Tuesday, November 30, 2010


It's Happy Tuesday. Finally an off day. I am happy about that. It has been raining steadily since one in the morning. A fat rain, landing with a thick, loud, urgent frequency. There is nothing romantic about it. Nothing soft and gentle. I have lived in the Northwest for thirty years and I know rain. This is it. Still, I am happy because after yesterdays double HIT spin and Sunday's 13.1 95% all out run, I need a rest day.

So let it rain.

Equally as long as I have witnessed the Northwest rain I have wanted to turn all the energy we generate indoors (because of the rain) into stored energy. Watts to watts, usable however small. I once heard an industry rep at a trade show say that Lance on a spin bike, going at TT pace, would generate about enough energy to power the blender for his post work out protein shake. Talk about a battery drain!

But now, as we prepare to depart to Mexico for some indoor and outdoor training and riding, and as the RCV season is in hibernation, I have some time to hit the laboratory and do some experimentation. Tinker a touch.

And I think this might be one of the primary projects. The green energy revolution. Pretty simple concept really, convert our erg output to usable wattage. Dial it up to turn it on. GET OFF THE GRID, in whatever way and however little may result.

So let's consider: If Lance powers the blender, what could the 27 of us who gathered yesterday at 0530 power for an hour?

A stereo? A laptop? A LCD big screen? A hot water heater? Charge the nicad of your Leaf?

There is power in numbers. 27 people x 3 times a week = some serious juice.

I am on it.

Here are the links. Resource Fitness, Green Micro Gym and from Slate.

Also is a hilarious spot from the company that I refuse to name in print.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Road as Goal

Couple of quick links before heading back to the club for another HIT spin session. The first is from a cool site called Today is THAT Day, and speaks of the seven ways to self destruct on your goals. It is a very good list, and I have flirted with every one of the seven at one time or another, with one goal or another. We talked about this in class this morning. My take (again):

It (insert your goal here) is a process.
It will not happen overnight.
So you might as well enjoy the ride.
Making, the road the goal.


The second link is about our new (albeit retro) bike commuting culture. Even hot-shot, white collar, RWG CEOs are doing it. Nice work fellas!

Lot's of details falling nicely into place on the Mexico cruise. I, for one, can't wait to get down to that sunny southern weather and log some miles outside. Shipped off two bikes and a brand new CT for the cruise this morning. I still have one half price fare available so if the sounds of waves on a warm beach, parrots in the jungle, liberal splashings of sunscreen and the pop of cold cervesa is appealing to you, e me at once. The sound of saving $500 on the adventure of a lifetime, might sound good too.

All for today, off to spin. It could get loud tonight. That is the goal anyway.

Photo from yesterday's finish at the Seattle Marathon. Every one of those people, shown with 50 meters left on the half, achieved a goal. How many will measure, manage and make the necessary corrections to improve come the last Thursday of November 2011?

I, for one. You?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

2 of 3 (4)

Here is a great link to (yet another) article on the secret of happiness. It is a video presentation by Dan Buettner, with his research indicating that there are 5 basic commonalities that people who live healthy, happy and long, share. They are:

Connection with Nature
Wise food choices
Social connection

I think we nailed most of those this morning at the Seattle Marathon. Our group did the half on a cold, gray, but dry, last Thursday of November. I was using the 13.1 as a fitness gauge, and had pretty good steam until about mile 10, but at that point it was a cruise control 5K to the finish on the Astro turf of Memorial stadium where I did my best Mason Foster (pictured) imitation of celebrating the Husky victory over Cal, as well as my wimpy 1:42:15 half-mary. Two down, one to go lads.

Stephanie and Cynthia (pictured) huddle in the pre-race clothes drop area just before the start. I think both had excellent days, although I have yet to check the official results. I know they had fun. And THAT always makes an ordinary day (race, event, game) extraordinary.

Nice work Dawgs, way to go gals, and thanks for the vid Dan.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

DEC 19

These folks are on a mission. Not to get fit(er) fast(er) strong(er) or slim(er). They are on a mission to help our community, and by default, yours too.

On Sunday, December 19, 2010, we (those pictured) and as many others as we can assemble will spin indoors for 10 hours. At the Bainbridge Athletic Club's new (and swanky) Gym.


To raise some operating capitol for the local Boys & Girls Club. And more specificially to establish a cycling program that will allow as many of their/our 250 kids as possible to get started on managing their own health, fitness and life goals.

I love doing this every year, because someone did it for me almost 50 years ago and I wish that person was still around for me to thank. He is not. But we are. And we will pay it forward on the 19th, from 7am to 5pm.

Cost to join all this indoor cycling community fun is $100. You can ride whatever trainer is your go-to-ride, mine is the CompuTrainer, or you can use one of our LeMond Revmasters. I will be VJing the event, with video, film, music and whatever else I can come up with to make the time pass. I promise that I will not sing or dace. That would be adding insult to injury in a hurry.

I need to hustle over to Dad's to thaw his pipes, so please for now, just circle this date and commit to the cause. I will be back later to add links and details. Please tell your friends as well.

It will be fun, trust me.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Corn, Snow and Mazatlan

“We have a health care system that doesn't care about food, and a food system that doesn't care about health.”

If you are interested in either of those subjects, this is a good read.

And so much for my attempt at diversion through subterfuge and miss-direct. I have not posted since Monday, the longest stretch of nothingness since the RCVman blog was launched way (WAY) back in 2008. Almost 950 posts ago. And I have an excuse. Kinda.

It snowed, was cold, and I lost power, still have no water, and without juice this blogging stuff is hard to do. Not impossible, just hard. And since I was thusly tasked with tending to stuck relatives and neighbors (mostly because I have the only 4-wheel drive of the aforementioned demographic) I was going at break-neck speed for three days, in the dark. I even missed three workout sessions!!!

