Sunday, January 31, 2010

SoCal Pictoral

Sunday night. A long week. Successful and creative. Lucky and good. Long and draining. Light and energy. Color and youth.

As I do the down-load, debrief, unpack, chill-out routine, in preparation for some serious quality rack, thought I'd finish on a strong note by leaving you with a SoCal pictorial sampler of a few of the many cool images that passed in front of the RCV lens over the weekend.

You will be getting a barrage of video in the upcoming days, so till then, please keep those horses held.

One last thing. One the flight home I was trying to remember a quote from Milan Kundera about "the trivial", and got it just as we were preparing for our final decent into Seattle.

"Since the insignificance of all things is our lot, we should not fear it as an affliction, but learn to enjoy it."

RCVman, out.


Me & Meshell heading out for a jog with Hannah, Haley and Cameron. Don't even think it.
My favorite niece turns 30 (is that Keifer?)
John Howard and Coach Rob on Bill Edwards' killer "stallout" CT protocols.
The starting point of the Colnago SD Grand Fondo on Harbor and Ash.
Rock Star RCV riders after we got crushed by the BMC squadra. You'll see it all, here, soon!
Scott and Max after Max's indoc seminar.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Day one back in LA. Hated to leave the crisp, blue skies in Seattle, but duty was calling. I suppose that it should not come as a huge surprise that the traffic at Sea-Tac was a touch less than full capacity. Walked directly to the Virgin America counter to check one bag (that will be $20 please) and had backpack scanned by TSA almost before I could remove shoes. Choice of three seats and a marvelous in-flight slide show out port side window. And then, LA. Not much I can add. Cars, people, people in cars, parking lots, freeways, used car lots, parts stores, billboards, burger joints, drive ins, buses with few passengers, more cars, you know LA. We did manage after a trip to Fry's Electronics (to get a 32 GD SDHC chip for the ToC shoot) to cruise past some old stomping grounds, including Gillis Beach, where RCVman, in the prime of youth, crashed and burned over the top of more than a few wind swept summer waves (cue the Beach Boys).

So the heat is on. Max seminar tonight, then Multi-Rider class tomorrow morning followed by our 25 miler on the ToC course immediately afterwards. Saturday is down to San Diego for the Gran Fondo route shoot and interview with Rob, and then a stop in Encinitas on return ride to talk with Coach Rob & John Howard on their use of the Bill Edwards CT training protocols.

Saturday night is Meshell's surprise birthday party at the POW. SO DON'T TELL ANYBODY!!!!!!!

Pics: The slide show started with Washington's Cascade range, an LA overhead and finished in Playa del Rey, CA.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

You Can't

The more they say you can't do it, the more determined you should be to prove them wrong. You are exactly as adaptable, flexible and capable as you believe yourself to be. If you buy, even a little, into others' beliefs that you're helpless, locked-down, or just too stubborn to change, you will quite easily make it so. Don't just ignore the naysayers. Mow them down with the sharp blades of your intellect, crush them with your will, bludgeon them with your sheer determination. Make them reluctant to ever doubt you again. Then, don't doubt yourself. Caeriel Crestin.

My horoscope from Sunday which I ripped out of the (free) Seattle Weekly on my way into town to buy my new (used) Specialized Mtn bike. We took it out for a muddy test spin yesterday between squalls to beta test the new camera apparatus to be used for X-Terra Tahoe, Leadville 100 and the big Lilihammer , Norway ride in August, which happens to be just a few days before my birthday. This to take the enormous success of the triathlon RCVs to the off-road community. I guess Virgos do that type of thing (even though they say we can't).

Monday, January 25, 2010

Harpoon Brewery

The Harpoon Brewery has it going on this weekend. Their annual indoor TT competition will take place Sunday, meaning that if you are within 2,500 (or so) miles of The HB, you owe it to yersef to check it out. RCVman, in all honesty, can think of no better combination than a micro-brewery doubling as a multi-rider center. I mean really*. I also see that two Beantown CT sponsored athletes, Karen Smyers and Dede Greisbauer took the number 1&2 female spots last year. Cheers gals!

*The longstanding RCVman motto is "Will race for Guinness." Or in this case (!) HB.

You can find the fun here:

The Harpoon Brewery
306 Northern Avenue
Boston, MA 02210

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ready the Motor

As mentioned in yesterdays post, we have some new and exciting additions to the 2010 RCV schedule. This one REALLY has my attention. As most of you know, in the three years since the RCV project was launched, we have produced only triathlon bike courses. They are the world's most famous courses in conjunction with our Ironman partners at the World Triathlon Corp., with this robust project success keeping us always in search for new opportunities. A lot of this comes in the form of market research from our users, many of whom are not triathletes, and never will be. (Nobody ever said that you have to be a swimmer to ride a CT). Naturally then, we have looked to other cycling events in order to test the RCV waters. This year we will test target to our roadie, cross, off-road, crit, TT, and touring friends, as well as continue to film and produce the creme de la creme tri courses that we haven't already shot.

What this all means to you is more RCVs in difference cycling genres. What it means to me is that I have to find the ways and means to capture the event footage. And as I'm sure you can appreciate, sitting on the old Super Shooter Scooter amongst 1,500 non-drafting (most of the time) triathletes over 56 or 112 miles is the polar extreme from hanging on to a BMW in the middle of a pro peloton at 35 mph, or in this case, mounting a camera somewhere on my anatomy and riding single track mid race. I am quite confident the results of all this testing, research, development and on location shooting will provide spectacular RCV results, however, riding the Leadville 100 is going to require some additional technical work prior to the event.

