Tuesday, June 30, 2009

COGS ride this Friday

COGS is running a ride this Friday that appeals to me. I believe I will go on this ride. I just want to get my supplies ready and the bike checked out.
Friday, July 3, 2009 Ride Around Hood Canal
Training Series Ride
Meet at: Seattle's Coleman Dock or on board the 7:05 am ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge. For those coming from Kitsap, meet at the Hood Canal Bridge at approximately 9:00 am.
Pace: Moderate to brisk. Pace will be set by the riders
Regroup: Will regroup occasionally to keep group together and for water, restrooms, food, and lunch stop.
Distance: about 125 Miles.
Cue Sheet: yes
Terrain:Rolling with an approximate elevation gain of 4500 feet.
Rain Policy: Wet, rainy weather cancels
Ride Leader: Lee Derror of West Sound Cycling Club and Tom Tanner of Cyclists of Greater Seattle Club. Lee's e-mail and phone contact: lderror2@yahoo.com and 360-271-4838. Tom's email and phone contact number: tjtanner@comcast.net and home 206-298-0225, and cell 206-384-9400.
Description: Beautiful ride all the way around the Hood Canal. Ride provides stunning views of Hood Canal from a multitude of perspectives. Route is flat to rolling with an approximate 4500 feet of elevation gain. Route is fairly free of cars. Riders may ride at their own pace, but we will regroup along the way for water, food, lunch and potty breaks.

Ride designed for those seeking to have fun, stay more or less together, and provide mutual support. Smiles and good cheers always welcome.

This ride is part of the COGS Ramrod/RAPsody Training Series and is jointly sponsored by WSCC and COGS

Monday, June 29, 2009

Stats from Morning Training Ride

Here is the data from my Garmin 305 regarding my training ride this morning. I am very happy that I kept my HR in zone 3 or 4 basically all of the ride. I didn't cook myself but I did burn energy going uphill to keep my average speed up. I am very happy with my results and feel that my training is going well.

I love the Garmin Edge, this would be a PITA if I didn't have such a cool bike computer.

Why we love Lance Armstrong

liamlivestrong.MP4 -- powered by http://www.livestrong.com

Watch this video and tell me you don't like Lance. It is a very heartwarming video.

Update: The climb they are on is the Col del la Colombière.
Cat 1 Climb: Col de la Colombière
7.5km (4.7 mi) at a 8.5% grade.
A very impressive climb for an 8yr old.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Raptobike Pr0n

Front view commuting setup, originally uploaded by Watson House.

Here is a nice picture of my Raptobike Lowracer as set up for commuting/touring. I have 1400 miles on those tires with no flats. I would be happy to tour on them. I love my bike, a great choice.

Thoughts and Dog pictures

Casey presents his prize
Click through for more Casey pictures

It has been a while since I posted some nice doggy pictures so I figured I would post one of my favorite Casey pictures. He just loves fetch, you can see how happy he is in that picture.

I have been riding a lot lately, training for the STP. I feel strong and my climbing has improved tremendously. Another rider caught up to me today on Old Redmond Road and told me "It is not often you get out climbed by a recumbent!" I thought that was quite kind of him considering he had just caught up to me on the hill. It sure did fluff my ego a bit.

There has been lots of stuff going on at work and home. Kristin and I are house hunting, so we have been spending a lot of time online and driving around to various locations. Soon this will pass and we should have a new home.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Training for the STP on my Raptobike

Post Ride Raptobike
I am riding my Raptobike every day and have been since the beginning of May. At this point the Raptobike has over 1300miles (~ 2100km) on it. It is a wonderful bike and rock steady at speed. The bike has been very reliable and has had no flats or issues. I can ride no handed at speeds >20mph without trouble, lower speeds require some finesse.

The training for the STP is going well. I put in 200 miles the week of the STP and have been riding 26 miles per commute day. Weekends I ride farther if I can fit it in or just ride 28 miles or so. This coming weekend I will be riding with SIR on the 100k populaire in West Seattle.

I am very excited, everything is coming together and my fitness and performance is just getting better and better. I will soon have to take a week off just before the STP but right now I feel strong. My climbing on the bike is a large area of improvement lately and if I can get that to match speeds of uprights (DFs) then I am going to be consistently faster then uprights. Because on the flats or downhill I can really put out pain for any upright trying to keep up. Downhill particularly is where I pass pacelines and TT riders. On the flats I just play hound to pacelines rabbit.

All in all it is a lot of fun.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I hope my wife doesn't kill me.

There is a interesting thread on BROL that talks about the disease that recumbent riders get. There is so much variety in recumbents that it is tempting to acquire more and more of them. Unfortunately I had a stream of consciousness revelation that the disease is more than just that. There is the accessory desire. Here is my post:

The accessory disease is also strong for recumbents.

