Friday, December 31, 2010

Part Six: Fade to Black

Just so you will still have the time tonight to raise a toast with that special someone with whom you shared a portion of 'the 2010 path'.

The dramatic conclusion to the epic 2010 with the RCVman. I say this a lot, but this time I really mean it, it has been a WILD couple of days. So much good stuff goin' on. Let's keep it wild in 2011, folks.

We may have started slow, but by all credible standards, we finished strong. We always finish strong. AFS.

Hope you have enjoyed the ride.

Links for Part Six:

Coach Lyons
IM Texas
Dave Zimbelman
Mt. Hood Cycle Classic
CompuTrainer to Mexico


During my rounds last night I mentioned to neighbor Pat (wife to one of our regulars, Frankie) that if she needed me I would be over at RG's watching the football game. You know the one, Holiday Bowl, Nebraska against my 14 point underdog Huskies. You will also recall that earlier in the year I watched, from the isolation of my cheap room in Branson, MO, the Dawgs get totally dismantled by these same Cornhuskers, 56-21.

With all the drama heading into last nights contest; Jake's final game, a bowl after eight long and painful losing years, the history between the two schools and perhaps most importantly, the UW's triumphant return to pigskin prominence, the game had matchups galore and backstory aplenty.

By now you know the outcome, as many writers, all more gifted and blessed with an objective grasp of the narrative than I, have told the tale. Dawgs won everything in sight. It was a great night to be a Husky, a feeling more than once mentioned in several of the stories. The last time we collectively pounded our chests in this manner was at the Rose Bowl, ten years ago. The RCvman was there in 2001, feeling just the same as today: Proud of the kids, happy with the progress of the program and looking forward to continued success down the line.

Fast forward to this afternoon when Pat calls and needs a new prescription filled at the Safeway. I was out running in the park, a treacherous but crisp 5K. Her voice message referenced the game with a finish that included the line, "and since I don't speak football, anytime today would be great."

I go over to pick up a check to pay for the meds and the Saturday Times is on the table with a great shot of Alemeda Ta'amu sacking the Huskers QB. Not one for missing an opportunity for the dramatic, I hold up the front page in all it's purple and gold (and black) glory and proclaim,

"I can teach you all you need to know about football in the Northwest in one word,"

"Oh really"


"The word?"


Chris Polk puts it into overdrive Thursday night. Photo from

Happy New Year & Part Five

Well now. THAT was a wild ride. 2010. In the books. We got a lot done. Toed the line. Worked hard. CHANGED. Created some transition. Learned several important lessons. Explored the depths of love, passion and promise. Stayed true to our commitments. Made mistakes (wish I could have THAT one back). Climbed the mountain. Took a look around. Watched the sunrise and the moon set. Laughed a lot. Cried a little. Added by subtraction in the glorious algorythms of life and decided that, gasp, there is more yet to be done.

Happy New Year VBA. Let's get after it, shall we? May 2011 be the best ever for you, me and us.

The dramatic conclusion to the 2010 with the RCvman will be later today as we want to wrap it in 2010. We very much plan on hitting the ground running in 2011. Guess you figured that might happen.

It will.

Part Five links:

Branson 70.3
BMAX Coaching
Michael Lovato
Las Vegas Gran Fondo
LA Triathlon

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Part Four

Part Four.

Where we get a dithyrambic dosing of video endorphin flow.
Lake Stevens, WA 70.3
Ranger and the Re-Arrangers
The infamous Mt. Washington Hillclimb
Timberman 70.3, and
A soggy sample of the world's largest cross country mountain bike race in Lillehammer, Norway, the Birkbeiner.

For the gear-heads among you, this ten minute clip displays our four basic capture techniques. Lake Stevens via the moto-cam attached to the handlebars of a Suzuki Thumper, MTWA was shot using the Bogen car-cam, Timberman was with the Fig-Rig hand held behind a Harley and the glorious footage from Lillehammer came as a result of the success of the vest-cam, attached to the upper torso of the RCVman (who was then asked not to breathe for 90K).

We are running out of days in the year folks. Parts 5 & 6 are ready to go. Hope you have enjoyed the ride and haven't been overtly distracted by my liberal use of the 'big drama' score. I am a sucker for orchestrated pathos. I add a few splashes of gypsy jazz and a very Ry Cooder-esq tune to add some balance in the upcoming and closing segments.

Enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Part Two

Ah, the missing part two (where we cruise to Alaska, visit with Scott & Kari Davis, Tour California and then head out for a whirlwind trip to Minnesota and Wisconsin at the Nature Valley Grand Prix.) No wonder we were delayed, that's a lot of miles.

Part Four is in render. Stay tuned. We log some more miles, create some smiles and race time trials.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Part Three:

Horribly Hilly Hundreds, WI
X-Terra Lake Tahoe, CA
Indoor Power/Reno, NV
Shasta Super Century, CA

Part Two has been delayed due to some nasty litigation between the parent company of RCVman Enterprises and the North Korean Department of Tourism. As soon as they cave in to our humble demands we'll run the video.

Enjoy the ride while it is still free.

Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 w/ The RCVman Part One

Up from black. Voice:

2010. A year to remember. The goal was to expand, try some new stuff, experiment, push the R&D boundaries. Create.

Since 2007 the Real Course Video line of training products from CompuTrainer has become a powerful and dynamic mix of indoor cycling entertainment and value added race preparation. Being race ready today means more than simply upping your cardio.

See it, feel it, ride it, race it.

CompuTrainer Real Course Video, now with fifteen courses available today at For about the price of a new jersey, you can train, test and treat yourself to a visual riding experience thousands of others have already discovered.

And so opens the 2010 with the RCVman video. As well as the moving images, and their soundtrack sidekicks, here are links to the first ten minutes of the vid.

