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  1. #101
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    I'll add that much of my February, March, and April are consumed with promoting the Bethel races. On a good week I might look at my bike by Wednesday after a Bethel, on a bad week I'll pull my bike out for the first time on the next Sunday. Therefore my training in those months is usually very limited, hence my monster hours in January.

  2. #102
    Banana Pancakes furiousferret's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    mike is right, I'm a 3. The only year I was a 2 was 2011, after my very good 2010 year. I've raced every season since 1983 and I only ever got the points to upgrade to Cat 2 in 2010.

    I upgraded in late Aug 2010 mainly because I thought we'd have a kid at some point in 2011 so I had to take the opportunity to upgrade to 2, even if I downgraded virtually immediately (I ended up downgrading prior to the 2012 season). I was strongest in 2010, racing as a 3, with maybe 450 total hours of training. That year I did 150 hours prior to March including two training trips, 200 most of season including another training trip, 100 to the end of the year including another training trip, very rough numbers I pulled out of my head although I definitely did 4 training trips (5-7 days except SoCal was 12 or 14 days). In 2011 I was totally focused on becoming a dad so I purposely set myself no goals. This led to a real haphazard season with basically no results, and we only found out we were expecting in August. In 2012 I became a dad so I did a similar season to this year but with probably less training - looking after a newborn is extremely exhausting. In 2013 I started training again - a 1 year old is easier to deal with, sleeps through the night, etc.

    If I did 2-3 hours more a week in May, June, July I think that it'd have made a huge difference. That's 8-12 hours a month, so basically 50-100% more than what I did.

    One of the reasons I put everything on Strava is to show new/current racers that you don't need to train crazy hours to be a crit racer. I have a low FTP (210-220w), I don't train much, but I can get some places and even win a field sprint. To the riders that have FTPs 50% higher than me I say, wow, if I had a 300w FTP I'd be an ultra competitive Cat 2 or I'd be really doing some serious damage in the M40+ or M45+ races. For flatter races it's about knowing how to race and much, much, much less about 2x20s or whatever training racers do.

    Climbing and TTs are different but then you're dealing with w/kg above all else. If you don't have the watts or you can't drop to a reasonable kg then you can't race hilly races, period. Doesn't matter what you do, if you don't have that w/kg then you're done. For TT it's the same - if you lack the watts (FTP or, for shorter events, your 5 min power or whatever) you can't TT. You can improve but doing 48 kph for an hour is simply out of the question.

    Climbing and TTs are like running. If you've never come close to running a 4 minute mile you're probably not going to. If you got close then the training etc may get you there, but if your fastest mile is a 6:30 then you have to accept that you're never going to do a 4:00.

    Crits... that's like chess. It's not about how fit you are but how you apply your strengths tactically. Well for Cat 3s and below. For Cat 2s and such you need FTP, peak power, everything.
    Don't you think you are downplaying your 20 year base a bit? I get what you're saying about crits being race strategy but there still is some fitness and strength involved. My first year of riding I couldn't keep up in a crit, and could barely hold up in a B ride. Of course there are people buy a bike and can compete next week (which is what you are saying towards the end).

  3. #103
    avatar by Sean Powers mike868y's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    One of the reasons I put everything on Strava is to show new/current racers that you don't need to train crazy hours to be a crit racer.
    now if only your college age teammate who has too much time on his hands and does 4 hour rides all the time would listen to this advice.
    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    it depends

  4. #104
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    There are lots of ways to win crits. Each can take a different strategy and power profile.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
    Don't you think you are downplaying your 20 year base a bit? I get what you're saying about crits being race strategy but there still is some fitness and strength involved. My first year of riding I couldn't keep up in a crit, and could barely hold up in a B ride. Of course there are people buy a bike and can compete next week (which is what you are saying towards the end).
    My (ahem) 30+ year base is significant, but a new rider can replicate much of it in probably 6 months, seriously. I think it takes about 3 months of serious, steady training, with group rides and races, to get into about 80% fit relative to other racers. The next three months is really fine tuning that year's progress. This means, for most people, being able to hang in a Cat 5 race, contest finishes, and race with the 4s. For the lucky ones talented enough for better things it means being a 3 by then, maybe even nudging into the Cat 2 territory.

