Bringing the Mountain to Muhammad: Seattle Cogal

@Cyclops has taken it upon himself to organize North America’s first official Cogal right in the backyard of where it all started: Seattle, Wa. @Scaler911 and @McSqueak have confirmed that they will be driving up from Portland, OR to attend and we hereby invite any and all Velominati to attend. 

We’ll be doing a no-drop ride on Whidbey Island, following a route that is not terribly hilly and easily accommodates varying distances, though I myself will be planning on a 100k or more. We’ll leave the Coffeehouse Bookstore in Langley at V minutes past 10 to give everyone plenty of time to find their way up to the island and into Langley. Route details will be published in the posts below when it is confirmed. (I have to do some research as I’ve not done the ride in it’s entirety myself.) Hope to see you there.

UPDATE: The route has been posted on MapMyRide. It is a 160km ride with the option to cut section off for those who are getting tired.

UPDATE: Those who are interested are invited to dinner Friday Evening at Quinn’s Pub on Capital Hill in Seattle. Please arrive as close to 6:30 as possible; late-comers will not be guaranteed a seat at the table if the place is full.

Yours in Cycling,

Frank

Though there are two 2011 U.S. National Champions about 30 minutes down the interstate from me – southeast Idaho isn’t exactly a road bike Mecca.  And I wear the V-Shirt whenever I’m traveling in the area to races (whether to participate or spectate) but I’ve only had one person recognize the Sign of the “V”.  So the chances of running into or riding with a fellow Velominati are pretty slim.  Let alone the demented brainchild of all this nonsense – Darth Strack.  What’s a boy to do?  Take the bull by the horns and make it happen my own self, that’s what.  I figure that anywhere that I can drive to in a day is not too far to go for a ride so I’m off to Seattle to see whether this “Frank” character is indeed worthy to be praised or if he’s just some guy behind a curtain pulling levers and turning dials.

The plan is for a meet and greet (and eat and drink) Friday night Oct. 14 and a ride on Saturday the 15th.  A few blokes from Portland way are planning on coming up as well so it looks like it is going to turn into a little Gran Fronkdo.  Anyone that can make it is invited. We haven’t sorted out the details of the route or meeting place or time or anything important like that but we should have all that set in cobbles by early this week, so stay tuned.

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295 Replies to “Bringing the Mountain to Muhammad: Seattle Cogal”

  1. @Buck Rogers

    Me as well. Just cannot make it the November 12/13 weekend or Thanksgiving weekend (On-call). Just emailed JiPM about a few other dates. What dates are good for you “itburns”?

    ThanksG I’ll be in Austin. Couple of snowboarding trips come winter. Open the rest of the time.

  2. @itburns

    @Buck Rogers

    Me as well. Just cannot make it the November 12/13 weekend or Thanksgiving weekend (On-call). Just emailed JiPM about a few other dates. What dates are good for you “itburns”?

    ThanksG I’ll be in Austin. Couple of snowboarding trips come winter. Open the rest of the time.

    EXCELLENT! Awaiting a reply from JiPM about dates. Hopefully sometime in NOV or dEC. We’ll see!

  3. No one died and was left out to rot on the island, though I felt like I was going to die a few times going up some of those hills.

    I don’t want to spoil too much as Cyclops will be doing a write up with photos, but it was a great ride and everyone had an awesome time.

  4. Cyclops’ LOOK is as awesome in person as it is online. And he’s got the guns to match. Really? Was I the only one to show up on a metal bike? (Other than Marco on the TSX. mmm…mind still mesmerized by the campy hub…mmmm…must. watch. road…)

  5. I read that at first as Cyclops looks as awesome in person as he does on line.

    Whilst this may be true I did think it was a bit of an odd thing to say. I now see my mistake.

    I’m glad you all had a great time. I did glance at the clock more than once on Saturday and think aout the Order riding together.

  6. Fantastic route, great weather, awesome company, cool bikes, wonderful ride. Vive le vie velominatus.

  7. @eightzero

    May I make the gratuitous observation from looking at your cadence that it is amazingly, possibly uncomfortably, low.

    Obviously I have no idea about your state of fitness, bike or any other variables but those look like big ‘ol gears you’re grinding.

    Or did Frank padlock everyone’s small rings before you set out ?

