Friday, December 31, 2004

12/25/2004 - Christmas Ride

I like to get out in the afternoon on Christmas, I never plan on going all that far, the roads are quiet and it feels really good to get a little exercise before eating turkey. This year, I ended up doing a short loop around my parents place, it worked out to be about an hour and a half. I got home right before it got dark (~4:30 PM).


Thursday, December 30, 2004

Friday 12/24/2004

Today I got up early ate a yogurt and hit the road. The plan today was to head out from my parents place in Keizer, and do a loop through silver creek falls state park. Like many winter mornings the Willamette valley was socked in with a cold misting fog. By the time I'd hit the city of Silverton, a thin layer of ice had formed around the front of the break levers. Not far out of Silverton, the road turns up and climbs up to the park. Well about a third of the way up, it got really foggy and very cold as I entered the low lying clouds. Just as I neared the top of the climb, the sun started to poke through and the ice that had formed on the bike began to melt. Continuing to climb up, I broke free of the clouds, and into a very blue sunny day. I road through the park’s north entrance. On passing out the south entrance, I could look out over the city of Salem, and could see just the capital and a Catholic Church steeple poking out above the clouds. On my return, before descending back through the clouds I flatted, by the time I'd fixed it I'd cooled off a little. I got quite cold on the decent. On entering Salem, I road through the city and headed over the bridge to west Salem, to ride up the west side of the river, through Willamette mission park and back home. By the time I got back I'd been gone about 5 hours, done I estimate ~70 miles, and ate 3 -4 energy bars and two bottles of Perpetuem.


Thursday, December 23, 2004

12/23/2004 - Holiday, Training, Yeah Right

Sunday the 19th, my brother, John, came up from Oregon for a few days before we both headed back down for the holidays. On Sunday, we did holiday related stuff, aka no training for me, unless you can call following your brother around the local malls training.

On Monday 12/21/2004, I had great plans but they some how got thwarted. After work John and I went over to the gym for some weights. That went very well, on returning back to the apartment John started a DVD and I hoped on a the rollers. About two minutes into the movie, John indicated that my rollers weren't adding to the movie sound track. What, I responded my rollers produce perfect THX surround sound. Yeah right was his reply, at which point I relented and just watched the movie.

On Tuesday 12/21/2004, I had to get some riding in, so I snuck out early from work and headed over to the gym. I hate the "Lifecycle", the ergonomics of the device are all wrong, the way it wants to "guide" your riding is all wrong. But, I was desperate. I hopped on the "LifeSuckel", put the thing in manual mode and set off to ride. Well, after an hour the device decided I'd been pedaling too long and switched into automatic cool down mode.

Wednesday 12/22/2004, packed up and drove down to Oregon.

Thursday 12/23/2004, road for about an hour and a half around the Willamette valley.


Saturday, December 18, 2004

Saturday, 12/18/2004 -- Training

I've been really tired lately, and as a result today I slept in a little. By the time I had made it to the team ride rendezvous point the rest of the team was long gone. I continued on north just "Chilling" not really going over 135 bmp. I wasn't quite sure where I wanted to go, in the end I ended up having a really relaxing day riding an extended loop around Lake Washington. Since my computer was out I can only estimate that route is some where in the 60 - 70 mile range. The weather was great and I saw a number of the other local teams out training.

In the inept department:
Ok, so if you’re a guy using a urinal is an instinctive skill, real basic, first graders are provided urinals and with no instruction instantly know exactly what to do. Well, today just by chance while I was using a restroom, the Ashmead team arrived. While using a urinal one of the Ashmead bozos lost his sunglasses in it. The buffoon then proceeded to in form the rest of the world about it. Yeah, I guess we don't need to worry about any great "Team Strategy" from them.


Thursday, 12/16/2004 -- Video Shoot

Today was a little different. This last week I got contacted by the guys from power cranks about appearing in a promo-video demoing their cranks. So today, I was back at the racermate facility riding for the camera on the computrainers. I brought my rollers along too so I could demo riding the rollers with power cranks no handed. I hope the roller scene makes it into the video. When the video eventually appears on the power cranks website, I'll link to it from here. On getting back home and post dinner, I was back on the rollers for a few hours at low intensity.

