Tag Archives: Video

Remembering the Assault

In honor of those poor souls suffering their ways up to the top of Mount Mitchell, I present these videos from my last attempt. Will I do it again? I don’t know.

Wow, how video technology has improved over the years. This video was recorded with an early generation of the Contour action camera. The date was nearly 5 years ago… June 2010.

I’ve already heard that there was an accident in the event that started this morning. That is one of the main reasons why I have stayed away from the event. The last time I attempted it, there were multiple opportunities to crash getting out of Spartanburg. That year it was also a logistical nightmare getting back off the mountain. It made for a very long day.

My hat (helmet?) off to all those who do this year after year. They are some hard men and women!

Strava Segment: Woodland Way Sprint Climb

I could have headed over to Donaldson Center for the Tuesday Night World Championships or stayed home for the throw down on Watopia. Instead, I made my way to Cleveland Park to make an attempt at earning back my KOM on the Woodland Way Sprint Climb segment.

My secondary objective was to get some video of the attempt in order to create another installment of my YouTube Strava Segments series. The cameras were prepped and the lighting was great. So I had no doubt I’d get some some good video. Whether I would get the KOM was not so certain.

Woodland Way Sprint Climb is .2 miles long with a 3% average grade. That average is a bit deceitful when it comes to understanding how much that segment can hurt. If you divide the climb into two sections you find the first portion averages more like 6%. The second section even has some negative grade. This combination actually adds to the challenge.

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I rolled into the park feeling kind of fatigued. The night before I climbed on the trainer to help get in some miles for the $5000 fundraising campaign on Watopia. As I was spinning, I felt that my legs were very flat. I made an attempt on the Watopia climb and it was as if my legs were telling me to “Shut up, Jonathan.”

After several laps of the abbreviated park route due to bridge construction, I decided it didn’t matter how my legs felt. I was going to have to give it an attempt at some point. It was now or I might as well go home.


“Pain is good. Pain means you are going fast.” This is what I told myself. “Your legs might feel tired, but you’ve got power. This is yours.” I picked up the pace and my confidence lifted with my cadence.

I hit the base of the climb in 53×11. The Felt surged forward and I could feel the power transferring to the rubber on the road. As I fought against the grade, there were times when the bicycle seemed to want to buck to the right or left. I worked to keep it going as straight as possible to avoid any waste of movement.

I had no idea what power I was putting out. I just went hard. With the top in sight the effort began to catch up with me. I did feel that fatigue, but what I felt beneath it was power. The training was making itself known. My legs were riding through it.

Then I crested the major part of the climb and now I had to deal with something else. While earlier I was fighting getting bogged down, now I was fighting to get power and speed from a more rapidly turning crank. The problem was it still wasn’t turning fast enough.


The slow twitch muscle that helped me on the climb was now working against me. I couldn’t get my cadence up enough to take advantage of the negative to shallow grade. My wattage dropped and my speed increased, but not by as much as it could have. In the words of Jeremy Clarkson, “More powaaarrrr!”

As I crossed the line I was done. It wasn’t that I was gasping for air or felt nausea. It was that my legs felt like two sticks of wood. With the effort done, so were they. Had I been in a race, I would have been dropped right there.

It was with some surprise I arrived home to find I had indeed earned back my crown. However, it wasn’t an out-and-out victory. I had tied Nathan Race’s KOM of 40 seconds.

I’ll take it! A PR and sharing the KOM isn’t so bad. Yes, I do believe it can be done faster. However, I’m not sure I could get the speed I would need to make the jump to 39 seconds. Frankly, I think this one will stand for a bit.

That is just fine with me! My legs aren’t ready to go out there to defend it.

Play-by-play of Friday Training Race

This will be a short blog post. I’m letting the video do the talking. After last Friday’s Zwift Training Race on Watopia, I wrote a post about it. This time, I figured it would be fun to let everyone see it. Of course, this isn’t like a Tour De France production! It is told completely from my point-of-view.

Won’t be able to join the guys next week. Have to travel on business. I’ve come to enjoy these competitions and though I’ve never met the guys with whom I’m racing, I’ve come to consider them riding buddies. It would be cool to someday have a Zwift Live Meetup.

Until then… I’ll see you guys on the island. Ride On!

Back to the island

Bronchitis done it is time to get back on the bicycle. I’m not sure what my next goal will be, but I know I need to get moving again. My body is well rested, but now I’ve got to start ramping up my fitness again.

I’m not sure what my next goal will be. I had originally planned to do the River Falls race in the Greenville Spring Training Series. It was originally slated to be held February 28. However, it was postponed due to weather and is moved to March 14.

That was exciting to hear at first because I wasn’t ready physically to race on the 28th. I started thinking about getting myself ready for the 14th. Then I looked at the calendar and my plans came crashing down. I have to work that morning.

So, I’ll just turn my focus to improving my fitness and then see what comes along for competition. At least I might be ready for the Tuesday Night World Championship rides. Of course, holding serve on the Saturday morning Sunshine Cycle Shop group rides is another objective. You don’t always have to pin a number on to enjoy a little competition!

That is definitely true of Zwift and my new friends on Jarvis Island. When I first started riding there, I would see less than 20 people using the online game with me. Now, I regularly see 100 or more. Eric Min, the man behind the system, says that he has seen over 300 though currently the software only shows around 100 to the participants.

Check out the “computer game” in the video I created during a ride this past Tuesday. By the way, some of the riders have started a Tuesday Night World Championship ride on the island. They all log in at 6 PM EST and then do a warmup lap. After that, it is just racin’ for the next eleven laps.

I can thank Zwift for what fitness I have and I’m pretty sure that when I get a chance to move it to the road, I’ll be better for it! Let me tell you, I enjoy Zwift and will even ride it on occasion during the good weather season, but I CANNOT wait for the time change and spring to come so I can put real rubber down on real asphalt!

Things are not always what they seem

One of my most embarrassing moments on a bicycle was at the conclusion of a race where I made a jerk of myself. This was compounded because I thought I knew something had happened and I responded to it. Turns out what I thought happened didn’t.

Life lesson learned. Don’t react to what you think happened. Act when you know the truth.

I was finishing the final lap of a race on the BMW test track course. Being a relatively new racer and trying to pick up as many points as I could, I sprinted for the line hoping to get inside the top twenty. In doing so, I zipped around a couple of riders who (older and wiser) were winding it down as they approached the line.

One of them was a teammate of mine. I know I frustrated him because I was a noob. I tended to do stupid things — not dangerous, but tactically infantile.

As I went past, I heard something a long the lines of “What the —- are you doing? You’re going to ——- hurt somebody!” Now, first of all. This was a true statement. I shouldn’t have altered my line to weave through the slower riders. Basically, the race was over. However, nobody likes to be cursed at.

Well, I got angry and assumed it was my teammate who had had words with me in the past — though not cursing. I went off on him and said some things in anger. I even posted a tweet expressing my anger.

Guess what? It wasn’t my teammate. It was the other guy. Actually, the more I’ve taken the time to understand my ex-teammate, I realize that isn’t anything he would do. Now, he might silently rip your legs off in the next race, but he wouldn’t act out like that.

I had to publicly apologize for my stupidity. I’ve grown to respect his racing knowledge and abilities even more as I’ve grown to understand the “rules of the peloton.” Now I’m glad I had the opportunity to race with him and am enjoying his son seeming to follow in his footsteps.

Now, that brings us to this weekend. Yesterday, I posted the race video on YouTube. Before I watched the video, I crafted my race report. I ended up having to change my post after I watched the video because something I thought happened, didn’t.

Toward the end of the last lap, Darrin Marhanka came around me. Almost immediately, Rodney Dender also came sailing past on his way to bridging over to the break. From my vantage point on the front, it appeared that Darrin had pulled Rodney up to the front to launch him and then move over to control the pace.

On the video, I realized that wasn’t the case. Darrin came up through the field alone until he got to his teammate, Chris Knetsche. You can see Darrin say something to Chris and then move up to come around me. You then watch Rodney attack from further back in the field.

