Saturday, February 09, 2008

Saturday Night Randoms

Gotta make this quick 'cause it's bedtime...

If you didn't go last night, you missed a really fun and entertaining evening at Amgen with Bob Roll MC'ing a talk with Jens Voight and Stuart O'Grady. Big-time super-star bike racers, those two.

All three of the guys are a crack-up. Gina was so desperate for a date that she agreed to go with me to this thing, and I think she actually enjoyed herself. In fact, after I went to get some food, I returned to see Jens with his arm around her... Dang, younger, taller, and faster than me! Naturally I snapped a pic for evidence...

Later we learned that Jens has five (5!!) kids at home!

A fun night with great organization by Jerry and the Amgen crew. Hopefully a lot of money was raised for the Breakaway From Cancer program.


TrueSport used to be a daily stop on my web surfing rounds, but when Max Kash Agro, esq. hung up his wheels and his pen, I stopped visiting so often. MKA is hands down the most entertaining writer I've ever read in the cycling world. No contest. In my opinion.

So imagine my delight when a few weeks ago I happened on over there to discover a new MKA story. A series really, about another big-shot lawyer infected by the cycling bug. Here, if you have 10-20 minutes to spare, get yourself caught up:
First installment
Second installment
Third installment

...and then stay tuned for future MKA episodes.

Now another talented writer over there at Truesport is Druber's brother, who also goes by the name Druber, and I forget whether he's older or younger, but he's definitely larger, so we'll refer to him as Druber the Larger. Anyway, it seems as though Druber the Larger came out to California recently (he hails from that hotbed of bike racing, Illinois/Indiana) and partook in the early-season classic Boulevard RR in the 45+. Read his entertaining race report. Good stuff... whether or not it's accurate is irrelevant.


A few days ago at dinner, Gina dropped a paper on me about Tabata Intervals. Ever heard of these? I hadn't either, but the paper claimed a significant improvement in VO2Max and Anaerobic Capacity by a set of riders who did these workouts five days a week, as compared to a control group who did two hours daily of steady sweet-spot riding. Or something like that. Best as I can tell, the protocol is to do 20 seconds ON and then 10 seconds OFF, for a total of eight intervals. So what's "ON"? Really freakin' hard; "all out" was the phrase used. Or for power users, "ON" should be 170% of your VO2Max power according to some reference I found.

Being curious, I tried this workout a few days ago, and it was very intense. I completed eight intervals, but after the 4th one, I couldn't reach the effort level of the prior ones. Not even close. I'd be amazed if anyone can do all eight as hard as prescribed.

It's probably a crock of doo-doo, but I think I'll try a few more sessions of this.


Lot's of people will do more than one crit in a day, perhaps doubling up with a Masters race and a category race. Some women riders will do an extra race with the men. Why not, often the crits are only 40-50 minutes and you've invested a lot of time to get there, so you might as well do some riding.

But I was shocked when I perused the results of the Southern Nevada Stage Race a few days ago. Check out the 35+ and the 45+ results. Louie Amelburu did both! Both stage races!! Two TT's back to back, two crits, and most amazingly, two road races. And according to the SB guys who went, it was brutally tough just doing a single road race. Could this be real? Sheesh, is Louie gonna be killing it this year or what?


More useless perusing of the internet... I've had the impression that Junior racing is on the rise after many years of low participation. Poking around at some pre-entry lists for NorCal races suggests the trend is real. Nearly 100 juniors are entered for the Cherry Pie race in Napa. That's huge! And a very promising sign for the future.

But lest you get too excited, the sport is still heavily skewed toward the old-geezer end. I checked the SoCal USCF database and found that in 2007 there were a tad fewer than 200 licensed juniors (18 and under, boys and girls). Guess how many riders between age 40 and 49...




anony-miss said...

Those Tabata intervals sound a lot like something Jonathan Vaughters wrote about in Bycicling Magazone last summer. But he called those 'ride until you throw up' intervals I think.

clyda said...

"he hails from that hotbed of bike racing, Illinois/Indiana"

Wow. Are you really dissing us poor souls condemned to months on end of riding trainers, of high wind and hardscrabble roads, of Super Week, Hillsboro Roubaix, Tom Doughty and the Wicked Druber of the East?

Chester said...

MKA really is the man. I've read a bunch of his older stuff and the more recent ones you describe. He is a very talented writer thats for sure.

Anonymous said...

Fennell -

Where did Gina find that article and who wrote it?

Marco Fanelli said...

AnonyMiss- Now that you mention it, I remember hearing something about that. It was from somebody being coached by a Vaughters disciple, and he acted kind of like it was a secret training idea.

Clyda- Now, do you really think I would dis somebody or someplace for any reason other than to troll for comments?? Bloggers like comments, and it looks like it worked!

Chesta- Now let's hope that MKA also starts racing again. Then we'll really get his best stuff.

Horowitz- The original author was Izumi Tabata but the paper that Gina brought home was some summary piece she found on the internet.

Gianni said...

The crossfit stuff is very interesting, my wife does some concoction of them involving the weights, the rowing machine, and the spin bike. I think it's a good way to get in shape.

The juniors- we went from one to five this year, this old masters' team I'm on is really getting behind them, nice to see.It honestly takes a huge commitment to do it right, though.
A young pup from Davis won Paskenta last week out of a two up break with my buddy Yoda, I see some promising things on the horizon.....

Good to see MKA is chronicling life down the rabbit hole again...

Anonymous said...


Not sure if you were refering to our conversation we had on our training ride at Mt. Hamilton...
"It was from somebody being coached by a Vaughters disciple, and he acted kind of like it was a secret training idea."

If you are refering to what I mentioned to you....(A) The intervals are 10/20's however not for VO2 Max work...they are a method to work on LT. (B) Never intended to come across as a "secret training idea". Thought we were just discussing training and different methods.

See ya at da races!

-Craig Nunes

Chester said...

We'll I heard rumors that he was planning a return... but I think we all know that internet forums are as reliable as our presidents moral compass.

You are right though- that would be great fun.

Marco Fanelli said...

gianni- Seems like NorCal is really a great place for juniors these days. A special race series for them, and teams like yours and the others that really focus on helping them. Really cool!

Craig- Ha! I forgot about that! But didn't you say that yours were based on something from Lucas Euser? (I suppose that could trace back to Vaughters too!) Anyway, make that two guys who told me they're doing those kind of intervals. Maybe there's something to it afterall... both guys (Craig and other) go pretty dang fast!

Chester- MKA (Roger) is the guy I mentioned in our road meeting a few weeks ago who I really want to beat if he comes back. I like Roger a lot, but inevitably he'd beat me in almost every race situation we be in together. There must be 20 races over the years where he got place "n" and I'd get place "n+1" where "n" goes from 1st through almost last. Grrrr.

Chester said...


jen said...

Damn, that race report from not-from-Sb-Druber is freakin' priceless. So funny.