Drops me like a rock

hardysebringframedThe year 2016 was a very good year for Team Moose and 2017 is picking up right where 2016 left off.  The virtual training by Zwift is really paying off.  It has added some new paZaz into our cycling routine.  Not only has the fun factor jumped six notches it is definitely giving both of us a boost in performance. Sorry boys and girls but those of you disregarding the value of the Zwift community are really missing out.

This season started with the Sebring 12 hour race in sunny Sebring Florida.   Certainly, one of my favorites.   This is a well-done race. Not only does it have a strong showing of recumbents but the live car racing on the track adds an additional “go fast” atmosphere not found in other bike races.

Two weeks before Sebring Cruzbike diwindtunneld some wind tunnel testing on the  Vendetta and shared this data with their customers.  As a result, lots of Cruzbikes showed up with all kinds of weird looking attachments on their bikes.  We cyclists are a strange bunch. Heck, one guy showed up without any handlebars.  Sebring continues to be a Cruzbike reunion of sorts.    We saw many old friends and met new ones, and some we had only known through the internet.  I hope this Cruzbike tradition continues to flourish.  We plan on being back next year.  You can read the official Cruzbike Sebring report here and the wind tunnel testing here.

conie-lift-copy-600frameRegarding the personal side of the race, Team Moose set their Sebring goal for Ms. Daisy to get over 200 miles.   We pulled out all the stops to make this happen; and yes she did.  Perhaps the biggest ploy was switching bikes and letting her race on my Vendetta.  For all you skeptics out there, the Vendetta is truly a special bike and it is verifiably fast.  By changing bikes she was able to see an immediate increase in speed.  Oh, and now without an ounce of remorse, she can drop me like a rock.  It gets worse.  She has claimed the vendetta as hers!  I can’t even sit on it.  That is another story, so back to Sebring. Even with getting lost, crashing, and losing track of the time she crushed the 200-mile goal with 210 miles setting a course record in her age group.  Now she is talking 230three-on-threeframe+ miles for next year. Next year?  I thought this was a one time deal and then she would go back to quilting!  Two lessons learned.  One, “Sebring good.” Number two, be very, very careful to who you lend your Cruzbike out to because you might not see it again.

Moving along to this weekend. We participated in our local Biking Bleckley Metric Century along with good friend and Sebring racer Tiger Paw.  This was a fun ride and of course we were feeling  our oats and a bit froggy after Sebring so theTrio of Cruzbikes had a blast riding briskly around this years breezy course watching the diamond frame ridercruzbike3frames struggle in the wind. Even the dogs left us alone. Some days chickens; some days feathers says the fox.  So far it’s been chicken days for Team Moose.salute Keeping our fingers crossed.  In recumbentland we stand united. —-Go Cruzbike.—–

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It’s mayhem in Moose land

carrie-zwiftI lost my Vendetta rights today. It all started when I purchased a Neo smart trainer and an app called Zwift. Zwift seemed to be the answer to all my cycling needs. Racing, training, and a community that just got it; At last, real people who understand people like me, the ultimate bicycle fanatic. Team moose was on a roll, a big time roll; just the thing needed to get Team Moose ready for Sebring. For those who don’t know, the Sebring 12/24 is one of the premiere bicycling events held on the East Coast. This February event is held at the Sebring international raceway in Florida. It’s a popular RAAM qualifier and draws cyclists from around the world. Zwift was the answer to getting Team Moose ready for this year’s action. But now it seems Team Moose is in turmoil and it started with Zwift and this stupid smart trainer. Zwift the ultimate gimmick to take one’s money and create turmoil in the home.

