Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cruise II?

Late Sunday. Another 90 minute HIT session at the HoP in the books, and Chilly Hilly 37, done. Check, roger, next?

We discovered more good news about ourselves indoors and then took that for a test ride out. Nice. Hilly yes, chilly, not so much with nary a drop of precipitation. I was relegated to the CompuTrainer booth where Shannon and I promoted the Alaska cruise to any and all tired and interested riders, and there were many as todays unofficial head count surpassed 6K. We signed up two more and have already begun the planning for Cruise II in the fall.


The Med?


You tell me.

RCVman has but two days before the 2010 season is officially underway. Last minute planning and prep for the Houston shoot with Bill Edwards and company before heading to San Diego for the now sold-out Colnago Gran Fondo on Sunday.

It has been a wild ride. Please secure your chin straps VBA, here we go again.

Pix: Clay and Tom in fine finishing form. Katie showing off her brand new Trek at the CT both manned by RCVman this afternoon at the finish line of Chilly Hilly, standing room only and lotsa smiles.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Three Bigguns & a Bear

Three big cycling events looming on the horizon of this soggy Saturday. Numero uno is tomorrow (and it's not too late to sign up) Chilly Hilly, Numero 37. Hailed as one of the top four rides in the US, our little atoll will host almost 4,000 riders starting at 0800 on the morrow. When you have completed your 33 mile jaunt please stop by the CompuTrainer booth and say hello to RCVman and Shannon from Bainbridge Travel. We will be promoting cycling bigguns numero dos and tres, namely:

The Seattle Bike Expo on March 13 & 14 at Pier 91, just South of the Coleman Dock. This event, another grand experience produced by the Cascade Cycle Club, always has something for every cyclist. Stop by the CompuTrainier booth and say hi to Kurt, Ray, Chuck and RCVman as they all share the joie de vivre of the training and riding experience, especially when you can combine those two on:

Biggun Numero Tres: The CompuTrainer Cruise to Alaska on Holland America Lines ms Amsterdam. On May 3rd we'll set sail for the Yukon and some big sprocket adventure. Training and testing indoors on the CompuTrainer and riding outdoors in three ports of call famous for their pristine vistas and natural splendor; Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka. We'll also stop by for tea with the Queen in Victoria, BC. Seven days, intensive on board training, three outside rides and a cycling experience you really, shouldn't miss. As a footnote, I was informed yesterday in a group instructors meeting that brown bears can out-run a weak cyclist. Which validates by thinking that it is not so important that I am able to out sprint a bear, but simply at least one of the other riders in the group. May I then suggest a set or two of high intensity max-outs in preparation.

There are your three biggies for today folks, I highly recommend fitting as many as you can into your cycling schedule. Or, I suppose, you could do a stay-cation and slovenly watch reruns of Ozzie and Harriet.

Friday, February 26, 2010

No Shortcuts

“A shortcut is the longest distance between two points”

LONDON — People who complain they have no time to exercise may soon need another excuse.

And so opens another Friday article (from the Seattle Times) under the category, "Things we already know, but need constant reminding."

The jury has pretty much returned on this one, voting 11-1 in favor. The lone party voting against the myriad benefits of high intensity interval sessions being a plastic surgeon with a specialized practice in liposuction.

I have got to share with you, loyal VBAers, the dot path I have been following of late. It seems that EVERY coach, doctor, exercise physiologist, professional athlete, author, teacher, researcher, scientist or serious amateur athlete I have interviewed in the last few months, has this to say:


Not cardio, not speed, not endurance, not diet, not carbon-fiber, not growth hormones, but power. Like a steam locomotive pourin' down the track.

Specifically the core power created as a result of high intensity intervals.

The quicker the better. The harder the better. The more intense the better. Explosive power. NOW. ON DEMAND.

As runners and bikers we have all heard about the dreaded junk miles. The bang for the buck they provide is like a ladyfinger firecracker to a half stick of TNT. Now, hear me on this, I am not saying that you don't need some LSD miles, because you do if your goals entail a century ride or a mary, or if you have unlimited time to train, but the biggest bang for your training buck is in HIT (high intensity training). Go hard, recover, repeat. POW!

You cannot hide from power or the lack thereof. When the game is on the line, you either have it or you don't. You execute or you are. There are no shortcuts. It hurts a little. You gotta commit.

It is the secret weapon in your fitness, training and racing arsenal. And there are no shortcuts in the proliferation.

