29 June 2010
Seems like training with a powermeter and using headwinds are the two suggestions for climbers living in Flatlands.
"... set about increasing your average wattage. Mr. Vande Velde does this by punctuating rides with five minute “power bursts,” dropping into a big gear, pushing his pedals as hard as he can, his wheels turning at his top sustainable watts and barely 50 revolutions per minute. In the next five minutes, he’ll click up into an easier gear, pedals whirring at low watts and about 90 r.p.m. (which any recreational rider should be able to maintain). Then he’ll repeat."
"... if you live in a flat area, listen to local weather reports and note the direction of the wind. A strong head wind can simulate hill climbing, Mr. Vaughters said. “You need to push hard into the wind,” using “a big gear, for at least six minutes and no longer than 45 minutes” once or twice a week “to get the aerobic benefits of climbing big hills,” he said. (In recompense, you get a tail wind all the way home.)"
THE KING OF HTFU (ref: rule 5)
FIRENZO MAGNI: I CONSIDER MY GREATEST WIN MY SECOND PLACE IN GC AT THE GIRO OF 1956, MY LAST YEAR AS A PRO.
VALERIA PAOLETTI: You were a very brave second in that incredible Giro. Tell us what happened.
FM: DURING STAGE 12, FROM GROSSETO TO LIVORNO, I CRASHED ON THE DESCENT OUT OF VOLTERRA AND BROKE MY LEFT COLLARBONE. AT THE HOSPITAL THEY SAID I SHOULD PUT ON A PLASTER CAST AND QUIT. BUT I DIDN’T WANT TO. SINCE THE NEXT DAY WAS A REST DAY, I TOLD THE DOCTOR TO DO NOTHING AND THAT WE SHOULD WAIT AND SEE. THE DAY AFTER I ASKED THE DOCTOR TO PUT ON AN ELASTIC BANDAGE INSTEAD OF A CAST BECAUSE I WANTED TO TRY TO RIDE THE FOLLOWING STAGE, LIVORNO TO LUCCA. IT WORKED! I WASN’T AMONG THE FIRST RIDERS BUT I FINISHED.
A promotion within his bank (the very same institution which is called "home" by his countryman, David J. of the P.E. London chapter -- you know, the one with those funny/serious old/new ads in the jetways) sends Michael H. off to oversee their legal function for a much bigger piece of real estate.
I am hoping to be able to celebrate my own recovery and return to the saddle at the same time.
For any of you who will be in Tokyo in late July, SAVE THE DATE - TUESDAY JULY 27 - for a team dinner, place TBD. Given the season, the focus may be more on cold drinks than on food. Ideas welcome via email or comment.
P.S. There was a nice article within the last few years about Christian Van de Velde of Garmin Chipotle, and how he can train to win (well, be competitive in) Tour de France mountain stages while living in a completely flat city like Chicago. First to find that article and link to it (or forward it to me, for the technology challenged) for the benefit of our two flatland Michaels gets treated to a cold beer at the dinner.
26 June 2010
23 June 2010
There is also a nice and cool place called Coldlake where we took a break at the burial ground. Overall, one has to keep one's eyes open. As riding in the English countryside is riding along hedges on both sides of the road and there is hardly anything to see at all. So you have to wait for the gap in the hedges and then look fast.First I was surprised, when I saw no new houses in the countryside. I assumed then, that like the "Chiho" in Japan, the rural areas of the UK are slowly depopulated and that the folks are moving into the city or to retirement homes. But then Juliane and David explained, that most of the houses are actually brand new. As the local parish council controls the building permits, new buildings are only approved if they match in style and color the existing structures. So, after erecting new houses, special finishing works are being required, applying large quantities of mold, slime, grime and unstable chemical compositions to walls and roofs so that the structure matches that of the adjacent ones.
It was a nice ride and at the end we were quite exhausted. During four hours I did probably much more elevation meters as compared to riding seven weeks in Bremen. So we took the train back to town, had a good dinner at the PEEK HQ and shared some nostalgic conversation about our mutual time in Japan. Our thoughts where with Froggy, David, Shuhei, Shindo, Kurata, Malcolm, Graham, Peter and all the other riders we have met and had fun with ... Paul Jason.The next morning we made our way early to Waterloo station as we had a major tour in mind. Because the royal meeting was conducted at Ascot the same day, there were many men and women with funny heads at the station. Non-suspecting tourists arriving in London that day might get a complete wrong idea about how people in the UK dress today.