And now with that storm in the books, we are trying to get back to homeostasis. The clean up has begun.

The Mexico cruise is a week away. Lot's still to do. Tomorrow we spin for 90. I am heading into Seattle in an hour to register for Sunday's Seattle half. All this trusting that the follow on storm will stay in Alaska or BC long enough to let me get pipes thawed, bags packed and races run.

If you don't hear from me, you'll know why.

Stay warm friends.

My bike thinking Mexico for a week is a good idea. Corn.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Authentic Experience (Freedom)

"There is a huge and rising hunger in just about everybody for authentic experience and reconnecting with what's deepest and best in ourselves in an ever accelerating and complex world", says psychologist Jon Kabat-Zinn as open to the book "Living Deeply, The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life.

I really like that. Authentic experience. Connecting with what is best and deepest in ourselves. The complexities of the modern world.

To a great degree this is what we do when we train. We search for better. We long for the experience that will validate our understanding of the real. The search for quality.

One of the easiest ways to gauge this to compare it with something else. Perceived exertion, perhaps. We know, our bodies know, that to get fitter, faster or lighter, some change is going to be necessary, additionally, we discover that when we dig deep to find the best us possible, that the digging might require a backhoe. There is a lot of digging to get dug. Through some rock, hardpan and clay. Hard stuff. Years of abuse, neglect, denial, bias, fear and doubt. Maybe we should soften it up a bit with a stick of dynamite or two.

But wait. Let's take a time out and examine this work. Are we going to get it done today? No. Next week? Probably not. By Christmas? Nada Mr. Scrooge, ain't gonna happen. So how do we respond to all these bad tidings? Quit, toss the towel, numb the responsibility with food, drink, drugs, sex, Harry Potter movies and razzelberry dressing?


We validate the experience and respect the authentic value of the process. We take it one day at a time and we bring all we have to the dig. Day after day after day. We buy gloves. As intervals; Work, rest, run, recover, give, get, dig. Authentic experience. Shovel work. Blisters. You want it? Then you gotta earn it. Not that complex after all.

Finding the best in ourselves. Takes work and it takes time. Let's be patient and let's enjoy the ride. Hand me that shovel, mate.

1+1+1 for Jake Locker:

After the Gold Rush, Neil Young
Illusions, Richard Bach

"Lower your flags and march straight back to England, stopping at every home you pass by to beg forgiveness for a hundred years of theft, rape, and murder. Do that and your men shall live. Do it not, and every one of you will die today." William Wallace.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Snow Falling on Sneakers

Firsts. Always fun, memorable. Today (or tomorrow) will be, by the looks and feel of it, our first snow of the season. I am not ready. I have been avoiding crawling under the cabin to install more spun glass since this time last year. My frail PVC water pipes need another layer of wrap and the wood pile is embarrassingly small. The usage dial on the power meter is spinning so fast tallying up the bill from my electric baseboard heat that it creates its own. I sometimes huddle around it with my fingerless cotton gloves like Depression Era hobos around a 55 gallon drum on some dark city side street. With nary a chestnut to roast.

Tis the season. I heard The Little Drummer Boy on the house system at Ace Hardware the other day and looked at my watch. November 15. A modern record for getting the jump on the commercialization of the season. "Should be a law" I grumbled wondering how many folks would immediately and Pavlovianly, make an immediate right tun down the tinsel and fruit cake aisle.

Back in the day I used to climb one of my 200 foot cedar trees and place a battery powered LED star at the top. You could see it for miles and I actually tried to spot it from the air on the home bound final approach from LA one year. Just one light in one tree from 33,000 feet.

Nice try.

This year again I will have the wonderful opportunity to train up to, taper for, and compete in a winter event. The Seattle Half is one week from today, and as I have been fortunate to find a training partner to share some road miles, I am looking forward to the test. Today is our last long run and it will be cold. We will slug it out watching breaths with every foot strike. For 11 miles. It will be fun. I like running in the cold. Next week we have a pair of 90 minutes spins and a 5K race on Thanksgiving. I am going to use the half as a fitness gauge to access the damage that the RCV schedule has taken upon my fitness. Job related stress, you might say. You will remember that we tried this same approach in Boise with so-so results and in Oregon with acceptable ones.

It will be fun and it will be cold. We will learn something about ourselves. We will have a wonderful experience. Another first.

Then I'll chop some more wood. And wrap the pipes, and repair the insulation that the raccoons have reassembled to better fit their ideal Feng Shui.

And then I'll be ready for winter. Which will be a first.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Te Amo Molto

You know I love you. Don't you? Why else would I do this? Money? Fame? Glory?
I do this because I love you. Resulting in the phenomenon that in some circles is known as life. I was fortunate long ago to put some atoms into motion that have manifested into today. I like what I do. I am happy in what I do and what I do makes me happy. Pretty simple, really. I have only one question to determine the value of almost anything: Will it make me happy? Will it serve my greater good and higher goals? Will I learn more, love more, give more, smile more?

The hell with anything that won't.

After Wednesday's killer HIT session, for a handful of reasons, I took two days off. Meaning, that for this mornings 90 minute session I was particularly antsy. More like rearing to go. Nothing like a 48 hour axe sharpening session before taking down that poplar.

And while it is my nature to talk, today it was more fire and brimstone. More Southern Baptist than Sermon on the Mount. I was trying once again to share all the good stuff I have learned along the way in order to get closer to it. IT? What is it? What it are you talking about now?

It. The transition of suffering to joy, pain to mirth. Work, effort, focus. Cause and effect. Value. Reward. Attitude. Endurance. Skill and strength. Form and function. Style and substance. Body, mind and spirit. All at 100%. Or was it 105% today?High Voltage. Start to finish. Complete. One.

