Category Archives: Single Speed

Mesa Verde 12 hour

We had been planning on going to DS&G all spring...clearly we didn't make it out to TN this year.  There have been enough curveballs of late to make a rigid schedule not so alluring or practical.  Notwithstanding, I still had the urge to put down a race effort.  It's been awhile since going to the well and I was thirsty. 

The 12 Hours of Mesa Verde was a first time event last spring when I lived 45 miles down the road in Durango.  The timing didn't fit with my GLR obsession at the time, but this year it looked super tasty.  It was just what the crack doctor ordered. 

Of course I had to go singlespeed.  So what gear then?  Tom P was kind enough to share his GPS file of the course from last year to help dial in the gearing.  The file in TopoFusion showed short climbs generally under 6% grade - that initially led me to think a really big gear would be the call.   But I've ridden on those trails and common sense told me otherwise.  The trails are super twisty, rarely straight and require constant accelerations out of corners.  It's a real power course in every sense.  I decided to stick with my beloved 32.17, but then the last local ride before leaving the 17 cog was suddenly so worn the chain was sticking to it.  Wow, you can wear out SS cogs!  I didn't have another 17 but did have a 34.18 which is almost the same so went with that.

 Part of the gear selection criteria was to pick a gear that I'd stick with for the race.  No gear changes allowed - I drove out there alone and rode self supported and changing a gear takes forever...everything is so fussy on the back end of my bike ;)  I arrived in Cortez late Fri afternoon and buzzed a lap of the course before sunset to confirm the gear choice.  The gear felt fine...I still considered going 32.18 but decided not to mess with it.  There are a few steep grunters that I knew were going to leave their mark by hour 6 or 7. 

The best thing about that pre-ride tho, was the course!!!  It was one of those rare instances where I pre-ride a lapper and am grinning ear to ear.  The routes flow is impeccable, especially for SS.  Every time you hit a steep hill, you can just go as hard as ya like cause they are all so short.  There were fast, twisty uber buff sections; sections like "Rib Cage" and "Vertebrae" with monstor bmx style whoops that had me whooping like a kid; steady short climbs; technical rocky bits; and nice views - an overlook to Cortez and big views of the La Platas.  That pre-ride set the stage.  It was gonna be a hoot to ride that roller coaster dream route for a day.

It was a long night.  Sleeping open in the back of the truck didn't prove to be a great idea as it sprinkled rain several times, waking me up.  Gah.  An hour before the start it was raining lightly...and rain was  not in my plan.  Not having seen it for months I forgot it actually happens ;)  Dumb shit, spring in the rockies is wet!  By start time it was all good to go tho.

Self-support is so easy on a SS.  I had bottles and food all set up and didn't end up having to pour a single drop into anything during the race.  I opted to go with 3 hours of stuff each time and only pitted every other lap and that worked great.  Gatorade, water, cytomax gels, pepsi at the end, and enduralytes liberally throughout was about the extent of it.  Solids weren't going down and I didn't seem to need food this day anyway.

Running sucks.  More specifically, *my* running sucks.  I lined up behind Matt at the start.  The run was on flat gravel around a few buildings...Matt loped away from me immediately, as did all the other 150 folks lined up behind me ;)  The broken heel has been ok but I was not willing to push it and just poked along.  And then I learned the real challenge of racing a SS - a flat start with gearies.  Let's just say it wasn't anything like any 12 hour I've done before.  I was in the back half of the field and the course bottlenecked almost immediately into endless singletrack.  Congo line for 45 min...settle in and chill.  I rode with Lenny quite a bit.  He was much more experienced with this situation than I and he never got off his bike that I saw.  There were maybe 3 times tho where I was too close to a geared rider who would bobble on a hill and I'd end up walking/running for a bit.  Lenny was smart enough to give the geared riders a gap before the steeps.  I'm learning, thanks for showing how it's done!

