Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weekend update

Additional snow Saturday morning so I decided to do my scheduled interval on the trainer, 70 minutes at a target wattage if indoors, longer and a higher wattage if outside. I could tell I was getting a little bored with riding on the trainer though as I looked for excuses to delay getting on the bike. Once I actually got down to it it wasn't so bad, especially as I was watching the movie Apocalypto.

Later in the day Sandy and I went out and snowshoed around the run course I am setting up for the race on Feb 16 at Lake Orion High School. The race seems to be getting some interest and I have a meeting with the school organizer on Monday to go over what still needs to be done. I'm not certain on the actual race distance yet but the course is pretty much settled.

Today I had the same workout scheduled as yesterday but I put on the studded tires and headed outside to the back roads. Thank goodness for the studs as I could tell I would have gone down a few times without them, especially as I was pedalling hard on the downhills trying to keep the wattage up. The studded tires even allowed me to stand of the up hills. I think I probably wasted some energy concentrating on keeping the bike upright in the snow and ice but it was good balance training.

Two of our dogs were as tired as I was in the afternoon. The black one weighs close to 90 pounds but definitely kept me warm.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fueling worksheet

People have asked me about how much of certain products they should use in races. That is a unique amount per individual but some general guidelines are available. I developed a spreadsheet that not only gives guidelines by weight but also allows you to determine the proper mix to get your hourly caloric needs.

Remember that this is something that each individual needs to work out for themselves during training. It is better to err on the low side of hourly needs.

Unfortunately I couldn't get the spread sheet to load directly to this page. Here is the spreadsheet
Once there click on the Excel icon on the left to download it as a worksheet.

Monday, January 21, 2008

SoBe returns to Cannondale

SoBe has returned to be the main sponsor for the Cannondale MTB team for 2008. Some may remember the SoBe name from a few years ago when they were the sponsor prior to the Bear Naked team. My understanding is the Bear Naked will continue to support the team but in a different capacity.

The new uniforms look sweet, much better in my opinion than the green and yellow ones from before. I haven't seen them in person yet but pictures of the kits are in the Cannondale fall/winter clothing catalog.

There has not been any formal press announcement that I know of but I would expect something before too long.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

OK, it's Winter

Just a week ago I titled the blog "Seems Like Spring". And now this weekend we have had a high of 11 so far with wind chills in the negative numbers. I didn't bother to try and ride outside since my computer would probably stop working or the cold might damage the PowerTap hub.

Tomorrow it is suppose to warm up some and I may ride outside regardless since I have the day off from work. I want to get some idea of the distances and possible laps times for the course options I have set up for the race on the 16th of next month. Todd and Jay met me up at the school today to hike the course and give me their impressions. Even though it was bitter cold, Jay hung around after the hike to run a lap or two of the course.

Tonight the Cannondale Midwest Racing team is going to have a virtual team meeting. In addition to setting up a conference call Joel and Robin will also be using the computer to illustrate a few things. We should all be able to see exactly what they are doing while looking at our own computers. I have used a similar technology at work but never outside of it. It should be interesting.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Fueling for Success

I have done a few race nutrition strategy seminars for various groups and people ask me for advice fairly frequently. I am limited by my new contract with the Cannondale team as to what I can do with my previous sponsor, Hammer Nutrition, so I thought I would post the presentation I used in the hope that it can help answer some questions.

If you have questions about race nutrition strategies in general I can try to answer them, or point you in the right direction of someone who can.

If it doesn't display correctly on this page you can go here

Friday, January 18, 2008


I picked up a set of Nokian studded tires yesterday that will fit my 29'er and road bike wheels. I have a set for 26" MTB wheels but since I'm now on the bigger wheels most of the time, I needed a different set. Maybe they will help to prevent me from crashing on the roads. They do add some weight but at this time of the year that's not a big deal. The current weather forecast of temperatures in the single digits may mean that these will get a workout real soon.

Here is the text of the tire description from Peter White Cycles.

My best, all purpose, do just about everything really well, no compromise tire is the 700x40 W240 from Nokian. Let's face it, most of the time we're out there in winter, the roads are clear of snow. So a full knobby tire like the 700c Extreme (below) is going to slow you down. But when there is snow on the ground, you'd like a tire with enough tread that it can cut through and contact pavement. And, if you try to always ride on plowed roads that shouldn't develop icy ruts, there's always the odd time you have to make a detour, or the plows didn't get through, or whatever, and you find your front tire heading down a rut. Icy ruts are extremely dangerous. If your tire can't climb the side of a rut and roll out of it, you'll hit the ground, and you'll hit hard.