You know I love you. Now you know (partially) why. This life thing. Big Wow.

Ran across these two uber inspiring vids today. Listen closely to the words and images that Dr. Schocken uses to illustrate his work. And then watch closely as Jesse Schell talks about the future. Great stuff folks. Thanks for putting up with my BS. I love you.

Friday, November 19, 2010

1 of 3

One down, two to go. My Husky Dawgs brought the D last night shutting down the UCLA offense in a 24-7 win. To claw back from a decade of mange and distemper will now require winning the last two games of the year, against the bigger, meaner and at home Cal Bears next Saturday in Berkeley and then in the Apple Cup against the Coooogs in someplace called Pullman.

It was Senior Night at Husky Stadium with Jake, Mason, Nate, Cody et al going out with some swagger and style. Congratulations lads, it was fun being along for the ride, and thanks for the memories.

Couple of quick notes. CompuTrainer has officially announced the launch of the CITT (CompuTrainer Indoor Time Trial) series. The initial course will be the Mt. Hood TT we shot last month down in The Dalles. We will offer the course to all members of the BAC in the HoM sometime after Thanksgiving but before Mexico. Which would make it between 11/25 and 12/4.

Congratulations also to longtime VBAer FW who won a CT from Pez Cycling. Atta boy FW, now the fun begins!!!!

Speaking of Mexico, we still have the one half price shared fare available. With snow expected this weekend here in the GPNW, how does seven days of sunny Southern weather sound?

Yeah, I like it too.

Pix:, Jake goes out the tunnel for the last time pointing at the RCVman in Section 13. This young Husky fan got a glove from a generous, victorious and happy Husky lineman. Huskies take the field; there was smoke but no mirrors. RG and Boo's attire tell the story of the teams on the field last night. RG's boys had the 24, Boo's Bruins but 7. WOOF.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


A bit rushed today. BIG GAME is tonight. Way back in August when I bought the three tickets for tonight's matchup between the University of Washington and UCLA, this was supposed to be a game with huge meaning. Jake and the Heisman, the return of the Dawgs, ESPN national TV, Senior Day, Jake's final home game.

Very little of that materialized. Still, my one trip per year to Husky Stadium and the electricity that only College Football can generate is something that I look foreword to every year. And tonight's the night!

Because of the above mentioned side notes, or perhaps in spite of them, I will present my (extremely homer-esque and biased) prediction for the game.

Huskies in all black for the first time in their 100+ year history, come together with shocking camaraderie and precision, swarming the stunned and slip-sliding Bruin offense like a frenzied pack of rabid canines consumed with victory amid the smell of bear blood. (While the workman-like offense grinds out 500 ground yards allowing the special teams to relax and have some head-hunting fun).

Dawgs 37, UCLA 17

ESPN 5pm Pacific.

I got to get in a run first, so wish us luck. WOOF!

Photo of the new CompuTrainer Multi-Rider faculty being built at the K-Swiss center in Westlake Village, CA (home of Husky freshman QB Nick Montana). The mural is of the IM start in Kona and if you blow up the image 10000% I am there on the pier with my camera. In 2012 I hope to be there with my goggles. Thanks to Scott Davis for the photo, of and on which there will be much more in the upcoming months.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On Getting Soft

The findings? "People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease ... People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored," said Dr. Campbell.

I am taking some heat for this. The Big Bread test. There has been disbelief and skepticism. There has come looks of amazement, the look that asks: Have you lost your mind? Or, quoting a line from one of my faves, Michael Clayton, (Marty to Michael, pictured above) Have you gone fucking soft?

And I know why. The two way street at the intersection of change and tradition. Or worse, changing tradition. Here's a couple of for instances:

Try telling a broker that the stock market is legal crime.
Try telling an Irishman that Guinness tastes like mud.
Try telling a runner to stop.
Try telling a baseball fan that the game is too slow.
Try telling a politician that lobbyists are evil.
Try telling a cop that doughnuts aid & abet fat.
Try telling a kid that there is no Santa.
Try telling me that the Huskies can't beat UCLA tomorrow night.

A hard road to hoe. So let's please clarify. I am NOT telling you to do as I do. Yet. All I am doing is trying to isolate the culprit behind my inability to get to my desired racing weight. The training is solid. So it must be something in my diet that makes this last 8 pounds so challenging to properly recycle. Sound OK?

Already being vegetarian I can't blame it on Whoppers or Wendy's. I eat a very healthy diet and sup with soy protein. I could probably replace some coffee with more water and beer with green tea, but I want to test the grain/carbohydrate angle first. So here we are. Bread out for 31 days. This is only a test. I am not challenging the entire history of man's use of this wonderful food. Nor the associated tradition and cultural romance. It might be a simple balance issue. It could have something to do with glutens, processing, sugar or something else altogether. I don't know.

But I am going to find out.

For your reading pleasure, topical and timely (and tasty):

The pain body response.

The China Study.

Notes from Nancy Clark.

The Paleo Diet.

Paleo defined.

And lastly here is the reference this morning to the recipe from the Bible and its manifestation to our table. It is becoming quite popular on the training circuit.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pane Mio

What do you think about carbs?

Mark Sisson says:

Not very much. In particular, refined carbohydrates are a primary factor in contributing to obesity, type 2 diabetes, anxiety and depression, lack of energy, inflammation, metabolic syndrome or “Syndrome X” and heart disease. I subscribe to the Primal Blueprint diet, which essentially follows the evolutionary model of meats, fish, greens, nuts, vegetables and limited fruits. I believe the evidence is compelling that carbohydrates in grain form, especially the highly-processed varieties found in most restaurant and prepared items, are simply not a good energy source for human health.

