Saturday, March 30, 2013


Once again, congratulations to everyone who participated in this year's tournament. It was fun.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

3.26 video

The Big Match is set. Friday @ 1800.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

K&C Racing are IN!

And they become the first to get to the championship match!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Down 2-4

To the Round of Four we go!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tour de Dung II

Saturday in Sequim.

Friday, March 22, 2013


Keep your hands offa my stash!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Monday night video.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Freezing to Volcanic

My sincere congrats to Lucas & Lydia (shown in bottom pic below in the HoM) who both earned top-ten results at the Tour de Dung Road Race in Sequim over the weekend. Not to rest on laurels, Lucas broke our indoor ten mile TT course record yesterday and sister Lydia goes tonight at 1930. 

Milam to San Remo today (top pic) got a touch chilly. 

Glad we had the opportunity this fine morning to do some indoor work.  

After the MiM I am taking three days off in Maui to film the Haleakela climb. 

And to rest, relax, detox and chill. Right now I am VERY CRISPY. 



Two more matches tonight, stay tuned.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Chapter Four

Chapter Four (Match 4) in the 2013 Madness in March CompuTrainer Multi-Rider @ Bainbridge Athletic Club. Saturday night action with Chris setting a new course record (24:22) and Karin, besting the Life is Good squad of Greg and Laura. The wiggle is a reference to a scene from Kill Bill Vol II which I borrowed from Q. The score is the down-tempo tune Finn McCool, from Deep Sea Dust,  a great collection of electronic tone-poems from one of the many former tri-vid collaborators, Kevin Clark. Happy St. Patrick's Day McCool. And congratulations to all. Life is Good and wiggle your toes.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Fear or Respect

No wonder you can't do it, you acquiesce to defeat before you even begin. It is the other way around, the wood should fear you (your hand). 

I juxtaposed the wood for hills and we went to work. The imagery was of the mountain, the challenge was the climb. The strategy was focus and the tactic was enduring execution. One begun, better finish. Take Kill Bill for another spin. 

I remembered D.T. Suzuki and his Zen poem. I heard Donovan and I felt a familiar low-level power in my core. There was resolve. Today, this ninety minutes might avenge yesterday's sloth. Or the imbalance of the past month. Or the fear of all the, 'what would happen if' anxieties. I could use this climb as a fresh start, put the failures of the past in the rear view mirror and ride away from them. Go further, faster, longer. With more presence and grater awareness. 

I am not interested in power over people to manipulate or control. I am interested in personal power. I am not interested in revenge. Those that have wronged me in the past are forgiven, as I trust I will be forgiven by those that I have wronged. I seek no revenge. I am more interested in gaining the respect of my peers than their fear of me. Further, I would much rather laugh than fight. Nothing, NOTHING is that serious. We are talking about riding a bike up a hill. Not life or death. 

THERE IS NOTHING IN LIFE THAT YOU SHOULD FEAR. It you fear it, face it. Get in fear's face. RIDE UP THAT HILL. 

Our little ride up the metaphorical mountain this morning was an attempt to face one fear. To practice the art of facing it, overcoming, doing what once we could not, or would not. The master wears white. He practices his art until it is perfect. He shares his wisdom when the student appears. He loves and laughs. Should he be provoked, however, he commands the fury of hell. 

And then there is a mountain. And the mountain will fear you. Not the other way around. 

Friday, March 15, 2013


From Freud to Fun. The latest video from our annual celebration of indoor cycling. On how you can get involved locally, contact the BAC at, or for more info on the fabulous training tools from RacerMate, go to


For the second consecutive morning I woke feeling like that sound from outside was an 18 wheeler in overdrive escape gear that had just ran over my dozing arse. With today's exception that forward wasn't enough, so I got reversed over as well. The equivalent of some poor raccoon meeting head on with steel-belted radicals at 45mph. Bed kill. 

I am taking this medication called omeprazole to treat the gastric reflux issue that they think might cause the heart/respiratory issue. So that might have something to do with it. But it feels more like, plain and simple, I am not recovering well from evening sessions in the HoM. The last two nights we have gone hard later than usual, which pushes back the recovery clock. But this? Ouch.

