Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

2018 Terrible Two Double Century: Good and Terrible

A few quick notes on the June 16 2018 Terrible Two Double Century, which I completed middle-of-the-pack in 15 hours and 17 minutes (15:17) with riding time of 14:12.

The top riders were surely professionals (or former ones) and/or top Cat 1 riders, given their just-over 10 hour finish times—unbelievably fast given the 17000' of climbing. See the PDF results. At my very best six years ago and leaned out to 168 pounds and with no brain issues, maybe I could have done 12:30 or 12:45. For a woman (Gabrielle Andersen of Woodside) to do 12:19 is phenomenal. Maybe she is that former Olympian I met one day on Alpine Road.

The good news was that my body after being fixed up by Dee Sickles LMT MMT performed admirably—no back pain and no twisted torso and both sides of rib cage expanding. Best yet since the crash/concussion.

Power-to-weight matters hugely on climbs: being 10 pounds too heavy (about 178 instead of 168) with 17000' of climbing is a major handicap.

But the main thing is/was brain fade from my concussion like back in April/May, starting at about mile 110. I think it was provoked by great difficulty in seeing into mottled lighting (sun/shade) while descending steep twisty roads on the worst pavement of any double century ever.

After a while, my brain just gave up. I resorted to mini naps of 2-4 seconds while ascending to get some relief, but basically I rode the last 80 miles or so wanting to fall asleep on my bike, stopping occassionally to just close my eyes while I stood there for a few minutes. Something about just shutting off visual input (eyes closed) gave some relief, but that cannot be done while riding except at very low speeds. It was an endurance test more difficult than anything physical. I wanted to quit, but I don’t allow myself that option—all too easy to lower the bar some other day.

The pavement in Sonomo County is the worst I have ever ridden (in risks along with extended distances of very bad stuff)—basically crocodile-hide pavement with patches on top of patches helter skelter with cracks and random small pits and potholes along with 50 to 100 feet sections of unpaved gravel/dirt (usually marked but not alway. So the Terrible Two IMO is mostly terrible because of the pavement. On the steep mottled sun/shade downhills, this beat my hands into a painful state, because not being able to see into the shadows, I had to be hard on the brakes, which puts tremendous stress on the hands, which soak up every bang and bump.

Intractable or Problematic Physical Issue? Medical Massage with Dee Sickles in Flagstaff, AZ

There is massage, there is medical massage, and then there are gifted hands with medical massage. If you have a seemingly intractable physical issue that doctors say is “impossible” to fix without surgery, think again, because what do you have to lose?

Few if any doctors have any clue how to fix the issues I had—their uninformed “solution” is to send patients to PT that is unaffordable, of extended duration, and generally ineffective. Increasingly I find that doctors I see know close to zero about solving real problems, and think of a body as discrete parts—mechanics who understand pistons, but not an engine, so to speak.

After my 25 mph hard crash into an embankment with moderate-to-severe concussion, a twisted spine and torso and mashed-in ribs were not going to go away on their own, but Dee Sickles LMT MMT in Flagstaff AZ did an amazing job—and I’ve had both injuries and massage before—here skills are unsurpassed IMO. See my June 11 notes.

Picture below pending... coming soon.

Lloyd standing, showing twisted torso and failure of right side of chest to expand with full breath
Dee Sickles, LMT MMT
Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

Recovering from Extreme Efforts

This year after the past several double centuries, I have recovered faster than I ever had in the past 7 years of double centuries. I attribute this to two changes:

Together, I have seen nearly complete recovery in just two days, even after a hard day and winning (Eastern Sierra Double) with a fast-paced ~4800 foot ascent at high altitude less then 72 hours later—I could not tell I had even done a double less than 3 days earlier. And 3 days (Central Coast Double). After Davis Double, it was nearly full recovery after 42 hours—these are miraculously short recovery times.

Consider that my fastest double century was just under 10 hours, and a marathon is only 2-3 hours—that should lend some perspective on the relative effort and recovery times, for runners at least.

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2018 Eastern Sierra Double: a Win

Race organizer confirms that I was the fastest—1st place—but timing results will take a few days to post.