I have been thinking about this for a long time. Trying to put it off actually. Nothing amateurish about this procrastination. It's about bread. And its role in my diet (ooops that word). So let's get this straight for the record: I heart(h) bread. I love sourdough, rye, french, rustic, shepherd, extra sour dill, eight grain, oat, pumpernickel, garlic, pita and pan bread. I eat a lot of bread. Breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. Nothing makes me happier than soaking up the last bit of soup from a bowl with a thick slab of crusty pane. I am Italian and it is in my blood. Sangue della sangue. I once traveled up the entire coast of Italy (Naples to Genoa) subsisting on nothing but pane, vino and formaggio. I was a happy and healthy guy.

But those wonderful days of adventure and wanderlust are gone. And they will stay gone unless I take care of this sack of bones and stay healthy and fit, ready to answer the call should it come. Consider the pain and agony if one of my old buddies was to call and invite me for a ride in Italia, and I answered that as much as I'd like to, I am fat and out of shape. I can not allow that to happen. That call will be answered in the affirmative, certamente.

And that is why, dear VBA, I try to stay fit and healthy. That and racing of course. It is also why, then, that the RCVman is about to embark on yet another laboratory experiment for your benefit, OK, and mine too.

Here is the test: You know I love bread. You also know that there is controversy regarding its place in the optimum diet. Hence, I have devised the following highly scientific HoM protocol to find out if my body, metabolism and (Euro) DNA, is better off without it. Therefore, beginning on December 1, I will eat no bread for the rest of the year.

And see what happens. Next week I will do a BMI test, weigh in, and maybe even get a blood sample analyzed. We'll go 31 days senza pane, keep the same training regimen, and see what the results say, just in time to…….

Make a New Years resolution.

The Good, The Bread and the Irony.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Five Year Twinkies

Once upon a time (cera una volta) there was a triathlete who measured his success in the world by his victories. And they were many. He was talented, on the receiving end of high quality DNA, an eager learner and hard worker. He understood the connection between effort and recovery. He could afford quality tools and he listened to his coaches.

He was on top of the world when he won and under its immense weight when he didn't.

I am a winner and I win, was his mantra. He truly was defined by this relentless drive to succeed.

After a series of setbacks due to injury and illness (after all listening to coaches is different than hearing what they say), he was feeling despondent and morose one day when he heard a commercial on the local NPR station:

The CDC is looking for a few volunteers to test a new drug. A drug so powerful that it will allow you to swim without tiring, ride a bike without fatigue and run with no limits.

He was signed up within an hour.

There were forms to fill out. Hold harmless disclaimers and more legal mumbo-jumbo that he had seen in all his years in law school. Most of the fine print was about the point that stated:

There is evidence that though the use and subsequent success of this drug, that at least five years will be subtracted from your life, and perhaps more.

This gave him some food for thought. After serious and deep introspection, a chat with his coaches, a quiet dinner with his girlfriend, a lengthy conversation with his parents, confession, a Google search and a night on the town, he narrowed the decision to a single question:

If this drug will allow me to win the Ironman World Championship, but then cost me five years of precious life, is it worth it?

I was reminded of this story when I heard about Phd Mark Haub and his now famous Twinkie Diet. Here is the story, here is the best rebuttal and analysis I have found to date, here is an interview, and here is Mark's own Twitter feed.

Folks, athletes, and friends. Let us be clear. There is fitness, there is good health and there is athletic success.

Please do not confuse them.

Oh yeah, and here is Mark's 1+1+1

Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami
American Beauty, Grateful Dead
True Grit.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A large Happiness, please

"Generally, people also reported being the happiest when making love, exercising or conversing. They said they were least happy when resting or sleeping, working or using a home computer." From Happiness Habit Notes.

Well, then. I score high in those three areas of reporting happiness. As a straight single male (considered about as exciting as taupe wall paint in many circles), my hardwiring generally has me seeking happiness via item one pretty much all the time. Sometimes I feel like I am back in college ramming pizza and beer with the sole intent of heading to the stadium to ogle the cheerleaders as a violent game of capture the flag plays out in the background. Later, I found out that all this endurance exercising stuff we do is simply another way to keep the body in good enough external condition to allow the slim possibility of sharing it with others. Come on, what potential mate is going to give a slob a second look? Sorry to sound sexist, but the cliche about survival of the fittest, includes this. Worse yet, is the third item on this "People Reporting Happiness" short list. Conversing. As if making love and exercising aren't already joined at the hip (sorry) most of the time dudes in my demographic spend most of their time TALKING ABOUT IT. Gimme a break. So to be happy all one needs is a squeeze, a spin bike and someone to brag to????

Puleeeeeze. This was sponsored by Maxim?

But wait, it gets better. Seems the LEAST HAPPY moments come when resting, sleeping, working or using a home computer. ARE YOU SERIOUS? Not happy when resting or sleeping? Then you aren't going hard enough, long enough or with enough intensity, brah. Working? Please allow me to be blunt here. If working doesn't bring you happiness (or fulfillment, challenge, cerebral stimulation, social interaction, reward and meaning) FIND SOMETHING THAT DOES.

Lastly is the computer thing. Folks, I never thought it would come down to this but if you are unhappy using the home computer, try this: Google

Making love,

I am also going to shimmy way out on this limb (with my chainsaw) and suggest that true happiness, as unhappiness, has nothing to do with any of the above.

(except maybe the pizza and beer)

Here is a piece on the role of focus (or lack thereof).
And another on exercise and the brain.
And one on Spirituality and Health.

Pix. Tossing the dough of happiness. Wonder what he is thinking about?