Pix: Dialing up the CT power at Cadence Cycling. At the National Railroad Museum in York, England. All aboard!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bring the Puppy Home

One of the largest CompuTainer Multi-Rider centers is in Chicago. Owned and operated by Robbie Ventura, his Vision Quest Coaching is one of the most successful and respected services in the US. We have been trying to come up with a new, inventive and entertaining video to extend the CompuTrainer-VQ model and have hit the proverbial wall. Could it be possible that everything involving the synergy of video, high speed internet, indoor cycling, and professional coaching has already been done?


No, not really. Not even close. We just haven't nailed it yet. Much like the triathlete who excels at running and makes a commitment towards the improvement of her bike skills, that glorious combination of one contributing to the other is what we are discussing, and where we are. We could give up. We could say, it will never work. We could quit seeing all the troubling issues and potholes ahead. We could easily say, it's kinda OK now, why more? We could filibuster.


No. We won't. We will move, explore, talk, test, offer and ride. We will take this from the here to the there. It may be hard. It maybe steep, the pace might be quick and require a few blasts of explosive power that we up till now, weren't sure we had. It may feel like a double century at times, but we will endure.

We will bring this puppy home.

Ever feel that way at about mile ten of a hilly half?


Finish the job. One foot in front of the other. Think (KNOW) you can. You will. It is your will.

This just in on the reincarnation of the infamous Toe Jam Half Marathon. Looks like the changes to the course have added a few climbs, as if that was needed, so I can say with a high degree of anticipation, that a full 33.3% of the 29ers will be in attendance come April 25 (a rare off date for RCV man unless we decide to shoot Robbie's Santa Rosa ride).

Either way the puppy will get home.

Vid & Pix: Robbie Ventura telling it like it is on top of the cycling world. At the bottom: One third of the 29ers (the three who ran the 29th ANNUAL Toe Jam Half in 2009 will be on the starting line for the BI Half on April 25. I can only speak for RCVman on this).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

John Howard

The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine. ~John Howard

I will have another great opportunity to spend some quality time with the legendary John Howard next week down in San Diego. Someone asked the other day about all of his accomplishments in the cycling world and I responded that one would be put to the test to find another who has succeeded at so many different facets of our sport. Here are but a few:

Won the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon (1981)
Set the bicycle speed record of 152.2 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats. (1985)
Won the USA Cycling Elite level Road Championships four times (1968, 1972, 1973, 1975)
Spent 10 years on the US National Cycling Team
Ridden on the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Olympic Teams
Won America’s only gold at the Pan-Am Games Road Race (1971)
Won the Tour de L’Estra (1972)
Won a stage and finished 3rd overall at the Tour of Ireland (1973)
Won the Tour of Newfoundland (1975)
Won the first 1000-mile Tour of Baja (1975)
Finished 2nd in the Race Across America (1982) and co-founded the race
Set the world 24-hour cycling distance record of 593 miles (1987)
Set the world 24-hour canoeing record of 104.6 miles (2000)

John has also been a great ambassador for the sport of cycling and in the many ways that contribute to cycling success. Training, nutrition, physical therapy, testing.

Especially training. Especially indoor training. And especially with the CompuTrainer.
Perhaps more than anyone, John has used the CompuTrainer for his personal training, coaching, analysis, rehab and testing. He continues to do so today from his beautiful home in Encinitas, California at John Howard Sports.

Here is an interview with John that appeared in and a link to his website, where a short promo video is embedded. When I was done watching the video the first time I hit the replay to make sure that I had absorbed all the wisdom that it contained. Here it is. You need to click on the "Watch Video Now" link to enable.

Thanks John. See ya next week.

Pix: Two screen captures from the John Howard FITTE system video showing the CT in use.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cadence TV

Home Prices Rise For Seventh Straight Month
by The Associated Press
February 23, 2010

Home prices rose nationally for the seventh straight month in December as the U.S. housing market continues its bumpy road to recovery.

Home prices fall another 2.5%
By Les Christie, staff writerFebruary 23, 2010: 10:03 AM ET

NEW YORK ( -- Home prices fell just 2.5% during the last three months of 2009 compared with the fourth quarter of 2008, according to a closely watched gauge of home price movement. That was a big improvement over the past three years.

Home prices show small gain in December

Prices increased 0.3% from November, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index. It was the seventh straight month of gains, but the improvement continues to be weak.

So, which is it? Did home prices rise, fall or show a small gain?

As is most often, it depends on who you ask. The MMM (mass market media) are absolute masters at the motley manipulation of metrics. They spin, they tweak, they cut, delete, omit and extrapolate what is necessary to push their agendas. Why would NPR use the positive and CNN the negative? Profit. Take a quick look at the target demographics of each and you'll quickly see how this successfully and insidiously works. Do conservatives REALLY see the glass as always half empty and libs as always half full? Are we THAT divided? Is it THAT broken?

