Thursday, May 28, 2009

MAP Test

Yesterday I did a MAP test on the bike....  this is Maximal Aerobic Power.

The test protocol:

- Set-up on a CompuTrainer, calibrate at 2 
- Tires @ 100psi
- Choose a gear where the chain won't skip and is in a straight line

- 20 Minutes Warm-Up

- Start at a wattage which represents the low end of your aerobic exertion (say 140-240 watts)
- Increase 10 watts every minute
- Record Heart Rate every minute
- RPM should be at 90 or higher 
- If you go below 90, you have 30 seconds to bring it back up. If you can't, this is where you'll be stopped.
- The last completed stage is your score.

- Record any information of note regarding the test i.e. time of day, hydration, fueling beforehand - try to keep tests as similar as possible.

It is also advisable to have a buddy rocking out on Rock Band to keep you pumped - the fast beat of the music also helps with keeping above 90 cadence.

Check out the video I shot during the warm-up:
 
video

Unfortunately, once the test started Kevin needed to concentrate on recording results.  Next time we need a rocker AND a test technician.  I figure some loud Metallica, AC/DC, Guns 'n Roses or the like should be good for at least an extra 10 watts.

With cycling races just around the corner my results are classified - I don't want to light a fire under my competition's a$$es (or give them a bunch of confidence).  But what I will say is that I was unhappy with how the test ended.  I had wanted to FIGHT to the bitter end and have Kevin stop me for falling below 90 for too long.  Instead I just stopped abruptly after the XXX stage and declared "I'm done!"  I wasn't even below 90 rpm....  I just felt I wouldn't make it....  that is NOT the killer instinct or the eye of the tiger.

Anyway, on the day I figure a little more fight *might* have netted me 10 more watts...  

Last night's group ride was a hilly 50km - Jeremy showed us a great road on the North Shore with Tour de France style switchbacks and gnarly 8-9% sections....  it was pretty awesome!  I will post about it next time...

Cheers,

Tweet this!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Bikes in the Family


I've been meaning to put up a post about my new bike for a while...

Please enjoy the Specialized Transition Expert.  In this case it is shown with my Mavic Cosmic Carbone wheels but it came with Roval Fusee Star wheels (which are pretty awesome wheels for training and are on my road bike right now.)  It would also normally have Speedplay pedals on it but I have them on my other bike at the moment as well.

The Vision Aerobars are pretty nice, comfy and fast looking...

The Vision brakes are razor thin which reminds you not to use them very often....

The whole bike is incredibly aerodynamic - I haven't seen a bike this narrow before.  When I look down at the top tube it is WAY narrower than I am used to - pretty awesome.

The rear brake is placed down by the bottom bracket - for aerodynamics...

The bottle cage between the aerobars is the cheapest, coolest, improvement in aerodynamics you can make (actually I have no idea if that is true but let's go with it....)  Get four cable ties, a bottle cage (the Specialized Rib Cage is perfect), lay the cage between the aerobars, zap, zap, zap, zap presto!  No more reaching down, no more bottle & cage down there in the wind, it is now tucked between your forearms and in front of your crotch OUT of the wind.  It is also super convenient to use from this location.


I'd like to draw your attention to the Bike Gallery sticker....  Stephen Kim down at the Bike Gallery has hooked me up hugely, he connected me with Specialized, and has been a huge supporter of me and my goals for a long time.  His shop is the perfect combination of great bikes, great knowledge and excellent personalized service.  I highly recommend you check it out...

There was also a birthday around these parts a little while back...  Viggo got his first bike!  It is a fire engine red Radio Flyer.  I expect the drivetrain to last for years - it is extremely low maintenance.

You wouldn't want to be a kitchen cabinet in our house these days...  the V-man has a ways to go with his bike handling...

But he has a few good teachers...

Tweet this!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Subaru Shawnigan Lake International 1/2 Iron Triathlon Photos

[Photo link at bottom of post.... if you find one of yourself please take it - just leave me a note in the comments... Thanks!]

Sunday was the Subaru Shawnigan Lake International 1/2 Iron.


If you are going to slap a grand title like that on a race it better be good - and this one is awesome!

Although the race was by no means large (around 300 competitors in the 1/2, Oly, and Sprint) it is star-studded (simon whitfield, brent mcmahon, jasper blake, katya meyers, lisa mensink), well organized, and in one of the most beautiful venues you can imagine.  I had to hand it to Lifesport - they have a great event - and kudos to my friend John Botelho who is the race director.

This event is pencilled into my race calendar for next year.

This year I was supporting my good buddy Kevin who was racing on his 307th birthday....  just kidding Kev....


