Monday, 19 February 2018

FTP W / kg progress

Sunday, 18 February 2018

FTP Progress: 312W -> 312W -> 325W -> 329W -> 345W -> 353W -> 352W

February 18: 352W

20min @ 371W -> FTP = 352W (avg H/R = 178, max = 190)

NOTE: I'm 3.4kg lighter now than I was in December

December 20: 353W

20min @ 372W -> FTP = 353W (avg H/R = 176, max = 184)

November 25: 345W

20min @ 365W times 95% -> FTP = 345W  (avg H/R = 175, max = 183)

November 13:  329W

2 x 8min @ 366W times 90% -> FTP = 329W (avg H/R = 172, max = 182)

October 19: 325W

20min @ 342W * 95%: -> FTP = 325W (avg H/R = 172, max = 182)

October 9: 312W

2 x 8min @ 346W * 90%: -> FTP = 312W (avg H/R = 171, max = 183)

September 27: 312W

2 x 8min @ 346W * 90%: -> FTP = 312W (avg H/R = 175, max = 186)

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Service your Shimano SPD pedals in 10 minutes

Ever had your Shimano pedals squeak?

This is very easy to fix and in fact you should perform these few small steps that take 10 minutes in order to keep your Shimano pedals working flawlessly. It reduces friction and makes you faster!

Step 1: Use a vice to hold the pedal

Step 2: Unscrew the axle

Note: Left hand side pedal turns "the wrong way"

Step 3: Take out the axle and clean it

Step 4: Pour down axle grease and some wet lube into the pedal body

Step 5: Re-attach the axle to the pedal body

At this point some of the old dirty axle grease should come out. Just wipe it off

Done! Now you have a functioning Shimano pedal!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Preparing for Andalucia Bike Race 2018

My first big goal of 2018 is coming up in under two weeks: Andalucia Bike Race

  • 6 Stages
  • 600 km
  • 10.000 hm

What happened last year?

I took part in the race last year but it went terribly; My achille's tendon was giving me terrible pain and prevented me from training in the weeks leading up to the race, I had a series of punctures in the race and also I kept having chain drops, and to top it off in the second to last stage I had to abort the race with a broken rear deraileur.

Current Form

This year's preparations have been going better. Weight is looking good at around 72 kg. I've been hitting the Monark HARD (my indoor training bike). I'm producing around 15% better Watts than I was at this time last year.


I haven't quite decided on which bike to use yet: My first choice is the Cube AMS 100 C:68 that I used all of 2017. It's light and quick. But I have another choice. I purchased this bike just a few weeks back and I haven't had a chance to write about it yet. A separate post about it is coming up: Trek Top Fuel 9.9 RSL
Trek Top Fuel 9.9 RSL
The Trek is slightly heavier but I think it may be the best handling bike that I have ever owned.

Currently I'm trying to figure out my tire choice: Last year I went with Rocket Ron 2.1 Snakeskin front and rear. These are wonderfully light tires but I know that I wished for a little more grip in front. So I may go for 2.25 wide this year. Perhaps a Racing Ralph 2.1 in the rear instead of Rocket Ron because they roll better.

Andalucia Bike Race

So what's the race like?

  • It's a hilly race, but not super hilly. There's actually less climbing per stage compared to Beskidy Trophy. The altitude gain is between 1000 and 2000 m per day.

  • The downhills are super technical. I remember last year comparing it to Beskidy and thinking that Andalucia had more challenging and dangerous downhill sections.

  • Each stage starts in a town and has a bit of a transport section (10-20 km) before you get to singletrack. The starts in Cordoba are a bit hectic with too many riders going crazy while fighning for position and I didn't like them at all last year.

  • The first stage is a short single start stage with competitors starting at 30 second intervals. The result determines your placing on the grid for the second and first real stage.

  • The competition is SUPER HARD. Even though I had bad form and an injury coming to the race last year I was super surprised (and disappointed) when I, after what I thought was an okay first stage, found out that I had placed 44th! There are 242 racers starting in my M40 category.

The Stages

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Fixed my indoor Strava session data with a Python program

My Garmin picked up GPS data this morning during my indoor session and that lead to Strava showing the session as outdoor even though I clicked "Indoor activity". It means I can't properly analyse the power and heart rate data. I don't know why Strava does this actually.

I exported the Strava session to a TCX file and noticed that it had position and speed data in it (even though I had been stationary the whole time)

I wrote a short Python program that modified the XML to remove the <position> tags and set the <speed> to 0.

Then I imported the modified file to Strava and it worked perfectly! Now my session was a proper indoor activity and the graphs looked perfect.

Here is the Python code that I used. Feel free to use it:

import sys

infilename = sys.argv[1]
outfilename = sys.argv[2]

with open(infilename, 'r') as infile:
    with open(outfilename, 'w') as outfile:
        line = infile.readline()
        while line:
            if line.strip().startswith("<Position>"):
            elif line.strip().startswith("<DistanceMeters>"):
                outfile.write("    <DistanceMeters>0</DistanceMeters>\n")
            elif line.strip().startswith("<Speed>"):
                outfile.write("        <Speed>0</Speed>\n")
            elif line.strip().startswith("<MaximumSpeed>"):
                outfile.write("    <MaximumSpeed>0</MaximumSpeed>\n")
            line = infile.readline()

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Climbing the hills of Chiang Mai - Winter Training Camp 2017 / 2018 [UPDATED WITH VIDEOS]

Chiang Mai - The Stats

If you've been following my blog then you know that I like to do my winter training in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This is the fifth year in a row that I come to this place over Christmas and New Year's. I love the trails, terrain, nature, the uphills and the downhills here.

This year I was here for 14 days in all and I rode 13 of those days (one day rained away). Every second day was a mountain ride day and every other a flat recovery ride day.

The totals are as follows:
  • Days on the bike: 13
  • Hours moving time: 54.5 hours - 4h 15m per day
  • Kilometers ridden: 873.6 km - 67.2 km per day
  • Vertical meters climbed: 14350 m - 1104 m per day

My Two Benchmark Hills

There are two hills that I've ridden several times since I started doing my winter training in Chiang Mai. Both are long and steep. This year I managed to improve my times up both hills by a good margin, in fact it's a more significant jump in performance than I've ever had before

Here are the two Strava links to the sections:

Best time this year: 55:16

Best time 2016/2017: 1:01:18

Best time this year: 1:25:53

Best time 2016/2017: 1:37:50
Best time 2015/2016: 1:33:43
Best time 2014/2015: 1:38:58


Thursday, 21 December 2017

4 x 4min Progress: 373 -> 391W -> 404W -> 407W

December 21: 407W (30 Strava Suffer Score, Max H/R @ 186)

December 2: 404W (32 Strava Suffer Score, Max H/R @ 188)

Another shot at the Fours early this morning

Heart rate went through the roof and maxed out at 188. Probably due to the fact that I hadn't done any intensive training since Tuesday (wasn't feeling 100% well)

November 17: 391W (29 Strava Suffer Score, Max H/R @ 184)

October 31: 373W (33 Strava Suffer Score)