WIENS RESPONDS TO TWITTER QUESTIONS

A week ago, we asked you, the followers of Ergon on Twitter, to send over any questions you might have for Dave Wiens.  Well, we compiled them for a few days and sent them off to Dave and asked him to answer what he could.  Below is what he sent us back.  Enjoy!  I know we did!

Dave Wiens, 2009 Leadville 100

@LWCoaching Hey Dave – Do your boys like riding as much as you do? They look cute and manic, just like my 9yr old.

DW Funny thing, none of my kids are over the top about riding bikes. They all ride and enjoy it, but it’s nothing special. Maybe that’s how it is for some kids when you have something like mountain biking available to you from the get-go, rather than the way most of us came across the sport later in life. Is your 9-year-old an avid rider?

@Evomo Hi Dave, so how important is Bacon and Whiskey to your training?

DW Bacon is more important than whiskey for me. Bacon is one of the four food groups and we’re supposed to partake equally from each if I remember my race nutrition studies from a few years back correctly. As for whiskey, I did do a shot of Wild Turkey a few weeks ago but I was simply in the right place at the right time.

@Evomo Yo Dave, what do like to eat before, during and after a long training/fun ride?

DW
Before:
I’m a big pancake kind of guy. I like them pretty eggy, with lots of whole grains – oatmeal, corn meal, 7-grain, buckwheat, whatever; fresh blueberries or other fruit in a pinch; peanut butter (or sunflower butter); yogurt and maple syrup, real or otherwise.
During: I usually just bring along a PowerBar but only eat it if I have to. Right or wrong, I usually don’t eat while I train unless I need it; and sometimes, I need it!
After:
If I’m not blown when I get home, I’ll eat a sensible meal: dagwood style sandwich, pasta, etc. If I’m totally blown, though, look out. I’ll just start horking down anything sweet I can get my hands on, usually crap. Cookies, brownies, pop, candy bars; whatever I can find that I can put in my mouth right then.

@Evomo Dave, considering you live at altitude in clean air, how would you perform in a race in LA with our bad air and smog.

DW I grew up riding my bike in Denver (and still train out of there periodically), and while the Queen City of the Plains is no LA, it’s always had its share of “Red Flag” pollution days. I wouldn’t be affected by the smog. I wouldn’t be stoked about riding hard in it but I think I’d do alright. I would miss the altitude, however. I like racing at altitude.

@Evomo Dave, what do you think about when racing Leadville? If it were me, I wish I had 2 chamois and my Whiskey flask in my Ergon BD1.

DW Each Leadville is a bit different. It’s usually (2009 was an exception) pretty mellow to Twin Lakes then from there on I’m in time trial mode. Some years I have felt pretty good most of the way, other years it has really been a struggle. Either way, in my mind I just continue to tick off the various parts of the course, the Powerline climb, St. Kevin’s and the Boulevard being the biggies.

@mark60amp What do you do for a little cross training diversion to stay fresh during the winter?

DW Late fall and winter training for me consists of skiing, hockey, weights and stretching. I put my bikes away completely once there’s too much snow to ride trails. The last few years this has happened right around December 1st. Skiing is central to our winters and we’ll do all different kinds as preparation for the Elk Mountain Traverse (we call it the GT for Grand Traverse). The GT is a backcountry ski race from Crested Butte to Aspen that happens toward the end of March. While I’m pretty much a solitary mountain biker, much of the skiing I do will be in the company of a tight group of like-minded friends from Gunnison and Crested Butte. Plenty of solo mission, too, but lots of skiing with this hardy bunch, most of whom are also training for the GT.

At the top of my list is alpine skiing at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. That mountain has tons of steep, challenging terrain that never fails to get my attention. Crested Butte provides plenty of opportunities for hiking and skating in addition to great skiing. This makes an alpine day at Crested Butte its own kind of killer workout, certainly one of my favorites. Additionally, before the mountain opens in the morning, we often skin up to the top on alpine touring (AT) gear. Two laps and you’ve climbed close to 5,000 vertical feet before 9am. I’ll try to do some Rando Racing (aka ski mountaineering), also. Last year I did three races in good friend Pete Swenson’s COSMIC Series: Sunlight, Crested Butte and Monarch. Think XC mountain bike racing on skis. I can taste my lungs just thinking about it!