We rode out to Guildford, famous not only because of the Stranglers, but also it is the claimed home of Ford Prefect from the first part of the trilogy "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". Again, a lot of climbing was involved riding along hedges and catching a glimpse from time to time of the original landscape. Juliane pointed out the trees, scrubs, bushes, flowers, pest plants, insects, amoebae, virus etc. of the local environment while David try to lead us on beautiful country roads to the restaurant where we were suppose to have lunch with his parents. Well this was our main tour, but after having spend all energy already on the day before, we took it quite easy.
After passing Petersfield and coming to the town of BURITON (which I assume is the Katakana version of BRITAIN), we descended a small hill. David was in front and I was perhaps 20 meters behind him. There was a speed hump in the road which looked rather silly and I rode over it with perhaps 40 km/hr. The next things I heard was the sound of an exploding tube and the next thing I saw when dismounting from the bike was a flat rear wheel with a broken spoke, a pinched tire and an untrue wheel. Bad luck. At least we were able to repair it somehow so that I could continue to ride, but we decided to cancel the lunch, ride back to Petersfield, have a cup of tea and ride back by train to London. This was the first bicycle I destroyed that day.
Back in London, Juliane and David were so kind to show me around the city. We took are town bikes (less expensive, a Trek MTB for me) slang heavy bike logs around our waists and made way for the Parliament bridge. Buckingham Place. On the way to the place, the streets were flagged with French and British flags, it seems that the chief froggy and his wife were in town. Many war memorials are dispersed around the city centre. Many of them are connected to Germany. "To the Royal Engineers who have given their life during the great war 1914 - 1919". Were where they fighting in 1919, when we Germans have dutifully surrendered already in November 1918? Didn't they noticed that?
And then finally: Carnaby Street, the hot bed of Swinging London. So where is the Mary Quant shop? Where can I buy Twiggies trousers? Get a new haircut? Drink a beer at the pub that was named in honor of Jerome? Ah, here it is.We had some more beers at another place, then headed out to East London to have a typical British Dinner (Tiki Masala) at the Lahore Khebab Place. There we saw also some more WC games and finally we headed back to PEEK HQ.
It has been a successful weekend and all of us have trained hard for the forthcoming Transalp race (2011 that is). The next day I took my plane back to Bremen (this time through Frankfurt) and did the one thing I did rarely in London: sleeping.Thanks David. Thanks Juliane.
17 June 2010
Obey The Rules.
It is forbidden for someone familiar with The Rules to knowingly assist another person to breach them.1
No matter how good you think your reason is to knowingly breach The Rules, it is never good enough.
It is, absolutely, without question, unequivocally, about the bike. Anyone who says otherwise is obviously atwatwaffle.
Free your mind and your legs will follow.
Tan lines should be cultivated and kept razor sharp. Under no circumstances should one be rolling up their sleeves or shorts in an effort to somehow diminish one’s tan lines. Sleeveless jerseys are under no circumstances to be employed.
Saddles, Bars, and Tires3:
- Match the saddle to the bars and the tires to black; or
- Match the bars to the color of the frame at the top of the head tube and the saddle to the color of the frame at the top of the seat tube and the tires to the color where they come closest to the frame; or
- Match the saddle and the bars to the frame decals; or
- Black, black, black
If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
It never gets easier, you just go faster. To put it another way, per Greg Henderson: “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”4
Family does not come first. The bike does.
The minimum number of bikes one should own is three. The correct number is
nis the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as
sis the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.
Team-issue shorts should be black, with the possible exception of side-panels, which may match the rest of the team kit.
Black shorts, or at least standard team-kit shorts, must be worn with Championship jerseys and race leadership jerseys, or accept that you will look like a douche.
Championship and race leader jerseys must only be worn if you’ve won the championship or led the race.
Wearing team kit is also questionable if you’re not paid to wear it. If you must fly the colours of Pro teams, all garments should match perfectly, i.e no Mapei jersey with Kelme shorts and Telekom socks.
No road jerseys or Lycra bibs when riding off-road. (Cyclocross is a middle-ground. Best to wear cross-specific kit.)
No mountain jerseys or baggies when riding on the road. (Cyclocross is a middle-ground. Best to wear cross-specific kit.)
- If your quads start to burn, shift forward to use your hamstrings and calves.
- If your calves or hamstrings start to burn, shift back to use your quads.