Cameras, mounts, batteries, shocks, tape, film, memory cards, GPS, and the ways and means to haul all this over 100 rugged miles, will be a chore.

But nothing like getting the motor ready.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Many Miles

Many miles.

Great meeting with the brass at CTHQ yesterday. We talked about the 2010 RCV shoot schedule, added some events , deleted a few (flat ones), discussed the beta testing for off-road events and cross, and narrowed the focus to some pretty cool races guaranteed to put a smile on your face as the heat is applied to legs. Grin on hot wheels!

As much as I'd like to post the schedule, yesterday was just round one. I have tons of research to conduct until the events and dates are final, so please be patient with us in this pernicious process. One event that I can introduce, either way, is the upstate NY Tour of the Batenkill. It is the largest one day Pro road race in North America, and pretty much has it all, and lot's of it in the traditional European style (long, hard and rugged). The link to the video is a excellent representation of the event as described by the RD. The YouTube video above, ahem, speaks for itself.

So we're off and running into the 2010 season. Two important and newsworthy notes from the week in cycling, CompuTrainer announced yesterday that they have signed three-time Ironman World Champion, and holder of the women's bike course record in Kona, Chrissie Wellington, to a sponsorship package. Chrissie joins fellow UK star and X-Terra Champion, Julie Dibens as CT users. BTW, Julie was the only gal to beat Chrissie in 2009 at the 5430 Long Course in Boulder. The Triathlon Coach, Simon Ward. I am quite sure, is a happy and busy guy today.

The second and final note today, is Big D in LA showing off his new Primal bike jersey that showed up a few days after his 1.18 date of birth.

May you all enjoy many miles of training, riding and racing. And PLEASE remember to look good for the race photogs!!!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Let's Do It!

By popular demand it appears as if we will shortly (as in tomorrow) re-start our runners group. These last few days of spring-like weather must have inspired the cyclists among us to dream of foot strikes vice pedal rotations. A yearly occurrence with which I am most familiar. So be it, let's run!

Looks like June 6 has been established as 26.2 day at the North Olympic Discovery Marathon covering, roughly the terrain between Sequim and Port Angelus, WA. I have heard great reports from this event, and if we hadn't already committed to the RCV shoot of the USAC Road Racing Championships in Westchester, PA that same day, I would lace 'em up myself. Still, we can train together and take another stab at the wonderful world of group motivation towards the tumultuous trail that leads to the last mile of a marathon. Folks, RCVman is here to tell ya, there is nothing like it. That last mile, tests you like nothing else ever will. It hurts. You feel a step away from death. Your feet hurt, your back aches, your muscles scream of the pain. Your mind is mush, your lungs gasping for air. There is chafing, dehydration and sometimes blood. Grown men cry. All weakness' have been exposed, you are rendered raw. Your soul is on your sleeve. You think about God and remember your first girlfriend. There is a high pitch vibration ringing in your ears. There is no color, just a blurry race noir. And then you see it.

The finish line.

Greatest feeling in the world.

Pic: Back in the days before tri: The freezing February Tacoma Marathon in 1997.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Couple of fun notes today. First is the Virgin Vacations Top 11 Bike Friendly Cities. I am very happy for Portland getting the number two spot ahead of Copenhagen. In triathlon parlance, this is HUGE, way to to Rose City!!! Nice also to see Boulder, Davis and SF in the top ten. YO Seattle. Wake up.

Second is a collection of photos of trick bikes. The choppers and high risers are cool, but my fave is the duathletes dream bike (shown), shoes as tires. Might be not as smooth as rubber but you don't have to worry about flats. Luckily it's a fixie so braking isn't an issue either.

Top Eleven Bike Cities
Virgin Vacations lists the following eleven cities as being the most accessible and bike friendly, though they do concede there are many other gems out there too.

1. Amsterdam, Netherlands
2. Portland, Oregon, USA
3. Copenhagen, Denmark
4. Boulder, Colorado, USA
5. Davis, California, USA
6. Sandnes, Norway
7. Trondheim, Norway
8. San Francisco, California, USA
9. Berlin, Germany
10. Barcelona, Spain
11. Basel, Switzerland

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

CompuTrainer Alaska Cruise FAQ

CompuTrainer - Holland America cruise to Alaska FAQs

What are the travel dates?
We depart Seattle on Monday, May 3 and return to Seattle on Monday, May 10.

That means Mothers Day at sea?
Yes, but more precisely, in Victoria, BC, Canada having tea with the Queen.

Is airfare included in the trip cost?
No. The fine folks at Bainbridge Travel are coordinating logistics and can help you with air travel, efficiently and at the best price available. We have some bike vouchers as well!

What else isn't included in the package price?
Only your personal purchases aboard ship or ashore. Meals, port taxes, fees, accommodations are all included.

What is the total cost?
$1,200 per person.

How does this compare with other Alaska bike tours?
The two "largest" are between $2,100 and $2,400 for 8 days and, of course, don't offer a multi-million dollar boat, nor the CompuTrainer component.

