Monday, March 25, 2013

White Mountains, New Hampshire Cycling Weekend (August 2010)

This is another video I made in late-2010. I spent a weekend with Peter Montero (a colleague at Fidelity Investments) in New Hampshire's White Mountains. On Day-1, we covered 180km over four notches, including Kinsman, Franconia, Crawford, and Bear, and then the Kancamagus Pass. On Day-2, we cycled the roads around Waterville Valley, many of which were unpaved. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Riccione, Italy Cycling Trip (October 2010)

This is an old video I made 2 years ago. I spent a week at Hotel Dory in Riccione on Italy's Adriatic Coast in October 2010. The hotel is essentially "cyclists-only" in the spring and fall. The area is great for cycling as the further inland you ride, the bigger the climbs.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Race Report: Stage 4 Tour of Northland

I opted not to race the final stage of the Tour. Rain poured down all night and all morning. With 8 stitches taken out of my arm 5 days ago, I could not afford to risk crashing again.

Given that this was the first rain that Northland has seen in about 2 months, it was an unfortunate and slightly disappointing end to the Tour. But best to play it safe and live to ride another day. (Plus, the road will have plenty of oil and grease patches).

I'll be back next year. Racing with pros and elites requires different tactics. You have to be riding in the first 20-30 wheels. Otherwise, you'll miss the breaks. I wasn't ready for it this year. But I gained good experience and I'll be wiser in 2014.

Camila and I had a great time up north. I was lucky to have her along with me, particularly as she was willing to tolerate me each day after racing.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Race Report: Stage 3 Tour of Northland

Stage 3's 88km route ran from Opononi to Paihia on the east coast. We faced fresh head and sidewinds on a mainly flat and undulating course.

As usual, an attack was launched within 30 seconds of the gun. Four guys stayed away for approx 40km before they were reeled back in. The lack of big climbs and the winds meant that most of the group stayed together.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Race Report: Stage 2 Tour of Northland

Today was a 82km stage from Dargaville to Opononi. My goal was to make up some of the time I lost yesterday by hanging on to a strong group. 

Within a few minutes of the stage start, a small group of 3-4 attacked. And, over the next 20km a couple of other small groups managed to break-off. Unlike my typical “open” and “age-group” races, we would never see these elite riders again. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Race Report: Stage 1 Tour of Northland

Stage 1 of the Tour of Northland travelled 92km from Whangarei, on the east coast, to Dargaville, on the west coast. There were about 70 entrants in my group, Group 1, comprising of pros and wanna-be's. (In total, the Tour has approx 400 entrants in self-selected groups). 

About 10km into the race, our group split into three groups. I was surprised the attack happened so early and I expected us to re-group. We didn't. Ten or fifteen in my group tried to close a 20 second gap, but after about 10km it seemed we gave up. And then 20km later, we were caught by a group of another 15 or so. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Race Preview: Tour of Northland 2013

The Tour of Northland starts on Thursday morning. At this point, I'm assuming I can race, but I won't know for certain until I see the doctor again on Tuesday (my 6th visit)

TON is a four-day stage race starting in Whangarei, about 150km north of Auckland. Many friends have recommended TON as a fun, well-organized event. 

Stage-1: 92km from Whangarei to Dargaville. Most notable is a 200 meter climb just out of Whangarei. The remainder of the stage undulates, with the exception of a 75 meter climb at km-60. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Health Update

I've been off the bike since Sunday (today is Wednesday) with 8 stitches just below my right elbow. The doctor has said I can't ride until we see progress with the healing. Unfortunately, the area around my elbow was red and swollen yesterday, suggesting it may be infected, so the doctor took several stitches out to relieve the pressure. 

I am still hopeful for the Tour of Northland, which starts in a week from tomorrow. But I probably won't know for certain until 2-3 days before the race starts. 

Now, I am on complete rest. I rode for an hour yesterday on a stationary bike at the gym, but I won't repeat it as I think the sweating may risk infection. At best, I'll do a couple of very easy rides in the days just before Northland.

I'm quite disappointed as my training was focused on Northland. And there is still a chance I won't be in Northland at all. However, its a 4-day race, so hopefully I'll find my legs on day-1 and be competitive in the remaining stages. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Vo2 Max, Lactate Threshold, and Power Testing

I did a lab test at the Millennium Institute of Sport and Health last week. We are well into the 2013 race season so I thought it would be an opportune time to undergo testing and get real data on my Vo2 maximum, lactate threshold, and power output.

After a 10-minute warm-up on a stationary bicycle, the test starts with a 3-minute interval at 150 watts. The resistance is increased every 3 minutes by 30 watts until the point of failure. The stronger you are, the longer the test. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Race Report: Pokeno 70km 2013

My luck ran out today. I crashed out of a 70km race while negotiating a tight right hand corner in pouring rain. Now I am at home nursing 8 stitches in my right elbow, road rash on both hips, and grazing on my chest and left elbow, as well as my right knee and shin.

The race was going quite well for me. I was in the leading group of 40 or so until km-10. Several pros opened up a 10 second gap leading into a 3km 7% climb. The field splintered but I was able to hang on to a 12-man group that trailed the pro group by ~20 seconds.