Lobster Qualifying Rides

QUALIFIED! On the 1st and 2nd of this month, Irene Genelin, Joe Lind and I (Dan Hansen) completed our qualifying ride for The LOBSTER. We had gorgeous weather and great company throughout the ride.

We started on Saturday morning at Joe and Kim’s house on the Mississippi River bluffs above downtown St. Paul (our state’s capital city). Kim is largely(!) pregnant and so wasn’t able to qualify with the three of us but we had the delightful company of Andy Cotter, Rob Mullerliele, Dustin Kelm and Ryan (Smiley) Woessner. We proceeded to punish our thighs up and down short, steep hills for the first half of the day. After relaxation, conversation and lunch back at Joe and Kim’s, we chose some flat riding to round out the day.

On day two, Andy, Irene, Joe and I started from my home in Minneapolis for 85k of flat riding. We roamed bicycle paths around Minneapolis and its NW suburbs with a late lunch at a favorite NE Minneapolis joint, Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge. After lunch, our 4th crossing of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis was on the 10th Avenue bridge which overlooks our fallen Interstate bridge disaster. The wreckage is being removed pretty rapidly at this point.

It was a weekend of flawless riding, super weather, great company and only a bit of rumbling muscles. For me, this was only the second time I’ve ridden with other Cokeurs! Looking forward to Nova Scotia!!

Damn you genbirch! You stole my thunder! :smiley:

I’ve got my qualifying all set up for next Monday/Tuesday, and was looking forward to being the first to post on here about it. Oh well…

Anyway, congratulations, and I look forward to meeting up with you all in Nova Scotia next year.


Just a reminder that once the qualifying ride is completed to fill out this form:

Rider information about RTL:


Now that all of you people interested in RTL are reading this - who needs a teammate? :stuck_out_tongue:

Day 1, 2nd qualifying ride write-up

Qualifying ride write-up Dan Hansen Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
November 10, 2007 – Day 1
Stock Coker, Viscount saddle, Dingman handle, 89 mm crankarms, 45 psi

Despite looming rain/snow clouds, blustery conditions and cold temperatures (hovering just above freezing), this morning I drove to a 19 - 19.5 km bike/ped path loop that is a part of the Cedar Lake – Kenilworth Trail. This trail is characterized by mainly flat terrain with several gentle rolling bits, curves and long straight-aways. It passes through the cities of Minneapolis, St. Louis Park and Hopkins. The bulk of the trail is within St. Louis Park so I will heretofore refer to it as the SLP loop.

I chose this path for several reasons but mainly so that I could get some baseline information about the decay my average speed, over a repeatable distance, over the course of several hours of exertion. I wanted each lap to be separated by only about 10 minutes (+/- 2 min.) of rest/refueling.

Only yesterday I installed a cyclometer (Cat Eye) on my Coker for the first time. I also purchased a stop-watch in order to provide back-up data in case the cyclometer set-up failed. It didn’t. Since I am basically a ‘flat-lander’, I chose not to carry (purchase) a device for marking elevational gain and loss. So I have disregarded elevation as a factor over this trial.

First Lap
I parked on the SE corner of Cedar Lake and departed on my first lap at 10:31 am. There was a very fine rain falling which stopped about half way around the SLP loop. Trail conditions were good and there were relatively few other cyclists and pedestrians. The pathway is mostly uninterrupted though it passes across about 10 roads – a few of them typically busy. For the sake of this ride, this morning I increased my tire pressure from 30 psi to 45 psi and I chose not to carry the messenger bag that I normally carry. These two differences contributed to an unsettling first lap.

My first lap time was 48:35 (stop-watch) and my odometer reading was 19.0 km. This odo reading was surprising because my road bike cyclometer (Sigma) reads about 19.5 km. for the same distance. When programming the Coker cyclometer, I used the common roll-out value 2800 mm. For the sake of simplicity, I will assume the value of 19 km for the distance of the SLP loop.
48.583 minutes/19 km = 23.465 kph average = 14.58 mph average

Second lap
After ten minutes of fueling and drinking by car-side, I donned my messenger bag (which felt just right despite the weight!) and set out again, same counter-clockwise direction, at about 11:30. On this lap I noticed the disagreeableness of the winds. Owing to the shape of the SLP loop (not round), each leg was at some odd angle to the relatively strong winds (15–20 mph - AOL Weather) – hence there were no significant stretches with a direct tail or head-wind. Otherwise it was an uneventful loop. I did not need to dismount for traffic at all.
47:55 (stop-watch )
47.917 minutes/19 km = 23.79 kph average = 14.78 mph average

Third lap
Departure was at 12:30 pm after fueling. This was another uneventful circuit without needing to dismount. On this lap I reached my highest Maximum speed of the day – 29.9 kph (18.58 mph).
48.083 minutes/19 km = 23.71 kph average = 14.73 mph average

Fourth lap
My 17 y.o. cousin-in-law from Des Moines (Nate) was visiting Minneapolis and had brought his Coker so that he could ride a bit with me (I got him started with unicycling and provided him with a Coker). His timing was perfect because I was ready for a soft circuit! Despite my strong recommendation that he swap the stock cranks with 127’s, he had not done so. The contrast between my 89’s and his 150’s was comical. Nate’s previous longest ride was seven miles, so one circuit with me was a challenge for him. We conversed, rode slowly and walked a couple short stretches. Nate was very cold but happy with his 11.8 mile ride. It was at this point that I tried to take some digital images only to find the camera battery too weak due to the cold and a low charge condition (it’s on the charger now!).
80.333 minutes/19 km = 14.19 kph average = 8.82 mph average

