Tag Archive | "endurance"

Post Trans AM Bike Race – My First Love Will Always Be Triathlons

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After finishing the Trans Am Bike Race earlier this month, it reminded me why I will always love triathlons as my favorite endurance sport. The Trans Am Bike Race was definitely an amazing event and lifetime experience. However, I clearly missed trail running and swimming and thought about it so many times during the month of the race. My post race reflections, ideas/tips for enthusiasts and full Trans Am Bike Race Highlights -Pictures will be coming soon.


The fitness benefits of a singular focus on riding (in training and the race) over the past 7 months included: increased cycling efficiency, power /weight ratio, and the aerobic engine. I estimate that I covered 11,0000 mile (All of my training is recorded in time not miles).   In 30+ years of riding and racing, I don’t’ ever remember being able to just cruise with such a low heart rate during riding while climbing, sprinting and aerobic efforts.  As we all know so well, high mileage cycling builds an efficient and strong aerobic engine. It was interesting to see my resting heart rate drop below 40 with all this cycling (my lowest resting HR recording).

Prior to the race, my training plan incorporated cycling specific strength work in addition to all the cycling 2-3 times per week(with weights and body weight) and the key areas were strong – (triceps, shoulders, quads and abs). Using my 4 key body weight sessions the average results (not “to failure” were as follows):

  1. Plank – 4 sets of 2:30 holds
  2. Squats – 200
  3. Pull Ups – 4 sets of 12
  4. Pushups – 4 sets of 40


Post race recovery – after riding 4,270 miles (actually probably closer to 4,400 miles with all the “additional” riding to and from locations) my body had disproportionate strength.   It was shocking how strong the legs are even during this recovery.  However, the overall arm strength decrease significantly, thus the benefit of cross training and triathlons – Keeping in mind the results below are during Recovery which is expected to last 2-3 months and similar to RAAM riders and the body is tired.

  1. Plank – 3 sets 1:30 holds – clearly lower abs are weaker
  2. Squats – easily 300 no problems and plenty of power low
  3. Pull Ups – 2 sets of 8
  4. Pushups 3 sets of 20

I have always loved riding, but the benefits of combining it within a triathlon will always be my first love as it builds a stronger overall body. As expected, weak arms and shoulders resulted after the race. It’s been challenging to recover the numb hands/fingers and the body from being so exhausted from this race.  It will take many months but I definitely look forward to getting back to triathlon training and rebuilding strength this fall!

What to Take on the Underground Railroad Bike Trail

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If you are considering a backpacking trip, the following supply list might offer some ideas for your trip.  Interestingly, using all the “stuff” I already had or received free from races, sponsors, etc. was used for the trip.  I will camp and you many be interested in a very cool site www.warmshowers.com if you interested in the backpacking experience.

The goal was to eliminate buying a lot of new things. The supply list is for my backpacking trip from Pittsburgh, PA to Erie, PA (to connect onto the Underground Railroad Trail) then south to Mobile, Alabama.  The approximate distance is 1,750 miles.

Have fun!


Underground Railroad Bike Trail Supplies List

Sleeping Gear

  • Blackburn Twilight Bivy
  • Western Mountaineer lightweight sleeping pad
  • Inertial X- Lite Sleeping pad



  • Endurolytes
  • Premium Insurance Caps
  • Endurance Amino Caps
  • Perpeteum
  • Kind Bars
  • 2 Large Water Bottles
  • CamelBak 70 oz
  • Lightweight spoon


Bike Stuff

  • Specialized Tarmac Bike
  • Bontrager Tubeless Wheels
  • Maxxis Padrone Tubeless Road Tire 700 x 23c
  • Bike Oil
  • Stan’s Tubeless Tire Sealant
  • 2 tire levers
  • Multi Tool
  • Zip ties
  • Small roll of duct tape
  • Small tire Patches
  • Headlamp
  • Serfas Bike light



  • Garmin 1000
  • Iphone
  • Spot Tracker
  • Power Monkey Explorer charger
  • Solar Monkey Charger
  • Charging Cords


Daily Necessities

  • Hammer Nutrition Seat Saver
  • Toilet paper
  • Small Deodorant
  • Small Soap
  • Toothpaste and small brush
  • Lip Balm
  • Fingernail clipper
  • Tiny knife
  • Microfiber towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Ziplock bags