- If you feel wimpy and weak, get out and train more, ya wee lassie!
Knickers, vests, arm warmers, shoe covers, and caps beneath your helmet can all make you look like a hardman, when the weather warrants it.
Cycling caps can be worn under helmets, but never when not riding, no matter how hip you think you look. This will render one a douche, and should result in public berating or beating. The only time it is acceptable to wear a cycling cap is while directly engaged in cycling activities and while clad in cycling kit. This includes activities taking place prior to and immediately after the ride such as machine tuning and tire pumping. Also included are cafe appearances for pre-ride espressi and post-ride pub appearances for body-refueling ales (provided said pub has sunny, outdoor patio – do not stray inside a pub wearing kit or risk being ceremoniously beaten by leather-clad biker chicks). Under these conditions, having your cap skull-side tipped jauntily at a rakish angle is, one might say, de rigueur. All good things must be taken in measure, however, and as such it is critical that we let sanity and good taste prevail: as long as the first sip of the relevant caffeine or hop-based beverage is taken whilst beads of sweat, snow, or rain are still evident on one’s brow then it is legitimate for the cap to be worn. However, once all that remains in the cranial furrows is salt, it is then time to shower, throw on some suitable après-ride attire (a woollen Molteni Arcore training top circa ‘73 comes to mind) and return to the bar, folded copy of pastel-coloured news publication in hand, ready for formal fluid replacement. It is also helpful if you are a Giant of the Road, as demonstrated here, rather than a giant douchebag. 4
If it’s not cold or wet and you are still wearing shoe covers because you’re a pussy, your name is probablyGeorge Hincapie.
Speeds and distances shall always be referred to and calculated in kilometers. This includes while discussing cycling in the workplace with your non-cycling coworkers, serving to further mystify our sport in the web of their Neanderthalic cognitive capabilities. As the confused expression spreads across their unibrowed faces, casually mention your shaved legs. All of cycling’s monuments are measured in the metric system and as such the English system is forbidden.
The bikes on top of your car should be worth more than the car. Or at least be relatively more expensive. Basically, if you’re putting your Huffy on your Rolls, you’re in trouble, mister.
There is definitely an “optimal” angle at which the pedals should be when photographing a bicycle. That angle depends on what the photo wants to say, but is probably around the 30 degree mark. Not 90 or 180.
Sock and short length should be like Golidlocks, not too long and not too short. (Disclaimer: despite Sean Yates’ horrible choice in shorts length, he is a quintessential hard man of cycling and is deeply admired by the Velominati. Whereas Armstrong’s short and sock lengths are just plain wrong.) No socks is a no-no, as are those ankle-length ones that should only be worn by female tennis players.
Socks can be any damn colour you like. White is old school cool. Black is good, but once again were given a bad image by a Texan whose were too long. DeFeet Wool-E-Ators rule.
Saddle bags have no place on a road bike, and are only acceptable on mountain bikes in extreme cases.
Ditto for frame-mounted pumps. Either Co2 cannisters or mini-pumps should be carried in jersey pockets. The only exception to this rule is to mount a Silca brand frame pump in the rear triangle of the frame, with the rear wheel skewer as the pump mount nob, as demonstrated by members of the 7-Eleven and Ariostea pro cycling teams. As such, a frame pump mounted upside-down and along the left (skewer lever side) seat stay is both old skool and euro and thus acceptable. We restate at this time that said pump may under no circumstances be a Zefal and must be made by Silca. It is acceptable to gaffer-tape a mini-pump to your frame when no C02 cannisters are available and your pockets are full of spare kit and energy gels. However, the rider should expect to be stopped and questioned and may be required to empty pockets to prove there is no room in them for the pump. Said Silca pump must be fitted with a Campagnolo head.
Spare tubes, multi-tools and repair kits should be stored in jersey pockets, or in a converted bidon in a cage on bike.
Hydration packs are never to be seen on a road rider’s body. No argument will be entered into on this.
Legs are to be carefully shaved at all times. If, for some reason, your legs are to be left hairy, make sure you can dish out plenty of hurt to shaved riders, or be considered a hippie douche on their way to a Critical Mass.
Mountain bike shoes and pedals have their place. On a mountain bike.
Road helmets can be worn on mountain bikes, but never the other way around. No visors on the road. If you want shade, see Rule 21.