Wednesday, 12/15/2004 - Computrainer & Rollers

Today, I did another of my team’s weekly group computrainer sessions. Work was quite hectic so I arrived just in time but didn't get a good warm-up in. The course was the same as the previous week, 19.5 miles, with three climbs, but unlike the previous week, I had my power cranks on this time. The session went very well, some where on the second climb, Tim from computrainer snuck by, he has a slightly better power to weight ratio and thus climbs a little faster then I do. On the flats, I tend to ride a little faster, and on the climbs Tim's faster. I was a little faster this week, finishing the course under an hour. After the CT session, and my now ritualistic Wednesday night post CT Thai food, I did a very light hour on the rollers.


Friday, December 17, 2004

Tuesday, December 14th -- Yoga and Rollers,

Still trying to catch up.. Did a about an hour of Yoga and a little over an hour on the rollers.

-- Kenneth


Monday -- Dec 13

I didn't do too much today, I'm still really tired from my cross adventures. Being gone all weekend I had some appartment cleaning issues to attend to so by the time I hit the rollers, I only had time to put in around an hour.

Sunday, 12/12/2004 - Nationals!

Pre Race:
I got to bed somewhere around 10, I rolled over once at 4:30, and awoke again at 5:00. The body clock is quite amazing, on a work day it’s painful to get up, but today I'm bouncing out and it’s still dark out. I hope the start of RAO feels like this. For racing I like to be just on the cool side of warm, so this time of year that will entail: wool socks, bib tights, bib shorts, arm warmers, a jersey, summer gloves, and a hat. For breakfast I ate one medium bowl of regular oatmeal, and a peach yogurt. After which we threw everything in the mini van and took off, right on schedule 6:09 AM.

While riding up in the back of the van, I slurped down a little coffee. Caffeine has been shown to boost performance. The boost is enhanced by not consuming caffeine regularly, which for the last few months I have been highly guilty of. For RAO I will stop drinking caffeinated tea, coffee etc no later then the end of February. The one real negative side effect of caffeine is it will dehydrate the body. But for an event lasting ~45 minutes, I'm not to worried about hydration, and for RAO, well there is a crew to provide fluid on demand.

Previewing the course:
It was still dark when we arrived at the race course and there was a real strong wind blowing. On our drive north the wind would shake the van around. It wasn't raining, it had been off and on for the last two days, but man was it cold. I threw on a few more layers, polar tech and a jacket, and hopped on the bike to preview the course. I had an hour before the first race, the single speed race, and then another hour before mine. While I was previewing the course, my parents went over to pick up my numbers, and scout out the area.

My race was scheduled to be the second race of the day, but it was on the third and final day of the championships so the whole course was one huge mess of mud ruts. It was so rutted that in many places the only ride able lines were right along the edge of the tape outlining the course. The course had two runups/hills that were two steep to ride up especially with all the mud and a bunch of sections of course that were just too muddy to ride through. After a few preview laps, I knew there was going to be more running in this race then there had been at any of my previous races. I found as I road around, that the lower I deflated my tires the faster I seemed to go through the tricky spots, thank you Tufo.

After the single speeders started, I borrowed a trainer from some Redline guys and continued to warm up for another half hour while my parents helped me loosen my breaks and pin my numbers on. At this point, I shed the jacket and polar tech, consumed the bottle of Heed, and half the bottle of Cytomax. Then off to the restroom and back to the starting line to line up for my race. My parents had saved me a spot, in the second row, so I was going to be starting in great position. The USCF officials came out, we all rolled forward and awaited the whistle.

The Race:

I was a little slow to engaged my pedals, so a few guys slipped around me at the start. For some reason I was a little nervous right at the start, as the pack sped down the opening stretch. There were maybe 15 - 20 guys ahead of me. When on the first corner, three guys collided and went down hard. I went right, and zipped around them, and was up in with the lead group just hitting the first run up. I ran down the other side of the run up till the ground got firm, then hoped on the bike and sped down the remainder of the hill, then around a corner and into the mud.

