Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Summary

Should really be Summery as there was no break from the heat!


One Century Ride and two pretty close to being Centuries (94m and 96m) meant that it was going to be a big month and it was.


By far the biggest Cycling Month with 839 miles * May was 826 and 15 miles of running! 58 hours of training nets out at roughly 14.5 hours a week, not bad for someone who has a full time job, part time kids and a shitty commute! In terms of elevation gain it was pretty good too with just under 34,000’ of gain


October will be tempered with the Everesting ride on the third weekend and a taper the week before.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Everesting Week 12

Backfilling on the training log so I can go back and review it. Week 12 included the Mammoth trip, I will touch on that below but cover the ride from Mammoth to Yosemite in a separate post. This is how the week shook out.

Monday. Off. I am fluxing between having a Recovery ride on the Monday or actually taking the day off. I feel that at least get a spin in makes the Tuesday easier but if I am zonked on Monday I will take it off. I took this Monday off.

Tuesday. TrainerRoad Starr. Struggled with this. The Vectors are ~20-25W under the Stages and I synced TR to the pedals today. Started at 100% and then dialed it back to 90% on TR and still fell off the back. Not sure if the new trainer tire and cassette (12-25 vs 12-28 although pretty sure that's not it) or just tired after a pretty full on two week period. Too many variables to narrow it down. Just make some notes and move on. Starr is 4x6-minute Over-Under intervals alternating between 2 minutes at 95% FTP & 1 minute at 105% FTP with 5-minute recoveries between intervals. The 4 over-unders are sandwiched by longer aerobic Endurance intervals spent at 60% FTP. Rode the second two sets as standing climbs.


Wednesday. TrainerRoad. Pettit. Pettit is an hour of aerobic Endurance work spent between 60-75% FTP. Added in 15 Min Warm up self created on TR and added a couple of minutes on cool down to round up mileage. Dialed down to 95% to allow for 10%overage on Vectors vs Stages. HR all Z2 but legs feel tired.


Thursday. TrainerRoad Twin-1. Connected Zwift to Strava where you can ride this year's World's course in Richmond VA. Much more interesting than Watopia! The 20% overage on the Vectors means I cannot reach the target watts of 280 I am getting to 240ish. 4 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down. South Twin -1 is a VO2 Max taper/recovery workout and consists of 2 sets of 2x2-minute VO2 Max intervals at 120% FTP. Extended rest between intervals is 4 minutes long and rest between sets of intervals is 8 minutes long.


Friday. Off.

Saturday. TrainerRoad Mt Baldy 15 min warm up followed by 4x10 mins at 95-99FTP.


Sunday. Mammoth to Yosemite. 102 miles. Finally shrugged the 100 mile monkey off my back! This was a big ask and it paid off. Tioga Pass was a bitch, 12 miles of climbing, brutal headwinds at some points but managed to hang on in and get there! The ride in Yosemite was rolling and the road has mostly been resurfaced so it rides really nicely. Still more climbing but nothing too major. Just sit in and pedal! Final descent into Yosemite Valley was brutal, frost cracks in the road every 10 yards, Hands numb feet numb, teeth falling out my head! Found a safe place to stop and called it with just over 102 miles on the clock! Fueling was great given the weather. Bike was great, new tires are 1000% better than what got stripped off. Vectors crapped out at 75 batteries needed I think, but Stages to the rescue! Epic day made all the better by having Becca their supporting!



So I finally cracked the 100 mile mark without having a mechanical. Hitting 200+ miles in five rides was a bit grueling but I ended up with 204 miles in 12:46 for the week. At this point I am around 770 miles for the month!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Ride.

Very cool video from my friends at Pactimo!

Let it put a smile on your face and give you a yearning to ride…

Pactimo’s new Fall collection is now available, check it out here and hit me up for a Brand Ambassador discount!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Everesting Week 11

Miles, miles and miles. They are just accumulating as the weeks go by. I passed 2014’s annual mileage at the start of the month and now and I am heading for a very big year! Here is how Week 11 shook out:

Monday, would have been an Off day but I had an easy spin to get the new Vector 2 pedals all synced up. I have kept my Stages Crank on and that is synced to my Fenix 3 and the Vectors to my 810. There seems to be a difference between the two of about 10% with the Stages reporting  the higher number. With consistency in mind I need to decide which to follow and go from there.

Tuesday. TrainerRoad Carpathian Peak. Carpathian Peak is 3x12-minute over-under intervals with 1-minute valleys at 95% FTP and 2-minute peaks that ascend to 105% FTP. Recoveries between over-unders are 8-minutes long. First three miles warming up and messing with cleats position. Struggling to reach the highs, still only at 95%.


Wednesday. TrainerRoad Townsend. Townsend consists simply of 1.5 hours of Aerobic Endurance spent between 60-70% FTP. Solid set, easy 3 mile extra warm up. Getting more used to new Look cleats


Thursday. TrainerRoad Dade-1. Finally feeling like I am 95% recharged, couldn't get to power targets but was consistent across all the Overs. Dade -1 is three sets of 3x2-minute VO2 max repeats at 120% FTP. 2 minutes of recovery falls between Intervals and 6 minutes of easy spinning separates each set. Extra 3 mile warm up and 2 mile cool down.