  8. @ChrisO
    Average cadence measures are typically pretty meaningless – the times that you coast artificially lower that measure on most computers…

    Although a 93 max aint exactly spinning like a trackie…

  9. @ChrisO
    Oh, I wish. I actually turn a 50×34 compact in front and a 11×28 cassette. I do normally churn an average cadence of about 70 or so. Oddly enough, I have plenty of leg-it is my CV that gives out first. I am normally rather tachycardial; I can run an average HR of 165 almost continuously. But when the steeps come, I shoot to about 170-175-180, and I’m done. I just have to churn it out as best I can as the peloton just climbs away.

    Oh well. I’m not a racer. Except when there’s someone else on the road. Then I just ry to make the best of being an Old Man.

  10. @Marcus

    True, but I was looking at the range not the average, and he is mostly between 60 and 80.

    In any case, if the amount of coasting without pedalling has a significant effect on the average then that’s also a potential issue.

    @Eightzero
    I’m half similar… I can sustain my effort comfortably for a long time – for me usually about 148-150 bpm. Much above that then the clock is ticking.

    But for some reason I have to try pretty hard to get it higher. When I do intervals I feel like I’m going to shit in my bibshorts just to bring my HR up to 160.

    FWIW if the hills are where you bust into the red zone maybe try spinning a higher gear to stay in your comfort area.

    How old are you, if you don’t mind my asking. Some way off 8 0 I presume ? ;-)

  11. @ChrisO
    interesting – even when I am about to blow, I don’t go over 168, in fact, I think my peak was 172, and that after some pretty regular 100k hilly runs for several months – clearly some folk run higher than others (I’m 42, sorry 46 allegedly) – yet everyone around me is fizzing away at 180…..

    Five and dime for me it seems!

  12. @Dr C

    Yes it is quite variable – I would hit 170s in a balls-out sprint effort, or a near-death mountain climb. 178 is the highest I’ve ever seen. I’m 45 so that’s supposedly about right.

    Riding the hills last weekend on a 8-10% gradient for about 4km I was sitting around 165 most of the way – that was sustainable but I was glad to reach the top. Cadence around 70 (and wishing I’d brought the 12-25 wheel not the 11-23).

    I was out with a different group a few months back where I didn’t know anybody. We were riding two abreast and I got to the front with the (younger) guy who’d been next to me and was a regular. He said “Just keep it about 165 HR” so I had to ask whether he really wanted to sprint away Fabian-style.

  13. I have a compact Centaur crankset on my Casati, a standard Centaur on my LOOK. I don’t know if it’s all in my head or what, but I never feel like I’m in a proper gear on the Casati. Same length cranks.

    Will have to check out and compare the cassette range.

  14. @Dr C

    Violation?? Good sir, I believe my only violation on the cogal was getting my ass dropped on every good climb since I’m 2.5 months from peaking. It was certainly a Rule #5 experience for me.

  15. @ChrisO
    eightzero is a 1961 model. Makes me older than Chris Horner, but he is catching up.

    Oddly enough, the HRM on my bar does help me on a sustained climb (like Mt. Baker.) I can spin up the hill at about 165-170bpm, but when it starts to tick to 172…I know it is coming. And on a 6-8% hill, that means I turn the 34-28 pretty slowly. I don’t really want to spin faster, as that tends to make my HR go up drammatically. A small change in incline makes a huge difference too. When the incline drops to 5% (as shown on my edge 705) I’ll grab a few more teeth – the 26 or even 25. Sur le plaq at about 3%, although that plate is still only a 50.

    I’m 6’4″ and 200# naked. Not sure how many watts that translates to, but it means I ain’t no Charlie Gaul. And since sprints scare the shit out of me, that makes me…well…relegated to sucking my VMHs wheel.

  16. Damn, I had a nice sunny solo Sunday ride, but I wish I was out with you lads. Sounds awesome, looking forward to some more photos!

  17. @ChrisO @eightzero It is weird to see how peoples heart rate ranges work out so differently. I know my resting heart rate is higher than it used to be, last i checked its at about 52 bpm, and depending on cadence rather than effort my heart rate sits quite high. If i am turning 90-100 then i will be looking at 165-170bpm but i feel really comfortable at that rate and can do it all day, if I am turning 60-70 running hardest cog then 140-155. The maximum I have hit in the last few months was about 190bpm although the max recorded when i was blasting it a couple of years ago was 211 but I really didn’t feel as bad as I no doubt looked. It is getting harder and harder to get it up there though, I am hoping that is a sign that actually doing some base training rather than threshold all the time is working.

