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Training Overload and Impaired Power Output

After two demanding days of ~3 hour rides (2100 kilojoules then 2400 kilojoules), I headed out on the coast loop (locals: Kings Mtn, Tunitas, Stage Road, West Alpine, Page Mill).

My legs were clearly not recovered, but I wanted to pile on another even harder workout as an overload training cycle, for a total 3 day overload. Then two days of recovery with modest rides of 45 min or so.

The graph shown below is interesting in several ways.

First, it was a cool day and even on the climbs my heart rate averaged only 134 (78% of my 172 max HR). Similar observations as discussed in Training: Repeats with Consistent Power, Heart Rate, Time.

Second, there seems to be a base power level even when fatigued, similar to that I see in a double century. It’s one way of assessing aerobic power output, which is all I can do once the legs get tired (except for short bursts). This power level seems to have a ceiling of about 250 watts, which is just what I observed at the end of the Solvang Spring Double. 230-240 watts is more realistic though. Brief bursts higher than that, but once well fatigued (but with proper hydration and feeding), 250 watts is about all I can muster near sea level (drops to ~220 watts approaching 10,000' elevation).

The foregoing is another reason why leaning out to low body fat can make such a big difference in the Everest Challenge: by that last climb, anaerobic power has fallen off badly with severe fatigue, and so that baseline aerobic power is what yields the power to weight ratio on the last climb—and it’s average power that matters over the race.

Finally, even though my legs were reluctant to generate peak power, there is something very interesting about how a very deep aerobic base feels on such an overload; it’s very different from the early season feeling of being wiped out and totally thrashed by too hard a workload. Instead, the body just reduces output, and this wiped out feeling just doesn’t happen. That for me is one key sign that the aerobic base is highly developed and that intensive anaerobic training should be introduced.

4+ hour workout with fatigued legs, 3125 kilojoules

UPDATE: well, a rest day was the plan. But riding a bit on the 4th of 4 hard days, I just kept feeling stronger and stronger, and strongest at the very end of a 3 hour ride. Huh. Training doesn’t always grant such rewards, and such things shall not be denied, so I rode 3 hours, making it 4 hard days of 4, with about 9500 kilojoules (9000 calories) burned over 4 days—trying to bring body fat down.

3 hour workout after 3 prior long workouts—the body does surprise at times

Training: Repeats with Consistent Power, Heart Rate, Time

This was a “fat burner” ride that I started with five repeats (upper Alpine Road for locals). Without referring to my power meter, I just tried to ride at what seemed a consistent pace. See the graph and numbers further below.

Power: 243, 244, 240, 244, 242 watts, green line
HR:    128, 125, 123, 122, 122 BPM, red line
Time:  698, 701, 712, 702, 705 seconds

Discussion below...

3 hour workout starting with 5 repeats, 2245 kilojoules

It’s interesting how my heart rate asymptotically approached 122 on the least repeat. This is something I’ve observed as my body “settles into” a workout. It’s as if the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems + cardiovascular system all settle into their jobs at some ideal agreed-upon level, and then things become very steady-state in terms of power production, at least for these not-so-hard repeats which were mainly aerobic in nature. But this seems to hold true for double centuries; see in particular the Solvang Spring Double Century graph.

The cool temperatures also greatly reduce heart rate (red line) because the body does not have to cool itself by pumping more blood. The first repeat started around 75°F, the last repeat at 64°F, to 63°F at the end of the last repeat, with rest of the ride varying from 68° down to 60°F at the end (near sunset). Heart rate reserve is more than ample (my max is about 172, but hard to reach when highly trained, unless quite hot).

Were the temperature 95° F, I’d expect heart rate to be 15-20 beats higher, just to cool the body. That’s why heart rate is such a poor metric for training; it’s highly dependent on temperature (and humidity + temperature).

Also, observe just how low the HR is later in the workout, even as the power levels approach 300 watts. The relatively low BPM indicates that the stroke volume is very powerful—highly conditioned. I’ve seen this each season as I reach very strong aerobic condition; generally there is a 15-20 beats per minute (BPM) drop in heart rate from poorest fitness to best fitness at the same power output. Such are the effects of training. Assuming similar conditions, this is one way to assess fitness gains.

