Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Life Lost Too Young and a Ride to Remember

This morning riders from the Tidewater area rode in memory of "Little Ricky" Young who passed away this week at the age of 16.  The 7:15 am ride leaving from Laskin Road was a controlled remembrance ride.  I was not able to make that ride because I didn't get off work until 8 am, but I did meet up with group, got my blue ribbon tied to my bike, and rode hard as the ride became its normal "Saturday Stage Race"

What follows is the obituary which was printed in the Virginia Pilot:

Richard Allen Young Jr. VIRGINIA BEACH - Richard Allen "Ricky" Young Jr., 16, passed away suddenly on Aug. 21, 2010 in Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital. Ricky was a student at Princess Anne High School where he played on the junior varsity baseball yeam. He was a writer for the school newspaper, served on the homecoming court, and was an honor roll student. Ricky loved sports, played golf, and was a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals and the Atlanta Braves. He was a member of Church of the Ascension Catholic Church. Survivors include his parents, Richard and Gisselle Young; two brothers, Tony and Joey Minozzi; a sister, Jennifer Austin; grandparents, Raymond and Elaine Iglecia, all of Virginia Beach, Herman Young of Ottumwa, Iowa, and Eva Tyler of Hot Springs, Ark.; stepparents, Richard Clark of Virginia Beach and Carol Grantz of Chesapeake; and a very special friend, Andrew Stone of Virginia Beach; as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and numerous good friends who will miss him deeply. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27, at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Laskin Road Chapel. A Mass of Christian burial will be held Saturday at Church of the Ascension, 4853 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach, at 11 a.m. by Father James Parke. Interment will follow in Colonial Grove Memorial Park. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.hdoliver. com.

Who is Ricky Young?

I don't know.  I didn't know him.  I never got the chance.  However Bill Conoscentii described him as a "rising star" before the beginning of the ride.  With over 75 riders meeting up this morning to remember him and to ride in his memory, well he must be special.

It was not him that I knew.  I know his dad, Rick Young.

Rick is the Manager of Bike Beat at Hill Top.  Here is what the website says about him and the level of impact he has on the cycling community:

Rick Young an Iowa native, got his riding start in Virginia Beach after graduating from Truman State University in Missouri.  He started working in the bike industry at HDK Cycles in 1999.  As a road and mountain bike racer, Rick knows all about high performance bikes and gear.  He's also very experienced with with fitting, and graduated from Michael Sylvester's Triathlon Fitting Clinc.  So if you're looking to tweak your fit, or want to be fit right on your new bike, come see Rick!

To Rick, I am truly sorry for your loss.  To the cycling community, thanks for coming out in numbers and showing your support.  The extended family that is offered by your friendship will surely help the Young family through this difficult time.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Change in Focus for Next Year

I alluded to a fact that I was going to slightly change focus for next year.  This year I focused on crit racing.  I had a really good off/pre-season and was able to maintain form throughout the year without any real peaks or valleys.  I did better this year than I ever have.

One of the junior racers that I am coaching is turning 17 next year.  He is at the age that if he wants to do something with cycling he has to make his move now.  Even if his goal is a college scholarship, he needs to race something other than crits.  So I told him that I would train more for road races and travel with him a few times during the year.

I have not picked out events yet to race with him.  However, I have picked out a race to focus my entire season on.  It is a late season race held in New York in late August:

The World Police & Fire Games are coming to New York City August 26 through September 5, 2011. Come join us for ten days of sports competition and specially planned events, which will respectfully coincide with the ten year remembrance of September 11, 2001.
The New York City Police Department, The New York City Fire Department, The Port Authority Police Department, and the New York City Department of Corrections are inviting you to experience our City and participate in the most memorable World Police & Fire Games ever. Spread throughout the five Boroughs, the city that never sleeps will be the setting for the world’s largest multi-sport, Olympic style event. As many as 20,000 full time firefighters and law enforcement personnel from 70 different countries are expected to compete in 65 sports.
Bring the family and experience it for yourself. See the lights on Broadway, the neon signs in Times Square, Central Park, Wall Street, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and so much more. Life is not a spectator sport and neither are the 2011 World Police & Fire games in New York City.

This "Olympic" style event is held around the world every two years.  It is competitive and I am looking forward to competing it them next year.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Top Notch Racing--The Chesapeake Weekend

Over the past month I have missed some really top-notch racing.  I couldn't make it to the Blacksburg Weekend for two reasons:
  1. Lack of money.  Just couldn't afford the weekend.  It sucks but is definitely a legitimate reason that most of us have faced.
  2. Lack of skill on hill climbing.  Training this year was definitely focused on crit racing.  That will change for next year but I will leave that for another blog.
Then I missed the Page Valley Weekend.  Now even if my excuses for the Blacksburg Weekend had changed, I had a brand new excuse for missing this weekend:
  1. Couldn't get off of work.  Actually I ended up having to work extra.  I was going on a trip with the family the next week and needed to do a trade in order to get off work for that.  So I work 24 hours Friday, 12 hours on Saturday and 24 hours on Sunday.  No time for training or racing.
So two high level, high caliber racing weekends and I was no where to be seen.  So I was hungry for this weekend in Chesapeake.  Due of the amount of money offered in the Chesapeake Crit on Saturday, the P123 field was staked.  With no Cat 3 only field, I chose to race the P123 instead of the 30+ race.  For the Virginia Beach Wheelmen (VBW), Kevin Horvath, John Gray, Jon Nisbet and myself raced in the Pro/1/2/3 race.

