Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Coach Rob TV

Had the pleasure of spending time with Coach Rob Teixiera yesterday down in sometimes sunny Southern California. Rob is a phenomenal cyclist, a very talented coach, a firefighter and the father of three. He is also personable and engaging. We filmed another segment for the upcoming Bill Edwards training video series. You are going to like this.

We shot the intros, did a Q&A, filmed the actual applications on the CompuTrainer and after all that had just enough time to film a commercial for the upcoming CompuTrainer Cruise to Mexico. All in his beautiful remodeled garage that now serves as a training/coaching studio. I was a little jealous.

I should have a couple of the tailer/teaser videos up fairly soon to give you an idea of what the big picture vision is. Till then, here are some stills of the day.

I am almost recovered from the return flight and 0530 class. Remember that you can win a great prize by guessing the number one RCVman ALL-TIME spinning song. I gave away some severe hints this morning.

More on the Mexico Cruise here. Quality rack time tonight boys & girls. See you manana.

Pix: Coach Rob T in his studio during yesterdays shoot.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Here we go kids. Part II of the RCVman Top 100 Spin Songs of ALL-TIME. Numbers 90-81. This installment pretty much gets you movin' down the indoor highway. Please remember that the goal here is to get you in motion, raise the intensity, increase heart rate, build stamina, strength and speed. All to a ferociously rocking musical accompaniment.

Can you handle that?

90-Born on the Bayou, CCR
89-Ball of Confusion, Temtations
88-Locomotive Breath, J. Tull
87-Lonely Bull, Herb Alpert
86-Pump it Up, Elvis Costello
85-Pretzel Logic, Steely Dan
84-December, Collective Soul
83-Magic Man, Heart
82- Hush, Deep Purple
81- Can't Let Go, Lucinda Williams

Heading out in an hour to shoot the Coach Rob Teixiera sessions. We have five precious hours in the studio to get it done, before I begin the homeward journey. I would really like to negative split the return, but I am sure that Southern California traffic, two airlines and the Washington State Ferries will conspire against me, as they did yesterday (more on THAT later).

I should get back in time tonight for two hours of rest before our 0530 Wednesday class. Who knows I might even have time to burn this set list to the iTouch and let 're rip.

Can I handle that?

Monday, June 28, 2010

So Long Silver City (delayed)

Looks as if it might get into triple digits here in Reno today. Finally some serious sun. We shot a fabulous ride this morning with Chad and the folks from Indoor Power. The Garmin had us at 18 miles, 80 minutes of beautiful high desert fun. There were enough climbs and descents to make it interesting but the best part was a series of roundabouts in Sommerset that let us air it out a bit. It was fun chasing in the cam car the strong riders 'round the circles. Little traffic, quite a few other riders out enjoying the warm Sunday morning and spectacular scenery the whole route. If a small enough sampling of the fruit flies found heir way to the lens, we might have a keeper.

Yesterday was long one. Up at 0330 to get in some food prior to the drive to Tahoe City and the X-Terra. As I was doing double duty, (racing and filming) the logistic set-up was a touch more involved than usual. Talk about a perfect setting for an off-road ti! Swim in the Lake (58 degrees) then five minutes outside of town you are in shale and dirt climbing towards the remaining snow and wild meadows lined with sequoia and sage. It was a tough two laps, the vest was hot and without cleats I was at the mercy of the downstroke. The Go-Pro admirably reacted to all this challenge and captured some killer vid. The GPS, however, got a little confused in the tree cover.

After the awards I headed South towards Homewood, where I traded in my Specialized for a Giant, downloaded the video to laptop, re-rigged the vest-cam and did the twelve miles, down and back on their marvelous bike trail. A perfect 45 minutes and I was then heading back to Reno to have dinner with my old pal Barry and his GF. I eventually spent the night at Barry's which left zero processing time. I haven't looked at the vid from the bike trail but I am suspecting it will be a shade of stunning as that defines both backdrop and road surface.

So let's do a little re-cap: Thursday shoot at IP. Friday upload vid and course logistics and race/camera prep. Saturday film race, bike leg complete, 12 miles West Tahoe Bike Train. Sunday, 19 mile RCV shoot with IP group.

I am out for San Diego at 0600 tomorrow. Hope to have some video up Monday night.

And of course, RCVman T100 spin Tunes 90-81. (I even heard numero no this morning on local radio. Whoa!)

So long from the Silver City. It was nice.

Monday Morning Update: Flight from Reno connecting in LA to SD is delayed. Nice. I get up at 3:45 to get to airport and the delay causes a massive chain reaction with connection, rental car, commute, meeting, shoot. When I asked the HORIZON rep if she thought that might warrant a $20 bag fee waiver she looked at me like I was speaking Greek. Casual agent: Crew rest. Evidently this is the first flight ever from Reno to LA and they haven't quite got all the scheduling bugs out. Sometimes travel is a test.

Pix: A pre-race zen moment on Lake Tahoe. Try to find a better spot for a X-Tera finish. Chad and the Indoor Power group about to head out for a Sunday ride in Reno.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Indoor Power Video

This just in:

We race in the morning, off to the rack.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Indoor Power

We have a break in the action so I am posting some stills from this mornings shoot at Indoor Power. As nice a CompuTrainer Multi-Rider set up as I have come across (and I have come across many). The diverse six person group went through a quick set up and calibration and then got right down to business. As expected Chad had designed a tailored program to maximize time and value, meaning, of course, that the session was going to be a tough one. We grabbed some decent video despite the darkened room and I even managed to get some juicy quotes from the riders, their background, history, training, the benefits of structured indoor sessions and goals. We even had a dancer amongst us! A first to the extent of my knowledge.

After the session I drove the 50 some miles down to Tahoe City to check out Commons Beach, the starting point of Saturdays race. Since my last visit they have installed a bike path that parallels the Truckee River all the way up to Squaw Valley, so tomorrow when I pick up my Mtb rental I plan on doing a section of the path to calibrate the vest-cam. Like maybe all of it. Won't that be fun?