Can I upgrade?
Yes, to an outside stateroom, veranda or deluxe veranda suite, if available.

What do I need to do to reserve space?
A $125/pp non-refundable deposit is due 30 days prior to sailing. With the remainder due seven days prior. At the time of deposit you may upgrade.

How do I get from Sea-Tac to the departure pier?
We can pick you up, you can stay in downtown Seattle the night prior at one of many comfortable hotels, or we can arrange for a shuttle bus for you.

Where will we cruise?
Glacier Bay National Park, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Victoria.

What does the CompuTrainer intensive training schedule include?
A 20 mile indoor time trial on the cruise up. This to gauge your current level of physical fitness. Each day will include two cycle sessions, one individual indoor ride and an outdoor group ride. After six days on this schedule you will perform another 20 mile time trial to compare and access your fitness gains.

What if it rains?
It will. We will do everything possible to keep to our schedule, including swapping ride times. We will have advance intel from the ships weather station in order to best time our rides. Worse case scenario, we'll do an extra indoor session and take the HAL shore excursion as sight seers.

Who is tour guide?
On the initial cruise to Alaska, the tour will be led by CompuTrainer Certified Multi-Rider Rep, Master Spin Instructor and CompuTrainer Real Course Video producer Kevin Lynch. Other cruises will feature regional coaches, triathletes and cycling celebrities.

Where will the other cruises sail?
We're looking into Kona, Australia, Mexico, The Med, Scandinavia and the Bahamas.

Will there be CompuTrainer discounts for participants?

Will we ride to an RCV during the cruise?

Do I need to bring anything besides my bike?
Your shoes, pedals, rain gear, workout gear, helmet (outdoors only), gloves, sunglasses (hoping), water bottles, any special nutritional needs, and a spare tube or two. We will have a small selection of tools, but PLEASE make sure that your bike is in top notch condition prior to departure.

What are average rides like in the ports of call?
Each outside ride is selected and designed using our vast roster of contacts in each town. We use these local contacts to ensure that we ride the best course available given the time and logistics. On average, outside rides are between 25 and 75 miles. There will be hills! Local CompuTainer users and their friends are invited as hosts and guides.

What are the indoor rides like?
Very focused. CompuTrainer is the most accurate cycling ergometer in the world, allowing precise workouts to measure speed, power, efficiency and overall performance. Each day we conduct a different drill to test your motor and form. Drills typically last from 30 - 60 minutes.

Will I get a data recap of the indoor sessions?
Yes, all data is saved and a personalized report will be sent to you within one week of return. If you so choose this data can be analyzed by one of the many CT coaches in order to additionally extend your cycling improvement in a structured and effective manner.

With two workouts a day, when do we rest?
That is the beauty the cruise. Everything is there, elegant dinning, sauna, massage, cozy deck chairs, all the amenities. No hassles with driving, parking, gear, traffic or anything else.

What if I am not a strong rider?
Not a problem, you'll get stronger with the sessions, group rides, coaching and camaraderie.

I am single, can I go?
Yes, we'll try to accommodate but be advised that you most likely will have a same-sex roommate. There is no additional charge for singles.

Will there be internet, Wii and cell service aboard ship?
Yes, yes and yes.

Can we take a day cruise instead of a ride?
Of course, this is up to you. You will, naturally, be subjected to the relentless ridicule of your peers as a result however, so do keep that in mind!

Any other perks?
Yes. Each participant will receive along with the data report a custom video of the adventure. Participants will also receive a goody bag with lots of cycling related schwag, and the opportunity to purchase a CT-Holland America cycling jersey as a memento of the adventure.

Bon voyage!

Monday, January 18, 2010

CompuTrainer and Holland America

Cruise with CompuTrainer and Holland America to Alaska.

RacerMate Inc of Seattle is pleased to announce another first. After thirty years of design innovation and product development, bringing state of the art indoor cycling ergometers to athletes hungry for performance results, CompuTrainer has designed the perfect way to rest and recover from your workouts: On a luxury cruise ship sailing to Alaska.

We'll pull anchor in Seattle on May 3 and point the ms Amsterdam north. Along the way, you'll do a 20 mile Time Trial on the CT to set a starting power metric. Once in Glacier Bay we'll take our bikes ashore and ride the best course we can design using our full cache of local contacts. This being an intensive training excursion, you'll do a spin scan test later in the evening back aboard the Amsterdam. Then you have the evening to relax, enjoy the world-class amenities, dine, get a massage, hit the sauna, whale watch. Talk about a recovery!

We'll repeat this exciting protocol for six days hitting Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria, BC, Canada on the return sail. These are two-a-day rides, one indoors on a very specific CT drill, and again outside in the five ports-of-call. Indoor ride, rest, outdoor ride, recover. A great way to discover your true cycling potential, ramp up for the season, regain your climbing legs, and discover the absolute splendor of the great state of Alaska.

Sound fun? We think so too. And to make it even more exciting, the price is even better. Seven days, five group rides, structured and guided training, on a luxury liner. All cruise fares, port taxes, fees, meals included. You get to Seattle, bring your bike, and away we go. $1,200 per person, based on double occupancy. And please don't forget about the final 20 mile TT on the last day to compare your improvement!

Cruise with CompuTrainer and Holland America to Alaska this May 3-10. Get fit, have fun, ride lots, see the world.

