Masters Nationals 45–49 Criterium

Uhl in Ogden, UT – The crit was the same course as last year, with a litter riser and right-hand turn at the end of the start/finish stretch. I was hoping they paved that stretch since it was bumpy last year. But during my warm-up laps I realized they hadn't, so I let out some air from my tubeless tires (which really helped!). For this age group it was 50 minutes, which was odd as the age brackets below us did 75 minutes, and most women's groups did 60 minutes. Weird!

The crit pretty much stayed together, with small breaks getting away for a half lap here, a lap there. But everything usually came back together. There were ~80 riders and I wasn't riding as strong in the crit as I hoped, so I was at the back of the strung-out field most of the time. IOW, I didn't get to see the front very much. :(

There were a few crashes mid-pack, which took out some riders. I always try to be on the inside on crits, which helped me avoid them as they all happened in the middle or outside of the field. One of them happened just ahead of me and I just counter-steered and tightened the radius of my turn to avoid it.

With three laps to go, it seemed to slow down, or everyone was getting tired, and I managed to slide up to the front on the right-hand side of the start/finish stretch. I was hopeful I could stay up there, but on the wide section on the backside of the course, things swarmed and then later people were taking risks I didn't like, so I dropped back a little.

On the last lap there was yet another crash on turn 2, which I avoided again. This helped me stay in the top-half, and managed to move up a little in the start/finish stretch, where I sprinted for 33rd. Tad didn't do the crit...I think I was the only Boise rider in that one.

Masters Nationals 45–49 Road Race

Uhl in Ogden, UT – With this year's 5k neutral start, probably due to new chipseal, it was a much calmer start than last year. The RR course starts with a small but steady 3–5 min climb right off the line. Last year the first 5 minutes were the hardest of the race, but this year it was nice tempo to the beginning of the downhill. The downside is that we had to stay behind the neutral car on the first part of the descent, which means we were riding our brakes. Probably used my brakes more in that descent than I have the whole year! After that, I think I prefer the chaotic start of last year!

When the neutral ended, it was racing as normal and the rest of the descent was fast and fun like last year, hitting 55mph! Once we got to the valley floor, we did three laps around Pineview Reservoir. There were some initial attacks early on, one of which I jumped on, but me and the other rider were quickly caught. I mainly did it to stretch my legs. Then I just stayed towards the front of the pack, keeping an eye out for bigger breaks.

Two riders got away on the first lap, but the pack (primarily, two bigger teams) kept them at a 30–50 second gap. So the pace was fast but steady for most of those loops.

Into the third lap I stayed near the front, but not *at* the front, to cover any breaks before the climb. One of the guys doing some of pace-setting had a Go Pro. Here's me in about 4th wheel:

The gap to the two-person breakaway kept decreasing as we approached the climb. It actually got kind of frenzied, as people were racing to the bottom of the climb, a la, Alp d'Huez-style.

When we hit the climb, I was in the top half of the pack and stayed with the front group for about a minute or two. Then I dropped off the front a little and settled into my steady, hillclimb time-trial mode. I just rode a nice tempo, knowing that most people fade hard during the 30-minute climb. My strategy worked, because by halfway I was catching and passing folks.

I did see some excitement on the quick downhill section, about two-thirds the way up the climb. A rider about 300 meters ahead of me, overshot the bottom turn and rode off the road! :o The road was elevated at that section, so from my perspective, I just saw him ride off and disappear! It was like those Tour de France videos! But as I went by, I looked back and I could seem him scrambling back up, so I knew he was okay. Thank goodness!

I kept picking off riders the rest of the climb, almost making it to a group of six by the finish. I finished solo at 32nd place, just 20 meters back from that small group. Tad Hamilton got 14th for the day. My ride time was 6 minutes slower than last year, but it felt like a harder race, probably due to the neutral start slowing us down.

Bogus Basin Hill Climb 2009

Click to view interval Uhl in Eagle, ID – Today was the annual Boise “world” championships, otherwise known as the Bogus Basin Hill Climb. After last week’s tough 1,000 Warriors race I figured Bogus would feel like a walk in the park. Well it wasn’t…it was as hard as ever, but in a good, make-your-legs-hurt, kind of way!

I ended up ignoring the SRM on my handlebars and pushing it to stay with the front group over Corrals. With a 7.5 minute wattage of 350 I was way over threshold. But having the group on the downhill probably saved me a good amount of time. I did slip off the back on the cattle guard hill then just rode a steady pace for the rest of the climb.

I didn’t have as much punch on the second half and was caught by Thomas L.. We worked together as we picked off a few other riders. He pulled a good part of the time. We caught another rider in the trees so we had three people when it flattened out. I think we all just wanted to finish with a good time so we continued to rotate. I ended up at the front with less than 1K to go so I pushed it pretty hard and no one came around me by the line…but the best part was we all broke an hour! My official time was 59:44.379 which was good for 14th place. Average power was 313 watts and normalized power of 319 watts.

