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I’m turning into a weight weenie; XC racing; Server migration complete.

Friday, February 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

February
10
2012
I left the camera behind again yesterday.

I left the camera behind again yesterday.

This past Saturday I decided to do something a little different when I went mountain biking at Wekiwa. That “something different” was to ride as light as possible. To quickly recap: this experiment involved leaving my heavy DSLR camera (Canon EOS 60D outfitted with the Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM IF lens) behind, taking less water and removing a number of non-essentials from my CamelBak HAWG. Between my ~10 pounds of scale weight loss over the past few weeks and the reduced equipment and water, my geared up weight was about 20 pounds lighter than it was just one month ago.

The ~20 pound weight loss on the trails was, in a word, astonishing. I felt exceptionally light and nimble, and I beat my all-time best average moving speed for the 20 mile route I took by 1.2 MPH!

Yesterday I decided to go mountain biking for my cardio, and I wanted to ride light again. I went through my CamelBak HAWG and found even more non-essentials hidden away in the side pockets, and removed those. Also, my scale weight is down about another pound since Saturday, and I was able to shave off a little more weight by taking just 40 ounces of water.

I rode the same 20 mile route that I rode on Saturday, and I broke my average moving speed again–this time by an additional 0.3 MPH. An average moving speed improvement of 1.5 MPH, mostly as a result of shedding weight, has really opened my eyes. Think about it this way: If I were in a cross-country mountain bike race that took about 2 hours to complete, I would beat my heavier/more encumbered self by THREE FULL MILES. That’s huge!

It’s also worth noting that all the weight I shed to realize these improvements was non-rotational weight. Reducing rotational weight is where the real bang for the buck is, and I’m going to start making bike modifications to do just that.

Lightweight (but strong) SRAM XO components (carbon 2×10 crankset, bottom bracket, front/rear derailleurs, shifters, cassette) along with cageless clipless pedals, carbon handlebars and tubeless tires will reduce my bike’s weight by an additional 3-4 pounds–and a lot of that mass is rotational. My Trek Fuel EX 8 currently weighs 30.2 pounds, which is pretty light. If I can get that weight down into the low 27/high 26 pound range, that would outstanding.

Of course I’m still cutting, and I expect to be an additional 10-12 pounds lighter when I’m done.

Darn it, I was afraid this was going to happen: I’m becoming a weight weenie. 😮

I want to give a boisterous public shout-out to JSF member and mountain biker extraordinaire “craigstr”. Over the past few days Craig has put a lot of time and effort into helping me research, source and work through some potential technical issues with the planned upgrades. Craig, thank you.

I’ve decided that I want to race. I have been looking, and I simply can’t find any XC mountain biking races in my area. I’ve seen a couple bike/run/swim races, but I can’t run long distances due to an old knee injury. I wish there were mtb/swim races with no running. Swimming was my life growing up and, modesty aside, I’m good. I’m far better at swimming than I’ll probably ever be at mountain biking, but I’m willing to train very hard to bring my XC skills up to snuff. If anyone knows of cross-country mtb races in the Orlando area, please comment below or drop me a line. I’m interested.

Quick update to yesterday’s planned server migration. The JSF servers were successfully moved to their new home in a new, state-of-the-art Class 4 data center! This upgrade provides significantly enhanced levels of redundancy at all levels, and guarantees 99.995% availability.

Happy Friday!

John Stone Fitness Comments

2 Responses to “I’m turning into a weight weenie; XC racing; Server migration complete.”
  1. I’d guess this is part of the reason your cravings are less this year. In the past you set a somewhat arbitrary and static goal of a certain body fat % and you knew you would make it, you just had to put in the time in the gym and kitchen.

    This year the body fat loss is almost a secondary goal, the primary goal is to get faster on the trails (or so it seems). You seem to have a new enthusiasm for this goal in your posts which further validates what you’ve been doing because these are new gains for you. The goal also isn’t a static goal. It’s “to go faster”. You aren’t going to shave 30 seconds off your time then call it, it’s an unknown limit you’re looking for and you are doing everything to see how far you can push yourself.

    You also seem to be putting a lot of cycles of thought into ways to go faster rather than sitting around thinking about how good popcorn tastes. 🙂

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