We have 8 Staterooms reserved. Upgrades available. A $125 deposit due 3/1/10 to hold a reservation. Travel arrangements by Call 206.842.1099 for details or go to for additional information.

Pix: Into the aptly named Glacier Bay. Inside work on the CT. Cruise on both this May with RCVman as host.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Versus who?

Since we were talking about in the locker room after our Epic Sunday II ride this morning, here is a very cool promo piece for the Versus TV network. It is cool for the following:

1) Outstanding "Vonnegutesque" opening commentary.
2) The killer Explosions in the Sky track.
3) Nice (effective) scene selection.
4) Overall editing and execution.

It is NOT cool for the following:

1) Hunting is not a sport making commentary irrelevant at best, hypocritical at worst.
2) Ditto Rodeo.
3) Ditto Stock Car, NASCAR, funny cars or any other cars.

If you are going to call out the little guy and cajole him into competing on the same field with a bigger, faster, stronger, smarter opponent, please ensure that said opponent is not an animal or be operating a high performance internal combustion vehicle. Kinda strays from the theme a little, don't ya think?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tour Divide

RCVman, in his relentless search for opportunity, came across this little gem of a race last night. A mere 2,700 miles from Banff, Canada to New Mexico, just short of the border. It is called Tour Divide an underground classic, cult favorite, a monster challenge, and spoken about, as a result, in the most reverential of terms. When they say, "this isn't for everybody" well, this is that. I spent an hour on their marvelous site, gawking, reading some of the journal entries published in Outside Magazine,
looking at the route map, and then in one final gesture of fantasy seeing if the average time of completion (22 days) would fit onto the RCV 2010 calendar.

As a result the great photos on their site, my memory was jogged of the two trips I made in the opposite direction. From LA to Seattle. The coastal route, Highways 1 and 101. Both epic trips taken after tours of International Duty with the DoD. The very real metaphor of coming home. If you were to ask me to list the best moments of my life to date, I would be challenged to put many events higher than these two trips. Rise from campsite at first light, get in 30, 40, 50 miles, have lunch somewhere mid-nowhere, ride another 20, 30, 40 into a state park, make camp, hike on the beach, make a fire, fix dinner, write and read some, sip local varietals at sunset, roll out the bag, sleep under stars. Repeat for three weeks.

That of course was leisure. The Tour Divide is a race, a thousand miles longer and with tons more climbing. True, the prevailing winds are at your back, but the sheer strength required to handle 22 days of 120 plus miles, self supported, most of the time alone, many time lost, with limited fuel and opportunity for replenishment, takes something special, and someone special. How special is a race of this magnitude that has no entry fee and offers no prize?

Again I dreamed of being "out there", all that freedom, all that adventure, all that challenge. I looked again at the shoot schedule. June 11 to ?????

Pix: Bridging the trail on the Tour Divide in Canada. Heading towards Seattle in Northern California, 1992. It's a Raleigh M-400.

Friday, January 15, 2010

VO2 Performance Center

If you have never time trialed, you need to. Outdoors, in the traditional setting, it's pretty simple; Start (with as much ceremony as your budget allows) from point A, then ride as hard as you can till reaching point B, usually the same location. You do this for time as the name suggests, with usually the fastest guys, gals, masters, and juniors going last to add to the drama. Not a lot of rules to worry about. No pacelines, no drafting, no blocking violations, no aid stations, not a lot of crashes, and few team cars. Just you, your bike and your engine.

It is fun.

Indoor time trialing, dare I say, might be even more fun. In 2006 CompuTrainer introduced software to allow up to eight riders to simultaneously ride a pre-set course, on their own bikes, in a group setting, while seeing all relevant race data displayed on a big screen in real time. Eight times the fun, especially in the middle of winter when it has been raining non-stop for a week.

The latest addition to the ever expanding CompuTrainer Multi-Rider family is in Redmond, Washington. The VO2 Performance Center, operated under the expertise of Ben and Cindy Bigglestone, is staging an indoor time trial event once a month thru spring. The opening rounds are January 27 & 28. Distances vary, between 15 & 25 miles, heats are at 11am, 1, 3 and 5, with a very modest fee of $15 per heat. Directions and registration can be found on their website.

RCVman might be in LA for the opening of the Westlake Center, CA MR facility that first race weekend, but we plan on getting across the pond to visit and chat with Ben and the gang at our earliest opportunity. Stay tuned for an interview, some juicy CT MR pix and a video or two.

In the meantime, please file this under IMPORTANT:

It's just YOU, your bike and your engine.

Pic: The VO2 Performance Center MR facility mid heat.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Colorado to Alaska

Just thinking about riding in Colorado gets my lactate up. We are working with a couple of event directors to film one of the great Rockies rides this year.

There is something very special about climbing. Might have to do with endorphins, altitude, air temps, the vistas, the snow. Or as we like to say, all of the above.

As well as the Colorado routes, the intrepid crew at RCVman HQ is also working on the Alaska CompuTrainer cruise. So far we have this rough agenda:

Leave Seattle aboard the Holland America Lines ms Amsterdam on Monday, May 3.
Each participant will do the first of two indoor 20 mile TT to establish a base metric en route.
Outdoor ride in Glacier Bay National Park. Speed session on the CT.
Outdoor ride in Juneau. Power session on the CT.
Outdoor ride in Sitka. Skills ride on the CT.
Outdoor ride in Ketchikan. Intervals on the CT.
Outdoor ride in Victoria, BC. Final indoor 20 mile TT on CT.
Return to Seattle.

As well as all the world class amenities aboard the luxury liner, we get these five great rides and the CompuTrainer sessions to create a intensive seven day bike training cruise. What could better? Who knows we might even get chased by bears.

Looks like right now we can bring all this in for $1,200 per person. That includes, cruise, meals, rides, port taxes, fees and fares. Does NOT include air-fare to get to Seattle. Oh, and you also get the video, natch. Stay tuned VBA, as mentioned we are working with HAL and Bainbridge Travel to pull all this exciting stuff together. Hope to announce to the world on Monday.

In the meantime, let's simulate some hills, shall we?

Pix: The gang sits atop Monarch Pass during the epic Big Fix 2006 ride. Loveland Pass is one of the trio on the Triple Bypass.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Work Phase

Middle of January. Miserable out (most places). Whaddya do?

You build base. Increase power output, refine skills through repetition. Up your game. Work Phase.

This might mean getting back in the pool with the Masters or hitting the squat rack three days a week. It might mean doing hill repeats or 5 X 100s at the track. Might include yoga and/or Pilates. Definitely needs a diet, rest & recovery component. Going hard means resting hard. Ying/Yang. The One/The Other.

If you want to bask in the triumphant light of summer's victory, THE WORK PHASE IS NOW.

Not tomorrow.

Not next week.

Not the week of the event.


And please know that constructing a massive aerobic platform includes the tool known to champions as 'intensity'. Going hard, as intervals, will make your building rock solid. Get used to it. Embrace the burn. Invite the suffering. Bring it. Now. Today. Schedule it in. Got thirty minutes after work? Twenty after dinner? Ten before TV? Go hard, rest, repeat.

Like Chris Lieto says in the Trek video, 'I wanna get a little better every day.'

Pic: The Cycle Sport Racing Team in Cincinnati, OH doing a CompuTrainer Multi-Rider training session. Intensity here?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

TV Odds

This amazing piece of research just in from the LA Times: 18% for every hour spent in front of the TV. That is the percentage found to increase your odds of dying from a cardiovascular related disease. 18% for every hour. WOW. Even though there are thousands of assumptions made along with this statement by the Australian group, their findings are totally meaningless if the time spent viewing is in conjunction with, ta da, exercise. Oh, you mean, like watching TV while cycling?

So it appears that RCVman has once again been given the assignment of world salvation (like it wasn't difficult enough already!) Health Care Reform: Watch all the TV you want folks, just make sure that while watching you are atop your trusty CompuTrainer:

A) Watching one of the currently available 13 RCVs,
B) Getting tested for VO2 max or lactic acid threshold,
C) In a Multi-Rider class.

Here area some video examples of how to view it.

Now go saddle up and turn on your TV.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Enough Already

Our heads know lots of stuff. They are the custodians of the archives, housing records, memories, hopes, wants, needs and dreams. They remember the last time you were totally in the moment, racing. They remind you, every so often, about feelings and anxieties, fears and goals. About how hard life is most of the time because (pick one) we aren't:

Talented enough
Rich enough
Good looking enough
Young enough

Bold enough

Connected enough

Smart enough

Deserving enough

Available enough

Strong enough

There are more, but these are enough. For now. We call them limiters. We think that because we have them, that we always will, and therefore, we will never be able to do what we want because of them. They limit us. Worse, we spend an enormous amount of time and energy reinforcing them. Don't we? One of my favorite quotes from Donald Shimoda (The reluctant Messiah) from Richard Bach's marvelous mini-epic "Illusions" is:


You want 'em-you got 'em. Limiters. They keep us from being free, healthy, whole, and moving in the direction of growth. Towards the light. Down the road. On the path. In the moment. Livin' the dream. Fightin' the good fight.

In this mornings follow up 60 minute (to yesterday's 90 minute) high-intensity spin session, we talked about the combination of the head (caretaker of the limits) and the heart (purveyor of verbs). The head knows the why's. Why we do this; Weight loss, enhanced fitness, stress management, cholesterol control, changes to BMI, race training, speed, endurance and power training, yadda yadda. Yet, and sadly, without the heart, BMGs (big muscle groups), lungs, optimum blood mixture and connecting joints, ligaments and tendons, it isn't enough.

Because the body knows the How. Our bodies respond to work and stress faster than the head will acknowledge. And then nine times in ten, the head will try to find a way to slow down, back off, stop or find something else to do. Limiters.

Wouldn't it be nice if the head and the heart were working in tandem towards a common goal? Maybe we could start by cutting the limiters. Ending the debate. Forming a new and powerful alliance. Being ONE. Make it a part of who we are (not who we think we are).

Next time your heart and BMGs want to go for a run, don't let your head say, "But it's so cold out there."

You'll be warm enough.

Pic: "You should see some of the crap I got stored in here!"

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I Dare Ya

I suppose that I shouldn't be overly surprised at the liberal use of RCVman video on the web. But I am. It is my belief that they are to be shared, viewed and hopefully used towards the eventual purpose with witch they were created, that being, to inspire people to:



With that as the unofficial RCVman mission statement, how the heck could I ever complain about someone, wherever they call home, using "my" media on their site. I can't. And I won't.

