Seattle is Frozen

I spoke with half a dozen people in Los Angeles, and a couple people in Honolulu today. In both of those places it’s warm, but in Seattle, we’re experiencing what Brian explained to be, "a low pressure front that stopped, so all the cold air sank."  He works in atmospheric science, so that’s his way of saying "BRRR!!!".

The other thing we discussed tonight is the fact that we have both been to parties fewer times than we’ve played board games the past couple months. Again, I blame it on the weather. (Though for lack of a good reason, I’m going to omit justification entirely.)

A majority of my workouts have been indoors lately (again, because of the weather), which isn’t all that bad. I go to Herriott Sports Performance where I get to meet like-minded people coming in throughout the day for personal training, group workouts, and physiological testing (not sure if I’ve image mentioned how much I like HSP lately…). Today I hopped on Todd’s modified spin bike. It’s a normal yellow spin bike – like you would find in any gym – but he’s replaced the standard red plastic handlebars with drop handlebars, complete with Dura Ace STI levers, and bar tape. The big difference, however, is that the cranks have been replaced with Power Cranks, which are a neurological nightmare if you don’t have a naturally perfect pedal stroke. The two crank arms more independently. That is, you could pedal with your feet 180 degrees apart, or side-by-side. Your right leg can move faster than your left, or you could even pedal forward with one leg and backward with the other (though it wouldn’t help you get anywhere).  The first time I hopped on I didn’t last more than a couple minutes. The next time I put in 15 minutes, with a few breaks, and today I did three 15 minute pieces with a set on the Vasa Swim Trainer in between. Afterwards I put my bike on the rollers and could instantly feel the difference in my pedal stroke. The Vasa Trainer helps too (it’s a bench that slides up to let you strengthen your swim stroke), though when I got in the water today all I noticed were knots in my lats from using the trainer.

This weekend I’m getting in Lake Washington for the first time this year. The water broke 50 degrees briefly last week, but has since dropped back into the 49 range (did I mention it’s cold?). Luckily Chris Tremonte and I both have neoprene skull caps and booties. Plus it will be daylight out, which is a step up from the last time we swam in the lake last November.

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

Join the Conversation


  1. It is snowing today, yesterday it was 50, I don’t want to hear about weather issues. I have been outside 3 times on my bike in 2 months and that has all been in the last week.

  2. If you can see the improvemnet from the powercranks why the fork aren’t they your permanent training cranks on your road bike?

  3. It was 75 as I drove through LA yesterday – I got to enjoy it because in LA you drive 4-6mph at best on the highway. It’s not 75 in Oceanside, it’s like Seattle right now – overcast and 50. Luckily bikini weather rolls in around 11am. Power Cranks are evil.

  4. Mark – What I meant by “I could tell the difference” is that my pedal stroke on normal cranks was more fluid. The power cranks amplify any dead spots in your pedal stroke and force you to use muscles that you normally may not use. When you apply it back to your normal cranks it makes a big difference. On the other hand, I can barely ride easy with the cranks for 15 minutes, so even if I had a bike just for training, it would be a bit silly to throw them on just yet.

    As an update, my calves and ankles are super sore from those 3×15 minutes with the power cranks yesterday. I probably should have limited it to 2×15 min.

  5. Ben

    Thanks for the reply. What you’re experiencing is normal for new PC users but it goes a whole lot more quickly and with less pain if you use PCs for training and commuting.

    PCs are easier to use on the road than on a trainer, i.e., less chance to coast and/or relax on the trainer.

    Anyway, watch the videos on the powercranks website, especially the Rob Goldfoos one, and good luck.

  6. oh poor ben (and soda) in the cold! bleh.

    my life is rough too, i have only been able to wear flipflops and shorts and tanktops and i have been riding without warmers or even an undershirt.
    gloat gloat gloat.

    however the pollution down here in san dimas is f’ing nasty. i can’t wait to go to SANTA MONICA for ALL NEXT WEEK.
    gloat gloat gloat.

    also i have a perfect pedalstroke.

    have a great weekend!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *