Sunday, June 17, 2012


     It started yesterday.  Once again, due to lack of riding Monday-Thursday, I felt the need to cycle the weekend.  Friday I did hill work.  Saturday came the University (32 miles) ride.  Also on Saturday, my chain started acting up, jumping a gear unexpectedly.  More precisely, just going up or down a cog, then coming back to the original.  I played with the cable tension, inspected the chain and the quick link (finding them suspiciously flexible sideways), and the cogs.  It seemed better, but I determined that my Sunday ride would have me taking the hills seated.
     Also, my Saturday ride clued me in that there would be no resting my back in the aero position, as I had removed the aerobars in anticipation of riding the Georgia mountains.  So, here is Sunday's recap, short and sweet: my legs were dead from the start, no push; no aero position; a jumping chain (on the middle cogs); and super high humidity.  I can't remember the last time sweat rolled off my chin (yes, it was sweat) like a dripping faucet.  The wind today decided not to be a factor.  I was pleasantly surprised to only come in ten minutes slow.
     I'm reconsidering the aerobars for the mountains.  Even if not useful going up and down, the transition miles would certainly help my recovery and back.  Oh, and I'll be at the bike shop first thing in the morning.

Friday, June 15, 2012


     This is more of a big deal than most folks think.  I joke that I wash my bike twice a year whether it needs it or not.  This is not far from the truth.  It's titanium.  Only if I get caught unexpectedly does it go out in wet weather.  I lot of the time I use my Camelbak, thus avoiding sticky crud on the down tubes.  Therefore, before big races (not time-trials, my tt bike has never been washed), I'll spruce it up a bit and take off the bottle brackets and tt bars.  This year my big race was in February.  But soon we'll be in the North Georgia mountains, and I will start with a clean bike.
     I'll also have new tires.  Up until last year I would get a new set of Continental 4000s at the beginning of each race season.  After seeing the treadwear marks on my tires, I skipped new ones last year, but didn't want to be swooping around the curves of Wolf Pen Gap on old ones this year.  I also purchased a tool to remove my quick link on the chain.  When they first came out, I had no problem getting them off by hand.  I suspect they are new and improved, because there is no movement at all with my fingers.  Easily removed with minor pressure with the tool.
     Anyhow, I use my carwash liquid, which works quite well in removing the crud and leaving the metal bright and shiny.  Simple green and a stiff brush left the chain bright and shiny.  I actually washed the old tires while still on the wheels, so I could inspect just how worn they were.  Truthfully, I could have gone another year on them, were it not for a rip in the bottom of the rear one.  Had we been short on cash, I would have put a dab of duct tape on the inside and switched it to the front.  Besides, with urging from my friend Barry, and a few articles in Velonews, I experimented with 25mm tires, up from the 23s I've been on for years.
     The bike wash was Monday and today was the first ride on my clean bike, freshly lubed chain, and new tires.  Hot, humid, windy weather deterred any great times or speed, other than at the bottom of one hill where I usually can take the corner (merging onto Loop 360) 24-26mph. I had no difficulties leaning a bit and seeing 28.4.  Once again, the humidity zapped me, and after struggling up Courtyard, had to skip Jester.  I won't worry about it unless I return from Georgia and am still unable to do both.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


     I don't like riding on Saturdays.  Being retired, I can ride during the week.  I don't have to ride on the weekend.  However, this past Saturday I did my "University" ride, 31 miles.  I did it because on Wednesday in doing my hill ride, I hit the highest heart-rate in two-plus years, 166.  I felt I needed a day off, and it turned into two.  So, with the weather almost perfect, I took advantage and started out about 8:15am.
     My FB posting describes it quite succinctly: Fastest time, highest average speed, highest average RPMs, EVER.  Of course, the wind always plays a part, and in this case, it proved to be negligible.  For whatever reason, I held a high cadence the whole way (it is an out-and-back, mostly east-west).  My average jumped from 70-71 to 76.  Don't let the number fool you, this includes coasting downhill, going uphill in the big ring, and waiting at red lights.  Most of my time was spent in the mid-80s. My glutes screamed at me all afternoon, finally subsiding after ingestion of aspirin.
     I know from years of looking at my stats, high rpms are good.  But you need good energy to keep it up for a whole ride.  This was one of those days.
     Not to be confused with my Sunday ride.  One of the reasons for taking Saturday off is to be rested for my Sunday morning (like starting 10 minutes before daylight, or 30 minutes before official sunrise) 360 Loop ride.  This 42 mile ride has 18 (or 24, depending on definitions) climbs, 6 of which I'd call significant.  My plan to continue glute punishment never materialized, in view of the stiff wind in my face for the first 75 minutes.  Nevertheless, I had fun, my time average, and my legs were not impaired by the previous day's activity.
Generally speaking, the strength and endurance now exhibited, I expected two months ago.  Let me rephrase that.  I hoped for.  Indeed, cycling is very honest: if you put in the miles, you will get the results.  I just need to get in the miles.  Shouldn't be a problem getting miles now, since a cycling vacation in the mountains of North Georgia is looming on the horizon.