Unlike the two previous doubles, I had no brain fade. Still, I had many things working against me, so I am very pleased with the results:

  • An 8 hour drive arriving at 10 PM and prepping till 11:30 PM left me 5.5 hours to sleep.
  • No time to acclimate.
  • Never in 30 years have I had to use my inhaler so much (6 times, way beyond the recommended daily dose) due to repeated bronchospasms. Must have been pollen. I noticed sniffles the night I arrived.
  • Mechanical: at mile 60, the DuraAce front shifter failed, leaving me stuck in the big ring for 134 miles. Well, that’s a lot better than being stuck in the small ring. It was not a battery charge issue; the thing was just plain dead. The next day I found that the cable is making poor contact inside the shifter.
  • 8 pounds over the weight I would have been (178 vs 170) but for The Crash and Concussion back on March 17. That alone probably cost me 20 minutes (slower climbing, greater heat buildup due to more body fat = lower power output).
  • As usual I soloed (no drafting for me), and the lead pack quickly disappeared from sight.

No matter, as it turned out. I was told that the lead rider was a Cat 1 racer, but he took a wrong turn. Well, I’ve done that myself and it’s no fun (an extra 14 miles and 14 vertical once!), but navigating is part of the race. I was told at around mile 150 that he was only 15 minutes ahead, and I don’t know how much drafting he did, if any. All in all seems to me that with the factors working against me, some of which I should be able to improve (weight, sleep, lungs), I was not very far off, and 9 years older.

Scroll down for some race-day pictures.

Power (watts), heart rate, elevation profile for 2018 Eastern Sierra Double


Race day pictures

As usual, I took very few photos because it is tough to ride fast and hard and use an iPhone. And stopping to take good ones takes time. iPhone 7 Plus image quality is so disappointing, but these will have to do.

The course is actually gorgeous in places (such as near June Lake), but I didn’t get any there as my shifter for the front derailleur failed and I was forced to ride the big ring past mile ~60 all the way to the end—was concentrating on riding and dealing with at best a 50 X 30 ratio on hills.

Lead pack just past Millpond (2X camera, pedaled closer for picture)
f2.8 @ 1/560 sec, ISO 20; 2018-06-02 06:16:24
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 6.6 mm f/2.8

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Lead pack motors away into a ~15 mph headwind
f2.8 @ 1/560 sec, ISO 20; 2018-06-02 06:29:15
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 6.6 mm f/2.8

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Just past Paradise, looking downhill to the south
f1.8 @ 1/2200 sec, ISO 20; 2018-06-02 07:17:19
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

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Climbing Lower Rock Creek looking west to Pine Creek Canyon
f1.8 @ 1/2700 sec, ISO 20; 2018-06-02 07:17:23
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

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Below, the lead pack is now far gone, but I caught several stragglers from that pack half way up the hill, and all but one by mile 87 at lunch.

View towards Paradise and the start of Lower Rock Creek Climb
f2.8 @ 1/800 sec, ISO 20; 2018-06-02 07:07:17
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 6.6 mm f/2.8

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East Hwy 120 heading towards Mono Lake a few miles from Hwy 395
f1.8 @ 1/4000 sec, ISO 20; 2018-06-02 11:51:41
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

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Never forget the “smile trick”—it works in reverse as body over mind, a mirror effect of mind over body.

Feeling good about mile 100
f1.8 @ 1/2200 sec, ISO 20; 2018-06-02 11:51:51 [selfie]
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

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East Hwy 120 veering away from Mono Lake to the southeast towards Sage Hen summit
f1.8 @ 1/3800 sec, ISO 20; 2018-06-02 11:52:18
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

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Pot / Marijuana / Weed Smoking Drivers and Me on a Bike

Self-driving cars are disquieting enough, but since I first wrote about the unchecked phenomenon of marijuana-smoking drivers “driving high” back in 2016 it has only gotten worse, much worse: EVERY DAY I smell marijuana stink while out on my rides.

Dorm Graffiti, circa 1983

Losers pull over near Hwy 92 and 280 to smoke a joint, then cruise on—and this is my daily cycling route. I confronted one loser smoking a joint openly just after racing past me at 80 mph at full throttle (a BMW M3 as I recall, he then parked to smoke his 2nd? joint). His most articulate comment was along the lines of “Dude, ...<insert mental vomit>”.

I’m quite liberal, in the late 19th century meaning of the word (the opposite of today’s leftist hate-everything-and-everyone anti-world). So if someone wants to smoke pot regularly, I have no objection, so long as they get off food stamps and welfare and all government assistance (including health care subsidies) and stop driving. Live and let live, literally.

