Author Archives: tilford97

Dirty Kanza 200

RedditShare

I rode for a couple hours yesterday and then drove the hour down to the finish of the Dirty Kanza. It has become a famous 200 mile gravel road race, through the Flint Hills of Kansas. We got down there with about an hour to spare before Dan Hughes, the winner, came rolling in. Dan owns Sunflower Bicycle Shop in Lawrence and has won this event 4 times now, I believe.

I was surprised how fresh Dan looked when he got to the finish. Let me tell you, it was super windy, probably more so out on some of those Flint Hills, and after riding a little over 12 hours, I would look like hell I assume.

This race has been going on for over a decade. Jim Cummins and Joel Dyke started it and it has grown ever since. The downtown mainstreet of Emporia Kansas was closed down after 4 pm and then the street party began.

Anyway, I just went down to experience some of the flavor of the event, plus support a great local event. I didn’t hang around long enough to see Tom Schuler and Lindsey finish on the high dollar, carbon, Calfee tandem or Keith Walberg roll in. Plus, many others. I wanted to, but have been feeling pretty shitty for two days now, so headed home to hang with the sicky, Bromont. He is super slow and tired from surgery and all the weird surroundings at the vet school.

I’ve been taking sudafed to keep my sinuses from draining into my lungs. It works, but makes my head all dry and feel weird. I didn’t feel nearly as bad riding yesterday as two days ago, so maybe this will just be a bump.

Here are some photos from the evening.

Dan rolling across the line after 12 hours.

Dan rolling across the line after 12 hours.

Dan, poster boy, after the race finish last year, I guess.  Nice mug shot.

Dan, poster boy, after the race finish last year, I guess. Nice mug shot.

Looking over the map trying to figure out exactly when to go over to the finish.

Looking over the map trying to figure out exactly when to go over to the finish.

This guy rode the short 100 mile gravel race with an arm cast.  He broke it last week.

This guy rode the short 100 mile gravel race with an arm cast. He broke it last week.

Jim Cummins, czar of the DK200, and a blog fan, that nearly ripped my arm off shaking my hand right after he crossed the finish line.

Jim Cummins, czar of the DK200, and a blog fan, that nearly ripped my arm off shaking my hand right after he crossed the finish line.

Bromont and I wandering the venue.

Bromont and I wandering the venue.

Collin, Dan's support, popping the bubbly right after the finish.  Collin was crazy nervous before Dan actually cross the line.

Collin, Dan’s support, popping the bubbly right after the finish. Collin was crazy nervous before Dan actually cross the line.

Dan Hughes after Winning the DK200 from Steve Tilford on Vimeo.

RedditShare

Sick

RedditShare

I woke up yesterday feeling bad. And it got worse. I finally have to admit that I’m sick. It all started a couple days ago when I was on a longer ride and a bug flew into my ear. I wasn’t exactly positive whether it left. The rest of the ride the thing felt like it was still in there. When I got home, my throat on that side was scratchy and sore-ish. I really didn’t have any way to see if the buy was there. I gently tried to rinse my ear out, but nothing came out. Then, the big storm came through and I wasn’t feeling that well when I woke up at 3 am.

Flash forward to now and I’m totally clogged up. A super head cold, sinus infection or something. It felt like allergies initially, plus the bug, now I have to concede that I’m just sick. It’s a drag.

I was planning on going down to Oklahoma City and racing today and tomorrow. But, I’d think that those races aren’t happening. I don’t know if you watched the weather channel yesterday, but that town got walloped for hours yesterday by a giant thunderstorm. Tornadoes, heavy rain, hail, you name it, they got it. And it kept going for hours. Just heard from Facebook that the OKC Pro-Am is happening. Man, that is impressive.

I did go to the doctor and get some sub lingual drops for allergies. I tried these years ago and they didn’t work, but I’m game for trying just about anything at this point. I’m pretty positive that allergies play a big part on whether I can train and race bikes at my best, so I need to try to keep on top of them.

I thinking about driving to Emporia to watch the finish of the Dirty Kanza 200 mile gravel race. I think someone will ride less than 12 hours this year, so I’d have to leave early afternoon. I know a ton of people riding, many from out of state, so it would be fun. I’ll just have to remember not to shake anyone’s hands.

Riding-wise, I felt like shit yesterday. I’m just going to go out and ride an hour and a half, everyday, easy, until I feel better. It has never worked out that resting or just sitting around helps me feel better any quicker. Hopefully it will pass quick and I can have something for Tulsa Tough next weekend.

Allergy drops for the first couple weeks.  It is diluted and then gets stronger as you use more.

Allergy drops for the first couple weeks. It is diluted and then gets stronger as you use more.

I'd been eating a bunch of honey recently.  I think it is false advertising on the bottom of the container.

I’d been eating a bunch of honey recently. I think it is false advertising on the bottom of the container.

This is the radar over OKC most of the even/night yesterday.

This is the radar over OKC most of the even/night yesterday.

This pile of hail was still in my front yard at noon yesterday.

This pile of hail was still in my front yard at noon yesterday.

I took this photo in Oklahoma,  driving back from Austin a few weeks ago.

I took this photo in Oklahoma, driving back from Austin a few weeks ago.

This was on the Weather Channel last night.  Guess they didn't get out of the way of the tornado.

This was on the Weather Channel last night. Guess they didn’t get out of the way of the tornado.

RedditShare

Nibali – 5.05 Watts per Kilo or 6.4 Watts per Kilo?