I am down loading the Indoor Power video as we speak and might even have a rough cut done tonight. Onward and Upward amigos. Don't forget about the Mexico cruise, you should register today to reserve your spot. It is never too early to avoid being too late.

Pix: RCVman hits Lake Tahoe. Francis asked me when there might be a RCV for Dogs (throw the tennis ball, sprint, recover, repeat). The Indoor Power set up (under challenging light).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Little Big City

Dateline: Reno. Biggest Little City in the World. I am out in one of the new sprawl burbs at an Extended Stay, about ten miles south of the Airport. It is still 75 degrees at 5:30. Heading out in an hour for a short trail run and then dinner in, mainly because I have a kitchenette and I am tired of Subway and burritos. I would really like some mushroom risotto and steamed asparagus.

Made contact today with the local purveyor of Indoor Power, a CompuTrainer Multi-Rider Center, where we will shoot one of their classes tomorrow at 0900. Chad Timmerman owns and leads the classes and sounds like one of those guys that really knows his stuff. Know the type? It is always a true pleasure to spend time with professionals and experts in their respective fields. The goal is to interview Chad, film the session and create a promo piece for our respective sites. After that, I am heading down to Tahoe City to scope out the course for Saturdays X-Terra event, where we will debut yet another RCV application, this time in order to capture off-road video using the vest-cam, a device that I wear in order to keep the camera steady and stable. You are thinking, why not a helmet-cam? Too much head movement, when we ride we turn to look, constantly, and this obviously affects the view-ability of the end product. Using the vest-cam, I get core stability and can still turn my head to see who might be gaining on me. This, because I want to get out of their way. Not because I am racing. I am also going to shoot both directions of Hwy 89 from Truckee to Tahoe City for RCV use as this stretch is flat out gorgeous. If time permits on Friday, I might make the entire trip around the Lake, all 71 miles of it. Car-cam this time.

We are downloading the HHH at the studio as we speak and it looks great. I am also looking forward to cutting the NVGP as some of that action is gonna make you gasp.

The RCVman T100 spin tune contest is heating up, and please remember folks that the comments feature at the bottom of the page takes you there. Don't be shy. Share the love.

All for now from Reno. ciao ciao. Clue: NOT Stairway to Heaven.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


OK folks, here we go. The highly anticipated and controversial, over budget and delayed, missing link to your total indoor training nirvana.

Yes, that's all it is. Capsulized everything. Nothing and all. Picture what lies between the bicycle and the guitar, between the empty and the full, under heaven and out of hell. They tell it better than I. There are a hundred stories here, dished up ten at a time. The soundtrack to the scene of you morphing towards you. In real time.

These are the RCVman Top 100 Spin Songs of ALL-TIME. I use them in two ways, at home on my CompuTrainer to measure power, and in the spin studio, leading group sessions. Either way, the criteria for inclusion to this elite list is very simple: The tunes gotta rock, have soul, and get me lazy ass movin'. There is also a sub-category that is more choreography than just the standalone tune. In each of these ten countdown lists, each set contains at least one of the following:

A quick tune for sprinting
A grinder for climbing
An extended jam for building endurance
A "balance" tune for just that, usually World Music
A quirky number for fun
And one song that I simply like and appreciate even though it may not be a 100% perfect tune for spinning. But then again, when all is right, and you got the grove, under the sweet spot magic of the moment, endorphins flowing, ANY SONG CAN MAKE THE LIST THAT DAY.

It's all up to you. So without further adieu,

RCVman Top 100
Spin Tunes

100, Tom Sawyer, Rush
99, I Feel Fine, The Beatles
98, Stay With Me, Small Faces
97, Jingo, Santana
96, Theme from the Good, The Bad & The Ugly, Hugo Montenegro
95, Never Gonna Change, Drive By Truckers
94, Nevermore, Afro Celts
93, Maybe, Cheryl Crow
92, Cisco Kid, War
91, Dixie Chicken, Little Feat

One last note. You will quickly see my preferences for musical spinning accompaniment. I'll fess up. I like Classic Rock. I also like World Music. I like Jazz and I love the Blues. Beethoven Rocks. There is a time and a place for all genres, no doubt, I simply prefer R&R when working out.

Leading to the final few bars and building crescendo, knowing all this and now having a ten tune sampler (100-91) we now make this incredible offer:

If you can guess what the RCVman NUMBER ONE Spinning tune of ALL-TIME will be, you will win.


Something nice.


And cool.

Like mixing Rock & Roll and Indoor Training.

Go hard and go loud my friends. Next week are numbers 90-81. Rock on.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer 2010


And it's raining in Minneapolis at 0600. We were going to attempt the chore of getting an earlier flight back to Seattle but since the airlines now charge about the same amount to change as to initially book, we are staying put till tomorrow.

Which means, of course, that we now have some video processing time, some posting time, some workout time and some (gasp) shopping time on our hands.

To maximize the quality of that time, the POD (Plan of the Day) now looks something like this:

Download a sampler of the NVGP video from yesterday.
Post it to the RCVman site.
Film a session in the hotel fitness center.
Go to the Mall of America for a new shirt.
Afternoon run.
Compile RCVman Top 100 Spin Tunes, 100-91.
Find a Cineplex and take in a movie.
Dinner at Chipotle across the street.

Sounds like a good way to spend the first day of summer 2010?

Let's go find out.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Old Man Stillwater

A Happy Fathers Day to all you Dads out there from Stillwater, Minnesota. Today was the final stage of the 2010 Nature Valley Grand Prix. The cycle racing throngs were comforted most of the day with a bit of cloud cover as the Men & Women did a 1.5 mile loop through town. The pro ladies did 13 laps and the pro men, 20. All those circuits included two major climbs, the Chilkoot at 24% and the Back-side hill a touch less. I am going to simply say, wait till you see the video.

Oh, wait, I always say that, don't I?