We are on an ambitious schedule to get all this in by Friday night, so fasten your chin strap VBA, this ride may be a touch turbulent. Wobble naught.

Also, please remember that to watch in HD simply double click on the video or on the title, which will launch the video in YouTube. If you have a high speed connection you can watch in 720p. Enjoy the ride.

Eric Bean
Raynard Tissink
Oceanside 70.3
Caintlin Snow
Tour Battenkill
Ironman St. George

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The gritty truth

Another Christmas past. Good times and fine food over at Brother Michael's. Junior keeps stealing the show, however, as shown in the photo, by innocently capturing priceless expressions. I am seeing in his modeling of the Gran Fondo San Diego official Italian cycling jersey, "YOU are going to beat ME up THAT hill? HA"

The RCVman video is pretty much baked and now sitting atop the table awaiting icing. It has its moments. After all I had the entire year to choose from, and considering that I was (self) limited to three minutes per event, there might be a Part Two on the horizon. That is before we hit the road for the 2011 edition you understand.

Was thinking on my run in the blustery park this afternoon about the things that I think about when I race. Things like, "Should have swam more", "Should have done more hill repeats", or "Should have done more LSD runs". You know those?

Then decided to list them and add them to the annual resolution mash-up. So you have THAT to look forward to, as well as the six days of RCV man 2010 video, at ten minutes per day leading up to the big night on Friday. Guess I had better start the mixdown, compression and upload. But first...

...Off to see True Grit. Talk later pilgrim.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

You see what we are up against? Please read this article and rate the order of slimy insidiousness, from:

1) Big Pharma.
2) The Media.
3) The Government, or
4) The American People.

It is hard for me, especially on this day, to swallow this tripe. Hence, in keeping with the (all new and improved) mission statement from the RCVman center for bullshit control (CBC), we duly award the authors, and their lobbyist sponsors (see #1), our highest grades in the 'outrageous and blatant lies' category.

They print (and post) this stuff hoping enough in category number 4 will take the bait, under full compliance with number 3 and to the delight of number 2.

And the profit of number one. Folks, it's all Number TWO!

Wake up Ebenezzer, your goose is cooking.

Merry Christmas and God bless us all.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The voice of utility

Beauty, elegance, utility.

This chic bike rack has 'em all.

And in case you are unaware, we are down to one shopping day until Christmas. As I had only one person on my list this year (8 year old Junior) my shopping is pretty much done. Thank you Lord, and sorry about that Mr. Obama.

Everybody else gets the 2010 with RCVman video. Hate to be a Scrooge about it, but times is tight and funds are even tighter (although I just decided to replace my wimpy and nasal narrative with the pro pipes of Tim Phelan, the huge voice over talent that I have used many times in the past). Tim adds that extra degree of drama and professionalism that I have yet to master with the awful tones that emit most times from my throat. So his talent is my gift to you. We are steamrolling onto minute 55 of the video. You will like this one, promise. The VO is cool.

As the images.

As the intent.

And as the seasonally adjusted level of mirth.

Merry Christmas my beloved. Peace be with you.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Are YOU ready?

Ran across this little gem early today as I waited for the G5 to render a particularly juicy segment of the 2010 w/ The RCVman video. The loyal VBA amongst you will immediately recognize one of the dominant and recurrent RCVman themes playing to great impact in this cogent piece of important media. The theme of our taking responsibility for our own health. Further, all this counter intelligence, David vs Goliath, freedom of information, wiki-leak, propaganda renders (not unlike video) to two things:

THING ONE: Make good food choices.
THING TWO: Move your boo-tay. Lots.

Thing One and Thing Two. Follow them down the path of good health. Don't and you will find many people who will gladly take all your money (and then your clothes) to sell it back to you.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Drummers Drumming

I am deep into post. Ten minutes along the timeline. Two 20 hour days for ten minutes. No wonder it is so expensive to go to the movies these days. But I like what is done so far. I wish I had the time to record and mix some "more organic" music, and I really wish I could hire some big pipes for the voice over, but (steady yourself for a double-barreled cliche), at the end of the day, it is what it is.

Can't believe I even wrote that. Then again it's tired and I'm getting late, so who knows what might happen during the night shift in the studio. Maybe (just maybe) at the first light of the new day, it will be what it will be. That's a little better.

Photo is from this afternoon's photo-op of the BAC spinners and the kids and staff at the Boys & Girls Club of BI. As you know we did ten hours on Sunday to raise funds for the club and today was the hand-off. Instead of buying bikes for the kids as we have done over the last four years, this year we are starting a cycling fitness program so that more of the kids have the opportunity to get involved. The details will be worked out shortly and you know you'll be hearing of the program as we go.

Special RCVman thanks to all who participated and whose generosity will surely help these kids as we cycle around the potholes (of life). And btw, I love the mission statement from the B&G web page:

Our mission:
To inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

Kinda makes me want to listen to the Little Drummer Boy. Ba rumph rumph rumph rumph……….Night all.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yellow Card for BP

I was rudely reminded of what a shitty year it was (for most people) as I read that the WAPO picked the BP oil spill as the top news story of the year.

Sheesh. Corporate big wigs allow pollution on a colossal scale, politicians jump on their stumps, fish die, poor people starve, gas goes up and now we're back to business as usual. Sinful, disgraceful and disgusting.

Oh, but the top story of the year. The real story is how they are still in business.

All that slime floating around the swamp got me to thinking, what is the polar extreme story, or MY biggest story of the year?

So you will excuse me if today's post is possibly shortest of the year, matching the solstice, as I have decided to add another project to the already months behind production queue.

The Year with RCVman. Ooops, and it looks like we have a deadline.