Matter o Fact, I'll make it easy for ya to use any RCVman video on your website, blog or whatever new and exciting tech toy Steve Jobs and Co have launched while I was out running in the park, just go to the RCVman site on YouTube (see above) and copy either the URL (link) or Embed buttons (Apple+C) and then paste (Apple+V) to your site. Heck, use them all! And wait till we hit video number 100 later this month. You could fill an entire site with nothing but RCVman video! All the glory and none of the labor. FREE!

So have at it. Spread the love. Train, get fit, race and enjoy the ride. I dare ya.

Some of the more interesting and creative use of the RCVman video:

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Friday Review

A couple of quick items of interest for the RCVman Friday Review.

One is from CT (Compy) user Julie Dibens, winner of both the X-Terra Worlds and Clearwater 70.3 Championships. In her entertaining and engaging blog (where the norm is to either go 'all out geek' with enough science, data, charts and algorithms to bore even a accountant to tears OR the minute by minute accounting of every bodily movement) Julie talks about her training in Boulder, her racing, and well, when you are a World Champion, that is enough. She makes it fun and posses a rare honesty and charm I find mostly missing in today's somewhat staid triathlon circles. Simply put, she is a riot and I hope to track her down in the upcoming months and do a follow up interview to the one we did last year at the UK 70.3. I suppose if I am gong to 'track her down' I had better spend some time on my Compy because she is one fast Brit.

Second is a trailer from a film that I hadn't seen prior to today called Bicycle Dreams. Looks like it is centered around RAAM. It isn't available yet on Netflix but I have it saved to my queue. Once seen, you'll get the review, maybe even on a Friday.

Lastly, the talented and tireless new product development staff here at RCV HQ, reporting to the marketing department and under the global operations division, is set to announce two new RCV opportunities for the benefit of all mankind, (I will try to work that into the header).

The first comes right around the corner on March 7, where we will shoot and produce the San Diego Gran Fondo. The good folks at SDGF have long reaching fondo tentacles, opening the possibilities for partnerships with a few other rides in Europe that you may be familiar with. But first San Diego. More info and to sign up here.

Next is another first in the RCV spinosphere, a cruise up to Alaska with Holland America. The nutshell: We depart Seattle, I bring all the CompuTrainer gear, you bring your bike. On the first day we do an indoor TT aboard the ship and then conduct an intensive five days of training en route to Alaska. Of course around the training you get to dine, swim, relax, watch whales, partake of massage, see movies, play shuffleboard on deck, etc. When we hit Alaska we do an epic mountain ride and celebrate with a post ride pizza party. Training is repeated on the way home and on the last day another TT is conducted to PROVE to you how valuable this focused and detailed training actually is (e.g. YOU will be faster and stronger as well as having the trip of a lifetime). One week later you get the custom video as a keepsake of this spectacular training tour. I am meeting with the cruise reps to determine the pricing structure and other details, and from our initial talks last night, I am pretty sure that we can bring this one in for a very enticing amount. I am thinking maybe twenty people. After that, who knows?

All for this Friday folks. Gotta get back at it. Have a wonderful and productive weekend, train hard, eat well, rest, recover, repeat.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fat & Happy

Oh boy, how I can't wait to get the Phase 93 studio addition done! I am down to trimming out the base drawers, laying the last bit of Pergo faux-flooring on the two steps and then the finish trim work around the cedar desktop. With any luck at all I might be making the big move by this time next week.

And not a moment too soon as I have several video projects that need immediate attention. The first two have their genesis in the linked three bits of "news" gleaned from the on-line pages at the Seattle Times and CNN. Bastions of unbiased journalism in the democratic model that they are. I will leave the video genera to your imagination, suffice it to say that I am a big fan of satire. "Gentlemen, there will be no fighting in the War Room".

Also on tap is a trip to Houston on Jan 18-21, so if any Lone Star CT users are out there and would like to get in on the media training frenzy, just drop me a line and we'll hook up for an interview session. There are two Multi-Rider Centers in Houston that I am trying to get in touch with to film some of their classes. I have decided that our Multi-Rider page on the RacerMate website should include video, or at least a nice jpeg, of each facility, so this is a start. I will continue to update and film during the entire 2010 season wherever the RCV shooting schedule finds me. And once we have the schedule solidified, I will post that as well in order to give the centers advance notice. After all we are not paparazzi.

A few comments on the links:

Diet & Exercise internal device can't tell the difference between a Big Mac and Tofu? Ya gotta love a technology that can't do what we can, eh? Sheesh.

Sex for good health. I have found that in the long run I burn more calories during the chase that after the capture:)

PC on Fat. Have there been any grants given to study the effect of fat on the brain, because these people have it and and all the political correctness in the free world won't change the fact that they eat too much and exercise too little. Call it what you want, fat is still fat.

Pix: Kate Major out of T2 in Kona last year. Not a lot of body fat on this gal. The Phase 93 studio addition. It may not be Industrial Light & Magic, but it'll due for now.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nothing rotten here

RCVman, in his vision quest to become the undisputed leader of global paradigm gear-change, has yet another inspiring international story of acclaim for your consideration and subsequent consent. This one (again) comes from Denmark. It is about their efforts to change the urban landscape by making bikes the go-to mode of personal transport. Nice work boys. Please pay particular note to the green light at steady speed of 20k. Translated, this means that if you can hold 12.42 mph on the flat you can ride this busy stretch of road without having to stop. Can we do this kids?


