Welcome 2021

Time to hang a new calendar, which still depicts lighthouses from around the world, on the bulletin board but the days don’t feel much different. CV-19 is still running rampant: VA is reporting over 5000 new cases a day; a new variant was discovered in the UK and subsequently reported in 9 states; vaccinations are now available for identified populations any may be available to all by late spring/early summer. The political world has truly run off the tracks with absurdities and inane statements from all sides but don’t even get me started on that mess. My only comment is, now let’s see what Team Donkey can do since they won.

The cycling world is trying to recover – held the 3 grand tours over a condensed and shifted timeline but several postponed one day Spring Classic events were cancelled. The traditional first stage race of the season, Tour Down Under 2021, is the first victim of the new year. Still unclear what the 2021 local USA Cycling season will look like. The current calendar of events is filled with blank pages. On the positive side, many recreational, charity, and other cycling events are being advertised and planned. We’ll see.

Established many cycling personal records in 2020 but only one was really performance related – just lots of time spent on the saddle peddling away: Total miles 15,626 miles (10,319 in real life); 814 hours (551 IRL); 652,290 ft of climbing (487,297 IRL); longest single ride 150 miles, 9:05, 13,665 ft of elevation; new locations of Mississippi, Washington, and Idaho, and two cycling trips; Bicycle Adventures Epic Empire Builder (Seattle, WA to Glacier National Park, MT – 9 days, 759 miles in just under 45 hours and climbing 39,475 ft); Natchez Traces Parkway (Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN – 4 days, 446 miles in 23.5 hours with 13, 832 ft of climbing). Unable to better 40K TT effort of 57:05 set in June and FTP continued a downward slide as there wasn’t much structure to the riding for the last half of the year. Although did start the Zwift 4 Week FTP Booster on Christmas Eve, again. Completed in back in the fall of 2018. FTP was about 25 watts higher then and found the workouts were exhausting. Not enough recovery days and just shredded the legs. Only improved 3-4 watts over the 4 weeks. Starting with a lower FTP this time, and finding the workouts far more manageable and not as difficult. Complicating the picture though is a 3x/week leg exercise routine (3 sets of 15 jump squats, left leg fwd lunges, right leg fwd lunges, and squats with 25-lb dumbbells). Haven’t increased sets, reps, or weight over past several weeks but still experience quad DOMs after every session. Legs feel thick and out-of-saddle climbing is very uncomfortable the day after. Following the Boost, will borrow from 2018 and 2019 training plans developed by a teammate who is currently posting incredible power numbers at a lower weight than previous years. Would be great to capture some of that power magic.

This past fall, spent fair bit of time in the kitchen improving baking skills – mostly breads and cakes. The Missus did her yearly Christmas cookie extravaganza at a slightly lower output. Even so, have to spend a bit more time in the saddle to work off the few additional pounds gained enjoying the following products.

The Missus’ Christmas Cookie portfolio

Date pinwheels
Chocolate yogurt melts
No-bakes (chocolate oatmeal)
Sugar cookie supplies
decorated sugar cookies
gluten free sugar cookies
blueberry muffins
chocolate chip muffins
apple cinnamon muffins
banana nut muffins
lemon poppy seed muffins
pumpkin cream cheese muffins
blueberry and cranberry scones
breakfast casserole
baked French toast casserole
rolls and breadsticks
more rolls
New Year’s pretzel dough
New Year’s pretzel bread
braided New Year’s pretzel bread
cloche baked bread
Irish soda bread
banana nut bread
Nutella & Bailey’s cream cheese brownies
cinnamon apple cake
maple walnut cake deconstructed
maple walnut cake
upside down carrot cake
buttermilk pound cake
red velvet cake
red velvet cake slice
rainbow bundt cake
glazed rainbow bundt cake
rainbow bundt cake
banana pound cake
glazed banana pound cake
banana cream pudding
Thanksgiving alternative prepared by son: roasted duck with cranberry sauce, parsnips, butternut squash, spinach and cheese, and my contribution – braided pretzel bread

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