FTP: One

Got out the Argonaut “space bike” last night with the new Garmin Vector pedals and rolled out for a warm-up and a 20-minute functional threshold power (FTP) test–my first one.

While I would have preferred a good, long, flat course, I made do with the vagaries of the neighborhood 2.5-mile loop and the unseasonably cool wind that whipped through the neighborhood ahead of the cool front moving through. No rain, just clouds and wind.

The warm-up was uneventful, excepting a bit of trepidation about the coming effort. In the past, I have never felt REALLY good about sustained efforts on the bike. I started too fast and faded, or I started too slow and never felt like I went ALL OUT. Time-trialing was never my forte. (Heck, NOTHING was really my forte.)

The ride was pretty good. I started out and felt like I maintained a good pedaling effort. Fat and slow is the way to go, right? Maintaining power on the one real downhill was a pain, but I figured the subsequent uphill and the time out of the saddle made up for it in the average. “Just keep pedaling” was the mantra of the day, and generally, I did.

So now, I know just HOW FAT and HOW SLOW I really am. And believe me, I am BOTH.

18.6 mph over 20 minutes, yielding an FTP of 151 watts. That translates to a whopping 1.36 watts per kg. A reasonably-competent Cat 4 is around 3.5 W/kg. I have a LONG way to go.

And I LOOK IT, too:

Yes, I WOULD like an ambulance, please.

Yes, I WOULD like an ambulance, please.

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