Monthly Archives: April 2011

Tornado damage


I am writing this post from my parent’s house. We lost power this morning at 5:45AM, and I would estimate that we won’t be getting power back for several days. This morning a tornado passed over our house and touched down about a mile away. Trees and powerlines down everywhere from about a mile north of us all the way up into Cahaba Heights past the Summit. In our neighborhood, a tree fell right through a house (picture above). A large tornado just destroyed part of Tuscaloosa and then made it way just north of Birmingham hitting several communities very hard.

At about 5AM, I woke up hearing something, but I didn’t know what it was. As I lay there groggy I realized it was the tornado sirens. I got up, turned on the TV, and saw that it was for the extreme northern part of the county – not a problem. I went back to sleep, but the sirens went off again at 5:30. This time, when I turned on the TV, the forecaster was telling everybody in Bessemer, Hoover, Riverchase to take shelter immediately. I grabbed the kids and we went down to the basement. I settled them on the floor, and everything was quiet for the next 15 minutes. Then it started to get windy, and we lost power. A few minutes later, the wind stepped up in intensity continuosly just getting harder and harder. I rolled over, laid on top of the kids on the floor and prepared to pull the mattress on top of us. Then, just like that, it was over.

I was still able to bike into work. I saw the tree down through the house in our neighborhood shown at the top of this post. And then through Vestavia I saw a few trees down and lots of debris/branches, but nothing really beyond a large thunderstorm. It wasn’t until I biked home and decided to head over to Dolly Ridge / Cahaba Heights that I realized how close a call we had this morning. The pictures below pretty much tell the story. Keep in mind that this was a relatively small tornado, especially compared to the monster that just hit Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, but still it really did a lot of damage on some roads that I ride all the time.

Update – many photos available on http://www.alabamawx.com/. This will take you to the main weather blog for ABC33/40. If you are viewing this days or weeks after the events of yesterday, then scroll down to the very bottom of the Alabama WX page and click on the blog history calendar and navigate to April 28, 2011.

Another update – after going back again today on my bike commute home, I think the more likely tornado path looks something like this satellite one:

4/28 updated damage path satellite view. The green X’s are large trees pushed over or broken in half. Many more than what is shown. These are just the ones that stood out to me. The red lines are where I rode my bike on my commute yesterday.


Damage map – my commute home and back to school temporarily and then home again

Barbers Ride to Live Race Reports


Wow, what a great day! This picture about says it all. My teammate Pat Allison won the Pro/1/2/3 race, and I managed to hold on for 3rd after putting in an attack on the last hill. Travis Sherman rode strong to finish 2nd after having won the Masters 30+ race earlier in the day.

Summary
Before I go into the details from the races, here is a quick summary. We fielded large teams for both the Masters 30+ race and the Pro/1/2/3 race. My teammate Wes Douglas made it into an early break with Joe Ruf from Madison and Travis Sherman (Marx and Bensdorf). Wes eventually took third with Travis taking the win. I attacked with two laps to go and then broke away from our chase group to take 4th.

For the Pro/1/2/3 race, we took 1st (Pat Allison), 3rd (Me), 6th (Terry Duran), 7th (Stuart Lamp), and 9th (Darryl Seelhorst). Pat and I bridged up to the winning break on the 2nd lap, and for a while we had five guys in the break. Eventually we finished with 3 guys in the break working our numbers perfectly to get the win!

The details – Masters 30+
For the Masters 30+ race, we lined up with six guys and were aggressive throughout the race. Wes made it into the day’s winning breakaway with Travis and Joe from Madison. Once their break was established, I decided to sit in and mark the strong guys to get the free ride across if they attacked. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much attacking so we lost our advantage in numbers as Wes was on his own to battle it out with Travis and Joe. With three laps to go, one of the Pacesetter Steel riders attacked hard, and I covered it. But the pack was still fresh enough to reel us back in. Then with two laps to go, I drifted to the back and then attacked into the headwind after the first turn. I bridged to another Pacesetter Steel rider who was already off the front bringing Will Hibberts (Alabama Masters) and Travis Werts (Sonic) with me. We worked together for a lap, but then I was feeling that our pace wasn’t fast enough so I attacked again on the last lap. Only Travis Werts was able to come with me and then came off on the last hill. So I rolled in for fourth. Sammy did well in the field sprint for 10th.

2011 Barbers Masters 30+ heartrate summary

2011 Barbers Masters 30+ heartrate data

The details – Pro/1/2/3
We had eleven guys line up for the start of this race. I think that is the most riders we have ever had in one race! We raced this race pretty much to perfection as we were attacking and covering everything. I countered one of Stuart’s attacks at the end of the first lap and only managed to string out the field. Coming through the start/finish, there was a counter attack to my attack and we had 3 guys cover the move — Terry, Darryl, and Paul. Also in the break were Travis Werts, Travis Sherman, and Joe Ruf from Madison. The break was working well together and starting to establish itself. Meanwhile, back in the group we took turns covering moves.