Hey Now. I have been feverishly downloading clips from every tour, whistle stop, event, race, ride, visit to multi-rider center, interview, commentary and trip taken over the gloriousness of 2010. And am finding some pretty fun stuff as a result.

And now that you know what we are up to, we'll also give you the due date. Week from Friday. New Years Eve. December 31, 2010. Last day. Caputo. Fin. No mas.

In the meantime let's use the petroleum wisely shall we?

Here is a cool (albeit a tad aggressive) little reminder for the tad too aggressive drivers amongst us. Soccer fans will surely appreciate the metaphor. From the above photo.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ten Things over Ten Hours

Ten Somewhat Random Things that conversationally came up during our ten hour spin yesterday:

1) Training with power
2) Vegetarians
3) Mexico
4) Riverside, CA
5) Al Green
6) Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
7) Red wine
8) Swimming
9) Red hair
10) 80 year old racing Ironman

As of this morning, we collected almost 2K from our peddling efforts to assist the BI Boys & Girls Club.

Thank you to all who contributed and congratulations to all who participated in our annual festival of suffering. Surprisingly enough, this mornings 60 minute HIT session was not as painful as I had anticipated, so maybe we have arrived at the latest rung on the ladder.

One can only hope.

Above: Cate Blanchet rocks the kitchen in Bandits. Red ruled the day.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


SUNDAY, DEC 19. It is here.

Indoor double century. Our annual marathon spin for the local Boys & Girls Club. Here are a couple of shots of kids for whom we have put wheels under. This is our fourth annual event, with a little twist this year. Instead of buying as many new bikes as we can, all monies collected we go towards establishing a fitness program for the kids so that they can get the early message of the importance of good diet and exercise. Of course that will entail cycling and we hope to put together two B&G relay teams to ride in this years Chilly Hilly and possibly even STP. Whoa!

Ambitious? Yes.

Possible? Yes.

Can you help? Yes.

Call the Bainbridge Athletic Club today as we spin, from 8-6 and make a tax deductible pledge.


Gotta go. Thanks.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bowling for Dollars

RCVman picks the winners:

New Mexico at Albuquerque, Saturday, BYU (6-6) vs. UTEP (6-6)
Humanitarian at Boise, Saturday, Northern Illinois (10-3) vs. Fresno State (8-4):
New Orleans, Saturday, Ohio (8-4) vs. Troy* (7-5)
Beef O'Brady's at St. Petersburg, Fla., Tuesday, Louisville (6-6) vs. Southern Mississippi (8-4)
Las Vegas, Wednesday, Boise State (11-1) vs. Utah (10-2)
Poinsettia at San Diego, Thursday, Navy (9-3) vs. San Diego State (8-4)
Hawaii at Honolulu, Dec. 24, Hawaii (10-3) vs. Tulsa (9-3)
Little Caesars at Detroit, Dec. 26, Toledo* (8-4) vs. Florida International (6-6):
Independence at Shreveport, La., Dec. 27, Georgia Tech (6-6) vs. Air Force (8-4)
Champs Sports at Orlando, Fla., Dec. 28, North Carolina State (8-4) vs. West Virginia (9-3)
Insight at Tempe, Ariz., Dec. 28, Iowa (7-5) vs. Missouri (10-2)
Military at Washington D.C., Dec. 29, Maryland (8-4) vs. East Carolina? (6-6)
Texas at Houston, Dec. 29, Baylor (7-5) vs. Illinois (6-6)
Alamo at San Antonio, Dec. 29, Oklahoma State (10-2) vs. Arizona (7-5)
Armed Forces at Fort Worth, Texas, Dec. 30, SMU (7-6) vs. Army (6-6)
Pinstripe at New York, Dec. 30, Kansas State? (7-5) vs. Syracuse (7-5)
Music City at Nashville, Dec. 30, North Carolina (7-5) vs. Tennessee (6-6)
Holiday at San Diego, Dec. 30, Washington (6-6) vs. Nebraska (10-3)
Meineke Car Care at Charlotte, N.C., Dec. 31, Clemson (6-6) vs. South Florida (7-5)
Sun at El Paso, Texas, Dec. 31, Miami (7-5) vs. Notre Dame (7-5)
Liberty at Memphis, Dec. 31, Central Florida?(10-3) vs. Georgia (6-6)
Chick-fil-A at Atlanta, Dec. 31, Florida State (9-4) vs. South Carolina (9-4)
TicketCity in Dallas, Jan. 1, Northwestern (7-5) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)
CapitalOne in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 1, Michigan State (11-1) vs. Alabama (9-3)
Outback at Tampa, Jan. 1, Penn State (7-5) vs. Florida (7-5)
Gator at Jacksonville, Fla., Jan. 1, Michigan (7-5) vs. Mississippi State (8-4)
Rose at Pasadena, Jan. 1, Wisconsin (11-1) vs. TCU (12-0)
Fiesta at Glendale, Ariz., Jan. 1, Connecticut (8-4) vs. Oklahoma (11-2)
Orange at Miami, Jan. 3, Stanford (11-1) vs. Virginia Tech (11-2)
Sugar at New Orleans, Jan. 4, Ohio State (11-1) vs. Arkansas (10-2) at Mobile, Ala., Jan. 6, Miami (Ohio)?* (9-4) vs. Middle Tennessee State (6-6)
Cotton at Arlington, Texas, Jan. 7, Texas A&M (9-3) vs. LSU (10-2)
BBVA Compass at Birmingham, Ala., Jan. 8, Pittsburgh (7-5) vs. Kentucky (6-6)
Kraft Fight Hunger at San Francisco, Jan. 9, Nevada (12-1) vs. Boston College (7-5)
BCS title at Glendale, Ariz., Jan. 10, Oregon (12-0) vs. Auburn (13-0)

The BOLD teams are my picks. Please note that there are several games I have filed in the "Who Cares*" category. There are several as well that I have listed in the "WTF?" category (so the marketing director of Beef O'Brady's, being a prominent alumn of Southern Mississippi, called somebody in St. Pete and said we got a million dollars and want to have a game?). And that somebody said, you betcha. Is that how all this comes together?