The Provider called this morning to say she had a chat with the X-Ray specialist and they think, agree and recommend a cardiologist as a result of what now indicates an enlarged heart. I though that was good, "He had a heart the size of Montana" has a nice ring. Used to anyway. 

Maybe it is because of the dreams. OMG, another round of REMs that would make Tarantino wince. I dunno. 

Making matters even more paradoxical this morning was the quote I ran across as I settled into work at a ridiculously late hour, hands cupped around a steaming mug of two day old microwaved coffee. The quote was this:

The Buddha brought suffering onto himself, to look into the face of it, to see who he then was. Jesus allowed himself to be crucified, to demonstrate who he was. And what do you think YOU are doing here? Why bother with this relative world if not to know yourself in your own experience? And how else to do that except through the encountering of that which you are not?

I set the coffee down, dipped my heavy eyes into my warm palms and played back the tapes. I saw the data chart indicating red-line effort on the bike, I saw the church being built with bricks and adobe clay that looked like a giant pizza oven, I saw a graph of magazine sales from Baltimore, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Atlanta, I saw a bowl of blue ice and a bowl of dry ice. The Fed guy asked me how I wanted to die and I looked around for an escape route as the five other big, tough guys in frumpy brown suits and stained ties watched my every move, anticipating that very attempt. I saw a giant red snapper with mouth agog. Teeth and nothing else. 

Alright then. The truck is gone and so is the coffee. The dream lingers, blacks crushed in a sinister shadow. There is work to be done. More details to refine, rough edges to polish. I could encounter what I am not today. 

What I am not is somebody who takes getting rolled by a semi laying down. I even have a partial on the license plate: AFT.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


A couple of night's worth of video highlights from the 2013 Madness in March Indoor Cycling Tournament in the HoM @ BAC. You should know all the acronyms by now.

Why Not?

We get busy. The in-box fills and non-essentials slide towards the back burner. In managerial response we take care of the immediate. Today. Now. Crisis mode. Stress raises cortisol levels until we seek relief. Sometimes a couple of deep breaths suffice, other times a short run or zone 2 ride. At critical mass it might call for a week somewhere in the sun doing little more than work on a tan. 

You may recall a few days ago I mentioned my friend Joe. I feel the need to expand his character a bit and offer him a larger role in this production. Mostly because he is an interesting guy. Joe has spent a lot of time in DC working The Hill. His politics are as interesting to me as his persona. One day last week, as I was struggling to develop a viewpoint that validated my opinion on the sequester issue, I asked Joe, innocently and honestly, 'who is to blame for this farce, is it the Prez or the congressional republicans?' As much as I was hoping his answer would be the latter (which would validate my bias) he smiled, clasped his is hands behind his back, contemplated his response, looked at me and provided a one word reply.


Please remember that this is the same guy who commented last week that the answer to every 'why' question is 'because'.

Two concise examples of minimalistic character development that I am sure Kurt Vonnegut, Kilgore Trout and Philip Jose Farmer, who ended Venus on the Half Shell,  by asking 'why not?' would all approve. 

Two words. Both and because. 

Both meaning the two sides in every story and because because asking why is worthless unless you are a homicide detective. 

Asking why is asking for sympathy. Playing the part of the victim. Why me? Poor poor pitiful me. Why now? Why here? Why this or why that? Or, in using the metaphorical vernacular of the training world, why so hard? why so long? why so hilly, windy, long, demanding or challenging? 

The correct question is what. 

What do I need to do right now, this instant, to impact my performance, approach or attitude to accomplish the directive? What is the discipline? What are the elements of success? What must I do to transition from the victim to the first responder? What is the secret? What is more important, asking why or answering with what?

As Joe might say. Both and because. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

38 and laughing

I guess it could be worse. I could have couch potato heart syndrome. Or something I heard yesterday when a person described herself as a competition survivor. What could be worse than competition survivor's heart syndrome? Truth be known, I kinda wish they would have diagnosed this lingering condition as lovers heart syndrome. But they are now saying it might be Athletic Heart Syndrome

You are just going to have to cut back on the intensity of your lovemaking. 

