Monday, January 28, 2008

Wicklow Road Ride Route - Three Major Climbs

I'm going to post an off road loop the next time but first, here is another road loop that I like to do from time to time. It's pretty long at about 120km with 1900m of climb but if it is not too windy, it's great. I think I have done this exact loop 4 or 5 times. Basically, there are 3 major climbs. Sally Gap from the north, then the Wicklow Gap from the East followed by the Sally Gap from the west. Each of these are about 20 minute climbs for me (at a pretty quick pace). The scenery is amazing along the way and you are never too far away from a shop (it is a long spin after-all).

The Profile for the Spin

I think it was the nicest January day I have seen in Ireland

The reason I add it now is that it's the spin I did on Sunday, the last day of a big week for me (rest week this week – yeah). It took 4:20 to do it at a pretty quick pace and the PowerTap tells me I used 3,700kJ (so about 3,700kC when you take my efficiency into account). Power averaged 231, 270 normailzed and I got 256 TSS

Thursday, January 24, 2008

2007 Training/Racing Totals...

I just realized that I had not really given a review of my training over 2007. For all training sessions I use a Garmin 305 and this is what it reports:

Total Active Time: 830 hours - seems a lot - includes hiking, joging etc too.
Total Distance: 15,240km (about 6,500km off road)
Average Heart Rate: 134
Max Heart Rate: 197 - set in the first race of the K-Capital Series
Total Climb: 320,009 meters (over a million feet!)

Biggest month training wise was January with April the least (when I was injured). Distance wise, December was my biggest month – 2 weeks in California and then 9 days in Monaghan meant that my road bike was my only training weapon => big distance.

That seems like a lot...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Narky after spins?

A few of the MAD riders had been asking me about post ride nutrition etc... I just popped into this link that talks about post ride nutrition and narkiness so I thought I would right something quick. Me, my usual thing is if the ride is longer then 1.5 hours (or is shorter but really intense) I use sports drinks. If the ride is longer then 2/2.5 hours I take solid food (training only). I mostly eat a cereal bar or something reasonably tasty every hour. Racing, it's a bottle of sports drink every 30 minutes and a gel every 30-40 or so depending on temperature and race length.

Afterwards, the second I get in I go straight to the fridge and make some chocolate milk - shower, clean up and then get some proper carbohydrates back into me. Since I started this regime I no longer get the post ride irritable feeling and seem to recover a lot better. After 4+ hour rides, I eat constantly for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

2007 Specialized S-Works Epic for sale

I'm selling my 2007 Specialized S-Works Epic. It was my race machine from last year and was built up in March 2007. I used it primarily for racing and very little for training (and if so, only in the dry!) – it's been sitting in my bike room since the Irish Marathon Champs (except for one spin and the MAD club champs in December). The bike is the best bike I've ever ridden and I will be racing on a very similar one next year. The bike did me really well (see 2007 results)

I basically built up the bike from separates as closely too the Specialized Factory Team bikes as was feasible. (They use some components that are just not durable enough or that simply cannot be bought). Complete bike weight is sub 10kg. In comparison – a stock 2007 S-Works built bike weighs in at 11.4kg without pedals.

The components are as follows:
2007 S-Works Epic Frame - Large
2007 Pace RC 39XC 100mm fork. Full service from Pace Cycles with new uppers and upgraded lockout cable just before the marathon champs.
2007 Mavic SLRs - got these at the end of April – only used for racing – very few miles on them.
2007 XTR drivetrain/brakes
2007 Selle Itallia SLR XC Gel Flow (best saddle I've used)
KCNC Seatpost
Syntace F99 Stem (120mm) & Duraflite Carbon Bar
KLC Superlight barends

It also has brand new brake pads, KMC X9 chain, XTR Cassette, cables and a choice of tires.

I have lots of photos here which include weights for many of the individual components as well as the original article I wrote about it here and some general bits and bobs here.

This is a pro level bike with only the best components used – it cost about 6.5k to build. I'm selling it for 3,500e. I have receipts etc... for everything.

I'm out in Dundrum and can meet up at anytime to show it off.

Please email me ( forsale (at) ryansherlock (dot) com ) for more details.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Blingy Wheels

I was in Cycleways on Saturday and I was shown the new Specialized/Roval Controle XC Race wheels. Very very light (about 1420g for the pair versus 1580g for my SLRs) and shiny. I'm not so sure if they would last as well as the bomb proof SLRs but I wouldn't mind giving them a go. The rim profile looked nice - built for using normal tires and sealant.