Maybe 45 min into the lap, suddenly everyone dissappeared and the course opened up.  It was a really strange phenomena, and looking back I still don't know what happened...but passing was not an issue at all for the rest of the day.  The first time through Vertebrae the bar clamp on the stem came loose and about broke my wrists - weird.  Fixed that up and came through lap 1 already 10 minutes down.  I sure need to start running more...

The new PT Disc was on board.  Using a power meter to pace is somewhat difficult, especially on a SS.  But I was somewhat nervous about holding up at the muscular level as I've never done a 12 hour SS before.  I rode the pre-ride at a pace I figured was sustainable for 12 hours and that was about 1:26 and 212 average watts not including zero powers.  Why not include zero powers?  I've found that in most MTB races if you exclude zero powers in the PT averaging, the displayed average comes very close to normalized power, and that is a good pacing guage for me.  The zero powers of course are still in the downloaded file, they just don't factor into displayed averages during a ride.

After the first lap with the slow congo line start the average power was well below target - around 200.  I picked it up in lap 2 though which turned out to be my fastest...and stopped looking at the pave.  After lap 3 it was 224, then at the end of lap 4 it rose to 226 - oops time to back it down.  Another factor today was elevation.  I used to live at 6500', but these days I'm a lowland dweller and my hematocrit has dropped from 48/49 to 44.  So keeping a lid on it was even more important...

Racing on.  What can I say, it was just a super day on the bike.  On lap 3 I came up to Matt - we rode together for awhile.  The course was full of little gotchas, it demanded full attention at all times.  Twisty, turny, and lots of cut off branches that kept going for your shoulder, arm, head.  You had to look up and down.  Well, Matt was paying more attention to our conversation than the trail and one of those branches nailed his shoulder and sent him down.  It made me really queasy cause it looked violent.  He assured me he was ok so I continued on.  I was a bit rattled for a few minutes after that.  Some way to take the lead, eh?

Then on lap 4 I had my turn.  Ripping some fast section my bike came to an abrupt halt and OTB I went, landing on my head and recently injured shoulder.  I had just passed the 2nd placed geared solo rider and as he rolled by my yard sale exclamed a big "uh oh!"  Thanks Brian ;)  No damage done that I could tell, I was rolling within seconds.

Lap 5 was sorta tough.  I was beginning to feel some fatigue so backed it off.  Then lap 6 I was back on and just kept it motoring till the end.  At one point I had thought it might be fun to go for the solo overall, but I had no clue who, if anyone, was in front of me and in self-support mode nobody was giving me info.  The finish line crew made big fanfare each time I came in about being the SS leader, so that was good enough.  I just kept on keepin on and loving the flow of the course.  The last lap was a blast.  Perfect temps, the legs felt awesome and I had a lot more to give so did for a few minutes just cause...and of course thoughts drifting to my crack buddy and how I knew she'd love this course and race.  Next year!

Finishing up I learned there was one solo geared rider about 3 minutes in front of me.  We both mused about it after the race - neither of us knew during the race how close we were to each other.  Jens is one strong rider, that's for sure!

More highlights...

Being passed by Travis Brown on lap 3.  Wow.  OK so it was his first lap and I was on hour 4 or 5...but sheeeeet was he hauling the mail.

Being passed by Andrew Ferguson on his new Trek 69er.  He was part of the all-star team that pulled 10 laps, including Miles setting a course record of 1:10.

Finishing 6th overall, behind a few 4 person teams and Jens and ahead of all duo teams. 

And that's a wrap.  720 TSS for the event and that has left a big mark, mostly in my shoulders and upper back!  The legs are fine, SSing is exposing some other weaknesses to work on...

Ridin’ rims with grins

We've been looking forward to RimRide for a long time.  The plan from day one was to ride it SS, not hard, and together.  After Vision Quest, 1/2 of 2 Epic had a tendon injury that made riding SS impossible...there were a few weeks when we just didn't know what we'd do.  Gears?  Skip it altogether?  Then the injury cleared up and we were able to do what we most wanted:  SS!

