Thursday, August 26, 2010

Feeling good...

Thursday August 26th, 2010

First complete loop in a while. My legs weren't too stale, but there were some obstacles.

Making great time, only 15 minutes in and I'm already at the edge of Clifton and Montclair.  Something's bothering me, why is my stem a little off center.  It's affecting my handling a little, but that's more than enough for me to spend 20 minutes trying to figure out if I should stop and fix it.  I'm at grove street at a light, fine i'll just go ahead and straighten in, 2 minutes later and it's good.  Not so bad, why did I think about it so much?

Red light 200 feet from last stop.  Standard practice, downshift and unclip my shoe, it's my right foot's turn to take ground.  I like to switch which leg I rest on at every stop.  Right foot keeps turning, why is it not unclipping?  Wait I heard a story about this once... a friend's cleat lost a bolt and he tore his foot out of the shoe in time, but wait he was moving I'm standing still.  Wait no I'm not I'm leaning over onto the right, ***T it's too late to shift weight to my left, BAM.  I hope no one saw... oh wait I'm at a stop light with at least 16 cars watching my eyes go wide while I slowly tilt towards the ground... fail... lol.

Body check.  My right arm absorbed the shock perfectly and the fact there was a raised sidewalk to my right helped out.. Pull off my right shoe, twist it ~4 times for it to unclip.  Just as I thought on the way down, one bolt was gone, it must've happened within 200 ft of my stem adjustment.  I take off the affected cleat, and backtrack to see if I can find it, no luck.

I spin as fast as one clipped in foot will let me, which was normal avg speed of 20mph.  Doing drills on each leg has really helped with pedaling technique and I only suffered from the occasional slight fore/aft slip off the right pedal.  2 miles later I'm at Montclair Bikery, tell the guys my dilemma, we all had a good laugh from my reenactment and they hook me up with two cleat bolts, one for the shoe, and one for the road.

I push towards Overmount Ave as fast as my legs would let me.  I actually scale that climb faster than I've done before, average speed of 8mph.  At a max grade of 13% thats a new personal best!  Of course at the top I felt like my heart was coming out of my chest and my HR peaked at 181, still lower than my Ramapo Rally max HR of 189.  Got home with confidence.  I purchased some more gear to help make my rides even safer with night coming sooner.  I love both of them. 
Very bright rear light with built in clip to attach to saddle bag, or two different sized mounts for seat post mounting.  3 light modes of solid, blinking, and left to right progressive.
I was going to purchase a bigger more expensive LED light but since I don't plan to do heavy night riding I went with this fifteen-dollar easily mounted (o-Ring) light.  Two modes, solid and blinking.
Monday, August 23rd, 2010

I ride getting some riding done on Monday, but Mother Nature forced me to cut the ride short with dwindling sunlight and the change from a drizzle to a steady downpour.  I was going to tough it out but when my handlebar started tilting down more due to my inability to tighten it correctly, I took it as a sign to head home and not chance the elements.  I just don't trust NJ drivers in the rain also.  On the way home I paced a bus from one end of Clifton all the way to Garfield.  The big boy protected me from people trying to overtake me like the world was ending, and the occasional "it's a yellow light so lets drift my car through the intersection to make it" driver.  

The rain really ruined my week and messed my schedule up.  Now I'm prepared for the rain, no more excuses.
Sunday, August 15h, 2010

View this ride:

Ramapo Rally 2010.  My first charity event.  Amazing experience, well marked routes, great cue sheets, well stocked rest stops, and very good volunteers.
Late, gotta hurry up... make sure wheel is secure. Check.
Ok inventory check. Gels, cellphone, ID.  Check!

Group ride left 8:15, I was late, caught up to them after 10 miles.... painfully slow pace, so I just did my own pace.  Completed 65 miles in 4 hrs and 5 minutes. Just I was leaving the group I started with was just coming in. I was 1 hour and 15 minutes faster... average speed on flats 19-21mph, top speed 43mph, total avg speed 15mph, great success!!

The week before I was fighting some pain in my right knee, after some reading and a fit I figured out my seat was too low and I was pushing too hard a gear.  Now with this computer I make sure I'm constantly spinning 90-105, my performance and speed has increased and more importantly no more knee injury.

Came with HR monitor, Wireless Cadence and Speed Sensor too!  No zip-tie mounts (O-Ring) for clean/easy install.
The computer was key.  I kept cadence at 90-100 and really pushed it today at that distance, but paid for it.  I fought calf cramps for the last 4 miles and I was basically pedaling uphill with one leg lol so i can "kick" the lactic acid out. I'm very happy with what my training has yielded.

Free Camelbak Bottle, I veer into the oncoming lane to throw it into the car in my loving girlfriends... head.. sorry hun!  I'm all the way on the right.
... two slow weeks passed, but I'm still on my journey...

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