The Longest Ride

The journey is ramping up.    Now the pressure is on for Team Moose.  Here is a nice article by Coach Jordan Cheyne in the Zwift Insider about Connie’s PBP aspirations.


For the past 14 months or so I have been contributing to Zwift Insider in my Open Pro column covering the exploits of a professional cycling career with a side of training and data analysis. That column will continue in 2019 but I am excited to debut a new feature here: The Peak Form Coaching Project. The aim of the project was to help one motivated Zwift athlete with a full year of free premium coaching and showcase the process here in regular updates. I wanted to help someone with a lofty goal and show how effective coaching and the use of Zwift can bring big cycling dreams into reality. Personally, I also wanted a personal challenge as a coach and I certainly found one.

Go here to read the rest of the story

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Time is moving on

tour bag prototype1The new year has arrived and Team Moose is scrambling to get up to speed.   Lots of things to talk about are going on in the cycling sphere. We just can’t find the time to share.  The two years of primarily Zwifting does not seem to have had a negative effect on our outdoor riding performance.  This is based on our latest January  200K Brevet time.  I hope to post some updates soon.moose8

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PBP 2019

“I’m  53 years old, I am out of shape, overweight, and without the funds necessary to complete the 2007 Paris-Brest-Paris Cycling event.   So why do I pursue this unlikely goal? The more one reads about the ‘granddaddy of them all’ the more one will understand why I intend to give it a go. ”  (2006 CGOAB Blog entry)

Fast forward twelve years to 2018 and things haven’t changed from my CGOAB blog quote much except now my body is tired, mind is weak, and muscles lack the strength to push out any type of respectable wattage needed to cruise to Brest and back from Paris.  So one must ask, “What am I thinking”? Well, I’m thinking, “one more time.”  So here we go. Team Moose in its entirety officially sets their goals for Paris 2019.  This time Daisy will be right along side of me or more likely in front of me to ensure I don’t get carried away as I did last time.

turtle tour

Some may have noticed to date our preparations haven’t been as stellar as one would might like.  But, a recent gift (above) illustrating our journey has inspired us to get in gear.  The poster is now displayed prominately in the Team Moose playground (below) lest we forget and become slackers once more.

poster1

Today was a big day.  We rode outside for the first time in months!  A twenty-six mile recovery ride after back to back Zwift  Tour of Innsbruck stages 3 & 4 rides. Real life riding is a bit bumpier ride than I remember but I think we can make this happen.   Tour de Moose preparations have begun as well as the fun.

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Changing of the Guard

Those who own recumbents know transporting a velo-couche is not an easy task.   Our requirement of hauling them inside a small sized vehicle makes it even harder.  Very few vehicles can meet our criteria of being compact and have the required inside storage space for two recumbent bicycles.

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We’re gonna miss you!

These Recumbents are 72 inches from nose to tail.  Even the trusty Honda requires some  manipulation to get them safely anchored in the back.  Unfortunately, father time has taken its toll on the Element and we are forced to find a vehicle more reliable for cross country jaunts.  The plan was find another Element. Finding a low mileage Honda for sale was futile and of course buying a new one is not possible. Honda unwisely stopped production of the Element circa 2013.    So what to do? After searching far and wide we think we have it.  The Ram Promaster City Wagon appears to be the solution.  This five passenger compact wagon is just the ticket.

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The three rear passenger seats in the raised position.

The US market is most familiar with the Ram Promaster City commercial mini-van.  Ram distinguishes  between the commercial and passenger vehicles by using the designation Promaster City Van and Promaster City Wagon.  In Europe the Wagon is a well known passenger vehicle called the Fiat Doblo.

ramrear

Bring seats into up position load/latch and ready to roll in under two minutes.  No fuss, no muss.

For those one-day outings we fold up the rear seats, roll the bikes in, and with two quick straps you and the two recumbent battleships are on their way.  All in under two minutes.  No wheel removal, no scratch mark worries, no fuss.  Just Stow and go, but don’t forget the shoes and helmet.  We like our bikes inside the vehicle as it provides more protection from the elements than outside bike racks.  This protects them from those summertime thunderstorms that send high pressure water into all the bikes sealed bearings and strips the lubrication from the chain. It also keeps them from the omni present road grime that is always swirling in the rear draft of vehicles or blocking turn signal indicators.