For some reason I thought that was my first time breaking an hour, but after reviewing all the past year’s results, I actually did it in 58:44 in 2004. So now I have a new goal for next year: Break 58 minutes!

Results on Spondoro:

Hardest Race Ever Recorded

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – Heather and I did the 1,000 Warriors race this past weekend and it was tougher than I thought it would be. I actually have proof that it was the hardest race I’ve ever recorded at a whopping 382 TSS! By the time I met up with Heather and we rode down to our pick-up location in Sandy, the total was 421 TSS.

I may have gone over those numbers last year in the 170-mile Tour de Park City or a few years ago at the 203-mile Lotoja race, but since my PowerTap wheel is heavy and un-aerodynamic, I wouldn’t use it for “A” priority races. But this summer I got a deal on a Cannondale SuperSix and a wired Cannondale Hollowgram SI SRM and built up a new race bike, so I no longer have to decide between light wheels or having a power meter! I also broke my high-speed record on the north side of Suncrest with a speed of 63.5 MPH! That road is just made for going fast as I set my previous record of 62.3 MPH on it years ago when we lived in Utah.

I thought doing a double Bogus-to-Pioneer would be enough to prepare me for this race, but ending a 96-mile race up a 7-mile climb that averages 8% grade and gets near 10% in sections while it’s 100° out, was painful! Rather than give a detailed blow-by-blow, I’ll just say that I made it to the Sundance climb with the group and climbed it well, but then faded quickly on the last two climbs: Suncrest and Snowbird.

Continue reading "Hardest Race Ever Recorded" »

Another Record Breaking EHB

Click to view interval Uhl in Eagle, ID – I guess I’m proving that the training principle of specificity really works. For as much as I do the Emmett–Horseshoe Bend loop, it may not be surprising that I broke my personal record…yet again! This time by a significant margin: I did it in 2:46:15 with a normalized power of 261 watts!

I think my form is finally coming around after a two-month plateau during the summer. While I had a good climb on Saturday’s Sweet EHB loop, when I did Bogus on Monday I didn’t have nearly as much power and was slightly disappointed. I probably needed more recovery before Monday's ride, but I wanted to make Monday and Wednesday my “hard” days so I’d have two days before Saturday’s 1,000 Warriors race.

I still would like to break 2:45 which now I know is realistic. I have a feeling after I taper for Bogus in a couple weeks, my legs will be much fresher, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. For now it’s time to rest up and get ready for the suffer-fest early Saturday morning…Cat 1–3 men start at 6:05 AM!

Sweet EHB

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – I was planning to do Warm Lake Road ride today, but with the forecast for Cascade looking really cold with a chance of AM showers, I changed plans and did an Emmett–Horseshoe Bend loop instead.

I rode with Mark and Michael and we had a good time with all the wind! Going up Highway 16 was the worst part, with a strong head/crosswind. In Emmett, we made a new turn off Substation Road as Michael showed us his property there. With less traffic than the other two roads that take you to Plaza (and eventually the bridge) I think I’ll make this new turn part of my standard operating procedure.

We were treated to a nice tailwind for most the canyon and then made a stop in Horseshoe Bend. I decided to do the hill steady-state and managed one of my fastest times with the help of the tailwind. Power was about 10 watts off of my best time, which I acheived back in 2003 when I was in my best climbing shape. I had fun on the downhill and then cruised back into Eagle. The weather was perfect and it was a great ride.

Double Bogus to Pioneer

2009-08-09CropUhl in Eagle, ID – To get ready for the 1,000 Warriors race in Utah in a couple weeks I did my second double Bogus ever. The first time I did it was with Heather in late May of this year when we needed some climbing miles. Today I managed to beat our time by 15 minutes and post a decent norm power for the 6-hour affair.

Here’s the the GPS data (no power) on Garmin Connect:

While the Garmin reports elevation gain of 11,527 feet, that’s a little optimistic. My calculations based on just the peaks and valleys of the “real” climbs comes out to 10,000 feet of climbing in 103 miles. This compares to 7,500 feet of climbing for the 96-mile 1,000 Warriors race.

Record EHB

Click to view interval Uhl in Eagle, ID – Did my favorite local ride today, an Emmett–Horseshoe Bend loop. The forecast called for a strong northwest wind so I had a feeling I’d be able to use it to try to break my past record of 2:56:39 set back in 2006. As an aside, I did it in 2:53 once but that was on my TT bike, but that would be comparing apples with oranges so I don’t count it. So today I went hard the whole time and managed a time of 2:52:57 with a normalized power of 247 watts! Nice!

Warm Lake Road

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – Heather and I just re-discovered Warm Lake Road last weekend when we went camping with some of her work colleagues. We brought our bikes but only rode up both climbs on either side of Warm Lake. Since Heather had some business to do up yesterday, we decided to come up, stay the night and then do a longer version of that ride. The road has been recently paved and is super-smooth with no chipseal…imagine that!

