The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 11.16.16. “Foamy Sealant Disasters Impending”

Howdy folks,

Thanks for following along.

As you’ve probably noticed, there’s been a “begging for money” bit attached to the beginning of this page for a couple of weeks now.

I’d like to thank everyone who has chipped in this season – and the past couple of seasons – when I’ve asked you to. It’s made a difference.

How much of a difference?

Well, let’s put it this way; the small donations from you folks have kept the lights on on this page.

There’s a certain (small) amount of money that has to come out of my pocket to pay for this page, and there’s a certain (larger) amount of money that, as a self-employed person, I need to write off based on the time spent on writing, posting, and – yes – giving training advice away that other people charge for.

So, once again, thanks to those who have contributed.

As much as I hate to say it, though, the contributions this season are way down compared to the last two years, and I don’t know if I can keep this going unless more people contribute.

Yeah. That sucks. I hate to have to write it, but I just looked at my bank balance, and the bills sitting on my desk, and the paying work that I’m putting off while I sit here writing this, and… well… crap.

So, that’s where we’re at.

I don’t know what the future of the CXWOTD looks like. Maybe there’s a paywall, maybe I try to pursue some corporate sponsorship, maybe I just bag the whole thing, maybe I scale things down and post less often… heck, maybe I just decide that I don’t care what the numbers say, and keep going anyways.

I dunno.

Nothing is going to happen in the short term. At minimum, I’m going to play things out through the end of this season before making any decisions.

Just wanted to let ya’all know what was what.


Now how about a workout?


It’s Wednesday, which means – you got it – Skills Day!

Today I’m going to start with a suggestion.

Work on figuring out your tire pressure today.

As much as this gets talked about, I still think most people just haven’t figured this area out, and are leaving a bunch of free speed out on the table.

Anecdote time…

I raced locally this weekend, on a local course that was pretty damn muddy, but also featured a fair bit of vertical gain (and, of course, loss.)

I had, frankly, terrible legs. My recurrent back problems were in full force, and I was essentially pedaling with one leg the entire day. I simply could not hold the wheels on the major climb on the course, and for a couple of laps I was walking the run-up.

With all that working against me, I was still somehow able to finish on the podium.

Granted, a bunch of people were having mechanical problems, and some folks that would have beaten me wound up DNF-ing, or way off the the back (this is another thing we should talk about at some point… mechanicals are usually preventable, eh?) but that aside, how the hell did I do so well without being able to pedal the damn bike?

Bike handling.

More specifically, the way I was able to handle my bike with 16.5 pounds of pressure in the tires.

know I had an advantage over other people in the race due to this, because I could see them having problems on technical parts of the course that felt like slot car racing to me.

Turns out, most of the people I talked to post-race had a lot more pressure than that in their tires.


Let’s be clear, though; you have to learn how to ride with really low pressures. The first time you hit a fast corner with pressures like I was running this weekend, you’re going to scare the crap out of yourself…

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, Robert Englund, 1984, (c) New Line/courtesy Everett Collection


Frankly, even though I knew what to expect, the Pppppphhhhhhlllllllllllllppppppp of my tires when I no-braked through the fastest corner of the race – right on to the wheel of the guy who had just dropped me on the uphill preceding it – was… disconcerting.

Learn to love that sound, ok?

So, sermon over.

Work with your tire pressure tonight. Drop it down until it feels way too low, and then try to push it hard in some sketchy corners. See what happens.

Oh yeah…

Tubulars, people. Tubulars.

Use them. Also, make sure they’re glued on well.

I’ve been testing tubeless tires on a bike this season, and well… they’re ok. I actually like them quite a bit for practice, and for courses where the fact that I can only get the pressure down into the low 20s without burping isn’t a problem.

If someone has a system that will let you run 14, 15, 16 pounds tubeless? Drop me a line. I want to try it.


Here’s how tonight is going to go…

– Warm up on the bike.

As long as it takes to get loose, you should have a light sweat on when you…

– Stretch.

Active stretching, focus on all the muscles you use getting on & off the bike, but don’t when you’re riding. Go as long as it takes to work everything and get loose.

– Mount & Remount skills. 10-15 minutes.

You probably don’t need me to blather on any more about this. Check out the last couple of Wednesday’s posts if you’re new to the blog…

– Technical skills on the bike. As long as it takes.

Tight turns and off-cambers. As always, work on your entrances and exits from all the technical sections. Ass off the saddle, even when pedaling. Float your butt a centimeter or two above and pedal, pedal, pedal. Try to pedal through everything, right up until the point that you can’t. 🙂

Here’s where you play with your tire pressure. Hopefully you have some mud to play in! If you do, start at around 20 psi and go down until it gets ridiculous. Remember, folks; in the muddiest races, the top pros are running pressures with psi numbers that barely have two digits. Yes, you read that right. Do you really think you know something they don’t?

– Starts. Go as long as it takes to get 5 perfect, full gas sprints.

Make it feel like a race start. Get off the mark fast, sit down, shift, go again. Remember, it’s the second effort that gets you the early gap most of the time…

– Race simulation. 3 ten minute efforts, 2 minutes recovery between them.

No big complications here. Go really f-ing fast. Try and make these efforts faster and harder than you go in the races. You want to get to the point where your efforts in practice and training are so d**n hard that racing seems like a treat. Again, think tire pressure. Try to run just a wee bit lower than you have been, assuming you haven’t got this nailed already. If you aren’t hearing that Onomatopoeiac sound in the corners, you probably aren’t there yet.

Yeah, I know. There are going to be some flats, some rolled tires, and some burpy, foamy, sealant disasters tonight.

Sorry. You’ve been warned.

– Warm down.

Spin out your legs. Take enough time doing this that you feel them unspool and loosen up. Go home, eat, relax.







Thanks for following my blog!

I’m not trying to get rich off this thing… or really even make any money from it at all.

It’d just make my life a fair bit easier if I didn’t lose money doing this.

Heck, allow me to rephrase that; I can’t keep doing this if I lose money on it.

So, hey… if you feel like you’ve gotten anything of value out of this blog, and you’d like to see it continue, please do me a favor – and yes, it’s a favor, and I will be truly thankful for it – and send a buck or two (or five, or whatever…) my way.

How do you do that?

Simply click on the graphic below, and PayPal will be glad to make it happen.


Thanks for the consideration!



What’s that you say? You’d kinda’ like to have a cycling coach help figure this stuff out for you? Check out…


(and, in case you’re wondering…. nope, S.E. doesn’t pay for the plug. I am one of their coaches, though, so if you’d like to work with me as a coach, click on the logo.)

~ by crosssports on November 16, 2016.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: