Monday, August 16, 2010


I skipped my Sunday ride yesterday and allowed my knees to lessen their whining. I also cut the grass, which had been neglected in the run-up to the competition, and a few other household chores. A lot of my down-time was spent grousing over not recognizing the lack of cadence display before my race.
The plan to increase speed this year focused on increasing my rpm. Because I could only perceive that my strokes were in the 85-90 range, I don't really know if I reached my goal. Back to the practice course and continue increasing rpm until I'm comfortable at 90-92 and wait until the Senior Games in October to see how that turns out.
Another change, in the actual races, I haven't been paying much attention to the computer, using it mostly for post-race assessment. In the future, I'll re-configure the display to make cadence prominent, and monitor and adjust during the exercise.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


I participate in two sets of TT championships: USAC and Senior Games. The USAC distance is 20k, and Senior Games have 10k and 5k distances. Today the USAC championships were held in Floresville, Tx. Once again, I managed to put together a sterling performance, good enough to garner a silver medal. Since I was 50 seconds behind first place, there are no recriminations as to what I could have done to shave time.
Last October I posted remarks about how my 10k speed was faster than my 5k and how my heart-rate couldn't seem to get high enough in the 5k, due to improper warm-up. So I was very pleased with my chart today. I spent 15 seconds in zone 1; 8 seconds in each of zone 2 and 3, 9 minutes in zone 4 and 26:18 in zone 5. Average heart rate came in at 150, with a high of 158. My zone 5 starts at 150 bpm.
The course in Floresville had some hills. When I practiced it two weeks ago and again yesterday, I used my Roark and rode in the afternoon. The amount of time in the small chain-ring disturbed me, in that I try not to use it at all. This morning, without too much wind or heat (but lots of humidity), I pushed up the hills in the big ring, mostly keeping my tuck. Average speed came in at 22.7, top at 31.7.
My cadence was high, but I can't give you any data because I washed the bike. In washing the bike, the cadence counter moved and I didn't notice it. It felt like 85 rpm, except when I was in the 11 with the speed at 31 mph. I was trying to get my breath, so just eased down the hill.
Karen did a great job in getting my energy to flow as it should have. Some pooh-pooh acupuncture, however I am able to have 100% output when I receive a treatment before a race.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


I'm sure this happens to other people also. I know it's my own fault, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! But that doesn't mean I have to like it. This is a continuing story, more or less picked up where we left off last week. But I must give a bit of history.
The tube on my time-trial bike was losing air, just a little at a time. These are Zipp wheels with extenders, thus you ride with the valve stems open. I figured it was the open valve stem, so rather than toss the tube, I put it in the Camelbak for a spare. This is the tube I used last week when I again had to change out and patch the tube with the wire in it. It worked well for the week, but last night when I was getting the bike ready for this morning's ride, the tire felt very low. No problem, I got out my Silca pump and aired it back up to 120 pounds.
Unfortunately, the valve grabbed the pump and wouldn't let go. The force required to extract the pump from the valve was the same amount it took to release the valve stem from the tube. Dang! This is why I air my tires the night before. Tube changing without time pressure. I secured the previous tube, now patched, and in record time had it switched out, aired up, on the bike and ready to go.
At 4:45am I dragged out of bed and downstairs to take my thyroid medication (necessary 1 hour prior to eating). Most of the time I tumble back to bed or in the recliner, but this morning I wandered out to the garage and checked the tire. Flat! That patch really didn't look right, but seemed to be holding last night. Ok, pull the bike out of the car, pull the rear wheel, pull another tube from the hook. This tube is at least a year, maybe two, old and also has a patch. But I had used it with the patch and knew it held.
Again, the tube switching went well, and I aired the tire. Around 80 pounds I heard a hissing sound and knew there were no snakes in the house. Pook, ding foo! (familiar expletive to fans of Thoroughly Modern Millie) Defective valve. It's not like I don't have new tubes. One is residing in my saddle pack, and I got it out and made another easy tube change (are you keeping track of the tubes?). Easily aired, back on the bike, back in the car.
Ah, now I have no spares in the saddle pack. Last year I purchased the correct size tube, but it is so thick it looks like a monster compared to the others. I keep it in the car in case one of my friends has a need. Reluctantly, but of necessity, this was transferred to the saddle pack.
The rest of the morning went well, the ride went well. The bike shop supplied two additional tubes. One went into the saddle pack, the other in a drawer in the garage. The thick one returned to the car for emergencies.