Photo by Dan Gibson: From left to right, John Gray, Jon Nisbet and Joshua Goyet

Like I said, I was hungry for racing and the last race I did, Bryan Park, I got 2nd place in the 3/4 race.  So I had some confidence and I believed I belonged in this field.  However, I was also aware of my strengths and weaknesses.  I was not going to try and work too hard for at least the first 20 minutes.  I have done that before and killed myself for the rest of the race.  I figured I would stay attentive and maybe look at a good positioning for the sprint or a well placed break.

 Photo by BJ Samuel:  Hard Racing in a very fast Pro/1/2/3 field.

Here is the summary of the race:  Less than half way into race there was a crash in the final turn heading into the final stretch.  A number of riders went down and a split occurred in the field.  I personally was behind the crash (real close, the rider in front of me went down) but I had no problem getting back into the group.  My teammate John Gray buried himself to make sure we didn't get separated.   That was actually going to do him in, so I really appreciate his effort.  During the crash four riders got away.  It is unclear to me if they attacked before the crash or after, but they made their move and took advantage of a disorganized field.  The four riders were probably some of the best in the race.  They got a gap and at one point was over 30 seconds.  I thought for sure they would end up lapping us.  I knew we were going fast but I didn't think we were steady enough to catch them.  I even gave an effort at the front to chase them down but ended up forming a gap at the front.  I guess some riders were content to sprint for 5th place.

As the race continued, we kept closing the gap, but it was not to be.  They ended sprinting for 1st through 4th and we went for 5th place.  I was in great position with 3 to go but lost it in the bell lap.  I tried to regain but couldn't get up to where I needed to be.  I came across in 25th position and Kevin Horvath led the team in 14th place.  Jon Nisbet and John Gray gave sacrificing efforts for the team.

The next day I raced in the PLT TT.  I have neglected my TT bike this year so I have not really cared that much about my TT performance.  Next year will be different, but that is for another post.  I warmed up well and decided to simply go out smart and race hard after that.  Simple right?  The wind was to my favor, in that there was a head wind out.  So my building my speed up and not going out too hard would be into the headwind.  Once I made it to the first turn (at mile 6) my average speed was 23.9 mph.  My goal will be to do a TT with average speed of 25+ mph, but I have not been close to that lately.  During the first PLT this year I think I ended the race with a speed of 23.8 mph.  So I was actually pretty happy with this speed so far.  I was able to pick it up for most of the rest of the race.  A few headwind sections hurt me a little but otherwise I felt pretty good.  I just wanted to do the 23 miles (actually think it is a little less than that) in under 55 minutes.  I came across the line in 54:58 (according to my clock), but I wasn't able to stay around to verify the time because I had to get to a cornhole tournament (maybe another post).  My average speed was 24.2 mph when I crossed the line.

Good weekend, good racing.  Really looking forward to September 10 and 11th weekend in Hampton.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Training with Power, The ibike

Remember this post almost 2 years ago?

Power Meters. What's your opinion?

I was struggling with the idea of sticking with an ibike power meter that had been given to me or go with something more street tested like a PowerTap.

While what I decided was to stick with the ibike:

Mine doesn't look quite like that one.  I have one of the first generation ibike.  Like I was saying, that question and opinions were given nearly 2 years ago.  Since then I have been using the ibike.  Let me rephrase that, I have been riding with the ibike.  I say it like that because I haven't truly trained with power like a lot of racers do.  I don't believe in using power as the only tool, but I have started to really buy into it as a very valuable tool.  I once heard someone at a time trial claim that they didn't know why they did so poorly,  after all he kept his power numbers exactly where they needed to be.  That was someone who was using power as his only tool.

Real recently I went out and bought the Hunter Allen book:

One of the primary reasons I bought it was to get a better understanding on how to use power to train some of the racers I coach.   Especially going into this next off-season I wanted to have a good understanding and control over the proper amount of work needed to prepare for next racing season.

What this book did for me was to open my eyes to the possibilities my own power meter could do.  I understood my power and had a pretty good understanding and grasp of my own levels.  I also had a good understanding about how to train those levels.  What I didn't know was the features that would allow me to do this better.

I just discovered that the ibike has an interval feature.  I simply put my intervals into the computer and send them to my ibike.  When I am ready to perform them I push a button.  It tells me what watts I need to maintain, whether I am high or low, and time remaining of the interval.  Simple.  No worrying about trying to remember the numbers yourself.  The only thing I wish it had was sound (and maybe it does and I haven't figured out how to turn it on yet).  I wish it would have beeped me to tell me when my interval was done.

The book I bought gave me a lot of information about how to analyze the data.  I was excited to try some of this but discovered that the program that comes with the ibike doesn't do a great job at some of the stuff.  It does not do a distribution of power graph.  Also something that surprised me a little was that when I down loaded the data after my interval training today, the data was not separated or even marked where my intervals were.  I know that it is easy for me to see based on the graph so that was not a problem, but I also had a subtrip on this ride.  The first part of my ride was with one of my young junior racers and the second half was my intervals.  So I did a subtrip.  I assumed that when I down loaded the data that the place of the subtrip would have been marked.  It was not.  Once again maybe not a big deal because I could look on my computer and see exactly what time was dedicated to the subtrip and highlight that time.  I guess it is the little things.

Now that I am excited about training with power and I have a huge amount of possibilities with workouts to train different systems I think it is time to upgrade my ibike.  I will probably stick with the ibike but I want a wireless with HR and cadence.  I also would like to upgrade the head unit also to be able to put two profiles on it so I can get a second set up for my TT bike.  But for now the priority is the rear mounted sensors so I can use the trainer function for the upcoming cold months.

If you have any tips or comments about the ibike please feel free to leave them.