Eugena, Fisher and I have been in Northern California since Sunday evening. Despite the rain and cold we've been able to get some great biking in. We got out on Monday and today and caught the Tour of California yesterday (video).
On Monday I headed up and out on Calaveras road, which is a great road ride and one of my favorites here in the Bay Area. I finished the ride off by finishing the climb up the back side of Sierra road.
Tuesday we caught the Tour of California after they had ridden Sierra on their way to Calaveras road heading towards Livermore and Modesto. We parked ourselves on "The Wall" a short but steep grade (pitches up to 16%). These guys were just flying up the pitch, it is always incredible to see the Pros in action and up close, TV just doesn't do justice to their speed and power.
Today Eugie and I headed up to tackle the tough side of Sierra Rd. It's around 3.5 miles in lenght and averages over 10% grade whilc climbing almost 2000 ft above silicon valley. I tried to puch it hard and did the climb in just under 28 minutes, while averaging around 300 watts for the climb.
Tomorow we are going to hit up the Mt. Hamilton climb, a long slug in the hills above the bay area, it should be sweet.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Eugena, Fisher and I came down to San Diego to hang out with Tim and Charlotte, and naturally we brought our road bikes. In honor of the upcoming Tour of California finishing outside of San Diego this year we opted to ride the major climb in the last stage, Mt. Palomar.
This climb is awesome, it has over 21 switchbacks and is almost 7 miles in length. Eugena rocked the climb first while I hung out with the Fish boy. When Eugie was done tearing it up I went for it. This climb was totally awesome. It starts with a 5ish mile warm-up climb up a valley to reach the base of South Grade road. Once you turn onto South Grade it is all uphill and the switchbacks hit you immediately.
I wanted to use the first part of this climb as a field test to see where my fitness is. So I went all out for the first 20 minutes to see where my Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is. Field tests never, never are easy. They are always tough both mentally and physically. During the test I kept glancing at my average power to see how I was doing and unfortunately I was a little lower than where I wanted to be. After 20 minutes I just rode the rest of the climb at a nice tempo pace and ended up finishing the climb in just over 40 minutes. I bet the pros in the Tour of California this year will bust this climb out in under 30 minutes.....crazy fast. When I got back home I plugged the iBike in and did a power analysis of my ride to get the official word (the iBike software looks at all the little factors effecting the unit like slope and wind, and adjusts the power accordingly). After the file analysis I ended up pleasantly suprise with my FTP at this time of the year. Below is the clip from my iBike. The highlited portion in blue is the Mt Palomar climb (with the stats on the left). I put together a little video from the day on my mobileme gallery. All in all it was a superb climb and it is going to be sweet to see the pros duke it out on this climb in a week.
Monday, February 09, 2009
So on Saturday Eugena decided to get a early start on her first mountain bike season and signed up for the Frozen Hog mtb race in Alpine, UT. She kitted up for the women sport division on a day where the race would be not so "Frozen Hog" and more like "Slushy Hog". All in all she had a great time and 2 laps later she finished with a time of 1:20:55. Good enough for the top spot in her division and 5th overall in the women sport class! So she toughed out a super tough course that was more of a run-a-bike than an actual mountain bike race per se. Congrats Eugie!
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Eugena and I are much looking forward to the next couple weeks for a few reasons....
1st. A week from today we're heading to sunny California (San Diego first then on up to San Jose) to spend some time with family. Plus we're bringing the road bikes and will be doing our own little training camp. Riding in the bay area hills is one of my favorite places to ride. Eugena's parents live in an excellent location and it's super easy to hop on the bike and get on some sweet climbs.
2nd. Sort of related to the first in that we'll be in Cali while the Tour of California is going on. This year the race is drawing the most incredible group or pros ever to set foot in the country, and I'll quote their website on this so I don't have to type it all out:
"Featuring a field that includes seven-time Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong and two-time defending Amgen Tour of California Champion Levi Leipheimer (both racing for Astana), the 136 rider peloton also is expected to include 2006 Giro d’Italia Champion Ivan Basso (leader of team Liquigas); 2008 Olympic Champion in the time trial Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank); 2006 Amgen Tour of California Champion Floyd Landis (Ouch presented by Maxxis); 2005 World Champion Tom Boonen (Quick Step); three-time World Champion Oscar Freire (Rabobank); two-time United States National Champion George Hincapie (Team Columbia); and the top American performer in the 2008 Tour de France Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream). Other anticipated participants include, 2008 Tour de France Champion Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam); four-time Norwegian National Champion Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam); 2008 U.S. Professional Champion and Olympic Gold Medal Winner Tyler Hamilton (Rock Racing); Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia), widely considered to be the world’s best sprinter; 2008 Best Young Rider in the Amgen Tour of California Robert Gesink (Rabobank); and 2008 Tour de France Best Young Rider Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank)."
So that's no less than 3 Tour de France champions and 3 world champions! Plus everyone else that just plain rocks (Andy Schleck for example). We're super excited to see some sweet racing next week.
3rd. I'm getting closer and closer to finishing my rotations and next monday the 9th we find out where I'll be going for residency. So mark you calendars and I'll try to not wait a month to post the verdict.