Friday. Off!

Saturday. Long ride. Rode to the nearest point of the Ojai Century and joined that ride with the downloaded route on my 810. Hot day with temps in the 100s. Made the two climbs without any issues. A couple of missed turns where I had missed them before and was following the GPS. Got into Carp and blew out my back tire. It looked a lot worse than it turned out to be but Becca came and got me. Another ride in the mid 90s, fated not to crack 100 miles on a single ride. Stopped off on the way home to pick up some new tires for Sunday.



Sunday. With yesterday's long ride done, we met a pal who was in town from Alaska and rode through hidden valley, it was even hotter than yesterday and she suffered. Made the climbs no problem although legs felt tired from mile 30 onwards. Much more of a coffee ride. Happy to be home! Very happy with the new Conti’s much less chatter on the road and a softer ride.


So the tally for the week was 223 miles in 14:40. A nice solid three week build with just under 600 miles and 42 hours.

This coming weekend Becca and I are heading to Mammoth Lakes for some R&R and of course the bikes are coming too!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Skratch Recipe of the Week; Sweet Cream Grits


  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups uncooked grits
  • 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cream of Wheat is a great alternative to grits, but it does contain gluten


  • Lightly coat a muffin tin or ramekins with nonstick cooking spray
  • Bring water with a dash of salt to a boil in a saucepan over high heat
  • Add grits, stirring frequently for 3– 4 minutes
  • Remove from heat to add egg yolks
  • Return to heat and simmer on low until mixture thickens, then stir in raw sugar and vanilla
  • Pour cooked grits into muffin cups or ramekins and let set for 10– 15 minutes to firm up
  • TIP Serve up your grits like crème brûlée: top with additional raw sugar and place under the broiler until the sugar turns brown. Let cool before handling, this makes them uber yummy!


They are roughly 110 calories each! Be careful they are a little slippery and can be easily dropped when on the bike! That will make you sad…and hungry!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Everesting Week 10

Holy cow! Ten weeks! Actually it’s closer to 18 including the 8 weeks of training for the Golden Gran Fondo!  A grand total of 3104 miles since April 27th! I’ll be honest and say that the miles are taking their toll and with only 38 days (as of today) to go the end is in sight. That said I am not sure that I will ever be 100% ready but I need to have a pretty good level of confidence! Right now I have ridden the “Segment” only three times in a row and my longest ride is 94ish miles and with some of that on the flat! Sunday rides are going to get longer and hillier in the coming weeks!

So here is how Week 10 shook out;

Monday; Today was scheduled to be a rest day, but like ultra-running I need the back-to-back long rides so I headed out with Becca and rode one Royal Loop and then all the local hills for saddle time and more elevation training. I think this is what I need to do over each weekend now so I will have to look at the plan as a whole.


Tuesday; TrainerRoad Fang Mountain. After two big days this was always going to be a struggle and it was, Dialed it back to 90% and couldn't hang onto that! Fang Mountain is 4x9-minute over-under intervals with 1-minute valleys at 95% FTP and 2-minute peaks that ascend to 105% FTP. Extra 2 mile warm up and 2 cool down.


Wednesday; TrainerRoad Townsend. Townsend consists simply of 1.5 hours of Aerobic Endurance spent between 60-70% FTP. Almost recovered, still about 5% down. Took it easy to start and added extra mile to cool down and round up.


Thursday. TrainerRoad Givens. Well in to the fatigue locker, couldn't hit power, cadence or get HR above 140! Five big days and 200+ miles taking their toll. Tomorrow is a rest day! Givens -2 is two sets of 3x2.5-minute VO2 Max repeats at 118%FTP. 2.5 minutes of recovery falls between Intervals and 8 minutes of easy spinning separates the sets.


Friday. Off and hell yeah I took it!

Saturday. Dropped my road bike off to get a drivetrain tune up and the new Garmin Vector2 pedals fitted. So I headed out for a 2 hour ride on the mountain bike. Hot and hilly it was! Lots of climbing on the outbound leg. No revelations, just solid miles with 1800’ gained in the first 7 miles. Clouds helped with the heat for sure!



I also got to try out my Fox Dual Lockout lever! No more fumbling! Love it!

A video posted by Stuart (@quadrathon) on

So I had so much fun on Saturday I went out again on Sunday. I was planning for 4 hours and it took a bit longer than planned…over 5 hours to ride 38 miles! All the clouds had gone and I had temps in the high 90’s and over 100f at times. I was able to duck out of the Parks I was riding in to top up with water and coke at a Gas Station. It’s days like this I feel so lucky to have Becca in my corner who wasn’t panicking and just told me to get it done! So with the exception of about 200 yards I rode the entire thing…even the 20% section!





So this week was time based with over 14:30 on the bike and 166 miles and over 10,000’ of gain for the week!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Segment

It’s taken some time to commit and to be honest I am only 99% committed…I am keeping my options open, to a Segment for the Everesting. That said if you have been following me on Strava you probably have a good idea. So a few weekends ago I took out my Virb and got it all on camera. Now I have spared you the slow slog up and you get it speeded up!