This AHS is about the same. For three decades I have been aggressively in pursuit of a combination of advanced muscular performance and minimal cardio effort. That means more horsepower with less work to deliver it. The muscles go and the heart stays low. That is the whole idea. That is also one way we rate fitness. We call it RHR. Resting heart rate. Mine was measured yesterday for the second time in 60 days by EKG. My morning analog method has shown it to be 44bpm for almost ten years now. I prescribe it religiously to the folks that I train. It can be a predictor of fitness as well as illness. Twice now the technology has beat me. Twice the EKG measured me at 38. Who am I to argue? 

Too low, they all said. You have athletic bradycardia and maybe a lot of other bad stuff as a result. You should go back to school, get another job, take a long vacation, quit all this rigorous exercise, sleep more and take medication to correct the issue. They seem non-plussed when I relay data indicating Miguel Indurain and Lance Armstrong both had RHRs less than 30. Nobody told THEM to slow down. Except the guys on the other teams. 

You are just going to have to cut back the duration of your lovemaking. 

Going long isn't something you do on a lark. You work towards it. You allow physical adaption. You work hard, rest and recover harder. You enjoy the process. You use the right fuel and insure proper hydration. Over time, and my dues are paid in full, your ability to sustain a performance standard is mastered. You may go long. See ya. 

After yesterday's second visit, and second round of Provider - Patient Q&A, I found out something else. I cannot talk about myself without it turning to comedy. Seriously, the cute doctor asks me a simple question about my stress and how I manage it and before you can say Horatio Hornblower, I have covered drugs, sex, rock 'n roll, Little Miss Mirthy, my collection of guitars, communism, capitalism, the 1099 long form, Real Course Videos, blue-fin tuna, Robert A. Heinlein, Australia, nirvana, hell and a girl named Clementine. 

You are going to have to cut back on these explosive blasts of power. 

Have you ever seen a doctor blush? I could see her taking mental notes:

Ask him yes or no questions from this point forward.

Do you smoke? No
Do you have a family history of heart disease? No
Do you use drugs? No
Do you have any allergies? No
Are you sexually active? Why do you ask?

More blush. Trying to hide smile. 

Answer the question please.

Not today. 

I feel better already. Knowing that I still have the ability to laugh at myself. I cannot talk about me without going full sand-up. It would be sad I guess.

If it wasn't so funny. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I might be doomed

This is a streak, of sorts. I set out six years ago to create a(nother) journal. This a natural progression of the writing begun in the early seventies after college and on the road in America in search of God knows what. In many ways it is therapeutic. It is a discipline. I like the process. When a sentence fits together like hand in glove, I smile. I need smiles these days. All I can get.

I went back to the clinic today disgusted with my lingering malady. All my friends told me I was being dumb, stubborn, proud. I didn't want to go because of the cost. I am broke. In debt. I work way too hard for way too little. One of my pals called me a communist the other day. I said, thanks comrade. I love my friends. I love my neighbors. I love my community. But there is something out of balance, My lungs and heart have hurt for almost three months. In Feb I called a dear friend, I said, please can you drive me to the ER? There, after the ECG, X-ray and blood tests, they said, go home and rest. That cost me another 3.5K.

And then I hoped and prayed time would heal all. It didn't. My friends said, you have pneumonia, you have bronchitis, you have an allergy, you have this virus or that bacteria. Go get some antibiotics. Don't be a fool.

Sure, for another $500 that I don't have.

So finally I went. The sliding-scale clinic. The receptionist remembered me from five years ago. We laughed, she from boredom, me from anxiety. Seemed there were two demographics in the waiting area: The obese or the addicted to meth. I guess those in the middle have health insurance, of some sort.

They did another ECG. Blood pressure, HR, questions like Columbo.

The Provider (I guess that is what they call Docs these days) was curious as to my 38 BPM HR. See looked again at the ECG and cited the low return rate called QT. Might be Bradycardia. She recommended an Echo test and a stress test. As well as giving a prescription for omeprazole. Because it could be as simple as gastric reflux. Or not.

