In the (Feed)Zone
New Sheriff In Town
has been discussed regarding the efficacy of indoor Time Trialing.
Whether good indoor results translate into success on the road in
real world conditions is debatable. What with wind and hills and
actual pavement to create rolling resistance, at best the indoor
Time Trial is a workout that a rider would not normally force upon
him/herself. What I know for sure about the indoor Time Trial is
it's an event that prints money for the ABD club.
of dollars per year are handed over to ABD by hapless Midwesterners
who gaze upon the frozen, windswept landscape just outside their
windows. From January to March they opt to make bi weekly trips
to a suburb west of Chicago and subject themselves to computer simulated
torture in lieu of sucking on the business end of a pistol. It's
the price that must be paid for choosing to live in such a place.
is widely acknowledged that this writer has for the past 3 years
been the king of the hypothetical bike race. It has also become
apparent that my reign of wattage is over. Done. I have been kicked
off of the top step of the simulated podium. The usurper of my throne
is the new Pope of the Computrainer. Peter Sharis is his name. I
call him The Sheriff.
for larger image.
Photo © Paul Matsushima
looks like this.
is this creature sitting astride his bike and effortlessly
cranking out 450 watts for 10 hypothetical kilometers?
Why haven't we heard of him before? Why, when I did
a search of time trial results from 2004 did I see his
name and a time barely under the hour for a 40k? How
has an unknown former flailer transformed himself into
a pedal-crunching beast? From where did this power that
would make a Euro Pro green with envy come? The Sheriff
is a newbie. Note the unshaven legs. He started riding
a bike in April of 2004. His wife, an Oncologist, has
threatened to leave him if he shaves his legs. Besides
which, there is no aero advantage to be gained or risk
of road rash in an indoor Time Trial. The Sheriff pays
no heed to such tomfoolery.
I noted a 2004 Time Trial a shade less than 59 minutes for a 40k.
It was done in June on a standard road bike. Two months after being
introduced to the sport.
Sheriff is a Cardiologist by trade. He is graduate of MIT and Harvard
Medical School. He practices in Davenport, IA. He was on the National
Champion rowing team at Harvard and member of the US Olympic Rowing
squad at the '92 Barcelona Games. He is also an incredibly normal
person. Balanced. Disappointingly so. It would make for better writing
if he could be suspected of dipping into the medical supply room
at his clinic or if he lived like a hermit on a diet of lentils,
cliff bars and BCAA supplements. What a great target if he strutted
around in his chamois all day loudly reliving his glory days as
an Olympian. Lesser men have been known to stretch the truth a bit
about such feats. Not the Sheriff. The only thing freakish about
him is his academic resume.
Sheriff lends credence to the argument that no matter how much money
is spent on e-mail coaching services; there is no substitute for
genetics and the ability to suffer. Or, conversely, as my mentor
the Rev. Billy is often heard to say, unless you can produce over
400 watts at lactate, you'll always be pack filler.
the Category 2 and 3 dreamers who are reading this piece
with a growing sense of dread over losing a spot on
some future minimally funded US Continental team- you
need not fear. The Sheriff is above considering quitting
his job as a cardiologist in order to pursue the more
lucrative and prestigious career of professional bike
racer. He tells me that he'll confine himself largely
to time trialing with a few road races. Broken bones
don't lend themselves to efficiency with insertion of
contrast take a look at the vanquished king of the computrainer
Click for larger image.
Photo © Paul Matsushima
against The Sheriff, he appears disheveled, broken and suffering.
He is a whimpering, sniveling simp. Like Emperor Commodus before
General Maximus Decimus Meridius at the end of Gladiator, he is
a man formerly occupying a throne of power, revealed to be a weakling
and a coward. The one noteworthy item in this photo is the opulent
head of hair on the disinterested woman off the right shoulder of
the former king.
to this session, I had a brain fart. I had done indoor TT #1 on
my road bike, #2 on my TT bike so why not do #3 on my track bike?
Brilliant. Normally operating with a gear ratio of 53 or 54x12,
13 during these things, I outfitted my track bike with a 52x13.
Granted, this is an enormous gear for the track, but not for a time
trial. I had some trepidation about maintaining a sufficiently high
cadence in order to generate the 420 + watts that are customary.
Instead, the fixed gear mechanism of a track bike, during calibration
of the Computrainer fools the machine into creating about a pound
more drag than if it were calculating for a freewheel bike. It's
technical stuff that I don't pretend to understand, but the net
result being as The Sheriff noted, "You looked like Jan Ulrich
riding up L'Alpe Duez". Not only was he noting the painfully
slow cadence I was struggling to maintain -barely over 70 rpm- he
was calling me fat. A fallen ruler is in no position to respond
20, 2005. Hueston Woods State Forest. Oxford, OH. 36 degrees, mist
and 57 bent cyclists in the Pro 1,2 field. Kirk Albers, after 20
years of bike racing forgets to pack his cycling shoes. He does
the first lap in a pair of trail runners. After stopping for a borrowed
pair two sizes too small, he catches the field and sits in. Former
professional Patrick O'Donnell who has made the enormous sacrifice
to give up his lucrative and prestigious career as a US Continental
Pro for the mundane world of Orthopedic Surgery won the race out
of a 3-rider break. Thus remains intact his record of winning 8
out of every 10 races he enters.
- my new team - was represented by a collection of 5 old men ranging
in age from 40 to 50. Team mate Nooner, sitting in his van prior
to the event was catatonic. Concerned, we knocked on his window
to try and get a response. C-Bizkit, alarmed at Nooner's non-responsiveness
shrieked "We must break a window in order to save Nooner from
carbon monoxide poisoning!" as his van was running. Herr Hausfrau,
the wiser of the two and never one for drastic measures said "Nah,
leave him alone, he'll snap out of it." Ten minutes later,
Nooner awakens, leaves the van, walks over to Herr Hausfrau's mini
van and knocks on the driver side window. We could tell Nooner was
deeply troubled. Hausfrau rolls the window down. "What ever
it is it better be good because I'm letting in a lot of cold air".
Nooner - "I've been sitting here watching these people (bike
racers) in the parking lot for the past 20 minutes. Please tell
me I'm not as strange as everyone else here." Hausfrau - "Kevin,
you're fine. Get back in your van, get dressed and go warm up. Don't
pay attention to the rest of these fools. They're not like you."
Nooner felt better, we rode the race aggressively, Der Hausfrau
finished second in the uphill field sprint, Druber was 15th, 50
year old C-Bizkit rode smoothly and comfortably in the field, guarding
the back, making sure no one leaked out.
week. More drivel about bike racing.