IMG_2850We stayed at nice little motel started out early this morning. While it was over 100° in the valley, it was only 52° when we started and just barely crossed 70° when we finished at noon. We mostly rode tempo, except for doing LT intervals up the two major climbs: Warm Lake Summit (elevation 7,291 ft), and Big Creek Summit (6,564 feet). We were cold for the first two hours of the ride and didn’t really go hard until we hit the Warm Lake Summit climb. Then we rode to the end of pavement (EOP) then turned around. On the way back we stopped at the Warm Lake Lodge to refill our bottles, then headed to Big Creek Summit where I did another interval.

IMG_2852 Once it warmed up I felt much better and pushed it hard all the way until we were back in Cascade. It was a great workout! BTW, camera is starting to go on the fritz…if you noticed the horizontal artifacts on the EOP pic.

Here’s the the GPS data on Garmin Connect:

For Sale: Yeti AS-X

YetiAS-XSOLDUpdate: Yeti has been sold!

Uhl in Eagle, ID – I purchased this Yeti AS-X a few years ago but with my emphasis on road racing these last couple years I hardly ride it anymore. This is one great freeride bike. It’s perfect for lift-served mountain biking or just to use as a heavy duty all-mountain bike. It climbs well for such a beast of a bike…I’ve taken it up Hard Guy many times. Size is medium and I upgraded a few things from the stock build. Details and more pictures can be found on my For Sale ad on PinkBike.

Finally a Good One

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – After a week of mediocre rides, I finally had a solid workout today. I headed west to ride part of this Sunday’s Idaho State Championship road race. I headed west on Chaparral and did six 30-second sprints with 90 seconds rest. They were tough, but I pushed through it and managed to produce consistent power across the set. Then I rode medium- to high-tempo as I rode the El Paso loop, jamming it up the hills and doing LT on the flats. I went back to tempo-mode as I returned back to Eagle through Hillsdale. With an intensity factor of .86 for a 3:20 minute ride, it was one tough workout!

Descending VO2s

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – I did my first “real” workout since last weekend’s hard rides. Since I was on the rollers, I decided to do VO2s today. They’re good for indoors since there’s no traffic or intersections to contend with and can turn on the tunes.

Instead of doing a straight set of 4x5s or 5x4s, I decided to do descending VO2s; from 5 minutes down to 30 seconds with a 1:1 work-to-rest ratio. They went okay, but my legs felt a little blocked as I had not gone hard all week.

Tired EHB

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – Well, I should have known better but I did an Emmett–Horseshoe Bend loop, even though yesterday’s ride was pretty tough. My legs weren’t too bad over the first hour, but by the time I was in Black Canyon, it was getting pretty hot and I could feel myself fading.

I wasn’t trying to make hard, I mainly just rode low tempo, but I always like giving it a go on the hill. But today I had nothing by then and just rode tempo. With a nice headwind, it wasn’t much fun. I did enjoy the downhill as usual and just paced myself back home. With another three hours of saddle time it gives me a solid 16 hour week. With my CTL at 102TSS/day, it’s time to let it drop a little bit over the next couple weeks leading up to Elkhorn.

Double Bogus

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – To get Heather ready for Mt Hood, and me for Elkhorn Classic, we rode early today to get in some serious climbing miles. We did a slight modification of our new favorite climbing ride: Riding up and over Seaman’s Gulch to Hidden Springs, then Cartwright to Bogus Basin Road, up to the Pioneer Condominiums, and turn around and return the same way. But today when we rode it, we rode the Bogus to Pioneer climb…twice!

View from Pioneer Condo parking lot.Since we knew it would be an epic day, we took it easy on the Cartwright climbs and just rode low tempo up Bogus the first time. Even so, it was still hard and when we got to the top I double-checked with Heather if she still wanted to do another one, and she confirmed she did. The second time up we pushed the pace and ended up splitting up a little ways up the hill. There were quite a few riders out and we saw a few of the competitors in the Camels Back Duathlon.

I pushed the Pioneer section of the climb as best I could and then refilled my bottles…again. Heather wasn’t too far behind and after she refilled, we headed down for the last time. It was nice and cool at the top and we really didn’t want to descend down into the heat in the valley below. The hill on Cartwright by the motorcycle park was even more painful than when we do Bogus only once, but somehow we managed to get over it in our 25s. Seaman’s wasn’t as bad, but we had a headwind the rest of the ride back to Eagle.

In the end it was a 104 miles with approximately 13,000 feet of climbing. I say approximately because Bikely, MapMyRide and my Garmin all report different elevation gains. Don’t know which one is “right” but all I know is that it’s a lot of climbing and we were both cooked by the time we got home!

Memorial Day Bogus

IMG_25592009-05-25CropUhl in Eagle, ID – Even though we just completed a two-day, three-stage race, Heather and I headed out to do Cartwright, Bogus to Pioneer, Cartwright. Yes, we love to suffer! But the weather was just perfect and we both beat our times (and wattage) from the last time we rode Bogus.

