Saturday, February 28, 2009

Canada Road Time Trial

Woke up feeling horrible after coming down with a cold/flu, but had a time trial to do. I loaded up the time trial bike and headed out to Woodside. This was my first time trial and I was pretty bummed it came during one of my annual flu bouts, but I had to at least give it a shot. It was a standing start with one of the volunteers holding the bike up as I took off. I was surprised to hit 32-33 MPH on the mild descent right off the bat towards Edgewood Road. So far so good. I was making ok progress and realized I had no gas in the can for the hills as I dropped below 20 and suffered pretty badly. The turnaround came quicker than I thought it would, but I forgot to set my computer so I had no idea what time I hit. I was passed right before the turn-around by a Sugar CRM guy who was smoking hard. The hill to Filoli was pretty rough as I found myself sitting up and climbing at 15 MPH. I tried to stick it hard to the finish and pushed myself in the red to the end. My unofficial time was 26:48 which works out to 21.74 MPH. Considering how cruddy I felt, I was ok with it. They are doing another one of these March 28th and I think I will give it a shot to see how I can do feeling stronger. I might try and borrow a time trial helmet for the next one as the majority of the riders had them. I did not want to look like a complete joke wearing one for my first TT, so I now that I know the ropes a bit, I will not be ashamed to show up with one ;) I think I can definetely break 26 feeling better and maybe even go sub 25, but this is a discipline I have not paid my dues for.

Results

9.7 Miles
400 Feet of Climb
26:48 Unofficial
21.74 MPH

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bike Fitting Syndrome (BFS)

Finding the right seat height takes a lot of work. You get multiple opinions, pay experts to size you up, read books and websites, and in the end your not sure if your right or not. I have been sized up multiple times and set up on a height range between 78.5 and 82 CM. I always thought the last fitting that set me up at 78.5 was a bit low, but I figured the guy knew right. I have had to raise the seat up to combat pain, but for the most part it was ok. The guy who set me up at 82 CM a few years ago I figured was crazy, as it seemed way too high. Today, I went to Mike Boester at Bike Connection in Palo Alto where I got my Scott Frame ordered. He came up with a number right between the high and low readings at 80.5 CM. I had to rise up to 80.5 on the Hoodoo due to knee pain so I have done it before. Mike was surprised at how low I was set up and he said it looked I was riding a BMX bike based on my knee bend. Clearly there are differing schools of thought on seat height. I think in the end, the key is building a good relationship with somebody you trust and has a lot of experience and happy clients. Make sure that person is real close by and amenable to hearing your boring stories about knee tweaks, breakthroughs, and pathetic attempts at humor. I made the mistake of using far-away bike fitter twice (San Anselmo and Sacramento). You need somebody willing to see you in a heart beat to deal with your latest fitting crisis. I am hoping Mike fits this bill. I think he deals with enough obsessive compulsive bike nuts based on his fitting many of the Alto Velo team. I am in the honeymoon phase of this new set-up as I feel I might have found that magic formula to lead me to cycling nirvana. 80.5 is the magic I needed and the 25 MPH speed I road home helped me justify this joy.

Joy: I finally found the magic formula!
Fear: Knee Tweak! I need to immediately go back to the old setting
Regret: I cant remember what I was set to before. Let me dig up that old email
Acceptance: Oh well, this is as good as its going to get.
Divorce: Find new Bike Fitter

Good old BFS. I had my seat raised an inch today and I am sitting on top of the world!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pescadero Ride

Road up Page Mill this afternoon leaving the house at 1:00 PM. We descended down Alpine and climbed up Haskins grade before descending down to Pescadero. Was really descending great today for some reason. The Scott bike really feels secure on the descends and gives me a lot of confidence. I was climbing really great today and held 11 MPH on that little bump right after going under 280 on Arastradero. Did not even hurt. Never been able to do that before. Martin was rolling with his mountain bike so I did some hill sprints up Page Mill and waited for him to catch me. He was sporting aerobars on his mountain bike making for a one in a million ride. We were running out of light and had to climb Hwy 84 instead of Tunitas Creek. We descended 84 right before dark and managed to keep up with a car on the descent. Pulled in at 6:45 PM well into the dark. Great ride as I felt damn strong out there. The Selle Italia SLR I slipped on for fun was light at 130 grams, but started to hurt after 3 hours. Felt like somebody spanked me hard. I am not sure these types of lightweight saddles are going to handle DMD. I am hoping the Arione works out. I got Swiss Stop brake pads when I had the Scott built up. They are amazing and I have never had brakes like this before. Getting your brakes working great does wonders for you descending. These pads are expensive, but I would recommend them as it feels like I have double the stopping power I used to have.

71.5 Miles
6200 Feet of Climb
5 hours
14.3 MPH

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Arione CX Not Compatible with Integrated Carbon Seat Post

Wanted to try the Arione for a while and I found out the rails are too thick for the seat-clamps used on the Scott bike. What a bummer. Have to send it back and stick to the Selle Italia SLK for now. I cant wait to get some climbing in this weekend. Good weather until Sunday. Time to suffer.

Found out that Ritchey sells a modified clamp for the Fizik Arione CX. Ordered one and will give it a shot later on.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Snowed on

Hit a bit of snow descending Skyline towards 84 today. Man I froze my kester off descending 84 and had to ride really slow as I was shaking like a leaf. Luckily its a pretty short descent. I thawed out in the cafe in Woodside and road him in heavy rain afterwards. Its going to be a nasty Tour of CA this year as they are predicting a strong storm with snow at the 2000 foot level. I can only hope Monday is not like today !

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

9 weeks until Devil Mountain Double

Sent in the money for the DMD last night. My main goal will be to triple the climbing and mileage for the month of March and hit 620 miles and 55,500 feet of climbing. This will take a lot of early morning riding before work and creative use of night riding to make this happen. There is a group that meets at 6 AM to do local steep rides in the LA hills like Los Trancos and Mora and I might need to make that a regular. I think it matters more about hitting your target in as many doses as you need vs a few large chunks that might be untenable due to family or work. I predict at least 2 or 3 night time ascents of Montebello in March to make this happen. I love climbing hills at night as long as its a dead end and the traffic is not to crazy. If I am going to sneak under the 16 hour time line, the triple mileage/climbs is a necessity. Going to try my hardest to find a way to make it happen.

Getting ready to ride up Kings Mountain to check out the Tour of California on Monday. Should be great in the rain!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Long Ride to the Super Bowl Party

A colleague at work threw a Super Bowl party near La Selva Beach and I had to use this experience to snag some great hills and ride to the party. Picked up Both sides of Hicks, MonteVina and Black/Gist roads before heading town Summit road to Old Santa Cruz Hwy. I descended OSCH and hit the beach for the party. Great riding, perfect weather, and a great game.

I had to wear a backpack so I could bring clothes for the party. The climbs on this ride made this decision a bit painful. This was the first time I did both side of Hicks. The back side was not as easy as I imagined. I also forgot how damn steep the last mile of Montevina is. I barely got up it. The knees were screaming. Then Black hits you in the face with at least 1.5 miles in 10+% range. This was not a ride for the faint of heart. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it was tough.

72 miles
8050 feet climbing
6 Hours Riding