Cycling in a Toque

Cycling in a Toque: January 2012

Monday, 30 January 2012

10 Grams

Jim Felt @ Quinn Keogh's Theater
This week Team Exergy reunited under sunny but chilly skies in Boise, Idaho for 2012 Sponsor Camp. This is not your regular sponsor camp. Instead of just the "brief meet & greet, I need this, this product rocks, thank you so much" kind of thing that you might find elsewhere, Team Exergy did it right. There was time to build bonds between new teammates, actually have interesting conversations with our sponsors and discuss constructive improvements for the upcoming year with staff, plus we got YMCA passes!

This year we had a special guest in Jim Felt, founder of Felt Bicycles. Jim discussed all the new UCI regulations, the Asian carbon market, and wind tunnel discoveries. Partnered with Microshift again in 2012 which feature external shifter cables/housing, we asked Jim the aerodynamic effects of that housing. He said "about 10 grams of drag....but the margin of error in any wind tunnel: same bike, no rider, all constants constant, is about 5-10 grams. This is for every wind tunnel in the world" (Quote not exact). So the difference is minimal; its exact effect remains scientifically unknown. It is one of those mystical elements of cycling that even the most advanced wind tunnel specialists are left questioning.

We came to this camp in search of grams but not from the our equipment. To find grams by smoothing out our team race-weekend protocols, double-checking our nutrition with blood tests, meeting our local Boise fans and supporters, racing go karts really fast, forming giant amoebas of inflatable tubes and trying to make it down a 400 meter slope without lettin' go...ya, stuff like that! Enjoy!

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Saturday, 28 January 2012


Good morning!!! Yes I am at Team Exergy's Boise January SPONSOR SUPERCAMP, but those stories will have to wait. Besides, the weekend ain't over yet. So far a few surprises have been shared with us riders but there are more on the way so let's wait till Monday morning for that stuff.

In other news...GASTOWN is back! First ran in 1973, the downtown Vancouver, BC criterium enjoyed a 28 year run before the sky-falling recession of 2008. Now with the help of Global Relay it's back with a multi-year deal. What does this mean? It means that the iconic race that symbolized professional cycling in Vancouver, inspired many a young racer (including myself) and fostered the continued health of the sport in the lower mainland is back right were it should be, in the heart of BC Superweek...July 11th to be exact.  And you can bet that I have that day circled in MASSIVE RED MARKER on my calendar.

Across the Atlantic, Conrad Pridy (Whistler Mountain Ski Club alumni, past teammate from the BC Ski Team, and current World Cup racer) just cracked the TOP 30 for the first time at the Kandahar Downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Why is this important? Well first off Conrad is one of those guys who never gave up, pushing past the common 21-year-old quitting point; secondly, he is a great ambassador for the sport of ski racing, and lastly, such a result is critical to his 2013 status as a full-time member of the Canadian National team (Facebook). YA BUDDY!

Video from 2011
Kandahar World Cup Downhill 2011 from E.A. Weymuller on Vimeo.


Thursday, 26 January 2012

IWILL Helmet Awareness

January 30th UPDATE:  Whistler Blackcomb New Regs

 A good friend of mine, Canadian cyclocross superstar Aaron Schooler is out to promote your health and the health of your family with his new ProHelmet campaign, IWILL.  After his brother's tragic snowboarding accident in November, Aaron has put aside his riding aspirations and made big waves all across the country.

The province of Nova Scotia, Intrawest Resorts and many ski resorts in Alberta have already changed their regulations in support of this cause.

If you are interested in supporting Aaron's message, follow and 'like' IWILL on Facebook . Thanks for wearing your helmet! You never know when you'll need it.

Join Today and Promot Helmet Awareness in your area


Wednesday, 25 January 2012


It's 2012! The year of the dragon! What will be your adventure this year? Ryan Van Duzer, creator of the recent internet sensation 'Shit Cyclists Say' has been out exploring the world for years. In his most recent trip, he asked people what it is in life that they love the most. Have a great day!

PS...right now I am at TEAM EXERGY SPONSOR CAMP! We have been busy meeting all the new sponsors, new riders and doing hard workouts in the snowy hills of Boise, Idaho to 'toughen' us up! Watch the newly-revamped team website for tweets and photos and I'll be sure to get more info up as the camp progresses. Check back soon! from Ryan Van Duzer on Vimeo.


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

One Cannot Convince A Closed Mind

I've come across two very interesting "lectures" these last few days. One discusses the possible birth of a new type of religion, called Atheism 2.0. With great respect for the power of religion, Atheism 2.0 suggests that the secular world make use of the invaluable mechanisms used by all of the world's religions to apply them for greater community growth and social reorganization.