I yield on this point to those suffering serious medical issues for which I believe marijuana has worthwhile uses, but not on the driving and thus endangerment issue.

As to those who seek to escape reality by abusing mind-altering drugs—a work gang building a dam or road would be an appropriate venue to straighten them out (not prison). An occassional joint? I don’t care, but stay off the damn road, or the dam road that day. But what I see is people (a lot of teenagers) driving to go smoke a joint, then driving back.

Maybe it’s time that pot took on its full and proper role of SOMA, as in Brave New World. The timing is right with all the pieces already in place and as a bonus it might reduce vomiting while watching the major news networks. The government could issue a few ounces per month along with a welfare check as control over the masses who should then in a perfect world also yield up their right to vote, should productive work be beneath them. Along with a requirement to wear a baseball cap with “Pot Smoking Parasite” emblazoned on it in public.

But back to drivers: I hope the State of California starts treating these losers for what they are: risks for death and injury to cyclists in particular, as well as other motorists and pedestrians. Maybe that’s why for the first time in 20 years I saw a sunny-day accident at a T-intersection on my daily ride—just not any reason for that to happen. Or why after pounding on the trunk of a car one day (edging into the bike line in a tight area with nowhere for me to go), the driver did not even notice the pounding (ah, for want of a hammer...). Stop ’em, cuff ’em, cite them and JAIL THEM just like any other DUI driver. Smoke pot or drive, but not both.

Ditto for smart phone users. Causing an accident while texting ought to be a lose-your-license offense. After all, if gun manufacturers (guns are legal products) can be sued for gun deaths, why can’t Apple or Samsung be sued for accidents for distracted driving with a smart phone? It would at least be consistent , even if I don’t agree with the premise.

Reader Robin K sends a note on the Weed Spit Test for detecting marijuana. Since many tests for substances or drugs can have unacceptably high false positives, this needs to be dealt with carefully, but a realiable test is a prerequisite for prosecuting DUI pot smokers.

Dorm Graffiti, circa 1983
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Self Driving Cars: a Threat to Cyclists Likely to be Fixed Only with Enough Dead Cyclists Pile Up?

See also Pot Smoking Drivers and Me on a Bike.

I previously wrote about the danger to cyclists from self driving cars. Since then, the news hs shown us that self driving cars can plow right into people without even braking. Billions of dollars being behind the push for self-driving cars, I don’t expect regulators to keep us safe and cyclists least of all, cyclists being shown to be by far the most difficult challenge for self driving cars.

Regulators always make make more regulations begetting more regulations, few of which make us safer or prevent anything, serving mainly as huge financial boat anchors and jobs programs for bureaucrats. Better to have major legal penalties as in “3 at-fault deaths and the corporate death penalty is invoked” would be far better than 100,000 pages of money and time wasting regulations.

IEEE Spectrum discusses how self-driving robotic cars pose a risk to bicyclists.

Robotic cars are great at monitoring other cars, and they’re getting better at noticing pedestrians, squirrels, and birds. The main challenge, though, is posed by the lightest, quietest, swerviest vehicles on the road.

Bicycles are probably the most difficult detection problem that autonomous vehicle systems face,” says UC Berkeley research engineer Steven Shladover.

Nuno Vasconcelos, a visual computing expert at the University of California, San Diego, says bikes pose a complex detection problem because they are relatively small, fast and heterogenous. “A car is basically a big block of stuff. A bicycle has much less mass and also there can be more variation in appearance — there are more shapes and colors and people hang stuff on them.”

... However, when it comes to spotting and orienting bikes and bicyclists, performance drops significantly. Deep3DBox is among the best, yet it spots only 74 percent of bikes in the benchmarking test. And though it can orient over 88 percent of the cars in the test images, it scores just 59 percent for the bikes.

Better hope your’re not in that 41% of cyclists that can’t be properly detected, by the best system. In what irresponsible world would a 1% failure to properly detect be tolerable? It’s OK to say “oops” for 1 in 100 humans on the road? But we’re talking 41 times worse than that.

Why should convenience and/or profit-at-any-cost motive become a risk to my life? The death penalty by majority convenience?