We did sleep in a little bit and didn’t head out until 8 AM. It was a bit cool heading out on Hill, but perfect by the time we climbed Seaman’s Gulch. My legs were hating the first few pedal strokes up that hill but it got better as we went along.

IMG_2552We really enjoy the nice, new pavement on Cartwright Road. What a difference nice asphalt and bike lanes make! The “wall” is definitely a lot less steep than it used to be, but it still hurt in my 39x25! On the motorcycle hill I “only” hit 51.7 MPH this time; the wind wasn’t conducive to a high-speed run today.

We both treated Bogus as one, long interval. Heather stayed with me for a while, then dropped off on the switchbacks. I felt pretty good and very comfortable on the bike but my legs started to fade as I approached the trees. I eased up through the flat section, then kicked it up again through the parking lot and the last section to the Pioneer condos. I just barely finished all my fluid by then, so I went straight to the spigot and refilled my bottles.

Continue reading "Memorial Day Bogus" »

Top Five

IMG_2524 Click to view race and flyer stats Uhl in Eagle, ID – This afternoon was the last stage of the Treasure Valley Stage Race, the Nampa downtown criterium. Heather went off before me and it was an interesting race to watch with only six women. Heather was on the front a lot, but that was the plan. Heather really wanted to get a workout in as the Mt Hood Cycling Classic is only a week and a half away! Heather and her teammate had a plan for the finish, but it didn’t unfold as they wanted so neither of them won today’s stage. But Heather still won overall, in addition to racking up a bunch of cash primes.

IMG_2527 My race also had a small field; only 11 starters today. That was fine as this was a pretty technical course; lots of turns and bumpy pavement all around. We started out steady with Team Bob’s Bicycles setting tempo. From time to time, there’d be a surge in the pace, but then it would settle down again. The first few of them, my legs were really feeling yesterday’s road race.

It got better after the first 20 minutes, so then I decided to attack. Well, “attack” may be too strong of a word. I just rolled off the front as the pack slowed on the back stretch. Since I was so far down on GC, no one chased so I quickly got a good-sized gap. I put it in TT-mode and just rode the corners as smoothly as possible. Riding solo and picking your own lines, you can pedal through every corner.

Continue reading "Top Five" »

Treasure Valley through Stage 2

IMG_2517 Uhl in Eagle, ID – The road race was long and hot by the end, but I finished! We got to the start area early and being in farm country, we got to watch a crop duster to its thing. We started with eight miles of neutral which just delayed the pain to come. But with a small field, everyone was content with keeping things together until the hill(s). It’s really a double hill, just like Chicken Dinner; a more gradual one on Deer Flat, then Perch is the steep one. Even before we rode up Perch, everyone agreed to have a pee-stop. Since I didn’t have to go, and I knew how bad Perch would be with 5 lbs of water on my back (no feed support) that I just rolled through and got a head start on the hill. Well, I wasn’t even but 1/3rd the way up, when the climber-types just sped by me! I managed to stay with the group, but so much for taking the hill “easy” the first time. Next time I’ll “roll through” faster so I have a bigger gap!

Then things basically stayed together and on the headwind section along the Snake River the whole group just pacelined. Then the second time up the hills I was dropped early on Deer Flat. I just paced myself over both and could see that I wasn’t too far off by the time I crested by the landfill. I time trialed for the next five miles and managed to catch them before the steep downhill by the river! That was my big accomplishment for the race. I knew if I didn’t catch by then, I would never because the pack will always be faster than a solo rider with a strong headwind like that. So I integrated back into the front group which was down to about 10 riders at that point.

Continue reading "Treasure Valley through Stage 2" »

1,000 Warriors Registration Ends Friday!

Uhl in Eagle, ID – Race the hardest stage of the Tour of Utah, hours before the Pros take to the course. It's about 100 miles with over 10,000 feet of climbing. If anyone breaks the pro's times, they get $1000! But don't do it for the money, this route takes you over the best climbs in Utah. I know, I've done all three...just not in a row! Should be epic!

YouTube Video of the Course

First Full Bogus

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – Did my first full Bogus climb today and it was tough. Heather and I were debating about doing a “Big Loop” but opted out after yesterday’s harder than planed workout along with lots of house work. We thought a shorter, but lots of climbing, ride would be better.

We rode in on Cartwright and rode Bogus Basin Road all the way to Pioneer then came back on Cartwright as well. We were really pleased with the work they did on Cartwright as now most of it is nice smooth asphalt with a decent shoulder. I also forgot how steep the hill before the Owyhee motorcycle park was as I hit 55 MPH on the descent!

Then on Bogus we rode tempo to the bottom of the switchbacks, then I started an interval to the Pioneer condominiums. The first half was okay, but by the time I reached the trees my legs started to fade. I only averaged 272 watts for the 85-minute interval, with a normalized power of 279 watts. Yesterday’s ride took more out of me than I thought. I waited a short time for Heather then we had fun on the descent. On the way home on Cartwright, when we hit the first big uphill by the motorcycle park, we were both really glad we didn’t do a Big Loop. In the end it was solid 70-mile ride with 9,000 feet of climbing.

