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biking & training

When I am not teaching, shooting, or spending time with my family, you will find me on my bike or in the gym. I am far from a certified trainer, but this is a glimpse into how this “old guy” trains and races. I have the privilege of racing with the best group of guys I know. Erik’s Bike and Board is the shop that supports my need to stay healthy, feel like a kid, fulfill personal goals, and go really fast!

Trying to Beat my Best at 40 with the help of TrainerRoad

Testing out a New GoPro and Documenting a Week of Winter Training Over the last four years I have spent far more time with TrainerRoad than I have with most of my teammates. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing, but it’s a reality. As a self-coached competitive cyclist, who is also a suburban dad and husband, I love designing a training plan in December and then doing my best to stick to it all winter long. As I have mentioned many times before, TrainerRoad suits my personality perfectly. I can establish a training baseline through a threshold test, determine a timeline to accomplish my goals, and then select and tweak a training program aimed at meeting those goals. I think I would go crazy if all of my training time was spent on the bike, so I try to also include a fair amount of strength training and yoga. I have always loved lifting weights, so strength training is a joy to incorporate into a workout plan. However, even though I know flexibility is crucial for a 40 year old cyclist, a few yoga sessions per week is the element of my plan that is by far the most difficult to stick to. The week that was documented in this short video (January 25-31, 2016) includes just over 11 hours of exercise. That is a pathetically low number in comparison to an elite cyclist as well as many riders I race against each year. However, it’s what I can afford and it works for me. I spent roughly 8 hours working through the second...

Specialized Fatboy Loop to the Coon Rapids Dam

If you don’t own a fat bike and you live in Minnesota you’re doing it wrong. Where were these things when I was a kid? Of course there are times when it’s too cold to ride, too icy to ride, or it’s thawing and riding would ruin the trails. However, for those times when the air is crisp and the snow is crunching underneath those fat tires, it can be one of the best feelings in the world. Koen and I both purchased Specialized Fatboys last season and I still count mine as the most fun bike I own. We made full use of them all summer long, but there’s something about using them in the conditions they were built for it really makes it worthwhile. This short video is just our quick adventure to the Coon Rapids Dam in Brooklyn Park, MN on a frosty late afternoon in February. I have a GoPro Hero 4 Black on my handle bars and a GoPro Hero 4 Session underneath my saddle. I threw all of the footage together in Adobe Premier CC with a Ground Control Hangtime 2 filter....

Some Thursday Night Lights Training at the NSC Velodrome

Last night marked the third Thursday Night Lights of the 2015 season at the NSC Velodrome. However, this was only my second night of racing on the track this season due to a couple of conflicts last week. The weather was absolutely perfect and my parents and aunt and uncle had driven up from southern Minnesota to watch me race at the track for the first time. Even at nearly 40 years old, I always appreciate having some family in the stands. I’m sure this added a little additional motivation to my legs on the night?  Thanks for making the trip up from Mapleton! The Cat 1/2 field was pretty light with only 10 riders taking the rail for the evening’s slate of races. On tap for the group was a 12 Lap Tempo, Miss & Out, and 60 Lap Scratch Race. This was a very similar schedule to Week One, so I was really hoping I had learned what not to do to be a little more successful this time around. Warm-Up I am really starting to understand the benefit of a solid warm-up (after how many years of racing?). It seems like the longer and more structured my warm-up, the better I tend to do in races. I pushed the pedals on the trainer for nearly an hour last night with 3 five minute hard efforts, several single-leg drills, and a few high rpm bursts towards the end of the warm-up. I am trying to find a routine that works well before the North Star Amateur Crits in less than two weeks. 12 Lap Tempo The first race...

How Super was the Erik’s Super Demo at Devil’s Head Resort?

I have been looking forward to the Erik’s Super Demo at Devil’s Head Resort in Baraboo Wisconsin since it was announced a few months ago. During this mid-May weekend in the past, I have raced Almanzo or Wheels on Willy. However, the opportunity to spend some non-race time with teammates and fellow bike enthusiasts while test riding the latest and greatest road, mountain, AND electric bikes on some amazing roads and trails seemed much more appealing this year. Five members of the Erik’s Regional Road Team made the trip out to Devil’s Head Resort for this inaugural event. Matt, Andy, and I left around noon on Friday and Ben and Laszlo were able to leave after work. Since three of us arrived at the resort around 4:00, we immediately “kitted-up” after check-in and headed out to spin-out our legs and explore the local roads. The official bike demo did not open to the public until 10:30 on Saturday. I am no climber, but in non-race situations I love the opportunity to push the pain threshold and get outside of my comfort zone. It wasn’t very far into our ride before the road tilted up and I was dropping down to my “granny gear” in an attempt to hold the wheels of Matt and Andy. Ha! Let’s just say I’m glad they were being kind. Having had bad luck with flat tires already this season, I wasn’t too surprised when I got to the top of the Tower Rd. climb and blew the sidewall of my front tire. I was luckily able to use the “dollar bill in the tire trick” and...