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Saturday night. Actually with the advent of DST, it's really only Saturday afternoon. My biological clock tells me that it is night because it is dark outside, cold in the cabin and I have been up since three. It sure feels like Saturday night. Tell ya that!

We got in a killer 90 minute session this morning. We tried to maintain, sustain and push right up to the dramatic conclusion (Locomotive Breath). I was cooked, and pleased with the effort. Judging from the pools of coolant on the HoM floor I would have to guesstimate that everybody else was too. Bravo Zulu comrades.

And, as is becoming the norm, for the third day in a row, I was inspired by something that was said. Off the cuff, and completely off topic. The last three where everything seems to fit. Square pegs, round holes.

The question was a simple one, Do you read a lot?

I do.

Not enough, or more correctly, probably not enough of the right stuff, but yes, I read every day. I have my weaknesses. I like Tom Robbins. I like Elmore Leonard. I like Bukowski and I adore Kerouac. I like Barbara Kingsolver and I am currently on a Cormac McCarthy kick. Like my old buddy Snorkel Bob (himself a fine author) used to say, he can turn a phrase.

All this led me to thinking about something I used to do for my dear brothers and wonderful sisters on their birthdays. I would (all too easily) go to Amazon.com and order up for them:

1 Book,
1 CD and
1 DVD.

A book, a musical compilation and a movie. One-step culture and my obligation done. Sound easy? Except for the fact that I (natch) had to agonizingly fit the novel, tunes and flick to the individual. Then it got interesting.

Try it. See for yourself.

So tonight, as legs recover and we prepare for tomorrow's 11 miler with the gal who knows not the meaning of slow, I thought we'd start another list. Kinda like the old RCVman Top 100 Spin Tunes of All-Time. Remember those (good old) days?

I'll kick it off (as the Huskies are off till Thursday night): List the person (living or otherwise) to whom you would give one book, one CD and one movie.

To Jimi Hendrix;

Venus on the Half-Shell, Kilgore Trout
Night on Bald Mountain, Mussorgsky
The Green Mile.

Night all.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Here is the CT Mexico Cruise spot I promised this morning. Lots of clips from the Alaska Cruise (which we will repeat in May of 2011). The important part of this is that I have a half-price ticket to offer. The catch is that you have to bunk with me. That has got to be worth AT LEAST a 50% discount, eh?

And please remember that you can always watch the RCVman blogger videos at full resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio (HD) by clicking on the lower right icon that says "watch on YouTube", or anywhere in the video field (depending on your browser).

Have a wonderful weekend folks. Hasta la vista.

Feed Your Head

It keeps getting curiouser and curiouser.

We're in the locker room after Tony's rollicking spin session this morning. I am on the far side of the room and Steve is on the other. We are in various stages of heading to the shower and sauna. A guy walks in. Gives Steve a pleasant greeting and then asks if he was riding indoors again. Steve replies to the affirmative.

Guy then says, "I just don't get the concept of riding to nowhere."

Steve astutely counters with, "Well we just did a guided tour of the Island."

Guy snorts and adds, "Yeah OK. But you know what would be really cool? If you could watch a video and have the resistance change along with the actual ride. But I guess nobody has done that yet. I would do THAT."

Steve looks across the room at me.

I return jawbone to proper location, secure towel and walk towards the shower.

Vowing along the way to do more promotions, advertising and marketing.

Guy: Start HERE.

Latest video spot on the CompuTrainer Cruise to MEXICO later today.

I'm late.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

1K's worth

As many of you will recall, a few weeks back we traveled down to Mt. Hood to film their beautiful TT course. 18.5 miles through the Columbia River Gorge, and a stage in the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic which I hope to film in is entirety come June. Former World and Masters Champion Time Trialist David Zimbelman was our featured rider that glorious day and now we have a commitment from the 2009 TT champ, Mike Olheiser, to ride the CompuTrainer RCV TT course as the featured racer.

In researching Mike I came upon this photo on his website.

You know the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words?

My dear friends, THIS is THAT.

More on the upcoming CompuTrainer TT series as the news comes (quickly) available.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Patience of a Saint

Patience is the companion of wisdom. ~St. Augustine

And with that we start our day. Actually we started our day, per normal, at 0430 with a wake up call for the Wednesday House of Mirth, 0530 spin session. We have an understanding for that 60 minute high-intensity interval set. It will be hard. We will work. We will suffer and as a result we will grow stronger and fitter. I like to add that if your goals include racing, this approach will also make you faster. I even take it a step further than the CompuTrainer Performance Improvement Guarantee (PIG) by offering a DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. That's right folks, if you don't log a faster bike split, faster 10K, or quicker TT in your next event, you can actually make money. The usual restrictions apply, of course. And you have to do the work, show up and listen to the head cheer-leader. You also need to eat better, sleep longer, manage stress more effectively and quit any other nasty habits that might be keeping you from the you that might get atop a podium somewhere.

And what does all that have to do with patience, you ask?

Everything. Because none of this happens all at once. It takes time. You will get discouraged and lose motivation. You will get sore, tired, bored, and lose your focus. You will get distracted.

Like the T-Shirt I saw in Texas last week. Caricature of the Devil's face, black on red, text atop evil grin said "God is busy", test below asked, "May I help you"?

Go ahead and quit. Get over-anxious, make stupid mistakes, go too hard, too fast. Get hurt. Scream like a baby because you want it now. And you want it all now.

Sorry, can't have it.


These things take time.

Enjoy the ride. Please.

Ask Augustine. The patience of a saint.

El Diablo offers his assistance. Kyle goes directly to rest and recovery mode after this mornings session. Nice work.

(Thanks just the same, but I'll wait for God).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A pall or a peel

Appalling and appealing.

