Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Three year Cleves Time Trial Summary

Here are some numbers from the last three years at Cleves:
2007 average speed for all rides, 26.92; best three rides, 27.27 mph
2008 average speed for all rides, 27.04; best three rides, 27.54 mph
2009 average speed for all rides, 27.66 mph; best three rides, 28.24 mph

The average speed included no fewer than 18 rides. My equipment has stayed relatively the same with my HED rear disc (7 years old) and HED tri-spoke (replaced last year due to a crack but the same model as previously used). I did change my frame this year from the HED to a Kuota. My position is always being tweaked here and there but never dramatically. The bike weight this year is about 1 lb lighter than last year. I have changed helmets over the years from Giro to Spiuk to LG. I do know that my wattage last winter and through the spring into summer in my training was consisently higher with my steady states in the 290-315 range for 40 to 60 minutes at a time and my tt efforts during training in the 320 to 340 range. I was holding tempo wattage for 90 minutes in the 270 range. Wattage during tt events is around 350 for shorter 10 mile efforts and in the 330's for 40k's.

One again, I think that consistent training over many years is still paying off. You can only buy so much speed; at some point, you need to put out some power.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway

Along with my brother Tom and friend Dan Waite, I recently spent 5 days riding the Blue Ridge Parkway from its northern start in Waynesboro, VA to it terminus in Cherokee, NC. Starting on Monday, September 21 and ending on Friday September 25, we spent 30 hours and 39 minutes completing the 470 miles and 48,000+ feet of climbing.

To say it was a hilly ride would be a great understatement. I really don't recall more than 5-6 miles of truly flat road the entire way. While riding through Virginia for the first two days, the climbs ranged from short uphills and slight rollers to a 13 mile climb rising than several thousand feet. The sections through Virginia seemed to stay roughly between 2000' and 3800' but also dipped to the lowest point on the parkway at 650'. The landscape was divided between maple forests and rolling farmland. The vistas were filled with scattered mountains that stood among fields and pastures well below the parkway that traveresed the crest of the Blue Ridge.

Once in North Carolina, the landscape changed to almost exclusively that typical of the southern mountains. This included the complete range of forests from maple to beech to oak to fir/spruce. The elevations also increased with many of the gaps now not dropping below 3000' while the road frequently hit 5000' and finally peaked at 6053'. The days had multiple climbs of 5 to 8 miles and elevation gains of 1500' to 2500'. Highlights included Mt. Mitchel, Craggy Mountain, The Black Mountains, Balsam Mountains, Looking Glass Rock, Mt. Pisgah, and Richland Balsam Mountain. There were also many tunnels, all without lights, that made for an interesting riding experience, especially at high speeds.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a part of our National Park system. The road is two lanes and the speed limit is 35-45 mph. There are no stop signs or traffic lights its entire length. It is lightly traveled in most areas but around Roanoke and Asheville it is used by locals to access other roads. Still, traffic was light.

Food and accomodations are easlily found near the start in Waynesboro and finish at Cherokee. In between, Roanoke and Asheville offer big city amenities. The many miles between require careful planning in that there are no billboards along the way announcing stores or shops or hotels. There are guide books and maps available.

I'd have to say that the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the great riding experiences in our part of the country. Whether you ride the entire length ot just spend a day on it, you should make it part of your 2010 riding calendar.

Favorite Indoor Cycling Songs

I've been teaching an indoor cycling class for two years at the Cincinnati Sports Club as of mid-October. In that time, I've made 80+ different cd's ranging form 45 to 80 minutes using over 1400 different songs. Here are some of my favorite. keep in mind that these are good songs to ride to but not really songs about riding.

Jackon Browne: The Road and The Sky, Running On Empty, Boulevard, Doctor My Eyes, Looking East, The Night Inside Me

Allman Brothers: One Way Out, Revival, Whipping Post, Don't Want You No More, Hoochie Coochie Man, Black Hearted Woman (or just use the album Beginnings for an entire class--I did), Jessica

Little Feat: Let It Roll, Oh Atlanta, Easy to Slip

Santana: Dawn/Go Within-Carnival- Let The Children Play-Jugando (opening songs from the album Moonflower), All I Ever Wanted, She's Not There, Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen

Led Zeppelin: Rock and Roll, Black Dog, Communication Breakdown, Stairway to Heaven, Achilles Last Stand, Misty Mountain Hop, Whole Lotta Love

The Who: I can See For Miles, Wont Get Fooled Again, The Real Me, Going Mobile, Squeeze Box

Jethro Tull: Nothing is Easy, Teacher, Living in the Past

Elton John: Saturday Nights Alright for Fighting, Pinball Wizard (by The Who, but I like his better), The Bitch is Back

Lynyrd Skynyrd: That Smell, Saturday Night Special, Freebird, Cal Me The Breeze

Edgar Winter: Frankenstein

Shooting Star: Last Chance, Hang On For Your Life Tonight

Focus: Hocus Pocus

Chicago: Alive Again, Beginnings, Make Me Smile

Stevie Ray Vaugh: Couldn't Stand the Weather, Tax Man

Robin Trower: Day of the Eagle, Too Rolling Stoned

Jeff Healy: Full Circle, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Hell to Pay, I Can't Get My Hands on You, Something to Hold On To

Bob Seeger: Roll Me Away, Hollywood Nights

Beatles: She Loves You, Help, Day Tripper, Get Back, I Feel Fine

Paul McCartney: Jet, Band on the Run

Tom Petty: I Need To Know, An American Girl

U2: New Years Day, Two Hearts Beat As One, Vertigo, Even Better Than the Real Thing, I Will Follow, Where the Streets Have No Names

Bruce Springsteen: Born to Run, Rosalita, Gypsy Biker, Radio Nowhere, Last to Die, Badlands, Candy's Room,

Elvis Costello: Pump It Up, Peace Love and Understanding

The Smithereens: Blues Before and After, Bllod and Roses, Girl Like you

I'll post more as I have tme. I haven't even started on the country songs.

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