Well it’s President’s Day, that means we’re halfway through February, which is a month I hate and a month I love. Why?
I hate February because it’s typically the ice box of winter, this usually our coldest most snow filled month. For a cyclist February is that month where you realize just how much you miss being outside on your bike for hours at a time. Now the true hardcore don’t miss it, they’re still out there. A dude I’ve rode with named Justin posted a ride on Strava yesterday where he got in a 40 mile ride on roads that some people wouldn’t want to drive on. Me? I stayed on the trainer.
I like February because it’s the month that houses my birthday, and while I used to greatly enjoy birthdays they’ve taken a turn for worse now that I’m fully entrenched into middle age. Still I had a great birthday, Shauna and I went out for a movie in Evansville and we went by my Mom and Dad’s afterward for cheesecake, so it wasn’t all bad.
And then there is Valentine’s Day, kind of a hit or miss holiday you know. Either it sucks or it doesn’t. Happily we had a great Valentine’s Day, Shauna sent me on a scavenger hunt around the house for treats, and I made a game for her where she could win fabulous prizes, well maybe not exactly fabulous. This is actually a good story.
So we decided that we would not spend much money on Valentine’s gifts, in fact Shauna said, NO FLOWERS, she was afraid that cat would eat them. She was actually interested in a board game called “Name 5” she likes these kind of games. We checked out the game at Wal-Mart last week. She called me the other day while shopping and said, “Hey are you gonna buy me that game for Valentine’s because they only have one left.”
I replied, “Yeah, no problem.” Well Shauna worked Valentine’s Day morning and I shot down to Wal-Mart early to get the game, guess what, it was gone. Crap! I left Wal-Mart with a couple fabulous prizes, “Cheese stuffed olives and York peppermint patties, not exactly romantic but a couple of Shauna’s favorite treats. I got outside and it was snowing. Crap! Well I didn’t really have a choice, I drove the 30 miles to Marion in a pretty intense snow storm. I got the game and made it home safely. Maybe that will teach me to quit putting things off to the last minute.
Now on to bike stuff! I’ve been riding hard on the trainer, Zwift makes it fun, yes, believe it or not, Zwift makes riding the trainer fun. Yesterday I did a Functional Threshold Test, which is an estimation of how much power I can produce for one hour. In the test I was able to produce 290 watts for 20 minutes. It hurt! The test says I should be able to actually ride 275 watts for an hour which I am skeptical of, but I won’t argue. 275 watts is OK, but at my weight it’s not that OK. I posted about this stuff last month, and Zwift estimated back then from my performance on a race that I had a 272 functional threshold. So this is at least a step in the right direction, and weight’s down a little bit too, but not much.
So Finally a new idea. I’ve been training, but I had to ask myself, why am I training? Well the answer is I want to get faster, but it would be nice to have some kind of event to train for. I was reading about the history of Time Trials in England and found it fascinating. I won’t go into details, maybe in another post, but there is a long tradition of grass roots cycle racing in England consisting of time trialing.
It hit me like a bolt of lightning. Time trialing is perfect, it’s exactly what we need. In a typical mass start with lets say 20 people all racing together, you’ve got to stay in the group to have chance to win. It’s dangerous even on a closed circuit and if a rider get’s dropped it’s pretty much over for them, or at least becomes a time trial to the finish. So why not just time trial from the start.
I came up with the Little Egypt Time Trial Series and pitched the idea on facebook which generated some interest. The ideas floating around now are a traveling series with a mix of road and gravel courses. Events held every Tuesday evening will consist of a 10-15 mile course. Hopefully getting started in April most likely in the Makanda area for the first event. I’m stoked about this there are some problems to overcome, the biggest one being that we are spread out over a large geographic area so getting together for an event requires driving, maybe an hour or more. My goal is to keep the courses where they will attract the most participants with the least amount of driving which means that there probably won’t be too many in my neck of the woods.
We’re looking for good course ideas around the middle of Southern Illinois and participants from anywhere. Spread the word!