So the streak continues. I write (almost) every day. My heart is on the page. This sucks. I cannot train to the degree to which I desire. The ONE thing in which I take pride, my health and fitness, is now in question. I feel like a zombie in slum circus.

The streak continues, I write, I will lead my fearless group tomorrow, pre-dawn in a spirited 60 minute spin and life will go on.

My friend Joe said the other day that the answer to every questions is....


Fearing I already knew the answer, I didn't even ask why.

Why the streak should continue.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Perfect Problem

It is not perfect.

It is flawed.

There is a better way.


But for today, for this purpose, there is a solution. 

It is a problem solved.

A part of the whole indenting to change the whole. One single part. An o-ring perhaps. A dew drop on a rose petal. A single note reverberating on a baby grand. Your awareness of the power in your core. One breath. 

You see the need, identify the goal, put pencil to paper. Something happens. The creative doodles the logical, the scientific, the mathematical. You deftly flip the pencil to use its opposite and erase the first draft, replacing it with a better one. You add another element of design and feel a rush of energy and sit higher in your chair. 

You pause. Breathe. Contemplate. Smile.

It doesn't need to be perfect.

It just needs to satisfy a problem. It simply needs to bridge the chasm between the stagnant and rigid and the continuing flow of movement and energy. The inertia, once begin, must grow. 

We have explored the challenge. We have the facts and an objective. Ideas are generated, reviewed. We prepare for action. We will do the thing needing to be done. We will measure the results. We will surely tweak again. 

It is not perfect. But it is.

Something we can use. 

And it will due for perfect until perfect comes along. 

Pic: Yesterday shooting the Mason Lake road race in the rain. Soon the Cat 3's would come roaring down this slippery hill. In perfect imperfection. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

WAY better

The copy: Filler. Everybody knows this.

The real story: Riding Indoors is better than you think, because your riding outdoors is worse than you thought.

The RCVman spin: Since it is my job to ride indoors I will admit that a certain bias exists. Maybe even a large bias. Here in the Pacific Northwest we celebrate way more than fifty shades of gray, we have well over a hundred distinctly different hues, textures, combinations, tones, temperatures, styles and blends of gray. We are, indeed, a farrago of filtered bleakness. Add rain, sleet, occasional snow and long dark, dreary, damp days and if you are going to maintain or improve your cycling fitness you had better come to grips with indoor training. And not simply because it is a scientific, advanced, effective and time saving routine, but because it is SAFE. If you want to morph into a tough man so race day conditions on a 150 mile stage are like a stroll in the park, have at it. Really. Way to go. I wish I was tougher than a Mini-Cooper. Folks, hear me: There is nothing on this planet quite as scary as a teenager on a droid in Daddy's Dodge. The last time I got buzzed my first thought was, I could be holding 285 watts on the CompuTrainer watching video from Spain. What the %gh** am I doing out here in the rain? 

Safe, supportive. effective, reliable, repeatable, inspiring (if done with awareness) entertaining (always) accurate, convenient and (dare me) FUN.

Yes folks, I guess I should fees up. I find indoor training fun. I like doing this. I like the feel of power. I like the challenge and I like the excuses that quickly become irrelevant. Can't use darkness anymore. Can't use rain. Can't play the I'm busy card.  I guarantee that an additional 50 watts of functional power will make you a better rider outdoors. Think what 100 would do. Control the variables and get to work. 

Indoor training MAKES YOU STAY HERE & NOW. Focused yet relaxed. Aware yet flowing. Effective and efficient. With your pals. As a team. Accountable. Responsible. On a mission. With a goal. Seeing the target. Moving relentlessly towards it. The downside? It isn't outside. I actually had a roadie tell me once at an expo that the reason he didn't like to ride indoors was due to the fact that it just wasn't like riding outside. OK, ya got me on that one!

And please don't worry about your handing skills, when the sun decides to return, you can hone them rather quickly with a few outdoor sessions. It is, after all, just like riding a bike. 

Yes riding indoors IS better than you think. It is WAY better than you think. 

Thanks for the article. 

Pic: Jamie gives Gretch and Jeff the post workout thumbs up. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thursday MiM

No commentary necessary!