Small Details: a First Class Bike Fit Pays Dividends in Comfort and Power and Reduced Chances for Injury

Two disappointing prior years aside (medical interruptions), I’m riding strong and comfortable. All the “fit” things add up:

  • Back position is ideal (natural spine curvature), so I can use my gluteus muscles for sustained power over time with more rapid recovery (see the Solvang Spring Double solo effort).
  • Hand position can be swapped from drops to brake hoods to center of bar with almost no change in back position, for consistent power; this allows hand relief, particularly on double centuries.
  • On climbs, there is an suspension bridge effect with the back—a perfect balance that means no back fatigue no matter how long the climb. This can only happen with all the things being right in the “fit”, as I well know from prior years.
  • A shorter crank length lets me spin better.
  • New shoes with custom orthotics, the real deal hand made by 3DBikeFit and checked on the bike, tweaked until perfect.

All of this isn’t luck or my own doing; it’s due to the meticulous eye and attention to detail of Kevin Bailey over at 3DBikeFit.com, using his passion for getting it right, his deep experience as well as front/rear and left/right video systems to evaluate all objectively. Kudos to Kevin’s excellence.

See also:


Another Peripheral Neuropathy Victim from Flagyl (Metronidazole)

I wrote about my experience with nerve damage from Flagyl (Metronidazole).

SG writes:

I am having the same issues after 7 days of Flagyl. Does the neuropathy goes away. I am so worried.

WIND: Stop the Flagyl (Metronidazole) immediately.

Worried? I was scared shitless at losing my ability to work at a time when just making it is hard enough—in other words, losing physically and financially in dire ways. For some weeks, 3-4 hours a day was all I could manage to work and some days hardly at all (80 hours a week had been my usual for years). When you’re making it on your own (no corporate tit), any setbacks are a BFD.

Lots of scary scenarios play themselves through your head when your hands and arms stop working properly. At least for me it did.

Doctors prescribe this dangerous stuff and don’t monitor their patients. This is why reactions to Flagyl (Metronidazole) are “rare”*: no warning, no monitoring, no reporting, no clue. In my case, a flat-out “no” answer to “are there any risks?” (I asked) and the doctor never bothered to follow up, even after I reported a reaction (and he gave me double the usual dose for double the time!). So reactions remain “rare”. Prescribe and forget*.

But worst of all young man you've got Industrial Disease'
He wrote me a prescription he said 'you are depressed'
But I'm glad you came to see me to get this off your chest
Come back and see me later - next patient please
Send in another victim of Industrial Disease'

Dire Straits, “Industrial Disease”

Substitute “Metronidazole”.

* Rare? What are the odds, within days, of finding that my own nurse (allergy shots) had a teenage son who took Flagyl and for years after never felt right again. Doctors make cognitive commitments; hey, if decades-old medical literature says that a shit sandwich tastes good, then it must be so.

Does the neuropathy goes away?

My severe symptoms (tingling, redness, arm weakness, shooting pains) dissipated in an oscillating fashion over about 8 weeks, and I have made a “mostly” recovery. The younger and shorter (height) you are, the better your chances. Stay physically active (blood flow), avoid alcohol.

However, I was left with lingering damage to the ulnar nerve in both arms (as proven by thorough neurological testing of legs and arms), which I’m told should recover in a year or so—probably.

Bending the elbow more than about 90° for very long irritates the Ulnar nerve. For example, I cannot hold a phone to my ear for more than 15 minutes without noticing discomfort (here’s one option to mitigate). Also I have to sleep as well as I can with my arms as straight as I can. Which is not easy (or particularly comfortable), since none of us really can control body position when sleeping. I have a soft wrap/brace that resists bending the elbow more than 90° when I sleep. Oh joy. The Ulnar nerve can be irritated at the shoulder, elbow and wrist, so watch those areas for positions that stress the joint area.

4+ Years of Road Cycling

2015 is shaping up nicely, so I thought it would be useful to look back on the past few years to get some perspective.