    This is assuming no gross overweight, no "I just quit smoking last week", other stuff like that. Normal, somewhat healthy, 18-45 year old.

    For example I had a club member that was a university professor. Not athletic, very interested in the strategy and teamwork of cycling. He wanted to try it. We rode together very infrequently, like 5 times, and he did his first race, Cat 5s. He got shelled maybe 2 laps in, at Bethel. Part of it was he was helping at the race so he was sweeping, by hand, the course for hours and then getting on the bike, so it wasn't ideal for a new racer. Six weeks later, still sweeping with a broom before his race, he was contesting the sprints, and 8 weeks later he won a Cat 5 road race. The next year he made it to Cat 4 based on points/finishes. The following year he had to request an upgrade to Cat 3 with literally no places - he was really happy being the Cat 4 team's final leadout rider so he never placed. He was given the upgrade but found that he wasn't as effective in the 3s, and then stuff started happening outside of racing and he moved across the country.

    I figure it takes between a year and three years to find most of that other 20%, meaning you relative to your peers. So although a racer may upgrade to Cat 2 in a summer it'll be another year or two before they're either a Cat 1, racing consistently with the pros, or simply being a 2. What their numbers are is irrelevant - it's relative to those around the rider, so maybe the rider is competitive in the 2s or 3s or whatever. They're not racing with Quick Step or they are, but they're going to be in the general vicinity in 3 years of focused racing.

    Here's the thing about base - it's sort of about the aerobic base, of course. You develop capillaries and such, and those things generally don't go away too quickly. You really need to train that high end bit, where you rev your heart rate. Racing is the most realistic way to train that. Therefore a racer needs to race, as soon as it's safe, in order to understand the magnitude of racing's requirements. One kid, now one of my best friends, would bury himself at the local TT. He rode off the road once as he wasn't paying attention to the road, focusing instead on going fast. I told him his first race, a Junior race, would be really hard. I told him that it'd be as hard as the TT but it would last for 10 or 15 miles. He was practically passing out in the race but he finished, and the first thing he said was, "You were right, it was so hard!" He was absolutely demolishing me a few years later.

    Most racers in the 5s, 4s, and even new 3s severely, severely, severely lack two things. One is a fit that allows the rider to take advantage of their body's muscular structure. The second is riding out of the wind whenever they're not making decisive moves.

    So, when I see a rider on a group ride I have to figure out, for safety sake, if I can ride close to them or not. Are they smooth? Do they steer with their hips rather than their bars? Do they grab brake as their first instinct? Do they soft pedal instead of coasting? How close are they riding to others. These are things that all racers should ask of themselves because these are major signs of riding fluency or not. If you're not fluent then you're probably in the wind way too much because a non-fluent rider cannot draft well.

    Fluid riders don't have to focus on things like the gap to the next rider, the mechanics of drafting. It's like driving - when you started driving it was really scary when someone simply drove the other way. I remember my first drive my mom was in the passenger seat, my little brother in the back, and he saw a car coming our way. "Watch out, there's a car coming!" he screamed in my ear. Well that's a new racer thinking about drafting. A more fluent racer can draft and not really focus on things equivalent to traffic going past them on the other side of the road.

    For me it took maybe 40-50 group rides (2 hours a ride) to become somewhat comfortable drafting. If you do bumping drills you can accelerate that. If you do tire touching drills (on grass at super low speeds) then you can really accelerate that. We had first year riders, so new that they had to borrow bikes for the bump/touch drills in the fall, comfortably race crits literally a few months after they started training and maybe a month or two after they got their first road bike (aka March). One of them beat me decisively in a crit in April. I was really upset in one way but also really proud in another - a new rider beat me by using skills and techniques that I taught him.