Back at home, where beer mugs and wine glasses are always half full, and the debate is focused more on the value of resistance versus cadence, we came across this ingenious new training concept from Brian Walton's group out Philly way, Cadence Cycling called Cadence TV. A major league tip of the cap to the Cadence boys for coming up with this one. I spoke with them this mornings and a video-promo date is scheduled for June. Can't wait to get out there and shoot some video of their beautiful facility (loaded with CompuTrainers).

I'm wondering now, if I build a CompuTrainer Multi-Rider Center in my house (to use as a studio for creating RCVman TV), would this be reported as a:

A) Gain
B) Loss
C) Small gain.

or D) HUGE GAIN. (the correct answer by any media standard).

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ketchikan Calling

I think I might have mentioned somewhere in this mornings post that things are heating up. On all fronts. We officially welcome Phil and Wendy from Australia to the Alaska cruise. With dramatic synchronicity we received the first tentative course for the Ketchikan route, along with some snazzy photos of the surrounds. Folks I just gotta ask:


I am.

For more info and detail on how to sign up for this once-in-a-lifetime (maybe) CompuTrainer Cruise to Alaska, including outside rides in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, please visit the CompuTrainer website.

I mean, I really am ready. Bring on the glaciers.

Here is the MapmyRide route (please note the climb).

Clarity of Purpose

Clarity of purpose comes when you are pursuing the highest expression of your talents, are motivated primarily by the love of your activity, and live a lifestyle congruent with your stated purpose. When you have clarity of purpose, you will do whatever it takes to achieve your goals—and you will love every minute of it.”

From the BBC: US researchers monitored the health of 1,700 people over 10 years, finding the most anxious and depressed were at the highest risk of the disease. Looks like John & Sir Paul were right once again, Happiness is a warm heart (bang, bang, shoot, shoot).

Welcome to another Monday. Many more will follow so you had better get used to it. We start our Mondays at 0530 with a high-intensity-progressive-overload 60 minute spin. We go hard. We go fast. We endure. For an interesting take on the difference between spinning and CompuTrainer Multi-Rider sessions (a debate dear to both valves of my heart) see this from Endure it Club in Naperville, IL.

As a result of the consistent use of either system we get stronger and faster. In some cases we even get happier. The latter as a direct result of our attention to detail, focus and work ethic and the resulting clarity of purpose that it develops.

Ask me: What is more important, getting faster and stronger or becoming more happy?

Then let me ask you: "Why do you have to pick one when you can have both?"

"When you have clarity of purpose, you will do whatever it takes to achieve your goals—and you will love every minute of it.”

Pix: Womens TT in Naperville, Il and two man match sprint on CT Multi-Rider. Clear to me.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Bench in the Park

Sat on a bench in the park with head tilted towards the February sun. Watching kids on bikes, couples with dogs and roller bladers with ear buds. Geese set down on black skis. Robins hopped about enjoying another free lunch, not a care in the world. And I thought, "If it was like this always, would we appreciate it as much as right now?"

Probably not.

Looking back, I think we took advantage of the opportunity. We carpied the diem. The Sunday indoor HIT 90 minutes was great. We were carried by the flow continually upping the ante till there was no more room on the felt table. The erg chips were stacked high. Heck, even Mack the Knife made an appearance (down by the river don't ya know).

Knowing that el sole was heating up outside the HoP, five took off for a follow up 15 miler featuring the sig climbs of next weeks Chilly Hilly. Susan and Katie forgot their helmets and I forgot my gloves. By the top of Baker Hill I was thinking that I wished I had left my hat behind too, and least at home I wouldn't be fighting off frost bite. But we hammered it out, the big thaw on the last mile, natch.

Then my bench in the park.

And then a little 5K recovery run in preparation for tomorrows 0530 class and the start of another week of opportunity and hope.

I made some mistakes this week. A few errors of omission and one of commission. I let some deep-seated frustrations surface at an inappropriate time and place. I could have gone harder, smiled more, said 'thank you' a few more times. I most certainly could have found a less bombastic way to relay a few messages. I really wanted to say I Love You and mean it.

And I suppose I wanted to hear it too.

Park benches in the sun will do that to ya.

Pix: You WILL take a left at Frey and Battle Point Drive next Sunday! Junior stalks Honkers as shadows grow.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

EB Tree

"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between the desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."