Another note: The Rose Bowl not having the Pac10 champs vs the Big10 champs is total sacrilege.

One last note: You should all know by now that the RCVman loves the University of Washington Huskies. We got completely thumped by Nebraska earlier this year. So what. This is a bowl game, a contest in which we haven't participated in since 2002. I mean Bush was in office then (and I don't mean Reggie). A LONG time ago.

Lastly, as I watch only the UW on TV (At RGs because I refuse to pay for cable) and missed several games because I was on the road filming, my picks are based on ESPN highlights shown during game day time-outs, what I have read about teams and players that are playing, have played or will play the Huskies, and, the tie breaker, a flip of the coin. In the case of most of these ridiculous games it didn't even require the coin.

I care about three of these 35:

Stanford will kill Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl.
The UW will beat Nebraska.
And Oregon will run circles around Auburn.

Not much Pac10 bias, eh?

Other than that, I am riding my bike. The Meineke Car Care Bowl? Gimme a break.
What next, the RCV Bowl. (Two teams with the best cheerleaders?)

Sis cum blah.

This is what a National Champion team looks like, btw.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Friday's links to cool stuff:

From the World HQ of Challenger World in case you are considering an international event in 2011. They are also the creators of the Santa Biking ad (above) which I find brilliant. Brilliant as compared to my attempt at using the same personality in yesterdays post. I showed the 'Santa Says buy an RCV' piece to Bob, my most trusted consultant on all things video & film (right after we watched the True Grit trailer in HD) and he said it was 'cute'.



Cute is easy. Dangerous, edgy, probing, unconventional, controversial, dark, risky, deeply moving, inspiring, gripping, ground-breaking and cathartic are not. I am getting out of the cute genre effective immediately. 3-2-1.

There, I'm out.

Thank you Bob.

Also are these bulls-eye and off-topic links:

Carpenters PLEASE check this human powered table saw. Which led me to the Whole Earth Catalog and this beautiful article by my pal Ken Kesey.

Please remember tomorrow's NBC broadcast of Ironman Hawaii at one, this after our 90 minute HIT spin from 0730-0900, and then to wrap up the weekend on Sunday, our annual marathon spin for the Boys & Girls Club of BI from 0800 to 1700 at the BAC.

Please, dear VBA, you can still make a difference by calling the Club at 206.842.5661 and making a pledge today (don't wait till tomorrow - unless you have free rollover weekend minutes of course).

Have a terrific weekend, stay warm, and read a verse and chapter today (nothing cute about Liviticus!)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

CompuTrainer RCV Christmas spot 2010

Here it is folks. Kinda eleventh hour, but it's hard to work on a Christmas commercial when you are riding in 78 degree weather 1000 miles south of the US. So please excuse the rush and enjoy what we feel is a fun little piece of Holiday spoofery.

So if you know of any good boys and girls who might benefit from the use of an RCV, (in order to become GREAT boys and girls) please forward them the link. Or you can simply call the sales dept, at @ 800. 522.3610 and order one, or fifteen, from my (Santa's) helpers.

Go get 'em.

Best Cities

Men's Health, that print clearing house for ripped abs and 'lasting longer' techniques, has done it again. Another exciting poll based on 35 criteria to declare the Best and Worst Cities for Men in 2010. Led by researchers who are Female. What a brilliant concept. To sell magazines. I guess they were bored with Orlando and San Diego always winning the competition when Men do the voting. I looked hard but couldn't come up with the 35 criteria, despite the opening alluding to such categories as education, income, mortality rates and, always a favorite, ratio of men to women.

Let it be known that the RCVman migrated North from the greater Los Angeles area in 1974, for reasons that included mostly quality of life issues. He traded cars, freeways, air and water pollution, and a lifestyle that was centered on hedonistic laziness for the outdoors, the adventurous challenge of a northern climate, in progressive city on the cultural rise. And he ended up in Seattle.

The winner of this year's Mens Health Best City award. If you browse some of the comments from readers about the MH selection it goes for an entertaining read.

Here are the Top Ten and my additional comments:

1) Seattle. Was Paradise thirty years ago. Now just another big city with big problems and a great view.

2) Madison, WI. I got no issues with Mad City, except they should take a bigger percentage of parking fines and apply them towards filling some of the potholes.

3) San Jose, CA. You can't buy beer after ten at night? Are you kidding me?

4) Fargo, ND. I am not going to debate you, Jerry. No thanks.

5) Burlington, VT. Got a taste this summer. Nice, especially the Phish part.

6) Manchester, NH, See above.

7) Minneapolis, MN, Beautiful and clean downtown core with cheap and easy bike rentals.

8) Salt Lake City, UT. No issues here, although I like Park City and St. George better.

9) Lincoln, NE. I will change my tune about Lincoln if the Huskies whip their cornhusking butts on Dec. 30, until then, just fly over.

10) Austin, TX. Got close in October at the Woodlands, but until summer all I have to go by is what my roadie buddies and shit kicking PBR drinkin' guitar pickers call HOE. Heaven on Earth.

Speaking of cool places, I will have the annual CompuTrainer Real Course Video sampler done by COB today (or tomorrow). Where you will see the bike courses that have made these cities the Meccas of Triathlon, ONE criteria overlooked I am sure by the MH authors.

