Bicycle

2015 Dirty Kanza Training Plan

Registration for the Dirty Kanza 200 closed today. Now, it’s time to get busy! The good news is you have plenty of time to build base and get ready for the grueling event. If you’re like me, you are probably asking Uncle Google for training advice or even a training plan.

You’re in luck!

I have 3 different training plans that I’m happy to share for free (a reference if you share the plans would be nice, but there’s no expectations. It would also be great to hear how you did and if the plan helped you. Otherwise, I’m just looking to help you have a great DK experience.) The plans range from my personal plan that I designed to help me finish the DK200 in 12 to 13 hours, down to a version for a buddy who wanted to ride the 100-mile DK Half Pint at a comfortable pace. These will not be customized to your individual needs, but they will provide a great starting point!

Drop me a line or leave a comment below if you’re interested and I’ll share a copy with you. They are Google Spreadsheets so sharing is a snap. Or, I can email a copy if you prefer.

Happy training and good luck!

DK200 Training Plan

A Decade of Dirty

3 Feet Please!

It happened again this past Saturday. The Bagel Ride group just finished the mad stomp west on Pink Hill Road and most riders had peeled off for home or to ride more miles. I turned south on 7 Highway and saw Jim 200 meters up the road, and not wanting to ride in alone, I buried myself to try and catch him. Just as I came up to speed, some jackass in a white Ford F250 complete with stickers, push bars, extended mirrors, and tailpipes bigger than a culvert, buzzed past me. This wasn’t the “I see the rider but can’t move over” kind of buzz. No, this was more like a “Imma teach this damn biker dude to GET OFF MY ROAD” maneuver. As the truck whisked past, his extended mirror passed within inches of my left shoulder.

Seconds after blasting past me, he was on Jim. Same thing. Only, from my perspective, it was much scarier to watch as the truck actually eased closer and closer to Jim. His right-side mirror passed within inches of Jim’s shoulder. This guy was obviously ignorant to the dangers of swerving so closely to a bicyclist. Considering the other lane was clear of traffic, his intentions were definitely more road rage than distracted driving.

As luck would have it the truck hit the next red light. I rolled up behind him and noticed that he wasn’t alone. In the truck with him was what I assume to be his family: a woman in the passenger seat and then two little ones in the back seat. Great example, d00d! I caught Jim at the same light and commented on the driver. But, as always, what’re ya gonna do???

Today, I stumbled upon a web site that’s trying to do something about this. 3feetplease.com is a grassroots bicycle advocacy that promotes bicycle safety with a very clever jersey. The bright yellow jersey reads “3 Feet Please” across the back and has sexy black warning stripes on the sides. The website also includes a map showing the 16 states that have enacted 3-foot laws, which require motorists give bicycles at least 3 feet or risk a fine. It’s quit disappointing to see how few states are addressing bicycle safety–that’s not to say that the 3-foot laws are the only way of managing the situation; but, and this is pure speculation based on nothing more than gut feel, the 30% adoption is probably a fair indicator of states that are actively trying to provide protections to cyclists. Likewise, as is being proven in Oklahoma, the 3-foot laws don’t seem to have any impact on reducing car-bicycle accidents. But, that’s another topic altogether.

That’s what I find so clever and appealing about the jersey. A law is a law and is easily ignored or forgotten. A bright yellow jersey that’s screaming “3 FEET PLEASE” in the driver’s face is a message that’s difficult to miss. It might actually work…at least with those drivers that respect others.

Stolen, Never to be Replaced

Steve Tilford has an excellent blog post that really sums up doping and racing. Steve recaps a conversation with Nick Frey, professional racer with the Jamis pro team, about a stage in the Tour of Chile. Nick was the set-up guy, delivering Tyler Wren, the teams climber, to the base of the finishing climb. In spite of a 0:06:30 lead at the base of the climb, Tyler was caught with less than 1km to go by a single racer. According to Tyler, the guy was, “breathing through his nose” as flew past. Turns out the racer tested positive, and was only able to accomplish the feat because he was “supercharged.” That seems to be the story of pro racing these days.

While the story is interesting to read, a comment that Nick emailed to Steve really says it all, and is the main point of this post:

How could anyone be so stupid and selfish at this point? Don’t these guys love the sport like we do? If it was a matter of getting a job to make money, go f*ing wrench on cars or sell life insurance.

Mount Magazine, Arkansas

Mount MagazineMount Magazine, the highest point between the Rockies and the Appalachians at 2,753 feet, looms on the horizon of my childhood home, Charleston, Ar. We were in town visiting family and I had my bike, so I thought why not. I planned to ride from Paris, over the summit and on to Havana and then back, which would be a 60-mile ride, climbing approximately 5,000 feet.

I parked just off the square at the Paris Christian Center and set out. Considering I was riding alone through rural Arkansas, I was a bit concerned about dogs. My worries were realized almost immediately. I had just clipped in and started to pedal when 3 dogs began chasing me. This happened within the first 2 blocks, which translates to near blow up from sprinting on cold legs. I got away with no problem but soon turned left on Hwy 308 and immediately found myself on the first climb of the day. I set a manageable pace and spun over the top of the 2.5 mile long hill. A dog chase, cold legs and a moderate climb made for a difficult start.

I knew this would be a long, steep ride to the top, but I didn’t know that the road would immediately turn upwards. I tried to distract myself with the spectacular views of Paris Reserve and the nearby hills but the road was more real then scenic views. The first 5 miles were undulating, with flat sections here and there, but overall mostly up. The first real break came around mile 7, where the road turned down to Cove Lake (pay attention to the warning signs because the right turn at the bottom is nasty!). The lake was beautiful with the morning sun and fog rising over the nearby hills. I crossed the spillway, a narrow bridge just wide enough for two cars, and started the hardest climb of the day. The climb out of Cove Lake was almost 3 miles long and steepened with each turn of the pedals. I was slow-turning my highest gear for the last half of the hill, wishing all the way that I had another gear or two. The pitched eased slightly and then slowly fell away to a short descent into Corley, a small town of 5 or 6 houses and 1 store at the base of Mount Magazine.

The heat, humidity and south winds seemed to go up with each turn of the road. I passed two overlooks around mile 14 and despite the wonderful views, passed up the opportunities to stop. Soon after the second parking area, the road changed from being tree covered to more wide open. It also became a little less steep at that point. Without cover from the trees, the wind and heat were more challenging than the climb…and it was just approaching 8:00 AM!

It took me 1:10 to reach the summit. I took a quick loop around the lodge and decided to cut the ride short due to the heat and humidity. I had 2 bottles with me, one was gone and the second one was already half empty, and I didn’t know if drinks would be available at Havana. So I turned north and started the fast descent for home.

Just like the start, the climb out of Cove Lake was the most difficult section. I raced to the lake at 30-40 MPH, only to find myself geared out on the climb. Fortunately, it’s only a half-mile long going North. I rolled over the top and tucked again for the ride into Paris. No dogs when I returned! =)

Overall, the climb from Paris to the summit of Mount Magazine is awesome. It’s a definite test of legs and lungs and it rivals most climbs in Colorado or North Carolina. Granted, it’s not 11,000 feet above sea level, but as with any climb, it is what you make it. I hope to return during cooler months and hopefully with a few riding buddies. Next time, I’ll take a few warm-up laps around Paris before setting out!

the image was borrowed from Cormack 13’s Flickr page and was found by good ole Google. The hazy day made for bad pictures.