RedditShare

I was reading this article at Velonews about how Vincenzo Nibali was climbing closer to 5 watts per kilo, thus proving that he was racing the Giro clean. This was even after Danilo Di Luca, 2007 Giro winner, tested positive control for EPO, and was getting smeared by Nibali.

Here’s an excerpt from the Velonews article –

La Gazzetta didn’t cite the source of the numbers, but even at face value they provided some telling stats. The last time the Giro climbed Tre Cime, Riccardo Riccò and Di Luca were the main protagonists. Riccò, who has since been banned 12 years for illegal blood transfusions, won the stage while Di Luca cemented his grip on the pink jersey. Di Luca, after tackling three other categorized climbs, climbed the final four kilometers of the Tre Cime climb, with an average grade of 12.26 percent, in 15:30. Nibali, while racing in a snowstorm, was 2:30 slower. Using the measure of VAM (vertical meters climbed per hour), Di Luca hit 1,780 VAM in 2007 up Tre Cime, while Nibali posted 1,533 VAM up Tre Cime with 5.29 watts/kg.

Citing Nibali’s numbers on the other major climbs, La Gazzetta also estimated that he climbed the last 10km of the Montasio climb in 29:49, with 5.05 watts/kg. Those numbers were challenged by none other than Ferrari, who pegged Nibali’s power up the Montasio climb at a whopping 6.4 watts/kg.

Notice the challenge by Michele Ferrari on his website from May 20th. He says Nibali was doing 6.4 watts/kilogram. Ferrari is a proven liar, but according to just about every rider that admitted to doping and those that didn’t, he was the most sought after coach of all time in cycling. I very much doubt that he doesn’t know how to do the formula for climbing power, especially on Italian climbs.

But, why trust him. I’m pretty sure there are some pretty smart fellas out there. And I’m sure that some of you can figure this out. I probably even could, but don’t have the time to do all the research right now. Why doesn’t someone that does these sort of things, figure out the real number and post it here. That would be very interesting. Somebody has probably already done it and we just need to find it. I haven’t been using a power meter very long, but long enough to know that there is a huge difference between 5 and 6.4 watts/per kg. That would be like me riding at 350 watts, which is doable, to 450 watts, which is completely beyond any ability I’ve even dreamed of. The La Gazzetta number seems way low to me for a Grand Tour winner’s move, so both numbers are suspect.

Yesterday it was stormy here in Kansas. It cleared up right after we got the call from the Vet hospital about Bromont. So I went out for a ride. I didn’t have any specific plan. Pretty soon I was way out of town and ended up riding 83 miles. It was super muggy, so I had to stop after 50 miles and get some Gatorade. I rarely just end up riding over 4 hours when I’m not planning on it. It was super nice out, wind around 15 mph, which is calm by Kansas standards and mid 70’s. It was nice to get in some miles.

There are races in Wichita and Oklahoma City this weekend. All criteriums. Plus, the Dirty Kanza 2oo mile gravel road race is on Saturday. I have a bunch of friends coming in to ride that. I don’t have much desire for that right now in my routine, but you never know. It should be a nice day for it, in the mid 70’s and dry. It has rained a bunch out in the Flint Hills the last few days, so some of the roads could be pretty eroded or just plain muddy. Could be interesting.

Last, but not least, storms rolled through again late last night and pummeled our house with pretty huge hail. And it wasn’t for a short duration. I haven’t went out there yet this morning, but I know all the cars and house roof is toast. Man, this is getting old.

There were 1000's of these.

There were 1000’s of these.

It must be global warming.

It must be global warming.

I picked up 3 or 4 turtles today off the road.  It was a turtle slaughter by automobiles the last couple days.  Snakes too.  Whenever it rains a ton, those guys look for high, dry ground, which ends up being the road.  It isn't pretty.

I picked up 3 or 4 turtles today off the road. It was a turtle slaughter by automobiles the last couple days. Snakes too. Whenever it rains a ton, those guys look for high, dry ground, which ends up being the road. It isn’t pretty.

The lady ahead of me in line at Casey's was buying this.  She was a nurse, or at least dressed like a nurse.

The lady ahead of me in line at Casey’s was buying this. She was a nurse, or at least dressed like a nurse.

It's rained so much here that the cattle are standing in belly deep grass.  Should be a good year for cattle.

It’s rained so much here that the cattle are standing in belly deep grass. Should be a good year for cattle.

The storms were just starting up again when I got home.  Got caught in a thunderstorm walking Frankie, the weiner dog ,last night.

The storms were just starting up again when I got home. Got caught in a thunderstorm walking Frankie, the weiner dog ,last night.

RedditShare

Bromont is Out of Surgery

RedditShare

Just got the call from K-State Vet school that Bromont is out of surgery and everything went good He didn’t have any obstruction in his throat which was a relief. He has to stay at the Vet hospital for a couple more days to make sure he can eat correctly and not aspirate anything into his lungs. Okay, storms are clearing here in Kansas for a couple hours. Gonna go out and ride a bit. Stressful morning.

Bromont and Ken Harkin.  Ken has been very instrumental in taking care of all our sick dogs.  He went to Vet school at Iowa State and used to ride with me back in the early 80's when I rode for Levi's/Raleigh.  It is one of the best relationship happen-stances that has occurred to me from riding bicycles.

Bromont and Ken Harkin. Ken has been very instrumental in taking care of all our sick dogs. He went to Vet school at Iowa State and used to ride with me back in the early 80’s when I rode for Levi’s/Raleigh. It is one of the best relationship happen-stances that has occurred to me from riding bicycles.

RedditShare