Sore Knees and Hamstrings

November 21, 2009

Relief for Old Legs

As previously noted, I have decided to add running to my off-season training program.  Derick at Durata Training suggested I run twice a week for 20 minutes at a ridiculously easy pace to get my running legs back.  The first two runs went fine, although I was a little sore after.  But on the third run, things began to unravel.

Apparently my inner athlete thought that a “ridiculously easy pace” was not manly enough and that I needed to go harder.  [After all, I had two 20 minute runs under my belt and that qualified me for Olympic status]. I decided that the run should be at “Ludicrous Speed” – see Spaceballs, the Movie.  In the words of my 14-year-old son: FAIL or quite possibly EPIC FAIL.

I’ve learned two valuable lessons from this fiasco:

  1. Listen to the experts.  There is a reason they are the Coach and I am not.
  2. Getting old sucks.

Tour Das Hugel

November 16, 2009

Today’s guest columnist -The Boss

I’m really tired. It’s amazing how 108 miles of treacherous hills can sap your physical and mental energy.  Halfway through I really didn’t think we were going to make it, but laugh all you want three middle aged women finished the Hugel 11.5 hours after we started.   The Prize – the coveted finisher’s  T-Shirt.

The sun was just coming up as we arrived at the Mopac pedestrian bridge. Debi, Michelle and I had outfitted our mountain bikes with skinny slicks and locked out suspensions in anticipation of the hills to come. You may think “Why mountain bikes? ; Doesnt that make it harder?” You try climbing Smokey Valley at 2 mph with road bike gearing and see where that gets you!

The first surprise of the day: Here comes Emily on her road bike to join for the first half of the ride. So off we went on our odyssey; three 20+ lb skinny tire mountain bikes, one road bike and enough provisions, tools, parts and smiles to last the day.

30 Miles done. The Girl Scout rest stop at St. Michael's

The four of us enjoyed an uneventful first loop. Although it was a challenge, we had tackled all this before. We managed to stay on schedule and get Emily back to the parking lot by 11 am.

The second loop, however, was a completely different story. There were times when I wanted to toss my bike into the trees, curl up into a fetal position and cry. I learned something profound as we struggled through this second half of the 2009 Hugel. It’s entirely possible to ride at 2 MPH, stay upright and pass other riders on some of these climbs.

Pickle Juice at the River Place Rest Stop

Highlights of the second half included:

  • There were 65 bottles of beer remaining on the wall at the top of Beauford; 50 something at the top of Courtyard.
  • You descend River Place Blvd.faster than you ascend it. Go figure!
  • Pickle Juice really works.
  • The volunteers are THE ABSOLUTE best!
  • Big View is really scenic, but I really didn’t notice much since I was staring at the hill in front of me. If you want scenic, take a ride on Scenic Drive – it’s spectacular and flat.
  • I really dislike climbing Smokey Valley, Courtyard and River Place Blvd.

The day got shorter, the hills got harder and will to finish increased with every pedal stroke.  Surprise number two awaited us at the top of Jester.  Keith was there with cold Coca Cola and lights.  That was all we needed to get back to the parking lot and the finish of the 2009 Tour Das Hugel.

Travis, Michelle, Debi and Jennifer at the 2009 Hugel Finish

New Products From Easton and Bell Sports

November 12, 2009

Today we received our first shipment of 2010 product from Bell Sports (Bell, Giro, Easton and Blackburn). Of the items received there were two products that stood out:

Haven UST Disc Wheelset


2010 Haven Haven UST MTB Wheels

As many of you already know, we have been a big proponent of the Easton line of road wheels for quite some time. Our experience has proven that they are light, fast, and highly durable. We expect no different from Eastons first foray into the UST MTB wheelset market.
The Havens have an internal rim width of 21mm which is large enough for even the widest tires yet still weigh in at a svelte 1650 grams. The hubs can utilize either a 15mm through axel or a standard 9 mm quick release skewer. The staff will put these wheels to the test and we will post a full product review when we can.

Blackburn Front and Rear Lights


The Flea front light is an ultra compact USB rechargeable Li-Ion headlight with four super-bright White Nichia™ LED’s (40 lumens) with standard, overdrive and flash modes. The light weighs in at a superlight at 17 grams and includes USB charger. It is lighter than anything we have seen to date and is brighter than any other $30 dollar headlight we have tested.

The Flea rear is a micro size rechargeable Li-Ion light utilizing four super-bright Red LED’s with steady, flash and chase modes. The light weighs in at a scant 17 grams and includes a USB smart charger.

Both lights have a 6 hour runtime in steady mode and a 12 hour runtime in flash mode. As with the wheels, we will post a full review after a few weeks of use.

Durata Training Field Test

November 9, 2009

I have decided once again that it is time to get serious about training and racing.  Throughout last winter and spring I was coached by Derick Williamson at Source Endurance who had me on a structured program to increase my speed and fitness on the bike.  The program consisted of a series of long rides to increase fitness and lose weight, interspersed with intervals to increase speed and power. Though difficult, the program yielded results as advertised.  As summer arrived, work and family like took priority over the bike and training and racing took a back seat

Derick, along with Dave Wenger, formed Durata Training ( this fall to continue their coaching practice and to work with age group and elite athletes in all endurance sports.  After a long conversation about fitness, goals and the state of my damaged wrist, Derick suggested that another field test was in order.  For those of you who have never done a field test, it consists of a 20 minute warm up followed by a 20 minute maximum sustainable interval.  The goal is to go as hard as you can while maintaining a consistent speed, heart rate and cadence over the length of the interval. I completed the test on the trainer this morning and it sufficiently kicked my as…..

Now that the test is done, I look forward to seeing what’s in store for me next.  Remember, the 2010 season starts in 3 months.


November 8, 2009

Welcome to Southwest CycleSport Musings.  Our home for random comments, product reviews and Team Southwest CycleSport / Corias Homes.