I took the first steps in being a bike racer again this weekend, with a nice solid ride out through Voorhesville and Altamont Friday after my last law school exam (forever!). Saturday Gavin and I hit the road for an hour and a half to spin the legs; with two good days under my belt and the legs loosened up it was time for some testing.
I rolled up to the office campus this morning and went about the standard threshold power test I’ve used the last couple years, which is a simple 20 minute tt effort. You can write a dissertation on how to determine FTP. I’ve found the most realistic thing to do is just go blow the door out for an extended time and see what the average is. 20 minutes works well because its not so long that you’re wasted for a while after, and its long enough that you get a useful number. This is pretty unscientific sounding, but when I go back and look at data from races and hard group rides, and combined that with the more elaborate Koncoi style test, the numbers tend to reflect what you get out of a 20 minute tt effort.
So the interesting part – my average 20 minute wattage was 285. That’s not super great, but its about where I started last year. The thing is the start last year was in January, not May, so this will take some effort to get up to speed. By this time last year I was testing around 305 watts. That 20 watt difference is highly notable, but more problematic is weight. I’m about 8 kg heavier than I was this time last year, so the weight increase plus the drop in wattage means I’m not going nearly as fast. But I could have told you that without a power meter.
Right now my FTP watts per kilogram is sitting at a relatively uncompetitive 3.23w/kg. Last year at this time it was 3.8w/kg. That may not seem like a big deal, but its the difference from going up the hill fast, and going out the back fast. Now we’ll see how long it takes to get the watts back up. The plan is to do intervals this week and next, get some sort of race intensity at the smack down rides, and then make my legitimate return to racing at the State Championship Crit in Saratoga May 31. We’ll see what happens….
Having ridden a bike all of 3 times this year, I thought it best to not travel to Bethel and instead lead a group ride out of Albany Sunday. A great mix of riders arrived, including new CBRC racers Andrew Franciosa and Gavin Klami, plus team member Michal Jacyna. Meridith Ehn from NAV and former CBRC, now Spooky Team members Matt Purdy and Than Ward rolled with us as well.
First on the agenda was actually riding out to Grant Hill and over to the Guilderland YMCA to meet NYS Expert Mountain Bike Champion John Houghson. John rode to the rally point from his house in Schenectady, so he was plenty warmed up when he arrived. John rides for the High Adventure Ski and Bike Shop, and doesn’t ride the road bike all that often – but when he does, he goes quickly.
We headed out for a solid 3 hour ride, keeping gentlemen’s pace for the majority of the time. It was a great day on the bike – warm and sunny, and also not causing me to droowl uncontrollably. Its nice to ride a bike once in a while without going anywhere near the pain bucket.
Thanks to everyone for coming out to ride, and thanks to Purdy for helping navigate an excellent route on some roads I hadn’t been on in quite a while. Hopefully the weather will cooperate again soon, and we’ll get out for another good solid ride. In the mean time, lets hope for another powder day…
Spinning classes have begun!
Every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:00 pm. Location is at Johnstone Supply on Railroad Ave in Colonie.
All attending should bring a towel/mat to place under their bikes. Changing areas are available as well as water and restrooms.
The last week for spinning is the last week in Feburary!
Things will be changing a lot around here in the upcoming weeks, and if you have suggestions please feel free to make yourself heard.
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