Are we there yet?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by CalicoCat, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. lanierb

    lanierb New Member

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    There are different ways to do a MAP test but here's one that Ric Stern recommends. It's easiest on a trainer and takes about 10 minutes (but hurts like heck): warm up a bit, then start pedaling at 150 watts. Increase power by 5 watts every 12 seconds (or 25 watts per minute). Keep going as long as you possibly can. When you think you can't do any more, do more. Then, when you fall off the trainer with your eyes bulging out of your head, take the mean maximal one minute power (should be AP over the last minute). That's your MAP.

    The reason I asked you about it is that FTP should be about 72-77% of MAP, and where yours falls in that range can tell you a bit about what your weaknesses are. For example, if you're at 77% then you're probably not going to get your FTP any higher without working on your VO2max and MAP first. If you're at 70% then you're untrained and need to do more aerobic volume and FTP will come up naturally (and also should come up quickly).


    If I understand your plan it is basically over a six week period I would do 90 to 120 minute rides with the rides have one long interval? The long interval would be a ramp up from the 200 to 220 with the last 20 minutes being 220. I would do the usual 5 days a week of training with 2 rest days. The length of the interval would start at 30 minutes and each week we extend the interval by 15 minutes. The remaining time in the ride would be L3. Correct and by week 6 I should see the results? Just want to make sure I got it down.

    Honestly I like to have more ways to approach my training as it can be a become a bit of a rut and really begin to become boring and frustrating especially when you are not seeing results. May I ask how you came up with this plan?


    I came up with it after reading how many 2x20s you've been doing and how 2x20 at 100% was fairly hard for you. I used to feel exactly that way too but now I don't and I owe that to more time at SST. These workouts will be hard, but less acutely painful, and more effective because eventually you will be getting 1:45 of time at near threshold instead of 0:40. You guys may remember that RapDaddyo used to regularly do 2:00 at SST. I used to think that was insane until I tried working up to it like this.
     


  2. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Reset and Ready

    I had a bit of a break from the bike. Last week on Monday and Tuesday I had to work overtime for an urgent deadline and then from Wednesday until Saturday I was doing a bit of traveling for my anniversary and had an interesting trip to North Carolina. I spent a lot from my CTL bank, but I think it was a worthy investment even though it looks bad in WKO.

    Looks can be deceiving I suppose. I opened WKO to log in the Sunday ride and the CTL was way down and even though I was not pushing hard yesterday the effort felt pretty good. I seemed to have the engine at the times that I tested the legs yesterday, but still kept the overall effort lower because I plan to start ramping up again. I am ready to go on another long block of training.

    It was interesting that while traveling I met a couple in North Carolina that own a bike shop/personal training studio. It was really interesting to meet the owners and they were super friendly as we chatted for almost an hour. The guy was busy training someone for most of that time, but his wife told me about his background, which is similar to mine. He is naturally (genetically) more gifted toward strength and has competed for a long time in bodybuilding. But like me he became interested in cycling and also tried to compete in cycling for a while. As his wife told me about a period of years where stopped lifting and tried to lose size to become more competitive. He simply could not get down to a lighter weight and after a period of years he stopped the struggle. He went back to lifting because it suited his genetics, but has kept in cycling because he enjoys it. Sounds just like the struggle that I have.

    He came out and spoke to me and said that he is finally content and has accepted that cycling for him can only be recreational although his studio for strength also includes cycling classes using the individual's bike and KK trainers. They have 3 certified cycling coaches on staff and have a triathalon team. Since the owner is much bigger muscular wise he leads a slower group on Saturday and the cycling coaches take the faster group out for more challenging training. I also like the guy because he does not advocate lifting as part of being a competitive cyclist. Like me he knows full well from experience that the additional muscular weight that we carry is too much of a burden in the all important watts/kg and frontal drag categories, but we are who we are.