In the book, Confronting Empire, the late Pakistani dissident, Eqbal Ahmad says of Chomsky: "He has never wavered ... There is a consistency of substance, of posture, of outlook in his work. Consistency, of course, means repetition. Over the last twenty years, Chomsky has repeated himself a lot...the truth has to be repeated. It doesn't become stale just because it has been told once."

A couple of juicy quotes for a Saturday morning. The first from E.B White and the second about Noam Chomsky. Two gentlemen whom I admire tremendously.

Continuing my "meaning quest" begun only two days ago (we haven't gone far from the kitchen yet) these two have provided a touch of motivation for the day. As if a tri-geek in Cascadia needs any more inspiration than a splash of morning sun in February.

Steph is training for her first marathon, the North Olympic Discovery. We are in week three of her training program. This morning we have a flat 10K scheduled. We started with a 5K, added 2.5K last week and will now stretch it out, slowly, deliberately and today, in the sun. She is doing great as a result of her deep base developed thru years of cycling, which makes the transition to running all the easier. A fact she is proving to herself with every K. Tomorrow is our 7th 90 minute high-intensity Sunday spin, with half of Chilly Hilly's 33 miles afterwards. Yesterday I got in a terrific 90 min speed ride on the old QR. It was nice to have the gas in the tank when I wanted to stomp on it. And yesterday I stomped.

The world changes as it is enjoyed. Grin more, gripe less. And you can quote me on that.

I also gave a good deal of thought to the concept posted yesterday by Lucho about data and its misuse. Let's face it, at its most basic, I am in the data biz. That is what we do with CompuTrainer ergometers. My application with video merely supports the accumulation of numbers indicating, time, speed, distance, power and the body's reaction to them. So when Tim eloquently spoke of the changes in biochemistry at the onset of less than ideal data (higher heart-rate, fewer watts, slower mph) as being initiated in the brain as opposed to the body (motor), an eyebrow went up in a hurry. And stayed there most of the rest of the day. You might want to go back to yesterdays post and check it out again, I said to myself several times.

Which bring us to Noam and the beautiful words about him from Eqbal Ahmad. That "Consistency, of course, means repetition". Repetition. Ride hard, ride often. Consistency. Run lots, run in flow. Change. Follow an inside hard spin with an outside gentle one. Enjoy.


Time to go run.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Funk #50

Spent most of yesterday in a funk. I was, as they say, cut down to size by another's attitude, meaning that in our phone-con there was no respect, no understanding, no innovation, no compassion and very little gratitude. Despite knowing better, I took it personally. And that led to a rather unmotivated day. Even cancelled my planned workout. And all this, as the sun was shinning bright and blue over the Pacific Northwest, a rare treat for mid Feb. Maybe my expectations were, and are, too high. Maybe I demand too high a standard from those that I choose as partners. Maybe my perception of reality is not the common one of majority consensus. In fact, I am pretty sure it's not. So why then, the fallout from one conversation?

I'll tell ya why.

Because I am allergic to negativity.


And worse, (please) do not go into the standard litany of reasons why (you think) I can't do it. Do not create the argument, again, that we are limited in the creative process in any way. Please immediately discontinue the search for reasons that validate your limitations, weakness' and myopic views. Please.

I am here to help. I cannot help you unless you first choose to improve. Once you have made that decision, WE CAN DO ANYTHING.

Once the ill effects of the funk began to subside late in the day, I started to seek a moral, or lesson from the exercise. I went in search of others' stories of motivation. Some of the highlights are linked below. It quickly became clear that there are more than a few connected elements at work here, mysteriously winding between the passions and pains of our plight. Consider (as I did):

Motivation in training. What keeps you going and focused? Motivation in racing. What keeps you moving and relaxed? Motivation in life. What keeps you constantly heading in the right direction?

And please don't tell me you can't do it. Ever.

From the wonderful site of Joe Reger. about my old buddy Lucho (nee: Time Luchinske)