Tempe, AZ
Port Macquarie, Australia
St. Croix, USVI
Coeur d'Alene, ID
Lake Placid, NY
Louisville, KY
Madison, WI
Kailua-Kona, HI
Pentiction, BC, CA
Dorset, UK
St. George, UT
New York City, NY
Tuscaloosa, AL
Lake San Antonio. CA
San Francisco, CA
Branson, MO
The Woodlands, TX
Oceanside, CA
Los Angeles, CA
The Dalles, OR
Calgary, AL, CA
Wimbleball, UK

Pix: Ole demos a soon-to-be RCV at the Birkebeiner Expo in Lillihammer, Norway. Or you could go ride in Fargo.

CT Mexico Cruise Video

Took a touch longer than expected (due to the excuse du jour of cold and wet fiber optics) but here she is, the official, unauthorized, totally bootleg and highly controversial CompuTrainer Mexico Cruise Video.

Once again, please accept my apologies for the blog cropping, you can click (or double click) on the video and watch in stunning HD, full 16:9 aspect ratio and tooth rattling Dobly 5.1 surround sound, direct from YouTube, something I am quite sure John Houston would appreciate. Matter of fact, this little gem is subtitled "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" as homage to the master.

Additionally please note that the famed director of The Night of the Iguana would also immediately catch the symbolic significance of the "Dutch Right" use of the first TT clip of Dave. Six days later on the return trip he would shave an incredible fifteen seconds off his time and therefore appear upright, normal and without limitation, visual or otherwise.

Score is from the incredible flamenco guitars of Rodrigo y Gabriella. If 11:11 is not a vital part of your collection, it should be amigos.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Sat & Sun

Now that the Mexico trip is history, we can get back to more immediate issues. The next big two, this Saturday and Sunday, are:

1) The perennial Emmy winning broadcast by NBC of this years Ironman World Championships from Kona on Saturday, Dec 18 at 1 Pacific. See video promo.

2) The Bainbridge Athletic Club fourth annual marathon spin for the BI Boys & Girls Club. $100 buy-in cover charge donation pledge (however you want to label it) to get the kids moving in the right direction. For those of you out of town, or who can't make the big spin, you can still donate (tax deductible) by calling the club at 206.842.5661 and charging it to your cc. Date and time is Sunday, Dec. 19, 0800 to 1700. Ten hours of spinning with the RCVman and several of his closest associates.

Speaking of Ironman, the italicised lift below is a juicy op-ed piece from their talented staff talking about the CT and Real Course Videos.

One of the most popular features that CompuTrainer has developed in recent years are interactive Real Course Videos that allow athletes to ride specific courses while also getting all the biomechanical feedback they’re used to seeing on the regular CompuTrainer software, including heart rate, cadence, power and pedal efficiency through SpinScan.
With the holiday season just around the corner, a CompuTrainer Real Course Video might just be the stocking stuffer the Ironman in your household is looking for this year. You can order them directly, and get more information about CompuTrainer, at

Oh yeah, and the NBD (no breed diet)? Day 13. Included me being a good boy on a cruise ship and in Mexico. After class this morning scales showed -5. We might be on to something. although to be honest, the way class went it felt that the five pounds in question was muscle and not fat, as intended.

I am working on the Mexico video today as well as the (last minute) RCV Christmas sampler. Hope to have some video up by Wednesday.

Happy Monday. It is good to be back.

Sunday, December 12, 2010



I gotta do this. Those of you just joining us along this rough and rocky road (Thanks again Willie) will be advised at this time to go to the side bar at left and read the fine print at the bottom of the RCVman mission statement.

Specifically the part about searching for true love (cause some things never change). Yah, THAT part.

And do you recall that a scant eight weeks ago this intrepid videographer/blogger attended his 40th HS reunion? 'member that?

Do you recall me saying that the highlight of the event was running into my HS GF? No?

HAVE YOU NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION? (Do you think I do this for money?)

Fast forward to last Saturday (we do that a lot around here, better get used to it) as I am on my way to the loading dock in San Diego for the CT Mexico Cruise and I get this e-mail from Liz, the HSGF in question. She has sent me a bunch of jpgs from, ahem, the good old days. Late sixties. Graduation. Us. If memory serves, our first date was in Dad's '61 Falcon to see Woodstock.


I opened ONE on my way up the ramp of the Oosterdam, and quickly closed the file because I knew that if I looked at all the others there would be NO WAY I could lead the group with focus on our tour. NO FREAKING WAY. I had to do the cyber walk away. There would be time later, first things first.

FF again, now Sunday night, back in Seattle. CT cruise over. In the books. It was a major league blast. We rocked it. I spent a lot of time watching incredible, beautiful and talented people enjoy the bounty of life. As mentioned, we rocked it.

And I look at the rest of the pix Liz sent.

And I am not sure if these tears fall from happiness or sadness. I simply cannot tell if the train is outbound or in. I may have a hard outlook on training, but there lies a soft heart inside.

In this photo, I wish (so bad) that I could go back those 40 years in time and tap this poor kid on the shoulder and ask him to step over here for just one moment, please, cause there is something IMPORTANT that needs to be said. You don't know about it right now, kid (the instant the photo was taken) but you will eventually come to understand, that,

It's all OK. You will make mistakes. That is human.


(Thanks Lizzard)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Back in SD

Back in San Diego. Day seven. Has it really been a week already? It was 950 nautical miles down and the same to return. Stops in three beautiful ports, two epic rides and yesterday was our Computrainer TT finale. The official wrap.

Everyone was going for it, we knew well our initial times from last week, as well as the much ballyhooed 18% average gains posted by the intrepid Alaska crew. To be fair, the AK TT was twice the distance, twenty miles, and conducted under less than perfect conditions. Shall we simply say that the boat was a rocking and leave it at that? It was also a vastly different level of rider between the two, obviously resulting in a sliding scale of end results, and hence, potential for improvement.