Then, there’s also Nordic skiing on groomed track. I typically skate ski although I get out for an occasional classic ski, too. I’ll do a skate ski race or two at the CB Nordic Center, including the classic Alley Loop. If we get good snow, we also have skate track set out at Hartman Rocks, our local mountain biking area. This is where The Original Growler 64-mile mountain bike race takes place in May and it’s great skiing. Not many trees to speak of, just big blue skies in the high-desert with crazy granite rock formations, sparse junipers and lots of sage brush.

We also do a lot of what we call “skin tours.” Skin tours are backcountry ski tours on AT gear or lightweight Nordic gear. Not backcountry skiing per se, I avoid the whole avalanche thing like the plague; skin tours are similar to epic backcountry mountain bike rides. And no real plan to all of this skiing, just doing whatever has the best snow at the time. If we’re in a snow cycle, we’re likely up on the hill at CB; if it’s been dry, the Nordic tracks are fast and there’s less trail to break touring.

Along with the skiing is town league and beer league hockey. I just started playing hockey a few years ago but I can’t imagine winter now without it. The games are late so I’m not missing out on anything other than sleep; I really enjoy the team aspect; and the game is very intense. Think about it: you get all padded up, you have a helmet with a cage over your face and you have a stick in your hand. That’s essentially a recipe for combat! And can you say intervals? I’m totally tapped after every shift. It’s also one of the only physical things I do that doesn’t have a vertical or climbing element to it; just a flat piece of ice. I’m also not very good at it so it’s fun to work to try to get better.

Stretching and weights are also prevalent in my winter. I try to stay up on both of them year round but inevitably, I’ll fall off occasionally for various reasons. I have lifted weights and stretched fairly consistently for about twenty years; nothing very sophisticated, just some insurance toward injury prevention and this is more important during the winter as skiing and hockey are much more physical that riding bikes.

For the start of the GT in late March, I have to leave a car in Crested Butte before the race. Two days later my first Gunnison Valley bike ride of the season will be a road ride with Susan up to CB to get the car. That ride signals the start of bike training and the phasing out of skiing and hockey. I often slack on the weights and stretching at that point, too.

@kibail Dave – is your Bronze Medal winning better half getting a crack at Leadville anytime soon?

DW The thought of doing Leadville intrigues Susan but all if have to do is take her out for a three hour ride and she’s over the intrigue. But, you never know….

@yetibetinat If you didn’t live in Colorado, where else in the World would you like to live?

DW Being born and raised in Colorado, I really can’t imagine living anywhere else. I did spend a winter in Jackson Hole back in the mid ‘80’s, though. It would have to be somewhere in the American West.

@ryanva Dave what advice would you give to someone looking to start a career in the cycling industry?

DW I suggest knocking on as many doors as possible in the industry looking for a job. Companies are looking for quality people and all you really need if you are motivated is a foot in the door. Once you are in the industry, though, good luck getting out. It has been likened to the Hotel California. Of course, working in a shop is always a good start, too.

@funrunrobbie What is the toughest rep or hill session you do for speed work?

DW 20-40’s. Find a consistent hill – on or off-road – that will take at least 4 minutes to climb. Get a good warm-up, start your watch and sprint your guts out for 20 seconds, recover for 40 seconds, then repeat. I like to do 4 reps to a set. I’ll do one or two sets. I like doing them on a long climb where I can do both sets, recovering ten minutes between, while still climbing. Cadel Evan taught me a variation that is 10-20’s; same thing only different but equally hard.

@GarageWW I just wanna know if I can beat you at Leadville?

DW Perhaps. Line up in ’10 and find out.

@Heathercycle Hey Dave will your wife ever do Leadville with you? We need more women out there.

DW Susan will never do Leadville with me because if she did do it, and that’s unlikely, I’d be out there supporting her! My guess is that there will be lots of ladies lining up for the 2010 version. Race Across the Sky opened up lots of eyes as to what is possible, regardless of circumstances, gender, age, etc. Have a great race this year!

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