The next stretch of mud was virtually un-ride able, so I again was off the bike running through the mud. Early in the race I would shoulder the bike here but as the race progressed I would just push the bike as it was seemingly too heavy to shoulder. On the other side of the muddy stretch, the ground got just firm enough to ride on again, up a hill around a corner, and back into the mud again. Off the bike back again on my feet running.

I've never run so much in a cross race, the course then twisted around over firmer ground went down and up a very steep hill (second run up) and back around through the starting line with the wind. I'm fast on the bike, but running is not one of my strengths, and re-starting on the bike is also not a strong point. All that said I by the end of the race I ended up finish a very solid 17th! Not to bad for nationals!

After the race, I felt really sick to my stomach; my dad washed my bike off as I went off to change. A little over an hour later, I felt completely ravenous. As the rest of Portland was just getting up my parents and I stopped in Portland for "second breakfast", after which I still felt famished. I was really glad I'd brought a bottle of Perpetuem, it hit the spot during the drive home.

Well this is the end of the cross season. Now everything is going to be focused towards RAO. Posted by Hello


Monday, December 13, 2004

Saturday, 12/11/2004 - Day before nationals..

With tomorrow being the big day, today was spent doing final preparation.

I threw some slicks on my cross ride and put in around an hour on the rollers, real low intensity, just loosening the legs up.

On the equipment front: I used to use wax based lubes on my road bike, but I stopped using them a few years ago, switching to wetter higher performance/maintenance lubes. This has left me with a few fairly large containers of old wax lubes just gathering dust in my closet. Well, for cross the wax lubes seem to work great. Between the racing and the cleaning necessary after each cross race I have to fully re-lube everything between races, so today the white lightning bottle came out one final time.

On the nutrition front: Today is the final day of my sodium phosphate loading. Hammer Nutrition produces a supplement, "Race Day Boost", which is basically branded sodium phosphate. When loaded right before "A races", sodium phosphate allows the body to buffer around an hour of lactic acid. The literature talks about 10% performance boosts on 40k time trials. Now, I wouldn't go that far, but if it’s safe and legal and positively impacts performance I'm all for it. For longer events, like say RAO, it would do very little other then giving a rider a little nicer start. The loading protocol is to take 1 teaspoon for times a day, for the four days leading up to the event. One important note on sodium phosphate is if its constantly used the body will cease to benefit from it’s, so it’s recommended that there be at least a month between loading cycles. In my case, I only use it 2 -3 times a year and only for my "A+ races".

I mixed up the beverages I'm going to take with me tomorrow to drink before and after the race. I'm going to take one bottle of Cyctomax (tropical fruit, one scoup), one bottle of Heed (mandarin orange, one scoup), and one bottle of Perpetuem (one scoup). I have just started using Heed and really like it, its even less syrupy then Cytomax and goes down a little easier right before intense efforts. I'm not sure I will use the Perpetuem, but it will be nice to have incase I get any hunger pains..


Friday, December 10, 2004

Power Cranks

I first heard about power cranks from a colleague a few years ago. I had just come back from my first Terrible Two and was talking with Dave. Dave said that his brother who was also a serious cyclist had tried them. On his first ride with the cranks, he pedaled out 8 or so miles and then had to call his wife to pick him up, the cranks had just kicked his ass.

Power cranks, are basically normal cranks with the big exception being that the crank arms are connected via ratchets to the bottom bracket and must be peddled independently. The basic idea, is that you are forced to pedal correctly in circles, theirs no cheating. The neutral position for the crank arms is for both of them to point straight down, so yes you can descend with your feet straight down.

Flash forward a few years, all last year I kept thinking to myself, I should really try power cranks. But because all the literature indicated that it would take a few weeks to adapt to the "correct" pedaling style and while adapting ones power might decrease and finally that the power gains from the cranks might take up to six months to really materialize. I decided I would wait for the season to end before starting anything radically new. In August, I ordered my cranks; my goal was to be able to ride my regular rides on the cranks by September. The day my cranks arrived I slapped them on my race bike, the install is easy, and I proceeded to TRY and ride the rollers. It took me about half an hour to just get clipped in. The tricky part is that pedaling one side does nothing to the other crank arm so both feet must be clipped in at the bottom. Finally after getting clipped in, I found that I couldn’t pedal for more then 5 min, before my hip flexors were on fire and screaming.By the end of the week, I was able to ride the rollers for about an hour, and I decided to venture out side. Over the next few weeks I gradually increased my distance, first 20 miles, 30, and then 50, all over courses I regularly train on. At the end of doing the 50 mile route, it wasn't so much that my legs were tired, as my hip flexors had tightened rock hard and I could barely pick my legs up. The next morning, it felt like I couldn't get out of bed, I have never hurt so much the day after riding.

Eventually after about two months on the cranks, the pedaling action just started to become natural. The only real thing of any real note is my max cadence was much lower, and that when really hammering with a high cadence I would tire faster then when on normal cranks.

A lot of people, have asked, do I think they are making a difference? In some ways, it’s hard to tell. After about 2 months on them, I road my final double for this year, the Knoxvill double down in CA. For the double I used my normal cranks, I felt over the entire ride like I had more endurance and powers then I have had in the past, so I think the cranks are helping. Also when doing single leg drills on the computrainer, I'm definitely much stronger then I was before.

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Friday, 12/10/2004 - Rest Day, traveling to Oregon.

Today, I'm packing up my cross bike and heading down to my parents place in Keizer, Oregon. Hopefully I can get out the office a little early today.

12/9/2004 - Yoga Thursdays

I got out of the office today just in time to make it over for Thursday yoga. Nothing to exciting to report, yoga is a nice way to lengthen the hamstrings and relieve a little stress at the end the day. After dinner I installed my power cranks back on my race bike. A few weeks ago while on training ride with Aurora, about 35 miles out, the ratchet on the drive side power crank slipped/snapped/broke. I ended up riding back 35 miles with just the left leg. What’s actually a little funny is on my return trip I passed some other cyclists. The guys down at power crank were really fast with the repair and in less then a week I had my cranks back. After getting the cranks installed, I put in about a half an hour on the rollers.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Wensday, 12/8/2004 - Computrainer & Rollers

For the past few Wednesdays, I’ve been doing workouts on the computrainers over at Racermate with other riders from Aurora. The computrainers are calibrated so eight of us can ride simultaneously head to head over a course. At the beginning of every month we do a time trial tests to gauge fitness, and for the rest of the month just planned workouts. For those of you who aren’t familiar with computrainers, they are special computer controlled trainers which adjust the tension the tension the rider experiences based upon the grade of the simulated road and their weight.

Today, we did a 19.5 mile course which contained three climbs each 2 - 3 miles in length. It took me 1hr 9second to finish the course, and I averaged 288 watts. The wattage is a little on the high end, but with in the acceptable range. On returning home and inhaling some Thai food. I hopped on the rollers to do a little active recovery spin out my legs another hour..

Thanks for reading

-- Kenneth

Tuesday – 12/8/2004 - Yoga & Rollers

I started doing yoga in November to improve my flexibility, and I just signed up for another month of “spiritual stretching”. Today was my first class for this month. Kenneth in yoga class is actually quite a comical sight. The instructor will give us all a yoga pose, and then she will come over and suggest a variation for me and my tight hamstrings. After yoga and dinner I put in about an hour on the rollers at a low intensity (heart rate ~110bpm).

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Monday, 12/6/2004 - Rollers

I didn't quite bring enough food to work today (PB&J, apple, banana, 2 Satsumas, and two pieces of toast), and by the end of the day had grown a sizeable bonk, by the end of the day had grown into a full size headache. So I left a little early feeling horribly miserable. Got home, and after eating a little started to feel a little better. Installed the new BB, remounted the cranks, cleaned the chain, re-lubed it, and by the end of the evening was back on the bike.

I did about an hour on the rollers, nothing hard, just some recovery/base miles. I like to roll to DVD's, it’s actually about the only way I can ride inside. If the movie is really engaging some times I crash during exciting parts. One note on DVD selection, WCP race video's are good, the rule for these is anytime the pros sprint you sprint too, and what ever you do don't crash out an American cyclist. The other good DVD's are B car movies, like the Fast and the Furious. I can't imagine watching the movie not on the bike. One note of caution, I’ve never been able to stay on the rollers through Die Hard 1, every time the villain is about to fall from the building, I crash too.

