Cyclocross Results Update

September 28, 2005 at 8:39 am | Posted in General | Leave a comment

Here are the results from the cyclocross race I was in. You can see the full results here.


As you can see, I finished about 10 minutes behind the leader. Unfortunately the only way I am going to get faster is to get lighter. Not that I don’t have the room to lose the weight, I am just having a difficult time losing weight right now. I guess this shows me where I need to focus my training.


Evolution vs. Creation

September 27, 2005 at 8:06 am | Posted in Religion | Comments Off on Evolution vs. Creation

I am a conservative Christian and I think that my position on the evolution vs. Creation debate may surprise you. First of all, I accept the Bible, Old and New Testament as the word of God, written by human authors guided by the Holy Spirit. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” The first sentence of the Bible says a lot and if it is not true, then the rest of the book is pointless fiction. With that being said, it is important to note what the Bible does and does not reveal to us. The Bible very clearly states who did the creating, what was created and why it was created. The Bible does not state when or how the creation happened. When and how is something God has chosen not to reveal to us. I have to stand apart from people who set an age for the planet earth either young or old. Neither is something that can be proven.

On the evolution side, I have a huge problem with teaching a theory as scientific fact. Some people may point to this page on the WikiPedia. Let me be clear, I accept microevolution. By this I mean that species can adapt to the environment. What I object to is the macroevolution. I have not seen evidence of one species evolving into another. An example would be the common ancestor between Man and Gorillas that has never been found. Right from the WikiPedia is their disclaimer on fossil records: “The study of fossil records is helpful for scientists to trace the evolutionary history of organisms. However, in reality, hardly any fossils that were intermediate forms between related groups of species could be found. The lack of continuous fossils records is the major limitation in evidence for the existence of such intermediate forms of organisms. These gaps in the fossil records are called the missing links.”

Here is an interesting piece of logic from the WikiPedia:

Homologous structures and divergent (adaptive) evolution

If widely separated groups of organisms are originated from a common ancestry, they are expected to have certain basic features in common. The degree of resemblance between two organisms should indicate how closely related they are in evolution:

  • Groups with little in common are assumed to have diverged from a common ancestor much earlier in geological history than groups which have a lot in common;
  • in deciding how closely related two animals are, a comparative anatomist looks for structures which, though they may serve quite different functions in the adult, are fundamentally similar, suggesting a common origin. Such structures are described as homologous; and
  • in case where the structures serve different functions in adult, it may be necessary to trace their origin and embryonic development.

When a group of organism share a homologous structure which is specialized to perform a variety of functions in order to adapt different environmental conditions and modes of life are called adaptive radiation. The gradual spreading of organisms with adaptive radiation is known as divergent evolution.

What you have here is a the assumption that a theory is true to prove the theory. The Comparative Anatomy fails to account for a common designer.

My point is that accepting either Creation or Evolution in exclusion of the other, requires a blind and unquestioning faith. To me, evolution as an attempt to explain the “How” of creation is reasonable, however it is only a theory. God separates the creation of living things into 5 distinct groups

  1. Plants
  2. Sea Creatures
  3. Winged Birds
  4. Land Animals (Livestock, Wild Animals and Creatures that move along the ground)
  5. Man

Evolution does not provide evidence of “crossover” or evolution between these 5 groups. There certainly a possibility and evidence to support evolution within each of the 5 groups above.

Pure Creationists have to ignore demonstrated scientific fact. Science has not been able to refute anything in the Bible, but it has been able to refute some of man’s interpretation of the Bible.

The problem in the Creation/Evolution argument is that is far more about the politics than the substance. And this is where the argument gets “Stuck on Stupid.”

Kinetic Systems Bicycles UCI Cyclocross Race

September 26, 2005 at 12:42 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment

Well, I finished the first cyclocross race of the season. It was great fun and a great workout. You can see some of the pictures my wife took here. I finished 15th out 16 men. I was also behind both women and the junior who competed in the C-Race. I did manage to complete 4 laps which was my primary goal for this race. I was also probably the largest competitor at 6′ 2″ 230+ lbs. I just found this:

He posited a 5 kilometer, 7% grade. That’s a good, stiff climb. The legendary Stelvio climb averages 7.5%. He further assumed a rider who can kick out 250 watts. A 160 pound rider will take 19 minutes and 21 seconds to get up the hill. Every 5 pounds added make the trip up the hill take 30 seconds longer.