The second, of course connected to the first is a discussion of SOPA and PIPA: where do they come from and what should we expect in the future. Sharing information and building community networks are essential mechanisms discussed in the previous video, thus the internet is an invaluable mechanism critical do our continued exposure to and valuation of philosophy, art and the many unique voices needed to connect with the many different personalities of this great planet. This of course is perhaps with the hopes of combating the growing disparity between technological connection yet spiritual/peer-to-peer disconnection.

Take ART for example. Instead of degrading ART as a medium that serves only its own needs, best to utilize it with the mechanisms that many religions have, by shaping it into a medium that serves to provide consistent visual reminders of what we as a society hold dear... appreciation of passion, pursuit of excellence, humbleness in the face of other's great success and humility in the wake of our own defeat.

I think there is something here for everyone. Enjoy!


Sunday, 22 January 2012

Songs for Others

Yes, I post a lot of electronica on this blog. is some real music. Created by one of my Whitman classmates. Harry has a fantastic voice and crushed that acoustic guitar like a champ. But don't take it from me, take a minute.

Harry is also providing this, his debut album, for free or by-donation download at bandcamp as a way to increase his status within Bandcamp's ever growing collection of great artists, songwriters and musicians.

Enjoy your Sunday morning!


Friday, 20 January 2012

Train like a Pro (Toque Edition)

Last week I came across a list of tips for training like a pro. Bissell's Paul Mach and Ian Boswell came up with it while training together in California and I thought it was pretty great. But I add a few things. Enjoy and remember...when in doubt, pedal it out!

- Ride by 10am.
- Ride in a small group or alone.
- Always train in leg warmers when its below 70 degrees.
- Make short and quick stops, no hanging around- this is a job.
- Don't coast on downhills.
- Get behind, get left behind.
- Don't bonk, but eating is cheating.
- Train hard, rest hard.
- Don't race down wet descents during training.

Toque Tips
- Bike = Whine/wine free zone
- Research your body
- Strengthen your mind
- Then listen to both!


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Ski Well Simply

All revolutions start with an idea. A lightbulb. A flash of a better way forward. But what is it that allows certain ideas to bloom while others wilt? ......Delivery!

During my ski racing days, Dad started racing with his ski buddies at Gatebusters, a program for "old" guys who want to parc arcs and smash gates just like us young bucks. Well, when you see these guys go you can't really consider them old in the regular sense, they're pretty agile!

Dad did this to not only improve his edge control and ability to finesse a race course but garner a better understanding of what it was that I spent all my time doing. As a result, he used his "oldness", which I always much prefer to call "wiseness" to develop simplified ways of tackling the technique of effortless skiing.

This not only sparked some intense conversations in fundamental "during-turn" focuses, but coerced the admission that perhaps my technical cues were wrongfully aimed at symptom-reversal as opposed to addressing fundamental flaws.

Three years later Dad launched his first book and now in its third annual edition Armchair Books and Canski (Whistler Blackcomb's internal ski shop) can't keep the book from selling out! All of the ski instructor's in the valley have read it. All of the local Crazy Canucks have endorsed it and more and more customers are requesting autographed copies.

Find out what all the who-haw is. Ski smoother, have more fun, save your back and your knees (both of which were the fundamental reason why Dad looked for simple solutions) and change the once scary, flat-light, ominous ski slope in front of you into a massive, angled trampoline!


Monday, 16 January 2012

Laying Pipe

If you haven't had a chance to read the news lately, the pipeline projects in Canada are quite a big deal. Of course these issues extend beyond Canada's borders and affect peoples all over the world as precedents are set every day.

Here is a fun yet at times, hard to stomach interview that perhaps illustrates just how weak the oil 'puppets' are becoming as we push deeper into the 21st century and environmental cleanliness concerns continue to rise in the public eye. How are you limiting your strain on our finite resources today?


Saturday, 14 January 2012

Driving Upward

Whatever you do with your time,
Do it with passion and consistency,
Self-confidence and focus,
Self-discipline but balance,

Study your art: Pupil,
Respect your art: Morality
Inspire those close to your heart

If you aren't making someone else's day better,
What is the point?


Thursday, 12 January 2012

Upward...or Outward???

“And though history has made us self-conscious in order to enhance our survival prospects, we still have deep impulses to erase the skull lines in our head and become immersed directly in the river. I’ve come to think that flourishing consists of putting yourself in situations in which you lose self-consciousness and become fused with other people, experiences, or tasks. It happens sometimes when you are lost in a hard challenge, or when an artist or a craftsman becomes one with the brush or the tool. It happens sometimes while you’re playing sports, or listening to music or lost in a story, or to some people when they feel enveloped by God’s love. And it happens most when we connect with other people. I’ve come to think that happiness isn’t really produced by conscious accomplishments. Happiness is a measure of how thickly the unconscious parts of our minds are intertwined with other people and with activities. Happiness is determined by how much information and affection flows through us covertly every day and year.”