On the other hand, at some point self-driving cars might be safer for cyclists, and then the losers of the world can smoke that joint on the way to collecting their free food and healthcare and what-not. I welcome one that won’t pass me on double yellow blind turns, for starters. But I also wonder just how much room such a car will be programmed to have vs the cyclist? The minimum required by law?

MacPerformanceGuide.com

For Sale: My 2012 Moots Vamoots RSL Frame/Fork DuraAce Di2

Brief note, pictures later as I'm heading out for a few days.

My trusty 2012 Moots Vamoots RSL is for sale, now that I have its successor.

Asking $4600 / best offer. Contact me.

Includes:

  • Frame (2012 model, pressfit 30) and fork.
  • Di2 with front and rear DuraAce derailleurs (11 speed), new chain.
  • Di2 batteries (2) along with battery charger.
  • Ritchey carbon handlebar double-wrapped for comfort with DuraAce brakes, shifters, levers.
  • Ritchey carbon seat post, Chris King headset, Chris King bottom bracket (all installed as I had been riding them).
  • Your choice of saddle (I have 4 or 5 new ones I don't use).
  • Another $100: Bontrager Race Triple Triple X Lite carbon fiber wheels(2011 or so, clinchers, not ridden for many years).

Does NOT include:

  • Crankset (I’m keeping my SRM).
  • Cassette (since no wheelset).

Shown below is the bike as I had it in 2012. It now has the 11-speed DuraAce derailleurs/shifters.

2012 Moots Vamoots RSL Titanium road racing bike, custom Di2 cable routing
Ritchey seat post
Selle Italia saddle
Ritchey WCS 260 stem
Shimano DuraAce Di2
SRM 7950 power meter crankset
Chris King headset
Lightweight Obermayer wheelset
Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

2018 Davis Double: Strong Headwinds, Moderate Heat, Force of Will Gets it Done with a Little Help from a Pool and Ice

Due to the concussion, I missed the Southern Inyo Spring Double, Mulholland Double, and Devil Mountain Double*, resuming with the Central Coast Double, which has not only reduced my potential competitiveness, but the concussion is having lingering effects.

See the 2018 Davis Double course map.

Update on recovery: just 42 hours after finishing I had zero soreness and nearly full strength (power meter does not lie!) which is pretty amazingly fast recovery. It is not full recovery, but very close and typically recovery has been 4-5 days after a double, so that is a very large improvement. I attribute this to two products I am using, one a PEMF device that accelerates micro circulation, and the other a protein source ideal for feeding hard-used muscles, Primal Feast hydrolized beef protein powder. More on both as I confirm recovery with a few more doubles.

...

I was not feeling very well the 3 days prior to the Davis Double Century on May 19, and even Friday I was poorly rested needing two naps—not a good sign. That, and some large fast-growing nodules that I wanted checked out—pretty sure they are just lymph nodes but one 40mm X 10mm X 5mm one in my groin was a nuisance while riding. Two more in my neck. Arriving after dark, I could not sleep until 2:30 AM (probably a symptom of the prior 3 days whatever was bothering me), then I was awoken at 3:52 AM by arriving cars, then 4 AM by my alarm. So it was not a good staging, though without sleep one still does rest.

Starting out, I felt fluid and smooth but power was 30 watts below expectations*. I was at ease, just not riding all that strong, which is what I expected having felt tired the prior 3 days and what with nearly zero sleep. After 50 miles of warmup (yes, 50), I finally began to feel terrific, passing hundreds of riders, until mile 110 or so, where the same thing happened as with Central Coast Double: a marked drop in energy in spite of paying close attention to feeding and hydration. Still, I found I could out-climb a pair of strong riders who had been pacelining each other; they outran me downhill as I stopped to down half a liter at the summit but they had bad luck (flat tire**), and I then left them far behind; even at the Resurrection rest stop (mile 132) they did not show up and I never saw them again.

* A highly accurate power meter provides objective feedback that over the years is an invaluable reality-checking tool, whether power output be low or high, whether there be wind or a climb or whatever—watts are watts.

** Funny, I ride tubular tires with the Veloflex Vlaanderen the only tire I now ride. I’ve had 2 or 3 flats in 36 double centuries (and 3 pothole tire ruptures but those don’t count as that will destroy any tire and maybe the wheel too, I’ve destroyed two wheels that way), but tubeless and clincher/tube riders seem to have far more flat tires. I carry a spare tubular and sometimes two. It is not a big deal for the relatively rare flat tire and the Vlaanderen seems to shrug off just about anything with its 320 TPI casing.

