Posts Tagged ‘Gran Fondo New York’

Just started training again.  I was inspired by looking at my 2012 Gran Fondo New York pictures.  I was a machine!
Hitting Cyclo 90 hard core again.  I am hoping for a great year.  I am already registered for an MS ride in May and a Gran Fondo in September!


Since the Gran Fondo I took some time off and started riding a once a week group ride.  I feel like a slacker compared to the training I was doing.  Now to change gears.

I am just enjoying the bike right now ith 4-5 group rides a week.  I run one 4 days a week in the early morning and it is a great start to the day.  My next big event is not until September so Im just going to have fun until August then start the heavy training again.

In the meantime I have a friend that just got his first road bike and will be helping him out.  I will be more of a social rider for now.  I think it is good for the family and y mind at the time so ENJOY YOUR BIKE!

Be safe out there

The event was amazing from start to finish!
Friday I went to NYC to the bike expo to pick up my packet. It couldn’t have been more convenient being directly across from Penn Station. While waiting for it to open we had some nice friendly chatter on line talking about everything from weather, food, training,bikes, and expectations of the event. I got inside and was wowed (is that even a word?). They were so organized! You find your name on the board to get your number. Then you go to the table to pick up your packet by giving your number as they check your ID. Next off to the Jerseys. You show your packet and it is there for you. Then the same for the goodie bag. The bags were very nice duffel bags in all their Gran Fondo glory with some nice goodies inside including a bottle of wine. I signed in on the board to make it official. It felt awesome knowing that there would be thousands of other names up there with mine.

Next to the vendors.

There were vendor from manufactures to retailers to even a bed company.  I enjoyed spending some time at Mavic checking out their helmets.  I found that after looking at all the manufactures of helmets that day the Mavic Plasma will be my next one.  It fit perfect and was very comfortable.  Got to see som cool stuff like the new Campy Electronic shifting too.  The tour companies were very tempting.  How wouldn’t it be to be wine and dined on a cycling trip in Italy.  I picked up a few treats including some tasty baked goods, Some GFNY Merch: a hat and socks, and a pair of compression socks.  Then I set off home very excited for Sunday.

The Gran Fondo is Here!

Sunday morning we left at 4:30.  Crazy Early I know.  We needed to be on the bridge by 6:15 to play it safe.  We parked in Fort Lee wich turned out being a 5 mi ride to the start.  We got are bikes prepped in the lot and already I had a flat!  What kind of day is this going to be?  Changed the tube.  Set out and BOOM the bead popped off blowing that tube.  I borrowed a tube from my buddy Dino and double checked everything this time and was good to go.  We got to the start with no problem and had a little time to spare.  Good thing we left early!

The Start

They had us in corrals of 500.  It worked out perfect and everyone was excited.  There were some announcements, the National anthem and then….




The Ride was awesome!  The climbs were challenging and I know they pushed me.  I feel I could have pushed a little harder on Bear Mountain but I was concerned about blowing up before the other two timed climbs.  We even skipped a rest stop and went to our own for a slice of pizza.  The hill right after I call Colle Pizza.  We had a nice paceline going with my group and had some fun with that.

Now for the Video!

It was a great day and it was nice that my family came to the finish.  We had some pasta and I got a bucket of bike cleaning products and lubricants from Finish Line.  We took some pictures and enjoyed the music.

I would like to thank

  • GFNY for putting on such a great event
  • Graeme Street from Cyclocore for the great training program
  • Grimauldo from Legends Bikes for setting me up when my frame failed and got me back up in 3 days
  • Most of all I would like to thank my family for their support and patience throughout the training time

Yesterday was great! We were set to roll out for a 85mi group ride to the top of Bear Mountain and all of a sudden I heard a loud pop. Guess what. It was my tire! Nelson the owner of strictly bicycles called to me,”give me your wheel and a tube”. I ran in and bought an extra tube for the ride. I got out and he handed me the wheel. I couldn’t believe how fast he changed the tube. The group rolled off so I had to catch up. Luckily I did. I was pushing 25 mph just starting off. I was worried about burning a match right at the beginning. But I was fine for the ride. We rode about 37 mi and came to the road for the beast. (Bear Mountain) I stayed in a low gear and spun most of the way up. Just toward the top I had to stand up as the gradient got in the double digits. I expected it to be a lot worse and felt good when I got to the top. The ride back was good but I got into talking with another rider and we got dropped. What came next was an all out effort to catch the lead group. It took a few miles to catch them but we stopped at a cafe and had an amazing espresso.

The Ride on Strava

This ride was my test for fueling for the Gran Fondo. My fueling was powered by “The Feed Zone” cookbook. I started with Biju’s oatmeal in the morning and a rice cake when I got to the ride. Each stop I had a rice cake and drank skratch exceed use drink on the bike. Nothing was overly sweet and my energy was great overall. As long as I have time to prepare the rice cakes in the future that will be my fueling strategy.
Everything was easy to prepare and great tasting. For dinner I made the roasted chicken with vegetables and rustic pepper and tomato soup.



Tonight for dinner I used the roasted chicken and made burritos out of it by making the salsa and adding cumin and chilli powder to the chicken. Yum. Then dessert. Chocolate bread pudding topped with fresh berries and vanilla ice cream.


So after my first block and rest week of Cyclo 90 in- season.  It was time to retest.  My original Functional Threshold Heart Rate was 170 BPM and I figured out my zones from there.  A month later I did the test even though I felt a little worn down and stressed.  The test itself went well. I felt good during it and was chalenged for the last 3 minutes to keep up. I may have had a little more gas to start off a little harder because my last minute was strong.

