Wednesday, March 5, 2008

New Kid, Mechanics & Set-up

Well, the ride with the new guy on Monday wasn’t too bad. He’s a strong rider or I was just really tired. I vote for the latter. Good grief! This guy is really young! 24yo and really tall. Probably about 6’4” and skinny as a rail. How skinny? Ummm, like a Rasmussen type of skinny! Seriously – he can’t weigh much more than 165-170 pounds. We rode up to Falls Lake, near Blue Jay Point and then back down Six Forks/Strickland to the start point. It was a good ride, but my legs were not recovered from the mountain ride and every hill burned like crazy. No problem keeping up with him on the flatter sections and I could keep up with him on the hills until the last third, then just blow up.

This kid has the same surge that everyone else I ride with has – as they come to the crest of the climb they just seem to accelerate over the top. The one (of many) thing that I’m not able to do at this time. Damnit. But, it is something that I will start working on more diligently. Must learn to ride more conservatively on the bottom third of the climb, pick it up a bit on the middle third, and on the last third pick up the pace a bit more…practice, practice, practice. Very frustrating – these climbs are.

I finally got around to changing out the 50T chain ring, cassette, and chain on my bike. It appears that there is a piece missing on the old ring – a pin of some type that keeps the chain from coming off to the outside. Doh! The new ring has this pin, old one just has a hole where this pin used to be. It was a farkin’ PITA to get those chain ring bolts out, but I finally did. My hands are so sore this morning and I ruined a shirt last night getting grease on it. Oh well. It was actually sorta fun to do. No other way to learn. The cassette was a breeze to replace. The chain, well, I used the same length as the old one, but I cannot get the Power Link to install correctly. It won’t close completely. I’ll be going to the LBS at lunch to get it fixed and make sure everything is ok before riding this afternoon.

Going to be a tough week…high cadence drills this afternoon, tomorrow will be either 4x6min or 3x8min zone4 intervals (probably should do the 8min ones), then on Friday it’s GASP!!! 5!!!x3min VO2max intervals. 5!!! I’ll probably really suffer with these (no probably to it – I will). But, if you’re not hurting you’re not working hard enough! I figure I need to do these at least once a week and work up to doing more. Or decrease the length and increase the frequency of these.

Oh yea, going to make a few changes to the bike setup after my ride Sunday with Andy & his friends. One of the guys used to coach and he had a couple of suggestions for increasing my power or efficiency on the bike. He seems to think that I need to move the saddle forward about an inch, which will allow me to put more power into the pedal stroke. Suggested, during our ride to scoot forward some on the saddle, but this just wasn’t comfortable – felt too scrunched up. So, will have to make changes to the setup and hope it helps.

Since I have a setback seat post, I don’t have enough room to move the saddle forward an inch. This means that I will have to get a new seat post with 0 setback and a new stem. I picked up the stem yesterday – a 110mm! It seems really long compared to the 90mm that I currently use. I’ll just have to borrow one (seat post) for now before I buy one to make sure this is going to work. Hopefully, I can get these changes done this week and try it out on Saturday.

Got some new tunes for my iPod to use for climbing. Well, they’re not “new” new, but new additions to what’s currently on the Pod. I’m going to try these when climbing: Everybody Hurts/REM, Closer/NIN*, Hey Man Nice Shot/Filter, MeatPlow/STP, and The End/The Doors. *NIN=Nine Inch Nails. AC/DC is good, but it’s not working any more….

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