Saturday, October 27, 2007

Some people swim in a pool . . .

I just ride my bike in New Jersey.  When it rains.  Over 3 inches in 24 hours.  I woke up this morning and saw that all of New Jersey was being flooded, so I decided to do what my iPod told me: "get on your bike and ride." For 5+ hours.

Then here are those Cokesbury hill repeats at a decent pace in sections:

Duration: 10:57 (11:04)
Work: 185 kJ
TSS: 15.1 (intensity factor 0.911)
Norm Power: 291
VI: 1.03
Distance: 2.154 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 394 282 watts
Heart rate: 138 167 153 bpm
Cadence: 72 109 89 rpm
Speed: 7.5 21.8 11.8 mph
Pace:  2:45 7:59 5:05 min/mi
Crank Torque: 0 417 270 lb-in

14:22 Rest

Duration: 10:38
Work: 176 kJ
TSS: 14.5 (intensity factor 0.904)
Norm Power: 289
VI: 1.05
Distance: 2.152 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 43 424 276 watts
Heart rate: 128 170 155 bpm
Cadence: 61 112 90 rpm
Speed: 9.4 23.4 12.1 mph
Pace:  2:34 6:24 4:56 min/mi
Crank Torque: 53 408 260 lb-in

21:43 Rest

Duration: 10:44
Work: 177 kJ
TSS: 14.4 (intensity factor 0.898)
Norm Power: 288
VI: 1.05
Distance: 2.153 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 107 405 275 watts
Heart rate: 108 169 152 bpm
Cadence: 63 102 90 rpm
Speed: 8.0 23.9 12.0 mph
Pace: 2:31 7:33 4:59 min/mi
Crank Torque: 97 412 260 lb-in

It was actually a good ride, even though parts of it sucked (like my chamois-chaffing due to water+sand--I know, t.m.i.), and I did three repeats up Cokesbury, a good-sized hill that takes about 10 minutes to climb, with some sections at my FTP.  I think it is a good idea to do these once or twice a week just to remember what it feels like to actually go up a hill at more than "tempo" pace. I will probably feel the efforts in the morning!

In other news, I am thanking the higher power(s) that midterms week is over and now we have Fall Break for a week!   I am excited to not be stressed for a while and be able to ride a ton--my goal is to get in 40 hours in the next 9 days.

Also, on Thursday I went to a lecture at the Institute for Advanced Study (renowned as top scholarly institution in the world) with my great-aunt Mrs. Jaffin.   I didn't even know her or my great-uncle before going to school out here, but they have become my surrogate grandparents (Charly Jaffin is Princeton Class of 1944!).  The lecture was given by Charles Simonyi about his 14-day space-tourism experience with the Russian space program.  AWESOME!

On Friday my uncle Mike and my cousin Highland invited me to dinner at Mediterra, a really nice restaurant in Palmer Square right next to Princeton's campus.  It was great to see them--I can't remember the last time--and Highland is, of course, having a blast at school in Lawrenceville and kicking butt in squash, XC and track.

Oh yeah, I just found out some other great news . . . here is my finals schedule:

Don't hate, congratulate!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thank you Hilary Parker!

This is the article on Princeton's homepage:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Back in the saddle again!

It is so nice to be back on the bike!  These past few weeks have been cool, partying and relaxing and being a normal college kid, but now it's down to business.  I meant to ease into things, but my first ride on Monday was a 4000kJ, 5hr solo hammerfest!  The weather was just too nice, and I missed a turn as well.

The legs feel completely fresh--Tuesday morning I felt like I hadn't even ridden the day before--even though I am pretty out of shape.  That is a good thing, something which I have not felt since December of 2005--that is 22 months!  The most time I took off during that period was 7 days to road trip to Mexico.  Definitely not something I recommend, as my legs sure felt tired at Worlds.

I am planning on doing a lot of hours this winter, basically 24-26 endurance/tempo hours in three-week blocks, with a "rest" week of 16-18.  This schedule should hold for the next five months, with a small break after Christmas to go skiing with the pops.  If my numbers add up correctly, that is a total of around 450 hours before my first collegiate race in early March!  I will need some good music . . .

