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Hi Xert, I need to take back most of the nasty things I’ve said about you…

About a year ago, on the advice of several of my friends, I gave Baron Biosystem’s Xert platform a try. It was supposed to calculate my FTP, offer automated coaching (i.e. pick the best workout to keep me getting stronger), and provide insight into my fitness that I couldn’t get at the time (now I get some of that, poorly, from Garmin, but that’s the subject for another post). Long story short,…

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Where have all the Fat Bikes gone?

While I don’t like cold, per se, I do enjoy riding in the snow. A lot. It’s a very different kind of cycling to what I do the rest of the year. Speed and endurance take the backseat to staying upright, and enjoying the back of the bike squirm. Studs on the gravel bike help, both with confidence and traction, but I learned yesterday that there is no substitute for contact patch.…

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Ramp It Up?

Don’t tell anyone, but it’s been ages since I did a structured FTP test. There are a few reasons behind this, but mostly it comes down to laziness. This is something I’ve been meaning to correct, so I’ve been looking at the various tests out there. The last time I did one of these, the 20-Minute Test was the standard, but in the time since the Ramp Test seems to be what…

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Moving The Goalposts

I have an unexpected goals problem. I had hoped that shaving 1:30 off my Alpe Du Zwift time was a tough, but achievable long-term goal that would keep me motivated for at least a few months. Where it actually turned out to be a totally achievable short-term goal. When I set out on the first attempt, my expectation was an improvement, but nothing near the 3:05 I ended up taking off my…

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Putting the plan into action

Last week I mentioned how I stay motivated to train over the winter months, and this post is going to get into a bit more detail around how I apply that plan. Before getting into that, we should briefly discuss why you should listen to me. The truth is, you probably shouldn’t. I’m not qualified in anyway to provide training advice. With that in mind, my goal here is more for me…

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Winter is long and full of excuses

Staying motivated to keep fit during the dark, cold winter months is really hard. Even for me, as someone who rides the trainer when the weather says “go outside, you idiot”. The key to keeping motivated, at least for me, is by setting goals; and not the long-term kind. That’s not to say that goals like “I want to lose weight”, “I want to raise my FTP”, “I want to stay fit”…

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Strava Segments are Broken

Last week I was early to a ride, so I decided to do some laps around the the parking lot, figuring it would make a neat Strava segment that I could KOM for a day. When my friend arrived, he saw what I was doing and decided to do the same, which naturally destroyed my chances for the KOM. Even staring defeat in the face, I still went ahead and created the…

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CYA PSA

I suspect that like many cyclists, I’ve never really spent much time thinking about how, or what, insurance would cover an incident should something serious happen to me on the bike. But a friend of mine, who happens to be a bike attorney here in Chicago, dropped some useful information in our cycling group chat the other day. All of which, was news to me. While I haven’t spent energy on the…

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