Indoors Outdoors

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – I did a half hour on the rollers so I could get some intensity before heading out with Heather, Dan and Kurt for a nice 3+ hour outdoor ride. Did a short set of 4x3-minute VO2s on the rollers then headed outside and rode mostly tempo. We rode west out through Middleton, then north on Old Hwy 30 then returned on Oasis, Hollow and Galloway. The weather was nice and cool for most of the ride and the wind wasn’t too bad. Solid ride.

4x4 VO2s

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – After hardly riding the last couple days I ended up doing a nice set of VO2s today. I only did four 4-minute intervals as that’s all I had in my legs. The ride was just over an hour but I didn’t want to do any more than that anyway since I’m still TSB negative. The weather looks good for this weekend so I plan to rack up some serious TSS before tapering for the Treasure Valley Stage Race next weekend.

St George Training Camp

IMG_2437 Uhl in Eagle, ID – Heather and I went down to Saint George, Utah for a mini-training camp of long rides in hot weather. After the spell of warm weather a few weeks ago, riding when it’s only in the 50’s wasn’t doing it for us so we decided to head south and ride where it was really warm.

IMG_2475We got some good rides in, though we didn’t hit it as hard as we thought we would at the start. With a hectic week leading up to the trip combined with the travel, we took the first few days easy with only 1–2 hour rides. But we slowly increased durations and ended up going to Enterprise and back on Thursday giving us a nearly 5-hour ride with over 8,000 feet of climbing.

2009-05-10CropWe did one more short, but hard ride on Friday, then had fun with family at the pool before we left. After travelling home we were both wasted on Saturday, but still did a long ride on Sunday; an Emmett Rd – Horseshoe Bend loop for another 4+ hours. So my totals for the week are almost 20 hours of saddle time with a TSS of 1,086!

BTW, more pictures from the trip are posted to my Facebook profle.

May Day VO2s

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – Did a nice set of 4x5-minute VO2 intervals today. I think the wattage numbers are slightly low, probably because my PowerTap wasn’t properly zero’d. The LCD recently broke so I can’t see the top line anymore. I still zero the torque before every ride, but since I can’t see the display, I do it based on muscle memory.

Comparing my watts and speed with the last few times I did 5-minute intervals, I can confirm that today’s set doesn’t correlate. My average speed for today’s intervals are more representative of average watts around 340, not 330. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter, it’s still a good training effect. Hopefully there’ll be a break in the predicted rain tomorrow and I can ride outside.

First Half-Bogus

Click to view interval Uhl in Eagle, ID – Today I rode Bogus Basin for the first time this year. I rode out with Kevin and we were greeted with windy conditions. I didn’t really have a plan but after some hard tempo up the switchbacks I decided to keep the pressure on. I just rode to the Forest Service sign and then quickly turned around as it was clouding up and I didn’t want to get rained on. We rode from work but after descending Bogus I still had to ride home. Fortunately the wind was coming from the southeast so I had a super tailwind on Hill Road and managed to make it home in 25 minutes!

To the Finish

IMG_2316 Uhl in Eagle, ID – Emmett–Roubaix was today and I wasn’t very excited about racing. After riding in a sleeveless jersey on Tuesday, today’s weather was more like early March than almost May. The other warning sign that it wasn’t going to be a good day is that my legs didn’t feel so hot during my warm-up. Actually, they didn’t feel good yesterday either. But once you’re registered…you’ve got to race, right?

So the pace starts off ballistic, even before we hit South Slope Road. Fortunately I was at the front and was able to stay pretty sheltered. Then on South Slope it was more of the same with random people attacking here and there. The pace was fast even though we were going into a headwind.

Continue reading "To the Finish" »

Added Tempo

2009-04-22Crop Uhl in Eagle, ID – Even though I felt fatigued all day from Sunday’s and Tuesday’s rides, I still went out to rack up another hour and a half of tempo. It was a little bit cooler ou but still pretty nice. I ended up riding by the start of the FCA Time Trial and saw Klaas pinning his number. From how my legs felt, I wasn’t jealous at all. If I had to time trial today, I’m sure it would have been ugly.

Tuesday EHB

Click to view interval Uhl in Eagle, ID – After a tiring Chicken Dinner road race, I decided to rest a day before riding long again. Even though it was hard due to the unseasonably warm weather, I didn’t even get on my bike yesterday. Instead I hit the gym and did some light cardio and core work.

IMG_2295So it was a good thing the warm weather held out another day so Heather, Cory and I could do a nice Emmett–Horseshoe Bend loop after work. It was my first ride in just shorts and a sleeveless jersey, thanks to the 80°F weather!