    I regularly race with guys that are far superior to me in terms of fitness and sometimes even finishing speed (my one and only strength). However I can still beat them regularly, if I finish (haha), because I can outsmart them in races. I draft better, I pay attention to what's going on around me, I know how to corner, I consciously work on cornering well, and I know when to dig a bit deeper to make some moves. Because I know my weaknesses I also know what other riders should do to eliminate me from the race. It's sort of hard but not really; when I'm more fit it's really hard.

    Back to the group ride. The other thing I check is how are they fit on the bike. Are they so upright that a yoga ball would bounce off their chest? Or will the yoga ball bounce off their helmet? I see soooo many racers (racers, not just riders) that are upright on their bikes, like really, really upright. Look in the picture thread and really look at the pictures. Count how many riders will feel wind hitting their backs. How many riders in those pictures will be taking yoga balls on their chest? Look at the 5s, then look at the more experienced Masters or Cat 2s. They don't look alike, generally speaking.

    They're too scared to try a lower position, they think of too many excuses to not try it. I don't have a stem. It's too expensive. I got fit last year. Blah blah blah wah wah wah. Whatever. Better for me, sucks for you. When the race winds up to 35-38 mph do I want to be sitting upright, wind on my chest? No, I want to feel the wind on my back when I drop my head, and I do.

    I fit one of my friends, on his request, and I practically had to shove the fit down his throat. Even fully trusting my knowledge/experience he had serious doubts about the effectiveness of the fit I did for him. We made changes measured in centimeters, off of a "professional fit" done at a shop that has a club/team. He went out and won the next three training races and podiumed in his A race at the end of the season. He's kept the fit since.

    The fit idea even works with non-racers. Who doesn't want to be more efficient, stronger, ride easier, be more comfortable? A well fit bike does all of that, but the key is getting low enough to do all that.

    The problem with the upright position is that you end up not recruiting major muscles that run up the back of the legs and your butt. If you enter a race and you have sore glutes after the race endsd then you're way too upright in training - obviously, because if you were properly positioned on the bike then your glutes would be worked consistently every time you go out on a ride. A race won't be any different. Getting low really improves your power, like seriously. When you climb a really steep hill, when you're almost falling over it's so steep, do you sit as upright as you can? No, you lean way over until you can practically lick your front tire. That's because your body, responding to your demands not to fall over, is recruiting all those muscles it has back there. If you don't utilize them regularly then they won't be there when you need them.

    The issue is that you need to be fit enough to be in that position. You can't be too fat (when I was really heavy I ended up raising my bars a good 7 or 8 cm because otherwise my gut and my legs would try to merge on every upstroke), you need to condition your neck/shoulders/arms. The latter takes maybe 1-2 months max, and it's really more like one hard week. The former... well, like I said before, you can't start being too fat.

    The other problem with an upright position is that you're not aerodynamic. A well fit rider will be pretty aero even on the tops. If you look at the pros they're pretty low even on the hoods or the tops. Obviously they're fit enough to hold a lower position, obviously they're concerned with power output, but they're also at the office when they're on the bike and they cannot have a bike that they can't ride for 5-7 hours at a time. Therefore their positions are also comfortable, probably more so than our positions.

    So, yeah, my 30 year base (I started training seriously, like consistent 150 mile weeks, in 1981 when I was 13, started racing in 1983), it helps. But a properly fit rider, with a few months of pretty serious riding (8-12 hours a week and at least 4 of those in group rides), will realistically be stronger and faster than me. They may not beat me in a field sprint but they'll absolutely annihilate me in TTs and climbs and really sock it to me on courses or in conditions where tactics takes a back seat.

  6. #106
    Senior Member spectastic's Avatar
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    you should write a book.

  7. #107
    Senior Member aaronmcd's Avatar
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    So CDR, do you want to give me a training plan to go from 5 to 2 next year?