    I suppose it was really comforting to me to meet someone like me that really likes cycling, but is genetically geared for the opposite sport. I can still pursue and train with the sound principles, but I have realized for a while now that I may never be that great of a cyclist. That being the case there is no reason for me to give up lifting and lose all the years I have invested in lifting. I can be content with the pursuit of being cross fit. It is a goal that I really enjoy training both strength and endurance. It was a great experience meeting this couple.

    Still in pursuit, but keeping the perspective realistic and happy about it.
     
  3. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Dude, it's not like we haven't been telling you about riding hard and on the rivet for 2 hours at mid to upper L3 :p Keep the power down on the uphills and keep the power up when the hills go down - less 500 watt peaks and no coasting... I took the alternate approach to getting upto a couple of hours - ride at the desired output until you slowly feel the power drain from your legs... and eek out the rest of the time doing the very best you can.

    For 2x20s, especially indoors, the only thing you should really be listening to are the voices in your head. I found by accident that I put out more power on the trainer with no music. TV, for me, is just never going to happen on the bike. If there's too many distractions I find that as the effort goes up I forget to relax and RPE goes up through the roof and power stays the same
     
  4. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    lb/swampy->ok, ok I get it! I had 3 days off and my CTL took a hit so I started today with the plan LB laid out. Honestly the toughest part is dealing with an hour of L3 work as 30 minute warmup and 30 minutes SST that the hour of L3 got a bit boring but lets give it a shot for 6 weeks and see the results. I expect once I get past an hour of SST this will be a different story.

    This will not be a good week to do the MAP test as just back and a bit beat up just from the convention. I will do it this week though. It will be pretty darn fast after the warm up if I am going up 25 watts a minute!! Looking at 8-10 minute max right now based upon my numbers.

    swampy, you are correct that all the stuff around me can be a distraction especially when I have a scene with Erin Cummins in Bitch Slap playing on the TV but once it gets tough it does not matter if she was physically in the room with me doing a strip tease where every 5 minutes I hold on another piece of clothing comes off I could not focus on her. They should build that into the CT software!! :) They can have a version for the ladies also!

    felt->Nice story and sounds like there are many brothers of steel out there.

    On a different note, the guy who did my fitting was my old coach at Sids. He really wanted me to do the 3 hour rides up to NYACK and beyond. Honestly while I feel really comfortable in CP now I still have these lingering nightmares of when I rode with them and got my ass handed to me time and time again to a point that I you just give up. I really want to try again as I am doing well in CP and he says these are a new bunch of guys but I wondered....

    If I go I really want to be ready so for different time intervals given my 245 watt ftp, what is the max I should keep in mind to finish the ride atleast. Meaning swampy your advice about not doing too many 400 watt instead bring them down to 350 watts was very helpful. I was trying to figure out than i.e.

    5 minutes, max can do before blow up is X at Y wattage. Is there a way to calculate X and Y? Or am I looking at this the wrong way?

    -js
     
  5. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    You really don't need a warmup for L3 - just take it a bit easier for the first 5 minutes or so mainly to get relaxed on the bike. For me that's just long enough to get out of the housing subdivision and zero the PT.

    Give it a go around 210 watts, give or take a few... No need to be completely anal about being spot on. Ride, get a feel for it and check every so often. Don't be too worried about going over threshold for some short hills if you want to keep up the speed but if you do it too often you'll pay for it later in the ride.

    If you can't do 210 and you suffer for the last 1/2 hour - no worries. Just take a minute to figure out if you ate and drank enough before and during the ride and if you did then try 200 the next time out.

    If you get "bored" in the first hour, there's always a bunch of stuff to work on to ease the boredom. Get in the drops and figure out how low you can go and still be relaxed does it for me. After a while the urge to "not relax" and the associated arm/shoulder/neck discomfort just pushes that boredom right outa me...
     