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Rolling Kenda

Since late September and the beginning of my offseason, I've been double tiring my wheelset to avoid those torrential-downpour, 20-minutes-from-home, bonked & cold, patch-kit-glue-dried-up & hitchhiking scenarios. And when you train alone you can hardly tell the difference. Yes one's average speed does go down for total moving time, but what about the opportunity cost of fixing a flat...surely they are still much faster overall! But what about when you are trying to keep up with your teammates in the mecca of all winter training destinations? ...IT DON'T WORK SO GOOD! If you used 25 mm tires for those frosty Canadian mornings too, ain't frosty here so you end up out the back. That's why I just put on a brand new set of Kenda Kaliente tires. It just so happens that they are "Kenda's lightest road clincher". No wonder the last two rides my average speed changed from 25-26kph to 29-30kph. KENDA MATTERS!

In other shameless sponsor advertisement, Daniel and Emiliano have been dishing out another set of HeyBuckShot's 2011 Manual for Speed. Check out the three stories below. In 2012, they'll be working exclusively with Team Exergy (Team Garmin Cervelo shared their time in 2011) so get ready for more insights including a stretching and post-ride recovery piece the guys are centering around your's truly during TEAM SPONSOR CAMP in Boise, Idaho on the 25th of January!

Stay Frosty!


Sunday, 8 January 2012

A Desert Sting

This year I decided to spend my January days in Tucson, Arizona. The desert valley is a mecca for all types of endurance athletes: Kona triathletes, professional cyclists and really fast old guys looking for that early season edge or that perma tan...I'm never sure. The rapid shift from indoor basement training or sub-zero neoprene booty gravel rides to Playmobil toy box settings of endless blue skies and forgiving temperatures (it averaged a daytime high of 75'F this week) makes the challenge not to find motivation for pedaling but for rest. Why would I want to go home when it is still so nice out? Too often the Tucson training camp breeds fast legs in February and a dull pedal stroke come July, or worse, an early season overuse injury. But I'm Ben Chaddock, I'm invincible right? YA! I AM! Well, 2 two hour rides on the 1st and 2nd of January and I flared up some acute bursitis in my knee. I couldn't even walk without pain = MASSIVE PANIC!

A few days of worry, ice packs and light stretching didn't do much. But a session with a local PT Tom O'Donnell @ (Ft. Lowell Physical Therapy) put me back in the right. I had just tightened up over my three week break from the bike (the longest break I've had in 3 years) and with some massage along the posterior section of my IT Band (where the IT band runs alongside the hamstring) I was back at 100% in less than 24 hours. Thank you Tom!

Of course those days of uncertainty absolutely crushed me. What a wake up call. Yes I have taken every element of my preparations for 2012 up many notches from diet, mental state and off-bike preparations; and then fall victim to a knee bursitis flare up so quickly threw it in my face just how important I must pay attention to every single small detail of my training if I am going to make the most of my opportunity with Team Exergy in 2012.

So whether it is the smallest or biggest of daily, weekly or monthly targets... "Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion." Muhammad Ali

Scorpion in the Desert


Friday, 6 January 2012

Team Exergy in 2012

The new season is rolling in and so is the equipment at the service course in Boise! With only two weeks before the team's first meet & greet camp at the end of January, my Team Exergy teammates and staff members are finalizing their individual preparations for the season. A group of us, actually six of the fifteen riders, are here in Tucson training. But with distanced homestays, we have only been able to ride together one or two days a week. However that is more than enough to get acquianted and talk about the offseason as most of us are in the midst of our own training cycles and programs. Once camp starts in a few weeks we will start riding together every day and build the bonds that it will take to succeed on the North America racing circuit.

For a sneak peek at Team Exergy's greatly expanded roster and staff.....

Also, we got fans!! Check out this video from the Tour de Nez in 2011. Thanks Bobby T! You Rock!


Monday, 2 January 2012

Dr. Ball

Although I did not take a class from Whitman's Dr. Ball as he had already retired, he made a special trip to talk with my roomates and I at Whitman's Tamarac House (an interest house for the outdoor/backpacking crowd). He talked about big questions, he made us think. He didn't ask us to come up with the answers right then and there but planted tiny, powerful ideas.

Since that talk in 2007, I have thought about the tiny idea that I latched onto. That love is something that takes time. And with time, the bonds we truly hold dear will become stronger and stronger, while those that fall by the wayside do so for the better. Of course this can be applied to all walks of life: from our friendships, romantic relationships and our scholarly, work or athletic pursuits.

Thank you Dr. Ball for sharing and providing a powerful conscience with us young students.

Seattle Times 2001 Article that is very much worth reading, even if you never had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Ball.