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Kestrel Talon Review - Criterium Podium Machine

I want to start off by saying that I am not sponsored by Kestrel, but wanted to write this review to share my awesome experience with it.  My Kestrel Talon took me to my first podium finish and win as well as many others afterwards. KESTREL EMS PRO SEATPOST + RITCHEY CLAMP SYSTEM = "A BIKE FITTERS DREAM" What made the Talon most impressive was its ability to adjust saddle tilt and the seatpost angle with extreme accuracy via the saddle mount.  By being able to dial in the bike fit, I could handle any ride or race efficiently.  If I knew a race was going to be fast like the Indy Crit (~27 mph average), I could shift the seatpost angle two degrees forward to make the aero position more comfortable.  In contrast, I could easily move the seatpost angle backwards and reduce saddle tilt to make hilly courses more comfortable.
The icing on the cake was the ease of saddle adjustments.  In less than a minute, I could adjust my saddle tilt to the exact degree I wanted via a single bol…

How To Hold an Aero Position

There are climbs and then there are winds.  For many cyclists, riding into a strong wind can be more difficult than climbing, mostly because cyclists are required to reach a low aerodynamic position which can be uncomfortable, difficult or painful to hold.  Cyclists must demonstrate adequatehamstringandlower backflexibility to hold an aero position comfortably.  The flexibility needed to ride well in the wind can take time to develop, but with enough dedication and experience, anyone can become proficient at holding an aero position safely.  Here are some steps you can take to make holding an aero posture as comfortable as being on the hoods:

#1 LEARN YOUR LIMITS.
The worst thing a rider could do is force a low aero position and hope for the best.  With low back pain being one of the most frequent complaints among pros and recreational cyclist alike, the chances of long term pain- or injury-free riding are slim.  Develop the flexibility first, then shoot for the next lowest position yo…

Indiana State Criterium Championships - Second Place!

This marks my fourth podium of the season!  From a strategic standpoint, this race was the hardest race I've done.  There was a very quick, but hard attack at two laps to go which was the main deciding factor for the podium.  Anyone who failed to see the attack and respond quickly enough was pushed too far back and lost any chance at the podium.  I fortunately called the attack immediately and reached a good position for the final lap.  Unfortunately, everyone in front of me peeled off earlier than I expected and forced me to the front.  On the final sprint, I was passed shortly before the finish line because I wasn't fresh enough to outsprint everyone.  I'm extremely happy with the result considering that I could have easily lost the podium if I missed the attack which separated the lead group from the rest of the peloton.  SECOND PLACE!!! :)
I recorded the ride via Strava.  Check out my ride through the link below and don't forget to follow me!


I'll post more pi…

Live Televised Race Coverage Tomorrow!

Mass Ave Criterium State Championships Follow this link to watch the Mass Ave Criterium State Championships live via mobile or computer: http://mac.nuvo.net/
I race at 2:30 pm Category 4/5.  I'm only six points away from being eligible to upgrade to Pro 3!  I need two more podium finishes to get these points.  I only have three more races left before the season ends, so the pressure is definitely on!
I started my taper on Wednesday and focused on following recovery methodologies: Light aerobic exercise followed by immediate carbohydrate replenishment via Chocolate Soy Milk (Silk brand)Foam rollingTiger tail myofascial releaseStatic stretchingAntioxidant-rich foodsHydration - Nothing specific... just the pee test! Today, I feel 100% fresh, so I should be ready for anything tomorrow!

Podium #3: Bloomington Cycling Grand Prix - Third Place!

This was my third podium out of the four criteriums I raced this season!  I was especially happy to be third because I barely made it to the podium this time.  About half way through the race, I made a strong, all-out attack that stretched out the field and minimized attacks for the remainder of the race.  I tried to ride more aggressively to show that I can use other tactics other than just sitting in until the final lap.  The goal of the attack was to drop riders, scatter the teams and weaken the sprinters.  I did this because I noticed that the teams were "hogging" the front of the peloton to dictate the pace in favor of their sprinter.  My plan backfired when I realized that I went too hard and barely had enough energy for the final sprint.  I passed third place right before the finish line.  This was one of the hardest days on the bike thus far.  I was super happy to have third place, especially when it seemed like I wouldn't have been there at all!
THE COURSE: Belo…

Indy Criterium 2013 - 2nd Place!