Classes are going well, just working on getting my three engineering projects off the ground (first is a collapsable coffee mug design, second is the electric car over a two-year period, and the third is a sick integrated driveshaft design for a fixie!).  Having a blast still, although my time is definitely not open like it was the previous few weeks!

Thanks for reading, I'll try to get some cool pictures of something or other posted.

P.S. check out my new shades: Oakley Frogskins

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Time flies at school!

Wow, I have had a blast these past two weeks!  It has been weird not riding, but I have definitely made the most of it by enjoying my time at school, going out a lot to Cap and Gown (my eating club), and partying.  I went to the T-town swap meet with the team and stocked up on cheap winter gear, and I am going to be working on the bike a bit today (after homework) to get it in good riding condition.

I hop back onto the saddle tomorrow morning--SO EXCITED!  It has been a long time since Worlds, and I am definitely rested, out of shape, and motivated--the three main ingredients of a good multi-month block of winter training.  I have yet to finalize my team situation for next season (the neo-pro is always the last two know about his deal!), but I have a few different options that I am considering.  The options are not equal, but I would LOVE to do any of them, so I am not stressing.

I got an advisor for our independent work team for Mechanical Engineering.  My best friend Will Watts, Doug Wolf, and I are going to be building an electric car using batteries from a123 Systems and they charge in five minutes!  The goal of the project is to develop a fully-electric vehicle conversion that is very powerful (300 hp) and has adequate range for almost all driving conditions (150 miles).  Oh, did I mention that it is silent and zero-emissions?  And it has maximum torque at 0 rpm?  Yeah, it would be incredible, and it is a do-able project in the next two years.

The greatest thing about this past week was finding our advisor, Professor Soboyejo, who is one of a handful of great professors in the School of Engineering at Princeton.  He is hilarious--constantly providing anecdotes in his lectures and relating the classroom to the real world--and we are very lucky to have him on board.  Will, Doug, and I just met with him four days ago on Thursday and told him of the batteries and that they were VERY expensive, but that an MIT professor had created them and we were hoping to get in touch with him for some sponsorship.  Prof Sobo Googled a123 and then told us, "Oh, it's Chiang--I know him, I know all those MIT boys up there!"  Yeah, that is the Princeton Connection for you!

Now I have some work to do for the coming week, and I am trying to be productive on my final day off the bike so that I can really get down to business and not be stressed!

P.S. here are some pictures from my nights out the past two weeks . . .

Leaving for the Charter Club semi-formal with Nicole (very cool Chemical Engineer who I hung out with over the summer in Boulder)

At Cap and Gown Club with Liz and Alex (a boater on the crew team, a floater on the swim team)
Here is a really cool shot of my good friend Shawn with The Man, Cipo, at Interbike in Vegas!  She told me his shirt was the nicest she has ever seen, and that all of the rumors about his playboy-ways are true.  I wish I had been there!

Also, I found this picture from WAY back in the day--I figured some people back home might enjoy it!  I don't think I need to write a caption for it, the road is infamous.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A post to dwarf all other posts!

Yes, The Devil was at Worlds!!! He did not scare me into riding my bike very fast, though . . . my legs toast just 10 minutes into the race!

The past week has been a whirlwind, to put it mildly. I have had some of the most amazing experiences and memories of my life this past week, and only a few of them had to do with riding my bike! I will start from where my last post left off and try to recount (with liberal photography) everything I did . . . wish me luck:

How did I get to Stuttgart? Lots of hours on planes, trains, and automobiles! I was whacked by the time I arrived, and they even had the clairvoyance to leave my bike in London since I was not going to do its fast wheels and smooth aerobars justice :-)

I met Ken Whelpdale and his chicki Magda (from Mallorca, Spain) just outside baggage claim and we hit the road for a whole 7 minutes to our AMAZING Hotel Gloria.