The other day, some friends were over at my place and one of them asked, "Why are their greasy hand prints on your ceiling?". Well I responded with out missing a beat, its from riding my rollers no handed. Yeah, I don't really like going no handed on the road but on the rollers its totally different, no invisible pot holes to worry about. I guess when I move out I'll have to find a ladder so I can clean my ceiling.

Sunday, 12/05/2004 - Cyclocross

With cyclocross nationals in Portland this year (next weekend). I thought if I was ever going to do cyclocross this would be the year. Wanting to race on the cheap, I found a bike on EBay. Took a course from our local ex-cross pro Craig Undem at and hit the races.

What is cyclocross racing? Well it’s basically off road road racing. From 50 ft, the cyclocross bike looks much like a typical road frame. But then when you get close, you see the differences. Because of the whole off road nature, the frames are much beefier, larger tubing and stronger welds, etc. Unlike a traditional road frame in which the bottom bracket is the lowest point in the frame, the cyclo-cross BB is about level with the rear drop outs. There is a little extra clearance for larger tires with nobbies, cross tires are generally 30 - 32 mm and are run at mount bikeish pressures. The bikes all generally have cantilever breaks. The UCI band disk breaks last year, though in my category they are very legal.

In some ways cross its about as far from ultra distance as you can get. The races are short, super short 30 - 45 minutes. The races involve lots of tricky terrain wet grass, mud, leaves, etc. There are barriers that require a dismount and that you run / carry the bike over, think steeple chase but with a bike. The courses are real twisty and as a result the rider is constantly re-accelerating through the race and the whole race feels much more like a power workout.

Since I'd never raced cross before this year I, started in the Men's C bracket.


First Race (North SeaTac)

On my first race, I had a great starting position and was actually the first rider to the single track. Being new to cross, I looked at my tires, they said 80 - 100 psi, so I pumped them right up to 100, and went.. Well at the first bump I was thrown from the bike like a PBR cowboy, pro bull rider. After the crashed I lost a few places and a ton of momentum. By the end of the race I ended up placing 18th, not too bad for a first race. Posted by Hello

Science Section:
Back when I was taking a physics course at the University of Washington ( ~6 years ago), I remember seeing a brief discussion of the physics of a bicycle wheel in motion in, Halliday, Resnick. When a wheel spins in the air, no friction, all parts of the wheel move at the same speed. But what’s really cool about wheels, is that even though the rim is totally connected when the wheel is rolling over a surface with friction the bottom part of the wheel will go slower then the top. This is not so intuitive. In the picture above notice how the spokes on the bottom of the wheel are in focus, and those at the top of the wheel aren't. You can also see how the linear speed of the spokes changes as its distance from the hub increase.

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Second Race (Marymoor Star-Crossed)

I had great starting position yet again, and lead the race through the first turn, all was going well till I missed a corner and crashed! By the time I was back on the course I'd slipped 3/4 back. I definitely have the power, but my bike handling isn't quite adept enough. I crashed a few more times through the race, and ended up finishing somewhere in the middle. After this race I'm going to make a few changes to the bike:
  • Switching to Tufo tires, they should run better a lower PSI’s
  • Switching from V-Brakes (what the bike came with) to traditional cantilever breaks. My breaks to keep my breaks from getting clogged.
  • Swapping my pedals from Speedplay Frogs to Time Atac, should work better in the mud Posted by Hello


Third Race (Evergreen)

I missed a few races, and by this point the starting positions were getting decided by point standings. So I started in awful position, way in the back of the field. In cross this is a real disadvantage because it can be very hard to pass other riders. I spent the majority of the race boxed in and fighting to move up. There was a fairly good size run up, and a tricky decent. For once I had gotten to the race early enough to scout the course, so I had practiced the decent a few times. I only crashed once during the race, I must be getting better. I was closing in on 4th place when, I hit a tree on the decent. My front wheel slid out on some pine needles. By the time I was up 4th was long gone, I ended up finishing a very solid 5th!
Posted by Hello


Fourth Race (State Champs, Magnusson Park)

I got to the course early, and did a good warm-up on the course. The course had a very wide starting section, that narrowed and twisted around on some wet grass, and then opened to a long paved section that led to the back of the park.. Here’s where things got medieval. In the back of the park there was a huge mud lake that the course went across. The mud varied between a few inches deep to a foot deep. It was so murky there was no way to know what to expect. After that and a short ride able run up, the course went out and back over thick mud, over a barrier and around again. I practiced traversing the mud lake 10 - 15 times, and then watched the Masters Men C's race traverse the tricky spots.

On the line up for my race I again started back; in the, you have too few points to matter position. A bag piper started the race, and we were off. The course was wide enough that I was easily able to get in the top 10 by the first few corners. Then we were on the paved section, here's were I made my move. Hello road skills. I moved from the top 10 to 1st position. I wanted to be first through the mud lake, to avoid being bogged down by other riders, or worse crashed out. On the start of the 2nd lap I still held first. I sorta eased up a bit. No reason to work too hard :). And then I slipped on a muddy grass corner, ohh noo, and by the time I was up I was back in 6th. By the time I passed the starting line again (end of the second lap), I was in 4th position, and then the announcer said "There are prizes for the top three", prizes! Well, at that point I thought 4th place would be just the suckyist place to finish. By the end of the 3rd lap, I was in second, with the rider in 3rd right on my tail. When I can put out power I do fairly well, but he was faster over the barriers and through the twisty stuff then I was. So when I hit the paved section on the final lap, I knew I needed to put some distance. I put the hammer down, and 2nd place was mine. The prize, a cool silver medal USCF State Chap. First thing I've ever won for cycling.
Posted by Hello


Fifth Race (North SeaTac)

This was the same course I had previously placed 18th at. The previous night it had rained heavily so the course was quite muddy, and there were a number of very tricky muddy cement intersections. I crashed once while previewing the course, on a twisty decent, when my wheel got caught I slab of pavement. It hurt, but not too much. Thank goodness I was going slowly. The race started, I was still back in no points land and unlike the previous race this one had lots of single track making it very difficult to pass. I spent the whole first lap, just stuck behind a bunch of team REI riders. After an age I finally got by them and worked my way up. I was very cautious every time I passed over the section which brought me down during my scouting, and it paid off, I never actually crashed DURING the race! I ended up finishing 7th, if the course had been another 10 ft, I would have snagged 6th.

Cross has been real fun, but I haven't been taking it too seriously. Training wise, I have been doing long hard training rides the day before all my races, and just been treating cross like very short intense days. Some weeks, I've done a second real training ride post race too. This next weekend is my last cross race for this season, Nats in Portland! I think I might take this final one a little more serious...

Thanks for reading,

Posted by Hello


Monday, December 06, 2004

Saturday, 12/04/2004

Met up with a group of masters riders from the Aurora Cycle, USCF team I'm affiliated with here in the Seattle area. On Saturdays we meet around 8:30 AM, which feels awfully early, but with it now getting dark around 4:00, we do really need to start about then. Today I was running late, so I arrived just as the group was hitting the road to ride north up to the Snohomish valley. On the plus side, I didn't cool down, on the minus side no pre-ride coffee. Oh well..

The weather sucked, ok it really sucked, it was in the low 40's, with a constant drizzle. We road up the lake, and then split into two groups with varying distances. The majority of the team opted for the shorter distance, leaving four of us for the longer route. We ended up doing about 80+ miles; I still need to download the workout from my polar.

The general plan for the ride was to ride out, do a very hard 50 minute tempo section and then return. A few weeks prior (I will fill in as I get time), I did a three power time trial tests on the computrainers over at Racermate. From those tests, I have a general idea of what my heart rate and power thresholds are. For the 50 minute tempo section, I generally tried to stick in the 150-160 BPM range, which should be a high zone three workout for me. The tempo section went well, and we started to head back.