Quite strong winds the last 50 miles and me soloing as always (no drafting) took their toll, but again as with Central Coast Double, I repeated my mantra: “just keep turning the crank”. It was not very pleasant, but there is nothing else to be done since quitting is not an option. I did take a few short breaks, including ~5 minutes at Resurrection rest stop (mile 132) where I felt weak and wobbly, having overheated on the climb. I rested for ~5 minutes while I had an ice cold Mountain Dew, something I indulge in only during double centuries as it gives the liver something to do (fructose) and also has caffeine and cold. Strong headwinds on the downhill stuff slowed me down considerably. It was a lonely ride at that point, catching only a handful or riders in 50 miles (but also passing 20 or so at the Guinda rest stop).

It was not particularly hot but the humidity was oppressively high, and I overheated by mile 150. Once core body temperature rises, power output plummets. I dunked myself in a play pool and splashing water over my head and upper back at the Guinda rest stop (mile 158), loaded my jersey pocket with ice, and drank a liter of cold Nuun. More ice at the final rest stop (Forbes Ranch) and that time slathering it all over my belly too. It helps a lot, yet almost no one bothers—weird to forgo a brief but very helpful way to lower body temperature.

There were at least 391 entrants for the double century though some modest number were women not men. At Resurrection rest stop (mile 132), I was told that 13 double century riders had been through, but everyone leaves whenever they like and I left at the last possible cutoff time (5:15 AM). At around mile 36, a pacelining group of ~20 riders passed me (with that size group half the time one is coasting not even pedaling!), but I am certain that I passed nearly all of those within the next 50 miles, because I recognized many of them as passed them later (such groups always break up on the hills). I observed one group of double riders completely short-circuit some miles of the route, presumably a mistake in navigation.

Since Davis Double does not post elapsed times (only finishing time and no start time), I cannot say where I stand on the final results, but I think it is unlikely that of the 13 ahead of me that all of them did it faster. I was bib #405, so of men worst case #14 out of 300+ men. Still, I consider the day a mediocre performance, far below my performance at Joshua Tree. I think the concussion is holding me back, hopefully it will improve and I will be able to ride strong for 200 miles as at Joshua Tree sometime this year, if only the last double of the year!

Next up: Eastern Sierra Double on June 2. This one will be really difficult: I will have to drive 8 hours until 11 at night (June 1 is a graduation ceremony for my daughter), then get up at 4:30 AM. So... a stressful night with little rest and zero time to acclimate. That should prove 'interesting', and sometimes the body clock just works and it is OK. But it is the long demanding drive that is the real deal-killer.

I took only one lousy picture. I forgot (again) to get a picture at the finish—I had no other thought than lying down and taking a nap, which I did for 2-3 hours. Then I drove home at about 9:30 PM. Note that the iPhone uses GMT +0 for the time for HEIC files, a huge nuisance; this is NOT midnight or so.

Lloyd before the start of the 2018 Davis Double
f1.8 @ 1/4 sec, ISO 125; 2018-05-19 12:13:53 [selfie]
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

[low-res image for bot]

 

Concussion Guidelines: Pure Rest is a Bad Idea

I suffered a moderate to severe concussion in a bike crash at mile 87 of the Solvang Spring Double Century:

Lloyd’s Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI / concussion) Experience and Log

A few weeks ago, I told two of my doctors that I felt that I knew more about recovery from concussion than just about every neurologist. I meant it and I still think that’s true. One does not have to be a doctor to have a high level of self awareness, and of how critical attitude and the mind and the body are—a synergistic whole, not a bag of parts. No person (or doctor) can have more than an a dim inkling of the complex physical and mental situation of another individual, particularly a highly self aware individual—I paid very close attention to myself (greatly heightened by the concussion), and that was my guideline for my own healing.

The medical profession is finally (this is 2018 isn’t it?) starting to figure out what took me all of two weeks: exercise made me feel better (and the best of the day), every day and for the rest of the day after it. That is, after the acute phase (in my case, about 10 days)—a critical point.

It is my unshakable belief that riding my bike every day for 80 to 120 minutes sped up my recovery remarkably—good enough for a win 8 weeks later in a grueling double century.