Let me just say, this place was the coolest hotel I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. The whole place was occupied by Team America and they catered to us hand and foot--just check out my sick first meal at the restaurant (all on Ken's tab, of course):

After doing my homework for the week while I was bored and hanging out in my room . . .

I had dinner with the team. The day after my ride with DZ (from my last post), the team went out to the course for some reconnaissance during the window of time that they opened the course to riders and close it to cars. The ride was really cool mostly because I got to meet Jason McCartney, a recent Vuelta stage winner and amazingly talented rider on Discovery. He is a fellow Iowan from a small town called Coralville, and is one of the friendliest and most approachable people I have ever met. He told me how great he thought it was that I am still going to school, that he went to Nols and then got back into cycling.

It is really amazing riding next to someone as accomplished and experienced as Jason, and I was blown away by one simple truth: he, like DZ and George Hincapie (also on the pre-ride to the course), is human and was where I am when they were young. It is just incredible to meet these people that I have thought are just inhuman, and it is the most encouraging experience I have ever had. I realize that with some incredible hard work and perseverance, I have the chance to go around the world and win some of the biggest races in the sport. That is my plan.

This pre-ride also included some big guns on the women's side, including the defending World Champion Kristin Armstrong. The photographers even found our camper!

The woman on the left is Kristin, and then Christine Thorburn is messing with her bike while Steve Johnson (CEO of USA Cycling) watches. This trip was just insane!

I think I am just going to start posting a lot of pictures and just put in a few words about each . . . hell, each one is 1k words, right?

Here is Dave talking with Alison Powers (current Pan-Am champ and all-round kick-ass girl from Boulder, CO) and Tejay Van Gerderen (my other U23 TT teammate and amazingly talented youngster--20th overall at l'Avenere is nothing to shake a stick at!). Dave is a very strange cat, and hilarious.

Here is the hill that I thought was going to be the killer--no, this one was easy compared to the finishing climb!

This is the crowd that was here for the PRE-RIDE the DAY BEFORE the race! This was just INSANE! I couldn't even hear myself think for half of the race.

My race face. Just before getting on the trainer and then hitting the road.

Here are my wonderful parents after I got changed and got my hair did!

I had a lot of wienerschnitzel and great beer after a long and successful season! SO TASTY!

Here we are after one of the most amazing dinners I have ever had (it should be for $250!) at a four-star hotel in Stuttgart on the town square. I love Champagne! I also love the U-bahn train system, SO much better than New Jersey Transit.

That is some nice stuff laying around our workshop in the basement of Hotel Gloria!

Here Mom and I are standing at the entrance to the Mercedes Museum--the coolest museum I have ever entered! There are too many car pictures to upload, I would probably crash Blogger, but I will cherry-pick the best! (Dad was with us, but he had to go find a parking spot--no mean feat at this place)

The first Mercedes SLR with a custom-built carrier that has the rear roof integrated to streamline the airflow of the truck/car. Think 186 miles per hour in the 1950s.

The Gullwing. Priceless.

It tried to eat him after its picture was taken.

This is an honest-to-God Formula One car from 2004--no pictures will do it justice, it was simply a tour-de-force of engineering and form-follows-function artistry.

Not your daddy's CLK! This aero is just incredible. Goes to show, surface area on tires truly IS important, no matter what pure physicists say about F = u * m * g and does not depend on anything but u and m.

Mom was a good sport and put up with Dad and my fantasies for a couple hours!


One of the original formula race cars, a Silver Arrow.

Another beautiful depiction of form following function. These are the fastest legs on earth! It was incredible to watch him come up this climb during the time trial on Thursday. It looked like he was on a motorcycle while everyone else (the other best riders in the world) were on tricycles.

This is one of the few pictures I could even take quickly enough to capture him!

After watching the men's race, my mom and I hoped the train to the airport and then went to Vienna for Friday and Saturday! It was amazing. I have some great pictures from that, but my camera was not used as much as my mom's, so that post will come in a few days (assuming I don't find out I am missing all of my school work!).

Thanks a lot for reading/looking--I hope I gave you a taste of my giant meal that was Worlds 2007! I plan on coming back next year and having some fast legs . . .