  18. Can’t wait to see everybody’s write ups but in the meantime what an awesome experience. Great weather, bikes, beer, food, people, ride, etc. To those of you that missed out you really missed out. Sorry that scaler911 didn’t make it but maybe next time.

  19. @Eightzero, @Marcus, @ChrisO
    Good points all, though I’m a firm believer that spinning higher is not always better. It comes down to your body and how you respond. I ride in the 70-100 range and unless I’m riding á bloc on the flats, I’m not much above 90. I climb somewhere in the 70s, lower when it pitches up past 15%.

    My heart rate is an anomaly, on the other hand. About 40 when I’m resting and if I’m on a bike it’s above 140. Riding moderately, I bet its in the 170s and going hard I’ll be around 190 and it can still go up past 200 even at 35. Go figure.

  20. @RedRanger

    Dunno, we’re missing a couple of folks in that picture – the lady just sort of walked up and started taking pictures/asking questions, and then told us it was going to be on the Langley facebook page.

  21. @frank

    @Eightzero, @Marcus, @ChrisO
    Good points all, though I’m a firm believer that spinning higher is not always better. It comes down to your body and how you respond. I ride in the 70-100 range and unless I’m riding á bloc on the flats, I’m not much above 90. I climb somewhere in the 70s, lower when it pitches up past 15%.

    That sounds fairly familiar with my experiences. I was struck, riding with Josh back in April, though, that his cadence was much lower than mine (but turning a bigger gear). I’ve been working on getting the cadence up just a notch higher at the end of the year, but doubt that I’m ever spinning more than 95 on the flats (part of this is a general tendency towards laziness at this time of year).

    My heart rate is an anomaly, on the other hand. About 40 when I’m resting and if I’m on a bike it’s above 140. Riding moderately, I bet its in the 170s and going hard I’ll be around 190 and it can still go up past 200 even at 35. Go figure.

    I’m inclined to agree with this part, too, but I don’t have an HRM, so I couldn’t tell you where I max out. But low resting heart rate is about the same, although it rises markedly when I see a bike.

  22. Huh. When it’s windy here, like too windy to grind I’ll happily use the small chainring and spend an hour trying to spin at 100. It’s a good workout, and I can tell when I’m doing it right because my legs will relax a bit but the breathing gets quicker. It’s training the aerobic system rather than just smashing the legs, and there’s definitely a place for it. PS you hip flexors will be sore, your arse will hurt form carrying more weight and it’ll be harder to support your upper body weight on the bike. Those are good things cos when you put the power down you’ll feel weightless and you won’t be restricted by leg speed.
    Rode with a local ex pro who wrenches here a couple of weeks ago, and he had it down, it was amazing. Spinning away at the same cadence, he didn’t stop pedalling for over an hour staying in the middle of the cassette and around 30kph.

  23. @Cyclops

    Can’t wait to see everybody’s write ups but in the meantime what an awesome experience. Great weather, bikes, beer, food, people, ride, etc. To those of you that missed out you really missed out. Sorry that scaler911 didn’t make it but maybe next time.

    No one was sorrier than me. Still bummed about it.

  24. @mcsqueak

    @scaler911
    Ah we’ll just have to plan a sweet Portland one to make up for it!

    Got a few ideas I must say. We should chat about it, get something in the works with a bit of notice, and who knows; maybe Dr C, Ron or JIPM (or maybe, just maybe Oli) and the other fine folk around these parts, might show.

  25. @scaler911

    @mcsqueak

    @scaler911
    Ah we’ll just have to plan a sweet Portland one to make up for it!

    Got a few ideas I must say. We should chat about it, get something in the works with a bit of notice, and who knows; maybe Dr C, Ron or JIPM (or maybe, just maybe Oli) and the other fine folk around these parts, might show.

    I try and jump on any reason to stay at the Edgefield.

  26. @itburns

    @scaler911

    @mcsqueak

    @scaler911
    Ah we’ll just have to plan a sweet Portland one to make up for it!

    Got a few ideas I must say. We should chat about it, get something in the works with a bit of notice, and who knows; maybe Dr C, Ron or JIPM (or maybe, just maybe Oli) and the other fine folk around these parts, might show.

