Sunday, January 07, 2007

cooler weather and a long ride

After the slightly-sub-two hour tandem ride yesterday, I said to my fiancee that I need to do a long ride today as I felt pretty terrible once we hit 1.5 hours. With my Florida trip looming, with its 4-5+ hour rides, being in difficulty at 1.5 hours would simply mean disaster at 5 hours. She gave me her blessings as this would let her spend some of her gift cards at Ann Taylor Loft.

Of course, to do my ride, I wanted to test my newly built front wheel. I put a tire and tube on it the other day but didn't do the rear. I mounted the tire and tube there too (there will be a tutorial on this later). But then I couldn't find my cassette tools. After more than an hour of looking around my very messy bike room, I gave up. So I moved the tire over to my current Eurus (dismounting that tire/tube) and put that on the bike. The tires looked great - Michelin things of some sort. The rest of the bike - well, I haven't washed it since I don't know when, and the tape should have been replaced last April.

I also spent an hour putting music on my SD card. I listen to it on the Treo in one ear - I figure that's not too bad, I can hear cars and stuff out the other one.

So a few hours late, I set off.

It was a LOT colder than yesterday's 70 degrees - more like 40 or so. I started off dressed in my new fleece knickers, fleece LS jersey, a SS jersey under that, cap + helmet, booties + shoes, and my Specialized warm gloves. I got about 2 blocks away and stopped - it was too cold. I pulled on my Jamoca and my wind vest.


I should have turned around and picked up my jacket. But the phone rang. A teammate Sean called. He couldn't do his planned ride due to car trouble so wanted to know if I wanted to ride. We decided to meet along a main road between our two places and I set off, forgetting about the jacket.

We met up about a mile from his place (which means I rode about 10).

"Wow your bike looks nice."
"It's the new tires that make it look good. Oh and the new front wheel."

He looked at it closer. No more comments on how nice my bike looked.

We headed north and did a loop and started coming back. After about an hour and a half I started faltering. A PowerGel bought me about half an hour but that also started running out. It didn't help that we had to do some hard climbs and Sean was floating up them. I was struggling. I felt like one of those ice climbers, chipping out one step at a time.

The saving grace - on the way back I got to pull for about 2-3 minutes on a flat, slight downhill, windless section. I got on top of a big gear and rolled pretty hard. When the road started up a short rise, I pulled off. Sean drew up next to me. I looked at Sean and commented, "It's those sections of road that make me feel like a bike racer - I can roll a big gear and it doesn't seem that hard."

He agreed.

The rest of the ride was anti-climactic. We got back towards my place and I really started to falter. Sean did a lot of pulling and dragged me back home. About 2:45 for the ride. Not bad but I hope I am better down south.

I got a block away from the house and my fiancee pulled up behind me in her car. Perfect timing. We shared a lunch, watched some of her CSI DVD's, I changed her oil, we fixed her friend's computer for a few hours, and had a nice dinner.

Three more days and then it's Florida.

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