Eyewear shall be cycling specific, i.e no Aviator shades or clip-on covers for reading glasses.
The arms of the eyewear shall always be placed over the helmet straps. No exceptions. We don’t know why, it’s just the way it is.
You should not make a habit of riding without eyewear, although approved extenuating circumstances include fog, overheating, and lighting conditions.
You should never leave home without your eyewear; when not worn over the eyes, they should be neatly tucked into the vents of your helmet. If they don’t fit, buy a new helmet. In the meantime you can wear them backwards on the back of your head or carefully tuck them into your jersey pocket, making sure not to scratch them on your tools (see item 20).
Tires are to be mounted with the label centered directly over the valve stem. Pro mechanics do it because it makes it easier to find the valve. You do this because that’s the way pro mechanics do it. This will save you precious seconds while your fat ass sits on the roadside fumbling with your CO2 after a flat. It also looks better for photo opportunities.
Quick release angle on the front skewer shall be an upward angle which tightens just aft of the fork and the rear quick release shall tighten at an angle that bisects angle between the seat and chain stays. It is acceptable, however, to have the rear quick release tighten upward, just aft of the seat stay, when the construction of the frame or its dropouts will not allow the preferred positioning. For Time Trial bikes only, quick releases may be in the horizontal position facing towards the rear of the bike. This is for maximum aero effect.9
A bike ride/race shall never be preceeded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
A rider’s handlebars on their road bike must always be lower than their saddle. The minimum allowable tolerance is 4cm; there is no maximum, but people may berate you if they feel you have them too low.
A maximum stack height of 2cm is allowed below the stem and a single 5mm spacer must always – always – be stacked above. A “slammed down” stack height is preferable; meaning that the stem is positioned directly on the top race of the headset.
Handlebars will be mounted parallel to the ground or angled slightly upward. While they may never be pointed down at all, they may be angled up slightly; allowed handlebar tilt is to be between 180 and 175 degrees with respect to the level road.
The brake levers will preferably be mounted such that the end of the brake lever is even with the bottom of the bar. Modern bars, however, dictate that this may not always be possible, so tolerances are permitted within reason. Having the hoods almost on the tops is unacceptable however.
The seating area of a saddle is to be visually level, with the base measurement made using a spirit level. Based on subtleties of saddle design and requirements of comfort, the saddle may then be pitched slightly forward or backward to reach a position that offers stability, power, and comfort. If the tilt of the saddle exceeds two degrees, you need to go get one of those saddles with springs and a thick gel pad because you are obviously a big pussy.
The midpoint of the saddle as measured from tip to tail shall fall well behind and may not be positioned forward of the line made by extending the seat tube through the top of the saddle. (Also see Rule 33.)
Facial hair is to be carefully regulated. No full beards, no moustaches. Goatees are permitted only if your name starts with “Marco” and ends with “Pantani”, or if your head is intentionally or unintentionally bald. One may never shave on the morning of an important race, as it saps your virility, and you need that to kick ass.
Livestrong wristbands are cockrings for your arms. You may as well get “tryhard wanker” tattooed on your forehead.
Padding or body armor of any kind is not allowed.
Bicycles have saddles. Otherwise it’s not a bicycle.
Aerobars or other clip-on attachments are under no circumstances to be employed on your road bike. The only exception to this is if you are competing in a mountain timetrail.
If you are riding down a mountain, you must first have ridden up the mountain. It is forbidden to employ powered transportation simply for the cheap thrill of descending. The only exception to this is if you are doing intervals on Alpe d’Huez or the Plan de Corones and you park your car up top before doing 20 repeats of the climb.
When wearing a cycling kit and enjoying a pre or post ride coffee, it is only appropriate to drink espresso or macchiato. If the word soy/skim latte is heard to be used by a member wearing cycling apparel, then that person must be ceremonially beaten with Co2 canisters or mini pumps by others within the community.6
No stickers on your bike. Nobody gives a shit what causes you support, what war your against, what gear you buy, or what year you rode RAGBRAI. See Rule 5 and ride your bike. The obvious exception to this a single Velominati sticker, which is obviously allowed to be placed any where, any time.
Never buy bikes, parts or accessories online. Going into your local shop, asking myriad inane questions, tying up the staff’s time, then going online to buy is akin to sleeping with your best friend’s wife, then having a beer with him after. You may as well go into your local shop and spit in the owners face. Online is evil and will be the death of the bike shop. If you enter a shop with parts you have bought online and expect them to fit them, be prepared to be told to see your online seller for fitting and warranty help.