Final results:

Suz: 30:01>29:54 -7 seconds
John: 39:47>38:07 -1:40
Kristi: 39:45<39:53 +8
Dave: 33:22>33:07 -15 seconds
Travis: 30:20>30:06 -14 seconds
RCVman: 31:53>31:14 -39 seconds

And excellent performance by the entire group, with five of six gaining speed (and power) over the week of training and riding. As RD I can attest to the output of the group. There was effort. There was sweat, and there was pain. There was no sandbagging and there was no coasting. It was a rare display of that fabulous synergy of work and play. I think we learned a lot about ourselves, about others and about our respective potentials. As I mentioned to Dave last night, we saw some special efforts and there is talent here. Now that we know that, let's see where we can go with it.


Overall Champion: Suz
Biggest Loser (time): John
Best Climber: Travis
Best Young Rider: Kristi
Most Aggressive: Dave
Best Coach/Team Manager: Erick
Best Support Crew: Samara

It is before 0600 in the San Diego Harbor. We're back. The fog horn is sounding from the bridge of the ms Oosterdam. The sun has yet to light the eastern sky. Looks like we might be delayed in docking.

Maybe I should unpack the CompuTrainer, reassemble a bike, and try that unrelenting ten miler again.

Next CompuTrainer Holland America Cruise: Alaska II in May 2011. Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan. Hope to see you there.

RCVman from the final day aboard the ms Oosterdam (waiting for fog to lift), out.

Pix: At last nights award banquet we all agreed that the PV ride was tops. Left to right, Suz, Dave, Travis, John. Kristi and our guide Alejandro on the trail of adventure in Puerto Vallarta.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Six Days on the Boat

CompuTrainer Mexico Cruise Day Six.

Cabo San Lucas. Off day. Or, perhaps better termed, cross day. We dropped anchor in the beautiful bay and rode the tenders into town. The pier was overrun with locals hawking everything from fishing tours to ocarina-like whistles. But the beach, once a quiet and secluded spot was staked, was as advertised, and more. Clear and clean blue waters and long stretches of golden brown silica. I couldn't resist the opportunity and got in a 5K beach run and about a 500 meter swim. Then it was off to scout out the biking ops, have a little lunch and shop around. After that it was a nap on the beach and back to the Oosterdam.

Today is the final day aboard ship. We are in some fairly turbulent water and the big boat is rocking around a touch. Not as much as the first day to Alaska, but twice as much as we encountered on the sail south. Might get interesting in the fitness center this morning for the last time trial. Suz remains the leader with a scant twenty second lead over Travis and 1:53 over the blog favorite RCVman. We are expecting big things out of Dave, John and Kristi today to pull the team up to the improvement standards set way back in May by the Alaska crew. Those of you following along will remember that the average time/power gain on that trip was 18%, meaning that while the gains posted by the Mexico leaders will be small, the big gains will hopefully come from those who can put their new cycling acumen to the true test.

A that exciting test will begin in about an hour. Assuming the seas calms down.

We hit San Diego at 0700 tomorrow morning, so this will most likely be the final post from ship. Once all the shipping and disembarkation work is done I should have an opportunity to post somewhere from downtown SD tomorrow afternoon, or at the airport.

It has been another great trip. We got in several quality CT sessions, two epic rides, met some terrific folks, ate well and visited three exotic ports of call. Everyone made a solid contribution to the effort, and i am very pleased with the results.

Assuming, of course, that I can go sub 30 in my last TT this afternoon.

I know you are on the edge of your saddle awaiting the results.

Three from CSL: The aft pool deck in full party mode as we toast the CSL sunset. A Pacifico on the pier. The scene from my impromptu swim, beach run duathlon. It was a photo finish.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


CompuTrainer Mexico Cruise Day Five.

Busy day today. We got in an epic 50 or so miler in Puerto Vallarta and it totally rocked from start to finish. Out and back. Along the coast. Climbs, maniacal descents, donkeys, cobblestones, sun, waterfalls, blue water and cold beer.

I am not sure how else we could have improved upon this day. It could be possible, dear VBA, that today, after all this time in testing, the training, the rides, the runs, the errors of both omission and commission, the highs, the sporadic lows, the goods, the bads and ever-freaking-thing in between….

…that today…

…we nailed it.

What a day. Justice will not be served by either my summation, nor these five photos. But here they are ntl. We have a dinner scheduled in an hour, so I gotta go change. Tomorrow is an off day on Cabo. We have been at it for four solid training days, the last two outside on terra firma. We'll swim and lay in the sun manana so we'll be rested for Fridays final TT session upstairs. Everybody wants to best their initial time. (and I think they all will)

A guy could get used to this stuff.

Adios from PV.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


CT Mexico Day Four.

After three days on the ms Oosterdam we were all glad to have the opportunity to get in some off-ship miles. Met up with Rudy and Apolonio and off we went on a cruise through Mazatlan and into the jungle. It was a bit rough from the technical aspect, and we brought back some bruises, scrapes and bug bites, but the two hours spent in the saddle, was a blast.

Tomorrow in Puerto Vallarta, we get back on our more sedate road bikes for a long ride with Alejandro, south for what is rumored to be close to 33K. Along the coast, with few hills and a 7-11 around every corner. Right.

For those of you wondering about my progress on the NBD, so-far, so-good. I broke down and had a slice of cheese pizza after our CT sessions last night, but other than that, nada. Too early too tell if there has been any progress, but it's only day 7, so we'll give it some time. I did look at the cake doughnuts longingly this morning as I grabbed a cuppa joe out the door and onto the gangplank.

Out from day four on the CompuTrainer Mexico cruise. Mazatlan done, PV manana. Adios amigos.