Cory was an “eager beaver” when we headed out and even though my PowerTap CPU display is cracked, I swear I was doing like 250 watts just riding side-by-side with him on Beacon Light. It was probably just residual blockage from racing hard on Sunday then taking Monday off, but then again, I’m not one who can talk and ride unless I keep it to zone one. By the time we were northbound on Hwy 16 my legs felt better and the three of us enjoyed the strong tailwind to the top of Emmett hill. It’s always fun to ride uphill at 20+ MPH!

IMG_2297 We cruised through the back roads in Emmett and then hit Hwy 52. For the first time this year we stopped at the Wild Rose park to top off our water bottles. With the warm weather comes increased hydration needs. Then we got back on our bikes and did a nice rotation through the canyon to Horseshoe Bend. Since Heather had a hard stage race this past weekend, she took easier pulls while Cory and I pushed it a bit more.

Continue reading "Tuesday EHB" »

Chicken Dinner

Uhl in Eagle, ID – Whew! That was a tough one. After getting dropped on the hill and chasing back on a couple times, then cramping hard during the third (or was it fourth?) lap, I managed to finish another hard race. The hill on Perch is a killer and that comes right after the hill on Deer Flat. I’m not in climbing shape yet so it felt super hard. My biggest accomplishment was chasing back on, by myself, after falling off the lead group the first time up the hill. I had to really hammer to catch them. But we were eventually caught by a good-sized chase group so the pack was over dozen again. Then I cramped hard a couple laps later and mostly rode solo to the finish. But on a course like this, just finishing is an accomplishment. Five times up that hill was brutal!

Results on Spondoro:

Two in a Row

2009-04-12Crop Uhl in Eagle, ID – I did another long ride today; I wanted this weekend to be all about endurance. I felt fine the first couple hours but then I started feeling fatigued. I was keeping it most of the ride and fortunately the wind cooperated so I didn’t have to fight a headwind too long. Between yesterday and today this weekend should definitely kick my endurance up…after some rest!

Longish Ride

Click to view interval Uhl in Eagle, ID – Rode with Kurt again today and this time he brought Nick, a friend of his from Portland. We rode west out to Emmett Rd, then headed up to Emmett valley and rode South Slope Rd. In we parted ways; Kurt and Nick needed to get back to Eagle, while I continued onto Horseshoe Bend. I rode tempo most of the rest of the ride and pushed it up the hill. Good, solid workout today.

Monday EHB

Click to view intervalIMG_2221Uhl in Eagle, ID – I wanted back-to-back hard days so this evening I did an Emmett–Horseshoe Bend loop with Kurt. The weather was warm and I was finally able to ride with just arm- and knee-warmers. We had a kicking tailwind up Hwy 16 which made that go by quickly.

We had a little bit of a headwind through Black Canyon but that was okay; I wanted it to be somewhat of a workout, so I ended up pushing tempo most of the time. We stopped at the Chevron then headed up the hill.

IMG_2226 I did a low-end LT interval up it (as I typically do) and then double-backed to catch-up with Kurt. We rode up the remainder of the hill at a easy pace, chatting most of the way. Had fun on the downhill back into Eagle. It was a nice ride, and we got a taste of what spring should feel like.

Birds of Prey

Uhl in Eagle, ID – With warmer, dryer weather and more quality training under my belt, the Birds of Prey road race went much better than the Slammer. I actually finished this one! It started out a bit nippy but the bright sunshine warmed it up enough that I was only cold for the first hour.

My legs felt better today and was able to stay near the front and even helped push the pace at times. Unfortunately I kind of ran out of gas in the last hour and ended up falling off the front group. I tried to latch on to the Weyen Machine as he (it?) cruised by after a mechanical. Unfortunately I could barely hang on. Then when we were only 40 meters from the front group, there was a flurry of attacks and they sped off into the distance. Of course Weyen was able to reach them and proceed to get 3rd!

After that I was just spent, and rode tempo just to get to the finish. I could feel my body start to bonk and was dreaming about stopping and just lying down on the roadside. But I kept chugging along. Then I was swept up by a decent-sized chase group. But after taking only three pulls I was done…all I could do was hang onto to the back of them. Since were were just racing for 10th place or so at the time we just all rolled in together without much of a sprint.

So despite a major fade in the last hour of the race, I was happy with my performance.

Full results on Spondoro:

Cold, Windy VO2s

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – Even thought it’s now April, the weather still feels like winter. It was sunny most of the day and looked warm outside, but it barely got into the mid-40s. I wanted to get some VO2 work in so I headed outside anyway and did a set of 5x5 minute VO2s. With intersections, right-hand turns and some ups and downs, they were more variable than when I do them indoors, but that’s part of specificity…I don’t race on rollers. In the end, my average wattage across the set was pretty good. After a few minutes recovery I cruised at mid-tempo pace and met up with Dan for the ride back home. The sun had given way to high clouds so I was pretty cold by the time I got home. But a solid workout nonetheless.

Long Cold One

2009-03-28 Uhl in Eagle, ID – Heather and I did the Hamilton Corner–Emmett loop today. Originally we were planning to go all the way to Horseshoe Bend, but as we headed north on Substation Road, we could see rain off in the distance and we decided to head back to Eagle.