  8. #108
    Banana Pancakes furiousferret's Avatar
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    Wow good stuff. I get what you're saying about an aggressive position, but I'm not sure if I use my glutes; I can feel it on my TT bike but not on the Road bike as you can see in this pic

    saf.jpg

    My fit is aggressive but I can drop it another spacer, however after 2 years of not riding due to injury I no longer have that comfort on the TT bike where I can tuck in aero for hours. It'll come but its not there now. I do ride in the drops at least 50% of the time, with the headwinds out here (which were 40 mph last week) it makes a big difference.

    My group riding skills suck, the problem with group rides at least for me is I'm slow for the first hour because of my asthma, then once it clears up I'm fine. I've always rode solo or with 1 or 2 other guys because I don't like being 'that guy' that looked like he was going to die. I've leaned towards TT's and Triathlons the past few years (where I can control my pace / asthma).

    This year I'm going throw caution to the wind and do more group rides, crits and road races, just because its why I got into it in the first place. These days if my rehab goes to plan my power even with an asthma attack should be enough to keep up in a fast group. I've also moved the past year from a town that had no group rides and few many cyclists, to one that has 5-6 a day, training crits, several clubs, and 3 shops. That is going to be huge. For 5's at least my power isn't a limiter and when I don't have an attack during races, its akin to doping .
    Last edited by furiousferret; 10-08-13 at 11:41 PM.

  9. #109
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
    you should write a book.
    he just did!

    good stuff cdr

  10. #110
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    A lot of us race with asthma. Can it affect my performance? Of course, but I don't use it as an excuse. Just race as hard as you can.

  11. #111
    Senior Member globecanvas's Avatar
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    I wish CDR had a tip jar.
    Ninny

  12. #112
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    write less / train more

    rinse and repeat

  13. #113
    Senior Member rideaz's Avatar
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    Wow! You just about answered every question/concern I have about getting into racing! Thanks! :-)

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
    you should write a book.
    Didn't I just? Seriously, though, it's amazing how long a post can end up after typing in this little box. And as part of a thing to push myself to do so, I have 200-250 pages of various tips and such that I wrote over the last 20 years for friends and teammates. I'm trying to collate them into a meaningful piece of writing aimed at Cat 3-4-5s, group riders (if that's not a term it is now), and anyone interested in the tactics of bike racing.

    Quote Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
    So CDR, do you want to give me a training plan to go from 5 to 2 next year?
    I know the question is tongue in cheek but the odd thing is that I don't train in any structured way. I don't know enough to offer a real plan. Personally I do JRA rides, chase after trucks here and there, and try to go hard if I feel motivated. I virtually never look at my SRM when I ride, more to get a "status check" on power/hr/cadence. I check the SRM most often to get an idea of the time.

    For a new racer I'd say Mon-Rest; Tues-30-60 second sprints, 5-15 times, try to break 40 mph on each sprint; Wed-2to3 hour ride; Thu-ride if you feel like it; Fri-go out with friends/family/etc; Sat/Sun-2 hour group rides or race. No real specifics on HR, power, etc. If you can do drills do them on Thu or Fri. This schedule was sort of the basic schedule everyone followed in the 80s (you're supposed to do 5x5min efforts on Thursday but I was always too tired). Nothing wrong with it either.

    Speed goal on Tuesday is a number. I can't hit it now and most Cat 5s or non-racers will say 40 mph is crazy. It's not. If you can hit it then make it 45 mph. If you can break that then 47 mph, which is beyond me. I've never hit 47 mph consistently in different situations, but I hit 46 mph in various group sprint situations regularly and consistently (Gimbels 120 sprint which is actually slight uphill, SUNY Purchase sprints, Summer Street sprints in Stamford, misc other sprints, but never in a race).

    Quote Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
    Wow good stuff. I get what you're saying about an aggressive position, but I'm not sure if I use my glutes; I can feel it on my TT bike but not on the Road bike....My fit is aggressive but I can drop it another spacer, however after 2 years of not riding due to injury I no longer have that comfort on the TT bike where I can tuck in aero for hours. It'll come but its not there now. I do ride in the drops at least 50% of the time, with the headwinds out here (which were 40 mph last week) it makes a big difference.