  6. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    swampy->The 210's or for that matter the 220's are not hard, honestly a bit too easy for only one interval at 30 minutes and than the remaining time being spent in L3 is just boring honestly. The 2 x 20 at near 100% ftp keeps you interested!! Now I can watch a movie and remember it. I do think though as we increase that 30 minutes pass an hour it will be a different story.

    You nailed it as right now how I keep my interest is by going into the drops for 5-10 minutes at a time during the interval. I want to get used to it so I can ride much longer in the drops.

    BTW, I can put a PT on the Ritchey aero wheel. It is 24 spoke and my friend ordered it today.

    -js
     
  7. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Ride 220watts for 2 hours and let me know how that last 30 minutes is...

    If it's easy then up the duration to 2hrs and 30 or ride at 2hrs at 230watts. Rinse and repeat until you find something where the last 1/3 is 'fun.' The idea isn't to grind yourself into the dirt during every ride though... not far off but "challenging without complete mental devastation" would be about right. ;) If you can get off your bike with a bit of a smile left from a job well done but think "boy, I'm f*#ked" then you know you've got it right. The first 40 minutes won't seem terribly hard but pacing during that time is the hardest to get right at first as you'll probably let the power slide slowly upwards, sometimes a little to far.

    The other upside is efficiency. Not going eyeballs out allows you to concentrate on "the not-so-little" things. Elbows in, in the drops, head somewhat tucked... At upper L3 you're putting out enough push on the pedals to make the drops seem a little easier and if you get around to keeping the position good for most of the ride you'll be covering a fair distance in 2 to 3 hours. I would worry too much about aero wheels unless you're going to race on them. For training it's all about bombproof and reliable. Sadly I have a bombproof wheel where the powertap is the least reliable but most expensive part of the equation...
     
  8. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    swampy->I will stick with the six week program and see how it works out. Moving up 15 minutes each week but I will still do my one day a week at CP if not 2. Right now it is a good idea as can even loose those last 5 pounds and get lots of TSS. Lets see how it all work out. Than I will test the 1 hour @ 250 and see what happens.

    Got to do the MAP test also.

    As for the aero wheels I used those wheels when I did CX with knobbys also. I am surprised how strong they are. But you got me figured out I will do a TT or race for sure if not end of this year than next year for sure.

    -js
     
  9. lanierb

    lanierb New Member

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by swampy1970 .

    If it's easy then up the duration to 2hrs and 30 or ride at 2hrs at 230watts. Rinse and repeat until you find something where the last 1/3 is 'fun.' The idea isn't to grind yourself into the dirt during every ride though... not far off but "challenging without complete mental devastation" would be about right. ;)

    Yeah if 210 or 220 is too easy, just up the power a bit and do 230 (or more). Emphasize finishing the full workout time though, so don't overdo it. The 30 min one is supposed to be "easy". Heck even the 1:45 one shouldn't kill you. You don't need to kill yourself. Just do the time. That's kind of the point of SST.

    Keep up your other regular workouts as well. This is just one piece of the puzzle.
     
  10. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Since communicating last year with RDO and Dave, I set forth on that plan. I would say it is my bread and butter out of all that I do.
    This year I have tried my best to have longer bouts of L3 and I have not really been that focused in on constant L4 sessions.

    My Sunday session is a 2 x 60 at L3 as a goal. The only reason that I do not always get a constant L3 is more to do with the difficulties of outdoor training (pedestrians, traffic, traffic stops), but I can typically get at least a solid parsed 90 minutes in L3 most of the time. There are some days when there is an open path, nice wind resistance that I can rack up a little bit in L4, but that to me is the beauty of an SST goal. Some will be in top of L3 and some may end up in low L4. It is somewhat difficult at times, but most of the time is right there at the brink of just being slightly uncomfortable. I seem to recover nicely and be ready for the next training session, whereas, higher intensity sessions do seem to impact my next training day.

