Beta Readers – a double-edged sword

Writer Problems. @Lexi Lee M This looks like the type of comics you make!:

I obsess over the mundane. I can’t decide what to cut, even though I know it needs to be done. I needed help, but I am also wounded, how can I trust to hand over what has been already slashed as garbage?

And so, enters BR Number One, who was willing to chat with me daily, giving instant feedback on what was working and what wasn’t; what made him actually tear up (and that’s hard to do, being it’s a GUY), made him spit out his coffee, or give a belly laugh.

Number One (said in Captain Picard’s voice) is a male triathlete, somewhere in the Midwest. He just barely broke 40 years and has embarked on a journey to participate in an Iron Man this year.  We bonded over the ‘I am the Storm’ quote, as he uses this imagery to overcome his own obstacles in his life.

He finished the book this week and I sent him a bunch of questions about his experience, other than what we’ve already snarked over. I’ll share with you some of his comments:

Q: Was there a point at which you felt the story started to lag or you became less than excited about finding out what was going to happen next?

Mainly when the author continued to hammer me about 7/15. I wanted to punch her in the throat a few times. She promised me she would refrain. She sits on a throne of lies.

Q: Was there enough conflict, tension, and intrigue to keep your interest?

Yes, there was a lot of conflict and tension. Kept my interest but never felt overwhelming. However, there were some spots where I did look at the author over the top of my glasses and said, REALLY?

Q: Was the ending satisfying? Believable?

Yes, love that Loren is beginning to find her way out of the darkness and be able to positively channel her emotions. She’s growing as a character and that felt good. If she wasn’t able to resolve any of that I would have been sorely disappointed.

Q: Do you think the writing style suits the genre? If not, why not?

Honestly, not sure I can answer this. I’ve never read anything in this genre before. I felt the two sides of the story were wonderful. The races were exciting and vivid and the love story was sweet. I do like the author’s writing style even if she is a complete pain in the ass at times and doesn’t always laugh at my jokes.

Betas can be worth their weight in gold and I have been more than blessed with THIS particular one, who has now become a valued friend.  Thank you, JB. 

What’s this thing, “Functional” Threshold Power


I’ve been thinking about FTP more and more as I gear up for a century next weekend. I’m not saying anyone is wrong, just some food for thought

I teach indoor cycling at a big box gym. I have several certifications, most notably training with watts. I am not an aerobics instructor. I don’t teach at SoulCycle or any of that ilk. I teach using sound cycling principles, not push-ups on the handlebars.
The past two weeks I’ve taken my classes through 20-minute functional threshold tests. I’ve done this myself using Trainer Road and Sufferfest and both apps have increased my FTP based on my virtual watts. I’ve also watched many in my virtual communities go as hard as they can for 20 minutes and the apps call it their FTP.  In my education, this is incorrect.
FTP means ‘functional’ threshold power, an estimation of what you can function at for 60 minutes, not 20. It’s not balls to the wall, hard as you can, throw up at the end effort. One of my group called it her ‘forever pace.’ The rate of perceived exertion is 6-7 out of 10 – you’re breathing hard; you can recite a line of Mary Had a Little Lamb but need to take a breath. Train at too high an effort consistently and you will feel the effects of overtraining.
I have this problem myself – I get all jacked up about the numbers and go hard, hard, hard, but only end up feeling like complete carp halfway through the season. I was training at too high an effort when I should be at my ‘forever’ pace.
My FTP on both Trainer Road and Sufferfest is 220w. My indoor FTP on the Keisers at the gym is 240w. Which is right?
It doesn’t matter. 220w on my bike on the trainer feels the same as 240w at the gym: sustainable (rpe 7) for one hour. What matters is that I have a concrete number to work with, just like that evil number on the scale.

#IamtheStorm Excerpt from #Wheeler

21 June
Aviva Women’s Tour, Stage 5
Marlow to Hemel Hempstead, 102.6km

Loren settled into her time trial pace, her head down and hands in the drops. She extended her awareness, taking in the sounds around her: the whistle of air past her ears, the breathing of the other riders around her, the beating of her heart.

From her right, the hum of tires on blacktop became louder, accompanied by a faint clink every time the pedals rotated. That’s Cole with Heather behind her. If I go all out on the climb, neither can keep on me. But do I have enough? She clenched her jaw. I am the storm. I am enough.

Just liked this Pin: Pinterest Inspirational Posters


#Movingon and #Unpublish (ed) – with a little thank you

I thought long and hard about this and have decided to unpublish Wheeler for the time being.  Even with the newest version being the best I can put out, it’s still not 100% and I fully regret putting a shitty product out there.  Not that it was truly shit.. but still.

I’m won’t be quitting the blog, not that I have a lot of followers to entertain but it’s a creative outlet that Facebook and Twitter don’t offer.

I also want to say thank you to those who do follow me and have shared in the rollercoaster I’ve been on for the past six months. It’s been a strange existence, becoming a writer and I thank you for coming along.



Glimpse of Wheeler – One Fire Burns the Other’s Burning


29 September

“It hurts to be away from you,” he said, his voice cracking. “Everything that’s happened seems so distant, and then suddenly it’s like it was yesterday.”
Loren put the bowl down. “I know. I think it’s because we finally have a minute to think.”
“Yah.” He breathed deeply. “I will be with you tomorrow night. I don’t know what time, but I will be there tomorrow night.”
“Okay.” She smiled but then saw time on the screen. “It’s almost 2. I’m sure Ron’s pulling his hair out waiting for you.” Graham dropped his head and chuckled, then held her gaze for a long moment. She smirked. “You’re giving me the smolder.”
He ran his hand over his face. “How can I tell you what’s in my heart when you keep interrupting me?”
She tucked her lip in her teeth. “Go, before I don’t let you.” He winked at her and disconnected.
She sat for a moment and analyzed her state of mind. I’m sad but I’m in control again. What’s so different? He’s in the same state? She shook her head. New York State and New York City are like completely different countries. Loren sat back into the chair with a long exhale. My head doesn’t hurt.

‘Lighting Up a Very Dark Place for Ellen Watters’ Colavita-Bianchi Pro Cycling

via Colavita-Bianchi Pro Cycling on Instagram: “No words can express the sadness we all feel regarding the loss of this exceptional human being. Ellen left us all way too early, but it will be our mission this year to carry her vibrant zeal for life and passion for the sport of cycling. We will never forget you Ellen. #family#holdtherope”


By Chris Rivera on Facebook:

Friends and Sufferlandrians, this post goes into A Very Dark Place in more ways than one, but I share it because I believe we can bring light and honor to a truly remarkable person that left us too soon: Ellen Watters.
Read on to learn more about Ellen and a special Sufferlandrian challenge to honor her.

Ellen was a rising star in Canadian cycling and had recently been signed to the professional American team, Team Colavita/Bianchi. She passed away on Wednesday from critical injuries after a car hit her on December 23. (Photo tribute from Team Colavita:

Ellen was a genuinely wonderful, inspirational person and athlete, and she brought joy and light to the lives of everyone she met. That is a common theme I observed from people sharing their condolences: many people describe her as being a bright shining light in their lives. One of my friends said this about Ellen: she was “a kindred spirit who had an ability to bring out an enthusiasm, ease, and sense of fun otherwise generally latent and often forgotten in myself nowadays.”
In other words, Ellen was an igniter of sorts, and the very best kind. (More on that thought in a moment)

(For more of my thoughts and tribute, see my post here:;
for one of the articles about Ellen and the fatal crash, see…/new-bruns…/ellen-watters-death-1.3914004)

I felt inspired to honor Ellen yesterday with a Sufferfest dedicated to the person she was: someone who brought light to others and could ignite the wonderful warmth of their personalities just by being herself.

I present to you: LIGHTING UP A VERY DARK PLACE, A Tribute to Ellen Watters

For anyone that would like to take on the challenge, there are multiple individual ways to be involved (everything is completely voluntary):

1. Complete LIGHTING UP A VERY DARK PLACE as described:
IGNITER at 110% (because the “Light” should be stronger than the “Dark”) immediately followed by A VERY DARK PLACE (100%)
(If you share it on Strava or other social media, be sure to include something to the effect of “A Tribute to Ellen Watters” in the title. You can share any of the article links in this post in your notes, and the link to this Facebook post is or
2. Contribute to the family’s GoFundMe page “Love for Ellen” to help them with the expenses of medical bills and Ellen’s tragic passing:
3. Find a personally meaningful way to be the kind of light to others that Ellen was to everyone she met.

Some notes about this Sufferfest:
It seems easy just looking at it in text, especially if you’re a Tour of Sufferlandria veteran. We’ve encountered worse, right? I warn you that this Sufferfest is deceptive and deserves your full focus and honor; be cautious not to be over-confident. Igniter at 110% accumulates more time above threshold than many other “warm-ups”, and A Very Dark Place by itself at 100% has an Intensity Factor (IF) of 0.97; AVDP puts you within a few lactic acid drops of your all-out limit. I honestly admit that I cracked multiple times doing AVDP last night. I WILL try this again. Are you able to try this with me too and perhaps succeed where I initially did not?

If you believe you have the courage and Honor to attempt the challenge, do it as a genuine Sufferlandrian to honor one of the recently fallen of our cycling community. Let’s do this for Ellen and for all that need us to be a bright shining light for them, just as Ellen happily was for others.

I Gave it All – Aquilo

This glass it breaks,
So delicate it shatters round my feet,
And my hands they bleed,
A stain I’ll always remember,
A stain that stays with me,
But this changes you,
Its harder now we’re breaking,
And I should know its never right for me to say,
That I wanted this,
I know I can’t but I can still recall,

I gave it all
Given up on luck my heads above the dust.

This love you broke,
Come closer darling don’t forget to fake
The smile you had,
You tried so hard to fool yourself instead.

You gave it all,
Given up on luck your heads above the dust.
You gave it all,
I waited by the other side my friend,
I’ve waited by the other side my friend.

You’ll find it funny when you’re looking back some day.
The love you know
The love you know

You gave it all,
Given up on luck your heads above the dust,
You gave it all,
I waited by the other side my friend.