  • 2011: 1.2 million vertical feet climbed.
  • 2012: leanest and strongest ever, best finish at Everest Challenge, personal best on Old La Honda.
  • 2013: shoulder surgey deals a multi-month delay in training, mediocre results at Everest Challenge due to not doing double centuries.
  • 2014: shaped up very nicely thru March, but wass then hit with a severe gastrointestinal problem lasting months. Training schedule hosed.
  • 2015: 3 double centuries finished in March, at least 3 more planned. Riding strong, about 1 pound ahead of the game on body weight vs 2012. But 3 years older!

Figures below are only from SRM power meter data (road bike); considerable mountain bike riding is not included in these figures, particularly 2012.

4+ Years of Road Cycling, monthly

Anaerobic Climbing Training: 3 Ascents of Old La Honda (negative intervals), a Week Later

A week prior, I had done 3 ascents of Old La Honda to initiate the anaerobic power/strength phase of my training for the season, deeming three double centuries on top of prior training an ample aerobic base. See the comments on goals for this workout in the week prior report.

These are “negative intervals” meaning that each repeat is faster. However, the 3rd ascent took a lot more focus than the 2nd one and it just barely qualified; fatigue was definitely at play.

Judging by the effort level and feel, my lactate threshold at present is probably around 315 watts, thus each ascent was pushing somewhat beyond that threshold, and this was clearly felt by the 3rd ascent. But that was/is the goal: to stress the anaerobic system in order to raise that threshold, my season goal being around 340 watts. Decent for a 50+ year old.

Discussion continues below.
Mouse over to see ascents #1, #2, #3. Click for full size image.

Old La Honda ascents


The workout above repeats the prior weeks’s effort, but with major time reductions.

I’d like to say it’s all a magical fitness gain, but here are some considerations:

  • Total riding weight was dropped by ~2.5 pounds by leaving water and saddlebag at the bottom, and a lighter front wheel. But due to considerably cooler conditions, much less fluid was lost on the ascents, so the 2nd and 3rd ascent TRW was nearly identical. So weight is a significant factor only on the 1st ascent.
  • Crank arm lengths were reduced from 172.5mm to 170mm. All these years I’ve ridden 172.5mm cranks (DuraAce). I like 170mm and I think it helps me climb faster and spin a little easier.
  • Temperatures were considerably cooler.
  • Two relatively easy days were taken prior, though one maximal 9 minute effort the day prior to this workout was used to “open up” the muscles. Just a trace of latent muscle soreness was felt in beginning these workouts.

The time differentials showed a HUGE improvement: 118 seconds, 114 seconds, 76 seconds on the 1st/2nd/3rd ascents. That’s about 10% faster on the first two ascents, and 6.7% faster on the third. For the first two, the weight accounts for a little, but really not more than 15 seconds or so for the 1st ascent—the reset of the improvement is simply a superior result. WHY?

Maybe the improvement was more rest, maybe the temperature helped, but I have to wonder if the change to 170mm cranks from 172.5mm* is just a better length for me—right way with the change a fews a prior, I felt that I could spin and make power more easily somehow. 2.5mm doesn’t seem like much but there is definitely a change in the feel of the pedal stroke. Makes me wonder about my 175mm cranks on my mountain bikes.

I’m extremely pleased to see the huge performance improvement in one week, whatever the reason. A perfect workout all in all.

* It was Kevin at 3DBikeFit.com, with his meticulous attention to detail, who suggested reducing crank length to me. When Kevin suggests something, it’s worth paying attention!

External Iliac Artery Endofibrosis and Leg Pain in Cyclists

I came across this article recently and thought it might be of interest to some. After last year’s 'trial' (gut issues and nerve damage), an older cyclist like me cannot rule out anything I guess.

External Iliac Artery Endofibrosis and Leg Pain in Cyclists

Most elite athletes are accustomed to experiencing a certain degree of muscle pain and fatigue during high intensity exercise. Recently, however, a subset of athletes (particularly cyclists, rowers and triathletes) have reported symptoms of leg pain and weakness from an unexpected cause - damage to the arteries of the pelvis, groin or lower leg.