Also, Vincent, who I met right here in the blogosphere...


And, Mark Shorter, who I know a little from the North Shore racing community...


Before I get ahead of myself.....  the trip started with a 10 minute ride to the ferry in Horseshoe Bay - rather uneventful except for the flat I got.  Of course I had NOTHING - no tube, no tire levers, no pump, no co2, zip, zilch.... all on my other bike.  Luckily I ran into a super nice couple that had everything - they patched my tire and I was good to go on the other side.  [Note:  Karma...  I always help people with flats - it's my policy.  When my turn came the first person I asked basically had every single thing I needed....  it was awesome.]




Upon exiting the ferry I promptly took a wrong turn and rode north for 5 minutes...  (no map either.)  Normally I am like a sea turtle (as my good friend Llorn always says) when it comes to direction - not this time.  After that issue was sorted, I settled in for a quick and highly enjoyable 55km on loooooong rollers south to Duncan where Kevin and I met for dinner.

Kevin had lined up a B&B called Shirley's Cozy Nest.  Fortunately the nest featured a cot for yours truly...  placed conveniently at the foot of Kevin's 200 sq.ft king size bed.  I fell asleep watching sweet triathlon movies from the 90's - that decade was tragic for triathlon style.


You really MUST click on this one to see it full size...

Anyway, I shouldn't turn this into a full report since I wasn't even racing...  my boys all did really well - Kevin PR'd, Vince rocked it and took 5th among the men, and Mark Shorter took 2nd in his age group.

I had a blast taking photos (and I am getting better!) but left VERY hungry for Escape from Alcatraz in a few weeks.  One can only do so much watching.

Here are a few more from Sunday:

Simon Whitfield did the 1/2 swim and the Olympic Swim/Bike...

Katya Meyers about 1km into the run...

Race Leader...  not sure who it was at this point...

A few minutes before the cannon....


Damn it LeBron... 

Here is a link to all my photos from Sunday:






Tweet this!

Monday, May 18, 2009

North Shore Triathlon 2009

Event #1 - Kids 6-7 Relay


Mattias and his buddy Carter rocked this thing.  

SWIM:  Mattias was first out of the water - he took a few wallops on the head and got run into the side of the pool a couple of times but he distanced himself in the last 25m to emerge first out of the water.

BIKE:  Carter executed his mount and climbed up the initial hill almost all the way to the top without stopping...  very impressive for a 6 year old.  He returned having extended the lead, executed a perfect dismount and ran his bike through transition without a single issue.

RUN:  Mattias tore off to the legendary sound of Steve King's voice on the PA saying "Look at that young man climb the hill!"  A few minutes later he brought it home and even nailed my high-five over the fence as he sprinted down the finishing chute.

It was awesome!  Kevin and I were cheering like crazy and my camera sort of seized up...  I still have a few shots from others though. 

Mattias getting "rubbed out" against the wall...

Pulling even with a little backstroke...

And opening up for the finish....

Caulfeild Bombers - First Place Kids 6-7 Relay!  Carter (left) and Mattias (right).


Mattias was super stoked!

Event #2

After the excitement of Mattias' race it was time for me to try to calm down and race myself.  This proved to be a little difficult - I am used to just worrying about myself at a race and this time I was worrying about Mattias and all his stuff.  Like a complete scatterbrain I kept forgetting things - his crocs (at the pool), my goggles (in my bag), my towel (at his transition spot), pumping my tires (oh well), my timing chip (in my bag)...

SWIM:  All the farting around meant I started with a slower heat than I would normally have chosen.  By the time I fetched my goggles and got back into the pool I was with the 14 minute swimmers because the faster ones had gone off already (this swim is self-seeding).  In reality the "13-14s" are actually 15-17s.  Anyway, I laid down a super slow swim in high traffic - it's harder for me to be aggressive in a pool than in a lake - you just feel like that much more of an a$$hole when you swim on top of someone in a pool with 50 spectators 15ft away.  My swim was about 14:00 + 1 minute for hopping and putting on my leg.  

BIKE:  Four laps.  Small rollers, fast.  Lap 1 = out of sorts and feeling weak.  Laps 2, 3 and 4 felt pretty awesome.  My bike needs a few fit adjustments - the seat post needs to be cut, and a longer stem installed...  then I'll be rocking!  We didn't have time to do a proper fit for this race since I got the bike a couple of days ago.  If it didn't look so damn nice (and fast) I probably would have been smart and ridden my old bike.

