February 29, 2012

Coming back from illness

Thankfully I’ve been able to stave off serious injury during the past few years through preventitive measures like massage, masochistic work with my foam roller and a little luck. Illness on the other hand is something everybody deals with at one or another, and unfortunately for me, pneumonia has kept me off the bike and on my ass since before Christmas. I’ve been going on two and a half months of complete inactivity… Not good times.

Getting back into things has been hard – Despite prolonged time off the bike I never really adjusted expectations of my performance, so when I finally did get back on the bike it was… A little humbling.

– Read More –

January 25, 2012

Yes, I'm Now On Strava

After much chiding, I finally relented and signed up with Strava. ‘Another online social network…really? Really…?’ Yes. And if you’re like me, and a bit frayed around the edges with already trying to keep up with Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter (maybe others), then adding yet another place to log into and catch up on probably isn’t what you’re looking for. I know I wasn’t… But, here’s the thing. I ride, and if you’re reading this I assume you do as well. If you ride like I do and you’re already tracking your ride data (me via Garmin) and uploading it to an online website, like Garmin offers for free, then maybe you’ll be swayed like I was to move over to Strava.

– Read More –

December 21, 2011

Training With Power!

Motivation – in the off-season we’re all looking for it. Without it, we’d never get off the couch. If you’re talking about just ‘riding’, finding motivation can be pretty easy – riding is a blast, and all about fun! Personally, I’m up for going for a ride pretty much anytime. But, if we’re talking about getting on the bike for training purposes, that’s a different story… Training is mostly about hard work, and if you’re training hard, there usually isn’t much ‘fun’ to be had. So, we need another motivator, or at least I do – something that is going to get us into the gym, on that stationary bike, or out on that winter ride. For me, it’s results. I’ve found that I respond to results really well, and I know I’m not unique in that, but I admit, I am a bit surprised just how pumped I can get about training, when I can actually measure and see the results of that effort. And it’s training with POWER that gives me those metrics, that keep me coming back for more.

– Read More –

September 6, 2011

Strava Cycling App

Just like you, I’m busy. Sometimes I have to work late, sometimes I have to mow the lawn, sometimes I’ve got to look after the little lad… The list is seemingly endless. Oftentimes, this barrage of commitments limits my ability to plan and coordinate group rides – I’m not lamenting this fact, it’s just life. But when life gives you lemons, you still have to go riding… And sometimes that means riding alone.

While Strava can’t help you interact with real live people, injecting some friendly competition into your rides is the essence of what makes Strava different than many of the other fitness tracking tools out there. – Read More –

September 1, 2011

Cycling Las Vegas

Ah, Las Vegas… The land where dreams come true.

Admittedly when I think of Vegas my first thoughts are of slot machines, exotic clubs and empty bank accounts, cycling definitely wasn’t first on my mind. As Sheldon and I prepared for a mutual friend’s bachelor party however, it was something we thought we should look into.

A quick search led me too Escape Adventures and we organized a self guided tour around Red Rocks – “This scenic one-way park road loops and winds around the hilly valley of Red Rock Canyon, past the coral mounds and along the base of the Wilson cliffs.”

We knew that if we were actually going to make this happen it needed to be early in our itinerary, before our partying exploits got too out of control… Unfortunately, Vegas has a way of catching up with you. Despite scheduling the ride on our first morning and some time spent “purging the demons” from the night before, Sheldon pulled the plug and I was left on a solo mission to conquer Red Rocks. – Read More –

July 28, 2011

I need $10,650 and 14 affluent friends

Well truthfully, I need $10,650, a month off work, a round trip ticket to France and somebody to convince my wife this is a good idea.

The 14 affluent friends are optional.

While I have been slowly reacclimatizing myself to life without the Tour, I wondered – What could be greater than soaking in all this mainstream cycling coverage, coming into the office and enjoying water cooler chat about crashes, personal favourites and predictions for upcoming stages… What could be better, indeed?

Perhaps riding the Tour itself?

To good to be true you say? Perhaps not. – Read More –

June 28, 2011

The Secret of Un-Training

Ever since the New Year, I have embarked on a new type of training… A secret type of training… Untraining.

The secret of untraining is not to simply stop training… That would be to easy. Rather, the secret lies in the delicate balance of attempting to valiantly uphold your training goals while admittedly allowing other priorities to trump your time on the bike.

Now. Read that sentence again… It’s important ;-)

There are always going to be times when life trumps cycling. Sometimes it’s a weekend. Sometimes it’s a week. Sometimes it’s a season. It happens. It’s been happening to me… The important thing I’ve found is not to dwell on the fact that your not riding, but rather to really enjoy the times that you do. – Read More –

June 7, 2011

Emergency Repairs

We all know the deal. We all know what we should be carrying on the trail. But let’s be honest… Sometimes things just don’t go according to plan… Or for that matter, even according to the backup plan.

Brought a spare tube? Good for you, but if you’ve flatted on the way up and torn a sidewall on the way down, you may have ended up needing a little trail-side MacGyver magic!

In the spirit of everybody’s swiss-army knife totting hero, I’ve curated a small compilation of emergency trail-side fixes: – Read More –

April 26, 2011

How Zen

This time the last two years, I felt very different. In the spring of 2009, I’d been on the indoor trainer and in the gym for months, working hard in prep for my bid for the full Transrockies. In 2010, coming off a solid race season, I enhanced my ‘off-season’ training with 2 outdoor rides per week putting in at least 10%+15% more training time overall. I’d emerged from winter with the base I needed to be a faster racer – I felt confident, strong, and fit going into that season.

This year, 2011, not so much. With the introduction of fatherhood, reduced sleep and increased hours at work, I haven’t had the energy or the drive to train. Back a few months ago, I knew things were going off the rails, so I made a pledge, publically, that I was going to pick it up and bear down, dropping from my peak winter-weight of 174lbs down to 160lbs, and increasing my watts/kg up to 4.0. Sadly, I haven’t made any significant headway. Though I’m down to under 165lbs, this is mostly due to watching my diet, not training. My watts/kilo were actually lower last month than the previous… Ouch… – Read More –

February 17, 2011

FaCT: LBP Training Theory

Train Smarter. Sounds good.

Marcel Laponder doesn’t have a degree of any kind, just a self-professed, ‘immense interest in Sport Science’. And, that’s what his blog ‘’ is about – challenging and questioning, not just the dominant pedagogical training paradigms we all know and love, but also the ever-immerging fringe theories.

Personally, I am always looking to find ways to train ‘smarter’, which to me means, training for better results in, yes, less time. I’m not looking for the magic bullet, or a cheat exactly – I like to work for my gains. The work (training) is part of the fun. But, I do want to know that I’m not wasting my time, logging ‘junk miles’ when I’m trying to get fitter and faster in the fixed amount of time I have to train. – Read More –

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