    I am now dialing in on how much fluid and carbohydrate replacement to use during these 120 minute sessions so that I can begin to work on the watts/kg factor. I am on a multiuse path for this training which is about the equivalent of sitting on the trainer outdoors and yet I want to do this session so badly that I do not get bored with it. As matter of fact I anticipate the next time I get to go, but I have a 40 minute drive to get to the path. My cycling friends think I am insane and they tell me it is the most boring place in the world to train, but I just don't feel that way. This flat path is just like the rollers or trainer because in order to go forward you have to put torque on the pedals, whereas, the routes my friends like are typically rolling hills. The one minute hills that they like have just as much coasting as it does of having effort. The hills are steep enough that one cannot spin fast enough to to keep the watts in L3. It is just about virtually impossible to keep constant torque, but I try my best on the group ride to still smooth out the hills as best possible. I can still rack up long bouts of L3 on those rides, but the Sunday flat path is sweet because it just makes the session so much easier to keep near the same cadence. I believe it is that I want it so bad that I am never bored with the session. Typically I want to stay out there longer, but I stick with my prescribed 2x60 session and not break the structure so that I can recover and be ready for the next training day.

    I can see the result that RDO told me that I would get last fall. I am not the flashy hill sprinter, but on long rides with my friends I can see a big difference this season. Since all of this takes a long time for metabolic adaptation I look forward to see where I will be in a couple more years if I can continue to train in this manner. I feel as if I am really just starting this journey that I am not really going to concern myself with anytype of dedicated L5/L6 in the next year or two. Since I do not race nor do I have intention to race being able to do these long distance events I really just want to focus on keeping it aerobic.

    I just wished my typical weekday would allow me to have more of these 120 minute SST
    To be clear I am doing some L4 (typical 2x20's) on Tuesday and Thursdays because I have less training time available. Or I will do a 60 minute session with 20 minutes in L4 on the KK trainer and the remaining time at a high L3 on the rollers. Wednesday I do a 1x60 of L3 on the e-Motion rollers.

    I am not gaining like SOT did (my genetics are obviously different), but with the goals that I have RDO and Dave's suggestions have put me on a good starting path.
     
  11. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    lb->I am willing to give the program a shot as a nice change up from current program. I will still mix in my CP rides but when on the CT I will do the prescribed workout. The only place I can go and ride on weekdays is CP and similar to Felt the terrain will not work for that type of workout as it is just a bunch of rolling hills. My only concern is that prior to my LB issues I did tons of this type of workout with little results when I rode in CP. Yes I could ride hours on end and perform well but that was not what CP was about. CP is about harder and faster for shorter periods of time. So if I see myself falling off there I may switch back. I can see though for Felt that this will be a great way to have him perform well on the weekend rides as they are long.

    In any case with the new fitting, this is a good test cause day after day of > 2 hours in the saddle will let me know how the LB is doing, burn off some calories and finally give me more time to get comfortable in the drops. So plenty of win, win right now.

    -js
     
  12. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I was thinking the same for you in that we have similar goals for an improved FT, but differ in our goals in specific goals of short crit like rides compared to long distance and long hours.
    I do not feel as if I would do well in a short crit style of cycling these days, but if you give me about 30 miles to warm up I can do well in mile 90 to 100. ...kidding a little about the warm up miles....sort of..... /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  13. lanierb

    lanierb New Member

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    JS: Sounds good. Let us know how it goes. That workout has done wonders for me I think. How many hours per week do you train right now? (I'm at about 10 over the last few months, which is the most ever for me.)
     
  14. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    lb-> I usually train five days a week unless work/personal gets in the way. For the four out of the five days it would vary from 90 minutes to 120 minutes on the CT/bike. One day a week depending on how I feel would be 120 minutes or can be 3-4 hour variety. So for me you are looking at ~12 hours a week.