    My group riding skills suck...I've leaned towards TT's and Triathlons the past few years (where I can control my pace / asthma).

    This year I'm going throw caution to the wind and do more group rides, crits and road races, just because its why I got into it in the first place. These days if my rehab goes to plan my power even with an asthma attack should be enough to keep up in a fast group. I've also moved the past year from a town that had no group rides and few many cyclists, to one that has 5-6 a day, training crits, several clubs, and 3 shops. That is going to be huge. For 5's at least my power isn't a limiter and when I don't have an attack during races, its akin to doping .
    A few thoughts right away:
    - Your TT bike allows you to use your glutes. Your road bike doesn't. What is different? Don't be afraid to experiment with your position - just keep the saddle->BB height constant. As an example look at Jens Voigt. He is extremely forward on his bike. If he slid back the 5-6 cm that would put him in a normal position I bet he wouldn't have his very nice flat/aero/low back. Another rider that had a similar fit, Alexi Grewal. Another, Davis Phinney as an amateur (he slid his saddle back once he started doing 5-7 hour races regularly). I'll caution you that moving the saddle too far forward actually loses power, as I've found experimenting over the years.
    - I bet that if you slid your saddle forward a bit you'd be able to really lower the front of the bike, i.e. stem, spacers. I bet your position would be closer to your TT bike. I bet you won't have any issues with your back etc, at least not any more than you have now. For me I have a bad back. I have to be careful when I walk on uneven ground - I virtually collapsed last year walking on an untended field for a couple hours (car/air show). It was so bad we had to leave. I'm not flexible - I have a hard time touching my toes, I can't do anything near a split, etc etc. However my position looks pretty aggressive. It's the forward position that allows me to do that. Slide my saddle back and I lose tons of speed, cant' stay leaned over, etc.
    - Another thing - it may be counterintuitive but being lower may be more comfortable. I went to a compact bar this year - it shortened my reach 1 cm (after getting a 2 cm longer stem) and raised the drops 2 cm. I had some pretty bad back problems. I blamed it on picking up our now-18 month old son, on not doing core stuff, etc. I also lost tons of power in my sprint, and that encouraged me to get a deeper drop bar. Realistically it dropped me 1.5 cm as the drops are shaped weird. In two weeks suddenly no back problems. Heck, I can even bend over when I get dressed in the morning, instead of balancing on one foot while I pull on my pants with one hand (which is how I had to get dressed for about 4-5 months. I didn't do any core stuff recently, I didn't train tons, I just got a deeper drop bar.

    Pace thing - if you want to control your own pace it means you're lacking peak speed. You need to learn that peak speed, it's something that comes with simply doing it. You need to rev the heart rate, the power meter. If you have a PM then consider that you may be hitting 800-1000w peak somewhat regularly, with sustained bursts that are 200-300% of your FTP (so for me, at 210-220w FTP, I'm holding 400-600w to hang onto wheels, to close a gap. When I jump out of a corner or even just accelerate from a stop sign I'm usually hitting 800-1200w peak. In races I typically hit 1200w peak, with 1000w low and 1450w high.

    The thing is that I never see anyone say "Okay, you need to do 300% of your FTP for a minute". It's always 5%, 10%, yada yada yada. In reality it's absolutely murderous to try and hang in when it's flat out. It's NORMAL for a Cat 3 field to be humming along at 30 mph, and in many situations if it's going 38 mph on a flat road you'll be coasting and wondering why you're not going any faster. 38 mph in that case means ZERO watts, coasting, no fitness required, no training, no pedals. It's nothing. It may be fast to a non-racer but it's zero for a racer, a chance to talk, grab a drink, adjust your shoe, anything but pedaling hard. New racers have a hard time grasping that concept. They need to realize that 30 mph is not fast, that 35 mph is sort of fast, and that 40 mph, okay, now you're talking (I've never been in a field going 40+ mph on a flat road unless the field was collectively working really hard).