This damage, or arteriopathy appears to cause the arteries to stretch, narrow or kink in such a way that during high-intensity exercise the athlete experiences decreased blood flow due to the constriction or obstruction of the artery in the affected leg. This lack of blood flow, or ischemia, causes pain, burning, weakness, and powerlessness during exercise. In cyclists this damage most often occurs in the iliac arteries, particularly the external iliac artery.

See also Dombrowski has surgery on leg artery, looks to future.

A cardiac surgeon comments on the treatments mentioned in the article:

Interesting problem, the treatment from a vascular surgery standpoint should NOT involve a stent. When I did this type of surgery the best long term procedure is removal of the stenosis via endarterectomy and patching with bovine pericardium (tanned with glutaraldehyde rendering it rejection free to the body).

Using a vein patch is ill advised in my opinion, because of the risk of aneurysm formation at the patch site secondary to the vein not being up to the stresses put upon it.

FOR SALE: LOOK 595 Ultra frameset $999

The LOOK 595 Ultra is a fantastic bike— see my review of the LOOK 595 Ultra including build details and image gallery.

This is the 'Ultra' which is more stiff than the regular version, but actually a more comfortable ride due to the carbon used for the frame—highly recommended versus monocoque “dead wood” carbon frames.

Bike is all but brand-new. t has a minor scratch on the frame (as it did when I bought). Has about 1500 miles on it (I keep detailed records for every ride and that’s what it adds up to, it was a spare bike). Never crashed or abused.

  • Size large (see chart below).
  • Includes DuraAce brakes front and rear.
  • Includes brand-new Shimano DuraAce 53 X 39 crank (10 speed).
  • Wired for 10-speed DuraAce Di2 electronic shifting (external). Trivially stripped to run mechanical, but you'd need mechanical shifters (shifters are Di2). Does NOT include derailleurs or battery but the mount is in place for them.
  • Includes Shimano Vibe Pro handlebar and with nice fresh double bar wrap installed with stem as shown).
  • Serious local buyers welcome to come see the bike.

As described above: $999.

See the build notes for build details, though it now has the Shimano Vibe Pro handlebar on it.

Contact me to inquire.

FOR SALE: Look 595 Ultra size large
FOR SALE: Look 595 Ultra size large
FOR SALE: Look 595 Ultra size large, size chart
FOR SALE: Look 595 Ultra size large, size chart

As I had built it below(NOT for sale this way).

FOR SALE: Look 595 Ultra size large, size charge
FOR SALE: Look 595 Ultra size large

Analyzing Power Meter Accuracy: Time vs Weight and Watts

See the workout graphs at bottom.

One (1) pound costs time of about 6 seconds on this ascent for a Total Riding Weight (TRW) of 200 pounds at 20:00 (1200 seconds), since 1 pound is 1/200 and thus 1/200 of 1200 is 6 seconds. We can discount this a little for friction, but hard data shows this to be a reasonable figure.

The 2nd and 3rd ascents are significantly slower than they ought to be, if the SRM power meter is accurate: the drop in riding weight and the increase in watts should deliver significantly lower times than actually measured. This implies that either the scale is inaccurate (provably accurate and precise both, over years!) or the SRM wattage is wrong.

In a nutshell:

  • If total riding weight (TRW) drops by 2.3% (4.6 pounds as here), then the time should drop by about the same percentage for the same wattage (there are frictional forces , but these are all but identical for the negligible speed difference between ascents).
  • If power (watts) increases by 6% (e.g., 316 vs 298 watts), then ascent time should drop by about the ratio of the two (298/316), assuming the same weight (the wattage numbers are 3.3% and 6.0% higher for the 2nd and 3rd ascents vs the first ascent).

The numbers don’t work: the combination of lower TRW and higher watts should have dropped the time significantly more (the time should have been 30 seconds faster on ascent #3).