Eating is important and as any Ultra-Athlete knows if you don't eat early and often you’ll bonk. This is even more important when its cold, the body is just burning up the calories standing still much less going somewhere. Well, given the distance and the weather I started the day with two bottles of Perpetuem (1.5 scoops in each), three cliff bars, and a banana. By the end of the ride I had gone through the Perpetuem, banana, and a single cliff bar. I was a little hungry, but still had energy to spare. This is compared with some of the other riders who bonked somewhere ~60 miles, stopped at a gas station and ate maple bars and proceeded to bonk again.

On the equipment front, my bottom bracket went out! Ok, so I will admit I'm obsessed with trying to keep my bike light. Well, last year leading up to RAO, my Record bottom bracket went out after 2 solid years, at first it grinded, then it groaned, and then it practically sized. So instead of replacing it with another record BB, I thought, I'll replace it with the BEST BB money can buy, a Phil Wood titanium magnesium BB, $250.00 poorer, I had my 128 gram wonder. It was smooth the installation was easy and I was off. Well on Saturday with less then a year on the BB it failed. While heading back, I thought ohh with all this rain, something has happened inside. It felt like the bearings were seizing. Little did I know, as the ride ended it got harder and harder to pedal. Post ride, on inspection it became apparent that the spindle had shifted! Some where out there the spindle moved a few mm towards the non-drive side causing the small chain ring to grind against the frame! Luckily the frame is hard then the crank bolts, so the frame had a slight scratch and the crank bolts were polished smooth.. But holy smokes. I have to say I'm not too pleased about the whole thing. On the plus side I have an extra Chorus BB sitting in my apartment that I will install and use it through the rainy months.

Thanks for reading,



So a little background.. On me

The Beginning:
Let’s see.. Were to begin.. Let’s go back to the early 1980's.. While growing up in my free time, some how I had alot more of it when I was four, I was the terror of on the big wheel. I vividly remember my first and only trip to the "Big Wheel Dealership" aka G.I. Joes picking between the models. No fufy streamers or fake plastic radio for me, just red, with big black wheels. I road it around the front driveway till the hard plastic wheel was ground flat.

Flash forward a few more years. About the time I was starting middle school, the Berlin wall had just fallen and Rob Kish was had just finished his 3rd RAAM, I started working on my cycling merit badge in scouts. At that time, the riding component of the merit badge was to ride two 25 mile rides a month for four months and then 50 miler in under 8 hours. Having started the merit badge in late summer, January saw me out completing my 50 miler. It took my dad and I 7 hours to complete our trek, with lots of coasting on his part. Somewhere along the way struck a cord and over the next few years, every spring my dad and I would ride in the "Monster Cookie", a local club metric century.

The STP:
If you ride a bike, and grow up in the Pacific Northwest, it’s hard not to hear about the STP at some point. Someone, knows someone who road in this crazy ride, stretching from Seattle to Portland. The 1993 STP had been a main feature in an issue of Boy's Life, the scouting magazine; it was presented as a huge adventure some Scouts had taken on. My junior year in high school, 1994, a good friend of mine from Scouts, Cowan, my dad, and my uncle Larry decided that we would try the STP. Knowing nothing about training,we did a few training rides, riding out to burger stands and then set out on our first two day 200 mile adventure. At the end of the first day I discovered the "genius" behind cycling shorts, and swore to never ride again without a chamois. The STP instantly became a family tradition and over the last 10 years my dad and I have only missed it once. As a side note I've ridden it with every one who will be on the Team Tartan crew at RAO.

Adventures at Burger King (HOW NOT TO FULE):
Besides riding faster there also grew a parallel goal to ride father and maybe one day actually do the whole STP in a single day. Just by chance the local bike club held a single day 150 mile ride on my 16th birthday and with a friend I set out to set a new single day personal distance record. Some where late in the ride we bonked, finding ourselves not too far from a Bugger King, we celebrated the $1.00 Whopper. Another discovery was made; eating four Whoppers in one sitting isn't such a good idea. After about 135 miles, it was growing dark and we called my mom. This was the only ride I've DNFed on.

