Shenanigans with Landis

We’re discussing the merits of piracy

Frank Bellino / The Press-Enterprise

Apparently my training paid off. I’ve just returned from the Floyd Landis PowerTap camp and I didn’t suffer as badly as I thought I would. I attended the Palomar Mountain ride, which means climbing to the top of the said mountain at an elevation of 5,000 feet. Before the mountain climb our group had to ride up several smaller climbs. My personal plan was to sit back in the pack of 15 riders and conserve energy till Palomar. That didn’t happen. My BFF Cush from Bicycling was there and we got involved in the usual stupid stuff that happens when you put us together. I challenged Floyd, loudly and in front of everyone, to race me to the top of a very steep driveway. Floyd beat me even with my running head start. Then Cush and I were both at the front with Floyd telling him that he should become a pirate. This pirate themed discussion went on for a few hours and turned out to be the running joke of the day. We discussed if having a monkey or parrot as a pirate pet was the way to go. Also, we decided that we’d practice pirating maneuvers at Lake Elsinore. At one point Floyd was laughing so hard he was being dropped. As I write this, it sounds very juvenile, but I swear at the time it was the funniest stuff ever. Floyd even said to me, “You say the stupidest shit I’ve ever heard!” I took it as a compliment.

As we were joking it up, we unfortunately, were blocking traffic. Suddenly, a local sheriff came blazing by us, lights and siren flashing. He pulled over, jumped out of the black and white SUV and started pointing at us to pull over. He proceeded to blame us for road rage, global warming and the fighting in the Middle East. According to the sheriff, he’d been receiving complaints from god knows who, as we rode down country roads. “I outta give you all tickets!” Empty threat, no way was he going to give any one a ticket. He just wanted to yell. We promised we’d ride single file and he let us go. I broke the ice by stating the obvious, that guy would make an excellent pirate!

We started he Palomar Mountain climb and I know I would be suffering. I had been at the front too often wasting energy that would be desperately needed on the 6% gradient. Floyd started off climbing with Cush and I, but as a few of the professional triathletes that were in attendance pulled away and put a chunk of distance on us, he jumped ahead. I didn’t see Floyd again till the top. Soon Cush left me behind and I was in my own personal world of hurt. I quickly revised my plan from riding at AT the whole way to the top, to a more reasonable endurance speed pace. I kept an eye on my watts, keeping them from climbing to high as I ascended. After an hour and a half of climbing I reached the summit. Total elevation gain for the day: 7,100 feet.

The evening ended with Dr. Allen Lim discussing over dinner how to tie in all the watts information that the PowerTap gives you. It can be a bit confusing, but Lim broke it down to a simple formula. Basically, Lim believes in a one to one ratio of going hard and then going easy. If you are tired or a little sleep depraved, don’t train. Be aware of how you are feeling and use that as a parameter to how you are going to train or ride that day.

I spoke to several PowerTap guests and they all replied that it was a great camp. With Floyd in attendance, training with a power meter, and then taught how to use all that information how could you not have a good time.

Landis’ bike is covered in Jack Handy quotes


  1. Erik says:

    I love the Landis stuff. Very cool new bike he is sporting. I just noticed you linked my blog. I am honored. I don’t think it is working however. It might be to many backslashes in the url. Either way I am honored. I check the blog daily. Guess I better step up the blogging game with the untold hits I will get by linking from your blog.
    ride on.

  2. Neil@ROAD says:

    I fixed the link so it should be no problem going to your blog. By the way, it was cool seeing the ’87 Tour of Suisse video on your blog.

  3. Shawn Burke says:

    So ya started your blog with thinking the training paid off with less suffering — did you get numbers on this? Yeah, by definition, 90 minutes at AT is basically impossible. I really wish that I’d had a PowerTap when I went to the Pyrenees for the 05 Tour. Ten consecutive 6,000+ ft days and I was pretty sure I’d gotten a lot stronger. Woulda been nice to see numbers.

  4. blue squirrel says:

    you have the whole zabel face working in the ride picture. oh, and san diego county sheriffs are the worst, as i am from san diego, never, ever get a sheriff mad. and they would make a good prirates.

  5. Gary says:

    I’ve always felt there was a strong connection between cycling and piracy. Not unlike the cycling/beer connection.

    Thanks for the reports from the battlefield. Considering all the camps you’ve visited and with HealthNet next week, I imagine you may get to know the color of the insides of your lungs.

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