Joe- The low expectations you place on your runs are a mental game that you play with yourself to counter your fear. By having low expectations there is less risk of failure, so there's nothing to be afraid of and your brain doesn't release stress hormones. When your expectations are high then there is more risk of failure (and success) and you get stressed which releases hormones. This is the "fear of success" theory in sports psychology. Going in to workouts with zero expectations counters both of these thought processes. Zero expectations allow you more readily to listen to your body and get the most out of the session. You should also consider how you define success and failure of a workout. If you plan to run at 8:00 pace and are too tired to achieve this- the workout may still be very successful in terms of moving towards your goal. Just because the number on the watch isn't up to your expectations, the effort may be. Your muscles don't care what the number on the watch is- they only care about how hard they work. Fatigue can make 8:30 pace just as effective in building fitness as 8:00 pace can when you're more rested. The same thing with HR. What happens with athletes is that they condition and teach themselves how to perceive their objective data (watts, HR, pace), the brains perception and preconditioned response to the number THEN determines how they feel. If you are intimidated by 7:30 pace, when you see it on your watch it will trigger fear, THEN you will feel tired, even if you felt great up to that point. Hormone release triggered by brain response to seeing a stimulus that you have taught yourself to fear... Ie: A small child doesn't fear a tiger until he learns to. When he first sees the tiger he is calm and laughing and wants to pet the tiger... once he learns what it actually is, seeing the tiger will trigger adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol release causing elevated HR and the fight or flight mechanism (fear). Bad analogy- but it gets the point across. When you look at your watch or power meter and your expectations are not met- the number may as well be a tiger.. Figure out how to shift this thinking away from expectation and more towards allowing your body to do what it can. Sorry to pop in and give unsolicited advice... this subject is currently the only thing that I myself am focused on. I see this response in nearly every athlete out there! The athletes that you don't see this response in are the ones who won Kona yesterday. They're the ones who break world records. The brain is 100% in control of how your body functions on race day... every small movement and decision starts in the brain. Your brain tells you how your legs feel, not the other way around.

And this perfect response to my imbalance from Zen Habits.

PIX: The Road is long. It CAN end at the awards banquet in Kona, Hawaii.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A spokeless iPad, Sharona

The sun is shinning in Seattle today so we have lots to do. Like go for a ride once the inside chores are done. A couple of quick links to some fun stuff.

First is the secret iPad app (see photo)) that has the velo world abuzzzzzzzz. From the terrific site of velodramatic.

Second is this uber-cool spokeless bike (see photo) built by some gear-head Elis.

Third is a follow up to Mondays post on the death of Doug Fiegler, lead singer of the Knack. Here she is then and now: Sharona.

And lastly is a glossary of bike terms that we should all have at our disposal. Quiz on Sunday.

OK, off to work. Enjoy the Ride (and no biopacing).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Six Steps

Do you ever concoct a silly string of ideas and enter them to the Google search just to see what comes of the algorithm? Of course you have. Here is the wonderful news that I found this morning from e-How when I entered "How to win a bike race" (and all this time I thought it was difficult!!)

Step 1
Join a bicycle club months in advance for daily practice sessions. Work in a team environment to increase your confidence and stamina. Share winning tips and create support groups to back you on the day of the big race.
Step 2
Exercise daily to keep yourself in shape. Once your body has achieved the desired stamina, pick a race to enter. Ask your family, friends and support group to come to the bicycle race venue to cheer you when you pass by.
Step 3
Get prepared. Have your bicycle serviced a few days before the race. Pack the necessary things the night before the race. Bring shoes, a helmet, race pass, money or credit cards, towel, water bottle and dry clothes to change into after the race.
Step 4
Eat a carbohydrate breakfast on the day of the race and drink enough water to keep you hydrated. Reach the sprint race venue ahead of time and check in. Do warm up exercises before the race.
Step 5
Change into your bicycling clothes, put on your number, check the air pressure in your bicycle tires and reach the starting line early. Listen carefully to the instructions given by the race official and wait until the start signal is given.
Step 6
Make a mental note of the landmarks when riding in a bicycle sprint race of more than one lap. Maintain a steady lead during the race or be among the front batch. Increase your sprint only when you are at least 250 to 300 meters away from the finish line. At this point, give it your best and push forward to win the trophy.

And here is some additional info on the breaking telomeres story from the Scientific American.

Totally unrelated (yet connected) pix:

Three Aussie fishermen in Port Maquarrie (using GU trolling for tri-geeks no doubt), and
The Freemont Bridge from underneath. No Trolls here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mike Bikes

This just in to RCVman HQ from our friends at Street Films. Some things you just have to throw in with. This is one.

In Hand

A new category has emerged this fine morning from a combination of my low biorhythms and it shaping up to be a slow news day. Hey, St. Valentino, Cupid, Eros, George and Abe are a tough act to follow. Although Apollo Ohno and Kevin Smith seem to be doing their best. The new category is simply this: Pictures of things you can hold in your hand.

Here are the first two in this new and exciting art-venture:

One: Had a chance to have coffee with my old buddy Tim last week at the Library Bistro in the Alexis Hotel, Madison and First Ave., downtown Seattle. Tim was instrumental in getting the RCVman camera pointed in the right direction way back in 2002. We shared the many tales of biking, racing, and business that have colored our experience in the past eight years as we ate brioche french toast with bananas, walnuts and caramel. I probably had one cup to many of their fine coffee, but at $4, I was going to get my fair share of refills. Tim will be riding in San Diego for the fondo so we'll have more from the former two-time All-American Duathlete down the line. A good man, and fast.

Two: Guess what showed up in my mail box Saturday? Ye olde pink envelope from Barbara Stephenson, the Kitsap County Treasurer. Oh, Joy. Contains my property tax statement. It has been laying on the kitchen table for three days now, unopened. I don't have the brass right now to fillet. Too much pain (as a direct result of too little gain?), so I'll let it mellow a little, sealed and safe, as I try to find the balance between feeling abused and exploited and contributing my fair share. I will give the County credit for one thing, however, sending out the tax statements near Valentines Day in pink envelopes is pure genius. Gotta hand it to 'em on that one.

Coffee and Taxes. In hand.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My, my, my, my Whoooo

Lost another one. Doug Fiegler, front-man for The Knack, author of one of our favorite spin songs, "My Sharona", died today of cancer at age 53. I distinctively remember hearing this song in 1979 on Southbound 405 heading from LAX to Fountain Valley (I was in the auto parts business at the time listening to KROQ during another boring commute), thinking, whoa, some good old fashioned rock 'n roll as a break between the disco drone, how refreshing. Thirty years later we dialed it to nine (intensity and volume) and grew increasingly appreciative of its raw and organic, (yet sophisticated and clever) use of speed, power and endurance (with hints of elderberry and sage).

I think my favorite quote from Doug was his take on regret (or-lack thereof). Check out the story and then watch this video. Obviously, Doug got it. Thanks man.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Juneau Ride

An update on the first outdoor ride of the Alaska Cruise. Looks like a spectacular (you were expecting anything else?) 39 miles from dockside downtown Juneau up to the Eaglecrest Ski area and back. A few pix from Trip Advisor showing some of the scenery along the way. Thanks to John and PeggyAnn at Cycle Alaska for their help in setting up the trek. They will also be our hosts and guides for the ride. We might be having some special company on the inaugural sailing as Phil & Wendy, CompuTrainer Reps from Australia, have enquired about riding with us. PeggyAnn is sending some additional photos and I am working with HAL to get some promo video, so stay tuned for updates as they break.

This is shaping up to be a terrific cycling year. Let's make sure we're ready. Do something aerobic today.

Pix: The famous Mendenhall Glacier. Juneau from above. Bridge to the ice fields.

NOTE: If you want even more drama, click on the MapMyRide link and then watch the Google Earth fly over video. It requires a flash download but it is well worth the effort.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Eight quality minutes with Dr. Massimo Testa (Max to his friends and many athletes he has coached), Scott & Kari Davis, and a few of the very talented cyclists from Westlake Village, California, home of the exciting new Optimal Performance Center (OPC). Max's protocols are so effective, just one of the reasons why he is the team doctor for the BMC Pro Cycling Team, that Scott is able to make the claim, "We guarantee it."

RCVman himself makes a rare saddle cameo, and the resulting high-def-rear-view analysis shows that the left-right power imbalance continues to limit full efficiency as he overpulls with the right glutenals (thereby shortening the range of the left) to compensate for the weaker side. This, on out of saddle climbs of 9% or greater. Such a powerful analytical tool, or as Max says, "Video makes it a little nicer." The inner tri coach asks, "And you wonder why your back hurts after 112 miles and 10 into the run?"

I will change out the thumbnail later in the day, but first I have a CT ride set up (80 minutes at 200 watts) and then a jaunt into Seattle to have coffee with an old friend. Sounds like a great start to the day, no? Salute.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ride, Hoist

Here is a fabulous re-cap of last weeks Harpoon Brewery Indoor Time Trial in South Boston. Long time CT user Karen Smyers (shown with red jersey hammering on the first bike in the foreground) and her infamous band of super-chick cyclists, "Team Psycho" retained their crown in the elite team division.

This huge event showcases the CompuTrainer Multi-Rider set up and its myriad training and racing possibilities. I will show another application, that of training by power, demonstrated by Scott Davis as designed by Dr. Max Testa and hosted at the Optimal Performance Center in Westlake Village, CA., up on video tomorrow. So stay tuned for that.

Please also check out the "listen now' audio commentary on the WBUR link, as it's not every day that you get professional radio coverage and commentary from a CompuTrainer Multi-Rider time trial hosted in a "Canyon of Beer".

Congratulations to all participants, to Harpoon Brewery and to beer drinkers in every nook, cranny and canyon. Ride one, hoist one, cheers.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle

Simply one juicy quote and a handful of supporting images today. This rhetorical brevity due to my working on the Max Testa-Optimal Performance Multi-Rider video which is already two days tardy.

Maybe if I repeatedly performed more video edits I could turn these habits to excellence.

Pix (top down):
On the run at Ironman Hawaii. One foot in front of the other WILL get you there.
Maybe Americas best all-time cyclist John Howard on the CompuTrainer, testing.
At the top of Eastside Mtns in Chula Vista (means arrogant or insolent view).
Artistotle was no bust.
A Photoshoped Scott Davis leading a Multi-Rider class at OPC in Westlake.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Telomeres and Youth

As a way to pre-text the following story, we finished up our rockin' little 'hour of power' spin session yesterday with my quip that upon awakening the next day I would be a day younger instead of its universally accepted opposite.* This magic as the result of consistent, high intensity indoor cycling intervals four times a week for ten years (plus eating good, resting and recovering properly and smelling the occasional rose). That was the start.

The second act opens as my wonderful neighbor of over a quarter of a century, Frankie, sends this NY Times Magazine article over to the cabin. Frankie, as many of the VBA know, is in a very determined, spirited debate with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. So far, he seems to have the upper hand, despite the loss of mane and appetite. At 83, he remains sharp as a tack, constantly at the ready to smile, laugh or comment on the many ironies (or absurdities) of life in the 21st century. Many times he has commented on my fitness regimen, asking "You ran HOW MANY TIMES around the park?", or, "You know they have trains that will take you to Portland now a little faster than your bike". When I completed my first Ironman in 1993, he just shook his head.

The closing scene finds me with a mirthy grin, as the 'zine shows up on my kitchen table (Frankie has carte blanche to come and go as he pleases), carrying the following comment on the upper right page:

Kevin- See? You've been right all along.

There are plenty of reasons to exercise -- in this column, I've pointed out more than a few -- but the effect that regular activity may have on cellular aging could turn out to be the most profound. ''It's pretty exciting stuff,'' says Thomas LaRocca, a Ph.D. candidate in the department of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado in Boulder, who has just completed a new study echoing Werner's findings. In LaRocca's work, 57 people were tested both for their V02max -- or maximum aerobic capacity, a widely accepted measure of physical fitness -- and their white blood cells' telomere length. In subjects 55 to 72, a higher V02max correlated closely with longer telomeres. The fitter a person was in middle age or onward, the younger their cells.

1.Telomeres: Longer telomeres -- the protective tips of a DNA strand -- indicate youthful, healthy cells.; 2.RUNNING: The telomeres of physically active older subjects are longer than those of their sedentary peers.

Top: Structure of parallel quadruplexes formed by human telomeric DNA. Gotcha!
Bot: Lengthening telomeres in the saddle with Scott, Keri, et al at the Optimal Performance Center in Westlake Village, CA.

*This might also help to explain why I have been called naive and guilty of unabashedly preaching the zen of health and fitness (among other things) in the past. I plead nolo contendere for the record.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Una bella taza de cafe

Ah, yes, one beautiful cup of coffee. Sometimes that's all it takes. Other times you need a light, responsive, gorgeous hand made bike, and a scenic 100 or so miles in which to ride. There are some things that are unmistakeably Italian. Here are three:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The new Power

Super Sunday. Bleh. Who cares? Pro Football may be the most boring, time wasting, arrogant and insidious distraction ever created by (semi) civilized man. Can't stand the stuff. Now, College Football otoh, FREAKING ROCKS. Why, you may ask incredulously?

If you need for me to spell it out for you, here it is:


As in "show it to me".

That is what the NFL is about. Not winning, not pride, not competition, not fun, not the thrill of victory nor the fear of failure, but money. Period. And please don't listen to the tackling dummy ditto-heads who try to promote its merits, because, honestly, the difference between the Gladiators vs Slaves, or Plantation Owners vs Slaves, or War Lords vs Slaves and the Colts vs Saints, is only one of time and space. Money is the new power.

And speaking of power, (nice punt, eh?), this video from the BBC, kinda connects a lotta the dots I juggle on a daily basis. Take a look and see how many of them you can connect.

And then please ask yourself (then tell me):


Friday, February 5, 2010


Italian for "Let's Go". Grazie Shannon, nice work today on the shoot.


“Accept your feelings, know your purpose, do what needs to be done”
-David K. Reynolds.