    When I am thinking in terms of watts/intervals I use the CT and when I am thinking of simply testing myself I do CP to get more bike handling and IF up there and last for long rides it usually means NYACK and beyond. In NYC CP is the only place I can go during weekdays and still make it to work at a reasonable hour. Even than I have to be out the door by ~5, 530 to use CP before they let in the traffic in the morning. CP terrain is just too variable to really get nice long blocks of steady output. The only issue recently has been the CT has been eating my tires. Somehow I dug a groove into it and while I try to make sure the tire does not hit the groove, sometimes the tire moves a slight bit and it literally will just eat the tire up. I have had to change back tires now three times this year. :(

    But as for the workouts today when I got off the CT I felt as swampy would say "farked". With the way I had my workouts set previously they were front loaded so by the third day in the cycle I would have a lighter workout say a 2 x 20 @ 220 but only 90 minutes total on the CT. Also my one day a week at CP I can now usually finish my 5 loops in less than 90 minutes especially if I can latch on to the right group. I believe the 2 hours a day now for 3 days straight is tougher for several reasons. It is not the interval of 30 minutes but the additional 60 minutes at L3 that has been adding up and making me want to sleep as I am typing this. I see my TSS has been ~150 for 3 days. Tomorrow I will take off and than Friday either CP or back to grind. Also 2 hours a day on the CT really makes the butt/LB sore which is a good thing as it reminds me I have to keep moving around even on the CT at times. Going into the drops helps with that.

    Funny thing today I started to get those hunger issues that I had when I used to do lots of high TSS rides. For some reason dying for something sweet and it needs to be a diet something like coke. I need to get nutrition down if I plan on more of these rides. I may as well just order a big jug of hammer perpetium. It worked wonders when I found a pack of it in NYACK bike shop.

    Other thing I feel very comfortable in my new bike fitting and even more comfortable in the drops especially outdoors when I tested during my commute right now but for some reason do not feel the snap as with the old setup I did through trial and error and while uncomfortable at times I really felt I could move. I need to test this at CP and see how I do as can all be in my head. I look down at the PT and I seem to be going pretty fast. I got into the office today from upper east side in less than 12 minutes, not bad at all.

    Last thing I wanted to ask you folks as I have been riding more in the drops and moving around a lot more on the bike is

    What is the correct way to do out of saddle sprint in terms of upper body? I usually just get out of saddle and my upper body is loose while my legs will swing the bike right, left as I try to generate more power. But the guy who did the fitting seems to indicate that your lower body stays fairly steady while pumping and it is your arms that will swing the bike right, left. I have tried this way and my arms are now sore but it forced me to tighten my core more so the bike does not swing to much and I sense more power is generated. Correct?

    -js
     
  15. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    felt->That was always the issue with CP. Being able to hold 260 watts for an hour or even 20 minutes really was not going to help you to hang on with a fast group. It really would come down to how many times you could hold on to the group on the hills, both sides. If you over did it on the uphill, it really did not matter that you hung on as they would pull away on the downhill anyway. I became much better at not over doing it on the uphills and even if someone started to pull away I could always find them on the other side.

    I believe the 1-10 minute power to really be important with ofcourse 20lbs less body weight, better handling skills (less braking) and riding more aero position. Also I finally understood why my friend kept telling me to use the 42. Many in CP really want to turn that 53 in a big cog but I have found that a 42 in my lower cogs to be perfect for CP. You can fly and hang on to most without many issues until you hit the rider who can spin that 53 almost as fast as I can spin my 42 :(.. He thinks I should switch out the 53 for a 48-50. He said though do not do that until you have ridden the 42 so much that a couple teeth are missing...

    -js
     
  16. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Your bike fitter has the right idea.