Here is the appalling: You have probably heard the story. Rich white guy mows down a cyclist at upscale ski resort in Colorado and local DA says he should get off the hook because it might impair the relationships with his other rich white clients. Money don't talk, it screams.

And then to provide that 'fair & balanced' news thing, here is the appealing: I have an offer of incredible value. The CompuTrainer cruise to Mexico is Dec 4-11. I just booked my stateroom and have a bunk to barter. Here is the deal: Cruise half price or a bike. Wanna go have some serious cycling fun on the Mexican Riviera at a 50% discount. Or have you a "decent" bike laying around that you would trade for this? Money speaking in the local dialect.

Let's talk.

You can rant about the appalling crime or rave about the appealing cruise deal. It's Tuesday, I am off (for a run). Can't buy me love.

Money shots: The roadmap in PV we soon shall soon ride. In Juneau for the CT Alaska Cruise in May and in the race in the Boise 70.3.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fleece Navidad

As promised, amigos e amigas, following are a few updates on all the fun and exciting cycling activities we have scheduled for your enjoyment and spiritual enrichment. (not an easy task).

Numero uno: The CompuTrainer Mexico Cruise departs sunny San Diego on December 4. The odds are very good that it will be raining, or worse, in Seattle, Chicago, Buffalo and St. Paul that day. We sail south on a luxurious Holland America ship, get tested on a custom designed CompuTrainer course, and settle in for seven days of fitness fun. The fist port of call is Mazatlan, where we will ride off road for 25 miles with our guide, Rudy, who runs a bike and guide business. Not to worry, we will have plenty of time to shop and visit before we sail to PV that evening. In PV, we embark on another ride, this time on-road for 50 miles with Alejandro, also a local bike shop owner and guide. After another overnight sail we hit Cabo San Lucas to get in a little cross training, this time swimming with dolphins in the beautiful and protected bay. Did I mention warm and refreshing? That night we point the Oosterdam north and start our sail back towards San Diego, but not before we have one last indoor training session and one last chance on the same CT course we did on the cruise down. In comparing the two TTs you will see the difference that one focused week of n0-raining training will do for your efficient power output.

Number dos: On Thanksgiving Day, November 25, we will host our annual Thanksgiving Day Spin from 0700-0830 at the Bainbridge Athletic Club. And for those multi-sport enthusiasts among you, we will follow that effort up with the inaugural running of the BI Turket Trot, a 5K benefit run around Battle Point Park. Parking there will be limited so I will have a Euro van to shuttle 5 others from the club to the park and back. Please contact me if you are interested in car pooling.

Numero tres: We have announced the date for this years Boys & Girls Club spin marathon. This will be year number four for this event and we have tweaked the protocols a touch to, well, be creative. This year, ANYONE can spin on ANY type of trainer (even the competition) for ANY amount of time. RCVman will be on his trusty CompuTrainer for ten hours, 8am to 6pm, SUNDAY, Dec. 19th. We will have a big screen, five gallons of Gatorade, big fans and all the space you need inside the new tennis/gym facility at the BAC. It will cost you $100 to join the fun, of which you can assemble pledges, donate yourself or get a co-sponsor, with all proceeds going to the B&G Club of BI. They have asked this year (having to same cash issues as you and I) to skip the bikes and bequeath the dough. Needs of the many.

Numero quattro: Da nada.

To wrap up the updates, then,

Thanksgiving Day spin (0700-0830 and trot (0900) CompuTrainer Cruise to Mexico (Dec 4-11) Fourth Annual B&G Marathon Spin: Dec. 19, (0800-1800)

And then?

Feliz Navidad.

Pix: Mexico itinerary plus shots of PV and Mazatlan. Sun in December, nice.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

To win

One of the other forums I frequent was off on an interesting thread. Somebody asked, innocently enough, what it takes to win. As in, what specific training protocols, wattage levels, hours per week of riding, diets to follow, therapies to undertake, etc, etc, etc.

The question turned into a discussion, the discussion to a debate, the debate to an argument and finally to an all-out verbal war.

Seems guys, and a few gals, take all that they have learned and earned pretty seriously. What I initially found an interesting subject and worthy of discussion, had turned into a fistfight. And nobody was winning despite all the blood.

The old school roadies dug their heels in the 'just ride more' approach, while on the other end of the spectrum the skinny tire geeks worshiped all their power numbers. As you might expect, there was also everything in between, from extreme mental toughness to the yoga, tofu, and zen namaste.

Seems to win you also need have outstanding DNA, perfect bio-mechanics, off the chart VO2, the ability to withstand torture, a ten thousand dollar bike, six coaches and a unconditionally loving and supportive family. Having an extra large heart, a PHD, two cars, and a yacht was also mentioned.

Additional skills necessary to win, also tabled and considered, were, the ability to train twice a day, to travel to Spain in the winter, to assimilate ibuprofen, turn perfect circles, fix a flat in less than a minute, recycle lactate acid, understand the subtleties between tactics and strategy, drink Belgian Blond and hate to lose. Wow.

Man, that's a lot.

But then again, there is only one winner per race. So it's really not a lot. More like one.

After a week of debate, it was agreed that there should be two categories for the remainder of this exercise, as winning was obviously a result of two things:

1) Training, and
2) Racing.

The thinking being that you could never win if you didn't train, and no one has ever won that didn't race.

The question morphed to a more koan like query. Ah, my home turf. Can an undertrained rider beat a savvy, experienced gamey veteran? Or, will a faster well trained athlete ALWAYS beat a older, master tactician?

Train more? Train smarter? Race more, pay more attention? Eat well, recover well, sleep well? Become a student of the game? Choose your parents wisely? Climb lots of hills and train twice a day? Sail to Majorca in December?

As you would expect from the RCVman, I gave this matter my deepest respect and focused consideration before coming up with the answer.