That means each added pound adds 6 seconds to the time it takes to get up this hill. That is only 6 seconds on a stiff, 20 minute climb.

So, given our roughly 4-pound range from a full steel bike to a super-light carbon or aluminum bike, the time difference up this hill would be 24 seconds from best to worst.

But, most weight conscious people aren’t bringing their bikes down to 15 pounds because down at that weight, the handling gets very sketchy. 17 – 17.5 pounds is the normal range. The real discussion is about 1.5 to 2 pounds.

The performance advantage of a lighter bike is greatest when the hill is steepest. What happens as things flatten out? Then, as the speed of the bike increases, the resistance comes from the wind, tire rolling resistance, bearing drag, etc. Those 6 seconds/pound grow ever smaller.

The variations in body weight, however, being so much greater, make large difference. If that same 160 pound-250 watt rider were to be 220 pounds, he would come in 6 minutes, 10 seconds later.

The entire article is here.

This is actually encouraging to me. As all these smaller riders have a 9 minute advantage over me if we both output equal power in a 30 minute race. So now if I factor that time in to the results, I will have to see how I would place. I will be thrilled if I have similar power outputs to my much lighter competitors.

The First Example

September 23, 2005 at 7:40 am | Posted in News | Comments Off on The First Example

Courtesy of the Democratic Underground I have my first example of “Stuck on Stupid”. Be careful to note that 3 entries are of the same person. Also take a look a number 10. Number 10 is about a book that I intend buy my daughter. It looks like a must read for anyone who doesn’t understand the dangers of modern American liberalism. You can find more information about the book here.

Special attention should also be paid to #4. Apparently these people think that the Federal government has a secret stash of people to respond to disasters. Apparently they forget what FEMA really is, a massive cash distribution agency without accountability. Apparently since the federal government didn’t drop debit cards to people who need to get off of their roofs or out of their attics, they moved too slow.

Another Training Log

September 20, 2005 at 11:25 am | Posted in General | Leave a comment

This morning I jumped out of bed, and went for a ride on my Trainer. I followed along with my Carmichael Training Systems – Mountain Bike Training Video. I am sitting here about 5 hours later and I still feel like I am recovering. I didn’t stop sweating for about 30 minutes after my shower. What a great workout. According to my Heart Rate Monitor, I burned 1170 calories in 53 minutes.

The first Cyclocross race is Saturday so I am hoping to get in a good hard workout on Thursday and I should be ready. At least as ready as I am going to be.


September 18, 2005 at 8:47 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment

Today was the first opportunity I had to train since Wednesday the 14th. I have been on call for work and very busy with that. I even got called just before I stared my ride. I went trail riding at Maybury State Park for 2 laps. I rode with my friend Gary who is faster than me in the tight stuff but I can catch him on the hills. It was a great day to ride. We had just gotten some much needed rain in the past few days, which cleaned up the dust and made the trail tacky again. We rode 2 – 32 minute laps, which are pretty quick, but I was coming off huge lunch at Macaroni Grill and really feeling it. According to my heart rate monitor I burned 1900 calories which may have been a good part of but not all of my lunch.

After I got home, I put my new Hutchinson Cross Comp Tires on the front and a slick on the rear tire to be able to ride my Trainer this week if I end up on call again. Saturday is the first Cyclocross race and my wife is planning on attending as a spectator. I hope to not completely embarrass myself. Last year my goals were to not get lapped and to not get beaten by every woman in the field. This year I hope to have one top ten finish and I would like to be competitive with the women. We will see.

Cyclocross Training

September 15, 2005 at 11:18 am | Posted in General | Leave a comment

My favorite racing season is here. Cyclocross for those of you who do not know is a form of bicycle racing that take place on a variety of terrain. The courses are usually about one and a half to two and a half miles long. The courses are designed to be 95% rideable. There are typically two 18 inch barriers that require dismounting and carrying the bike over, somewhere on the course. At the level I race at, the races are 30 minutes long. There is a specialized bicycle for Cyclocross that is kind of like a road bike with bigger tires, but I compete on my mountain bike. I will make a few small modifications to my mountain bike. I will remove the water bottle cages and seat pack. I am also replacing the fatter off road tires with Hutchison Cross Comp tires that are 1.3 inches wide, instead of the 1.95 or 2.2 inch tires I use for Mountain Bike Racing. I am excited because my new Cross Comp tires are due to arrive today.