The scale claims a weight loss of (200.0 to 194.9 pounds over a 2-hour workout. That’s a loss of 5.1 pounds = 2.5 pounds per hour, or about 1.16 liters of fluid lost per hour (1L = 2.2 pounds). That figure is inline with years of experience. Accounting for some fluid loss before and after the ascents, and taking the average weight based on that loss range yields the table below, which shows a significant discrepancy with the actual time.

SRM quotes 1% accuracy for the DA9000 power meter crankset, which is about 3 watts, or about 13 seconds on a 1300 second climb. But it should not accumulate with each ascent; the discrepancy is 24 seconds for ascent #3 (1260 seconds actual vs 1236 calculated).

Thus, the SRM power measurement seems to be out of range of the claimed 1% accuracy. Actual wattage must have been lower than recorded for ascents 2 and 3, since the times are slower than the time the watts would imply.

Calculation of ascent time variation from actual + weight + watts

Mouse over to see ascents #1, #2, #2. These are “negative intervals” meaning that each successive effort is at a lower time.


Old La Honda ascents

Starting the Anaerobic Climbing Training: 3 Ascents of Old La Honda (negative intervals)

With three double centuries showing a strong aerobic base, I deemed the time ripe to begin anaerobic and power training on Old La Honda.

These ascents were intended to be just at or above lactate threshold, a goal the quadriceps confirmed grumpily.

My max HR is 172, so 150 bpm (first ascent) is 86% of max, and 155 bpm (3rd ascent) is 90% of max HR. But as I get in peak shape, HR does not like to go above 92% of max unless it’s quite hot, or the effort is extreme.

Observe how ascent (gray triangle) is all but a dead-straight line: since the grade varies, a straight-line rate of ascent indicates a disciplined effort to maintain a consistent power output even as the grade varies significantly (no backing off as the grade mellows), which thus results in a near constant rate of ascent.

Frictional forces are low at low speeds (8.98, 9.26, 9.48 mph here), so a consistent power output regardless of changes in grade relates directly to a consistent rate of ascent.

Mouse over to see ascents #1, #2, #3. These are “negative intervals” meaning that each successive effort is at a lower time. Weight vs watts vs time analysis.

Old La Honda ascents

Calibrating for Distance and Speed Accuracy (Tire Circumference), 700 X 22C vs 700 X 25C

Experience proves that GPS is absolutely useless in the vast majority of my riding situations, with errors up to 20% when mountain biking under tree cover (twists and turns and switchbacks, dropped signal, canyons, etc). Even on a road bike I often ride under tree cover and there are tight turns.

GPS satellite errors are often low, but sometimes surprisingly variable. Of course, GPS has one big advantage: errors are not cumulative over a long ride. But the accuracy over distance is not very good in many cases. For wide open roads and straight lines, it is fine.

GPS total error over distance might also be affected by grade; it’s unclear that GPS ever logs road distance properly when riding on, say, an 8% or 18% grade (e.g., “as the crow flies” vs cyclist glued to undulating/climbing road). That would presumably depend on the GPS unit. But no GPS can properly measure up-and-down short-length dips in the course; the accuracy and precision are just not there.

How to measure

When I road-bike, I calibrate my SRM PC7 accurately (it reads out to 0.001 mile using a wheel sensor).

Ideally, one would have a known distance on flat ground: a 400m track or strip of pavement marked exactly for distance; ride the distance, then adjust the calibration so that it reads exactly right. I don’t have that facility anywhere nearby.

I lay down a long tape measure, then carefully roll the bike so that at least four revolutions are made of the wheel to increase accuracy. I’m on the bike so as to incur typical tire squish. I take the distance, divide by four (revolutions) and plug this number into the SRM.

The numbers will depend on body weight, inflation pressure, type of tire and its size. Thus getting your own number can yield a more accurate speed and distance than some generic assumed number.

Settings for the SRM Power Control 7 head unit

22C vs 25C circumference

Here’s what I found for myself for the front wheel (my sensor is on it).

These are pressures that I typically ride and total riding weight was ~200 pounds (~178 pound rider fully clothed, lights on bike, saddlebag, etc):

 Veloflex Record 700 X 22C @ 120 psi: 2014 mm

Veloflex Roubaix 700 X 25C @ 110 psi: 2123 mm

The difference is 0.9%. That doesn’t sound like much, but it equates to a 1.76 mile error for a 200 mile double century, which dovetails with what I’ve observed when riding a Veloflex Roubaix with the PC7 being calibrated for the Record.