My host, Race Director and former Cat 1 champion Andy Dahl, piloted me on his beautiful BMW 1200 expertly around the course as only somebody who knows how to ride fast on a bike can. Tangents are crucial as is knowing when to open it up. I used a slightly different approach in holding the cam after settling for somewhat less that ideal positioning on Friday. It proved to be all I could handle as the loop never stayed in one position very long. After twenty minutes I felt as if I was out there riding with the boys myself. Once this post in done I plan on taking a peek at the video to see if what we watched from the BMW at (max) 70 mph is as good as I think it will be played back at a mere 30 frames per second.

So that's about it from the upper Midwest. It has been a wild couple of days. I hope that the Alamo guys don't look real close at the odometer. Tomorrow is a rare off day. Tuesday we fly home to, basically, change clothes and grab racing gear. Wednesday early we're off for Tahoe and some off-road action in the Sierras.

Lastly, as a final nod to the holiday of note, I have decided to start a new feature. Ya'll remember the RS500 post earlier in the week? Starting tomorrow I am posting the RCVman Top One Hundred Spinning Songs of All-Time. Starting, natch, with numbers 100-91. We'll do one set per week for ten days and see what kinda trouble we get in.

I already decided during the time spent the last two days on I-94 what tunes comprise the top ten, the problem is going to be, how to rank the following 90?

Wish me luck Dad.

Pix: The Stillwater bridge separates Minnesota from Wisconsin over the St. Croix River. The Overall Top Three Ladies. Nice work gals! At the top of Chilkoot Hill.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I am holding on. You have heard me say in the past on a few occasions that the day has been a long one. Well, we have a new standard. A twilight crit in Minneapolis on Friday night and then the Horribly Hilly Hundred Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin. Distance between: 250 miles. Drive time: 5 hours. Sleep: Nada. Video: Excellent.

And that is all that matters. You do what needs to be done. It is 2:32 on Saturday after the HHH and I am in the flea bag recharging batts and devices for tomorrows finale in Stillwater, MN. That means a shower, precious sleep and drive back to Minnesota. I am glad now that the counter guy at Alamo talked me into the upgrade to midsize. After that I am not sure what I will do. I have Monday off and then Tuesday out for Seattle and then back out Wednesday for Lake Tahoe.

I would really like to get in a long run, but sleep is more important right now, so a REM 10K is the happy medium.

A couple of pix from the Kids Crit Friday night in Uptown Minneapolis. When all else fails, the Kids Always Rock.

Talk soon. Good Afternoon.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Funnel Clouds

Up here in Minnesota they call them funnel clouds. And I know why. Once you put a body of water underneath, you get a hurricane. Two weather conditions we seldom see out in the Northwest. So while on the one hand it was exciting to be "riding one out" yesterday in Minnesota, I would rather have something with a little more guts that the 50cc scooter I was commandeering. Folks, let me try to put this in perspective. The winds were gusting so hard that I was using all my strength to simply hang on. Forty miles of it, and some stretches where I really wasn't supposed to be (State Highways, Expressways, Interstates). I figured I could try the self preservation defense if pulled over, or just do something REALLY silly to intentionally get arrested so I could spend the night in a safe and secure cement cell.


But all that has passed and today we are gearing up for the twilight downtown criterium. So far, so good, as the sun is shinning here at 0810 and the reports are for some winds but no funnel clouds. OK, then.

In all this excitement I seriously downplayed yesterdays announcement of the CompuTrainer Cruise to Mexico. The photos are of the ms Oosterdam and the map of Baja, where we will sail and ride in December. Let's quickly get on board for this one folks, you will remember that those who waited too long for Alaska were gravely disappointed once we sold out. I will be posting details as they come available and will also use this as an exercise to polish up on my Spanish.

¡Que tenga un buen día!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

More Wind

What began as a nice Upper MidWest day in Minneapolis, ended up more like a scene from The Wiz. Whoa, talk about the weather changing conditions in a hurry! I rented a 50cc scooter in downtown Minneapolis and rode it to the race start 40 miles southeast in Cannon Falls. Over the course of that distance, I was tested, having to hang on for dear life in the up to 50mph headwinds. Took almost three hours. Painful and scary. Totally gnarly in every sense of the world. Once I got there....

The event was scrubbed due to the high winds, lightening and possibility of a tornado. A Tornado? Good God Dorothy, where are we? So I rode home in the threatening darkness, just ahead of the storm, with a nice tailwind.

We'll try again tomorrow night in downtown Minneapolis (in front of what is rumored to be 500,000 fans) and hope for the best. Wow, what a day.

On other fronts, at long last we have officially announced the CompuTrainer Mexico Cruise, so all of you that missed the Alaska trip, can now hook up for seven days of sunshine in Baja California in December. How does that sound right now, Toto?

Mucho bueno.

At least I got a few stills out there today. Rented the scooter from E (and he also questioned the RS500: Dude, Suspicious Minds!), the stage start in Cannon Falls, MN, LOOKED OK. And a groovy bike rental system on downtown Minneapolis. Bikes are free for the first 30 minutes.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


While at Sea-Tac last week I pulled into my usual bookstore haunt to pick up my usual travel read, Rolling Stone. On the cover was the announcement that once inside I would find their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Also grabbing a pack of peanut M&Ms I flipped the card on the counter. The cute gal under a black hijab smiled and asked if I knew that this special edition was $9.95 and if that was alright.

I'll have to let you know when I'm done, I clumsily responded, thinking that in all honesty to get the RS500 at two cents per tune was probably a better value than the M&Ms at 25 for $1.50 (plus tax).

Armed and ready off we went towards Boise. I was done with the M&Ms by the time I got to number 100, and it was hard to tell which left the worse taste in mouth. Here is the RS Top Ten to give you an idea, and please keep in mind that this is of ALL TIME. Also let me preface by saying that this is maybe cheap on my part, because everybody has their musical opinion, and any record (tape or MP3) that goes Gold isn't necessarily great, or even good. Here is my sole criteria: A song has to rock. It has to get me through 140.6 miles of pain. And the top ten, therefore, must, accordingly, rock hard. One would think that the top ten would be the hardest rockers ever. Yes?

1) Like Rolling Stone-Bob.
2) Satisfaction-Stones
3) Imagine-John Lennon

4) What's Goin On-Marvin Gaye

5) Respect-Aretha

6) Good Vibrations-Beach Boys

7) Johnny B. Goode- Chuck

8) Hey Jude-Beatles

9) Smells Like Teen Spirit-Nirvana

10) What'd I Say- Ray Charles

RCVman makes this immediate comment: NO WAY (Was that a rotten peanut), Bleh.

And please don't get me wrong, these are all great tunes, but the top ten of all time? I would not want to hear Imagine at mile 80, nor Like a Rolling Stone at mile 100.

Not on your life. If I played that set list in spin class I would be shown the door, rudely and with great authority, and for good reason. Of these ten, only two have ever made it onto the iTouch, (Respect and Good Vibrations). I have played many, many Stones, Beatles and Dylan tunes, but not these. Because there are better ones.

So for the sake of aural argument, I will take the artist and add my favorite tunes to create a counter. Let's try.

1) Dylan-All Along the Watchtower (and Jimi's take was even better!)
2) Stones-Gimme Shelter. No contest.

3) John Lennon- Instant Karma.

4) Marvin Gaye- Heard it thru the Grapevine.

5) Aretha- Freeway of Love

6) Beach Boys- In My Room (makes me cry)

7) Chuck Berry- Nadine

8) Beatles-Get Back (or twenty others)

9) Nirvana- About a Girl. Nirvana does not belong in the top ten, sorry.

10) Ray Charles- Unchain My Heart.

There you go. Fixed it for ya RS. See which set-list gets your HR in Zone 3 and keeps it there longer. See which list keeps you pumped for 140.6

I think today I'll try Outside and some trail mix.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Boise Bike

A few more screen shots from Saturday's Boise 70.3. As tomorrow is yet another getaway day, and I have two tons of work to do prior, there is gonna be a textual limit to today's post. And we have just reached it. Have a great day.

My fave is the bottom one.

"You are gonna actually ride with that thing?"


Monday, June 14, 2010

It's still the motor!

OK folks, it has been seriously a long and trying day. Ever have one of those were it seems like nothing works? Literally, it took me all day to do nothing. Thank you very much, AT&T, Bank of America,, Home Depot, Alaska Airlines, Apple Computers, Puget Power, BP and Al Pacino. Did have a (comparatively) nice 5K run in the park, but by then the daily damage had been done and I was ready for a barley pop fueled carbohydrate orgy.

Then I spotted this via, and the world, once again, seemed like a place where things are tightly secured overhead.

So now, with apologies to my dear friends in Germany and England, comes this stroke of absolute genius.

I wonder how she climbs.

Not That-THIS!

An all new, comprehensive, thought-provoking, socially productive and useful way to eek even more value out of your ride today. Here at RCVman HQ we are calling this exciting and novel training adjunct:


The protocols: Instead of spending frustrating and distracting time trying to figure out how to properly and justly punish British Petroleum for gross and felonious atrocities against the environment (and please remember in your non-thinking that we asked for, no, demanded the very product that is now killing birds, fish, flora and every other living thing in the Gulf) or how to justify the purchase of a new set of racing wheels, instead think about this:

The courage of one man to speak his mind.

In this excellent interview and article, Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks with Dr. Jack Kevorkian. You may select which of the three main topics most impacts and/or stimulates your personal power to absorb and process stimuli, but be forewarned there is enough in this exchange to last a hundred miles.

I have purpose in my life and three missions. --Dr. Jack Kevorkian I did ask Kevorkian about his reflections on his own mortality. "I am not ready to die," he answered. "I have purpose in my life and three missions," he added. He wants to tell mankind about "impending doom." He worries that our culture of overabundance will soon lead to the extinction of the human race. "I am not going to be too popular for that one." His second mission is to educate people about patholysis. "They just don't get it in Oregon, " he said. "Or in Washington state or Montana, the other states," where assisted suicide has been legalized. In those states, a person has to be considered terminal in order to qualify for assisted suicide. "What difference does it make if someone is terminal?" he said. "We are all terminal." His third mission is to convince the American public that their rights are infringed upon each and every day -- and that the Ninth Amendment is not being upheld. Everything from banning smoking in public places, to assisted suicide, euthanasia and patholysis.

Think about THAT! Please.

Photo from Saturday's Boise 70.3 (used by permission of Roo-Cam). As I was getting passed yet again by another super-fast young triathlete, I thought about the relationship of speed to age. And the reverse.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Two Hours

The headline might have read: Inquiry in Boise.

World Champion Craig Alexander, in winning his second Boise 70.3 in as many tries, braved the relentless winds of the bike course en route to a stunning 4:03 victory. The inquiry part comes in when you take a closer look, as it seems that Crowie's time, beat every other competitor in the 1,400 strong field, but, perhaps more astoundingly, the RCVman himself by TWO HOURS. Yes, that is as in 120 minutes. Over the course of 70.3 miles.

Two possibilities here, ONE Crowie is super human, or,
TWO, RCVman had a bad day.

Let's concede point one. Crowie IS GOOD. He is two time reigning Ironman World Champion, the best of the best, in a class by himself.

But that class is two hours faster than our reluctant hero? TWO FREAKING HOURS ? (I shout)

There are a lot of things one could do in two hours. As a perfect example, right now, you could log off, pack your workout gear, drive to the club, do a one hour high intensity interval spin workout, shower, sauna, shower again, have a protein fruit smoothie, stop at the store for bread and wine, drive home, check your e-mails and rejoin us. All in about the same time differential between Crowie's time and Me. Two hours. I stand thoroughly humbled.

