Remember Quadrant Analysis? Here’s the VQ data in it’s entirety in QA:
Red lines with numbers represent cadence. Yes, that one all the way to the left is 30. Being a high cadence guy, it’s hard to wrap my head around the fact I was grinding at less than 60 rpm for 4+ hours of this event. I think I’ve got a thing or two to learn about gearing ;)
When I first started doing these plots I’d flame out pretty hard if cadence was forced below 50 or so. It appears that has changed ;) What’s interesting is I did a route yesterday on the geary and preferred cadence is still 90ish even though I’ve got so much mashing in the legs lately.
One of the hardest spots of the race was towards the top of the 2nd climb. The grade pitched up a bit and it was rubbly, loose. Right before hitting that spot I passed a runner – I’d heard there was a local guy who usually SSed the course but is also a killer runner…I just imagined it was him. This rubbly spot was so hard and I was sure he was gonna pass me. Did that help or hurt my progress? Hard to say…but anyway I was sure cadence was lower there than anywere else. The power file says differently, it was actually higher than the 50ish of the steep paved section earlier in the climb.
This gets to the meat of the latest revelation. Riding a SS warps my perception of reality. Seriously. There are times it’s easy, times it’s hard, times I have to stand, times I have to walk. Funny thing is, the grade *appears* about the same regardless. On a SS it just doesn’t matter what the grade is – you do what you can do and accept it. It’s so different on gears. Having the ability to modulate cadence puts one in the paradoxical position of choosing the easier path. Hmm.
Then the route goes flat and this semi stupid helpless feeling sets in….
I’ve got sooo much more respect for SSing and SSers now. Beer and tatoos aside, props to y’all. What you do may seem simple but it’s damn burly too.
I’ll shut up now and post some more pics. This is my PT data and the GPS file combined in TopoFusion – it’s a beta version so don’t look for it yet.
The big picture – entire race:
The first climb and Main Divide segment. The Garmin 305 didn’t get a good lock for a long time so the first part of the route’s location is wrong, but you get the idea. Zooming a smaller sections shows how the color coding by power shows more resolution…it also shows that high powered bits (red) usually have some blue (low power) on either end. Pretty cool stuff Scott!