It was an incredible feeling being on the podium at the biggest cycling event in Indianapolis, the Indy Crit!  With 89 riders and a flat course not suited for a lightweight rider like me, this race was far from easy which you'll understand after seeing the race data further down this post.  Anyway, the suffering was well worth it because today marked my first medal!
The picture below is the only podium picture I have right now.  The camera was having issues and luckily, it worked right before we walked completely off the podium!  Yes... it looks like I was wearing full winter gear, but those "winter tights" are actually skincoolers from De Soto Sport.  They provide UV protection and stay wet to keep me cool. PAST EXPERIENCE AT THE INDY CRIT (2012):
For the weeks leading into the race, it would be an understatement to say that I was nervous!  At random times during the day, my heart rate would spike just from thinking about my past experience at this race.  I almost got d…

Giro Air Attack Shield Review

I was excited when I heard about the Giro Air Attack.  Not because it's more "aero" than a standard helmet, but because I could stop wearing those huge over-the-prescription Solar Shield sunglasses (left).

Since the first thing I did when I got the helmet was practice removing and mounting the lens, I'll start this review off with a little how-to.


HOW TO TAKE THE LENS OFF (WITHOUT SMUDGING THE LENS!)
In order to remove the lens without smudging, place a thumb on the nosepiece and hold the top edge with a finger, then push upwards (vertically) with the thumb to free the center magnet, then pull the lens to free the rest of the magnets.  Don't shift the lens down or else it will hit your cheek.
HOW TO PUT THE LENS ON
This part can be sort of difficult at first, but if you use this method to get the lens on, it will be a piece of cake!  By using the three ventilation holes as a marker, center the holes right below the border of the helmet.  You really don't have …

Eagle Creek Park Cycling Grand Prix v2.0 - FIRST PLACE & FIRST PODIUM FINISH!

I can't even begin to describe how awesome it felt to have two dreams come true at once!  I always wondered what it would be like to be on the podium, but I never thought I had a chance at first place!

THE COURSE Below is a map of the course highlighted in blue.  It ran counterclockwise.  There were a few corners that stuck out to me.
Bottom right (corner #1):  This wasn't a very sharp corner, but the trees and brush made it difficult to see around it, so the group had a tendency to slow down and merge into a single line here.
Top right (corner #2):  This corner was very sharp, so oftentimes the group would merge into one or two pacelines, especially at higher speeds.
Top left (corner #3):  The inside half of this corner was covered by loose asphalt, so it wasn't an ideal or safe place to pass.  Pretty much everyone had to take a very awkward, wide line.  We could only fit about three abreast in this corner.
Bottom left (corner #4):  This was a very fast corner that led straigh…

SOLVED: Polar heart rate monitor- Heart rate spikes

UPDATED 04/11/2013

Honestly, I was secretly not looking forward to the warm weather because it meant that I'd have to wear loose-fitting clothing again.  Unless I was wearing a super tight skinsuit, nothing would prevent my heart rate data from spiking and giving me an erratic reading.  I tried using dryer sheets to remove the static and using electrode gel, but they never fixed the problem permanently.  As long as there was wind, it would create enough static on my jersey to throw off my heart rate readings.  Here's a screenshot of a steady state workout I did a few days ago.  There were all sorts of errors...
Below is a screenshot of an interval workout after I covered the transmitter in aluminum foil.  Notice how there are absolutely no heart rate errors!  The elevated heart rate in the center was an actual effort. After countless hours battling with this issue, I finally have perfect heart rate graphs!  I've thought about using aluminum foil for months, but I never tri…