Last evening I rode a little training ride of 30 miles in just under 2 hours. The ride was mostly road with a little dirt road mixed in. I like this kind of ride because I can do it from my house. I don’t have to load up the bike and drive somewhere. I did push the darkness a little. If I ride any time it is darker than it was by the time I got home, I will need to use lights.

Pontiac Lake NORBA Cross Country Mountain Bike Race

September 12, 2005 at 7:22 am | Posted in General | Leave a comment

I raced in the Pontiac Lake NORBA Mountain Bike Cross Country Race yesterday. This was my first time competing in the Sport Clydesdale class. I had until yesterday competed in the Beginner Clydesdale class. I chose to move up to sport because the sport class was racing 2 laps on the 10 mile course while the beginners were racing one lap. I had a goal of completing the race in under 2 hours which according to my watch I missed by 6 minutes and 30 seconds. I will see what I really did when the official results are posted. I think I finished 12th or 13th in a field of 14, which was where I expected to be. Because I know everyone cares about this, at least everyone who reads this (me), here are a few numbers from my Heart Rate Monitor.

Time above 175 bpm: 0:28:24
Time below 155 bpm: 0:05:49
Time between 155-175: 1:32:17
Average Heart Rate: 168
Lap 1: 0:58:59 Avg HR: 171
Lap 2: 1:07:31 Avg HR: 166
Calories: 3545

Overall, I was pleased with my performance. I now have a good Idea where my training needs to go for next year. Up next is cyclocross season.

Update (9/13/2005): Official Results

1 1711 NEIDER, JOSH 0:49:13.526 0:51:14.661 1:40:28.187
2 1714 MCGOVERN, THOMAS 0:50:01.852 0:50:32.166 1:40:34.018
3 1719 WONNACOTT, ROB 0:50:04.225 0:51:56.112 1:42:00.337
4 1722 RESSLER, RON 0:52:40.452 0:53:47.351 1:46:27.803
5 1721 BARTOS, MIKE 0:51:54.705 0:55:05.855 1:47:00.560
6 1720 WEISS, MIKE 0:52:28.024 0:55:51.086 1:48:19.110
7 1717 GILBERT, JOSEPH 0:56:42.277 0:58:16.361 1:54:58.638
8 1716 LUDWIG, MARK 0:57:01.087 0:58:06.743 1:55:07.830
9 1718 SMITH, WILLIAM 0:55:48.381 1:02:04.982 1:57:53.363
10 1710 BAUER, DENNIS 0:56:33.864 1:03:43.368 2:00:17.232
11 1713 PIERCE, THOMAS 1:02:26.376 1:01:38.915 2:04:05.291
12 1712 BACHERT, JOSEPH 0:58:49.281 1:05:34.362 2:04:23.643
13 1715 MILLER, STEVE 0:59:06.073 1:08:48.719 2:07:54.792

Ok, so I did finish dead last and by over 3 minutes. I guess I need to look at the positives. I finished, I raced the 2nd longest race of my life and finished much stronger than I finished the longest race of my life.

Plymouth Fall Festival

September 10, 2005 at 5:03 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment

This is my daughter Stephanie after getting here face painted at the Plymouth Fall Festival in Plymouth, MI.

When Politics Are More Important Than The Cause.

September 8, 2005 at 11:47 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment

Always beware of groups that put politics above their cause. I will give you two examples to chew on. The first example is the NRA. Then NRA uses their political clout to push their issue Gun Owner Rights. Although Gun Rights tend to fall on the Republican side of the aisle, the NRA will support a Pro-Gun Democrat. John Dingell of Michigan comes to mind right away.

The second example is the NAACP. They oppose the supreme court nomination of Clarence Thomas and support former Klansman Senator Robert Byrd.

Can somebody add that up for me?

It is easy to see in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. A lot of people on both sides are out there simply trying to score political points. Simple example, Hillary Clinton is calling for FEMA to be a cabinet level agency. This is of course after she voted to put FEMA under Homeland Security in the first place. I will say that a lot of the politicizing of the issue on the Republican side is to act in defense of the President. Not saying it is right, but some would call it standing up to a bully. It should be noted, that the President and his staff are not politicizing the event at all.

I do not want to write a political blog, but the events of the last week have gotten me a little fired up. I want to get back to the important things, like my mountain bike racing, my daughter and the fun things in life.

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