Mr Lee

It was so staggeringly real a dream it could have been directed by Ang Lee. Vivid, bright, erotic colors and textures, a sensation of well-being bordering on nirvana. Everything bold and beautiful. I was standing in a snow field beside the bluest fresh water run-off imaginable. The sun was a giant gold lens-flare casting rays over the 3D scene which included mountains to my right and another range across the river to my left. On the right slopes every type of recreational activity was taking place, there were riders on horseback, on mountain bikes, on foot humping it up the trails. I watched. On the snow covered left range skiers were gleefully cutting the giant slalom adding a familiar woosh to the invigorating ambiance. I could smell the clean, fresh air. 

I looked at all this activity, all the energy and emotion, every bit of joy, and I supposed a touch overwhelmed by the options, sat down in the snow (it was not wet and felt more like a cotton blanket), leaned back on my elbows to allow the sun to warm my face with its vitamin D laced radiance. I was so relaxed I almost fell asleep in the dream. 

It was a beautiful moment. From research, almost all of the objects had strong representational meaning. The snow can indicate a need to take advantage of opportunities on the rise, mountains can be a symbol of obstacles to overcome or they may designate that a higher realm of consciousness, knowledge or spiritual truth is close. Sunshine indicates a breakthrough experience in the emotional or spiritual. Horses, hiking and the other outdoor sports can symbolize progress and achievement signaling that with strong-will and perseverance, one will make it far in life. Who could that one be? 

It was a dream to remember. So peaceful, happy, calm and warm. I was enjoying just playing a part in it. I needed to do nothing more than appreciate it, let go and smile in the moment. 

But when I woke up they told me Alvin Lee had died. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Monday Indoor Cycling Racing Action

Power in Play

It was almost like a Little Leaguer asking, "what is a bat?", or a swimmer wondering where the goggles go. I was stunned for an instant at the question.  Up to this point I had taken pretty much for granted that a cyclist heading to the CompuTrainer for a ten mile time trail had SOME experience with the sport of cycling, or at very least a casual familiarity with its recreational aspects. It was an innocent question and I needed a few seconds to cache my thoughts and craft a response comparative to the level of the inquirer. 

WHAT IS POWER? Was the question.

I don't even remember my answer. But as it was our third round of time trailing and I was grumpy, hungry and convalescing a lingering viral malady, I caught myself mid-sentence maneuvering a curt response into something resembling compassion and utility. Let me try to recreate, for your consideration.

For our purposes power represents work. How hard your muscles, primarily those often referred to as 'the big muscle groups', perform during the creation of force applied to the pedals. This is measured in watts and combines time, RPM frequency and distance. It is your total (already I was digressing into the mental) capability to generate energy and move the pedals efficiently and effectively over a predetermined distance and time. 

She looked at me with huge open eyes and pursed lips. I remembered that look from my first trip to Italy when I was just learning the language and asked a innocent local where the train station was. Same look. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

I tried again. 

Think of it as your ability to control your output. I asked her to empirically demonstrate the addition of 25 watts as she turned the pedals, her running shoes locked securely into the cages. This change displayed in real time on the CompuTrainer big screen, and I tried to make the correlation between what she was seeing and how her motor responded to the challenge. 

Ooooh, she said, that's hard. 

Yes, I quipped, and the measurement of that 'ooooh'  is what we call watts, and that rate or amount of difference is what we measure and subsequently manage. That number is your power. Real time, averaged or peak. You have just generated an additional 25 watts of power. Congratulations. 

The harder it is to turn the pedals the more power I have?

Precisely. Or accurately enough for now. 

She went at it again, joyous at the peak, crestfallen at the inevitable drop-off. 

I can't keep it very long.

That is why we train.

To get strong?

Yes, more powerful. More full of power. 

When I have more power and am stronger…will (gasp) it (hunker over bars) get (return to saddle and wipe forehead) easier?


Because I cannot help being a cynic, here are three excellent articles from people that tell the power story from varying points-of-view. My final response, was, of course, another subject altogether. 