Ms. Daisy and I quickly adapted to the indoor training. The ability to ride whenever you felt like it regardless of the weather was simply put, sweet. Then it happened, the battle for the Neo. It quickly became obvious only one rider at a time can ride when there is only one trainer in the house. This wasn’t a hard issue to resolve but should have been a warning that a storm was on the horizon. A much larger problem developed with the registering for Zwift. Zwift is an online app that costs ten bucks a month. Not a large amount of money and well worth the cycling joys it promises to bring. But this is not all it brings. You see, when you sign up, you sign up under one name. Well, when you ride all of your data is stored in various places such as Strava so you can brag to all of your friends. Not only this but you get prizes like faster virtual wheels for riding so many miles. See the problem? We have two people accumulating data under one name and the Zwift folks, as nice as they are, happen to be bound and determined to expose every incident of “cheating” that has ever occurred in Zwift. Don’t try it. You’ll be demonized! OK, so now we throw in another ten bucks a month and have two accounts. They are sensibly called #1Team Moose and # 2 Team Moose. Get this, after two weeks Daisy wants to know why she is number two she wants to be number 1. Fine, another change Daisy is now #1 Team Moose and I’m #2.

More problems arise. Seems that even for a bicycle fanatic a smart trainer set up in the living room (with all the computers, fans, microphones, and towel holders) is not working so the set-up is banished to the garage. Ching, ching! Notice the addition of a microphone has been added to talk to all the Zwifters on another app called Discord during the rides. The fact that Discord has yet to work is irrelevant. Still more money goes into the black hole. Speaking of more money, the garage has no television so guess what? Yep, ching, ching! This is getting pathetic.

A few minor problems but it looks like everything is under control now. A great set up in the garage. A new wide screen TV, commo, and a boom box to boot. Did you know listening to Credence while racing will up your Wt/kg ratio by .7? I’m cooking with mo-gas now baby, one problem. Numbers don’t lie. I am the official holder of the slowest racer to ever grace Zwift land. I have more last place finishes than anyone in the history of Zwift. What more can I say? I’ll tell you what #1 says. “what the heck are you doing, and why are you the one riding VaMoose,” she asked. VaMoose, of course, is my esteemed Vendetta. Tomorrow we embark on a 200-mile ride to Jacksonville. #1 will ride VaMoose and I’m relegated to my old friend CruzMoose (Silvio). If things go as expected, this will cinch the new Sebring plan. Ms. Daisy rides Sebring on the Vendetta and I’ll be her Domestique as long as I can hold on. And that’s how I lost my Vendetta. Maybe it’s time for that second trainer. Ching, ching!

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Team Moose enters cyclings virtual reality

neoI don’t even own a cell phone so when Team Moose went whole hog into the virtual trainer cycling community, it surprised more than just a few.  Yes, we did it.  We came out from under the rock and discovered the joys of a  TACX NEO smart trainer and Zwift, a cycling app that’s darn near as fun as the real thing.   Now we can Ride-Log-and Repeat morning, noon, and night.

I won’t go into all the technical aspects of the NEO and Zwift mainly because I don’t understand half of it, but this is the short version. You can take your bike into your living room, hook it to a trainer, and ride with thousands of other riders along a variety of courses found around the world (some real and some made up).sitneo The trainer not only measures your W/Kg ratio, heart rate, cadence, etc., it is also able to adjust the resistance so you get to feel that 10% climb or descent.  But wait there’s more.  When you hit the cobblestones, wooden bridges, or rough roads, the thing will give you a realistic rumble feeling. Some will say big deal, but I have yet to see anyone fail to smile when they first experience it. The wheelsucker will really love these trainers.  When they fall inside the draft envelope of another rider, they experience the reduced workload they love so much.  How does it know?  I don’t know, but I guess thats why they call them smart trainers.