I love this one. The subject matter was work, the need for it, the acceptance of it as "the only way" and how we try to avoid it at all cost. Ya wanna succeed? Do the work. Ya wanna get fit, fast or ferocious? Do the work. Ya wanna run a marathon, complete a tri, or write a book? Do the work.

Feelings this morning at 0400: I want more sleep and my back hurts.

Purpose: Training for Ironman.

What needs to be done: Git yer lazy arse outta the rack and get to spin class.
Acceptance, knowledge, action.

Repeat daily and enjoy the ride.

I love this one.

Riding up the mountain into the moonlight. Ergon.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Colnago Gran Fondo San Diego

Had a scant 74 seconds to tell the tale. Start to finish of all 101 miles of the March 7, Colnago Gran Fondo San Diego. A longer version is scheduled but up next is the Westlake Multi-Rider short that will take another couple of days. I don't know about you but SD's Little Italy, the Coronado Bridge, Imperial Beach, the beautiful bikes from Colnago and these incredible hills get my heart thumpin' like Rodrigo y Garbiella's smokin' flamenco Buster Voodoo.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

David & Brian

Turn and face the strange cha-cha-cha changes.

We have added few tweaks to the RCVman standard formatting procedures (sfps) as you most likely have already noticed to the side bar at left. The Blogger/Google combo has made it pretty easy to add our favorite sites to the page, along with updates that any of these master bloggers make along the way. Another value-added-techno-application of immense validity. Not to mention fun, cool and entertaining. So please check them out when you have a spare nickel and see what they have to say.

For the full house of spinners this morning that were able to cut through the distractions (the monologue rambled on again today BUT 'I Get Around' almost 50 years on, still cuts:

Everybody's going steady 'cause it wouldn't be right, to leave the best girls home on a Saturday night),

please send your answers to the RCVman comments department below.

For those of you that were not in the House of Pain and missed a wonderful high intensity hour of power, the question is:

Why do we do this?

The answer (most original and all-encompassing) wins some schwag, probably with the Real Course Video logo on it somewhere.

Why DO we do this?

(Ahh) Come on all you Rock 'n Rollers.

PS: Rendering video from San Diego and LA. I will have something up by the end of the week. It was a good shoot. Special thanks to David Bowie and Brian Wilson.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


With a nod (a perhaps a wink) to Elizabeth Gilbert, here are three totally related and intertwined articles that appeared today in three difference periodicals. I will refrain from knee-jerk reactions to them as the commentators all seem to have taken care of that for me. It is truly comical to see how people defend their actions, and therefore their limitations, by assigning blame to others, in these cases, governments, doctors, scientists, runners, nutritionists, carnivores, politicians, cyclists, USDA, FDIC, NASDAQ, USO, NAACP, NCAA, IOC, or, essentially anybody who might possibly be a target for their pathological inability to accept personal responsibility.

Here it is folks: Run more, eat better or PAY up.

On running more from the SF Chronicle:

The health improvements don't just apply to runners - any sort of regular aerobic activity helps, and the more hours people put in, the more benefits they'll see, Williams said.

On eating better from Tree Hugger:
3. Eating meat spews more emissions than our cars, trains, and planes combined.

On health care costs as a result of NOT running more or eating better from the LA Times:

Michael Kellner, a trim, 37-year-old public relations professional who lives in San Francisco, is among the disgusted: "I am completely and utterly frustrated with rising healthcare costs due to the deluge of fat Americans taxing the healthcare system. I'm in shape and have been all my life because I don't soothe myself with food all day." He's not alone in his opinion.

Monday, February 1, 2010


The wonderful Buddhist teacher (and Jewish grandmother) Sylvia Boorstein has a tape entitled “The Courage to be Happy,” in which she uses Jewish and Buddhist stories to illuminate a path to living each moment fully. There’s a picture of her on the cover, and I’ll give you one guess at what she’s doing. Yep. Riding a bike. And smiling.

Terrific article from PEZ Cycling News. I try to bring this concept up in every session, sometimes with mucho success, other times, not so mucho. But I keep tryin'. I think that is the key. To keep comin' back for more with the goal of one day getting it right. And even though we have it right, right from the start, there's a right and then there's a RIGHT. Right?

Little Buddhas, Jewish Grandmothers, Pro riders, hill climbers, CompuTrainer users and four year olds all know this to be true.

Riding a bike (indoors or out) is getting it right.

And when the riding gets tough, the tough smile.

RG, Meshell, Hannah, Debbie and TB at Hacienda for rice and beans, all grins.
Kelly, Kerri and Scott smile after the BMC team jersey raffle.