It was already a cold ride by that point. What was supposed to be a sunny, 62°F day, turned into a cold, damp one. Even heading south on Hwy 16 to Eagle, we still got sprinkled on a bit but at least it was warmer there. The first three hours of the ride were pretty darn cold. Even though the stats don’t show it, it felt like a long, tough ride.

Springtime EHB

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – Today is the first day of spring and it sure felt like it. It got up to 67°F in the valley with strong sunshine. I setup a group ride with some of my buddies and since Heather didn’t have any appointments for the late afternoon, she actually joined us for a change. She’s a “trainer” gal; between her work schedule and lack of aversion to riding a stationary trainer, she’s typically trains indoors year-round. But today was the exception and we started out with four of us: Jeff (a neighbor), Ben (my teammate), Heather and me.

IMG_2090 We rolled out at around 3:40 PM. It was a southeast wind today so we had a nice tailwind on the way out which added to the feeling of warmth. It was nice to be riding in shorts and no vest. We headed up Hwy 16 where Jeff turned around as his lungs weren’t feeling good. He’s been fighting off something the whole week and didn’t want to make it worse. It’s always good to play it safe.

IMG_2095 Ben kept us at a tempo pace up the hill, taking longer and harder pulls than Heather and me. But I didn’t complain as the quicker we got off Hwy 16 the better. It’s a high-traffic road that time of day on a Friday. When we got to Emmett, we eased u a little bit and I told Ben I wanted to tone it back a little.

As we headed east we had headwind. We got to the dam, where Ben kicked it up the back-to-back jammers that made my legs hurt. But once the road flattened out it was back to the medium-tempo rotation. We took long pulls and kept it at a brisk pace through Black Canyon. The wind was bad at the front but it was nice to have a couple minutes rest as the others rotated. I’m so used to doing this ride solo in which case I don’t get a break until Horseshoe Bend.

Continue reading "Springtime EHB" »

EHB on the Down Low

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – With Daylight Saving Time in effect, I was able to do an impromptu Emmett–Horseshoe Bend loop after work. This week I’ve been forcing myself to ride easy, but ride longer. Today I started out a bit hard doing my usual high-tempo up Hwy 16, but eased up through Emmett and restrained myself through Black Canyon.

I started up the hill at a slow pace but ended up pushing it towards the top…seems that my body just likes to suffer up that hill! But I still managed to keep it fairly tame with a sub-threshold wattage of 265. And finally, there wasn’t a headwind! I was worried about traffic at that time on Hwy 55 but was surprised at how little there was. I guess all the commuters were already home. At the end it was a good ride, even though my legs felt it, it wasn’t a total killer. Weather is looking good so I plan to do it again on Friday.


2009-03-15Crop Uhl in Eagle, ID – So that didn’t go as I’d hoped! Multiple factors contributed to my downfall today but the biggest one was being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Got dropped within the first 15 minutes of the first race of the year! Oh well. I was really bummed as I was time-trialing while I watched the pack ride away from me, thinking that it was all my leg’s fault.

2009-03-15MMPWell fortunately I rode with my PowerTap and was able analyze my power data when I got home. One TrainingPeaks WKO+ chart I like to look at is my Mean Maximal Power (MMP) for a ride versus my all-time best. How close the solid yellow line comes to the dotted line is how close I came to breaking a personal best for that duration.

In this case, the graphs come awfully close together in the 1.5–2 minute range. Looking at the details, I was only 4% off of my best 1min 43second effort…ever! And that PR was achieved mid-season in 2005, one of my best years.

Continue reading "Slammed" »

4x5 VO2s

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – I did a nice set of 4x5-minute VO2s today. Wattage was good for the set and while I probably could have done another one, I restrained myself. Saving my energy for some long rides in the next few days.

Hour of Power

Click to view intervalUhl in Eagle, ID – I was reminded of the HOP (Hour of Power) workout – popular among wattage geeks – when I read Alex’s recent blog post. So after doing some L7 stuff yesterday, I decided to try the HOP. After a fifteen minute warm-up, I picked it up to just below threshold, then then did a 15-second push every five minutes. I tried to mix it up, varying cadence for each five minute block as well as each of the “sprints”. With a fifteen minute cool-down it turned out to be a solid 1:30 workout.

Weekly Volume

Click to view all weeks Uhl in Eagle, ID – If I’ve learned anything over the past six years of training with a power meter, it is how to train efficiently. With things like TSS and ATL/CTL to help quantify training loads, I now regularly put in the same amount of training stress per week in 8–10 hours as I used to in 11–14 hours.

I’m not a fan of riding just to get in “saddle time”. When I get on the bike, I always have a purpose. With only a few weeks over 10 hours this winter, my fitness is better than it typically is this early in the season. That’s primarily due to training smart and by focusing on Sweet Spot training. The old school definition of “base miles” is gone and has been replaced with quality, FTP-building Level 3 and Level 4 work.