We strategize for just about everything.

Lynda:  Let's be chill.  Go easy, ride together, just have fun.

Dave:  Right.  Sure.  Whatever.  I know you.  I know me.  There will come a point where crack will overtake us no matter what the plan.  It's how we work.

The 2 major strategic issues for this epic are water and naviation.  It's a complex route through arid terrain.  Last year I got by on about 80oz water - but it was raining most of that time.  This year the forecast was 70ish F with S winds gusting to 30+ mph - can you say dehydrating?  200oz fluids was our call - 200 each.  That's a lotta weight to put on a little 105 lb gal, but it didn't seem to slow her down much.

On the mapping side we had some help.  Fred sent Lynda a map with the route outline, and Brad K shared his GPS file from the weeks previous ride as a starting point.  A few hours with Topofusion and I had a perfect GPS route in the Garmin.  This was critical, even though I had done the event last year - everything looked different this year.  It was sunny!!  What a difference that makes.  I didn't know there were so many views and rims in this ride last year.

Finally, what gear to choose for the SS?  We decided to gear more for everything but Gold Bar.  Gold bar is granny gear stuff on a geary, and to put on a gear that would allow riding all of it would mean going really slow everywhere else.  32.19 for me, 34.20 for Lynda.  We were totally happy with the gear all day.  Others were actually on bigger gears....but when it comes to going fast on a SS it's not about whether or not you can clean with a given gear but how fast you go.  It's a race afterall ;)

 6:20ish AM we all left as the new day began.  About 40 riders took the start this year.  Last year the darkness hung on forever...this year light was dawning at the start, and by the cliff option of BarM it was daytime.  I was surprised by the 500 foot cliffs a few feet to our right...I didn't even see that cliff last year.  Bad place to pass.

We stuck with our plan, going pretty chill early, and at the end of Rockin A stopped to take lights and jackets off.  On Circle O Lynda had a bottle mount failure and some other futzing had us motionless for quite some time.  It seemed like 30 riders went by, but it didn't really matter cause we were just chill today, right?  Sure....  Through all of our futzing about Jeff stopped and waited for us.  It was a bizarre thing actually, to be in a race setting and have a guy waiting for us, motionless, taking pictures and whatnot.  Brad Mullen cruised on by us more to his surprise than ours.  I think that jazzed him up some...and I rode his wheel for a little bit.  He was looking smooth and calm - ok maybe a bit giddy.  Others would dart ahead of us, stop and bust out a camera real fast to get some pics.  There are more pics of this event floating around than any event I've been part of!

Onward.  Sovereign was fun and we were still just cruising along.  We were settling in to an easy pace and enjoying it all.  We rode with Marko quite a bit, that was pretty cool.   Heading under 191 and towards 7 mile rim suddenly we had a view of 2 riders ahead.  I didn't think anything of it cause I thought there were 20 or so riders in front of us...but Aaron Potts, who was with us, was certain that the 2 in front were the *only* riders in front of us.  I was in disbelief, that just couldn't be right.  But sure enough, counting tracks there were only 2 sets...and they were SSers, Chris Plesko and Steve Cook running big gears.

Red flag to a bull.  Lynda will swear to her grave she was keeping a lid on it but she fired off the canons on that 7 mile rim climb and we were with Chris and Steve in short order.  The lead group was a mishmash of 4 SSers and 2 gearies.  We cruised nice and easy through the sand to Monitor/Merrimac.  I chatted with Steve a bit about GLR and was really impressed by how strong he was riding.  On the slickrock bit before 313 there was a stiff headwind.  LWs 7 mile rim assualt got the juices flowing, and now the race was on.  It became tactical.  This group of 6 needed to be thinned before the long headwind section of 313 pavement...and it could not have worked any better.  Heading up the pavement I looked back - and then there were 3.  Lynda, Jeff and I worked together up to the Gemini turnoff and eveyone else quickly dissappeared.