    I try and jump on any reason to stay at the Edgefield.

    NIce. Beer, food, location, soaking pool, beer, location. Love that place. Where do you live?

  27. @Oli

    @scaler911
    Sorry, I can’t even make it to one in my own town – trying to get to the US would be like trying to get to Mars!

    Totally understand. Just had to throw it out there, you know.

  28. @Oli

    @scaler911Sorry, I can’t even make it to one in my own town – trying to get to the US would be like trying to get to Mars!

    ditto, but heck, life is about dreaming sometimes, doing doesn’t always score, but dreaming is free

  29. No disrespect to the no doubt awesome riding in Portland, but my dreams are of riding in the Alps, Pyrenees and Dolomites so that’s where I’m going as soon as I win Lotto…

  30. @itburns

    @Buck Rogers
    Ok, Gents. The date is sent in stone: Sunday, December 4th, in Austin. I don’t have a single detail worked out other than that. Except that I’m going on Friday night to spend all day Saturday eating, drinking, and generally keeping Austin weird. Let’s agree upon a place to eat, drink, and make merriment on Saturday night. Sunday’s ride is probably going west of Austin, into the Hill Country. A chat with Buck Rogers has convinced me 100 miles or more of riding is probably a bit too much. We’ll keep it a bit shorter and have a break somewhere in the middle for some nourishment. Then those of us who want to keep going can and those who want to chill can do so, also. A last goodbye after the ride at another restaurant, that, I hope will include BBQ, would be a great send-off.

  31. @Cyclops @Jeff in PetroMetro

    Yeah I’d say start early if you want to get a long ride in, especially in December. We started at V min past X in the am, and I was worried we’d be running out of light before the end of the ride, especially if the pace had slowed towards the end.

    Also factor in time for eating stops, getting lost taking wrong roads, and waiting to regroup after long climbs at some points. We had 5.5 hours of moving time and an additional 1.5 hours of stopped time, for a total of 7 hours on the cogal.

    Another 30km of FLAT would have been very do-able, but those hills were starting to make me pray for mercy at the end.

  32. @Cyclops
    Yeah. Buck talked me down from my over-ambitiousness. And, a big OOPS on my part referring to miles instead of kilometers. I meant 160km. That’s gonna cost me a couple of extra intervals tomorrow.

    @all If any of y’all can swing a “business trip” to Austin for that weekend, please do!!! The more Velominati, the better.

  33. @Jeff in PetroMetro

    @Cyclops Yeah. Buck talked me down from my over-ambitiousness. And, a big OOPS on my part referring to miles instead of kilometers. I meant 160km. That’s gonna cost me a couple of extra intervals tomorrow.
    @all If any of y’all can swing a “business trip” to Austin for that weekend, please do!!! The more Velominati, the better.

    HEY! I’m in for 160 k. What’s this BS about me talking him down?! :)

    Still think that 160 K is doable, esp with an early start, though. We’ll see.

  34. @Jeff in PetroMetro

    @Cyclops
    And, a big OOPS on my part referring to miles instead of kilometers. I meant 160km. That’s gonna cost me a couple of extra intervals tomorrow.

    On the cogal I kept saying miles and feet. Hey, I’m an American and it’s a hard habit to break. I just inherently “know” miles and feet in references to distance and elevation, and have to convert to m/kms in my head. People finally started to call me out on it part way through the ride!

  35. @mcsqueak
    You see, that is why I race in the Cat classes instead of the Masters classes. I’d rather take my chances against a dumb twenty-something than a smart and devious Master any day. I had sense enough to switch the ol’ V-Meter to KPH before I lefte for Seattle.

  36. @Jeff in PetroMetro, @Buck Rogers
    The biggest thing we learned at our Cogal was, and forgive me for my management speech here, but to do a better job of expectation management. We had intended for no-drop group ride and we had people attacking off the front within 1km of leaving Langley while others were dropping off the back. Everyone still had a great time and always waited, but at the end of the day we ended up with two groups riding at two speeds for sections of the ride.

    Moving forward all Cogal rides will have a designation; a Rule #5 ride for hard rides, Casually Deliberate rides for no-drop rides, etc. Minipump lashings for people who disobey The Rules or the designation of the ride would be standard on any ride.

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