What does it take to win?


Junior and I enjoyed some sushi in the park after our muddy buddy ride this afternoon. He won.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tornado Endorphin

Answer to this weeks Who Am I question:


- An endogenous opioid from the pituitary gland that blocks pain, decreases appetite, creates a feeling of euphoria (the exercise high), and reduces tension and anxiety. Blood levels of endorphins increase up to five times resting levels during longer duration (greater than 30 minutes) aerobic exercise at moderate to intense levels and also during interval training. Also, after several months of regular exercise, you develop an increased sensitivity to endorphins (a higher high from the same level of endorphins), and endorphins that are produced tend to stay in your blood for a longer period of time. This makes longer duration exercise easier (you're feeling no pain) and it causes your exercise high to last for a longer period of time after exercise.

Answer to this mornings trivia question (below), What was Zorro's horses name?

See Zorro every week (and his black stallion Toranado).

How we got onto this thread, this morning in the HoM, was as a result of looking for the FTP sweet spot while listening to Rodrigo e Garbriella's stunning flamenco Hora Zero. It reminded me of Z, and that watt that. As in high wattage at full gallop.

The RCV man is never without a backup. Two bikes atop the Exploder and a pair of Lemond Revmasters inside. You can't see the CompuTrainer up front.

Have a great weekend everyone. Video updates, info, new events, trips and maybe even another endorphin assisted gallop, all next week.

Friday, November 5, 2010

RAS Wrap

Fun evening at the Pavilion last night for the 2010 Race Across the Sky screening. Epic event and a pretty fair cinematic representation of the 100 mile race. As this is my blog and I am solely responsible for its verbosity (!), from the intellectual content POV anyway, please allow me to submit a few comments on the film.

C1: Like any documentary on a sporting event, there is only so much you can do without wandering off into the fiction or fantasy realms. We have seen the model and it is NBCs gold standard coverage of Ironman. Peter Henning, if you are out there, congratulations. The director of the RAS (successfully) borrows this format, dropping images, themes, coverage angles and pacing into the template to tell their wonderful story.

C2: Music is very, VERY personal. It doesn't always have to be edgy and hopping with hipness. Nome sane? I was cringing at times when the score had nothing whatsoever to do with the images. And trust me folks, I know the headaches in finding good licensed music that perfectly fits your film. As Yogi might have said, half of any film is 75% music.

C3: Love those belt buckles.

C4: I wonder how many folks left the theatre last night, walked past our bikes, training products, videos, cruises, free passes, demos, and then connected the dots between training and racing, between indoor effort and outdoor rewards. How many people wondered how many riders in the event who were suffering, DQ'ing, missing time cuts, could have avoided that bitterness by better training structure?

C5: It's OK if the answer to that is none. That is why I have a job that utilizes promotion and marketing. There is hope, still. Always.

Special thanks to Jeff and the folks at the Pavilion Cinemas for hosting the event. Also to expo presenters:

BI Cycle
Bainbridge Island Travel
Bainbridge Athletic Club

Pix: Steve, Steph, Tony and Gabe in front of the CompuTrainer prior to the show. A section of The Show (aka Leadville). Ya gotta dig deep.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mission Statement

Our society's relentless pursuit of the capitalist ideal has caused some challenges for us ragamuffins. Corn, once plentiful and the dietary staple of many a civilization, is now more valuable as a food for cattle, bio-fuel and countless other products in need of syrup as an artificial sweetener. Leaving the poor with tortillas at a buck apiece. Same with rice, wheat and soy. Big Arga has genetically changed the way we eat, adding steroids, chemicals, fertilizers, additives and shelf life enhancers. Bottom line is that what we eat today is nutritionally nothing like it was twenty-five years ago. Big Pharma says, "hey no problem, we got cures for that". Then Big Insurance charges you to pay for the pills that are 'needed' because the food you eat is dripping with toxins. All this insidiousness is a legal of course, even traded upon and exploited by stocks, bonds, subsidies, futures and patents. There is big money in your health, be it good or ill.

Big money to keep your health good and bigger money to treat it when it's not so good. Ah, but we of little coin, have a plan. Armed with some counter intelligence, we small but impassioned covert group of radicals are wanting nothing more than the freedom to take responsibility for our own, individual good health. I am (proudly) one of them. They are us. We. The BIG WE. I think there are a lot of us, and the numbers, I trust, are growing. Here is what we do (and you may spread the word):

We eat the best we can. We take responsibility for ourselves, our families and our communities good health. We exercise. We play. We grow and we learn. We sing and we look for inspiration. We support one another and promote happiness over greed and power. We love.

Please correct me of I am off-base, but that sounds like a pretty fair mission statement.

Some didactic examples in the Macca video, sponsored by Cliff Bar, in this Dr. Barry Sears link, he of the Zone Diet, talking about inflammation and toxins, the Cross-Fit site for yet another variation on a theme by intensity, (thank you CC) and lastly one last plug for tonight's exclusive screening of the Race Across the Sky.

I will be in the Pavilion lobby tonight from 5-8 with the full CompuTrainer sampler system showing how this amazing indoor training tool can change your life. Or at least the part of your life that allows one to take charge of their own good health and fitness.

Or you can let the folks mentioned above do it for you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Who am I?

Who am I?

I am a endogenous opioid that blocks pain, decreases appetite, creates euphoria, reduces tension and lessons anxiety. I am not an over the counter drug. I am not a hot item on the black market nor am I sold on the street. I am free, yet there is a price to pay for my services. You must work. Work hard. Add intensity. Then, and only then, will I come and visit with you. You will then ask me nicely to stay. And I will. As long as you regularly call my name. You can call it when running, spinning, riding, climbing, and even on that POS treadmill you like so much. I don't really care, however I am fond of triathlon and HIT sessions on the CompuTrainer. One other thing. You will miss me when I'm gone.
One free ticket to see tomorrow night's exclusive screening of Race Across the Sky at the Bainbridge Cinemas for the first one to ID me.

