Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Although Audrey is my favorite girl, Bridget is the one that got me into cycling.  I bought her at a silent auction while I attended Cal Poly.  If people locked there bikes to objects other than bike racks (i.e. trees) the campus police would cut the lock and confiscate the bike for the owner's "protection."

Unfortunately, after I bought her and the initial tune-up performed by Pacific Coast Cyclery she sat around for a couple of years unused.  That is until the spring of last year when I moved back to Carlsbad and was able to start bike commuting to work.  What started as a commuter quickly became my full time bike until I was given Audrey.

After spending the winter driving to work, I have finally started to bike commute again.  A thousand miles ago I did not really understand the differences between Audrey and Bridget, but now I do, especially when it comes to gearing.  Hills that I power up on the Bianchi I now spin up, and the handling is different to.  But that could be due to the Bridgestone not being fit to me.

What does the future hold for her.  I am not sure, but I think I need to at least fit her to me so that my commute time is more comfortable.

P.S. thank you to Sheldon Brown for the catalog cut.  You can find it at here.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Weekend Workouts


I have come to the conclusion that I need to start quantifying my training so that I can get the most out of the road races that I am entering.  My hear rate monitor was the first step, the next step is time trials.  I decided on two courses, a long course of 14 miles which is an out and back along the San Luis Rey River, and a short course that has a hill (to be disclosed later).

My inaugural time trial results were:

Time - 42:10 minutes
Dist - 14.54 miles
Avg. Spd. - 20.6
Max Spd.- 26.7
Misc. Notes - My legs were still a bit sore from my run on Tuesday, and the trail had some wet spots in the run-in / run-out that slowed me down.


Saturday night I watched "Super Bad", very hilarious, well at least 'till I passed out.  My ability to drink has dropped, and I was out at 8:30.  I think it might be due to the weight lost.  I am down to 169 from 183!  Unfortunately, two days later my head is still hurting.  I decided to take it easy and did leg isolation drills at the gym.  Another new workout for me and something I need to do more of.

Tour of California, re-cap

The Tour of California has come to a close, and with it my work day is a little more boring.  While some people may think that professional cycling is dead, as a newbie every race is still exciting to me.  After the tedium that the riders faced during the Seaside to San Luis Obispo race, the final three stages kept me on the edge of my seat.  Levi destroyed the time trial, and the criterium style finishes were awe inspiring.

Next year I definitely want to make plans to see a stage in person.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tour of California day 4

Today I was not able to watch the tour =(  but I did subscribe to the rss updates on my iPhone =).  Watching the Versus recap it looks like I just missed a lot of suffering as the guys slogged through 7 hours of riding in the rain.  No change to the GC but a for once a rider in the break away actually one.

Thursday Workout

Today I did my typical Thursday night spin class.  However I did it with a new angle by bringing my heart monitor.  My goal was to channel the energy of the spin class, but be a little more scientific.  What I found was that the class easily pushed me into VO2Max, but the recovery was not there if I had just followed the leader.  So I didn't.  

In the end I modified the workout so that I could recover in the cardio zone, but overload myself in the "sprints."  

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I consider myself in decent shape.  In the last 6 months I have lost 10 pounds and am slowly but surly moving toward my goal weight of 160.  Also, a couple of weekends ago I rode 80 miles and was fine.

Yesterday, to help my wife out, we went on a run instead of dealing with the chaos of the gym.  This was probably the first run that I have been on in 6 months as I have been focusing on getting stronger on a bicycle.  Together we did a 2 mile jog and from there I did four .8 mile loops around the neighborhood with one solid hill at he beginning of each hill.  My goal was to take it up to my LT threshold (by feel, I use to run track and cross country) and recover.

The laps felt great and I was happy to get my workout in, but today I could not walk.  I guess my legs are not used to gravity.

Hopefully my workout I did tonight will help ease that pain.  60 minutes in zone 2 on the stationary bike at the gym to help get some blood in the muscles.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Amgen Tour of California

I am not known for my interest in watching sports.  While I definitely enjoy going to see a game in person, that is more to hang with my friends than to watch.  But since I watched "le Tour de France" last year, wow,  I can't get enough of it.  I even enjoy watching the complete 4-6 hour feeds and watching the race develop from the start to finish.  Most lunches I tune into, but this week I have been all over the Tour of California.  What I really like is the tour webpage.  Watching the race live, with the bonus stats and map location (even with the GPS problems) is way beyond a straight TV broadcast.  Hopefully as the the internet bandwidths continue to increase I will be able to see more events like this.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Gear Ratios

Audrey, is an older bike, a classic, but an older bike.  She has downtube shifters controlling a 12 speed transmission.  The gearing of the bike was set-up prior to cadence became the holy grail of cycling.  So I knew I was pushing some big gears, but not how big.  When I competed at the Boulevard road race I was a little jealous of everyone spinning up the hills and when I mentioned it to Chuck he told me, once again, that he could give me some more low end.  But for some reason I am resisting.

Now I have actually counted the teeth on my gears and I am running a 52 / 42 up front and a 13-21 in the back.  What does that mean?  I don't know, but I hope I am not destroying my knees.

Who is Audrey?

Audrey is my 1985 Bianchi Nuova Racing bike.  It was given to me by my father-in-law by way of my wife for my 31st birthday.  We had recently moved from San Francisco down to San Diego and I had started to ride my Bridgestone 500 to work.  What started out as a way to start getting in shape quickly became an obsession.  I started talking about getting a new bike for my weekend rides, but when I heard about my father-in-law having an "Italian Steed" in his storage I was intrigued.  For the next month I kept on dropping the hint that I wanted her, and finally, on my birthday I did.  A little bit of TLC and the generous help from Chuck at Pacific Coast Cyclery she was up and running.

How far will I take her?  I don't know.  I rode her at my first road race and did 80 miles on her last weekend....