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My cycling month in review: April 2014

May
1
2014

My trusty 2013 Madone 5.9.

My trusty 2013 Madone 5.9.


In March I set dozens of cycling personal bests, including single-month and single-week high water marks for distance, time and elevation; I also set a longest single-ride personal record and more than 50 personal records for time, as well as a few other personal bests (see “March 2014: Cycling month in review“).

Even though April was a shorter month than March, I was determined to break every single one of those new personal records again in April. Was I successful?

Yes! 🙂

Here’s a look at my April 2014 on the bike:

Cycling Personal Records
  • Total Distance Ridden, 1 month (April 2014): 1,817.6 kilometers/1,129.4 miles
  • Total Distance Ridden, 1 week (week ending April 6, 2014): 543.8 kilometers/337.9 miles
  • Total Elevation, 1 month (April 2014): 32,848 feet
  • Total Elevation, 1 week (week ending April 27, 2014): 9,820 feet
  • Total Riding Time, 1 month (April 2014): 59h 10m
  • Total Riding Time, 1 week (week ending April 6, 2014): 18h 04m
  • Longest Ride (April 6, 2014): 268.92 kilometers/167.1 miles
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    April 2014 MTS: Final Placing

    April 2014 MTS: Final Placing

    Also in April, I set a total of 86 cycling personal records for time on various Strava segments, which tops my previous best of 79 timed segment PRs in a single month (set back in September 2013).

    April saw my highest ever placing for Strava’s Monthly Training Series: I finished in the top 1.2% of Strava MTS cyclists worldwide, placing 1,107th out of 95,130 athletes with 1,818 kilometers ridden.

    Here’s a look at my Cycling Training Calender for April 2014 (click to enlarge):

    April 2014 Cycling Training Calender

    April 2014 Cycling Training Calender

     

    In late 2013 I publicly announced a couple of cycling distance and elevation goals for 2014. Those goals were to ride at least 6,214 miles (10,000 kilometers) with more than 160,000 feet of elevation. I added an additional goal this past month: ride my bike every single day in 2014. We’re now 33.3% of the way through 2014, so let’s see how I’m doing:

    My 2014 current distance total is 3,891.1 miles (6,262.12 kilometers), which puts me nearly 63% of the way to my 2014 distance goal.

    On the elevation front, so far in 2014 I’ve climbed 99,029 feet, and so that’s nearly 62% of the way to my 2014 goal.

    My riding streak continues, and I have ridden my bike every single day for 121 days straight.

    Here are comparisons of my distance and elevation for 2012, 2013 and 2014 YTD (click to enlarge):

    Distance comparison: 2012, 2013 and 2014 YTD

    Distance comparison: 2012, 2013 and 2014 YTD

     

    Elevation comparison: 2012, 2013 and 2014 YTD

    Elevation comparison: 2012, 2013 and 2014 YTD

     

    What a fantastic and memorable month of riding! I love this sport. 🙂

    The aim for May is to take my fitness and power-to-weight ratio to all-new heights through tough, focused structured indoor training in my Bike Torture Chamber. I’ll be doing plenty of outdoor riding, too, of course, but April’s distance and elevation records won’t be beaten in May.

    Excelsior!

    John Stone Fitness Comments

    24 Responses to “My cycling month in review: April 2014”
    1. John you should really consider a carbon 29 hardtail. I’m amazed every time I ride mine at how compliant the rear end is, you almost feel like you have suspension except when you hammer the power goes right to the ground.

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      • I have a couple friends who use TP. I’ve looked at it, and the free plan doesn’t give you too much. TP’s upgraded membership seems to provide a little more power/functionality than Strava Premium, but it costs quite a bit more ($20/mo). I find that my Strava Premium plan ($59/yr) + Garmin Connect (free), along with a few other ancillary sites, gives me everything I need to analyze my training data.

        Training Peaks also has personalized coaching plans, and they are super expensive ($169-$299 per month).

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    2. Craig, I’d be willing to test one out (funny, Mike and I were just talking about this subject yesterday). It would sure save a lot of money and weight, but I’m not sure my lower back will be able to handle it.

      Lou Ann, thanks again for the awesome support at XFL! 🙂

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    3. I rode a hardtail all of 2013 (Cohutta 100, ORAMM, LumberJack 100, several XC events). I liked how fast I felt on the bike and totally bought into the “power goes right to the ground” concept. However, at the end of the year, my personal assessment was that it simply beat me up too much in long races, especially if there was a lot of technical downhills. Bearing in mind that at 52, I’m probably not as resilient as the younger riders. This year I’ve been riding an SWorks Epic with front and rear Brain setup. I find it to be even faster since I pedal over a lot of stuff that I coasted on the hardtail, I can take harsher (but faster) lines if needed, and it’s not beating me up. The brain technology is better every year and I did over 13,000 feet of climbing at Cohutta last week without feeling like I sacrificed much in the way of efficiency. I’m only 4 months into this new setup but I dont think I’ll go back to a hardtail.

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    4. Roger, that (feeling beat up) is my concern, too–especially since I have lower back problems. It seems I finally have those back problems under control right now, and I don’t want that to change. Shortening the stem on my road bike made a HUGE difference, so I’m glad I didn’t listen to the “expert” who told me not to even try it.

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    5. We all have to experiment and try things out for ourselves. Obviously, everyone is different and all we can do is relate our own experiences. As far as the stem…my 2 cents is…here it comes…the important part of your setup for riding power, etc, is saddle height and setback from the center of the cranks. Once that it dialed in, where you set the bars (stem length, angle and drop, or rise, to the bars) is all about being comfortable with your position. Some riders, like me, are very aggressive with that position whereas others are not. You can ride fast in a lot of positions but comfort is key if your going to ride a lot (and you do). As for the “expert” (I think I know who you are referring to), I know he meant well and was trying to help even if it came off differently, but thats a topic to discuss over a beer someday.

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    6. Totally agree with you there, Roger. I like a low and aggressive riding position: slammed stem, and I spend the vast majority of my time riding in the drops. It’s where I’m most comfortable. I felt like my bike was dialed in perfectly and super comfortable, except I was feeling just a little too stretched out. A shorter stem was all it took to completely solve my lower back problems. My back used to start aching after 7 or 8 miles, and now it never does. I rode the entire 167 mile cross-Florida ride without even a hint of lower back pain. Bike handling feels no different with the shorter stem, either.

      We need to ride again soon. Beer is on me.

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