And please stop by before the show, from 5-8, to see some cool product displays and health and fitness information. We'll be set up in the lobby across from the ticket booth. Can't miss.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Sitting on the tarmac in San Diego last night. Three hours out of Houston, on to Oakland. Seattle at 10:35. What is this melancholy? Why am I suddenly feeling like I am alone, without a friend, and with a dead cell phone? This wave of sadness, hissing and blue, is about to take me under.

What is it?

I look to me left to see a sunset vibrant orange, gold and crimson. The tail of the 737-300 silhouettes the days defiant transition to night and then I get it. The day is done. The RCV season is over. I am going home, without another trip/event/race/assignment/challenge. The 2010 shoot schedule has been completed, it's over, in the can. I am off. Transition to post.

And this makes me want to cry.

I sit back in my uncomfortable seat, tune out the white noise and think back, in documentary style, of the preceding ten months. The timeline splashes images of events, the obligatory talking-head shots, airports, TSA hacks, rental cars, cheap motels checking in at midnight, fast food, equipment calibrations, motorcycles, scooters, trains, busses, cabs, credit cards, media passes, time tables, baggage fees, wonderful people, new places, speeding tickets, breakfasts for dinner, squabbles, negotiations, passports, downloads, renders, fade outs, royalty free music, sore backs, 5K recovery runs, love on a one-way street, target demographics, deadlines, rain, dawn meetings, swim starts, PA's glaring, T1, Hondas, Harleys, and Ducatis. Enough bikes to fill a bike museum. Talent, effort, strength, skill, suffering, crashes, bonks, blood. T2s. Runs, running, ran. Sun, sweat, wind, hills, Gatorade, water "Can I have a pretzel please"? Finish line, Mike Riely, smiles, tears, satisfaction, accomplishment, families, ones, twos, tens.

I try a scroll of places and events in chronological order, seeing a HD highlight clip play under the event logo. Afro-Celt Sound System is hammering out a relentless persuasive groove track as we get lift. I am smiling now. This is my movie, personal, sensual, connected, one long, meaningful soft caress. My lover touching me back. I see,

The rains of the San Diego Gran Fondo.
Camp Pendleton and Oceanside.
Gravel roads of Tour Battenkill.
112 miles in St. George.
The gals and Phil riding in Alaska.
Another tour of California, and
riding with Bobby Julich.
Boise from the handlebar cam,
The Horrible Hilly Hundred from
Nature Valley Grand Prix, to
X-Terra Tahoe.
At the top of Mt. Shasta and the hills
surrounding Lake Stevens.
Timberman just before the rain and
at the summit of Mt. Washington.
I am riding 90K in Norway
with 20 thousand others.
And back in a downpour at the Nations Tri in DC.
A wonderful weekend in Branson, MO,
Red Rocks GF in Vegas,
The LA Tri
and Kona.

My 3D movie is fading to black. There are more credits than I can list without serious CPU or a teleprompter. The music fades with the sinking summer sun.

I am startled by the flight attendant gently touching my arm, asking, if I would like something to drink.

I am a little misty eyed still, and ask, innocently,

Dom Perignon 55?

Parting shots: Flags in The Woodlands, TX transition area. Wave them high and high. A toast to the product. Without the demand, there would be no supply. Cheers!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Texas Wrap

We'll wrap up the RCV IM Texas shoot with a few comments.

C1: I was very impressed with the turnout of athletes riding with us yesterday. Dana and Deb did a terrific job at handling the local logistics (there were a few errors on the initial rout list), as well as coordinating the sign up sheets and DOS (day of shoot) briefing.

C2: The volume of riders out there doing anywhere from 1-112 miles provided a nice feel to the shoot. It is one thing to see the course and another dynamic altogether to see someone ride it. We had groups for about 50% of the course, and especially through the northernmost sections.

C3: I thick this will go for a (another) great training (and in this case reconnaissance) tool. The weather was perfect, the roads above average and the locals considerate. We caught 'em on a good day I was later told.

C4: Thanks to Corey and Co. for their signage and aid station. Yes it was Halloween, but to see Superman out there handing out Gatorade was a real treat!

C5: The course come May 21, 2011 will be fast. Nothing over 6%, no signature climbs or leg-numbing grinds. This puppy will get strong riders through with virtually no bark and only the distance as bite. We will see some fast bike splits….however..…

C6: You might melt on the run.

So be prepared folks. Spend some time in the CT saddle doing a few long steady rides to ready your core for 5-6 hours full areo. Build your leg strength on hill repeats, and do some bricks in order to minimize T2 trauma. Treat this one like Kona, if you are not from Texas and coming here next May to race, get here early to acclimate to the heat and humidity.

And please be sure (C7) to stay tuned for information of the CompuTrainer release of RCV IM Texas.

Thanks again everyone. Ya'll done good.

Yesterday in The woodlands: Superman at the aid station. A few of the riders who started at T1, coach Dana Lyons at center in white shirt. The gold Ford Focus (great name for a camera car) with Jake in the navigators seat, stopped at an RR crossing (Superman made it thru). I have been told that RD KJ has already worked a deal to divert rail traffic on race day through San Antonio.

Out for Hobby and home. I will post a few stills of the swim and run venues tomorrow as we start the RCV render process. Please note that the CompuTrainer Mexico Cruise is now just 33 days away, and that Wednesday night is the Race Across the Sky screening.

All for today. Out for Hobby and Home. Thanks Texas, see ya in May.