Even seeing the video, I thought Darrin was coming to Chris to let him know Rodney was going to attack and they should settle in to hold back the pace. What I saw happen seemed to be consistent with that. However, even your eyes can lie.

What happened was Rodney had told Darrin that the break looked dangerous and that the team should work to bring them back. Marhanka had come forward to tell Chris that they needed to move to the front and help pull (which would have made me happy).

Darrin had no idea that Rodney was going to attack at that point. He was not coming around me to hold the pace for Rodney’s attack. He was coming around to start working. Of course, when he saw Rodney take the flyer, he eased off to allow his teammate to get the gap.

This is what makes racing a bike so interesting. It is so much more than pedaling as hard as you can. There are strategies and politics going on constantly. It is kind of like life!

However, just like in life, your assumptions can get you in trouble. Don’t act just on what you THINK happened. It is always good to OBSERVE what happened. Even better, it is a good idea to talk to people and find out what ACTUALLY happened.

It will help you understand tactics better. More importantly, it will help you avoid messing up relationships.

Strava Segment: Paris Mountain

When it comes to Strava segments, Paris Mountain is iconic. As I have ridden about capturing video for these installments this is the one I wanted to do first, but the one I feared to do most. Finally, I just had to decide that if it was going to happen I couldn’t wait until the perfect time. No attempt up the mountain is perfect because I always want to climb it faster.

The Paris Mountain segment is what a segment should be. It isn’t a quick and done effort. Trying to team time trial up might give you a little help pacing. A bunch of average riders can take the time from a good single rider on a flat stage, but a good single rider can out climb a group of average riders.

For this particular attempt, I knew I would come nowhere near the KOM (Nathan English at 8:52). I knew I couldn’t beat my PR (11:24 in the pre-Strava era and 11:51 on Strava). Climbing in 12:30 is now considered an exceptional attempt for me. However, I needed something for which to aim. So, I set my goal to climb during this video at an average of 310 watts. Based on my current FTP, that seemed reasonable and would have me climbing the road in 13:36.

How did I arrive at that? Well, I won’t go into it here. You can read more details in my post where I talk about the climbing formula: watts = (kg*9.8*e/t)+(kg*9.8*e/t)*r. I’ll just say that I ended up making the climb in 13:06 by averaging 322 watts. I’m thinking I’m headed for some low 12 minute climbs this season.

Anyway, enjoy the video. I know it is long and that does not make for very compelling viewing. However, I threw in some extra footage of a following rider and a split screen view showing some of the downhill from both a front and rear camera view. I hope that will make it worth it.

Thanks for reading and thanks for watching!

Play along with the Strava playlist

I don’t know when this is going to end, but I’m having fun capturing Strava segments on video and then posting them to YouTube. As I do, I’m posting them here to LowCadence.com. Here is a playlist that gives easy access to the Strava segments. Remember, for best viewing make sure YouTube has the video set to HD.

Thanks for suggestions for other segments you would like to see. I’ll be honest, the longer ones won’t be going up anytime soon! So, Ceasars Head will have to stay on your wish list for a while longer! If there is one you would like to see, just comment on this post.

Bamboo, Boyd and Beans

3 Days – $20,285

Pledge to the 2012 Ride for Mike

Three more days and there is still opportunity for the WebbWorks bamboo bike auction and the Boyd Cycling wheel set drawing. We’re getting down to the wire for the ride and there is much to do in the next three days! Your participation in these fundraising options would be a great encouragement.

Place your bid today!

Click the above photo to place your bid in the WebbWorks bamboo bike auction.

WebbWorks bamboo bicycle

The first item available is the WebbWorks bamboo bicycle. You have the choice of a custom built frame (which will take longer) or a stock frame (you get it faster) with SRAM Force components. You can choose between frames as well… mountain, road or cross.

The current high bid is $2850. This bicycle as built is valued at over $3200. Looks like someone is going to get a great deal. Let’s get some competition going here to make this interesting. It’s easy, just go the auction page and leave your bid.

