Monday, November 27, 2017


     As Professor Moody would exclaim: Constant Vigilance!!  It pertains to working on your bike in addition to warding off curses.  As a matter of fact, a recent lapse of vigilance has caused a few curses to escape my lips.
     If you've been keeping up (something I haven't been doing lately, judging by the date of my last post), in an effort to improve and expand my cycling repertoire, I engaged a coach.  Well, every so often, Coach Owen has me do a strength test to check my progress.  That test happened this past Saturday.  This post is not about the ride itself, however.
     The weather forecast for Saturday was ideal: cool weather, slight SW wind, brilliant sunshine.  Feeling somewhat randy, I decided to dust off my time trial bike and see how fast I could go for twenty minutes.  My venue would be Chandler Road which has great asphalt, a wide shoulder, and is generally flat with 1-2% grades.  It is also long enough to go twenty minutes without a stop sign or light.  My plan was to warm up heading east for thirty minutes or so, then speed back to my car. I did that.
     In order to ride my TT bike, I had to change out the left crank, which has my Stages Power Meter.  I am very careful when messing with the crank, and all went well, as did my practice.  This also puts me in my Sidi shoes.  But this was the week-end after Thanksgiving and at our house a beginning of Christmas decorating.  For Thanksgiving we had kids and grandkids (and great grandkids for that matter), so I got old bikes down and aired up the tires in case they wanted to ride the neighborhood instead of visiting with old folks.
     Coach Owen had me scheduled for just an hour of easy riding on Sunday, so I planned to go with the beginner/recovery group on their fifteen mile ride.  My HR barely tops one hundred on this ride.  I also left the TT bike in the car Saturday and began working on Christmas.  Sunday morning I rolled out of bed and staggered through my morning routine.  Pook!  The TT bike doesn't have a bottle holder, so I pulled out my racing Camelbak (kid size) and filled it with water.  For a short ride like this I didn't feel the need for Nuun or Clif Bar.
     It's a half-hour drive to Bicycle Sport Shop (Lamar).  About half-way there I uttered my first expletive.  I had glanced over to the passenger seat where the HR strap was and realized I'd left the computer at home.  Dang!  No data for today.  Well, it's only a recovery ride.
     In the parking lot at BSS I pulled out my bike and propped it up on the side of the car.  Larry had done the same and was airing up his tires.  My road bike has regular tubes, but the TT bike has latex.  For the uninitiated, latex leaks air relatively quickly, so needs to be topped off daily.  I reached into the RAV4 for my floor pump.  Another expletive.  It is still in the garage with the old bikes.  Larry was kind enough to let me use his.
     As ride leader Daniel was going through the pre-ride instructions he mentioned something new: If you have a flat and don't have a way to fix it, you might need to arrange transportation (or words to that effect).  I race time trials.  If I have a flat in a race, changing a tube isn't an option.  Ergo, I have no saddle pack with spares and tools.  And I hadn't changed out the one from the road bike.
     The ride proceeded uneventfully.  At the fifteen mile turn-around, Daniel inquired if anyone would like to extend it to twenty-five.  An additional five miles out on the bikeway.  Five of us did.  Since I wasn't working hard, the extra mileage wouldn't deplete my energy stores.  And, all went well and we returned to the shop in good order.
     So, let's recap: no computer, no saddle pack, no air pump, no energy to ingest.  All of which, had I had my head in the game would have accompanied me.  I'm thankful nothing untoward happened.  And yes, upon returning home I immediately switched out my cranks again, made sure the road bike was prepped for today's (Monday) ride, put the pump back in the car, charged the computer, put Nuun in the water bottle.  When you change your routine, you MUST BE VIGILANT to the changes.