Yes, the winds were in our face for most of the afternoon, slowing bike splits and further impacting the run, but, as in any good race, the conditions were the same for everybody. All this proves that Mr. Alexander (and everybody else who finished before me) simply had a better motor on Saturday.

Which is not to say that I didn't have fun, I did. And although a touch disappointed, there were slivers of silver lining. The swim strategy worked to perfection. The video from the Roo-Cam is even better than I imagined (although cut short due to battery issues), and perhaps best of all, I was able to dig for some finish gas and put in the eighth best run split in our age group, scurrilous and cantankerous cut-throats that they be. So what did we learn?

The test was to see if super high intensity sessions on the bike could replace "traditional" three sport training and save precious time and the breakdown of body parts as a result of over training. The answer is yes.

And no.

Here is what I have determined from the first round of testing:

This approach works up to a point. And that point is one of distance. It works great for sprint distance races, very good for Olympic and with single sport events, BUT FOR HALF IRONMAN AND ABOVE, not so well.

You still are better served by getting in a few long sessions per week, per sport.

Perhaps the best part of yesterdays experiment was that I think the flames for the long course have been rekindled in the RCVman. It REALLY hurt out there.

And I had almost forgotten what that feels like and the rewards of a long day out in the pack.

Glad to be back. Now that we have a bogey, I was a dismal 12th, there is work to be done.

And from that we have never shied.

Pix: World Champion Craig Alexander prior to running a 4:03 in winning the 2010 Boise 70.3. Full results here. RCVman asking how this is possible after his sluggish 6:03. Yes folks, that IS two hours, not two minutes.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Pair of Dox

Boise. I have always like this place. Small, outdoorsish, clean, blue skies. While downtown yesterday at the Expo I saw a poster for a place in the burbs for $120K that looked a whole lot better than my current digs. After the race brief this morning, we dressed out the Roo-Cam for her maiden voyage tomorrow and hauled 'er up to the Lucky Peak Dam and into T1. There she will spend the night as her master (and commander) goes through the final stages of his patented one day taper.

This two o'clock start is gonna be interesting. Throws the biological race clock off by seven hours. Us morning folk think that is a perfectly good waste of a Saturday morning. I mean, what are you gonna do from 6-noon knowing that you have to race 70.3 miles starting at 2? Mow the lawn?

The good news is that it should be a decent day, low 70s, water temps as good as they're gonna get and maybe even a tail wind or three. Any way you choose to judge, it is 70.3 miles from Lucky Peak to The Capitol. And, once again here is the RCVman plan of attack:

Swim: All form and economy, breathe deep , relax and try not to think back on skinny dipping in Palm Springs.

Bike: Carrying the Cam and Garmin will be interesting. I will quickly find the sweet spot synergy of camera stabilization and power output (as measured by MPH and rendered video). Most important is, and this is a first, good video. If we score on the MP4 and I average 20mph, it will be a success, if the vid looks like it was shot in a Waring blender and I average 25.5, I lose. Nice paradox eh grasshopper? And you wonder why we call it the sweet spot?

Run: Totally based on the bike. If I can control the two items listed above and have some legs remaining and octane in the tank I will go for it. If the bike has drained it, I will do my best to deal with the pain, e.g. slug it out.

Overall I am thinking that it will be a fun day. I like the game plan. The sun will shine. At the Expo today I was talking with a customer and I told him of the plan, finishing with the experiment du jour abstact:

Testing the high intensity protocols gleaned from Max Testa and Bill Edwards, namely: With a solid base, and doing maintenance spins at 100% intensity, can one counter the effects of aging and less than ideal training over the course of the half-ironman distance?

Answer: We'll find out tomorrow.

Pix: The view down the valley from the Lucky Peak Dam, start of the bike (dig those clouds!) The now infamous Roo-Cam in the pen. RD Michael Tobin gives the race brief. Boise State U, home of the Broncos. The run course is in the green-belt less than a long filed goal from the East end of the stadium. Oh, and speaking of college football, you heard of the penalties levied against those evil Trojans at USC? Heisman winner and Super Bowl hero Reggie Bush is getting hammered along with the rest of them, so much so that President Obama today blamed all of SC's athletic crimes, the economy, the oil spills and the war in Iraq on Bush. Bada-bing, see you manana.

Back in Boise

Back in Boise. Tomorrow is the Boise 70.3, with a unique starting time of 2pm. Weird. The reason behind this I am quite sure is to give the resivour a few more minutes to get to tolerable swimming temps, a plan that might work to perfection as today and tomorrow are both expected to be in the 70's. Hurray. Leaving the gloom and grey of Seattle yesterday only to get to the overcast and threatening high desert was a touch discouraging, especially when the local news was reporting flash floods along the river road where the run course meanders. Sheesh, welcome to town. But this morning the sun is already out and warming these chilled bones nicely.

The athlete brief is in an hour, so I'll go and hear what the management wants us to do (or not to do as is mostly the case). It'll be fun to put on the participants cap again after so many events on the media side. Tomorrow I get to DO, not merely WATCH.

After the brief I plan on heading up to the swim to check it out and drop the Roo-Cam and then take an afternoon run past Boise State and finish with a mellow evening. Might even head back to Casanova's Pizzeria were I enjoyed an excellent pesto pizza last night. They are on Vista and Kootenai if you are in the area. Cool joint.

All for now RCV fans, stay tuned.

Pix: I always get the seat by the motor. And the CT booth at the Q-West Arena.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Long day already and we have another spin session in an hour. Everybody seems to be OK with the RCVman entourage hitting their respective town, races, burbs, events. We are set for Boise, Madison's Horribly Hilly Hundreds, the Nature Valley events, Lake Tahoe X-Terra and the Birkebeiner outside of Lillihammer, Norway. All that went down this morning.

The photo is of the new HD camera set up I will be testing in Boise on Saturday. "We want video from the racer perspective as close to the action as humanly possible, so put us in the race," you have said loud and clear. No longer happy with the obvious limitations of even a Mini-Cooper, the cumbersomeness of a BMW 1150 (or Gold Wing), we now (will attempt) to give you Real Course Video from the end of my aero-bars as I do the 56 miles. Folks, I just wanna say at this point in the colorful history of this project, the lifeline of this brand and the literal light of my life, that we cannot get any closer. You will see exactly what I see, as I see it and how I see it. I will pass some people at breakneck speeds. I will be passed (maybe), I will cut tangents and scream on descents, I will try to keep her steady as we climb out of saddle. Should I flat, we'll fix it together. If I crash YOU ARE GOIN WITH ME.

How does that sound?

Good. Cause here we go. And yes, I will swim and run. Sans camera (which we are now calling the Roo-cam). Because it's on my faithful and sometimes fast 12 year old Quintana-Roo. Ya gotta love it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

And a Way to Measure it All

Even on the newest and most obsidian stretches of asphalt, sometimes we must detour. Like detour of France. Or, in this case The Tour of California. There have been several detours since our first shot at this event in 2007, so this represents a major win. A stage win perhaps. The podium girls and champagne are surely just up ahead, around the next corner, at the top of the next hill.

But for now, we are pleased to present a two minute sampler of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California. We covered three stages, the monstrous 135 miles that separate Palmdale from Big Bear Lake, the LA Time Trial, and the Rock Store finale in Westlake Village. Yes, we missed the prologue, Lance's crash, the early rains, and Floydgate, but in three days we did manage to come away with some pretty decent footage.

Yes, there were detours. Three long years, acute pains in the glutes and thousands of dollars worth. But today I have that deep inner satisfaction that only someone who has dismounted from a long, hard ride knows.

Power, speed, time, distance, effort, endurance.

And a way to measure it all.

Enjoy the ride.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Top Five Tom Robbins books.

Long my one of my personal faves and journalistic style hero, Tom Robbins was featured in an NPR article last week. I was waiting for a rainy day to post this, and, well, this being Seattle, I didn't have to wait long. I will take this op to list the RCVman Top Five TR tomes:

5) Still Life with Woodpecker.
"When we're incomplete, we're always searching for somebody to complete us. When, after a few years or a few months of a relationship, we find that we're still unfulfilled, we blame our partners and take up with somebody more promising. This can go on and on--series polygamy--until we admit that while a partner can add sweet dimensions to our lives, we, each of us, are responsible for our own fulfillment. Nobody else can provide it for us, and to believe otherwise is to delude ourselves dangerously and to program for eventual failure every relationship we enter.”

4) Jitterbug Perfume.
“Our Similarities bring us to a common ground; Our Differences allow us to be fascinated by each other”

3) Skinny Legs and All.
“There is no such thing as a weird human being, It's just that some people require more understanding than others”

2) Villa Incognito.
“There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, and nothing worth killing for.”

1) Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas.
“The afternoon passed more slowly than a walnut-sized kidney stone.”

Honorable Mention (lest I blaspheme)

Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates
Roadside Attraction
Wild Ducks Flying Backwards

Looks like it is going to be a wet one in the PNW this summer. Stock up.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Marathon of a Day

Marathon of a day. The NODM went off with only the Pacific Northwest drizzle as the slightest of hitches. Stephanie ran a 4:30 (unofficial) in her virgin effort and it was great to see Amy, John, Steph, Herbie and Jim all out there doing the 26.2 skadoo. I got in about 50 miles as support on the mountain bike and was saved on the ride home by the M&Ms (peanut) that I was saving for such a bonking emergency. Congratulations to all.

Yesterday was Junior's post season baseball BBQ, so we slapped together this little video for the occasion. If you like baseball, Little League style, it might be worth a watch. For those of you that have been patiently waiting for some vid of the ToC, I will have something up by Wednesday, as Thursday is travel day to Boise for next week's 70.3.

Note to self: Bring BIG bag of M&Ms.

Bravo Zulu to all finishers today. Take the night off.

Pix: John, Steph and Amy at the start in Sequim. Stephanie at the finish with Steve. Saw this sign along the way, get off and Walk??????? The faithful RCV crew back at it.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Confidence and Carbohydrates

The more skilled you are, the more practice you’ve put in, the more experience you have, the less sure you are of your ability in comparison to others. As you strive to improve, you begin to better understand where you need work. You start to see the complexity and nuance; you discover masters of your craft and compare yourself to them and see where you are lacking.

On the other hand, the less skilled you are, the less practice you’ve put in and the fewer experiences you have, the more certain you become of how great you are. Your peers don’t call you out because they know as much as you do, or they don’t want to hurt your feelings. Your narrow advantage over novices leads you to think you are the shit.

A really fun site on all things mental. I have always felt that there are two definitive ways to tell wether or not you are a star or a fraud, a faux-comet (or somewhere in between):

Do you win, or, Does it sell?

If the former, boasting becomes fact, and in the latter you have created a demand for your work, which is, well, better than starvation.

In all cases, however, we have found through extensive experimentation with the scientific method, that:


Bottom line: Zip it and do what must be done.

Pancakes are from The Diner in Poulsbo, a terrific, tiny greasy-spoon with old style spinning stools at the counter and a waitress that talks smack to all customers. Their cakes are bigger than the plates and a copy of the Seattle PI is always on the seat next to you. Topics of conversation I overheard yesterday were of logging, pulling a truck out of a ditch, chickens, the rain, and of course, Obamacare. Mama always told me not to talk with my mouth full, so I mostly listened. These cakes are perfect the morning of a marathon, btw.

Friday, June 4, 2010

GO (She Loves You)

The day has come. Finally. Race day. What will this day bring? Joy? Reward? Value? Defeat? Will questions be answered? Will goals be achieved? Will there be growth? What will I learn? About myself? Others? Life? Spirit and soul? Death and love?

Yeah, race day. Good morning. Very good morning. I am alive. Cells tingle in anticipation. Smells are intensely pure. And with a love like that, ya know ya can't be sad. I hear in sympathetic harmony a thousand heartbeats slapping out a 5/4 groove. It is the snare drum staccato calling out the long dormant heroic behind the rallying bagpipes in a pre-dawn call to arms. There is something that needs to be defended here. Freedom? Dignity? Honor?

As I indulge in the sensual electricity surrounding me and retake control of my breathing, there seems to be a powerful synergy taking place as I am at once calm and confident and simultaneously craving the wild rawness of the unknown. It vibrates my DNA. I am again an animal, hungry and focused on the hunt. This must be done.

Something moves. I see, understand and analyze with blazing quickness and realize that my powers, now, here, are at their apex, unlimited. I feel muscle twitch, lung expand and stomach tighten. I smile. THIS, is the good fight.

Energy. Mine. Ours. I didn't get here alone. It took a team, a support group, a coach, the wisdom of those that have stood here before me, artists, politicians, scholars, technicians, philosophers, caddies, cabbies, and cooks. I am defined by others. The stronger, faster and wiser push me ever onward. Even now I wonder, how fast can I go?

Indeed. How fast? I am grateful for this opportunity, happy for the challenge. I want to pray, to say thanks, to give back, to help others. I am filled with the deepest empathy imaginable. I love.

For what seems like the hundredth time I look at my watch and shiver my loins, trying to shake out some thunder as the seconds slowly pass. Time is artificial in this vacuum of emptiness. There is nothing here but me. No war. No hyperbole. No conflict. No impossible paradox to decipher by noon. I am koan. Just me. Just my thoughts. I, haiku. And just this distance between where I now stand and where I want to be.

With a soothing amplified urgency I hear a voice announce thirty seconds to start and I prepare for the final count-down by adding my personal strategic commentary to the chaos and choreography:

9-You are ready, have no fear.
8-Enjoy the day.

6-Go out slow.

5-Be humble, be grateful, be kind.

4-Be confident, be strong, be smart.

3-Drink lotsa water.

2-A thousand times YES.

1-She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.


Thursday, June 3, 2010


Don't make me get off the bike, Alphonse.

Very (very) cool use of the indoor trainer, mobile technology and, ahem, parody:)



Change is something that presses us out of our comfort zone. It is destiny-filtered, heart grown, faith built. Change is inequitable; not a respecter of persons. Change is for the better or for the worst, depending on where you view it. Change has an adjustment period which varies on the individual. It is uncomfortable, for changing from one state to the next upsets our control over outcomes. Change has a ripping effect on those who won’t let go. Flex is the key. Even a roller coaster ride can be fun if you know when to lean and create new balance within the change. Change is needed when all the props and practices of the past no longer work. Change is not comforted by the statement ‘just hang in there’ but with the statement ‘you can make it’. We don’t grow in retreat, but through endurance. Change isn’t fixed by crying, worrying, or mental treadmilling. Change is won by victors not victims; and that choice is ours.

Change is awkward -- at first. Change is a muscle that develops to abundantly enjoy the dynamics of the life set before us. Change calls own strength beyond anyone of us. Change pushes you to do your personal best. Change draws out those poised for a new way. Change isn’t for chickens. Change does have casualties of those defeated. Change will cause us to churn or to learn. Change changes the speed of time. Time is so slow for the reluctant, and yet it is a whirlwind for those who embrace it. Change is more fun to do than to be done to. Change seeks a better place at the end and is complete when you realize you are different.

Change is measured by its impact on all who are connected to it. Change is charged when you are dissatisfied with where you are. Change doesn’t look for a resting-place; just the next launching point. Change is only a waste to those who don’t learn from it. Change happens in the heart before it is proclaimed by our works. Change chaps those moving slower than the change itself. If you can change before you have to change, there will be less pain. Change can flow or jerk, depending on our resistance to it. Change uses the power invested in the unseen to reinvent what is seen. Change is like driving in a fog – you can’t see very far, but you can make the whole trip that way.

Change is here to stay.

An indoor cycle trainer is the perfect venue for trying new techniques or equipment and to measure performance. Also, it is very useful for specific workouts that might otherwise be risky if performed on an open road for the first time. Examples of some very specific drills are: one leg spinning drills, maximum effort sprint repeats, low RPM high watt hill climbs, and anaerobic threshold (AT) intervals lasting 15 minutes or more. To perform each of these examples safely outdoors requires good bike handling skills and an awareness of one's surroundings.

So it's back to Boise. RCVman will shake it up a touch. Next week. Racing again. The last half-ironman completed was way-back in 2006, Black Diamond. And that was a few weeks after the crushing emotional defeat at Ironman Canada. Figured to at least take the fitness accrued for the whole and use it for the half. Worked OK in retrospect, we took a second, but it hurt some. There is growth in change. Pain means you, at least, are trying.

Next week in Boise we get to test some new theories. One is how the absence of fear affects racing performance. I haven't been in the pool in a LONG time. Even when I was a Masters regular it didn't help much. I could slug out an hour in the pool three times a week and still only manage a mediocre IM swim split. The race day operational tactic was (and is) that the race starts when butt meets saddle. Swim is a warm up. As we proved last year in Sunriver, a emphasis on impeccable form and efficiency returns a nice dividend come the run. 'Cause we know that the bike is where it's at. I will barter a poor swim and a so-so run for a killer bike split ANY RACE OF THE WEEK. So next Saturday in Boise the strategy will be:

Swim: Easy, smooth and efficient. Like a barracuda.
Bike: 80-90% of max RPE. Focused power. Like a mustang.
Run: Keep pushing. DO NOT back off. It's only 13 miles. Like a greyhound.

The truly interesting element about all this is the training methodology. No swimming, 80% of bike training will have been done indoors, and running fitness has come as a result of training others. The base will be tested. As will resolve. Will the absence of fear be enough?

Or, perhaps more poetically, will having fun replace the need for speed? If we swim more like a halibut, ride more like a donkey and run more like a beagle, will the rewards be as sweet? If yes,

THAT would be a change.

RCVman could be a shadow of his former self or run like a toad in Boise next week. We'll find out soon enough. Could be time for a change.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Science meets Art (SmA)

I know that you all have been looking for this. The definitive list of indoor cycle training acronyms. I found it at Cycling forums. com (registration required) At last, all you need to know about what the heck we are talking about. Kinda, sorta, maybe and almost.

Remember two years ago when we produced the Science vs Art piece for the CompuTrainer at Kona expo? This is the vocabulary for the science part.

We can take another poll if you like, the jury (still out for deliberation) has yet to decide as to which method YOU will best respond. The RCVman, truth be known (and that is our motto) feels thusly:


There, best of both worlds, or, TSRRA.

Please take special note of the links on HIT and ITB. The piece on ITBS and its cause and treatment is as concise a piece as I have come across. A must read.


Is an athlete’s ability to cycle/run etc. fast over and above VO2max (see VO2 Max below) Athletes are only able to sustain this effort for a short time measured in minutes.

I think to understand this we have to consider what ‘Power’ is. If we take a look at the formula Power = Pedal Force x Cadence (more precisely angular velocity)
What this formula tells us, is that a cyclist is able to increase power by exerting more force on the pedals given the same cadence by using a bigger gear or increasing cadence whilst applying the same pedal force. Of course power can be increased by applying more force to the pedals and at the same time increasing the cadence.
The AEPF can be formulated from the above.

Self explanatory.

(See TSS below) Put simply, it is a short term measure of the level of fatigue experienced by the rider and is usually measured over 5 or 7 days
It is calculated employing the TSS values from the workouts of said period. This could be work done as recently as last weekend.
(Also see CTL below)

The maximum rate at which energy is provided by aerobic respiration.

Self explanatory

Self explanatory

A factor which represents the drag acting on a body or more precisely,
the ratio of the drag on a body moving through air to the product of the velocity and the surface area of the body

Self explanatory

Widely regarded as the leader in cycling ergometers.

A measure of overall fitness.
The cumulative impact of training done some time before. This could be as long as 6 weeks ago or more, or conversely a shorter duration, say 3 weeks ago. Not to be confused with recent training. (see ATL above)

The average power a cyclist is capable of generating for a given period of time

Put simply - the velocity at which the pedal travels around in a circle

Racing for the totally insane

The average wattage that you can sustain over a 20 minute test

It's generally agreed that your Functional Threshold Power is the maximal power output you can sustain for the duration of one hour. Many riders attempt to define their FTP using a shorter duration (possibly in some cases to avoid having to grind away for one hour on a trainer)

It’s worth mentioning the Tabata method at this juncture.
A popular regimen based on a 1996 study uses 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise (at 170% of VO2Max) followed by 10 seconds of rest, continuing for 3/4 minutes

Self explanatory

Self explanatory

The maximum number of contractions per minute that your heart can make/take.

The intensity of the workout. That is, the normalized power for a ride with respect to the functional threshold of the rider = NP/FT. (See NP below and FT above)

ITB...............................Iliotibial band syndrome.

The energy exerted by the force of one Newton acting to move an object through a distance of one metre (see Newton below)


Stationary Indoor Bike Trainer - Kinetic by Kurt

(See IF above and Z1/Z2 etc. below)

Self explanatory

Self explanatory

Is the exercise intensity at which lactic acid starts to accumulate in the blood stream.

Estimated heart rate at your lactic threshold

The summed difference between the energy you produce aerobically and the overall energy demand. (Thanks to Alex for that definition lifted from his blog.)

The greatest rate at which oxygen can be delivered to working muscles during dynamic exercise.

This is defined as the highest workload that can be maintained over time where there is a balance between lactate production and lactate clearance.


This is defined as the amount of force required to accelerate a mass of one kilogram at a rate of one metre per second squared

Effort in training greater than you goal race effort

Calculated power over a given duration that better takes into account non- steady state efforts

When an athlete feels pain or burn, this point is often measured as the lactic threshold or anaerobic threshold (AT) or onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA).

Would appreciate someone sending me their distribution chart (Please PM me)

Need help here!

A graph charting the relationship between one’s CTL (critical training load), ATL (acute training load) and TSB (training stress balance), and of course interpreting and managing said graph

Quarq, Cycleops-Powertap, SRM, iBike etc.

Need permission here to paste a Power Profiling table.


(See VO2Max below)

To grasp the neuromuscular demands on the body, be it in a race or training session, it is necessary to analise one’s powermeter data.

RCV.........................REAL COURSE VIDEO
The revolutionary interactive line of training products from CompuTrainer.

RCVman.................He who produces the above.

Self explanatory

Perceived exertion is how hard you feel your body is actually working. During any physical activity one experiences a variety of physical sensations, ie. an increase in heart and breathing rate, an increase in perspiration and of course muscle fatigue

A fantastic link telling you everything you need to know about tyres and rolling resistance Tire Rolling Resistance - Roues Artisanales - Bike tech magasine - handbuilt wheels boutique

Self explanatory

Self explanatory


So called ‘Sweet Spot Training’ is fairly hard training carried out over an extended period, however it is not as hard as training at FT (functional threshold) and not as easy as simple endurance or tempo training. Therefore we can say SST fits in nicely somewhere between the 2 levels mentioned.

Now regarded by many coaches as being of no value whatsoever.

When peaking for an event, a cyclist should have a high TSB (a high level of fitness and a low level of fatigue)

A competitive event where cyclists riding solo are timed over a set distance.

A measure of the intensity (IF) and the duration of the ride (in minutes)
Obviously if the ride is more intense, the TSS increases. The same applies to the duration.

Need help on this one

VO2 max (also maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake or aerobic capacity) is the maximum capacity of the body to transport and utilize oxygen during incremental exercise, denoting the level of physical fitness of the athlete.