A Trainingpeaks and Strava companion for “Draft Animals”

Since the book came out, some folks are digging through my Strava, so I’ve been getting Kudos for a handful of old rides and races I wrote about. I thought that would be a cool thing to highlight, so I went through them myself. If you got the book for Christmas, this might be a fun reference (no spoilers, except this: I retired).

During my pros days, I didn’t actually use Strava, so most of these are mined through and downloaded from my Trainingpeaks years later and therefore have very few kudos (I might be on a lifelong quest for external validation as a result of my childhood, but to clarify, this not a solicitation for kudos on old rides.) I wrote the titles and notes on those for me and my coach with no audience in mind, but I did use them as training logs a lot to jog my memory when I was writing.

Early years with Kenda Pro Cycling:

To summarize the nomadic era where I’m trying to get my shit together and failing, you can see stuff like January 2011, where I’m trying to train in Baltimore, and then I gave up and drove to Georgia, leaving my perfectly-nice girlfriend because I was 25 and I could make more watts in warm weather. One month in 2011, for some reason I’m in Athens, GA, San Diego, and Taiwan over a few weeks. I won some local races but overall that was my worst year, and I do blame Baltimore winter.

I can’t find the files from winning Redlands in 2012, and then there’s very few races that because my team folded. I also don’t have files for the Tour of Trinidad, where the book opens.

My training logs have some notes, like this from the last stage of Redlands from then-coach Colby Pearce:
“Extra cookie if you keep the jersey today”
It was my first big win. As I recall, I also had a pizza. And beers.

My note from a stage in Trinidad:
“Last climb would have been a good finish for me if I hadn’t been on the front all day. Luckily I don’t care.”

I signed my contract for BISSELL and trained like a madman to make sure the 2013 season went better. Here’s one I did in Dahlonega: 6 hours, 5500 KJs, 13ft of climbing, which I made no notes on, and just named Chugachugachugachuga.I’m quite sure that my then-coach and always-friend Matt Koschara understood. There were lots of these rides. It was a good winter.

https://www.strava.com/activities/212634730

2013 with BISSELL:
Riding with Tom Danielson in Tucson:
https://www.strava.com/activities/212628228

The time I accidentally rode from the desert up to Big Bear on hiking trails and I thought I was going to die in the wilderness
https://www.strava.com/activities/212624910

Here’s where all that hard work starts to pay off, where I smash the time trial in San Dimas. (The next day is where I crashed on my head and left in a helicopter. That file is not uploaded).

https://www.strava.com/activities/212623115/

I managed to get my WorldTour contract anyway, and you can see most of the “Tour de Phil” in September

2014 with Garmin-Sharp:

Stage I won at the Tour of San Luis:
https://www.strava.com/activities/212596086

The last day of USA Pro Challenge in Colorado in 2014, where I didn’t get a result, but I still look back on that as the best ride of my life. After two weeks (Utah and Colorado) of throwing down for teammates and climbing better than I ever had, I controlled a breakaway, made fun of whichever Schleck was annoying me that day, and Alex Howes got a stage win that brings a tear to my eye even now as I write this.

https://www.strava.com/activities/212584986

Then you can see the very next day, where we flew to Kansas super early for a sponsor event, and I’d afterpartied so hard I was getting dropped by guys in t-shirts

https://www.strava.com/activities/212584946

My last race in 2014 was Japan Cup, a big turning point in the book.

Japan cup: https://www.strava.com/activities/212582157

2015 with Optum:

This is when we climbed Gibraltar during training camp with Optum. It’s the day that I learned that Mike “Rusty” Woods was destined for some things, and I remember telling coach Frank Overton that my days were numbered as team leader.
https://www.strava.com/activities/249883855

Here’s San Dimas where I fucked up a race I’d won a bunch of times because external shit was going on and I wasn’t focused. The notes there were for Frank and still bum me out.
https://www.strava.com/activities/1326746753

Here’s the Oak Glen stage I won a few weeks after, which I found and uploaded over a year later, called it “Oldie but Goodie,” and immediately got a sarcastically angry text message from hero Gavin Mannion.

https://www.strava.com/activities/785993880

2016 with Cannondale-Drapac:

Criterium International: this was one of the best race results I ever had (11th overall). For sure my best ride in Europe. Oh well.

https://www.strava.com/activities/528539171 

Roubaix (uploaded today)

https://www.strava.com/activities/1326713885

Gibraltar from Tour of California, where I think I did some of the best 5-20 min power of my life working for Lawson and Talansky:

https://www.strava.com/activities/583748023