Sunday, February 27, 2011


Several club members were eager to test out their new bikes against the uphill time trial course this morning. Johnson’s newly acquired Orbea, Stephanie Flynn’s first triathlon bike and even Kaley’s first bike without tassels on it. Now that a Tuesday spin class has been added to the weekly workouts for some club members, fast times coming up Marine Drive were almost guaranteed. Forecasted snow held off until the first few gentle flakes began to come down a half hour after the end of the event. Temperatures were on the cold side, a warm-up run of the hill was omitted from the schedule as the subsequent downhill back to the start line would have undone all of its effects. The nearest I could get to a temperature measurement was Brendan’s report, “Minus three. When I left my house”.

      Ben was fortunate to have completed the time trial just before sunset last night. Clear skies meant no threat of snow, but the temperature was not a whole lot warmer.. Victoria and I were his official witnesses. I remained at the top of the hill while Victoria tried to block some of the wind on the frigid downhill for him. Also skipping a warm-up, Ben  summited while still trying to keep enough energy reserved for the Velodrome that same evening. We wish him all the best while getting drunk in Whistler for the remainder of the weekend.

     Quite a few participants in this mornings race visited the Burnaby Velodrome last night, leaving them with less than 12 hours off the bike before the uphill time trial. From the reports I’ve heard, it’s very fun, you get comfortable not having brakes, it takes some getting used to, and don’t ever stop pedalling. 47 degree corners? I’m glad  Sherwood went to Burnaby as well, had he been in bed resting I wouldn’t have been able to match his time for the uphill bike. But a tie is really a victory in my books, even if Sherwood did try to blame his “dead legs”. Had we measured the event to the nearest tenth of a second, I’m sure I would have been just ahead of him. I took off my Jacket and booties to save weight but forgot to take my water bottle out of its cage. Without this mental lapse, I surely would have come in well ahead of Sherwood. This was Vince’s error last semester as well, removing even his bar tape but neglecting to think about the water bottle.

     We tied for 3rd place, two seconds behind Vince in 4:18. Barry managed to increase his margin of victory substantially over last semester, winning by over 20 seconds in 3:56. His own record of 3:52 from October still stands. Had Vince managed to shave 9 seconds off of his time, he would be the current overall leader of the point series. With five events left to come, the men’s competition is still very close.

      Dylan’s 200km rides have paid off with a 5th place finish in 4:23. I might mention that only a small portion of those rides were done uphill, at maximal exertion, after an evening Velodrome visit and a late night dinner. Train the way you race Dylan, train the way you race. And get some better fitting tights. If you can fit an entire loaf of bread in there, you’ve either lost 70 pounds recently or bought the wrong tights. He still beat Brendan though, who took five seconds off of his uphill time from October and finished in 4:30.

      Kory managed to put out the highest peak wattage of any cyclist in the V02 Max study, 526. A feat that is commemorated by an infrequently updated whiteboard on the third floor of the Westbrook building. Even though the study came at a point in his training calendar with some of the lowest cycling mileage for the year. The club’s most powerful cyclist (title subject to Kory’s approval) finished just behind Brendan in 4:31.

      I feared a defeat at the hands of Kellen today, and not without reason, he put out 440 watts on the stationary bike at one point during the VO2 test, well above my 403. And yet while Kellen beat me by a single point at the end of the Fall Classic, things are looking good for me this spring, I haven’t loss to him yet. It’s important to be overly competitive sometimes. The mighty lungs that used about 25 000  mililiters of oxygen to get him up the hill today earned him a time of 4:33. (160/2.2kg x 4.5min x 78)  Max finished with the same time, although likely using less of the atmosphere's precious oxygen. Germans are all about efficiency, just look at the Volkswagen.

     Derrick’s time was just two seconds back in 4:35. Perhaps he was also feeling the effects of a late night visit to the Burnaby Velodrome. But he must have enjoyed it, because I heard talk of using his next 4 months of rent money to buy a track bike.

       Johnson, starting second, had the opportunity to draft off of Barry. He decided to be a good sportsman and complete his own time trial, finishing in 4:44. He took off his Korean terrorist mask for the climb, it was just to keep his face warm in the parking lot he said. Curiously, on the subsequent frigid ride to Horseshoe Bay and back the mask was never used. A pre-race intimidation tactic, I suspect.

     Johnson also wins the title of most improved, taking 31 seconds off of his uphill bike time. He attributes his newfound fitness largely to P90X and pilates videos that he had shipped to Blaine, Washington. I told him he actually had to watch the videos and do the exercises, not just purchase them, to see results. Johnson has been starting his day with three and a half hours of pilates ever since.