Monday, September 7, 2015

Everesting Week 9

The start of another 4 week build cycle. The miles are racking up very quickly now and looking back since May I have ridden 2,838, which is an average of 709 a month! September looks like it’s going to be that and a few more!

Monday. TrainerRoad. Recovery Ride. Nice easy spin around 55% FTP and a quick spin up and left GPS on! :-/


Tuesday. TrainerRoad FTP Test. FTP Test today, 5 mile warm up before starting the TR 20 minute test. Warm no problem, struggled with the 5 minute 110% section. Hung on for the 20 minutes which was at 238W. in the end the result was 228 down 5 watts from the existing 233 so I left it as is.


Wednesday. TrainerRoad Townsend.Townsend consists simply of 1.5 hours of Aerobic Endurance spent between 60-70% FTP. Legs felt tired towards the end. Long dull sets.


Thursday. TrainerRoad. Kaiser-1. Kaiser -1 is 2 sets of 3x3-minute VO2 Max repeats at 115% FTP with 3-minute recoveries between intervals & 6 minutes between sets. Extra 3 mile Warm up and 1 mile cool down. Nice grit teethed ride.


Friday. TrainerRoad. Recovery Ride.3/4 of Black @ 80%


Saturday. TrainerRoad Mount Hope. Nice solid hard work ride. 5x10-minute intervals at 95-99% FTP with 5-minute recoveries between intervals.


Sunday. BLG! Big Long Ride! Went for time over distance. Goal was 6 hours or 100 miles, whichever came first, nearly made it, have to ride faster next time! Couple of PRs reinforcing that the climbing work is paying off. Need more big rides like this and longer over the next two months. That said a solid week with 215 miles in the bank.


So a good solid start to this four week build cycle

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

First Impressions of Strava Live Segments on Garmin 810

I saw the notification that Garmin had released the update to the Edge 510, 810 and 1000 which provided real time Strava Live Segments last week and so over the weekend I updated my 810 and played around with them. These are some first impressions of using it with my 810, more thoughts will follow along with hopefully some better photos. For the sake of clarity Live is defined as a notification that you are on a Segment and times are based on the moment in time you sync’d. It does not give you Live rankings and you have to sync once your ride has finished to see the overall results.

So that said onwards, there are three components to this

  1. Upgrading the device, this is easily down through Garmin Express. Just plug in the device launch the app and install the update. As with all updates the more you watch it the longer it takes, so just step away and come back in five minutes!
  2. Selecting the Segments, this is done through Strava, I did it on a Windows PC. I haven’t figured out a way of doing through the Strava App on my phone.
  3. Syncing the Segments, this can do through Garmin Express or Garmin Connect (on your phone). All you really need to do is launch Garmin Connect and sync it with the device and you’re all set. This does take some time depending on how many segments you have selected. You are also given the option of add local Popular Segments.


With that you are pretty much set and all you have to do is ride. So these are very raw first impressions, some of these may be wrong and others I am still fleshing out;

  • The update was easy to install, but step away. A watched kettle never boils.
  • When you approach a segment your screen automatically changes to give you a countdown to the start
  • The countdown is useful, plenty of notice, it seems to kick in with about a quarter mile to go.
  • As you can see below the screen is divided into 4 main sections; Your Segment PR, the distance remaining in the Segment, Time Ahead/Behind and a Map, the map shows the route.
  • When you hit the start point of the segment you get a “Go”, when you get to the Finish line it tells you when have finished. There is a subtle difference on the map if you set up a target time in Strava, as it creates a Virtual Partner to ride against. More on that later.
  • You need to have a Strava Premium account, without that you’re SOL, sorry!
  • The graphics on an 810 are not the same on the 520, as best I can tell there are no bells and whistles on claiming KOMs etc
  • You do not need to carry a phone for this to work, you are actually syncing to device and not relying on phone signal. Of course as Segments KOMs change your on-board data will go stale in time.
  • If you have multiple segments starting at the same place, i.e. an entire climb and half of the climb only one segment will be presented, so far it looks like the longer one. This is very similar to how segments are presented in Strava online.
  • When you go off a Segment you get a notification telling you that you are Off Course. This is similar to the Map Route technology.
  • When you are on a Trainer in your garage and you are near the start of a Segment the device goes crazy telling you that, even if you turn off GPS, I had to disable the Strava feature on my 810 to stop it (or me) from having a meltdown.
  • I didn’t have any Popular Segments go off. Several rides on the road and nothing?
  • Segments are located in the Folder Icon, not in Settings, here you can enable, disable or delete syncd Segments when the Device is on but not in use
  • Accuracy is a bit off, I rode the same Segment three times last weekend and it started in a different place each time?

Some very poor images, I have screen protector which does a great job or preventing good photos;


I will be updating/adding more as things come.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Skratch Cookies (Take 2)

I reviewed these back in April, you can read my review here. Skratch have a new take on them, check out their latest video.

Standby to crush your nuts!