 The view from Arth's Rim was fab.  It was the warmest part of the day and we all used a good bit of water in the previous hour or two...

It was just a joyride from there on.  What can I say?  We were feeling good, loving the SS and riding this race together, Jeff was great company, the views were off the charts.  We'd ride froggy in some spots, totally chill in others - it's the SS way.  There were times when Jeff could have easily rode away from us when we were spun out, but he never did.  Maybe the froggy parts kept him in check - or maybe it was Lynda's smile he couldn't leave behind?

 

Earlier in the day I lost 2 bottles - they bounced out of my cages.  That put a bit of a hurt on my fluid supply, and we all stopped at Gold Bar to take stock of our collective fluids.  Jeff was down to near nothing, I was down to 60ish oz, LW had 75+.  Yikes.  Tough call for Jeff!  I think he had a coke in there too, maybe that kept him alive.  A pivotal spot in the ride, we all continued onwards. 

The views from the top of Gold Bar are silly.  The geography is immense, complex, corrugated, rippled, canyoned, mountainous.  There were mandatory camera stops. Somewhere up there I looked back and didn't see Jeff.  It had been a long time since I looked back and didn't know when or where he lost contact...near the beginning of blue dot I think? 

Jeff was strong as a truck all day. It was bittersweet to lose him. Must have been more sweet than bitter cause we didn't wait ;)

In any case, now there were 2.  The notion of finishing together at the front of the race had never crossed my mind as being possible, especially on SSs...and I was filled with emotion.  Goose bumps.  We picked up the pace a bit, and hit Poison Spider pretty hard.  I had my biggest power values (under 30 seconds) on this stretch.  Oh yea, did I mention we both rode with power taps?

Potash road.  Would a geared rider reel us in?  We spun our legs off down that road maintaining about 17 mph with the tailwind assist.  We looked back occasionally...and saw no riders.  Finally, we relaxed and hit the finish line, elated by an enormous route, enormous effort, a day of flow, a day of riding together.

Here's Lynda racing hard.

 

Since we are 2 Epic, we went into town shortly after the finish to load up for the next days adventure, a SS White Rim lap as the weekend's dessert.  We are both still giddy from the weekend.  We both know we can do these sorts of things individually, but to do them together?  It's beyond previously conceived possibilities.

Pinch me!

My Vision Quest

I'd set my bike up to race this one. From all the locals I'd heard it was a challenging and fun event. It was challenging and ironically it was the Vision Quest part that was the challenge not the racing part.

 A vision quest is a rite of passage, similar to an initiation, in some Native American cultures.

I had trouble with my vision all day. First it was getting ready in the dark without a light, then riding up a narrow rut filled racer choked road in the dark and fog with no light. This put me in a borderline panic state until it got light. When it did get light my glasses were too mucked up to wear and the fog put visibility at 30 feet sometimes. After narrowly missing a rut at 20 mph I slowed waaay down. Muck in the unprotected eyeballs added to the Vision challenge.

I'm not sure what I was supposed to be learning but lessons were all over the place. The course was not marked! This did not actually occur to me that a race I paid $128 to enter would not be marked. It was a complete surprise... Throughout the race I waited up at intersections for someone to catch me from behind who knew the way... Another vision challenge. Hmmph. My racer head was switched off and I found some joy looking at the scenery and riding along some fun trails on my bike. The course was open to the public and I met many hikers out on the trails. I dislike being uncourteous so slowed and thanked each one for letting me by. Towards the end of the "race" there was a fun single-track section with two way racer traffic, hikers, dogs and I even saw a deer! The 2-way single-track racer traffic was confusing. Having that as part of a race course was so outside the realm of what I though was probable I was sure I had missed a turn and was riding backwards on the course. I didn't know where I was - in SO California somewhere?

But I kept plodding along and reached the finish-line 3rd SSer in 6:22. Good enough for a female SS course record.

On the way home we met up with the fella driving this car. Head on.