     Math research occupies the remainder of his time, number theory specifically. He has spent two years now working on a method to determine the 100th digit of pi. Experts in his field eagerly anticipate publication of his results. Whatever the 100th digit turns out to be, many lead researchers are already speculating. Bookies are giving two to one odds on the number 4, and six to one on the number 7. He is also working on a machine that can solve Sudoku puzzles with a two star difficulty rating. The biggest challenge so far has been trying to find a robot that can grip a pen. How he ever manages to find time to fit in all of his training, I’ll never know.

      Winston decided to chill his muscles with his usual 20k ride in from Burnaby and finished in 4:56. I’ll bet he’s not glad he beat me in that body fat challenge now, I definitely saw some shivering, even before he left the club office. Drew was next behind Winston in the rankings, having snuck his room mate’s bike out of the house for the occasion. The main appeal was the carbon fiber seat post, carbon equals speed of course. Drew liked it so much that he’s now looking into getting a carbon fiber t-shirt for the UBC triathlon next weekend.
   As was the case last fall, Victoria had the fastest time for the ladies this morning (5:11). Stephanie Urness was just one second off the leader. After the race, she revealed that she had spent the previous night at The Gallery drinking several pitchers of Canadian and feels that this was an even bigger handicap than a night at the Velodrome.

    There was a tie for third between Kim and Kaley, both coming in at 5:17. At the last executive meeting it was decided that all ties in point series events will be resolved by a visit to BC Sushi. Rock-Paper-Scissors ensues, the winner deciding between one of two challenges. Who can eat the most baked oysters (by weight) or who can eat the most mango pudding without chewing. Neither gastronomic challenge is particularly appealing to watch or participate in. Check back later for the results of that contest.
    On only her second outing with the Triathlon club, Seanna recorded a time of 5:31, proving that indeed red is a fast color for a bike. Stephanie Flynn recovered from an earlier case of “Winston Syndrome” to finish 3 seconds behind in 5:34. I had previously thought that “Winston Syndrome” is when your office job consumes all of your energy and leaves you very vulnerable to afternoon naps. I was corrected today, the syndrome actually refers to having problems with your crank within half an hour of the start of a race. Kellen quickly rectified the situation and Stephanie was able to race. All of the girls finished within 23 seconds of each other. That's how big Barry's lead over second place was in the guy's race. A much closer race for sure.

       Jen Bhatla was immediately in front of me in the starting order, and on her first pedal stroke her chain snapped. I would have made some offer of help, but I was starting in 9 seconds so I just stared at her and her misfortune. Then I took about twice that long to clip in. She eventually did get the chain back together and completed the hill climb, in a respectable 6:15.

     Notable absences included include Matt Reeve and Thomas. Thomas reportedly has come down with a bad case of “phenomnia”. I hope that isn’t the Doctor’s diagnosis. Assuming he meant pneumonia, his absence is quite understandable. Sherwood told you not to lick the urinals at the Velodrome Thomas, this is your own fault. That’s how you get pneumonia, right? Matt received his third DNS of the point series, a shame since his 4:02 last semester proves he could have been a contender for the win this time around.

    In the end I heard 3 people say that Kellen’s high five’s in the parking lot were encouraging, but 5 people mentioned that it threw them off for their mental preparations. A bit less enthusiasm at the start would be appreciated next time. Everyone who joined the post-race ride to get pie in West Vancouver experienced the cold to some degree. Winston won the contest. It is also the first Saturday that I have ever bested Winston’s mileage for the day. I’m going to move to Port Coquitlam and ride in to campus for every  practice, that should show him. The pie was worth it. There was rhubarb. There was strawberry. There was every possible combination of those two fruits that you can imagine. Only one rider was brave enough to get ice cream on the side.

Barry Claman 3:56:00
Vincent Lavallee 4:18:00
John Heinz 4:20:00
Sherwood Plant 4:20:00
Dylan Stephanian 4:23:00
Brendan Naef 4:30:00
Kory Seder 4:31:00
Kellen Kjera 4:33:00
Max Stallkamp 4:33:00
Derrick Lee 4:35:00
Johnson Jia 4:44:00
Winston Guo 4:56:00
Victoria 5:11:00
Stephanie Urness 5:12:00
Kim Seder 5:17:00
Kaley Strachan 5:17:00
Jen Moroz 5:19:00
Drew Senay 5:19:00
Seanna 5:31:00
Ben Kresnyak 5:33:00
Steph Flynn 5:34:00
Jen Bhatla 6:15:00


Winstonian said...

So that was you who ordered the ice cream!! Solid choice.

Kellen Kjera said...

fine! No more high fives. I'm going to become a surly old cyclist now that I'm 30.