Continue reading "Weekly Volume" »

Windy Workout

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – Today we did a team ride, this time starting out downtown for a change. We headed southeast on Pleasant Valley then east on Kuna Mora into a stiff crosswind. We turned around at the railroad tracks then headed to Cloverdale where we turned north for nice tailwind. We did a lot of hammering making it a real tough ride. By the time I got back to Eagle I was cooked! Hopefully rides like this will get me used to the suffering sure to come during the first couple races of the George’s spring series.

Hammer Until Your Teeth Hurt

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – It’s just over two weeks before my first road race so to get my body accustomed to going all out, I did some anaerobic work capacity (AWC) intervals today. I warmed up riding tempo, with three short sprints to get my legs primed. After some more tempo, I did five 30-second efforts with 90-second rest intervals. The first three weren’t too bad, but by the fourth one, I was reminded how much I hate AWC workouts! I was breathing so hard that my teeth hurt! While I suffered, the 90 second rest interval gives some respite, as opposed to Tabatas where you only get 10 seconds. Those are of the devil!

After all that suffering was over, I rode tempo then did a 1-minute L6 push and a couple uphill L7 efforts. With more rest in between them they weren’t as bad. And doing them on a steep hill always helps; more power for less perceived effort. For fun I did a one more sprint right after the downhill on Deep Canyon Drive in Hillsdale Estates. I only managed 1,047 watts for 10 seconds, but not too bad considering I hadn’t tone any sprints since last season. As for the workout, 1hr 45min at an intensity factor (IF) of .91, ain’t too shabby.

Tough Group Ride

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – A few of my teammates and I did the Emmett Rd,South Slope, Emmett–Horseshoe Bend loop today. Even though we waited until 11:00 AM to start, it was still a bit chilly for me the first couple hours. We rode tempo for the first hour with a blowout effort when we reached the backside of Little Freezeout on Emmett Rd. We took it easy on South Slope then stopped in Emmett. A few headed south back to Eagle while a remaining group of seven hit Black Canyon. It was warmer there and we actually had a tailwind! We kicked it up and things broke apart giving me the opportunity to do a 16-minute LT interval (295 watts).

After a quick stop in Horseshoe Bend it was time for the last big effort, Old Horseshoe Bend Hill. I had been eating and drinking well and I hoped to have good power on the hill. Power was decent but the prior three hours with those efforts had taken it’s toll. I managed “only” 287 watts for a sluggish time of 28:41. Yes, that means we had another headwind…can’t we ever hit the hill with a tailwind! Even though I’m anal about wiping my tires when I go through crap, I still managed to get a flat by the Shadow Valley Golf Course. I performed a quick change, but the pump I had on my bike is years old and didn’t pump very well. So I only put in enough pressure to make it home. I was totally wasted by the time I got to my house, but I still managed to wash a couple bikes after taking in some food. It feels like a long day so I hope I can sleep like a baby tonight!

5x5 Minute VO2s and LT

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – I’ve been taking it easy since the weekend, so today was the first day doing a “real” workout. I got on the rollers and after a good warm-up I launched into 5x5 VO2 intervals with 4-minute rest. They were pretty tough but I managed to produce consistent wattage across the set.

I followed up the VO2s with a 20-minute LT interval. Those are always tough after a set of VO2s. Power was okay, but the perceived exertion was quite high for my wattage. I was hoping that the blow-out efforts I did yesterday would help, but no such luck! But hey, at least I’m getting used to suffering. That’s what cycling is all about…right?!?

Back Indoors

Uhl in Eagle, ID – Today I was back on the rollers but I didn’t mind. Even though it was sunny outside, it was colder than yesterday and I was in the mood for a steady one hour ride. I mainly rode in the upper-endurance, lower-tempo range with a couple pushes for variety. I also killed two birds with one stone as I caught up on a few cycling forums I frequent.

Emmett–Horseshoe Bend

Click to view intervals Uhl in Eagle, ID – We had a decent turnout for our team ride of the Emmett–Horseshoe Bend loop today. This morning we woke up to fog so I was afraid the it wouldn't lift by our start at noon. So I was happy to see it break up at around 11 AM. We started out with about a dozen or so riders. Even with the hazy sun, it was was fairly chilly on the way out...the air was pretty damp. We took it easy for the rollout and then up Hwy 16 we fell into single-file. There was a decent draft so in order to keep my wattage up I just kept a gap in front of me.

Up the two small rollers the pace, or at least the effort level picked up. For me with a pretty pathetic anaerobic work capacity, it felt downright hard! Then it would ease right back up when we leveled off. As we neared the top it was finally my turn to be in the wind so I figured I'd make the most of it. Other than the two risers, I wasn't really getting much of a workout. So I pushed it for the few minutes it took to reach the top, giving me a decent 3.5 minute VO2 interval (350 watts). We then cruised down the hill and took it easy through the east side of Emmett.

Continue reading "Emmett–Horseshoe Bend" »