He greeted us from the oncoming direction at 80 mph doing donuts after losing it in a corner. He tagged an F350 pick up truck in front of us turning it sideways then spinning in the air. I saw its roof-undercarriage-roof-undercarriage a few times in the space of a second.

Then BAAAM, the asshole rallying his little souped up Subaru with fake decals to make it look like a higher model than it actually was, hit us head on. It was most violent and shocking.

On this little corner of the road where it happened there were 5 memorials presumably of people who had died there. The lame yahoo who disregarded everybody's lives on this public road was on the way to see his friends finish Vision Quest of all things! In our car were my 2 kids, me, Dave and Carol Ann driving. Four in the pick-up. No serious injuries. Wes and I have some nice seatbelt burn and we all have an assortment of bruises but are ok. Poor Carol Ann now has no car.

Sunday was Disney time

Nobody likes leaving Disneyland.

My first SS race

VQ is done and I'm alive to tell the tale.  The race wasn't too bad but the bozo driving near 80 mph to the race's finish, losing control, knocking a full-size pickup into mid-air for 3 rolls and then careening directly into us made it a full on epic day.  But you're here for the race details...

 What can I say.  Racing SS is freaking hard!  To those that say it is not a disadvantage, I say you haven't raced gears in a long time.   At the end of the day, all I could think was WOW the effort that Dicky and Tim put down last year at BCBR to get top 10 overall riding SS was huge.

The goal for this one was knowledge -  and school was in session.  The on board electronics rivaled that of the space shuttle - power tap, garmin GPS, light, MP3 player.  Simple doesn't play into SS for me ;)

The race started early - 5:30 am.  Since we were geared for the climbs, we decided to start at the back.  We'd be spun out for a bit, right?  Big mistake #1.  We had to wait for all riders to scoot through the initial bottleneck, then the first climb was not very wide and full of ruts, and Lynda had no light.  We worked together on the first climb, using my light...and didn't really start going until about 15 minutes in when the grade steepened.  Then it was one bursty pass after another. 

All the while visibility was poor - yes it was dark, but shrouded in mist too.  Vision Quest took on a whole new meaning.  Up on the main divide, the steep rollers had my legs saying ugh a couple of times.  Up to this point my gearing didn't seem too bad (32.19 on a 26er), but those rollers kicked my booty.  Damn, had to pull on the boxing gloves...

At one point moving through the field on that first climb a guy looks at my gear and exclaims "wow!  SS, what gear?"  My response gets some sort of grunt about too much gear...then he saw Lynda also pedalling a SS and that got an excited "you dating anyone??"  Evidently LW was asked that several times during the race.  I so understand that question and it took me back to Trans Rockies stage 1 when I first saw LW really kicking booty  :)

Somewhere along the way it stopped feeling like a race and more like a spirited ride.  Lots of things slowed us both, like the dark start, starting at the back...and the descents!   Rim brakes on the PT, a new bike that I'd never ridden singletrack on, and a 4 year old flimsy SID worldcup made for some sketchy handling on the downs.  The course was unmarked, which to a local is no biggie but to someone not familiar with the area was cause for a lot of stopping and asking which way as there are a lot of intersections.  Hikers on trails, dangerous 2 way traffic on the most fun singletrack descent towards the end...I had to stop and ask a few times if I was going the right way! 

The weather was nutty.  Cool, damp misty at low elevations, sunny over 4k'.  It was as if we were in an airplane.  This pic of Erik lifted from http://www.socaltrailriders.org/forum/racing-training/15007-vq-cc-3.html

So, thoughts on the differences between racing SS and gears:

Sometimes the gear is perfect.  Sometimes it forces you out of the saddle for extended periods and that is simply more fatiguing.  There was a long rubbly steep section that I really needed to be out of the saddle to maintain power, but had to remain seated to maintain traction.  Major disadvantage in that section.  The 30 minute "hike a bike" was really quite rideable in sections - if you had gears.  2 gearies pulled away from me for good there and 2 more got close.  The flat road at the end, about 4 miles of it - was comedy.  Full of cars, big watery muddy holes, and my chain kept falling off.  I couldn't help but laugh that if I had a derailur on the bike there'd be plenty of chain tension to keep it on track.  And it felt as though I was standing still at 19mph spunnered out.  Jeesh.