When you pair the Neo with the Zwift app, it puts you into a virtual cycling community with riders from around the world. This has opened up the sky to the possibilities.  Now you can train along side your brother/friend who is on the other side of the planet.  Cycling teams can practice race strategies or groups can just get together and ride.  If racing is your thing, Zwift is the place.  You can find a race to enter almost any hour of the day.  There are hundreds of races going on for every level of rider.  Descriptions and rules can be found HERE that give you more detail than I can.  You even get a complete leaderboard ranking at the end of the race.  Here’s another popular addition.  They add game room chat apps like Discord to the mix so they have audio between all the riders during the race/ride.  Trainers aren’t just trainers anymore; it’s so much more than this.  Check it out.  Heck, check out Team Moose and give us a thumbs up, we’re probably riding right now.2nd-5k

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The Trip

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Red Rock Canyon

We finally did it.  Team Moose went on that often talked  about but never materialized hiking/ biking vacation.  To the bottom of the Grand Canyon, through the Hoo-Doos in Bryce, and The Narrows in Zion followed by riding parts of the Hoo Doo 500,  RAAM, Trans Am Bike Race, and Natchez Trace routes. Needless to say our legs are trashed but we are already planning for Road Trip 2.

 Just as in any adventure there are lots of lessons learned and this trip was no exception.  Below are some of our after biking thoughts: Continue reading

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Cruzbikes are Simply amazing

smileyhillvstand2The Cruzbike is truly an amazing bicycle.   The best traits are taken from the recumbent and traditional diamond frame bike designs and  blended together making it a uniquely fast, efficient, and comfortable ride.  From my optic it makes for the perfect randonneur bike.

When one first sees the unique front wheel drive moving bottom bracket associated with the Cruzbike it seems like a bit over the top.  But a closer look will reveal the genius in the design.  When the Cruzbike is parked in its self-standing mode you can easily see the  front of a cruzbike is identical to the drive train on a traditional diamond frame bicycle.   Now add a recumbent seat and a rear wheel and you get the best from both worlds.   A short chain line and stiff frame of the traditional bike and the comfort and aerodynamics of the racing recumbent.  Team Moose is on the Cruzbike train and not looking back.
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OUCH!

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I haven’t forgotten but at least the sting had faded — at least until today. A package arrived from Paris. It contained the PBP 18th edition magazine along with the official 2015 video. Blatantly missing was the medal for those successfully completing the ride. I didn’t bother to look at the pages listing the results, including my DNF.  Are these guys trying to rub it in? But the video was pretty good. This year they used a drone and have some excellent fly overs. I was even able to pick out a good sleeping spot for 2019 when I hope to try again.

 

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New word in the Lexicon a “Tarzan.”

He did it! On January 9th Kurt Searvogel (Tarzan) set a new world’s record for the most miles ridden in a day.  He rode 76,076 mile over a 365 day period breaking Tommy Godwin’s 78-year-old record by 1,000 miles.  I have enjoyed following the trials and tribulations of Kurt and his wife Alicia this  year.  tarzan

This whole “most miles in a year” thing simply blows my mind.  Tommy Godwin’s 1939 record  was described as an “unbreakable record”. Riding  75,065 miles in a single year meant Tommy averaged 206 miles every day for a year.  Every day!  This feat even added a new word to the cyclists’ lexicon.  In ultra racing the word is known as  a “Godwin” meaning a distance of 206 miles.   Well, it looks like there is a new word needed in the ultra racing community.  This would be a “Tarzan”.  This is Tarzan’s daily average over the year.  To earn a “Tarzan” one simply has to ride 208 miles in one session.

So is this year’s mileage thing over for another 78 years.  Not hardly.  Even as we speak Steve Abraham of Great Britain is out there every day with a plan to break Kurt’s record.  Yes, this is the same Steve who was hit by a moped breaking his ankle and realistically ending his first attempt at the record. He restarted the challenge on 8 August and is giving it another spirited attempt. His goal is to beat Kurt by over a 1000 miles.  Then there’s  Bruce Berkeley, a Kiwi who started the challenge on January 1. Steve is another capable rider who has an impressive long distance palmares.  Time will  tell if they can hold up day after day.  But right now Kurt s the undisputed King of the jungle and Team Tarzan deserves a grand toast!

 

 

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