    When sprinting out of the saddle you should:

    - Raise just a bit off the saddle, not standing tall like you might while climbing a hill out of the saddle

    - Keep your upper body flexed, tense and low in the front to counter the big forces at the start of the sprint and allow you to pull on the bars as you push with your legs and to stay as aerodynamic as possible as that makes a difference at top speeds

    - Jump just a bit forward to really pound on the pedals but not so far forward that you take too much weight off the back wheel and have it slip or skip during the opening hard pedal strokes of the sprint. A good rule of thumb is to jump forward, low with flexed arms so that your shoulders are roughly straight above your hands but no farther forward

    - As you get on top of your sprinting gear and start getting up to speed pull the bars so the bike rocks side to side but only as much as you can continue to ride a straight and safe line, you should be pulling up with each arm as you drive down on the same side pedal, IOW pull up on the right hand as you pound down on the right foot to generate more peak force than you could with body weight and gravity alone

    - In short (e.g. 100m, 150m or less) sprints you should jump with your tense and crouched upper body and pound on those first few pedal strokes with all you've got and then wind your legs as fast as they'll go all the way to the line. Don't try to ramp up into short sprints like coming around another rider in the closing meters, hit it hard and then wind it out with leg speed

    - Pick an appropriate gear which is generally smaller than most folks think. A good rule of thumb in shorter peak speed sprints is to jump in a gear you can spin at 90-100 rpm while approaching the sprint. Folks worry about spinning out their gears and tend to over gear sprints but can't get the bigger gear up to speed quickly enough. With a bit of practice you should be able to wind your legs up to 130-140 rpm or more (track sprinters can spin much faster than that in full out sprints) if you don't over gear. Jump from 90 rpm in a reasonably sized gear and you should be able to wind your legs out till you've increased your speed by 40% or more (e.g. accelerating from 25 mph to 35 mph on jump and leg speed), try to do that in a gear you're only turning at 75 or 80 rpm before the sprint and you'll more often than not bog down and never hit your top speed or power.

    Here's some great visuals on sprint form:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc1yeX_7lWM

    -Dave
     
  17. lanierb

    lanierb New Member

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    Both of these suggest you are not eating well enough. Most people don't recognize what it feels like to have low blood sugar. It feels like you want to go to sleep. I don't know if it's total amount or just timing of your eating, but you need to eat more carbs.
     
  18. teebone

    teebone New Member

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    Amen and amen. This is great advice. A sprint is typically won in the first 50 meters. When over-geared you really can't get that "snap" to create separation. I have spent a lot of time working out the best cadence to get the sprint started. Personally, I have found ~110 to be the best starting point.

    Small ring sprints have been a big help for me to develop this as it has never come naturally for me.

     
  19. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds alot like he's just very tired. Lots of stress over time and one of the common side effects is increased levels of ghrelin and cortisol. If you feel sleepy and start getting the late night munchies - go to bed. :p
     
  20. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    dave->As always thanks for the detailed response. I have been approaching closer to a full out of saddle type position. I tested it as you described and can see the difference. I actually find more power I can generate when just riding on the rivet than coming completely out of the saddle when going up hills but my hills in CP are more like bumps. When I did touring I am not sure I could do the same thing as the rolling hills were much longer but less gradual upgrade.


    lb/swampy->I usually have a cup of tea and two pieces of toast with some PB/J. Lots of water during the ride. I had not had those hunger feelings this year but I was not doing so many back to back days of 2 hour rides as been avoiding big amounts of L3. I was either high SST or L2 honestly. I will get that perpetium as it really made me feel full during my longer rides this year. As for tired, yeah no way around it, I am not used to this regimen yet. I will adapt. I just hope my LB adapts with it. I actually can say that the new fitting is a change in the + right now for the LB.
    I tested the sprints down 5th avenue this early morning to see if I could beat 11 minutes and was just under. 5th avenue at 6am is so empty, you can fly. I can see that I am keeping the same speed or more based upon my commutes but I do notice I am forgetting "souplese". I finally remembered down 5th avenue when I was hitting 42nd street and slight upgrade and was going to power through but instead downshift, increased cadence and kept the 22 mph. Today I am taking off and tomorrow I will go to CP as I have to do my monthly blood drain later that day. Friday is a real quiet day in CP as most take off or just go for a quick ride before the races on the weekend.

    -js
     
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