Pix: Suz hammers out of the jungle, John, Kristi, Dave, Travis at the ranchero and Rudy, our expert guide, salutes the ride: Mucho bueno.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

CT Cruise TT

CT Mexico Day Dos

Initial Time Trial Day. Ten miles. Not flat. Here are the prelims:


Suz: 30:01 @ 241.5 (3.7)
Dave: 33:22 @ 226.8 (2.6)
Travis: 30:20 @ 257.9 (3.2)
John: 39:47 @ 17.2 (1.9)
Kristi: 39:45 @ 150.7 (2.3)

RCVman will do his TT in the morning after the cadence sensor issue is resolved (saved by the bell).

This was a great day of training and testing in the Oosterdm Fitness Center. I don't think we irritated too many people, and I am pleased to report that, unlike the Amsterdam to Alaska in May the center was packed all day. Way to go Oosterdamers!!!!!

Off to our first formal dinner of the cruise. I am ready for that.

Pix: The first day leader, Suz on her way to a 30 minutes pace setting TT, as John looks on with obvious approval. Kristi hammers out the hills. Travis rides as Dave coaches his outstanding effort.

3 of 3 and Adios (Cougars)

CompuTrainer Mexico Cruise Day Uno

Got off to a good start. Plane was on time, ten dollar cab ride to pier, easy embarkation. The CT and bikes were delivered as promised, Klondike Ken set us up with the vital on-board contacts, and we scheduled a 5:30 meet and greet with the group. And it appears from the outset that we have assembled a terrific team. Suz and Erick from Seattle, Travis from Columbus, Ohio, Dave from Boulder and John and Kristi from Chicago.

Today is the first round of indoor training. We will all do the custom Mexico ten mile time trial upstairs in the (crowded this morning) fitness center and meet again in the evening for dinner. I just assembled all the bikes and am on way to set up the CT as soon as this is posted.

We are off and running.

And speaking of running. I trust you all had the pleasure of watching my Huskies run all over the Cooogs last night as I was out of Versus TV range and quite busy. I was getting periodic texts from Ken and RG as the Dawgs piled up the numbers and became bowl eligible for the fist time in seven long, painful, difficult years.

Looks like the Holiday Bowl in, ahem, San Diego is the site.

Congratulations Dawgs, way to go Jake (and Chris Polk and Jermaine Kearse) and we'll try to keep you up on the happenings from Mazatlan, 950 miles south of San Diego, as they unfold.

Woof and Adios.

Pix, The Holland America Lines ms Oosterdam from the yellow cab at 40mph. It's the BIG one in the background. Later that same day on the Lido deck looking back on SD (site of a UW Holiday Bowl victory in three weeks). I might just stay here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

But it looks good on YOU

Couple of lose ends before the adventure 'officially' begins.

Here is the instant poster/flyer generated from the RCVman studios this morning advertising the big upcoming spin on Dec. 19. Since I will be spending roughly half of the period between then and now polishing up my spinning skills south of Sandy Aago, the board of directors felt it wise to get the word out.

Again: Ten Hours. Fourth Annual. Your bike or ours. Your trainer or ours. One hundred dollars (American) pledge. Movies. music and munchies. All proceeds to Boys & Girls Club. I am just the janitor. So all you at the executive level, get yer arses there and on a spin bike.

Or I will come looking for ya asking why.

Call the BAC at 206.842.5661 for details.

Lastly, I couldn't hep but LMFAO at this one. Here we are at day three of the NBD (no bread diet) and I see this. Am I being tested?

Or what?

Vaya con Dios

Mexico minus one.

Manana is getaway day. First boat off the island. Adios. Seven days in the sun. Indoor training and outdoor adventure. Cervesa mucho frio. And no bread, meaning in this particular scenario, no tortillas, either, hombre.

Tried out longtime VBAer le's suggestion to add hemp hearts to the morning breaking of fast, and they made a worthy partner to the pears and fat free cottage cheese. I was expecting a touch more crunch, but consistency aside, I like it. So far so good. Interestingly enough, this article from Macleans of Canada, and specifically social demographer Andrew V. Wister, connects some DNA and societal dots to come up with the suggestion that our parents were in better shape than us Baby Boomers when they were our age.

I have one word in response to that study: Yikes!

You will just have to read the entire article to see how he arrives at this startling conclusion. My take away was in the role that Omega 3,6 & 9 essential oils play in keeping your (and mine) arteries soft, open and elastic. And hence the value in the hemp hearts which facilitate exactly that, among other good things, like 20 grams of protein.

I am not 100% sure what my Dad was doing when he was my age but I can pretty much guarantee that we wasn't training for another Ironman, writing a daily blog on indoor cycling, fitness, health and happiness, nor eating hemp hearts for optimum cholesterol levels. But then again, he celebrated his 78th last week and was spotted out on the highway on his Suzuki, so maybe he was the one Born to be Wild and I am the Old and in the Way one.

So we're off to Mazatlan as first stop. We'll get there Tuesday morning. If the ms Oosterdam has the same facilities as the ms Amsterdam did for the Alaska cruise, I will have the opportunity to pay a HUGE fee for internet access and continue our discourse, whatever the divagation.

One last note today (maybe), I am working on the poster and flyers for the BAC Marathon Spin IV for the Boys & Girls Club. Thanks to Mr. Harvey of the Carden School we are off to a great start with their $500 check. Please write this data on your calendar or enter it to your iCal: Sunday, December 19th. 8am to 5pm, Bainbridge Athletic Club. You do NOT have to be a member to participate. Bring any trainer you like, or sign up for one of our 28 LeMond Revmasters. You can do all 10 hours or as little as you like. Cost to party with us is $100. Call the BAC for additional info at 206.842.5661.