University of Washington:
On leaving for the University of Washington, I immediately checked out the university cycling team. The team members were all really friendly, but at the time I was so slow that I didn't feel comfortable riding with them. While not racing, I did ride very regularly on my own. I found riding to be a great way to escape the stresses of university life. After my sophomore year at the UW, my uncle Larry and I both felt very good coming out of the STP and decided to go for glory and attempt the Salem Bike Club's Water melon double century. It was a 200 mile ride looping from Salem to Eugene and back. My uncle and I were definitely most novice distance riders in the group and were soon dropped. But some where along the way the riders ahead of us took a wrong turn because we were soon in the lead, and led till maybe mile 70. The trip out had been uneventful; the trip back wasn’t, on the way back I suffered eight flats. Just as the sun was setting my uncle and I finished. After this ride I thought I would never ride 200 miles in a day again, it was just too hard. Little did I know.

Kenneth Racing for the UW

On returning to Seattle, I got a lucrative summer job temping for Microsoft, and saved all my earnings for the entire summer to buy a Litespeed. On starting my junior year at the UW, my cycling had progressed to the point where I felt comfortable riding with the racing team.

Kenneth Enters the Ultra Scene 2001:
Flash forwards another three years, graduating from the UW in 2001, I had just finished racing with the UW and was looking for another adventure. My uncle Larry had talked about an attempt at the Davis Double, when he was in college and how the route was just epic. Coming out of the collegiate racing season and feeling like I was in the shape of my life I thought why not give it a go. I trained for a few months with a local cycling team, Salem Capital Velo, and then headed off for Davis in May. The Davis double that year was hot by Davis standards, and thus was an inferno by Seattle standards. Over the course I set a personal record for the most sports drink consumed, 480 oz of sports drink in addition to the fluid I consumed at the stops, without ever peeing. Yeah it was hot. It took me around 13 hours.

2002 - The Triple Crown
While down at the Davis double, I quickly learned about the whole CA triple crown phenomena, and that there were indeed much more challenging rides then the Davis Double. The goal for 2002 was to become a triple crown member by completing three doubles in one calendar year. I started it off by riding a much cooler Davis Double with a good friend of mine Ben, we logged a Davis time around 13.5 hours. Then in late June it was back to CA again for the terrible two. Where I ended up placing 22nd, in 12.5 hours, and finally back in late September for the Knoxville double, where I ended up finishing first and riding far ahead of the support.

2003 - Mt Hood Stage Race and Terrible Two:
In 2003, I had a number of different goals, but in the end had a fantastic time racing at the Mt. Hood stage race. Up until the last day of the sage race I was near the back of the standings, the last stage was a 75 mile stage starting and ending at coopers spur, a small ski resort on Mt Hood. I ended up finishing right in the middle of the standings. At the end of June I was back down in Santa Rosa for the Terrible Two, unfortunately mid course, I took a wrong turn adding 10 bonus miles. In the end I finished 22nd, in 12hrs 59 min and in September it was back for Knoxvill.

2004 - Tendonitis
The goal for 2004 was to Race at RAO. In April I went down to California to race at the Devil Mountain Double. There were two starts, a 5 AM and a 6AM start. I took the 5 AM start. I ended up soloing ~160 miles of the course, finishing first for the 5 AM group, and placing 6th overall. After Devil Mountain I did the three day RAO training camp, and the following week was in Davis for the Davis Double. But some where after/during Davis for the first time my body complained and my knee's began to give me trouble, and well that was it. I ended up taking the rest of the summer quite easy, letting my knees heal, and then in September road the Knoxvill double with my good friend Ben who was finishing his triple crown.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Go Kilt-Man!

Follow along with Kenneth Philbrick as he trains for a solo ride in the Race Across Oregon 2005.

Kenneth was my number one choice for winning last year's race before an untimely injury forced him to withdraw. George and I are lucky to have Kenneth already ramping up for RAO 2005--and willing to share the ins and outs of solo ultra racing with all of us eager readers and arm chair cyclists.

Stay tuned for the trials and tribulations as Kenneth begins his journey to the starting line...

Best of Luck, Kenneth!

George and Terri