Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tri-bike Dreaming

Since the Chicago winter will not end, and we’re about to get a big tax refund courtesy of Uncle Sam (our own enforced savings plan), my mind began to formulate a plan to purchase a triathlon bike. Now, my wife would never allow this to happen, at least not in the near future, but you’ve got to have a dream. At random, 3 bikes I would look at if I had the money.

1. Felt B16




From the website (http://2009.feltracing.com/09-catalog/time-trial-triathlon/tt-tri-series/09-b16.aspx): The B16 is our most affordable full carbon TT/Tri frame and comes out of the same mold as the legendary DA. With its carbon frame and fork, riders get carbon fiber's endurance-enhancing vibration damping. A mix of Shimano and FSA components maximize performance and value in a reliable package while the deep section wheels offer real-world aero benefits.

Specs:

Frame: Felt HM Modular Carbon Fiber Frame with 3KP Finish. Forged Horizontal Dropouts Fork: Felt 3.3 UHM Aero carbon fiber Components: FSA, Shimano Dura Ace/105, 20 speed; Felt Aero basebar w/ ƒ bend extensions Wheelset: Felt TTR4, 30mm deep aero rims, 24H front, 28H rear Finish: Gloss Black & Matte Black Sizes: 650c x 48 & 50cm, 700c x 52, 54, 56, 58, 60cm Weight: 20.72 pounds MSRP: $2299

Nice looking bike and I‘ve read good reviews (here’s one from Slowtwitch http://www.slowtwitch.com/Products/Tri_Bike_by_brand/Felt/Felt_B16_for_2010_1145.html) and, while not inexpensive, definitely not out of the realm of possibility.

2. Cervélo P2




From the website (http://www.cervelo.com/bikes.aspx?bike=P22010#I):The most popular TT/Tri bike of the past three years among consumers, and a 2-time winner of Ironman Hawaii, the P2 hits that sweet spot of great performance in a very easy-to-use, no-nonsense, affordable package. Cervélos fit better. In the end that is the main reason why they have become the most popular time trial & triathlon bike in history. Of course we have unparalleled aerodynamic know-how, and the frames offer great power transfer and handling. But the most important reason why people are comfortable and fast on Cervélos is that they fit properly.

Specs:

Fork: 3T Funda PRO Headset: FSA IS 3 Shift Levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra Cassette: Shimano Ultegra 12-25 Chain: Shimano Ultegra Brake Calipers: FSA Gossamer Brake Levers: Vision Aero Levers Crankset: FSA Gossamer Bottom Bracket: FSA SLK MegaExo Stem: Visiontech Sizemore Basebars: Visiontech Aerobars: Visiontech Saddle: fi'zi:k Arione Tri2 Wheels: Shimano R-500 Tires: Vittoria Rubino Pro Slick Pricing USD $2,800

Triathlete Magazine reviewed this bike (an earlier iteration) back in April 2006 (link on the Cervélo website).. I find all the Cervélo bikes to be really cool looking and this model balances beautifully between the over-the-top and realistic (i.e., non-dorky).

3. Cannondale Slice Hi-MOD Ultimate




From the website (http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/09/cusa/model-9RM00D.html): If Kona is on the schedule, the Slice is the obvious choice. Race-proven geometry puts riders in a lower position and the improved laminar flow helps shed drag and shave minutes from personal best times. Most aerodynamic drag is created by the rider, not the bike. That's why Cannondale uses size-specific head tubes and top tubes for each frame size of the Slice, putting riders in the most aerodynamic position possible. S.A.V.E. chain stay technology and a moderate bend in the seat stays provide sophisticated vibration damping. It enhances ride comfort, but most importantly keeps triathletes fresh for the long road ahead. Save your energy for the run.

Specs:

Frame: Slice Hi-MOD Full Carbon BB30 Fork: Slice Aero Hi-MOD Full Carbon Rear Shock:N/A Rims: Zipp Zed Tech 6 Carbon, Tubular Hubs:Zipp Zed Tech 6 Spokes:Zipp Zed Tech 6 Tires: Vittoria Triathlon EVO CS, 700 x 21c, tubular Pedals:N/A Crank: Cannondale Hollowgram BB30 SL, 39/53 Chain: KMC X10SL Rear Cogs: SRAM Red, 11-26 Bottom Bracket: Cannondale BB30 Ceramic Bearings Front Derailleur: SRAM Red Rear Derailleur: SRAM Red Shifters: SRAM Aero Carbon Shifter Handlebars: U.S.E. Tula Carbon Stem: Control Tech Estro, Scandium Headset: Integrated w/8mm carbon top cover Brakeset: SRAM Red Brakelevers: U.S.E. Tula Aero Saddle: Fi'zi:k Arione Tri2 Carbon Seat Post:Carbon Aero w/frame Sizes: 51, 54, 56, 58, 60cm Extras: Gel Handlebar Wrap MRAP: $10599 USD

The dream bike, if money was no object. Of course, the chances of my buying this are nil. However, if Cannondale ever wants to get the feedback of a middle-aged mid-pack triathlete, I’m their man.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Theodore Roosevelt #quote

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Triathlon Training Plan: 100 Pushups Challenge

100 Pushups Challenge -- Initial Test: 19 pushups. According to the book, this places me squarely in the average for the 40-49 year old range. Excited to see progress!