RUN:  Felt really awful at the start and the end.  Middle was OK (and downhill...)  I have been doing almost no running so this isn't surprising.  I have to pick up the running or Escape from Alcatraz is going to be painful (and embarrassing).  My sole excuse (bad pun) is that I was also in fairly constant discomfort from this:



It took all of about 5 minutes of running to start forming.  I have had this blister about 4 dozen times...  It's almost a tradition.  Anyway, it's mildly annoying when your prosthesis becomes your "good leg".

RESULT:  I placed 11/31 in my AG.  I was particularly pleased with my bike which was 4/31.  Since I have been working pretty much solely on the bike this was somewhat validating.

In the end I was a couple minutes faster than last year but felt comparatively dissatisfied with my race this time around.  Don't get me wrong - I don't expect to run fast in a race without running in training but it still sucks to huff and puff, lumbering around a 5km course.

In non-me news, there was a strong Innovative Fitness contingent at the race - as usual.  Check out Kate motoring past the competition in what might be the best action photo I have ever taken:

Game face on.  Kate was hauling...


Team Innovative:  Kate Perry, Sasha Myers, Guy Demong, MJ, Ashley Perry

Tweet this!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tomorrow We Race!

In this case "we" means Mattias and I....


Tomorrow is the North Shore Spring Triathlon.  Just like last year, my participation will be overshadowed by a first-timer - this time it's my own son!

This is really an absolutely perfect race for a beginner, and I may try to bring one triathlon rookie every year!

- pool swim (750m)
- flat, simple bike (20km)
- fun run on part trails, part road, couple of small hills (5km)
- great community atmosphere

This year Mattias is doing the 6-7 year-old's relay with his buddy Carter.  Mattias will swim and run, leaving the cycling to Carter.  The distances are 50m swim, 1.5 km bike, 500m run.

Today Kevin and I held a transition practice: mounts, dismounts, running with the bikes, tagging, racking bikes, putting on helmets and ripping them off etc.  If you've ever watched a kids tri - this is where the carnage takes place (and the race is won or lost.)  More important than competitiveness is that our sons do not perpetuate the myth reality that triathletes are known for disastrously poor bike handling.  We want our kids to be part of the solution not the problem!

Kevin with his students...

Carter with the day's best "flying dismount"...


Mattias dutifully dismounting PRIOR to the dismount line...

Unfortunately I have a bit more confidence in these guys than myself tomorrow.  I am breaking the "nothing new on race day" rule in a major way:

- New bike (friday)
- New water bottle position (put it between the aerobars - a few hours ago)

Hopefully nothing disastrous will happen...

Here is my new ride courtesy of Specialized and the the Bike Gallery HUGE THANK YOU to both!


Tweet this!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stolen Wallet - Prevent ID Theft

On Monday I "lost" my wallet. I really don't have any idea how - I might have been pick-pocketed, I might have dropped it, left it somewhere, who knows....

Anyway, it fell into the WRONG hands and I have been dealing with it ever since. (Side note: F-U Mr. Chevron, Esso, Rogers Thief!!)

I have learnt a TON in dealing with this and I have decided to share it with my readers. 


This post is long and detailed but it will save you a lot of time, annoyance and maybe some money if you ever lose or have your wallet stolen.  You won't have to be looking up 15 phone numbers, digging out old bills, trying to figure out what to do first, forgetting things and pulling your hair out.  FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY!

You only need the first section right now - the rest if you lose or have your wallet stolen.  


THINGS TO DO RIGHT NOW or ASAP (i.e. before you lose your wallet)

1. Click HERE and bookmark this post. Change the title of the bookmark to: STOLEN WALLET!! so you don't lose it or forget where to find it.

2. Get your wallet AND your wife's, husband's, son's, daughter's (it won't take much longer to do this for everyone in your household.)

3. Open up a WORD document on your computer.  Grab a drink and put on some music...  

4. Make a list of ALL of the cards you keep in your wallet (include bank, credit, gym, library, costco, whatever.... because you won't remember them all when it is gone).

5. Don't keep your Social Insurance Card in your wallet.

6. For each card write down: Acct. # and the phone number on the back.  You can photocopy the cards (front and back) as well if you prefer (make sure it is all legible).

7. Make another list of ALL pre-authorized payments and which card they are associated with.

8. On the list of pre-authorized payments include your acct# and the phone # for each of those companies.

9. Look up the number for your local police department. Write it down.

10. Write down the numbers of the credit bureau's - TransUnion (1-800-663-9980) and Equifax (1-866-204-9044).

11. Write down the number for Phonebusters (1-888-495-8501).

12. Write down the number for Social Insurance - (1-800-206-7218) or www.sdc.gc.ca

13. Take a moment to go onto your bank/credit card website and investigate anti-fraud features. Some are pretty awesome and free to sign up - they will alert you by email if something odd occurs with your cards.  Sign up.