TheW240 has wide enough tread blocks to keep rolling resistance to a minimum, and studs in the center as well as the sides of the tread to help give you grip in all icy conditions. When the tire gets into a rut, the studs on the side can dig into the ice and you remain in control. If your tire only has studs in the center, it can slide along the side of a rut, and never climb out. That's far less likely to happen with the W240.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Winter Race February 16 at Lake Orion High School

I have been working with the local school to put on a winter mountain bike race. As a bonus there will be a running race as well. Here is the race flyer so you can mail in your registration and save a few dollars. You should be able to print it using the printer icon.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Seems like spring

Yesterday the weather seemed like spring, no snow and temps in the 30's with sunshine. The roads were still a little muddy so I did the prescribed workout on the trainer. Later I used the leaf blower to clean up the yard of all the leaves and debris that had accumulated so far over the winter. Its amazing how many leaves seem to pile up even though you had them picked up before the first snowfall.

The roads had firmed up enough that I did my training ride outside this morning. Shortly after leaving the house I found an empty wallet on the dirt road near Bald Mountain. I needed a new wallet so I put it in my jacket. But shortly after the wallet I began to find its contents, including a driver's license and credit cards along the road for the next mile or so. I picked all that up too so that I could try and find the owner after I got home. I also found a cell phone charger and laptop charger along with various files and folder dumped along the side of the road. I figures someone probably had their car broken into or stolen and the back roads were a safe place for the thief to throw out the evidence.

On the way back home I took the same dirt road and found another credit card I had missed on the way out. I also picked up the chargers and papers to bring back. Once home I did a quick search on the Internet for the owner's phone number and managed to get in touch with them.

It turns out they lived two streets over from me and had left their cars unlocked and the contents were stolen. The sheriff who was there filling out a report when I called came over and picked up the items I had found. I'm not sure why these people were targeted but they do live at the edge of the state recreation area so it may have been easy to break in and then head back into the woods. It makes you think about keeping everything locked up.

This week the temperatures will be slipping back to normal winter highs and lows and some snow coming in as well. Hopefully we will get enough for some more xc skiing or else we may end up heading back up north next weekend.

The picture below is from the webcam at Big Mountain ski area in Whitefish, Montana. Jason called me this morning to have me log on and take a look at it while he stood in front of the camera with Oliver. Oliver is really getting bigger and we need some more pictures of him.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New year, same story

I was actually sorry to see Ohio State lose again in the national championship game. Not only to see the Big Ten have some success against the SEC but also because I know my wife would have been happier as well. I've been married long enough to know that when the wife's happy, I'm happy. At least those who came over had a good time but by they were playing a lot of video games after the first half instead of watching the TV.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

In a fog

The past two days we have been in a fog, literally. The warm air and rain has caused it to be foggy for the past two days and probably will continue to be so at least part way through tomorrow. The snow has really melted and causing sloppy trail conditions. Not that I'm riding them but I have been hiking on them to get some outdoor exercise in addition to riding on the trainer.

I used this weekend as a chance to work with our youngest dog to walk off the leash. We never were comfortable letting our two newer dogs off while hiking since we weren't sure if they would stay with us or run. We have an electric underground fence to keep them in the yard. Our oldest dog is no problem but we have always kept the other two on a leash while hiking. Better safe than sorry.

I was able to have the dog go for two long walks in the woods with me and stay relatively close, at least within view, and he would turn around and come back when called. Fortunately we didn't have any distractions like a rabbit or something for him to chase.

We will continue to work with him and also start working with the other dog. Hopefully we will be able to walk with all three off the leash.

Tomorrow is the national title college football game and since Ohio State is playing, Sandy and Greg have been planning a big party to have some of his friends over to watch. Sandy even invited me. I will have mixed feelings, I would like to see the Big Ten gain bolster its reputation with a good showing but also know that an Ohio State win will make their bragging rights over Michigan even bigger.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Over 12" of new snow, salmon on the grill, and Lloyd Carr wins his final game at U of M. A great way to start off the new year. Now if only I didn't have to go back to work tomorrow.

Today's snowfall was one of the biggest I can remember since moving to Michigan. The deep and heavy snow took a long time to clear with the blower. In the bigger areas the snow didn't completely clear the drive and piled up where the blower would start to bog down and I would have to take it in small chunks. At least it beat shoveling.

After doing my scheduled ride on the trainer and clearing the drive I went over to Bald Mountain to try out my new snowshoes for the first time. I was able to navigate the woods and trail with no problems. I saw a few others out on 'shoes and a couple on xc skis. I may go back later in the week and do some skiing with Sandy.

We ended up at REI yesterday where she got a completely new xc package. Hopefully the boots and skis will work better than the first pair. The sales person seemed to do a pretty good job to insure that Sandy had the right equipment.

For dinner I cooked salmon out on the grill and sauteed some shrimp as well. I then settled back to watch Michigan win its bowl game. We also kept track of the outdoor hockey game taking place up in Buffalo. That looked like it would have been fun to go to and the players seemed to have a good time as well. It's not often that you get 62,000 fans at a hockey game.

Back to work tomorrow after having been off for a week and a half. I don't really want to go in but the bills have to get paid somehow. At least it will take me away from the temptations of the holiday food. We didn't have that much here by design but I still managed to put on 3 pounds during the holiday break. Time to start working harder.