Triathlon Training Plan: 100 Pushups Challenge



While I have always had good functional upper body strength (i.e., carrying plywood, tossing my kids around), I always struggled when it came to doing it on command (weightlifting, etc). I came across this website, http://www.hundredpushups.com/, and decided to give it a try. I've dragooned my wife and 9 year old son to try the 7 week program with me (my 7 year old daughter is having NONE of it!). This afternoon, we will begin the process by very simply doing as many correct-form pushups as we are able. The results will then direct us to the training plan which, theoretically, will get us to the 100 pushup mark in 7 weeks. My guesstimate is that I will be able do (at least, I hope I will be able to do) between 20 and 30 pushups today, if I really concentrate on my form. From the book, this would put me in the average to good range for my age group, 40-49. Wish us luck.

Oh by the way, a footnote in the book states that in October, 1980, Minoru Yoshida of Japan pumped out 10,507 pushups in a row!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Triathlon Training Plan: Ankle Injury

It appears that I have injured something on the interior of my left ankle, not sure if it's a ligament, tendon, or if there is a muscle that I may have strained. Last night I iced it and took some ibuprofen and it felt better this morning. Deciding on the pragmatic approach of not injuring it further, I cancelled my run for this morning and will also not cycle tomorrow. Hopefully the nearly 3 days of rest will allow me to continue training on Saturday. Crossed fingers.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Triathlon Training Plan: Time vs Distance

It seems that, for me, the major breakthrough I needed to be more consistent in exercising was to switch to a time-based workout rather than distance. Somehow I am able to get motivated more for a 30 minute run/ride rather than thinking I need to cover X number of miles. Each morning, I don't always want to get on the trainer or the treadmill, but I can always get it together knowing that it's only for 30 minutes. The other thing I've noticed is that the improvement is more immediate and more gratifying (at least for me). When I run or ride for 30 minutes and each time the distance is (incrementally) farther, that gives me a sense of improvement, which I didn't always feel after running/cycling farther. Anyone out there who is having a hard time getting motivated, I suggest trying the time-based workouts, at least for a month or so. Hopefully it will work for you as well.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Triathlon Training Plan: Weight Loss

One of my goals all along has been to lose weight. Apart from some attempts at healthier eating (mostly portion control), I've just really been trying to be more consistent in my workouts. Apparently it's working. Yesterday I got a nice surprise when I weighed myself on the Wii Fit Balance Board: 202 lbs, down from 215 several months ago (yes, I don't use Wii Fit very often, though I hope to change that). I am almost not a Clydesdale! If I keep up the consistency and actually eat healthy all (well, most) of the time, I should contnue to see the pounds drop. I'm now considering my weight loss goals -- setting a goal should help me focus more on that aspect of my triathlon training plan.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Triathlon Training Plan: January 2010 Goal

My goal for January 2010 is pretty simple: exercise for 30 minutes every 4 of 7 days (about 57% of the time). For January, that means I need to get in a workout 18 days. Seems doable. In the past, I've always tried to do too much, too soon, or not enough, ever. As Bob Wiley would say, "Baby Steps!"

Monday, January 4, 2010

Just added the Play Outdoors: Kids Adventure Style affiliate ad on the blog.

Play Outdoors brings you sporty, stylish childrens outdoor clothing, gear, and accessories from respected brands like Spyder, Dakine, Sherpani, Naturino, Outside Baby, Kelty Kids, Mountain Sprouts, and more. Scroll to the bottom of posts to click on ad.

Make No Little Plans (Daniel Burnham): Grand Goals and the first step of 1000 miles

Taking some advice from people who might know, and writing down some goals, not just thinking about them. I’ll be turning 44 this year and my grand goal is to race an Ironman (preferably Kona) in my 50th year. To get there, in the next 6 years or so, will be an amazing journey and one I’m really looking forward to. With the Ironman as the culmination, smaller steps will involve several half-Ironman races, Olympic distance, and right now, some Sprints. My rough plan is to race Sprints for the next 2 years, completing at least 3 each year, then move on to Olympic Distance (2 each year) for the following two years. A 70.3 (or 2) in the 5th year, culminating in the Long Course distance triathlon that 6th year – my goal is to qualify for Kona, but I will also enter into the lottery as a lucky backup. All this will require discipline (of which I have little), effort, and balance, making sure my kids (4th on the way), wife, and work are taken care of. Planning has begun, and I’ve registered for one Sprint Triathlon already for 2010 – the Bigfoot Triathlon, Lake Geneva, WI, June 27th. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Scary small-minded people: Cyclist hate group on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Theres-a-perfectly-good-path-right-next-to-the-road-you-stupid-cyclist/190080667052?v=wall

Please visit this FB page and report it to the administrator (button is bottom left corner). These scary small-minded folks actually glorify the injury and death of cyclists!

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