The advantages:  well, not having to shift of course.  I gave up the weight advantage when I chose to go fully instrumented, and no regrets there cause I have some great files.  4w/kg pnorm for 4+ hours leading to the hike a bike just might be a PB.  More analysis to come, including a look at power and GPS data simultaneously.

 Finishing stats:  well not sure how I finished.  I think it was 10th although they have me in 12th in prelim results.  They've got me 2 sec behind Monique Sawicki although I finished a few minutes in front of her.  I think my time was 6:09 but I'm not real sure.  Neither are the race folks ;)  2nd SS.  John Fuzzy Milne put down an incredible ride and set a new SS course record by a minute or two.  Lynda set a new SS womens record, not bad for her first long SS race.

And thus the VQ obsession has come to a close. 

At the end of the weekend, what stands out most in my mind is how little the VQ does... 

Next!

SS choices

It used to be so simple.  Train, get as fast as you can, go to races, hammer yourself into a pulp, rest, repeat.  Bike choice was more about HT vs. FS - the gearing always included an 11-34 on the back.  There were some nutz riding bikes with only one gear, but man that was fringe stuff for the tattoo'd bearded crowd and it just wasn't my thing.

 At least, until it was.  The SS I mean - my bearded days have long since ended and don't even talk to me about tattoos.

Yesterday I was asked what field I'll race in for DS&G.  I stammered.  Uhhh...?  So that's funny - first A race of '08 and I don't even know what kind of bike I'll toss a leg over.  I don't currently even have a geared bike I'd want to use for the event.  With one new SS in the stable and another on the way, I guess that shows where the interests lie right now.

We met Brad at Camp Lynda.  He's put some thought into racing single speeds, and ever since I read that post it's stuck with me.  I'm not sure I'm ready to call SS cheating cause I've yet to race one, but I do have a plethora of PRs on them now.  It makes me wonder.

Maybe DS&G will be on the single.  Maybe every race this year will be on the single.  As it turns out, those are the easy choices.  How can something so simple present so many confounding options?  A glimpse into a viking's world is what this is.

what’s that saying about boxing?

We've had some requests.

What about the "burning one down and ripping around the woods for five or six hours" approach? Anyone want to see my data?

 Well no woods here in the desert, but lotsa hills. 70 miles, 5:50, 360 TSS, 0.783 IF. Route: 2.5 Blakes climbs. Uh huh...

The juicy part was the middle 3.5 hours with 8k+ climbing. Big threshold time bin.

Power:weight ratios are always a key metric to look at.

So now we have 3 weeks to Vision Quest - our first big race on the SS machines to see if our interpretation of SS training applies to SS racing. 

what's that saying about boxing?
"everybody has a plan until they get
punched in the face...."

Performance Modeling

Wouldn't it be nice to know what sort of training you need to do and when in order to hit that elusive perfect form when and where you want to?  I've been pursuing this magic bullet of knowledge for years.  TSS was a huge step forward in quantifying load, rolling TSS took it a step forward by looking at changes over time, and the Performance Manager in WKO+ is the latest and greatest.   Old news, right?

My tried and true EweTSS performance modeling has been falling apart at the seams since I started doing a lot of SS work.  It is changing the timecourse of my recovery, both short and long.  In the WKO PM charts this equates a shifting of the ATL and CTL time constants.  Loosely speaking, these constants relate the rate of decay.  For instance, an ATL TC of 5 days means that an athlete recovers from workouts more quickly than an athlete with an ATL TC of 10.  Larger CTL TCs indicate an athlete holds fitness longer than someone with shorter (smaller) CTL TCs.

