Friday, December 18, 2009

Seattle to Snoqualmie Falls And Back

Today was a perfect mid-December riding day: 40-something degrees and wet roads but dry skies. So I headed out to Snoqualmie Falls to get some hours in for the Base training I'm trying to do in preparation for next year.

The profile above shows how there isn't a whole lot of flat on this ride (and that's just the way out).

snoqualmie map

[full map link]

The first sizable hill the climb up to Newport Way through Factoria, and the second one is Black Nugget Road in Issaquah, which is 15-20% grade.. then you swoop down for a nice country ride out to Highway 202 and a little climb up to the Falls.

Thought I saw that pro who rides for Garmin-Chipotle out on Fall City road, but I'm not sure if it's him (he does live in North Bend though). (On second thought it looks like he's in Europe, so it must've been an impersonator)

Thoughts on Training

2009 almost over, but prep for 2010 has already begun. This season I'm doing a "real" training plan, e.g. the Base/Build/Peak/Race formula as described in "The Training Bible" book by Friel.

So instead of "Just Riding Around" like I've done in years past, I'm shifting gears a bit and slowing things down for the Base period, and just getting miles in - not worrying about sprinting, 5-minute attacks - at least not yet. OK, so maybe that's kind of like "Just Riding Around/JRA" except that I'm making it a point to go slower, err not go too fast.

The idea is to start with lots of volume, but lower intensity - then as the season moves on you dial up the intensity but bring down the volume. Of course "how much" depends on your racing category/goals, so my "big" base weeks are really just 12-14 hours total. But that can be a lot of riding when you're not doing it all at once, like the randos do.

So this is my third week of "Base 2," e.g. the second block of Base. I'm looking forward to the rest week next week, then moving on to the "Build" period.

Hell Hath Frozen Over

I recently did something I thought I'd never, ever, do: lift weights. Well, sort of. As part of the training plan I'm supposed to do some weight-training like squats, lunges, etc. (Focusing on the legs & core of course, I'm not trying to "bulk up" by any means, and the last thing I want to do is add upper-body mass)

So instead of going down to 24 Hour Fitness, I just threw a bunch big of computer-science books (like this bad boy) into plastic bags and stopped when they totaled about 30 pounds. Not a lot but you feel it after 10 or so reps of squats/lunges.

So who ever said being a computer nerd won't make you strong? I'll show them...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Crashed On Ice Today.

With a thick fog overnight combined with temps close to 30F, I should have left the Ciocc idle today. Some of the local roads here on Capitol Hill were visibly dusted with a little bit of "icing", and I saw a garbage truck slide a bit coming down the hill this morning - that should have been a sign.

So when I headed out at about 1 PM for a quick spin down to Seward Park and back, I figured that since the skies were now blue it was safe.

Coming down Madison St (a nice 15% grade) there was some moisture on the roads, and evidence the city had been out de-icing a bit on the major roads. Made it down Madison without slipping, took a few extremely slow turns on Lake Wa Blvd (like that one S curve), so by the time I made it down to Seward Park I had gained enough confidence to go at full speed since I hadn't seen any ice or frost (on the road at least) for 11 or 12 kilometers..

The Crash

I had just wound down a little sprint coming into Seward Park, as I usually try to go for the crosswalk near the sign for the park, just before you follow the road left to get to the park entrance. According to the Garmin I was doing about 20 mph when all of a sudden there was a patch of frost on the road in front of me, and though at first it seemed like I was riding through it successfully, before I knew it I was sliding on the ground and the world was turned sideways.

I probably made an interesting guttural sound as I hit the ground, and the crash was loud enough so that some bystanders asked if I was OK. Luckily I was, and the only visible damage on the bike was the bar-end had been scraped and pulled out a bit. Luckily the winter layers mostly protected me from road rash, though I did end up with a little strawberry on my left hip.

More Carnage

Only a minute or so after I hit the deck two cyclists approached and before I thought to warn them, one of them went down in the same patch I hit.. then 20 seconds later a guy in a UW kit slid out going the other direction seemingly just as he was asking if we were alright.

I tried to warn a bunch of other cyclists on the way back up Lake Wa Blvd, hopefully had better luck on the ice than we did. So did anyone else crash today?