However, we are hoping the real benefit for the wagon will shine through during our much anticipated multi-day adventures.  This is when we completely remove the back seats allowing for even more space.  Enough space for the gear, bikes, and at the same time allow sleeping space for two.  Another option is to attach our Saris bike rack to the tow hitch.  This way when we get to our destination we can take the bikes out, lock them in the rack, and have enough room inside the Wagon for a suite.  What more could the avid cyclists wish for?  I don’t know but this is our plan and we are sticking to it.  We can only hope we get the reliability that our Honda Element gave us.  Only the future can tell.

roadram

Photo copied from Ram.com

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Seven

Just like that. Stage Seven and the the Tour of Watopia is over. Did Daisy crack the top ten in her category? We don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the field finishes in today’s’ events. Does it matter? No , not really. It only matters that she gave it a go, in which case she surely did. Our Tour ended yesterday and a fine yesterday it was. The boo-birds will remind us it isn’t real. A fake ride, in a fake place, on a fake mountain, with fake numbers they’ll sing. Our legs will not listen as they only know they were strapped to some modern day torture device and were then ripped apart. To the legs it was very , very real.tow

Stage Seven lived up to the hype. Daisy made it to the Goat with a personal best and proceeded to fly to the radio tower and back down to the islands. Now she had to turn around and do it one more time and the Tour of Watopia would be complete. This is when the magnitude of the task became evident. There were no longer large groups to hop a ride on. The event was now strung out with mostly individual riders left to go it alone. Over the top she went and the tour was spent. I came rolling in six and a half minutes later. I’ll get her next time. When is the next time? Oh boy, I can’t wait.

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Tour of Watopia, is it enough?

2017-10-27_10154811Here we are.  One more stage to go and Daisy and  I have completed Zwifts Tour of Watopia.  A seven stage multi day virtual event  175 mile long and 17,613 feet of climbing.  The event covers the most challenging Watopia courses and although not as intimidating as 750 miles from Paris to Brest and back it is done with a lot more intensity than a typical randonneur ride. 2018-04-02_1423052-1024x564 At least the intensity  Team Moose uses during randonneur rides.  These Zwift tours are ridden with thousands of other riders  while the stats and standing are provided for all to see.  Needless to say these rides are a lot of fun as well as a physical challenge.  But, the question comes , Will  these events and Zwift races provide the PBP conditioning needed when the plan is to  only ride outdoors for the RUSA qualifying series?  What do others think?

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Race Day

Are you ready?  Are you really ready?  Is the old training route around town or watching blue lines on the trainer becoming a bit stale?   Are you looking for something new to grab you, rip your legs off, cause your heart rate to go through the roof and then spit you out like a wasted rag doll?  If yes, then Zwift Racing just might be what you’re looking for.  It may not be a replacement for racing outdoors but it will change the way you look at indoor  exercise and boost that FTP while you’re at it.

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Nathan Guerra one of the top Commentators of Zwift Racing

Racing on Zwift is growing well beyond expectations.  Average everyday Joes and Janes to the hard core competitor are finding races to suit their abilities.  These races are only getting bigger and well beyond what this post can cover.  There are races going on every day and almost around the clock.  It is easy to get involved. Pick one of the four brackets of A, B, C, and D. you belong and find a race in the Zwift events site you like.  Check youtube under Zwift Racing for more details.  There are many videos to get you effortlessly into the game.

These races have matured to the point where leagues such as the Cyclogent Virtual Racing World Cup.  compete in zones around the world.  The zone winners advance to the finals where they complete live side by side for monetary prizes.  The CVR World Cup League spans eight zones across the globe with races every three hours on Tuesdays (UTC).  CVR weekly races can be seen here every Tuesday on live streams every 3 hours starting at 2 am EST. KISS broadcasts their Thursday races at 2 pm and 8 pm EST races. Broadcasts appear at Youtube Zwift Community Live .  Listen below as Nathan Guerra, a professional mountain bike racer and one the top announcers in the Zwift community calls a recent European Kiss Series Crit.

Meanwhile Virtual racing is well on the way to establishing its bonafides as a legitimate eSport.   Give ZR a try.  You say your’re not into racing.  This may be true but remember this isn’t real racing.  It’s Zwift Racing and many, many riders who never considered entering an outdoor race are finding Zwift Racing an absolute blast adding another fitness and funness level to their cycling  lifestyle.  Don’t be a grumpy bug give ZR a hug.

 

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