It's now quite clear to me, based on personal observations, that these time constants are not fixed, but vary depending on training load and training intensity.  Other factors may include altitude, life stress, time of year etc.  But, load and intensity are the two biggies.  The issue with the SS is that there is a lot of low cadence high force work, which by power levels isn't necessarily more intense, but at the neuromuscular level is much, much more intense.

This shouldn't come as a surprise to any physiologists out there - performance modeling studies have shown the fatigue time constants to be related to impact of a given sport - longer constants for high impact, shorter constants for low impact.  Cycling is on the low impact side of the spectrum...but SS takes it a step or two towards the weight lifting end.

What's it all mean?  The optimal training plan for SSing is different than for geared riding.  Duh.  But the story of the details  is still unfolding and it's quite epic!  There's a new tool on the market called RaceDay.  I'm still putting it through it's paces, but it is helping to define the way in which SSing changes the outcome of hard training and offers clues as to what works - and what doesn't.  Feeding it good data and understanding what it is telling me is an adventure that is likely to continue all year...

And y'all know I can't resist a good adventure :)

Recursive bootstrapping to form

Extreme geek alert!

More than I can recall  there have been suggestions that I just toss the gears away once and forall.  Finit.  Single is simple.  Liberating.  But...it ain't gonna happen.  Here's why.

Like all of us spokeheads, I often learn via the sensations that come with training on a bike.  The difference between pedaling a road bike and a mountain bike are actually quite minor...and that's about all I know - until the SS obsession struck.  I'm in the midst of a big tasty 2 wheeled single geared education.

At first, the SS never got old.  I'd just grab it every time I rode aside from the long weekend exploratories.  There came a point when it lost it's charm tho.  Something was missing.  I craved putting down steady power and that is plain ol impossible on a SS. 

In another timeframe I was pretty smoked.  Something like 1300 SS TSS inside of a week had me not too excited to do anything on a SS or geary for a bit - yet that is a load that isn't that big (by my standards) on a geared bike.  This told me that TSS doesn't track well for SS - at least not nearly as well as for geared riding.

So what's all the rambling about?  Two major systems we work when cycling are neuromuscular and metabolic.  The latter is all about efficient fuel delivery to working muscles.  Due to the high force demands of SS riding and the highly erratic nature of force applications, SS riding is disproportionally stressful to the neuromuscular side.  The frequents "rest" periods - when being spun out or coasting - makes it much easier on the metabolic side.  The catch here is that TSS was modeled after metabolic strain, not neuromuscular strain.  So monitoring EweTSS metrics (PMC stuff in WKO+) while awesome for geared riding is somewhat limited for SS riding.  I can have positive TSB and still feel smoked!

In retrospect this is no surprise.  The focus of my training the past few years has been the long stuff - increasingly long.  Metabolic fitness has been goal #1.  Trying to mix SS with my current physiology is a challenge for sure.

Bootstrapping is something you prolly do every day:  booting your computer.  Starting a process which in turn fires up another process.  Recursion is doing something repeatedly...this is the basics of how my training is evolving.  The SS is the best neuromuscular training for cycling that I have ever encountered - far better!  Geared riding is super for steady efforts.  For the past month I've been doing blocks of SS riding, followed by blocks of geared riding.  Hit yourself  at the musular level, then hit at the fuel delivery side, rinse, repeat.

It's working.  My method for testing FT is the average power for 3x20 min intervals.  Tuesday's session put power 25 W higher than what I thought FT was at...that is somewhat shocking.  It's also something I would have no clue about without the benefit of my power meter.

I haven't been on the SS in awhile - since last week anyway.  It looks like there is always going to remain a spot in my garage for gears.  For now tho it's time to diss them gears and dance on those pedals in Camp Lynda.

Speaking of which...here's the requisite picture for those that found the above waaay too tech/longwinded/boring/understimulating.  Camp Lynda hostess or trail bandit?  Could be a tough call on Tuesday morning ;)