Drumroll Please

My average speed went down by 2%

My average Heart rate went down 3%

From my calculations I was 1% more efficient.

So I am getting there.  Like I said I felt that i could have maybe started with a faster pace to bring those numbers up.  We will see what happens next month.  I’ll repeat the test a week after the Gran Fondo.

This past Saturday I was all set to go on a nice 75 mile club ride.  This was going to be my first club ride this year and I was excited to see many people that I haven’t seen since last year.  I prepped everything the night before.

  • Clothes check
  • Nutrition check
  • Water check
  • Spare tube check
  • Car packed check
  • Bike rack installed check

The morning of I got ready loaded up my bike and was ready to go.  Well here is the story where it all changes.  I start driving on the highway and notice my front wheel is moving on the rack.  Well I forgot to strap the front wheel to the downtube.  The worst think is I left the strap on top of my trunk.  That is lost on the highway.  Then I get to the park that I think we were meeting wrong park.  I get to the right park and sign in.  Ok now I am finally there.  I top off my tires and the rear leaks at the valve stem.  There goes my extra tube.  I change the rear tube.  Now I am ready to go.  We go roll out but not so fast.  My rear brake doesn’t feel right.  I get off and take a look.  It is wide open, I check the quick release open.  Then I go to close it and it is really hard.  I then notice the bracket for my rear brake cable has broken off of my frame.  Ride is now cancelled.  It was not worth of the chance of getting killed by riding with a bad rear brake.  I load back up and head home nervous and upset.  Stress level was through the roof because I am wondering the worst about repair or replacement costs.  I go straight to my bike shop and we talk about it for a while and he thinks it shouldn’t be a problem for warranty.  We disassemble the bike and wait till monday to call the manufacturer.  Monday afternoon great news!  I get an email asking for my size so they can get it started by sending a new frame.  I guess next week is another week.  Good thing this is a scheduled rest week.  I hope that my bike will be together by monday.  I have a zone 4 test that day and start my final 3 week training block and 1 week taper for my goal event of the year.  Gran Fondo New York.

Today had a good session.  Had to change the session type because of time today.  I only had 30 minutes and was supposed to do an hour and a half ride with high cadence hill climbs.  I spoke to Graeme and he suggested I do Lightning Leg Agility.  Well the last time I had done this session was when I was doing the off season program.


I had improved immensely.  I had a cadence peak at 192 RPM!  I felt like I was going to explode but it was amazing.  Afterwards I was spent but the energy started climbing about a half hour after the session and I felt great the rest of the night.  Now I need to get some longer rides in because my fundamentals are going great.

I am only worried about long-term endurance but I still have about a month till my event.  I will try to get a 70 mi ride in this week for piece of mind.  Last week I did a 40 and was comfortable so 70 shouldn’t be a problem.  My goal event is May 20th.  Gran Fondo New York.  100mi with 8000 ft of climbing.  Tomorrow another HIT Session.  I can’t wait!

Well my rest day is coming to an end.  My extent of excercise today was taking the baby for a walk with a convenient trip to the bike shop.  My Handlebar tape is in.  That is a project for next monday.  I will be learning how to install it at the shop.  (Thanks Grim)  Last nights TLS did pay off.  I popped a magnesium supplement with dinner and amino acids twice yesterday and this morning.  Last night I also treated myself to a epsom salt bath and had a high protein diet the past 2 days and ramped up carbs slightly tonight to prepare for the morning ahead.  I may foam roll after I post then go to bed early.  I have a 6 am date with the trainer to complete 2 HIT sessions back to back.  The first is for pedaling technique and second is Climbing Attacks.  Wish me luck.

Join the challenge

Today I set out to do a loop that i haven’t done since last year.  I was off to a rocky start firs by forgetting my arm warmers and to top off my tires.  Had to go back as I didn’t want any problems on the road or to be cold.  I set out and i noticed it took a good 5 miles to get warmed up and to loosen up the legs.  Thought about it for a minute and I guess its is because of the constant battery I put on them yesterday with a tough bout of standing drills.   I was ignoring my computer other than for cues for turns but would cheat once in a while to check speed.  When ever I looked down I was surprised to see 20-24 mph on flats when I was riding strong.  Talk about a morale booster.  The climbs my legs were screaming especially quads and glutes.  When I was felt like I was struggling I would switch to individual pedaling techniques to take the pain away from the major muscles.  That worked most of the time.  Then I on my way back in I got boosts by seeing other cyclists (didn’t want to show my fatigue – I know its is stupid and silly but I bet you do it too.) and I saw another cyclist going my way ahead so I used that as a sprint opportunity then rode with him for a few blocks talking it up and may have a new riding partner in the future.  Got home throughly tired and was greeted to a quick shower and a 40 min car ride.  Muscles stiffened up in the car and really felt it setting in.  Now to recover!

 The Cyclo 90 Challenge


I figured I’d give you a look at the pain cave.(where the indoor training takes place)


  • Cycleops trainer mat
  • Cycleops fluid trainer
  • 2 Cycleops risers
  • Bike- my road bike
  • Resistance Bands
  • Powerblock 50lb adjustable dumbells – not referencing to any part of me
  • Stability Ball

I stream all the workouts to my tv via Apple TV which is the greatest thing for me so I stay structured and don’t waste training time with mindless riding.  The best thing is that I am getting such great results I was able to say goodbye to a gym membership.



Join the Challenge