Hold your line.
You are not, under any circumstances, to employ the use of the washer-nut and valve-stem cap that come with your inner-tubes or tubular tires. They are only supplied to meet shipping regulations. They are useless.
Under no circumstances may your saddle have more than 3mm of padding. Special allowances will be made for stage racing when physical pain caused by subcutaneous cysts and the like (“saddle sores”) are present. Under those conditions, up to 5mm of padding will be allowed – it should be noted that this exception is only temporary until the condition has passed or been excised, and if you are hardman you would not change your saddle at all but instead just cut a hole in it to relieve pressure on your delicate derrière. It is noted that if Rule #48 and/or Rule #5 is observed then any “padding” is superfluous.7
You shall not ride with earphones. Cycling is about getting outside and into the elements and you don’t need to be listening to Queen or Slayer in order to experience that. Immerse yourself in the rhythm and pain, not in whatever 80’s hair band you call “music”. See Rule #5 and ride your bike.8
Arm signals. Signal that a left turn by pointing your left arm to the left. To signal a right turn, simply point with your right arm to the right. This one is, presumably, mostly for Americans: that right-turn signal that Americans are taught to make with your left arm elbow-out and your forearm pointing upwards was developed for motor-vehicles prior to the invention of the electric turn signal since it was rather difficult to reach from the driver-side all the way out the passenger-side window to signal a right turn. On a bicycle, however, we don’t have this limitation and it is actually quite easy to point your right arm in the direction you are turning. The American right-turn signal just makes you look like you’re waving “hello” to traffic.
Cornering confidence generally increases with time and experience. This pattern continues until it falls sharply and suddenly.
Bicycles must adhere to the Principle of Silence and as such must be meticulously maintained. No squeaks, creaks, or chain noise allowed. Only the soothing hum of your tires upon the tarmac and the rhythm of your breathing may be audible when riding. When riding the Pave, the sound of chain slap is acceptable. The Principle of Silence can be extended to say that if you are suffering such that your breathing begins to adversely effect the enjoyment of the other riders in the bunch, you are to summarily sit up and allow yourself to be dropped.10
Do your time in the wind; nobody likes a wheel sucker. You might think you’re playing a smart tactical game by letting everyone else do the work while you sit on, but races (even Yellow Sign Sprints) are won through cooperation and spending time on the rivet, flogging yourself and taking risks. Riding wheels and jumping past at the end is one thing and one thing only: poor sportsmanship.
Rides are to be measured by the quality of their distance and never by distance alone. For climbing rides, distances should be referred to by the amount of vertical covered; flat and rolling rides should be referred to by their distance and average speed. For example, declaring “We rode 4km” would assert that 4000m were covered during the ride, with the distance being irrelevant. Conversely, a flat ride of 150km at 23kmph is not something that should be discussed in an open forum and Rule 5 must be reviewed at once.7
Cycling shoes and bicycles are both made for riding. Ergo, any walking conducted while wearing cycling shoes must be strictly limited. When taking a slash or filling bidons during a 200km ride (at 38kmph, see Rule 68) one is to carefully stow one’s bicycle at the nearest point navigable by bike and walk the remaining distance. It is strictly prohibited that under any circumstances a cyclist should walk up a steep incline, with the obvious exception being when said incline is blocked by riders who crashed because you are on the Kopenberg. For clarification, see Rule 5.7
The purpose of competing is to win. End of. Any reference to not achieving this should be referred immediately to Rule 5.11
Know how to train properly and stick to your training plan. Ignore other cyclists with whom you are not intentionally riding. The time for being competitive is not during your training rides, but during competition.
Gear and brake cables should be cut to optimum length, creating a perfect arc around the headtube and cross under the downtube. Right shifter cable should go to the left cable stop and vice versa.
Computers, GPS, PowerTaps, SRMs; If you are not a Pro, then you don’t need a SRM or PowerTap. To paraphrase BSNYC, an amateur cyclist using a power meter is like hiring an accountant to tell you how poor you are. As for Garmins, how often do you get lost on a ride? They are bulky, ugly and superflous. Cycle computers should be simple, small and mounted on the stem. And preferably wireless.
Race numbers are for races. Remove it from your frame before the next training ride because no matter how cool you think it looks, it does not look cool. Unless you are in a race. In which case it looks cool.