I want:
  • A tailbox, homemade or commercial, maybe both. Race, or Practical, maybe both.
  • I constantly fiddle with my gear range desires. Atm I want a 62T elliptical chainring for the front to give me 25-132 GI (give or take)
  • Wheel covers, I want wheel covers, or maybe I want a zipp wheel or a powertap zipp wheel.
  • hmm, Rob English had this really cool kevlar wheel disk in 559, That would be cool, who made it?
  • Tires, Tires, Tires - Duranos today, Kojaks for brevets maybe, I wonder if there is a faster lighter race tire too, hmm
  • Wheel sets. I could get lighter rims than my Velocity Fusions. Maybe I will be light enough for aeroheats soon. Or maybe a really deep dish rim. Or wheel covers, did I say that already?
  • Edge 705, what about battery life for 12 hour rides, I need that setup.
  • Lighting, lots of lighting needs
  • Custom paint, custom patterns on my tailbox, reflective panels, oh my
  • Seat pads? Actually I think that is completely sorted with my nice zotefoam pad.
  • hmm, zotefoam, I think lining a tailbox with zotefoam should get rid of that rattling noise.
  • I need to learn to work with composites, I could make my own Fiberglass tailbox, hmm maybe I need a new workshed, I don't think my wife wants FG fumes in the house from the garage
  • should I run ethernet to the new shed?
  • do I have to take down a tree for my proposed shed location?
  • what power tools do I want? I could use a bandsaw.

I believe it shows the infection is deep in me. But before Kristin kills me, remember that I take forever to act on anything and this was just an inner demon speaking. I love you, I won't go nuts, I promise. Really!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Team RANS in the lead 4man RAAM

Team RANs is running a 4 man RAAM (Race Across AMerica) team this year. At this point they are 14 minutes ahead of the pack . This is very exciting for me and I am really hoping Team RANS wins this years 4man race.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Solstice Day activities

Lake Washington Loop - post ride
Today Kristin and I are running lots of errands so I won't be riding until later in the day. I think I will do the Lake Washington Loop even though the Summer Solstice Parade will be going on in Fremont. If it slows me down, too bad, it should provide some scenery.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

BHPC race at Fowlmead

Look at that amazing bike ridden by Dave Tigwell. It is the "Cuckoo Raaa" and I love the way it looks. Wow.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I love my Raptobike

Lately I have been observing some of the normal maintenance and break in issues of a bike from the outside. DKW has been going through the learning process of riding. Moving from flat bars to drop handlebars, switching to brifters from twist shift, broken spokes, bottom bracket woes, bent crank arm, derailleur adjustment issues, brake changes, etc. None of this is really abnormal, if you start with a low end hybrid and put a few thousand miles on it with a strong rider, you get a certain amount of growing pains.

But I was able to avoid that by building up my Raptobike from a frame kit with a pro-shop like Kirkland Bike Shop doing the work.
Raptobike being assembled

By picking the hubs, getting wheels built with good rims and basically using mostly top end components, I have had no issues with my Raptobike. All my little adjustments and learning issues have been very small and KBS has just taken care of it. They are wizards with figuring out stuff. Every time I go in, Matt adjusts a bit here and there.

But all in all my bike in April
Wenatchee Ride

is essentially the same as my bike now.
Flying Wheels Summer Century

I have updated some of the accessories, lights, bags, etc. But the drivetrain is the way I specified it at build time and it has held up for over 1300 miles without a problem. I have yet to have a flat with the bombproof Schwalbe Duranos. And I ride in crappy weather over broken glass and Seattle area roads.
Raptobike - Morning Commute

I rode over a pothole 1/2 mile from the picture above so hard that I dented my front rim. I didn't pinch flat. Matt at Kirkland Bike Shop bent the rim back and I can barely find the spot where it happened. The wheel rides very well.

In summation, I want to say that picking a good bike, getting quality components and having an excellent shop like Kirkland Bike Shop really makes a difference. My enjoyment level of this bike has been sky high and there have been no points where I questioned my decision. The Raptobike is wonderful and I am happy as a clam.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Flying Wheels

Flying Wheels Summer Century
I rode the Flying Wheels ride organized by Cascade Cycle club today. It was a beautiful day and I loved it. Here is a quote from my Flickr photo set for the ride.
Flying Wheels summer century ride organized by Cascades Cycle club. A nice 99 mile route. I averaged 15.4 mph and finished in 6h:25m. Elapsed time was 7h:35m, so I was off the bike for an 1h:10m. The ride was wonderful and very scenic. Cascade did an amazing job. My mileage was a bit higher than most as I followed some non-affiliated riders off the course.
The scenery was wonderful and the ride was hillier than I expected. Having 3000 other people riding with you does push the pace a bit though. I was faster than I have ever been on a long ride. And 4500ft of climbing is nothing to sneeze at. Here is the Garmin data from the ride. The first lap is the ride to the start and I really didn't push on it at all. The second lap is the ride itself.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Flying Wheels is tomorrow

Flying Wheels is tomorrow. I am pretty excited. It is all I can think about right now. This will be my first organized Century ride. My goal is to finish before 5pm. I will be skipping most of the rest stops and eating my own food and water. I will be looking for refills of my water and use of the loo at some of the stops.