14. Save a copy of the document to a CDRom and put it somewhere safe. Print a copy and put it somewhere safe. Maybe even give a copy to a trusted relative that you could call if you were out of town.

15. DELETE document from your hard drive.


I know that sounds like a lot of work but imagine how much more annoying it is to do it when you have lost your wallet and don't have the cards, can't remember what was there, and haven't set aside time for it. Actually you don't have to imagine - you can take my word for it - IT SUCKS A LOT!!!!!

Now imagine if it happened and you were on holiday........... How much beach time, foreign language stress, and long distance charges did I just save you?


THINGS TO DO ONCE YOUR WALLET IS MISSING

1. Search until you are certain you have lost the wallet. Max. 1 day (my opinion).

2. Call the credit card companies first.

3. If the cards have been used fraudulently cancel them, if not put them on hold and search for 1 more day MAXIMUM.


ONCE YOU HAVE DETERMINED FRAUDULENT USE

1.  If you just didn't find the wallet and there was no fraud you can skip some parts of this but not many - maybe #3, 4 and #9.

2. Call the credit card companies - cancel cards, reorder. Ask for courier service. Get as much info as they can give you regarding the fraudulent uses - amounts, stores, locations, time.... don't expect full info but ask anyway.

3. Call the local Police Department - report the wallet stolen - get a FILE #, Investigating Officer's name and badge number. The officer should take all the information you have and begin to "investigate".

4. Call the Credit Card companies again and give them the file #, officer's name etc, ask them to put it on your file.

5. Call your bank and cancel/reorder bank cards - ensure they have not been used - (unlikely since thief would need your pin).

6. Call Banks and all other companies/organizations and cancel cards/reorder and ensure no fraud has taken place.

7. Call Equifax and TransUnion. Inform them that your wallet was stolen - they will put fraud notes on your file and can set up your file to email you if anything changes on your file. This will alert you immediately if the thief applies for a credit card or some other type of credit. It also sets you up better if you need to have something removed from your credit report at a later date due to fraud.

8. Call Phonebusters - They are the "Anti-Fraud Phone Centre" they are linked with the RCMP and they will take pertinent information and advise you of important things to do.

9. Call Government agencies to report stolen and replace cards - Driver's License, Care Card, Social Insurance Card.

10. Ask your wife, friend, mom, dad for some money so you can buy a new wallet.... hahaha.... actually your bank should hook you up with a temporary card if you need funds ASAP.


10 DAYS to TWO WEEKS LATER

1. You hopefully have all or most of your new cards in your shiny new wallet.

2. Call Credit Card companies again - ensure that no other charges appeared and follow-up on having the original fraudulent charges removed.  All major credit cards will remove fraudulent charges (in my experience).

3. Call the list of pre-authorized companies and give them the updated credit card information.  Tell them the previous card was stolen.

4. Go back to the start of this post and follow the instructions to record all the new information so you are ready if it happens again.


TWO MONTHS LATER

1. Go to TransUnion and Equifax online and request DETAILED credit reports (emphasis on detailed). Make sure all is good and the only marks on your credit were made by you. You can get ONE free report every year.

EVERY SIX MONTHS

1.  Update the document on your computer for any new cards you may be carrying.

ANNUALLY

1. Get a free report from TransUnion and Equifax every year and check up on your credit.  This is a good idea whether or not you lose your wallet, but is imperative if your wallet has been stolen.


I sincerely hope you never have a wallet stolen...  but if you do you will be ready, and know what to do!  It is a good feeling to be organized like this - I can only imagine how much less trauma I will go through if this happens again.

Tweet this!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Challenge Copenhagen 2010?


This has me very tempted...


Most are probably aware that Ironman isn't the only game in town for iron distance racing...

Challenge is a European group best known for Quelle Challenge Roth (where Macca usually pisses off the Germans by winning...)

The Challenge races are very well respected and loved by the pros and age groupers alike.  Challenge Copenhagen is scheduled for August 15th, 2010 and will take place in the centre of the Danish capital and the surrounding countryside.  Read more HERE (or HERE if you can read Danish.)  

Yes, tempting, very tempting....

If you haven't been to Copenhagen you should start saving your pennies now....  it's awesome!  I am fortunate enough to have been quite a few times (Sacha's grandmother and aunt are Copenhageners.)


Apart from how awesome it would be to race in Copenhagen there are tons of other great things to look forward to - like the amazingly cool cycle culture...  Check out the shots below - all courtesy of Copenhagencyclechic.com (which is a great blog by the way)... CLICK TO ENLARGE



Tweet this!