In other news, I was up around Three Rock on Sunday and I have never seen so many mountain bikers out in Ireland (outside of races). Every car going up the hill had some mountain bike strapped on the back. I saw all manner of bikes from toy bikes all the way up to the most expensive rigs around - most of the bikes were nice though... I'm glad to see mountain biking (and outdoor activities in general) finally taking off in Ireland. Ballinastoe is a great help for all of this too - those trails are sweet.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Band of Brothers

Mel and I have been watching Band of Brothers these last few evenings. My younger brother has been raving about it for a long time and we just finally got around to watching it - if you have not seen it yet. Get it out!

I was reminded of this when I seen a video that was linked from the Epic forums - amazing what computers and some know-how can do...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Road Ride Route - Flat With One Climb

I thought that I should start putting up the routes of some of the nice road and off-road spins that I go on. I'll try to keep them reasonably different and only ones that I actually like. The kml file should be available so it should be easy enough to have a better look at or put onto a Garmin.

The first one is a road ride that I did a couple of days ago. It's mostly rolling terrain for the first 50km or so followed by the only major climb – The Wicklow Gap. Coming from the west it's actually a very easy climb. It's never very steep and your at the top before you know it. A quick descent to Laragh and it's back to mostly flat/rolling terrain back to the city. The roads are pretty good throughout and apart from when your on the N81 and around the city there is not much traffic. I did the spin in a little over 4 hours at a pretty steady pace. Total distance is 120km with a total climb of 1100 meters.

View Larger Map

For some reason I can't get all the points to show in the initial map (maybe too many?). When you look at the map, click next to see the next page of points.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Today I was supposed to be doing a technically challanging loop around Three Rock – the weather (2-3 inches of very powdery snow on ice) made it almost impossible. Even bone shaker was a very tricky climb. It was beautiful but I decided to descend back closer to sea level (minor wipe out on a road section!) which had less snow and do a few loops of the XC course around Leadmines. Everytime I go out there I wonder why I don't go out there more often – it's great. A nice 3 hour spin - and it wasn't even too cold.

Top of Killmashogue

Bone Shaker

Crappy image quality due to my phone.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

More about the Cyclocross Race

There are photos from the CX Championship race available here, here and here as well as a report here.

Full results from the race can be found here.

Two months to the start of the K-Capital Cup :)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

2007/08 Irish National Cyclocross Championships

The 2007/2008 Irish CX championships took place today in Tymon Park. I'm just back from it and put up some of the photos. Brief results from us is that Mel won the ladies MTB support race and I finished in the early teens. Roger won the race and Robin came second with Joey third.

Start of the main race

As it was my first Irish CX race (second ever after the one in the US a few weeks ago) I was ungridded and started way back. It was pretty frustrating as there was a lot of single track from the start and I didn't really get to start going fast until later in the race. I did however enjoy the final few laps. I was using Sean's CX bike for the race - I think I might pick up my own for next year...

We took a ton of photos (about 450) and here are the 'best' 150 ish... Sorry for there being lots of Mel and I ;)

2007 Irish National CX Championships

I'll write a little more about the race soon.

Friday, January 04, 2008

A Beautiful Sunrise

A beautiful sunrise filled the sky this morning - some parts of the country got snow last night, it simply stayed dry and cold in Dublin.

8:10am this morning

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Christmas 2007

So Christmas has come and gone – what did I get up to in the last two weeks. Firstly, just before Christmas I got my new training toy. A PowerTap SL – it's basically a powermeter that is built into the rear hub of your bicycles wheel and tells you how much power you are putting out. I've put in 9 rides on it so far and I'm fascinated with the resultant information. With my technical background and love for sports physiology in general, I had a nice few hours around Christmas figuring out what things meant. I now know what it's like to put out 380 Watts for 20 minutes (mostly pain) and to do a 1000Watt+ sprint (again, mostly pain). All very interesting but the thing that got me most was how variable the power you put out is... A little of puff of wind and you cruising at 250Watts has you up at 350Watts! Stand up out of the pedals and your putting out 500Watts. I guess it will teach me a lot about pacing myself. My handle bars are getting a bit cluttered though with my Garmin Edge and the PowerTap readout...

The readout from one of my Spins with 3 * 30 minute tempo sessions

The Gizmo itself

Busy handlebars

For 9 days around Christmas I decided to stay in Monaghan – it was great having the whole family around and there was never really a dull moment. It also made a cycling change as riding around Monaghan (undulating terrain – mostly flat though) is very different from the spins I usually do around the Wicklow Mountains. Mel and I then had a very quiet New Years Eve, followed by our now traditional hike on New Years Day somewhere in the Wicklow Mountains. This time we walked around Lough Bray in pretty crap (wet/muddy) conditions. Hot Chocolate in Enniskerry made up for the cold weather though :)

Eva and Orla on Christmas morning

Conditions looked good at the start of the hike

But they got pretty crappy by the end

There are a couple of pictures from Christmas here.