Cycling in a Toque

Cycling in a Toque: October 2011

Friday, 14 October 2011


I come up with all these crazy ideas for writing when I'm out on the bike, but i can never remember any of them when I get home.

Since I turn my computer back on very soon after returning from a ride, maybe computers cause writer's block? Did the global average of writer's block increase with the birth of the PC?

According to my google search, it did!

When in doubt, maybe we should just ask the specialists!

"Have computers made our lives better?"


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Digging in the archives

I finally found video from Canadian Nationals! It only took me five months!

Also, here are some top shots from my Team Exergy teammates throughout the year. Take a look if you missed out during the season!

Canadian Criterium: Men's Race (Minute 2-5)

Redlands: Stage 2 - Andres goes 3rd, misses GC by seconds

Sea Otter: Stage 4 - Cooke in the break!

UBC Grand Prix: Carlos Wins!


Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Toque Torque Cycling thunders into 2012

I am very happy to introduce the new and improved look of my small but resilient coaching company.

With only a handful of clients (6 to be precise), Toque Torque Cycling scored podium results in 2011 at the Collegiate National Championships and the Mt. Hood Classic!

For 2012 I have expanded to offer 4 training programs and 2 team management options. So whether you are a new collegiate or U30 racer, a recreational masters cyclist or a small cycling team / collegiate team president looking for budgeting software, I have some great solutions for you!

Please see more at the coaching page here! And share with your cycling friends!



Sunday, 9 October 2011

Racing with Asthma

Over the last few years I have noticed a few things about training and racing with asthma.

First off, my childhood allergies have changed from once causing a stuffy nose or other symptoms to directly affecting my asthma. So in addition to mold, dust and cigarette smoke, now food allergies like peanuts and chocolate have an effect. Of course that is an easy fix, don't eat those foods! Mind you it can be hard when you are racing and those items remain key ingredients for most endurance fuel products.

Secondly, I have to warm up if I want to do VO2 max efforts. For example, I cannot leisurely ride for 30 minutes and jump into a quick succession of VO2 max efforts. I simply cannot recover in less than two minutes; and if I flare the asthma, I'm as good as done for the day. If I ignore the symptoms and continue, I might create an effect that lasts 3-4 days, like what happened during the leadup to this year's Tour de Delta. Why does this not usually have an effect on the racing, because usually the peloton goes through a build up in effort leading into the first climb of the day. But fast criterium starts and prologue time trials can be disastrous during a multi-stage event.

Let's compare two VO2 max sets I did in early September. I even warmed up with ten minutes of tempo riding!

Set 1:

425w - 3
Rest - 1.5
410w - 3
Rest - 1.5
390w - 3 (Failed at 1 minute)

After calming down from this effort, I decided to focus of lactate efforts (340-380 watts).

Set 2:

375w - 3
Rest - 1.5
391w - 3
Rest - 1.5
425w - 3

But I ended up feeling great and equaled my first effort of the day with the last interval. This is the third or fourth time this has happened since last January so now I realize that I will need to complete a full lactate workout (4.4.4 @ 95% FTP) before I do these 110%-125% VO2 max efforts.


Friday, 7 October 2011

Snow = Turkey Time

It snowed, so it must be that time again

Get out and support the Whistler Mountain Ski Club...AND BUY SOME SUPER CHEAP GEAR


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Finish Lines

Shielded by a layer of damp fog, the mountain's hillside hides the upcoming turn. Funneled by towers of emerald green, the path forward stretches out into the unknown. The ground underneath now mirrors that of the sky, my vision fading to bland shades of grey and white.

A crimson fireball drives up from underneath, welling up from my quadriceps and into the pit of my chest. I attempt to exhale. A fireball! I feel like I am breathing fire! But I want to go faster! The next turn arrives abruptly, from the depths of the morning mist. Wow! I am flying!

"One more turn, it flattens out here. Get aero and dig deep!" Throw for the line!



Since being back in Whistler I've been training up the Taluswood climb, which of course finishes at the same elevation as the finish of the Dave Murray Downhill, my childhood training grounds. You could say the finish line hasn't changed, I'm just tackling the mountain via a new route. What's more important, the finish line or the route you chose to find it?

"Stay hungry, Stay foolish" J. Baldwin @ WholeEarth Catalog 1974 via Steve Jobs.

Taluswood Drive

Dave Murray Downhill


Monday, 3 October 2011

Study your Sleep

Over the past few days I've returned to vacation mode after cancelling my plans to travel to Los Angeles to train at the velodrome and have found a very insightful blog discussing sleep research.

Two entries I found particularly interesting were the studies that discussed:

1) Alcohol consumption prior to bed (recalling my college days of course)

- Slept less than when sober
- Woke up more frequent throughout the night
- Felt more tired in the morning, and sleepier at the end of the next day
- Received most of their sleep during the first half of the night
- Less REM sleep

2) Circadian clock differences between men & women

- Women's clock as faster than men's (on average 6 minutes, but accumulates throughout the day)
- Women's clocks complete in under 24 hours
- Explaining women's greater preference for morning exercise compared to men
- Women sleep deeper (more time in REM) but over lifespan more susceptible to sleep disorders.

Sometimes the best way to get your next project to sleep on it!

Good Night!


Saturday, 1 October 2011

Winter Riding

It's week 3 of a three week block. Today is your big day with a few hard sets and then you're all done. After slogging around in the rain for three hours, your intervals are done and the cold has finally worked its way through your many layers of clothing. Now you just need to get home and out of the rain......PSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSTTTTT. FLAT!

A friend of mine showed me about the "Double Tire" solution a few years ago as a result I have enjoyed a lot fewer flats on those long wet and cold days, when the last thing you want to do is stop moving, never mind stop to fix a flat.

Take an old used tire, cut the bead off both sides and place it underneath your current tire. This way, you'll have an extra layer between the road grime and your precious tube of air. Every couple of weeks, deflate the tire and pick the glass and rocks out of the cuts with a screwdriver or tweezers.

Be aware that this will make your bike heavier and increase the fiction on the road so you might be traveling a little slower. But hell, it's winter so let's try to cut the windchill as much as possible eh!

You can also make some boots with old tires in case of tires slashes. Cut those to about 2 inches long by 1 inch wide.

Ready for another gravel adventure back in dubydubya (autumn '08)

Stay afloat out there!