Did the Fulton Grand Fondo Live up to its Reputation?

Of all of the events and races I was forced to miss last spring due to my broken collar bone, the Fulton Grand Fondo was the one I missed the most. Since it was a new event in 2014, I didn’t really know what I was missing, but it sounded like a fantastic time. After nearly a month or racing every weekend, I think most local riders are up for something a little less sanctioned by May 9. I’m not saying that this ride didn’t feel like a race at times, but none of us were wearing numbers or chips and it would have been very easy to just say “this is just a gorgeous ride through the south metro” if you did get dropped. Six Erik’s Bike & Board riders began the ride at Fulton Brewery at 9:00 and we picked up one more rider 10 miles down the road. To avoid some of the congestion of 1000 riders using parts of the Greenway to leave the city, the six of us rolled out a little earlier than the rest of the group. So. . . if this was a race, we were all cheaters. We ended up stopping at both the Hopkins Depot and a Super America on Excelsior to use the restroom–a true sign that most of us are masters riders. We did meet up with Laszlo right before the the rest of the group of 50 or so fast riders caught us at Pioneer Trail.   I rode with the group of about 50 lead riders for 15 miles or so before the road pitched up...

A Prenzlow Photography Perspective of the La Crosse Omnium

The La Crosse Omnium has been a favorite race weekend of mine for quite a few years and it keeps getting better each year. Hats off to TJ Brooks, Trent Ping, and the entire team for putting on a solid early season race. Since La Crosse is now part of the Midwest Flyover Series, let’s see if that added any new dynamics to an already great race. Friday (Time Trial up Grandad Bluff) Yes, this is a favorite race weekend, but an uphill time trial is about as far from my strengths on the bike as you could imagine. I have “raced” it before and I’m sure I will race it again, but this year my workout consisted of pedaling 50+ lbs. of camera equipment up to the second bend in Bliss Rd. This was no easy task with sneakers, a backpack around my shoulder, and a tripod and folding chair under my arm. However, it was completely satisfying to watch others suffer as I sat and captured the best “pain faces” I could. Full Time Trial Results Shop Full Time Trial Photo Gallery Saturday (Downtown La Crosse Criterium) With a mix of shooting and racing, I knew Saturday was going to be a long day. However, my family and I were staying with friends near the bottom of the bluff and we all enjoyed a relaxing morning. The kids played and we watched all the half marathon runners race by the house. Does this race really start at the TOP of Grandad Bluff? That has to be hard on the joints. Once arriving in downtown La Crosse, it was all about capturing some great...

THK: Were There Any Surprises in the 40+ Race?

THK (Thoren Heuval Kermesse) was the first race on my 2015 calendar and I didn’t know quite what to expect from my fitness at this point in the season. I can’t believe this is the start of my sixth year of racing road bikes. This was never anything that I thought I would have the opportunity to do, but now racing has become one of the biggest parts of my life. I try not to take racing too seriously, but the hours of training required just to participate in these races definitely dictates a certain level of focus. I will be 40 years old (sadly) at the end of 2015, so I am now able to race with a new category of riders. I still plan to race a mix of Category 1/2 and Masters Races, but after 8 sedentary–but wonderful–days on Kauai last week, I thought Masters might be the way to go for THK. However, I have never been so unsure of my fitness at the start of the season before. I rode the trainer and cross-trained with weights all winter, but was not able to put in the number of hours on the bike that I have in the past. Time will tell? Seven of the eight Erik’s Regional Road Team members from MN were able to make the trip up to Avon, MN. Petersen and Keogh raced the Cat 1/2/3 Field and Alberti, Schinke, Mardosz, Kermisch, and I raced the 40+ Field. After meeting at the Walmart parking lot in Maple Grove and consolidating our Specialized SL4’s to a couple of cars, we were on our way...

Another March Fitness Funk

Ican pretty much set my watch to how my body will feel around the end of March. After just over three months of trainer workouts and lifting weights, my body and mind always has a hard time transitioning to the early road rides. Saturday’s ride in Henderson was no exception. I was scheduled to meet up with Ben and Jim to ride the Silver Island Road Race course at around 1:00 pm. Since I arrived to Henderson early, I rode to Jessenland Hill and got a few climbs in before the ride. The last time I had ridden this hill was 2009 while racing in my second ever road race as a Cat 5. Boy, 5 years of racing has gone by in a blink. I love this photo–riding a used internet bike, elbows locked, hands numb, and loving life. The first few times up the hill on Saturday I felt pretty good, but by the time I met up with Ben and Jim I realized my legs were flat as pancakes. We headed back up the hill (a fourth time for me) and then proceeded to ride the Silver Island 18 mile circuit. Of course the tailwind sections were great, but once we entered the cross and headwind sections my legs were toast. I could turn the pedals over petty hard for about a minute or two, but had absolutely no muscle endurance. After making the full circuit, we went up the hill one more time before turning around about 8 miles into the loop. The 12 miles of headwind back to the car were humbling to say the least....

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