TS 100 (DNF / double crash)

This is almost embarrassing to write. Well, it is embarrassing. Hopefully nobody reads it. If you’re reading this, STOP. Well ok, so you’re here, this is the lowdown.

This is one of the few races I was going to be able to do this year, for a bunch of reasons. Namely, I did not have other commitments/could do it in one day and the race was in my backyard (vs. say in like Leadville). BINGO.

Unfortunately, I took two hard crashes, full blame on me whatever, and really messed myself up. Thanks to my Mom, Hersch, Wife, Kids, etc. for supporting and helping me get better (oh yeah, and the on course medics and Truckee ER). I rode 65 miles or something and 5.5 hours or something to get out of there, and then got 40+ stitches and all kinds of madness, 3.5 hours in the ER, blah, sob, blah. Thought of Hoogerland a lot. HTFU right. Lesson: don’t crash.

If you wanna see the carnage, bear witness here:

photo 4.JPG

Strava for iPhone and Android — Glimpsing the Holy Grail

This is a phenomenal app, providing a glimpse to the holy grail — a fully integrated bike computer / app that makes your smartphone the only device you need. I currently roll on most rides with an ipod, an iphone, and a garmin bike computer. Really, I could do it all with the iPhone, but there are some trade-offs which we’ll touch on below.

I use Strava for iPhone when my Garmin battery dies — otherwise my standard program is uploading files from Garmin to desktop to Strava . . . but this is because I care about the power data for WKO desktop. This is more and more an edge case even for the most geeky of power / wattage cats, as Strava and/or Training Peaks will provide all you need in the cloud/web service. But it is not there yet. However for 99% of cyclists WKO desktop isn’t needed, and you can actually capture full heartrate and power/other data using the Strava app and iPhone after market sensors for Ant+ and the built in bluetooth, sick!

Just to niggle a little, another tradeoff is the footprint of an iPhone is pretty big compared to a Garmin (even the 800), and mounting that big ol smartphone thing on your bars is not that sweet, and then of course you crash in a race or run into a tree on your mt bike or whatever and your smartphone implodes. You could roll a standard computer up front on the bars, w/ the phone in your jersey pocket doing the Strava thing — however if you are using HR strap there can be issues with the signal if the phone is in the back . . . see? Still some kinks in the holy grail program. But I am niggling and begging for the grail, of course. Maybe the holy grail lets me insert my smartphone into my stem — clip in style and protected, and of course the battery is charged by the mad watts I am putting into the cranks. Give it a few years :)

The other obvious trade-offs here are you need to roll your GPS on — which can hammer battery life, especially on Android devices.

The bottom line is the Strava app for smartphones is amazing and deservedly award winning — below are links to many of the reviews and further resources:

http://app.strava.com/mobile

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/strava-cycling/id426826309?mt=8

http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/12/news/from-the-pages-of-velo-the-2011-velo-awards-%E2%80%94-technical-innovation-and-technical-blunder-of-the-year_200122

Marc Pro at your desk, for real

Marc Pro’ing while working is key — recover from your ride and add value at your job. Or spray on social media, or whatever you are doing on your computer.

There are a couple of ways to roll. If you are sitting with the legs out and up and what not like on the floor or on a bed, you can put a pillow on your lap and your laptop on that. Now the issue here is if you are getting a good hit on your mad quads, your computer will be bouncing all over the place. Tough to type, tough to read.

So, you could get a little mini coffee table style rig that sits over your legs — I’ve tried this a bit and it is the ultimate solution — I just haven’t invested in something simple and easy and fast to set up/tear down or whatever — I need a custom hospital bed food tray type thing that is not as high as a coffee table, which is too high. And I’m not going to take over some spot in my house with a crazy work/marc pro zone. But maybe you will.

So, that leads to my desk. Best practices for me:

*slouch in my chair / adjust height of chair to lowest setting to relax/extend legs
*put a pillow under my feet
*use socks to help hold pads on that otherwise want to get pulled off by gravity
*have a pee bottle on hand so you don’t have to disconnect everything when your re-hydration kicks in (i’m a ski mountaineer by trade, and am very down w/ the pee bottle, sorry if it wigs you out)

Sprayin on TdF Coverage on VS Network (or whatever its called now NBCSN OLN?)

So . . . I’m no expert on the Pro Peleton from an actual BIKE RACING standpoint, but I do consider myself an expert at watching sports and media after many decades in front of football games — so here comes some early thoughts and spray:

*Matt Goss is the best interview in the pro peleton. Smart, engaging, fun to watch. Even better than Horner. Cav, Farrar, Wiggins . . . god just painful to watch an interview (well, Cav is kinda fun, like train wreck style, like “is he gonna punch Frankie in the face!!”) . . . and then Goss just great, blessed w/ a personality I guess, comfortable in his own skin, not crispy, no work for him, now I have a dude to root for in the Green comp (w/ mad respect for Cav as a racer, sweet jesus)

*Bob Roll is a legit analyst now — 10 years ago more clown than legit — but now an awesome blend of “himself” but polished and intelligent and dialed

*Loving Monninger, solid . . . might put me to sleep over the course of an hour cuz he is so monotone and mellow but his content is rad, and he is of course closest to being a recent pro

*Paul and Phil as always are rocking . . . those guys can narrate my day

*NBC has def 100x’d the production values of the broadcast, just so much smoother and pleasing and entertaining beyond the race itself which itself is rad . . . I wonder if some pro producer isn’t behind a lot of the above?

*I love the Strava ads, damn makes me want to go ride in the middle of the night when I watch my DVR tour broadcasts :)

*Speaking of ads — noticing the quality of brand and ad is much higher — still the direct response “buy my buffalo gold coin” skank like you are watching late night TV — but again I wonder if NBC not having a big impact here because more high end ad dollars at work . . .

*Ariel views of european towns and structures are beautiful . . . compared to tour of california/america it is kind of embarrassing, the arial veiws of the average CA town are like a bunch of boxes and junk, comedy. I’ll have a big mac, a slurpee, a jamba juice, etc. Watching big euro races w/ multi-hour broadcasts just kind of narrates my evening, it’s my cheap culture fix for this dumb american

*Maybe I’m reading too much into things . . . and I love Horner and have mad respect on every level — but are he and Kloden pretty crispy w/ each other still — and is Horner a little bitter at having GC wings clipped? Seems like a Prologue and uphill stage one finish provided all the opportunity he could want to stay a ‘co-leader’ at least — but he dropped mad time on both? So . . . uh, yeah . . . sorry man is what it is

*Am I buying the hype or under the spell of the broadcast or something — or is the green jersey comp actually really compelling even now early in the race, maybe my bike fangeekdom is just fully blooming after 10 years of having a hard time getting excited about the sprinters/points comps