Also please note the LEDS implanted in the road to signal the presence of a rider. And then the reality that some of us need to haul cargo in our line of work. Wow, a solution.

Would you suspect that I like this approach? Do you?

Just to make sure that you get the picture, story and video, here are the links:

Tree Hugger
Street Films

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Small Changes ~ Big Results

It is a wonderful balancing act. Cost ~ Value, Work ~ Rest, Diet ~ Exercise. Here are a couple of great and timely, articles about the latter combination. I have always been appalled at the cost of eating well, and on a larger, more socio-economical level this fact has a great bearing on our national obesity problem. The old Budget ~ Food ratio. You have five bucks to feed three people. Mac's will cover it at the cost of high fat, while local, organic, nutritious produce won't. A perplexing dynamic.

This time of year (five days in) as people are already falling off the fitness bandwagon and trowing in the exercise towel, it is imperative that we do whatever we can to share, support and motivate each other. Here are a couple of my proven favorites:

1) Get a partner.
2) Join a group.
3) Set a goal.
4) Start & then don't stop.

With that on the table, let's again take a quick look at one of the balance issues a little closer. Diet. As in yours. You are going to have to make a commitment. You know this to be true. May I ask a few questions, then?

Are you still a slave to USDA?
Do you read labels?
Do you eat fast food?
Do have have ANY IDEA of what 2,000 calories LOOKS LIKE?
Do you think Jack in the Box commercials are funny?
Do you want to lose weight?
Do you super-size?

If you answered yes to any of the above, I have a suggestion. Pick one thing in your diet and improve it. Saturated fat from quarter pounders with cheese? So long. Artery cloggers in a bag potato chips? Gotta go. Pizza everyday? Ciao bella. German Sausage? Auf Weidrsehen. Beef enchiladas? Adios. A croissant with espresso? Au revoir. Need some celebrity (??) testimony? Looking for additional ways to lose that 5 I brought back from Kona, and running out of options, I quit the two teaspoons of peanut butter each morning with toast and coffee. Lost the 5 AND THREE MORE. Two months. A little change can do a lotta good. Here is a cool link with some refined food choice suggestions. I especially like the one about rye bread and Omega-3s. And since I only eat fish while in Hawaii, here are my favorite O3-O6 non fish substitutes:

English walnuts
Olive oil
Flax seeds

And this from Thunder Bear on the balance necessary to be a professional triathlete, parent and responsible citizen.

Lessons the Viking wants to pass on to his children

“The world itself develops at am amazingly rapid speed. I’m a parent now and have been so for a while. In my childhood, there was no email, no cell phones, no big Play Stations. There was a very different attitude towards life. In many cases today we consume a lot and just buy what we want. It is extremely difficult to stem that flood. It’s about teaching kids things have value and you must nurture, take an interest in what you do, practice and work hard to achieve things. We have to work all the time to step off the consumption train. At the same time, you are a part of society and in many cases the consumption train is something that is just going and you cannot step completely away from that without sacrificing social relations. So you need a combination, a balance of things and work a lot on your inner life to educate your children and motivate them to have good values and to value the world.”

The Small Is Beautiful Manifesto

The Small Is Beautiful Manifesto

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wharf Rat

UPDATE: The hike home from spin class this morning was intense. It was raining hard, water was flowing downhill in currents that would get even NOLA's attention. It was dark. In order to avoid what appeared to be commuters less than thrilled to be heading back to the office after the holidays, I had to ditch it three times. Off into the trees and mud, blinded by high beams, as they squealed past throwing curtains of muddy water. I was soaked. Drenched like a rat under a wharf despite the gore-tex and the multi layers beneath it. It wasn't bone chilling cold, that was the good news, and my focus was on each foot strike to keep upright. I did NOT want to go down in the mud, especially if a Mercedes had me square in the headlights. Pain OK, embarrassment, not OK.

Finally made it up Devils' Dip and into the park. The squalls from last night had created another river crookedly connecting the duck pond to the overflow reservoir. The sun was starting to weakly light the east with a liquid gray. I was glad to be in the park. Whew, that was work, I sighed to no-one as Jerry's guitar solo from Wharf Rat echoed in my soggy brain. Da dada da DA DAAAA.

My name is August West..........

Back at the cabin that first cup of strong black coffee could have been the best ever, an honor currently held by San Francisco circa 1972. Dry clothes, a monstrous two hour workout (nice effort kids!), and a cuppa rocking joe. Excellent start to the day.

Asked me for a dime,
a dime for a cup of coffee.........

And I sit and look out my kitchen window at rain falling down everywhere with a purpose. Skies deep charcoal and steam rising from the ground like a earthen sauna. I am very happy, deeply satisfied and alive. My fingers are pink and wrinkled.

I got no dime but,
I got some time to hear his story.....

And I think that maybe once (or twice) is enough. And go into the studio to call for a tow. Just not safe. You have made your point. Get it fixed.

But I'll get back on my feet someday,
the good Lord willin'
if He says I may.......