New concussion guidelines updated to eliminate one key component: prolonged rest

May 17, 2017: BUFFALO – Prolonged rest is not ideal when it comes to treating concussion, and in fact, those who are active faster, appear to get better faster. This is an idea that John Leddy, MD, director of the University at Buffalo Concussion Management Clinic, first proposed about 10 years ago, and now, he says, several studies later, is beginning to be confirmed. It is also an idea that is now reflected in the latest document that guides treatment when it comes to sport-related concussion.
...

The old guidelines indicated that individuals should not return to activity until they were asymptomatic. Until that time, the individual was told to do nothing. “This was known as ‘cocoon therapy’,” Leddy says, “That was how the old guidelines were interpreted and patients were resting, literally being told to do nothing, until they were asymptomatic. The problem with that was even non-concussed people often have some symptoms on any given day.

“The guidelines were good at keeping kids from participating at activities that risk another head injury before recovery, but were being interpreted to recommend that any level of exertion was detrimental to the brain. We now know that interpretation was wrong. All over the world, the treatment of complete rest was prolonging symptoms in many people.”
...

Central Coast Double Century: Won Highland Route, Exactly 8 Weeks After My Crash/Concussion

Due to the concussion, I missed the Southern Inyo Spring Double, Mulholland Double, and Devil Mountain Double*, resuming with the Central Coast Double.

Exactly 8 weeks after my concussion, I won the grueling Highland route of the Central Coast Double Century. [see official web site of Central Coast Double]. The 2018 Central Coast Double results were not posted as I write this and I might even get listed wrong at first, but I have confirmed with the race director.

I drew down all my reserves to finish with a decent time, which meant extra sleep (naps) were needed the next two days to recover. I definitely am not yet back at full strength post-concussion, but I had to laugh with joy at the effortless pacing of a 4-man pacelining group 100 yards ahead or so (so I needn’t bother checking turns)—spinning seemingly effortlessly—a wonderful feeling. My aerobic power output has never been higher in my life I think—I can trundle along nearly all aerobically at ~230 watts or so at ~128 bpm. I consumed 1600 calories the entire ride, burning 8000 calories so that’s 20% of the 'burn'—on the low side. That group disappeared behind me at about mile 60, and even though I slowed down to give them a chance to catch me, they had burned too many matches** and I never saw them again.

At about mile 104, I had to push through some mild brain fatigue (concussion related, I am sure). This mostly vaporized by careful intake of glucose sources (mainly GU energy gel), but I drew upon all my experience and willpower and focused on keeping blood glucose steady and staying hydrated and steady pacing. Still, I lost more power than I’d have liked.

Next up: Davis Double on May 19.

* Since my concussion recovery precluded participating in the Devil Mountain Double which is the first of this year’s California Triple Crown, I’m out of the running for that triplet.

** “burning a match” means over-exerting beyond what is recoverable. Many, many riders do this: 350 watts up a small rise, then drop 200 watts, then do it again. After 20 or 30 times, they’re toast, I pass them and never see them again. A power meter is a tool that can teach oneself not to burn out, by showing power output. I try to keep it steady in the 210 to 270 watt range, bumping up to the high end only when forced to by grade, and cruising at 230 to 250 watts when it feels good (the first 100 miles or so).

I’ll revise this table soon...

Double Century schedule for 2018

 

First Look: the Lightweight Mielenstein Schwarz Edition 24mm-wide-rim Tubular Wheelset with Veloflex Vlaanderen 27C Tires

The Lightweight Mielenstein Schwarz Edition 24mm-wide-rim tubular wheelset delivers the best handling and overall performance I’ve ever ridden—and that’s saying a lot given my other Lightweight tubular wheelsets.

The Veloflex Vlaanderen as shown mounts with a perfect fit on the 24mm-wide rim (rims on other Lightweight wheels are 20mm wide), as if the wheelset and tires were expressly made for each other. See pictures below; the new bike below is the 2018 Moots Vamoots RSL, sponsorship courtesy of OWC / MacSales.com (decals not yet applied).

The 24mm rims are ultra stable and the braking seems better and the total ride quality is a major upgrade. More to come over the next few weeks.

