Archive for April, 2009

Man vs Machine

man vs machineRound 1:  So Friday was forecast for 72° and sunny; great day for a ride on my recently-serviced bike.  I get out of work early and hit the road. 

I was in great form for April.  The uphills were nothing remarkable and I had good legs for the entire ride.  I covered 39 miles in a little over 2 hours.  I felt great – I really needed a ride of some decent length for a change.

The only buzz kill was that my rear derailleur was out of adjustment.  The shifts were vague and sometimes skipped.  I’m no wrench so I took it to the LBS and they fixed it gratis, because they’re good like that.  Turns out the shifter cable was stretched.  No biggie.

Man 1, Machine 0

 

Round 2:  Today was forecast to be sunny and unseasonably warm – we actually set a record at 89°.  Considering that the average high for this time of year is in the low 60s, it took some getting used to.  I was psyched to get out and get a nice long ride in.  The bike was running smoothly during my warm-up and I had my sights set on a route to Vischer Ferry.

Depending on what options I take on the route, the Vischer Ferry ride can take over 3 hours and top out around 60-65 miles.  I didn’t plan on doing the entire route, but I wanted to do at least 2½ hours worth.  I felt pretty well recovered from the previous day’s ride and had earlier done a nice hour long walk with Mrs. Stallion.

I felt so-so during my warm up – small ring, 1.6 miles, 7 minutes.  The heat was immediately apparent, but I had ridden in worse conditions in mid-summer.  At least it wasn’t humid at all.

I didn’t feel right from the get go.  I had noticeably low power, and every effort I put out left me gasping and leaning heavy on the handlebars.  In my head I thought, “You’re not recovered from Friday, take it easy”.  By the time I was half an hour out, I’d had enough.  Go home.  That was a long ride back.  The hot weather was the kryptonite to my power plant.

Man 1, Machine 1

I guess I have to acclimate to the hot weather naturally.  A sudden spike in Spring temps isn’t necessarily a blessing.  Lesson learned.

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Bummer-Free Zone

BummerI could take the low road.  I could go on about Tyler, the weather, my weight, work and countless other things bringing me down.  But I don’t.

I choose to believe that this will be a good week.  I should get my bike back from the shop, running in top condition (such as it is).  The weather for the end of the week looks to be awesome, and I plan on getting in some quality time on my new tires – Conti GP 4000 700x25s.

I think I have had one of my better trainer seasons (thanks Sufferfest); my first forays on to the pavement have been better than in years past.  Now that the true outdoor weather is upon me, it’s time to build up the endurance.  So far, it’s only been two hours for the longest ride.  That needs to go up to three hours soon.

This is a weird time for me bike-wise.  I can’t ride at all; I only have the one bike, and while I do enjoy long walks with my wife (around an hour long), they don’t have the same calorie expenditure.

I choose to think about training for my goals for this year.  I want to do the Mohawk-Hudson Century in September.  For various reasons, I haven’t ridden it since my first time in 2006.  I have no doubt I will do better this time.  I’m in better condition and my endurance by that time of the season will easily be better than it was in 2006.  Last year my longest rides were about 65 miles, or as I liked to call them, unsupported metric centuries.

Of course, I intend to climb Lake Desolation Road without unclipping like I did last time.  I will need to do more hill repeats to train for it, but I feel better prepared for it mentally.  I did not defeat me last year, it just made me more determined.

These are the positive thoughts I will dwell upon in the upcoming days.  There is much to be looking forward to.  I get my bike back, Fleche-Wallone, Liege Bastogne Liege.  I’m not gonna let life get me down.  It’s gonna be a good week.

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Back On The Trainer

Riding TrainerMuch like the classics going from San Remo to Belgium and northern France, the weather here has gone from a smattering of 60+ °F sunny days to a solid week and a half of 40-45 °F and overcast and rainy.

The result of this is getting back on the trainer.  Man, it is hard to get motivated for this!  After riding around outside on worn, mismatched tires a few times, it’s tough to go in place for an hour.  It’s that time when I scan the forecast to look for a break when I can take my bike to the LBS for its annual tune-up.  Just before the weather gets consistently warm enough to say goodbye to the trainer for another season.

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