Note that if you were assessing, say, an aero wheel or aero riding position, that 0.9% difference translates to 0.27 miles per hour at 30 mph. Which is of no particular interest in general, but very significant if you’re goal is to assess gear for winning, say, a time trial. Put another way, 0.9% of 30 minutes is 16 seconds—huge in a race like that.

Three Double Centuries, a Week Apart

A double century is a great way to establish and prove out a deep aerobic base for any hard race like the Everest Challenge. I completed these three double centuries on March 7 and March 14 and March 21, 2015—three Saturdays, a week apart.

I chose to do 3 in a row with the explicit intent of reducing body fat and laying in a deep aerobic capability for more intense training for the rest of the year. The effort was a success on both counts.

See also To Draft or Not to Draft: What Does it Accomplish?

  • All of my double century efforts are solo time trials, meaning I do ZERO drafting (though I might pull others). This is much harder than expending 2/3 to 1/2 the effort in a pack. Even two riders sharing the load give each other a considerable break.
  • Actual mileage can vary from what is shown in the graph. Not having calibrated for 25C tires (vs my usual 22C), my SRM PC7 seems to have been off (low) by a percent or so.
  • All three events ridden with Veloflex Roubaix tubulars tires and a Lightweight Standard rear wheel and Lightweight Autobahn VR front wheel.


I rode all three double centuries on my usual Moots Vamoots RSL using Veloflex Roubaix tubular tires on a Lightweight Standard rear wheel and Lightweight Autobahn VR front wheel.

The Roubaix tires held up beautifully, perfect for events like these with quite a lot of road hazards. The Vamoots RSL rocks for double centuries with those pencil-thin seat stays and its double butted Ti frame, and the Lightweight wheels never break and never go out of true.

Southern Inyo Double Century, March 7 2015

This double century starts from Lone Pine, CA. This was my first double for 2015.

The far reach on the ride was to the border of Death Valley National Park. Here I had to wait briefly for a required sign-in, but I also had to take a 'dump' really badly and no restrooms, so I then had to stop again for relief about 5 minutes later. Somehow this shut me down and broke my mojo; up until then I had been feeling terrific. After that I felt marginal, and later, downright crappy. :;

Later at the high point of the course (mile ~133) I ate a sugar cookie, thus breaking the “never eat untested food” rule. I paid for it dearly with a terrible gut ache for miles 150-200 or so (after the descent).

Something went very wrong in general with fueling and hydration; I lost all appetite and sense of thirst at about mile 140, or rather I had no desire to eat or drink anything of any kind. Even Hammer gel I could scarcely gag down. It was literally having to force myself to eat and drink, but the gut ache made it a very unattractive proposition. The power decline is obvious by mile 150 but actually started earlier around mile 100 (just after the 'dump'). Physiologically I had goofed somehow: clear and excessive urine (overhydration) for the first 6 hours of the event was a constant nuisance. I did take Endurolytes so it wasn’t lack of electrolytes.

Together with painful big toes (new shoes and orthotics, 3 weeks with them prior), the last 50 miles were physically very unpleasant. I had to grin and bear it the best I could and I had to stop and just stand for 5 minutes at about mile 180, which helped. I felt like I wanted to throw up once I finished and it took about 90 minutes before I could eat. But after that, everything went back to normal.

At mile ~120, my rear tire flatted with two ~1/3mm diameter X 20mm long stainless steel wires embedded in the rear tire, just after I had missed a turn and ridden too far the wrong way. Once I got back on course, the good luck was the location—about 1/4 mile from my car (the route crosses back on itself). So I rode back to my car and swapped the rear wheel. Later, Stan’s No Tubes completely sealed the pinholes and I used this same wheel/tire for the next two double centuries as well. Stan’s NoTubes is great for such pinholes, and the tires can still take full pressure with no chance of blowing out the sealant (larger holes get you home with Stan’s, but tend to blow out the sealant sooner or later, re-flatting).