Just tell 'em RCVman send ya!

Pix: RCVman (right) with Dad RG after the 1997 Boston Marathon. 3:18 if you must know.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


BMI is in the news, again. On the heels of our initial testing yesterday a synchronistic plethora of related articles hit the blogsphere.

Much as we saw with the 220 minus your age HR debacle a few years back, this is simply a way to get peoples attention. Numbers will do that. Stats. Percentiles. Risk. And yes, scare tactics. If this is what it takes to get the 60 or so percent of Americas off their fat and lazy asses and into a structured program of better eating and regular exercise, then so be it. I am onboard. Lord knows I have tried many different approaches to accomplish this noble agenda, from bribery to example, and while there has been some success, the overweight/obesity numbers we see today indicate that there is more, much more, work left to be done.

So let's get on with the show.

Day one on the NBD (no bread diet) was interesting. I thought I might have been doin' the jones for a while as my blood sugar responded to the change. But we rode it out using a Zen technique called, ahem, attention. Works like this: Hunger pangs pop up. Understand them, acknowledge them, empathize with them, respect them. THEN LET THEM THE HECK GO. Next? Works every time, grasshopper.

I have so much to do today that 24 hours might not be enough. Packing and prepping for Mexico. Cabin clean up. Trip to the LBS for spare tires and tubes. I would love to get in a run sometime assuming that the park isn't under ten feet of water from the rains.

Speaking of good diet and exercise, here are a few of the articles that showed up yesterday. One from NPR, one from the Seattle Times, and here is a handy calculator to find your very own BMI. Seems 20 to 25 is the goal.

Equally as important is the fitness and movement side of the equation. I am on Chris Carmichael's mailing list, and his terrific newsletter arrived yesterday. The quoted section below particularly caught my attention. Any of this sound familiar? Chris is the coach of Lance, Craig Alexander, George Hincapie, Heather Golnick and hundreds of other world-class athletes. He is easily the best marketeer of coaching services out there today, as a quick trip to his site will attest.

Lastly, before I begin the aforementioned chores, here is as cool a video as you will find on YouTube. Please spend five minutes and check it out. You will be glad you did. However, please do NOT hang out in mall food courts waiting for a encore.

That alone would raise your BMI a point or two.

I took a few things away from the NY Times article that are very relevant for athletes in their 40s-60s:

• Protect your mitochondria: these powerplants in your muscle cells process fat and carbohydrate into energy, and when you lose mitochondria your performance goes downhill quickly. Exercising consistently and including hard efforts are crucial components of maintaining and increasing the size and number of mitochondria in your muscles.

• Don’t stop training or competing: Your peak performance markers and your interests may change as you grow older, but research is suggesting that staying engaged in training and competition keeps aging athletes out of the doctor’s office and adds life to their years, if not years to their life.

• Intensity is important throughout your life: I’ve written about it in "The Time-Crunched Cyclist” and “Time-Crunched Triathlete” and I’ve experienced it myself – athletes in their 40s and older, especially those who are short on training time, need more intensity in order to attain high-performance fitness. And the newer research is suggesting that higher-intensity training now may mean retaining the ability to train effectively decades from now.

George Frideric Handel had a less than perfect BMI (estimated at 32.6) but he wrote some beautiful music. Hallelujah.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Do Not & Do

Don't look now but it is December. Seems like only yesterday we were riding in the sun, sweat pouring off our brows like a cascading waterfall. NTL, here we are, watching the closure of the 2010 door as we prepare to open the portal of 2011.

With more of the same to follow. More work, more training, smarter training, more rides, longer rides, longer rides to more exotic ports of call. More runs, faster runs, harder runs, happier runs. I suppose we don't talk much about swimming here. Maybe we'll declare August '11 RCVman swim month (or maybe not).

There are a couple of details left to manage before we refrain into Auld Lang Syne, and they are:

Numero Uno: As many of you have heard (via our ultra-slick marketing machinery) today is the start of the December "No Bread" month. Fairly crusty concept, designed to knead out the wheat from the chaff and find if this long time staple is more foe than friend. No bread for 31 days. To add some science to the test, we did a Tanita Body Composition Analysis this morning before class. Here are my starting metrics:

Weight: 168 lb.
BMI: 24.1
FAT %: 9.2

There are other numbers that aren't important to this test, and with the Tanita error factor at +/- 3%, this is so-so info, but it is something. The idea is to see what happens with a single change, and in this case substituting fruit for morning toast, veggies for the noon sandwich and salad for the dinner rolls. Thirty-one days. Here we go.

I was also asked what other refined and processed grains were included in this test, so a few of them are pictured above courtesy of the local Safeway Bakery department. Also out are crackers, rolls, cookies, tortillas, pitas, flatbread, and anything that wraps up anything else. Knishes, pirogies, raviolis, pretzels, pot stickers, poppers and especially fruitcake. OMG.

Refined and/or processed. Out until Jan. 1, 2011. We will then take another Tanita reading and that will conclude the test. My training will remain intact and unchanged during the month, in order to provide a fair test sampling.

Numero dos: The final countdown is under way for the CompuTrainer Mexico Cruise. The details are coming together nicely as I have been on all week with the tour guides, Alex in PV and Rudy in Mazatlan, to ensure that our outside rides are fun filled and safe. I built the CT 10 mile TT yesterday and later today I will take a test ride and see how she rolls. The biggest challenge remaining is to figure out how I am going to watch the Apple Cup which kicks-off at 4, when the Oosterdam pulls anchor at 5. Maybe the Huskies can go up by three TDs early so I don't have to worry about it!

There is your December one news, VBA. Enjoy the ride.

Pix: At top: Cabo (do this). No-Nos for December (don't do this).