about 8 laps to go. Nothing like a 6'5" red-bearded viking-lookalike to put some fear in the peleton.
2. Next up was an Alley Cat sponsored by Mash. 5 miles straight down Las Vegas Boulevard with a finish at Mandalay Bay. No brakes allowed, no brains a requirement. Sorry if I'm coming along a bit strong about it, but putting people's lives in danger for a winner-take-all $1,000.00 prize is, well, irresponsible. Want to force municipalities to outlaw alley cats? Here's the best way. Gallery advertiser, Rich Craig from ProWheelBuilder competed and finished 10th (or so, he thought) by taking a little traveled industrial drive that added a mile or so, but allowed this Cat 2 road racer to put the hammer down on a 53x16. What Rich didn't count on was having to ride right through a casino because there was a Boulevard checkpoint for which he missed the sidestreet (local knowledge is always a bonus in any alleycat.)

a shot from the women's race..........

and the last 2 laps of the men's crit filmed off the big screen.....

Sunday, 21 September 2008

A long weekend....

Among the ten thousand other things that happened over the weekend, there was a criterium here in Traverse City on Saturday - the 1st downtown race in many many years.

Always wanting to support local events, I figgered I'd better pony up an entry for myself. No crit specialist I, and without a current USCF license (I was a Cat 4 in '01, tho I raced only in Masters 55+ events) , I check off the box for the dreaded Cat 5/Citizen's Class - a field that could be fun and could be a train wreck. Hey folks, I'm not likely to be even remotely competitive since half of the field is nearly 1/3 my age!

The course included a few blocks of brick streets, six turns, and a pretty fast short course. No, they wouldn't let me ride a fixed gear - This was the 1st year for this event and if the city had allowed the street closures to be a bit earlier, the organizers would have included a fixed gear class !!!!! There's always next year.

My only goal was to put in a few laps, heep the rubber down, and be alive for Sunday's hilly fixed century with Lost Gears at the Leelanua Harvest Tour in Leelanau County. (more about that later)

So, for the Criterium - Goals accomplished, crashes avoided, dead last finish.

Sunday sees LostGears and I headed 25 miles out to Glen Lake School for the Leelanau Harvest Tour. In 1991 I rode my first full century at the LHT, and in 2001 I rode my first fixed gear century at this event.

So, as usual LostGears honks his way up every hill and stretches my tongue to the max in the early miles. Somehow we'd missed hooking up with my geared friends...did they ride the Metric? At the first food stop at 22miles My rear tire blows, and we screw with that for way way too long and finally see a sidewall tear in the Continental 2000. Yikes - some pretty fast spun-out descents we'd already ridden today. Better to have a blowout at a food stop we all said.

Maybe we missed my friends along in here somewhere, nevertheless, a gorgeous day. Lost Gears riding his Coppi with a 42x15 and me on the Milwaukee with a 49x16. We were suitably wasted at the finish - maybe I'll scrounge up some photos, neither of us packed a camera for either event.

Off to Las Vegas on Tuesday morning for Interbike, and Lost Gears is off Monday morning for Virginia. Here in Michigan it's about to turn colder. We'll be riding in the woods before long.