Kilojoules: 7697

Power and heart rate with elevation profile for Southern Inyo Double Century

Joshua Tree Double Century, March 14 2015

Due to a faultily memorized map lacking a “Y” turn (lacking in my mind), I took the wrong turn and did 12 extra miles and about 1400 vertical feet more than the standard course. So it was well beyond a double century.

There was no support within the park, so I rode unsupported for over 80 miles, which left me dehydrated and hot. Scarfing a liter of cold water upon reaching the interstate highway just out of the park, I partially revived, but It seemed to kill my performance for the rest of the day (120 miles or so to go after that!). Temperatures ranged from 39°F at the higher elevations at sunrise within the park to 90°F or so on the post-park outer areas. It’s never really possible to rehydrate properly while riding once too far gone, so this screwed the day. I was very, very glad to be done.

Still, I recovered faster from this one than the Southern Inyo (above). Just 48 hours later, I had a nice strong ride, albeit the muscles still need a full 4 days to be back at 90%, and probably 6 days to be truly back at 100%.

Course: About 68 miles is through Joshua Tree National Park, which are enjoyable miles with good pavement. The rest of the course ranges from boring to “the road never ends” slow climbs to some really unpleasant junk miles along the interstate highway, including dodging bits of tires, rocks, screws, bolts and having to wait ~5 minutes for a semi trailer truck with billowing brake smoke. By a miracle I did not flat on this section or this day.

Kilojoules: 7870

Power and heart rate with elevation profile for Joshua Tree Double Century

Solvang Spring Double Century, March 21 2015

Aside from a few badly timed stoplights, nothing untoward. No flats (first time in 3 efforts!), which was sheer luck since never in any event have I seen so many people with so many flat tires. The junk-miles portions of the course are littered with glass on some sections, with constant vigilance required. Dangerous drivers near Pismo Beach in heavy traffic cut me off three times; extreme caution is needed. I heard similar stories from other riders.

I was able to maintain good power the entire ride and even finish stronger than ever. I attribute this to a 245 calorie/hour intake of Hammer Nutrition HEED, Hammer Perpetuem solids, GU gels, and some junk candy (black licorice, two mini candy bars, 5 sticks of red vines, one small pack gummies). For me at least, gels and HEED just don’t do it fully (these are almost entirely maltodextrin); the liver should not remain idle; it has a job to do, so scarfing some sucrose and fructose at mile 80 on up at it keeps it active, converting about 60 calories/hour of those sugars into glucose—very significant in context of overall fueling intake of 245 calories/hour (which is about the limit of what the stomach can process during such an event, assuming good hydration).

This was a solo time trial (ZERO drafting though I sometimes “pull” others). Nearly all riders with faster times were pacelining (one fast group that went by had 7 or 8 riders, making it a hugely easier effort 80% of the time for all the riders). Thus their times are not comparable; a different event in the reality of actual performance (a great deal of resting/coasting!). And some riders consistently blow through stop signs and lights (*that* is outright cheating, and illegal too). I do not wish to “win” by someone else’s wind-blocking exertions, and certainly not by cheating. In a RACE, yes I *will* draft (within my racing category), since that is part of the race strategy and cannot be set aside in a race.

Solvang Spring Double 2015 results. Total clock time for me includes some bad luck with stop lights and stop signs (traffic), and some route verification.

Kilojoules: 7517

Power and heart rate with elevation profile for Solvang Spring Double Century

The High Quality Camera for Cycling

See The Camera for Cycling over on my photography site.

FOR SALE: Look 595 Ultra size large
ZIPP 404 tubular rear wheel with DuraAce cassette and mounted new tire

FOR SALE: ZIPP 404 tubular rear wheel

Cleaning out the garage, and I ride my Lightweight wheels these days.

Low miles. A steal at $450 with new tire and DuraAce cassette.

Contact me to inquire.

FOR SALE: Look 595 Ultra size large
ZIPP 404 tubular rear wheel with DuraAce cassette and mounted new tire
The Speed You Need
The Speed You Need

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