    It may not be that your "group riding skills suck", it may be a power thing. Obviously it helps if you can draft etc, but once you're buried in the group then drafting a little closer won't matter much, it's only when it's single file or a tiny group that being close matters. I highly recommend practicing bumping. I also highly recommend practicing touching your front tire to another person's rear tire, a drill that you should do at under 8 mph on grass because you absolutely positively will fall (and I recommend falling a half dozen times first to get an idea of what your bike wants to do).

    Drafting is part of the two things that new racers don't do (new racers' second failure is that they're in the wind too much). Again, buried 30 back in the field means you don't need to be too close. But if you're near the front, if it's single file, you absolutely cannot be a full bike length off the next rider - you might as well be in a different race. The gap needs to be 2 feet or so maximum, and you need to be able to hold that without using your brakes much (but when it's intense not only do I have my hands on the drops but I also have fingers on both brake levers - to react to weird moves I've been 100% on the gas, grabbed massive brake for an instant without easing on the pedals, and kept going. For me, when it's intense, the gaps are usually a bit smaller, like a foot or so, maybe much closer (3-4") if I'm getting a fast enough (35-38 mph) leadout. The faster you're going the more drafting helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    write less / train more

    rinse and repeat
    Heh. I started writing the response, stopped for food, Junior, and then rode for 2 hours. Then I finished it while I cooled down from the ride. I was a bit worried that the response would be all disjointed but it's not bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by rideaz View Post
    Wow! You just about answered every question/concern I have about getting into racing! Thanks! :-)
    I hope you have more questions as you get into it. That's just the surface

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    Ironically I just got this in email:
    http://velopress.com/books/reading-the-race/

    This is a project that the author started last year I think. It should be good, he's the author of Roadie and a member of BF.

  16. #116
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Did you see that other book? Tom Danielson's success is due to his core routine. Pretty awesome.

  17. #117
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    Did you see that other book? Tom Danielson's success is due to his core routine. Pretty awesome.
    You are being very snarky today....
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  18. #118
    Senior Member rideaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post

    I hope you have more questions as you get into it. That's just the surface
    Ya! I'm going to be bugging you guys over the next few months...I will be a real PITA!

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    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    A lot of us race with asthma. Can it affect my performance? Of course, but I don't use it as an excuse. Just race as hard as you can.
    Of course if I knew my asthma would clear out after an hour I might ride an hour before I started racing.

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    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    Did you see that other book? Tom Danielson's success is due to his core routine. Pretty awesome.
    I honestly thought you were being sarcastic. On a whim I did a search and found that there is such a book. Then I pondered what my reaction would have been had I been the person who put out a book with a guy who just confessed to doping and ate a suspension. And then I realized the Millar hide his EPO in a hollowed out book. So I went back to the website and noticed that when you ordered the book, under "quantity" you had your choice of 1,2 or 3 months.

    And that the book is shipped from China.

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    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    I honestly thought you were being sarcastic.
    Well, my 'pretty awesome' quip was sarcastic

