There’s a bracing reality that sets in after the Holidays, after months of finding ourselves in a desk-addled swirl, after pulling out the laptops in the morning instead of the Sidis, and after neglecting our usual 15 or 20-odd hour riding weeks in favor of the single-digits. Single-digit weeks where coffee spins and hapless two-hour weekend rides have become the norm, while our endurance, waistlines, well-being, and ability to climb Mt. Tamalpais have all found themselves in a relatively sorry state. Granted, we’ve always been “fit” per se, but we’re fanatical (read: self-admitted egotists), and any time we aren’t fulfilling our full potential is little more than time wasted.
Welcome to our latest slightly off-kilter endeavor: The Skinny on Power. This is a three-month experiment on how two formerly fit guys of differing ages and backgrounds, no longer at their respective primes, will attempt to get back to a semblance of the (semi-narcissistic) form they once enjoyed. It’s also a chronology on showing every step of the way back to power, fitness, and speed with full transparency (while working 40-70 hours a week). Diet. Training regimen. Food. Sleep. No Team Sky-esque secrets here, just raw, unadulterated data, the how, and the why. Just as much as this is a challenge to us, it’s an educational/entertainment piece for everyone else.
- HOMETOWN: Salt Lake City, Utah
- RESIDENCE: Mill Valley, California
- DATE OF BIRTH: September 03, 1987 (28 years old)
- HEIGHT: 6’1ft / 1.85m
- WEIGHT: 179lbs / 81.1kg
- OCCUPATION: Brand Manager, Above Category Cycling.
- CYCLING HISTORY: Former professional cyclist at a Continental / Division III level. “Retired” summer 2015.
- HIGHEST-EVER THRESHOLD POWER: 395w
- CLAIM TO FAME: Went from Cat 5 to Cat 1, and then a pro contract, in a single season. At age 23.
- CLAIM TO SHAME: Did almost nothing as a pro. Instead, got really good at Professional Bicycle Training. And winning occasional local races.
- LOVES: Time trials. Straight-block cassettes. Unreasonable amounts of handlebar drop. Tiny stock frame sizing. Training on tubulars. Gravel racing/riding before it was cool. Peter Sagan. Climbing. Colombia. Colombians. Climbing out of the saddle. Cooking. Old German cars. Old Italian motorcycles. Waffles. Collecting insane amounts of helmets.
- HATES: Compact cranksets. Headtube spacers. Zero setback seatposts. The cold. Half-wheeling. Flat rides. Waking up late. Colombian cocaine jokes. Not making his own food.
- GOALS: Be able to fit medium Q36.5 bibs. Be in contention for the overall at the Belgian Waffle Ride, Crusher in the Tushar, Dirty Kanzaa, and maybe finish the Vuelta Colombia. Get close to 155lbs, his old fighting weight.
- ON HIS JOURNEY: “I want to be fast again, sure, but I’d love to help change some mentalities about training and racing. When I experienced a lot of success in racing, it wasn’t through absolute monkishness or banal details. I busted ass and worked really, really hard while holding down a full-time job, and I didn’t sweat the small stuff. I didn’t even weigh my food! Crazy, I know – it was really the 80/20 rule in full effect. I’d like to show the world that it doesn’t take ‘marginal gains’ to become good or great, and not taking it so seriously is one of the better ways to achieve success on the bike. In fact, when I did get really nutty about the details, my performance on the bike suffered. A lot. Unless you’re gunning for the top step of a Grand Tour (and even then), absolute lunacy isn’t necessary. After all…it’s just riding bikes. Even still, I’m excited to show off the intricacies of training, and what makes for success. I’m working with one of cycling’s best coaches, Craig Upton, and will be embarking on what essentially comprises a ‘road back to pro fitness’ schedule.”
- HOMETOWN: Seattle, Washington
- RESIDENCE: Mill Valley, California
- DATE OF BIRTH: September 09, 1972 (43 years old)
- HEIGHT: 5’10ft 1.78m
- WEIGHT: 180lbs / 81.6kg
- OCCUPATION: Founder / El Jefe / Passion Fount, Above Category Cycling.
- CYCLING HISTORY: Started riding and racing as a junior mountain biking in 1988. Eventually found himself as a moderately successful Cat 2 road racer and Army Special Forces operator somewhere in the mid-1990s. Never retired, because that’s “for pansyasses”.
- HIGHEST THRESHOLD POWER: Doesn’t know. They didn’t have powermeters back then.
- CLAIM TO FAME: Former Green Beret who allegedly smuggled infamous cycling coach Eddie Borysewicz into the country.
- CLAIM TO SHAME: Wearing a T-Shirt in his first race (with Assos bibs) and getting lapped three times.
- LOVES: Mechanical shifting. Ferrous frames. 80s pro team kit. VO2 max intervals. Training on tubulars. Riding in the rain. Frank Vandenbroucke. Pizza. New German cars. New Italian motorcycles. Collecting insane amounts of bicycles.
- HATES: Disc brakes on anything involving pavement. Saddles with holes. Clothes that aren’t made in Italy. Skidding. Gravel Grinders. Bell Peppers. Chutneys. Yogurt.
- GOALS: Get back to enough fitness to hang on long rides with pro cyclists, a semblance of overall strength from when he was in Special Forces, and to throw down the gauntlet at every Gran Fondo and cookie ride from California to Italy.
- ON HIS JOURNEY: “My plan is a little more casual than Nate’s. I’m at a point where I want to incorporate consistent riding back into my lifestyle, as opposed to sporadically when I have time. I almost have a fresh start when it comes to training, and that means I need to redevelop my consistency. Habits, repetition, and consistency are the strongest aspects of training, and it’s often said that a bad training plan you follow is better than a good one you don’t! Eventually, I’ll start to focus more on speed, power, and workouts, but I’ll start with habitual riding. My background in racing has given me the knowledge to know how much I need to ride, and how hard, to not overdo it starting out. I’ll write my own training plan, and I’ll be accountable to everyone following along. The accountability factor is a big motivator for me; everyone can see my progress, or lack thereof, and that really matters.”