Competitive Cyclist (history of training by power)
Flammerouge (the bridge between science and literature)
And Cyclistrules (very clever and a excellent intro)

Monday, March 4, 2013


Had this idea while on my recovery 5K run in the park. It looked better in my mind, but you get the general idea. I think it applies to endeavors broader than indoor cycling as well. Maybe I'll do a series. If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment.

The Grip

I was feeling the old and familiar. A little bit too much work coupled with a little bit not enough rest. In the old days, under similar circumstances, I used to self-motivate by asking myself,  "What would Mark Allen do"? The Grip, for those of you that don't know, won seven Ironman World Championships from 1989-1995. He was given the nickname, as legend goes, by Scott Tinley after a long day of training which, typically, included a few thousand meters in the pool, a longish ride and a ridiculously fast run. As happens when serious teammates train together, more often than not, these bricks would turn into flat-out contests. Scott commented one sunny San Diego afternoon that there was little hope of besting Mark when he was in the groove, because he had you, firmly, in his grip. And would, simply, not let go. Like those dogs with the clenching, locking jaws, Mark would chomp onto his prey and drag them along at break-neck speed until they cried uncle and collapsed to the pavement, spent, exhausted and thoroughly beaten. 

So I would ask of myself, are you the anti-Grip, so weak and frail that even a minor challenge outside the contort zone will send you scurrying for cover? You cannot muster the energy or awareness to complete the task at hand? HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING?

The grip is about will. It is about focus. It is about courage under fire. It is about finding the presence in your mind/soul that allows your body to take you over the hill. You have to keep it together. Independently they are nowhere near as powerful, the old divide and conquer concept, but united, well, now we're onto something. Something BIG. TOGETHER we can do this. You & Me. Us. We. Head, heart and heaven. 

WWTGD. Would would The Grip do? He would endure, outlast, outsmart and outrun you. He set all this up with an impeccable training regimen, a solid (vegetable based) diet and a deep meditation practice that rivaled that of Kwai Chang-Caine. Mind, body and spirit. In the grip.

I don't think we can afford to be one dimensional anymore. The stakes are too high, the cover charge lofty and the penalties severe. 

The Grip would breathe, focus, relax and do what must be done. 

And there was my answer. 

Sunday Video

More detail later, have a great Monday.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Saturday Video

As I ran a slow and short 10K this glorious morning, I had the opportunity to reflect on the difference between the 16K TT last night (all-out) and this leisurely recovery trot in the sunny park. They are like Venus and Mars, apples to watermelons, dusk to dawn. Further, I realized the opposition that many folk have to the all-out efforts. They are uncomfortable. They hurt some. That semi-precious sting is an acquired sensation. To be successful one must learn to like it. To be a champion, one must embrace it like a lover. There is simply no getting around the fact that if you want to be faster, stronger, more powerful or possess more balance and endurance, eventually you are going to have to slide from your current zone of comfort into the zone of the challenging. And then, of course, the object becomes staying there until THAT becomes warm and cozy until it's time to inch again outside and HOLD THAT HURT.

The people that can do this longer than others are the people that consistently preform at championship levels. You can train this. You can practice this. YOU CAN DO THIS.

Start today. Get out and go. Or come in and go. The people that I admire most are those that want the velocity, the high-speed adrenalin thrill of working towards that obscure and abstract place we call POTENTIAL. You must flirt with your current limitations. You must prove to yourself that the best is yet to come. You cannot lose unless you quit.

I love the all-out. I love the challenge. I love the feeling of danger and the tingle of nerve endings and endorphin flow. I love feeling my heart trying to beat its way out of my chest as my lungs scream for mercy. I like the finish. I like the resulting sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. One more day, one  more test. All out, like everything else.

I can't wait for tomorrow to do it again. But today is a recovery run.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Later that same time trial.....

Friday, March 1, 2013

CompuTrainer TT

If any of you CompuTrainer users, solo or Multi-Riders would like to compete in our little rite-of-spring indoor cycling tournament, just let me know and I'll e-mail you the .3dc or .mrc file so you can ride wherever you might be. Then, simply ride the course and send me your times (sole criteria). We'll include you in the standings AND you will qualify for some fabulous prizes!!!! We go again at 1630 & 1730 as well as four heats over the weekend. Here we go again!!!