Soon I will know how I do. I just want Saturday morning to arrive.

Supergirl makes me laugh.

(h/t James Sweet - source )

Broadcasters promise to quiet loud TV ads by September

Finally broadcasters are moving on this issue. It has been a project of the FCC for 40 years to address this. I work in this industry and I absolutely HATE the volume difference on commercials. The technology has been there for quite some time, the excuse about digital making it easier is a smokescreen. If they can't do it on their own then hammer the bastards with penalties. Both for the ad-maker and the broadcaster.

(h/t Kevin Drum)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Good intentions

I have been meaning to put up a serious post lately. But work has been rough lately and the post promises to be contentious so I want to do my research. So though I want to talk about bike facilities, how to change our infrastructure and point out some people who are working counter to our best interests I will save that for another day. I will not be pointing out the myriad benefits of improving cycle facilities or the ratio of money invested in automobile facilities as compared to cycling. Not today at least.

Instead I will say how recently I find that I can't get FWD (Front Wheel Drive) bikes out of my mind. The simplified drivetrains, the clean rear end, the reduction in power robbing idlers and chain tubes are all very alluring. The shorter chain is great too. I don't know if I will be able to ever get a go-fast bike that doesn't have FWD now. I have become very attached to my Raptobike. For long, wet commuting and touring I have considered Faired Long Wheel Base bikes such as the Rans Stratus XP. But that is a totally different form factor.

One of my recent fascinations is Rob English's Hachi.
His bike is beautiful and fast. Rob also runs his own custom frame building business. This is dangerous for me as I LOVE his bike. If I get fast and start trying to be competitive in the TT (time trial) scene I may have to get a custom frame from him. My dream would be a more streetable but still racing lowracer. Two 24" wheels, front drum brake, mid-drive, q-ring +chain guard for the front, triangulated frame, etc. I would add some hydration solution and call it done. It wouldn't be for commuting, just go fast rides, club rides and training. Obviously a bit of a pipe dream today but who knows what the future holds.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Joys of Analysis

I was looking at my garmin data from a few months ago and comparing some of the same rides I did recently. In particular I was looking at rides of the Lake Washington Loop from March 21 and the same ride on June 7th.

March 21, 2009:
Lake Washington Loop 21Mar09

June 7 2009:
Lake Washington Loop 7Jun09

I am surprised how much lower my speed was in March. A full 2mph slower average. My heartrate was lower on June 7th as well and I spent more time in zone 2. The massive difference in elapsed time is evident as well. I am also interested in how much time I spent in the three lower speed zones.

ZoneMarch 21June 7th
Speed zone one is 1->4mph.4 miles.2 miles
Speed zone two is 4->8mph5.3 miles3.7 miles
Speed zone three is 8->12mph9.4 miles4.6 miles

Basically I went slow during climbing for half the distance in June that I did in March. Compared to March I am pretty darn fast climbing. I didn't make it up solely by being faster in the flats, nope, I was able to climb faster as well.

This is great stuff and very cool data. Especially since it makes me feel strong. I need to work harder but I am very glad to see that I am surpassing my late March ability. That was the period where I was riding pretty well on the Corsa, so the Raptobike is comparing well, as is the engine.

Morning Commute

Post May bike Rack
I rode in today on the 23 mile loop route that goes up Juanita Dr to Kenmore and then takes the BG Trail to Redmond and from there to the office. DKW didn't ride with me today but I need to log miles so I went alone. I did pretty well timewise but didn't break any records. My total moving time was 1h:46m which is 2 minutes slower than our record time. Average speed was 12.8mph. It is interesting how the extra climbing in this route really affects the average speed, sure it seems obvious but it still is notable. My average speed on the 50 mile Lake Washington Loop was 14mph and I was hoping for a number closer to that.

Tonight I work from midnight to 8am so I won't be riding on Tuesday. I will instead be recuperating from the silly night of DNCS consolidation work.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Jack Russell Fun Day - June 6th in Gig Harbor

JRT Fun Day - Lucy go to ground
Kristin, her friends and I went to Gig Harbor for the JRTC Fun day. It was a ton of fun and Lucy had a blast. She did go to ground, the agility jumps course and the racing. Casey had fun but it was really a Lucy show this time. Lots of good pictrues from the link.

