Friday, April 22, 2011

Quarq Power Camp - Black Hills, SD

Durango Camp is sold out, next up is the amazing Quarq Power Camp, Black Hills SD!!!!

Come ride with Hunter Allen and Jim Meyer and our special guest BEN DAY from Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder.  Ben recently won the San Dimas Stage Race in Southern California for the third year in-a-row and was VeloNews' 2010 US Domestic Stage Racer of the Year. Check out the details of the camp here


Ben Day:

Spearfish, South Dakota has some incredible riding, beautiful mountains and rolling hills. I can’t imagine that people would find a lot of reason to visit this part of the world, so I consider myself privileged and enriched to have spent a few days in this little unknown mecca. Out on the road, Hunter had us all perform several field tests – 20 minute efforts, 5 minute efforts, big gear sprints, small gear sprints and race simulations using the Quarq PMs. This mix of Fly V riders aren’t exactly the team sprinters and we did our best trying to look like pro cyclists whilst flailing on the bike to outsprint each other, with some harsh sledging words and some obvious dirty tactics. We were integrated into this group of riders who all cycle for different reasons, but for all whom cycling is something of joy. Getting this perspective was something I certainly appreciated and many friendships were formed. After the training sessions we were treated to a tour of the Quarq factory headquarters where Jim Meyer is ready to take the world by storm. 

Even though I like training data and stuff, I think engineers do become a little strange and foreign at times and a few of the machines in there had me at a loss. But it is this brilliance that has enabled the birth of the Quarq Power Meter which all the camp participants used throughout the 4 days of the camp. The Quarq was great, working flawlessly on my machine and I am going to be using this power meter into the future now. It doesn't give up anything to it’s competition, except for the current requirement of needing to use a crank with a removable spider (eliminating Shimano and Campagnolo cranks) but thankfully there are some great cranks that can be used on any groupset that you use. The unit is lightweight, accurate, easy to use and service, half the price of other crank-based power meters and most importantly, the customer service is second to none with Mieke Meyer personally handling the phone lines. ☺ I also saw what I think may be the world’s biggest puppy, Newton, a Great Dane, who wanted to go head to head with Nate. It’s a little disconcerting when a dog can completely engulf your arm with his mouth in just a playful bite! 

Hunter Allen, founder of Peaks Coaching Group, gathered everyone together to give some lectures on how to interpret their training data that they had compiled. It’s amazing what direction you can gain with power meter figures and using TrainingPeaks software as your strengths and weaknesses are immediately highlighted. Hunter explained to us how they came up with the Training Stress Score, Intensity Factor and the Performance Management Chart, finally a way to quantify your form, which is an incredibly powerful tool. Whilst coaching is still an art form, this really brings the science into a lot more practical sense and the necessary training adaptations can then be planned for the athlete to improve. It is quite amazing what this little Quarq Power Meter can do for us.

The final official day of the camp was spent riding through the black hills with a final climb up to Mt Rushmore. I must say that it was one of the most beautiful rides that I had ever done in my life. 6 hours through undulating terrain with grassy green mountains, incredible rock formations (natural ones too this time!), wild buffalo herds, donkeys and a cool spiral descent that caught me a little bit by surprise. To all of my new friends from the camp: I hope that you guys continue to enjoy your riding, setting yourselves goals and achieving them and having the wind in your hair in the process.

Ben Day
twitter: benday7

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