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Archive for November, 2012

Holiday Health Tips

With Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all coming along in the fall, it is a great time to add 5-10 pounds that we have all bee working so hard to hold off.   Rather than counting calories and ruining your holidays by worrying about calories instead of enjoying the season, I have a simple list to keep the weight off.  (Or at least manageable)

  1. Don’t make a 1 day holiday into a 4 day holiday.  It is pretty easy to end up having Thanksgiving 4 times in November.  There can be two family gatherings, your company party, friends parties, your spouses parties, etc.   I suggest choosing one event to let loose on and then treat the other events like you would a typical day.  Overeating can become a snowball gaining momentum after the 3rd party and you eventually just give up the fight.
  2. Drink water.  I have talked about this a lot, so it is no surprise to end up here.  Drink a bunch of water before any event and then drink a bunch during the event.   It will keep you hydrated (obviously), counteract alcohol consumption, and prevent major overeating.
  3.  Minimize sugar.  I have talked a lot about this in the past as well.  Focus on eating the greens, meats, and fruit dishes and try to keep away from the candy based items.
  4. Minimize liquid calories.  It is easy to double your calorie intake at an event by drinking just as many calories as you eat.  The body doesn’t register liquid calories the same way as solids and they simply won’t make you feel full.  Alcohol can fall into this category.  A beer can have 100-200 calories per 12 oz and hard liquor shot is about the same.  Also keep in mind that these both have a lot of sugar in them.
  5. Burn the calories.  I have a tradition of running a ½ marathon the morning of Thanksgiving every year.  I don’t train for it and it is pretty painful, but it does create a pretty guilt free day after burning 1800 calories in the morning.   Even getting in family football game can be a good way to burn a few of those servings of bean casserole.

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Road Bike Build

I’ve wanted my own “Campie Design Studio” frame for road for a while.  I finally got the time and energy into putting one together over the last month or so.

I designed the bike to be pretty racerish and used some slightly steeper angles for tight criterium style racing, but not super steep.

This was my first pure tube set (Columbus Spirit for lugs) that I used.   I utilized some uber light lugs  and minimal elements to produce a relatively light bike.  Built up with pedals, cages and normal  wheels the bike is sitting at 18 lbs.  I suspect I will be racing it at 16.5 or so with pedals.  Not too bad for a full steel build and a bunch of medium weight parts.  The 7900 group is top notch, but the seat post, seat, bars are medium grade stuff.

I haven’t had too much time to ride it yet, so I have to get back to the ride quality.

I have really enjoyed the process.  However it is pretty demanding and extremely frustrating at times.  Custom builders earn every penny they make from my standpoint.  Getting a frame just right and having a top quality show up in the painting, ride, and appearance is monumental task that takes an artisan.  Just finding the right paint group or someone to properly install a headset is difficult in the modern day of carbon bikes, built in headsets, etc.  The art of frame building is simply not supported by bike shops anymore.  I had to take the bike to 3 different shops to get the bottom bracket chased, the headset installed and the seatpost reamed.  Plus I have to drive to Denver to get it powder coated.  And forget about finding any brazing alloys or flux locally.   I don’t mean to complain, just trying to make it clear what it takes to build frames by hand today.    At the end it is worth it to ride something you created from your imagination.  Inspiration for the next frame is evident as your last concept and design is translated into every pedal stroke.

I already know what I would do different on the next road frame.  Now I just need a reason to build another one.  I had some fun on instagram with the pics.  Its hard to tell, but there is some real detail in the paint work with metallic red lugs and silver highlights.

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If I had to pick one thing I to work on off the bike to be faster at cycling (I’d like to pick about 4 things) it would have to be core work.  So many cyclists are incredibly weak in their core and it affects so much of their riding.   The core muscles have so much connection to your legs and other support areas that it is often that the back gives out way before the legs do on a tough climb, cross course, or mountain bike ride.  Therefore, your legs and lungs don’t become the limiter, rather your back and abs become the reason you have to slow down.  Additionally, cyclist specific core work usually involves excersizes that end up lengthening your hamstrings (always a good thing for cyclists).

The cool thing is that it doesn’t take much to develop a stronger core.  15 minutes x 3 times a week of very specific work can pay major dividends.   There is no better time to get into your core than the fall.  Preparation now could set you up for a good spring/summer season.

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Sonic Boom Racing

So after all this talk about racing teams, why did I pick SBR last year?  As I stated before, one of the reasons was my current team losing our sponsors. It was a shame, since BRC was a great group of guys and I really enjoyed racing with them.  But when one door closes, another opens.  So I took the opportunity to find a new team.  As I started looking the following were my priorities:

  1. Guys I knew.  I ended up on a team of 8 that I had raced with 4 guys on the same team before in the 1/2s and several others in other categories.  So this felt alike like a 2nd generation of BRC that a whole new team.
  2. Racers close by.  I believe in teamwork and it doesn’t happen without practice.  The best way to get to know each other is to ride together.  That simply doesn’t happen if you are all over the state.
  3. A commitment to race.  Too often I have found myself racing most of the season solo after joining a team.  So having enough 1/2s and showing up to races are key.  SBR is a committed race team.  I did race several times solo or with 1 teammate, but this was often due to teammates travelling to national level racing.
  4. A team with better riders than me.  Sometimes the best motivation comes from within the team and I believe winning is contagious.  I like to be around fast guys because I know it makes me faster.
  5. A decent sponsorship.  This is important personally, but also because you can recruit better riders with better sponsorship. 
  6. A cool story.  SBR was formed to honor a racer who was killed in a collision with a car while training.  He was often touting his attacks created a “sonic boom.”  The story is greater than I can do it justice, but the team very much honors his memory and discusses this racer frequently.  It is cool to have a team built around something bigger than riding a bike.

 

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