Take a look.

We did it, the Lake Washington Ride in 3h:54m elapsed time.

Washington Loop Ride with DKW
DKW and I did it. We did our 50 mile ride in 3h:54m with an average speed of 14.3mph and time on bike of 3h:25m. That means were were 29 minutes off the bike which is 9 minutes more than I wanted but given the extra stop at Leschi Starbucks, perfect. If we can manage this on the STP we should get to Longview in 11h:25m elapsed time assuming a 15mph average for the less hilly route. If we average 14.3 mph we will be done in 12h which is perfectly respectable. This is assuming 150 miles to Longview which is an estimate. Day 2 is short and we should be done early.

I spent a reasonable amount of time in heart rate zone 2. Pushing that to zone 3 will increase my average speed a chunk, though I was very strong at the finish today. The timing really worked for me.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lake Washington Loop ride goal

Tomorrow DKW and I plan on doing the Lake Washington Loop in 4 hours elapsed time. I think we can do it but I believe we will be pushing ourselves. Lets see how it goes.

Friday, June 5, 2009

1000 miles on the Raptobike

Rear ViewI now have 1000 miles on "White Rabbit", my Raptobike Lowracer. The bike has been a dream. I wasn't sure what to expect with a lowracer. I dove in headfirst, sight unseen. The handling and stability of "White Rabbit" is amazing. I turn corners tighter and more confidently than any recumbent bike I have owned. The low speed handling has been wonderful. I took the "White Rabbit" up to 50mph (80 km/h) on a route with rolling hills near my house. I had no concerns with stability. Yesterday morning I was going 30 mph (48km/h) on the flats due to momentum and managed to push the speed to 33 mph (53km/h) by pedaling like a mad-man. I couldn't believe how much fun that was.

The "White Rabbit" is a joy to ride fast. The stiff frame, excellent steering and carbon seat provide a very responsive bike that takes all the power you can put out and turns it into speed. I only need to work on the engine to get more speed.

The lowracer format does well for storage options. I have Radical Lowracer bags that hang under the seat and store 20L of commuting or touring "stuff". I have a fastback double century system for short trips, tools, water and food. Everything on the bike just works well. The V-Brakes are strong and have been able to bring to me to stop from 33 mph (53 km/h) easily. The Schwalbe Duranos are wonderful tires. I have yet to get a single flat on the bike and they are fast and corner well.

I love this bike and really want to thank Arnold at Raptobike for such a wonderful machine.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

OHPV has posted the HPC results for 2009

Duncan Racing Collage
The 10th Annual Human Powered Challenge Race results are here.

Time Trial Men's Stock results
Rob English19:02
Michael Wolfe20:58
Phillip Plath20:59
Chris Young23:36
Alex Kohan23:37
Keith Kohan23:38
Dana Lieberman24:29
Duncan Watson25:57
Joe Kochanowski26:20
Josh Townsley26:28
Robert Holler27:05
Trevor Mays27:19
Jamie Emmerson29:06
James Kubli35:08

Not too bad. I did poorly in the sprints but I knew that. I didn't eat at all before the sprints and it showed. The road race results had a smaller field and though I placed 7th, I was near the bottom of my class. Though if you add in the entire field I placed 7th out of 22. I do think I want a tailbox for my Raptobike, it would put me in SuperStock which is not as competitive in this particular group.

Too bad Dana is so far from Portland. I would like to race against him again.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Summer is here, and busy!

Casey pants in the heat

June is looking very busy. June 6th I have a JRT (doggy) fun day scheduled with my wife. Sunday June 7th I will ride but it needs to be early so probably alone as I will need to be done by Noon. Work is getting busy as well so weekday rides are hard to arrange.

June 13th is Flying Wheels. I have my rider packet and will start at 8am from Marymoor. I will probably ride to the start to avoid using the car. That will add some hills and 12 miles give or take. I will want to ride on the 14th to show that I can do 50 miles after a century. So I will do the Lake Washington Loop ride on the 14th.

The weekend of June 20th is currently open but as the STP is on July 11 and 12th I need to keep the miles coming. I need to fit rides in on each weekend. Hopefully I can fit in a shorter ride on the 20th and 21st. Probably some variation of the Lake Washington Loop.

Time marches on, I need to really pay attention to my training or the STP may be painful.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Casey and Lucy playing fetch.

Here are some fun pictures from a recent dog park visit.
Casey fetches
Casey really enjoyed fetching.

Casey presents his prize
He is good at returning the ball as well.

Lucy chasing Casey for the ball
Lucy had a ton of fun chasing Casey.

At least when she wasn't napping in the grass.

Casey drinks straight out of the bottle
Casey got quite thirsty.

Lucy digging for water
Lucy was sure that the bowl had more water if she could just dig it up.