Fifth lap
After Nate headed home, I departed again at about 3:10 pm. Over the course of this lap, I felt sluggish but forced myself to keep a pace about the same as the first three circuits. The slow lap 4 did not have a rejuvenating effect. I could tell that I wasn’t at my former pace. At a randomly chosen split point, which was at the 30ish minute point, I was about one minute off pace.
50.417 minutes/19 km = 22.61 kph average = 14.05 mph average

Cool down
When I arrived at my car at 4:03 pm, I had a total mileage reading of 94.9 km. I couldn’t bring myself to make another round of the SLP loop but wanted to make a ‘metric century’. So at 4:10 pm, I headed off on a different trail (Midtown Greenway), into a headwind for another 4.7 km (when I’d had enough!), whereupon I turned and took a fast tail-wind right back to the car at 4:30 pm.
9.4 km in 26:20
26.333 minutes/9.4 km = 21.42 kph average = 13.31 mph average

Total day mileage – 104.31 km = 64.82 miles
Total elapsed time – 6 hours
Total riding time – 5 hours, 6.5 minutes

So far, so good. It was gratifying to record the second two averages greater than the first. It was also nice that lap four, after the out-lier (lap three) was as fast as it was.
Tomorrow is a new day!
Still needing teammate/s!!

Day 2, part 1

Qualifying ride write-up Dan Hansen Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
November 11, 2007 – Day 2 (Sunday)
Stock Coker, Viscount saddle, Dingman handle, 89 mm crankarms, 45 psi
This morning I felt very good, only slightly stiff in the quadriceps. Two hours before departure, I fried three eggs, prepared a ‘Heart Healthy’ serving of Quaker Oats and a 16 oz. skim milk tea – and ate my breakfast. This is a breakfasting formula that I have used for a few years when prepping for a tough day of exercise. I decided last night that, despite the boredom of the SLP loop, that I would revisit the same circuit so to get better baseline training data.
Three circuits of the SLP loop is about 57 km (35 ½ miles). This distance is roughly one third of any given day of the Lobster tour. So, today I used a Camelback M.U.L.E. so that I would not have to stop for hydration for my first three circuits. This seems like a natural next test to determine my current average speed, in race mode. Though I don’t have cadence data (my Cat Eye Cadence does not provide average cadence and the digits are so small that I cannot safely read them while riding), it is my sense that average speed is strongly limited for me by safe spinning rate (duh! – buying a Schlumpf soon!).
So today, I am most interested to see what effect the ten-minute breaks of yesterday had on average speed.
Laps 1-3
With sunny, relatively calm weather in the mid-40’s (7-8 degree Celsius), I set out again on the same path from the same starting point at 9:30 am this morning. To shake things up just a bit (to help alleviate boredom!), I headed out in a clockwise direction. I felt very good right away and though I thought I was starting slow, at my split time spot (about 18 minutes from start), I was 5 seconds ahead of yesterdays best split. Over the course of the three circuits, I dismounted only one time for about five seconds while going over some trail/bridge construction (a touch of Muni action for about 30 m of each circuit). I listened to my IPod (The Bad Plus, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Mastodon, Between the Buried and Me and some good old fashioned Neil Young – in that order of importance), and had one 10 minute conversation with a bicyclist.
Following are my split and finishing times over this 19 km circuit. I was very pleased with the results and now feel springy, in high spirits and ready to go again (Good thing - I’ll go out tonight to finish the distance required for the rating system). I have an engagement this afternoon which prevented me from completing the required distance in one go.
Departure 9:30 – Finish 11:54
Lap 1 – 47:55 Lap 2 – 1:35:45 Lap 3 (total time) – 2:24:18
Total distance – 56.72 km = 35.24 miles
Total Average speed over 56.72 km w/no breaks – 23.58 kph = 14.65 mph
My lap three time was about 40 seconds slower than laps 1 and 2.
I’ll finish my day two report tonight or early tomorrow morning after I do another 20-30k of city riding (for a change – whew!).

Day 2, part 2

Qualifying ride write-up Dan Hansen Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
November 11, 2007 – Day 2 (Sunday), Part 2
Stock Coker, Viscount saddle, Dingman handle, 89 mm crankarms, 32 psi

After nightfall this evening I dropped my tire pressure back down to 32 psi and I headed out from home at 6:50 pm for an extra 20 – 30 km in order to round up to a rating of 150+.

I headed South through NE Minneapolis, through the University of Minnesota campus, across the Mississippi River, Followed SE along the light-rail line (LRT), W on the Midtown Greenway, back N directly through downtown Minneapolis, and back to my neighborhood SNAP Fitness center for an upper-bod workout.

I was expecting a significantly lower average kph – reasoning this of all the technical maneuvering and car dodging in city riding. The ride was faster than I thought it would be though (probably owing, in large part, to the >50% trip tailwind and a few fast straight-aways.

For me, the 89 mm crankarms (which I used for this whole qualifying ride) are just fine for judicious Minneapolis riding. This was a great surprise to me when I changed them from 102’s last week. The difference in performance between 89’s and 102’s is not nearly as great as I had expected.

1:03:44/22.68 km

63.73 minutes/22.68 km = 21.35 kph = 13.27 mph

After 30 – 40 minutes at the gym, I headed into the wind for a leisurely 5.1 km ride home for a grand total for the day of 84.53 km (= 52.52 miles).