Boyd Cycling Vitesse wheels

Boyd Cycling Vitesse wheels

We still have 4 unique numbers available for gifts of $50 or more. These are solid alloy hoops with high end spokes and smooth hubs. Low Cadence rides Boyd wheels for daily use.

Think of it, one gift of $200 gives you the opportunity to give to a great cause and also gives you a 1 in 5 chance of scoring a wheel set valued at $550. All you need to do is go to the pledge page at RideforMike.com and fill out the form. If you give $200, just mention you want 4 unique numbers. We’ll send them to you and then the drawing will be held. We will publish the winning numbers publicly and contact the winner directly.

Low Cadence coffee

You can still get our most popular favor, Low Cadence coffee. We enjoy sending these beans on a mission around the country. There may be a slight delay in delivery because we will be ordering the latest batch of the coffee. That just means you’ll get the freshest stuff!

Get yours by giving a gift of $20 or more. Of course, not everyone will get their beans delivered to their door! It does happen though…

If you plan to ride with us Saturday, be sure to check your email box for information about the ride. If you did not receive one, be sure to contact us so we can get it to you. We’re looking forward to riding with you!

Fundraising and Strava videos

4 Days – $18,135

Pledge to the 2012 Ride for Mike

Before I get to my blog on yesterday’s time on the bicycle, I want to take a moment to announce yet another anonymous gift given to the 2012 Ride for Mike. This gift of $2000 was given to as a way to encourage Debbie Croxton as she fights her battle with cancer. This one hit close.

Debbie and I were “cabin partners” back in my younger days working at camp. Each cabin had a “sister” or “brother” cabin from the “other side” of camp. The cabins shared names and depending on the “cootie-meter” for that particular week would sometimes do things together.

Of all my sister cabin leaders, Debbie always stuck out in my mind. I remember her as quietly strong, but with a mischievous streak. She could hold her own in the rough and tumble world of camp games as well!

So, it was a shock when I received an invitation to a group on Facebook entitled, “Debbie Does It!” It was a group formed by her friends to show support for Debbie in her battle. So often it seems that cancer is like bombs falling from the sky. You hear the sound, but you’re not always sure where it is going to land. Sometimes the crater forms nearer than others. This was one of those close ones.

THIS is exactly what the I Do It For Foundation will seek to aid groups such as Debbie’s friends. We want to provide tangible tools and support to help people do more than they thought they could when seeking to support their friends and family members going through a trial. I can’t wait to get this thing off the ground!

Form for Debbie Fundraiser Luncheon
Click the image to enlarge and download form

Debbie Does It! Friends Supporting Debbie Bowers Croxton is doing it for her. They not only are offering emotional support online, but they are also helping with a fundraiser luncheon on October 28. If you would like to help, plan on attending the luncheon and sending in the form provided.

Hang in there, Debbie!

Okay, so what about the ride? Monday’s ride took me back to the Little Hill Near Cleveland Park. This was the Strava segment that it took me so long to win back. After finally getting it on Saturday, I was going to move on to other things.

However, I got to thinking that I hadn’t created one of my Strava videos in awhile. Since this was a short segment close to my house, I thought it might be good to go back and give it a whirl with the GoPro attached to the bike. I was surprised to return home to find that I had bested my previous time.

I still have a little bit of a pull to that hill… I finished this attempt in 31 seconds after pulling up for the car and then lifting across the line… what if I were to push all the way through?

Ah, the joys of cycling! 🙂

Cleveland Loop

When I got my GoPro camera, I was excited to tryout a service I had discovered several months ago. BikeTelemetry.com allows you to overlay your action camera’s video with data from your GPS enabled cycling computer. Combining these two tools allows you to tell a more complete story of a particular effort. Couple that with the Strava community and you have a new way to enjoy your ride.

This is the second video of Strava segments in the Greenville, SC area. This one is entitled Cleveland Loop. You will find a link to the full segment information above. Below is the video showing the loop along with the data collected from my Garmin Edge 800 and Quarq CinQo power meter.

I’ve had at least one request for a segment to be included. Do you have one you would like to be featured? Let me know and I “might” go out there and give it a try.