  • Apidura Handlebar Bag
  • Apidura Seat Bag
  • Apidura Top Tube Bag
  • Apidura Small feed bag on Top tube



  • Pearl Izumi Winter Cycling gloves
  • Pearl Izumi “normal” cycling gloves
  • Bike shirt
  • 1 compression shirt
  • Cycling bibs
  • Walz Cycling cap
  • Sugoi Rain jacket
  • Down filled compression coat
  • Toe covers
  • Leg warmers
  • Cycling shoes
  • Pearl Izumi Arm Warmers
  • Icebreaker light weight short sleeve Wool shirt
  • Mountain Hardware Running shorts
  • Xero shoes
  • Catlike helmet
  • Pearl Izumi wool socks
  • Buff
  • Lightweight Xero Shoes


Bike Trainer Product Review Wahoo Kickr Snap

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Don’t’ sweat the small stuff, the famous quote and list of books made popular by Richard Carlson, PhD many years ago.   Recently, I was preparing for a big time trial test on the indoor trainer and definitely did not start off as expected.   In addition to rollers, I have used a Computrainer for the last 20 years or so (2 of them).

It just was one of thosedays; turn on the Computrainer for the warm-up and I find out that magnetic wheel was fried.   I had it 12 years and no complaints at all.   A great trainer and my estimate, 6000-7000 hours on the trainer.

Unlike the normal method of the past with doing some research on the Computrainer new models and eBay, I decided time for a change.   The comp trainer was one of the first trainers that fully integrated technology with respect to watching on a screen  – racing against a competitor with specific customized or pre-programmed courses.   They were all the rage with the triathlon crowd when they first arrived on the scene.

However, over the years I noticed that the racing against the competitor was not something I focused on and just used the manual mode all the time and simulated the workout per my specific goal.   Bottom line, the high cost and graphics were not a factor in the next purchase.

There are plenty of pro’s and con’s of using a bike trainer, but personally I actually enjoy riding on the trainer during the winter months to measure workouts which is sometimes a bit difficult in the winter with the ice and snow (with the road bike).

The help of Google and some research I settled on the Wahoo Kickr Snap and found a good deal on a refurbished one.   The company sells refurbished – defined as a decal scratch, etc.    It saved around $100 and seemed to be a no-brainer.   When the trainer arrived, I inspected it and not even a scratch on it.

Wahoo also promotes the ease of transportation and fold up, etc.   I know one thing for sure; I don’t travel with my trainer or ever take it down and wonder how many athletes actually take the trainer down and travel with it?


  1. The trainer is built like a tank even though it only weighs about 30 pounds.
  2. Once challenge with my Computrainer in the past was with the skewer system of various wheels and bikes. The bike had to be set exactly perfect with and “old style” skewer.   The Wahoo comes with a skewer that must be used to ensure a sound fit.
  3. The quick release arm (see picture) made it so much easier to get the bike set up vs. the endless cranking tight of the Comp trainer.
  4. This trainer is all about training, very basic, less features and of course not the graphic race against another athlete media.
  5. The software to control the magnetic resistance wheel (back wheel) is a simple smart phone app called Wahoo Fitness. It’s simple to set up and almost no instruction manual.
  6. The software app is basic, with watts, speed, resistance controlled by IPhone and the availability for cadence, etc. It can be integrated with other platforms such at Strava, etc.
  7. The cost was approximately $1,000 less than the Computrainer, which was a plus as I stopped using every feature on the Computrainer.
  8. A huge positive is during standing; the front wheel block and level of the back make it feel almost like being on the road for a climb. The sturdiness of the trainer makes out of the sale climbing exceptional.
  9. Sound, nothing earth shattering in terms of being quiet.
  10. Good customer service –it only took a few days before it arrived.

There are plenty of pro’s and con’s of using a bike trainer, but personally I actually enjoy riding on the trainer during the winter months to measure workouts which is sometimes a bit difficult in the winter with the ice and snow (with the road bike).   The Wahoo trainers are definitely worth checking out if you are looking for an affordable, no frills, and workhorse trainer.