2018 Moots Vamoots RSL titanium bike sporting Lightweight Mielenstein Schwarz Edition 24mm-wide-rim Tubular Wheelset shod with Veloflex Vlaanderen Tubular Tires
f9 @ 1/6 sec, ISO 64; 2018-05-03 14:06:14
NIKON D850 + Zeiss Milvus 1.4/35 ZF.2

[low-res image for bot]
Lightweight Mielenstein Schwarz Edition 24mm-wide-rim Tubular Wheelset with Veloflex Vlaanderen 27C Tires
f1.8 @ 1/120 sec, ISO 25; 2018-05-07 01:23:15
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

[low-res image for bot]
Lightweight Mielenstein Schwarz Edition 24mm-wide-rim Tubular Wheelset with Veloflex Vlaanderen 27C Tires
f1.8 @ 1/120 sec, ISO 32; 2018-05-07 01:23:46
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

[low-res image for bot]
Lightweight Mielenstein Schwarz Edition 24mm-wide-rim Tubular Wheelset with Veloflex Vlaanderen 27C Tires
f1.8 @ 1/120 sec, ISO 25; 2018-05-07 01:24:34
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

[low-res image for bot]
Lightweight Mielenstein Schwarz Edition 24mm-wide-rim Tubular Wheelset with Veloflex Vlaanderen 27C Tires
f1.8 @ 1/1050 sec, ISO 20; 2018-05-05 00:03:56
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

[low-res image for bot]

 

Extreme Exercise May Induce Low-Level Arteriolosclerosis

I’ve long stated here that I count cycling as a major health benefit, both physically and mentally, and the more time goes on, the more strongly that idea is supported by the evidence of my own decades of self-monitoring.

Still, I had not ruled out some possible downsides. Those include development of an irregular heartbeat (which I’ve experienced under extreme training loads, gone when backing off).

But what I had not considered was low-level arteriosclerosis. Recently I had a CT heart calcium scan* score of 91 which is the 88th percentile for my age range (99 is the worst). That was a bit shocking and disappointing; I was expecting something like 0 to 5.

* I had the scan done because during my concussion, a CT scan of my head showed calcification in two major arteries in my brain.

So I saw a cardiologist and had my carotid arteries and heart scanned. They showed low level arteriosclerosis. However, my femoral arteries, listened-to by the cardiologist, have no auditory evidence of any issue.

The cardiologist pointed me to a study which suggests that the trauma of high volumes of intense exercise can induce low-level arteriosclerosis. As I understand it, the volume of blood being pushed through with great force in essence can irritate the artery walls, and this causes low-level inflammation, which leads to arteriosclerosis.

Still, one gets all the upsides of exercise, so this theoretical downside concerns me little.

Relationship Between Lifelong Exercise Volume and Coronary Atherosclerosis in Athletes

Conclusions: Participants in the >2000 MET-min/wk group had a higher prevalence of CAC and atherosclerotic plaques. The most active group, however, had a more benign composition of plaques, with fewer mixed plaques and more often only calcified plaques. These observations may explain the increased longevity typical of endurance athletes despite the presence of more coronary atherosclerotic plaque in the most active participants.

My minimum daily workout is about 1000 calories (kilocalories) at the crank = ~4000 KCal physiologically, assuming a physiological efficiency of 25% (I am 99% sure that I am at 25% or even 26% or 27%, based on the long habit of calculating calories to the gram of food, and my SRM power meter with at most 1% error).

MET (metabolic equivalent) = kcal / kg / hours

Note that "weight in kg" is just plain silly as it has a very large margin of error—8% body fat or 28%?

If I have this right, my base workout is as follows:

(4000 kg / 80 kg / (84 min/60 min/hour) ) = 35 MET hours = 2100 MET minutes per week (MINIMUM)

That’s just baseline. Back in January/February, I was doing about 2.5X that amount for 4 weeks, for example this day.

Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

Death Valley Road, near Big Pine, CA

Returning home from my 4 week trip in which I was recovering from my concussion, I did a portion of this climb (about 1500 vertical feet), which is much less than the ~2500 vertical for the full climb. But it was all I had in me that day, the concussion causing brain-fade still at that time.

It’s a terrific climb, and for those with more energy, descend to the junction then climb 6000' to Schulman Grove at 10,200'. Both are part of the Everest Challenge.

Death Valley Road near Big Pine, CA

 

Durable and fast, up to 1800MB/s

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