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Showing posts from 2015

Lezyne Super GPS Review

UPDATE 05.20.2016 It's been five months since I published this post on December 23, 2015 and while I was very supportive of the product, I'm feeling very disappointed due to the lack of product support this is getting.  For a new product, I expected them to be very motivated to refine it, but it's clearly being neglected.  Maybe they're not selling enough of these to justify investing time and money to improve the customers experience?  I don't know.  The last software update was released in December 8, 2015!  See for yourself in their software update page via the link below. I'm still unable to connect to my cadence and speed sensor, so I'm stuck with the unreliable GPS based speed estimates.The battery level indicator is now very inconsistent.  It takes very long to jump from 100% to 80%, then once it quickly drops to 30%, it only takes a few minutes until it tells me that the battery is…

Tour of Bloomington Day 2: Road Race (42 miles)

TOB Day 2: Road Race (42mi)
Second Place
The Cat 3/4 race was a three lap, 14 mile loop including a final climb involving peak gradients of 18%.  Leading up to the weekend, there was a lot of buzz about this final climb, and to prepare, I spent a good amount of time at the Crown Hill Cemetery to work on my climbing technique. PRE-RACE:
One of the disadvantages of being a solo rider is getting the race number on, especially when every rider needed two numbers, one on the side and one on the back.  When I saw a team passing by, I asked them if they could press my number on my jersey (I had already applied glue), but to my surprise, they rejected me and told me to go to registration.  I had to wait another 10 minutes until I luckily found a spectator walking by to press my number on.

To make matters worse, the start/finish line was literally about four miles away from registration and thanks to the delay, I was running late- so I had to time trial my way to the start/finish.  I was sort of…

Tour of Bloomington Day 1: Criterium

Day 1: Criterium Almost DNF to 6th Place
The course was a 0.7 mile, clockwise, 6 corner circuit with a gradual climb out of the final corner, reaching its steepest grade between corners one and two.  The start/finish was located near the intersections of Kirkwood and Lincoln Streets.
The entire course itself was riddled with all sorts of road hazards like potholes, uneven bricks, untapered sidewalks and incomplete pavement.  The most dangerous corner was the final corner.  The apex of the final corner had bricks about a half inch above the pavement which would cause the tire to bounce during hard cornering.  I was just glad that they remembered to at least sweep the corners to remove as much loose dirt as possible.

The 3/4 race I signed up for was 45 minutes long and had about 57 starters.

The First Half: Riding Through a Mechanical
I unfortunately started towards the back of the pack and only gained a few positions before the first corner.  Since someone had planned to att…

How to Determine your Optimal Crank Arm Length

In order to help you understand how important crank arm length is, having the wrong crank length instantly shifted my performance from consistently being one of the top three road racers in the state to being a mid-pack finisher.  In fact, I also almost got dropped out of a race for the first time in two years of racing.  Check out my uneventful 2014 results to see more.

I initially thought my lack of performance was due to deconditioning from the crash (I also didn't want to be THAT guy who blamed the bike), but it turned out that by simply optimizing my crank length, my heart rate consistently operates about 20 bpm lower than before, and I'm riding A LOT faster.  This is not an exaggeration.  Below is a workout comparison which proves this.  For this reason, please follow my advice: If you have not yet determined that your crank length is optimal, confirm this BEFORE considering to race or buy a new bike/ component- you are potentially at a SEVERE disadvantage. Since crank …

Smart Exercise - Single Leg Squat

The single leg squat is one of the many functional leg exercises that I use to improve my cycling performance.  It translates to cycling really well because the prime movers are the quadriceps and gluteus maximus- the same prime movers used in the pedal stroke.  In addition to improving power output, balance and core strength will improve to increase cycling economy- a variable which has been discovered to be more important than VO2max and Lactic Threshold.  Unfortunately, poor cycling economy is usually mistaken as a VO2max, LT or bike fitting issue.  Here are a few symptoms of poor cycling economy:

Quadricep dominance:  Whenever you push the pace, localized quadricep fatigue almost always limits your performance.Hip, knee or ankle instability:  Muscle imbalances can cause these key joints to deviate from a position that allows for optimal power production. While these two symptoms are easy to identify, it's hard to determine the actual cause, especially since determining optimal …

Smart Exercises - Plank Wipers

This is a great exercise for training the core to resist asymmetrical loads generated by the shoulders, lats and chest.  If performed to volitional fatigue, you'll noticed how the work is placed largely on the oblique and quadratus lumborum. Since these muscles are very important in stabilizing the trunk to prevent lateral flexion, this exercise will help you develop a stable spine more resistant to herniations and slipped discs caused by this motion.

CYCLING BENEFIT:  If you've ever wanted to learn how to sprint like a Pro, cycling technique is your answer.  An upper body that's out of control will never produce a fast or explosive sprint.  While the arms are working quickly to counter the forces created by the legs, the torso is always steady.  By training the core this way, the upper body will be able to effectively stabilize and hold your trunk and hips in the optimal position for power production.  This produces a sprint that looks powerful and effortless at the same …