Daily Archives: May 3, 2010

Global Ride “Climbing Suffrage in Italy”

I had the opportunity on Saturday to test ride a Global Ride roller workout DVD – “Climbing Suffrage in Italy“. Here’s how that opportunity came about — my wife was working this weekend, and my parents were out of town so I was in charge of our kids all day. When my wife came home in the evening, it was too late to go ride outside so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try out this new workout. I rarely ride inside, and when I do I am usually doing a recovery ride on the rollers while listening to music or watching an old Tour de France or Paris Roubaix DVD. But this day was different because I knew that I had a hard race coming up on Sunday, and also because the people I would be racing against were all racing in Dilworth, NC at that very moment. So I wanted to get a good hard workout in to get my legs ready for Sunday.

The Global Ride DVD was absolutely PERFECT! Normally I can’t get my heartrate out of Zone 3 on the rollers but with this DVD I made it all the way into Zone 5. The music was great although the first five minutes of introductory warm-up music was a bit too mellow for my taste. I think you were supposed to be stretching during that time, but I just spun easy. Then the last few minutes of easy warm-up was some good upbeat music before hitting the first section of the course — rollers on the scenic 2009 Giro D’Italia Stage 12 TT course. This was still a warm-up section, but at a faster pace as encouraged by the New Zealander coach. I believe the section that was covered was from miles 9 to 12 (see my topocreator map below). The views were stunning!

Then onto the main climb for the day — a 30 minute climb in Italy — the DVD shows you a nice Google Earth animation of the climb right as you hit it. The climb is not simply 30 minutes all out, but rather, the coach and the two accompanying riders do a good job of helping you go faster of slower to recover. The video coverage is smooth and switches between the view of the road ahead (mostly) and then a view of the companion riders who are either behind or ahead of you depending on what effort the coach currently has you doing. There are also occasional views of the spectacular scenery too. Once you push it to the top, you only have a couple minutes rest before you hit a different climb. This climb is full of switchbacks which the coach uses to push you hard on some short intervals. The cooldown begins once you make it to the very top as you see a beautiful ocean view stretched out below you looking back down to the beach where you could imagine you had just climbed up from. Then there are some scenes of Florence as you finish your cool-down.

Wow – loved it – here’s the highlights of what I liked –

  • timer – easy to see and always visible
  • good music – although warm-up music was a bit too mellow
  • creative use of pace riders to encourage pushing it and/or recovery
  • absolutely beautiful scenery – giro d’ italia tt course
  • “sweet switchbacks” – good hard climbing – beautiful view of ocean from the top

Looking forward to the next one!

Sandy Springs USA Crits Race Report

Sunday’s finale of the annual USA Crits Speedweek racing series was the traditional Sandy Springs wrap-up race. The six corner course is wide and fast with lots of elevation change throughout the course. The big factor for the race was the wind — very gusty winds — helping to contribute to many crashes. Even with all the crashes and disappointing performances this year, the USA crits series is one of the highlights of my year as it is a chance to race against a lot of the non-regional pros who don’t normally venture into the South. I’ll just look towards this year as a great learning experience, great training, and motivation to train and race harder and smarter next year!

The tricky part of Sandy Springs is finding the right places to pass people using the least amount of energy. The outside line is the place to do this — but crashes all head to the outside. I was lucky to avoid all the crashes throughout the race, but on the last lap going through the start/finish line on a straight section of the course two riders collided with each other and went down hard taking a number of other riders down with them. I was right behind the wreck, skidded to nearly a stop before realizing that I could squeeze through the wreck between a rider on the ground and his bike which had flown off to the right. Unfortunately a large gap had opened up to the field and about 10 of us made it through the wreck into a small chase group with the rest of the field completely out of it because of the wreck. With only one lap to go in the race, the pace in the field of about 30 riders (keep in mind we started with 150 riders) was too fast for us to catch them but we started to pick off riders who had done their leadout and sat up. When we came to the finish, we were sprinting for 27th place and unfortunately I placed 6th in the sprint putting me 3 spots out of the money. Still, it was a great hard workout — see my heartrate data below … no annotations but I will point out the speed and hr high points just before mile 16.5 — a small group of riders had gotten away into a break without one of the major pro teams. The resulting chase was “hard” to say the least!!! We were strung out single file for two complete laps with none of the traditional bunching up in Turns 1, 2, and 5.