Thursday, June 18, 2009

A quick update...

Life's been pretty crazy for the last week or so. Last week I rode about 280 miles total - waaay up from what I've been averaging. I finished the week off Sunday with a solo 70 mile circumnavigation of Kerr Lake. It was a pretty flat ride, and I averaged 19.0 mph - not too bad. It was a fun route.

This week my focus has shifted a bit to pick up some more speed and interval work instead of big miles - my own inadvertent "periodization", if you will. I took Monday off, didn't get out Tuesday because of the weather, got in about 20 miles Wed that went okay... I was dog-tired so I felt really sluggish doing intervals. Today I should have ridden but didn't get out. It's okay - this weekend I will probably get a short ride Friday and longer rides Saturday and Sunday. I will be skipping my Paceline ride because I'm going back up to Kerr for the weekend.

Picked up a new saddle for my fixed-gear from Cycles de Oro and threw that on tonight. Took a pseudo-scientific stab at getting it in the same place as my road bike and I think it's pretty close.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"That's the First Time I've Seen You Suffer a Bit"

Did the Northside hammerfest tonight - 40 miles of all-out, give-me-all-you've-got-if-you-want-to-hold-his-wheel riding. Exquisitely painful.

As we were rolling in on a greenway I'm chatting with a guy who does the Saturday Paceline ride and he says something like, "Yeah, that's the first time I've seen you suffer a bit." I was flattered - maybe I'm stronger than I think, or maybe I am just good at hiding how much pain I'm in.

I went out too hard in the first 10 or 15 miles of the ride, so for the rest of it my attacks and bridging attempts came up short. The longest bridge was a solid mile or two of slight headwind, flat riding trying to solo bridge up to the lead group of about 6 very strong riders. I felt good for most of it, was steadily closing the huuuge gap they had, was using the terrain to my advantage,,,, then I started to get a stitch in my right side. I could feel myself fading fast, the exhaust from the farm truck trailing them wasn't helping. I gave it all I had on a slight downhill, sprinting to try and catch the last wheel. I got about 20 feet away and then they went charging up a short rise, and that was the end of me. HR peaked in the high 180s. Three minutes later when the second chase group went by I felt fine, and was able to jump on and do some more work.

The fact that my HR didn't get above 190 or so the whole ride indicates that I may be sleep deprived - I've noticed before that can really take the edge off my performance.

Later in the ride I was working in a break of 5 (inc. me). HR was in the 150s and 160s, despite the 30 mph speed we were holding. In a small group like this that was continuously rotating, most of the work came in the form of anaerobic spurts about a second long to stay on his wheel. However when the group went up a hill that was steep for the first part, then levelled out, I came unglued pretty quick after the steep section.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bike Bling!

Got my new wheels today - a set of Neuvation R28 SL5's. Despite a lack of new rim tape, I managed to get them on the bike this evening by pirating some rim tape from other wheels...

The wheels look great - perfectly true and nice spoke tension, and are breathtakingly light compared to my old wheels. I took a quick spin around the block and the bike definitely felt a little quicker on its feet. With these wheels my bike should be in the 18.2 lb range, I will have to get it weighed sometime.

I can definitely see how the stickers wear on some people - they are quite loud, although in a different way than Mavic's stickers are loud. I may end up pulling some of the labels off to tone it down a bit...

I took a little bit of a gamble with these wheels - some people report having trouble with spokes breaking after a year or so. I bought the wheel protection as a precaution against this. For the price though, these wheels simply can't be beat - $350 for a sub-1500 g wheelset!