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    Banana Pancakes furiousferret's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    A few thoughts right away:
    - Your TT bike allows you to use your glutes. Your road bike doesn't. What is different? Don't be afraid to experiment with your position - just keep the saddle->BB height constant. As an example look at Jens Voigt. He is extremely forward on his bike. If he slid back the 5-6 cm that would put him in a normal position I bet he wouldn't have his very nice flat/aero/low back. Another rider that had a similar fit, Alexi Grewal. Another, Davis Phinney as an amateur (he slid his saddle back once he started doing 5-7 hour races regularly). I'll caution you that moving the saddle too far forward actually loses power, as I've found experimenting over the years.
    - I bet that if you slid your saddle forward a bit you'd be able to really lower the front of the bike, i.e. stem, spacers. I bet your position would be closer to your TT bike. I bet you won't have any issues with your back etc, at least not any more than you have now. For me I have a bad back. I have to be careful when I walk on uneven ground - I virtually collapsed last year walking on an untended field for a couple hours (car/air show). It was so bad we had to leave. I'm not flexible - I have a hard time touching my toes, I can't do anything near a split, etc etc. However my position looks pretty aggressive. It's the forward position that allows me to do that. Slide my saddle back and I lose tons of speed, cant' stay leaned over, etc.
    - Another thing - it may be counterintuitive but being lower may be more comfortable. I went to a compact bar this year - it shortened my reach 1 cm (after getting a 2 cm longer stem) and raised the drops 2 cm. I had some pretty bad back problems. I blamed it on picking up our now-18 month old son, on not doing core stuff, etc. I also lost tons of power in my sprint, and that encouraged me to get a deeper drop bar. Realistically it dropped me 1.5 cm as the drops are shaped weird. In two weeks suddenly no back problems. Heck, I can even bend over when I get dressed in the morning, instead of balancing on one foot while I pull on my pants with one hand (which is how I had to get dressed for about 4-5 months. I didn't do any core stuff recently, I didn't train tons, I just got a deeper drop bar.
    Thanks; I'm going to start tweaking with my position. Right now, as I posted earlier my discomfort in the Aero is more from being off the bike for two years. My back is fine, I'm just stiff from inactivity the past two years.

    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    Pace thing - if you want to control your own pace it means you're lacking peak speed. You need to learn that peak speed, it's something that comes with simply doing it. You need to rev the heart rate, the power meter. If you have a PM then consider that you may be hitting 800-1000w peak somewhat regularly, with sustained bursts that are 200-300% of your FTP (so for me, at 210-220w FTP, I'm holding 400-600w to hang onto wheels, to close a gap. When I jump out of a corner or even just accelerate from a stop sign I'm usually hitting 800-1200w peak. In races I typically hit 1200w peak, with 1000w low and 1450w high.

    The thing is that I never see anyone say "Okay, you need to do 300% of your FTP for a minute". It's always 5%, 10%, yada yada yada. In reality it's absolutely murderous to try and hang in when it's flat out. It's NORMAL for a Cat 3 field to be humming along at 30 mph, and in many situations if it's going 38 mph on a flat road you'll be coasting and wondering why you're not going any faster. 38 mph in that case means ZERO watts, coasting, no fitness required, no training, no pedals. It's nothing. It may be fast to a non-racer but it's zero for a racer, a chance to talk, grab a drink, adjust your shoe, anything but pedaling hard. New racers have a hard time grasping that concept. They need to realize that 30 mph is not fast, that 35 mph is sort of fast, and that 40 mph, okay, now you're talking (I've never been in a field going 40+ mph on a flat road unless the field was collectively working really hard).

    It may not be that your "group riding skills suck", it may be a power thing. Obviously it helps if you can draft etc, but once you're buried in the group then drafting a little closer won't matter much, it's only when it's single file or a tiny group that being close matters. I highly recommend practicing bumping. I also highly recommend practicing touching your front tire to another person's rear tire, a drill that you should do at under 8 mph on grass because you absolutely positively will fall (and I recommend falling a half dozen times first to get an idea of what your bike wants to do).
    I think it is a power thing, or was...most of of my involvement riding in large groups was seven years ago; I'm a bit stronger now than I was then (even with the layoff).

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    A lot of us race with asthma. Can it affect my performance? Of course, but I don't use it as an excuse. Just race as hard as you can.
    To be fair, I'm not making excuses for performance. In the past I felt racing in a pack with asthma was endangering the other riders. CDR is probably right, my power is just as much an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Of course if I knew my asthma would clear out after an hour I might ride an hour before I started racing.
    I've tried it, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Pre race jitters contribute to the issue as well.

  23. #123
    Senior Member aaronmcd's Avatar
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    Do tirw bumping drills really help a lot? Do they help you stay up if it happens in a race? It happened once to me - in a race, and I didn't even know what was happening until I was already falling.

  24. #124
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    yes, worth doing.

  25. #125
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    yes, worth doing.
    +1000 Seen a few times in 4s, people bump someone freaks out over reacts and down they go.
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

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