Today Molly and I went on our first ride with the Canari-Navy Cycling team.

I had first heard of this team from a rider I met in March of 2008. I was a fourth year medical student, doing an elective rotation in San Diego prepping for Ironman California and Ironman Arizona. A post on the San Diego Randonneurs list-serve mentioned a 100 mile ride from Oceanside up Palomar and back. I had never ridden Palomar at the time, but met with the group and had a great ride. The group was actually from Orange County, and Chuck Bramwell prepared the route. I think it might have been the Orange County Wheelmen, but not really certain. Chuck, in case you didn’t know, organizes the California Triple Crown. I saw two Triple Crown jerseys on today’s ride. One was a female rider, the other I recognized: Steve Smart. Anyway, one of the riders found out I was in the Navy, so he recommended the Canari-Navy Cycling team. He had met another rider and was going to try to find some contact info for me. Anyway, I never got the info, and then ran across the team on the USA Cycling website. I emailed the organizer, but it wasn’t until I ran into Tommy Brown at the Armed Forces Triathlon Championship that I realized I should join the team. When I told Molly about it she became interested too, so she joined.

Only have two years on the bike, Molly wasn’t sure if she could hang with the group, but figured she’d go for it today. The ride was coastal, so she was familiar with it and could always find her way home if she got dropped.

I thought the ride was great. It provided some good group riding, most of the pace was mild with a few surges up hills that added some quality efforts. Not carrying around sponsorships and feeling obliged to race for one team or another, I have decided I may as well represent the Navy as much as possible, and this team has provided another opportunity for that. It is also a great opportunity to network with other Navy athletes.

Molly did great on our ride. She fell back a couple times when the group surged, or flew down hill, but she was hanging strong the whole way. She has definitely improved her cycling a lot, and I anticipate a lot more improvement over the next year. I’ve also been impressed with her ability to ride smoothly and stay on a wheel.

Now what about my personal bests? Well, on the way up Torrey Pines I stayed on the outside to try and get a good time. I’m not sure that this is actually my personal best, but it is since I got my Garmin 705 about a year and a half ago. tracks segments, so it makes it real easy to see how you do on hill climbs, and also compares your time to other riders using strava. Here are the 10 records I have of going up Torrey on my Garmin:

Here is my history of setting personal bests on Torrey:

And here are the top 12 times (of the 45 riders that have times uploaded for Torrey):

I did have the highest power output, so once I lose weight I’ll have to give it another go.

My next bests today were some new highest Critical Powers. The picture below is from TrainingPeaks. The purple line showed my mean max power for certain times, and the gray is a compilation of all my best efforts. The areas where the purple goes above the gray are my new personal bests. They are all pretty low times, 12 seconds and under, but at about 6 minutes I almost peaked again, just missing it by a couple watts. I was still pleased with it because the last time I had reached a new best power was 4/28/2010.


New best

Old best

3 sec



4 sec



5 sec



6 sec



7 sec



10 sec



12 sec



My weight is up right now though, so I actually didn’t improve my power profile at all, based on power to weight ratio. I still see it as an improvement overall because I know my weight will improve.

There are many ways to use a power meter, and I have been using one on nearly every ride I go on. I don’t use it if I ride my single speed, tandem, or mountain bike, but otherwise I do. It is beneficial when I am trying to maintain a certain effort, usually in pacing myself. The analysis part that I like though is that it provides measures that you can use to determine where you need to work more, or to provide feedback for progress. These types of things generally aren’t determined from efforts that are not at hard efforts.