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Exploder

It's been a week now. The infamous Ford Exploder has sadly sat in the drive awaiting repair. Some electric issue somewhere 'neath the hood. We checked the battery, cables, fuses and replaced the solenoid and starter. Still she sits. That clicking noise that tells of current wanting to complete its task but being rerouted by......what? A vacuum line, valve, relay switch????

I have responded to this situation (not being able to fix it myself and not wanting to pay John $300 to do it) by walking and riding my bike. That is fine most times. The pre/post hike to/from spin class has added a nice 40 minutes X2 session to the workouts. I am not tickled about walking down the middle of the icy roads at 0430 but, I look at it as doing my part to curb fossil fuel consumption. So I haven't driven in a week, what really have I done to cut our national demand for light sweet crude?


Not a thing.


Because we are the enemy. Not the Saudi's, OPEC, Exxon, or GMAC. Us. Because of our capitalistic model. Commodities. Futures, the stock market, NASDAQ, the big-board, greed and corruption. The paradigm of profit. Even if I was to cut my consumption of petroleum for an entire year, the regulating powers that be would adjust accordingly to compensate, keeping the pump prices 'fixed' to meet the new demand, thereby providing a stable profit for the 'industry'. I ask you:


Yes, there is a tipping point, a dot on the chart that indicates critical mass where too much supply reduction will create a response, but me thinking that I alone have the power to enact this change is like one carpenter thinking he can build an entire city. He is gonna need electricians, plumbers, steel workers, pipe fitters, carpet layers, painters, roofers, and of course all the bureaucratic code enforcers to ensure that the proper products are used in the proper profitable and wasteful amounts. Just cain't do it alone Jackson.


I'll take the positive and healthful side benefits of walking and knowing that I am a part of the solution even if it makes about as much difference as nailing the first two by four of the first wall for the first building on the first block of the first city.

We need a new paradigm folks. This is not right. The insurance industry, currently running health care, needs to be imploded. Banking, the stock market, credit, futures, market conditions, all of them, BOOM. Totalitarian agriculture. When did it become fashionable to profit off other peoples starvation? The politics of big industry, lobbyists, pork, earmarks, hypocrisy, CA-BOOM. Big oil? BLAMMO. Blow it up. Exploder-ize it. Rise it again from the ashes but this time cleaner, altruistic, humane, united.

But because it's rainy, windy, cold and hilly here, walking and riding will be a struggle and I will be weak. I will look at the Exploder in the drive and think that for only $300 I could drive to the Home Depot and get the materials I need to finish the new studio, where I will then create a movie that will change the world and offer concise answers to these difficult, quasi impossible, questions of our day. That would be a valid means to a legitimate end. Because it doesn't make any difference anyway under the current system.


Pedal rotations in the right direction from Copenhagen. Sometimes I wish it was flat here.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Uncle Charlie

Remember you will not always win. Some days, the most resourceful individual will taste defeat. But there is, in this case, always tomorrow - after you have done your best to achieve success today. M. Maltz.

In 1968 I was a high school varsity shortstop. Only a sophomore and only as a result of two people. One was Mike Brannigan who had hurt his elbow falling from the back of a Jeep on the way to practice, and the other Charlie Escalier. Charlie was our non-teacher coach at the Parochial school in Southern California. When Mike was injured Charlie gave me a chance, boldly switching me from behind the plate where I was mired three deep, out to the center of the action. A whole new skill set, a wonderful opportunity, a great challenge and a huge gamble his part.

It worked well. We won lot's of games and Charlie looked like a genius. The single most important thing Charlie did for me, outside of the position switch and the infusion of the necessary confidence , was to give me a book. He said to me, "If you are gonna be a shortstop, you need to also be a leader, to master focus and concentration, and here is how."

The book was Maxwell Maltz's Phsyco Cybernetics.

It was the art and science of harnessing the power of the mind towards a single end result. To learn. To grow, to use all accumulated information and data to your advantage. To put it into play. I took the tedium of Spanish verb conjugation to the dugout and studied opposing pitchers till I could pretty much tell if they were thinking fast ball or curve. Algebra was a PIA until it showed me the quickest way to go from first to third.

Charlie was 'let go' after my sophomore year because of a new rule that said teachers must be offered coaching jobs first, and I lost my friend and mentor. Funny how encouragement, respect and self image can affect play. Both to the positive and negative. I still was able to compete, led the league in hitting and was followed by a handful of scouts, but there was something missing.

I was playing on auto pilot. The thrill, the challenge, the joy of concise execution, mandatory in baseball, the team camaraderie, were flames on final flicker. I was getting more questions than answers and it was almost 1970, lot's of stuff happening in the world to distract.

My ability to focus began to fade. Concentration slipped away. I became angry, confused, ambivalent.

I will spare you the details of my college days (and nights). I wish I would have re-read that book Charlie gave me when I was making that series of bad decisions. I was still a shortstop but the competition was now much better, stronger, faster, smarter. Real world issues were closing in, demanding responses on many levels. My ego was bruised and there were people whom I admired suggesting that that was a good thing. To say confusion was constant would be redundant.

If I could time travel back into the locker room and counsel young number 4 as he questioned his mental, physical and spiritual abilities, I would say, 'hey kid, it's OK, relax and have some fun, focus and concentrate on what's in front of you. Hit the ball, study the lesson, do the work. It'll all be OK.'

'Oh, and read that book again.'