This is my world of cycling and just a fun way for me to share my experiences, thoughts and joy I have for cycling. Thanks for visiting Cycle Jabber and good luck in your training! Dirk Friel

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving & Transitioning to My New Blue Bike

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello from Scottsdale, AZ. Today my dad and I headed out for our annual Thanksgiving day ride (see and download the ride here). This was however not your typical "Valley of the Sun" bike ride as we rode in a nasty rain for the first hour. Our original intent was to ride north to Bartlett Lake but the weather changed our plans. Today's high was 69F, which I know isn't that cold, but the rain made it very dangerous considering all of the small rivers we had to cross. I was seriously wanting to pack it in after about 40 minutes and just go for a run, but we slogged on and greatfully the skies opened up and we finally dried out for the final hour of the ride. Our route was changed so instead of heading north we aimed in a southerly direction where the clouds seemed more welcoming (and a lower altitude).

This week I have been enjoying my training on my new Blue Competition RC8 bike , which is my new team bike sponsor at Vitamin Cottage p/b XP Companies.

Let's just say this bike truly rocks! It accelerates so well and loves to climb. The rear triangle seems to be very tight and translates into a dream ride. The new bike, along with lower altitude this week in AZ (compared to Colorado) has meant I've easily set some new power records heading into my early base training.

I took advantage of the lower altitude in Scottsdale (800ft vs 5,500ft in Boulder) to conduct a 5-minute test and just see where my average watts would be on my new Blue rig. The result was 415 average watts for five minutes at the end of today's Turkey-Day ride. That deserves one more slice of pie in my book.

You can see my Performance Management Chart below which shows the date range between October 6th and today (Nov. 27th). You can easily see how the workload is progressing along and there are more and more colorful dots appearing which are my top-10 values for CP120, CP20 and CP5. TodayI quit easily set a new CP5 personal best heading into the 2009 season at 415w. For comaprison my best CP5 of the 2008 season was set on December, 14th 2007 at 445w. Keep in mind I set the 445w record while at sea level in Valencia Spain during the Silence-Lotto team training camp. All of my data for the rest of the 2008 season was collected at an altitude above 5,500ft which translates to about 10% lower values. My CP5 record at altitude last season was set in June during the Tour de Nez at 429w.

Speaking of the Tour de Nez I found good video coverage of the event commented by Dave Towle archived at Universal Sports. My shining moment is shown at 16:20 into the video where I was away in a two-man move with Alex Candelario. See the video here. After about five laps off the front, the group caught us and my teammate Jon Baker counter attacked and created the final three-man move which sewed up the podium positions.

You can also see the crash where I broke my Eddy Merckx bike within stage 1 at minute 6:07 of the above video. The crash is shown briefly. Look for the split in the field near the large marquee sign. I survived to fight on but later found out my bike was broken...poor carbon Eddy Merkx.

I just had to finish off this blog post with a shot of the Arizona sunset I took last night. Just about every evening here brings an amazing display of light.

Happy Thanksgiving!


posted by Dirk at 11:55 AM | 0 comments

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ironman Arizona- Fun in the Sun

Yesterday I attended the IMAZ in Tempe. The day seemed to be perfect with the temperature maxing out at near 80, yet a cool breeze kept things under control for the Ironmen and Ironwomen competing.

I took advantage of the three lap bike course to go out on my own two-wheeled machine to witness just how fast the top pros go. Let's just say I'm glad I chose to stick with bike racing where drafting is legal. These guys rock the bike. I decided to get in race mode and attempt to stick with professional Justin Daerr for 10 minutes on a rolling section of the course near the turn around.

Here is Justin Daerr at the half-way point on the bike. Notice the elves in the background handing up water.

Ouch! My short ten-minute stretch of time with Justin resulted in an average watts of 351w (355 normalized power). There is no way I could do that for 4.5hrs. Nice ride Justin! And he followed it up with a 3:04 run to make an 8:40 overall time, good for 11th place overall.

Here is a photo of Keith Watson who had a very solid race. Keith is a customer support rock star at TrainingPeaks and has probably helped a bunch of his fellow competitors through all kinds of software needs. Greta race Keith!

Here is the mens top three finishers celebrating at the finish line.
2. CHRIS LIETO 8:19:25
3. JORDAN RAPP 8:19:45

posted by Dirk at 6:47 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Boulder Cup '08
Last weekend Boulder played host to a couple of top notch UCI cross races. Saturday's venue was out at the Boulder reservoir where tenmperatures neared 80F! Water skiers were swooping by the venue as the nationals top crossers ran and rode through the sand, grass and asphalt.

Jon Baker hangs tight with the lead group of five until her flatted and ended up sixth. See results here.

TJ Takes the Big Show
Sunday was the big show in south Boulder and the crowd was amazing as yet again the weather was unseasonably warm. Local favorite Jon Baker of Vitamin Cottage had some bad luck and rolled both tires half way through the event while he was in 6th place.

The lead group of four about 20 minutes into the race.

Here I am with the winner Tim Johnson. Tim attacked with about two laps to go and separated himself from Todd Wells to solo to the win.

One last note...I've updated my link to my TrainingPeaks public view so you can check out my training, or lack of it the past few months...Time to start preparing for a possible trip to Spain again to train with some pros. You can also see some of my ride files posted on my wall at Facebook. Here is my latest one I added to Facebook.

posted by Dirk at 9:05 AM | 0 comments