Towards the end of the second lap, Ed Whitehorn (Velocity Pro Cycles) attacked and Pat covered it. They got a good gap right away and we were on the most difficult part of the course, so I decided to bridge across to it. I got away cleanly from the field and as I came up to Pat, I yelled “Let’s go!”. Pat thought the entire field was still there so I went flying right by. As soon as Pat realized that we had a good gap, he attacked the small group he was in and bridged back up to me. So the two of us were away. We caught up to the break into the strong headwind after turn 1. We came up fast and tried to rally the troops, but some of the guys in the break were already struggling when we tried to ramp up the pace. The end result was that we lost one of our own riders (Darryl) from the break and disrupted the rhythm of the break temporarily. It was a tricky situation because we did ramp the pace up quite a bit, which we definitely needed to do in order to get enough of a gap before the corkscrew downhill where the pack would make up some time on us if they were chasing hard.

Within half a lap, though, we had settled in and started a good rotation and had started to put some good time into the field. We continued at a blistering pace working well together all the way until just before the start of the last lap. Travis Sherman knew that we would begin attacking so he decided to jump the gun and put in his own attack possibly to see if he could reduce the odds against him. Pat led the charge and chased Travis down as the rest of us strung out behind. Travis attacked again before the corkscrew. Then coming into the headwind after the cork screw, my teammate Terry Duran put in a perfect attack because it forced Travis to chase. We caught Terry at the base of the final hill, so I put in a counter attack right away. I was pretty much dying by this point so I wasn’t going that much faster but it was enough to get a gap to force Travis to chase again with Pat sitting on his wheel. Coming down the finishing stretch, Travis closed the gap to me and came around, but Pat was waiting and came around easily taking the sprint by several bike lengths. My initial attack had given us enough of a gap that I was able to hold on for third with Travis Werts charging hard for fourth followed by Joe Ruf and Terry.

Kristine told me after the race that Tria was all over everything back in the field, covering every single move that tried to get away from the group. At the end of the race, Stuart attacked on the last hill and was able to stay away for 7th place with Jan Kolar just behind. Then Darryl won the field sprint for 9th. So that’s about it, what a great race!

Coming off the last turn into the finishing straight, still with a small gap. Travis still chasing. Photo by Alan Laytham

Travis Sherman finishes closing the gap to me with Pat waiting to take the sprint. Photo by Alan Laytham

Pat Allison takes the win followed by Travis and me. Photo by Monika Duran

2011 Barbers ride to live pro/1/2/3 heartrate summary

2011 Barbers ride to live pro/1/2/3 heartrate data

Here are some videos from the Pro/1/2/3 race courtesy Kristine.

I ran out of battery on my iBike because I had left it running in between races and forgot my iPhone charger so for power data, I only have the first three laps of the Pro/1/2/3 race. I have annotated the attack as follows – 1) My initial attack 2) Waiting for Pat after he attacked to bridge back up to me 3) Finishing the bridge together to the group (400w min through here)

2011 Barbers ride to live pro/1/2/3 iBike power data

Pro/1/2/3 first three laps
Dist:        7.87 mi (0:18:16)
Energy:     329.7 kJ
Cals Burn:  315.2 kcal
Climbing:     248 ft
Braking:      0.0 kJ (0.0%)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power       0  300.8   924  W
Aero        0  152.6   564  W
Rolling    16   47.2    72  W
Gravity -1287    4.3   754  W
Speed     8.6   25.9  39.6  mi/h
Wind      0.0   18.2  34.0  mi/h
Elev      353    386   416  ft
Slope   -10.0   0.05   9.9  %
Caden       9   82.7   106  rpm
HR        118  174.3   192  bpm
NP 344 W; IF 1.148; TSS 40.1
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0055
168 lbs; 4/23/2011 1:27 PM
88 degF; 1013 mbar

Our entire bridge took just over 1.5 minutes and here are the stats on it:

---------Selection Stats---------
Dist:        0.75 mi (0:01:35)
Energy:      44.2 kJ
Cals Burn:   42.3 kcal
Climbing:      17 ft
Braking:      0.0 kJ (0.0%)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power       0  465.7   893  W
Aero        0  247.7   564  W
Rolling    34   52.0    65  W
Gravity  -647   29.7   706  W
Speed    18.8   28.5  35.3  mi/h
Wind      8.7   21.6  31.6  mi/h
Elev      388    397   409  ft
Slope    -6.5   0.31   9.7  %
Caden      63   84.7    99  rpm
HR        165  182.3   190  bpm
NP 437 W; IF 1.456; TSS 5.6
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0055
168 lbs; 4/23/2011 1:36 PM
88 degF; 1013 mbar