Tuesday, March 20, 2007

247 RPMs

Tuesday morning I didn't have a lot of time to ride since I overslept. I overslept because after I rode for the first time in over a week last night, I ended up getting distracted trying to set up a laptop to record a song off my tape player. I have a lot of stuff crammed onto my small entertainment center in my bike room - tuner/amp, tape player, vcr, dvd player, vhs rewinder, TV, computer monitor, various cords and surge protectors, a lot of tapes and DVD's, and the odd tire lever or other miscellaneous bike thing.

Now there's this song I really like but I don't know who performs it. So I figured I'd tape onto my laptop, convert to mp3, and put it on the site for ID purposes. Anyway, putting the laptop on top of a little speaker was a big mistake, especially when I had two audio cables going to and from it. A little inadvertent tug on a cable...

Yep, I dropped the laptop. Almost six feet onto a concrete floor. While it was running.

Incredibly, it's okay.

I can think of better ways of raising my heartrate.

Anyway, my laptop rig didn't work - I need a better method of converting tape to mp3. But it took me a couple hours to figure this out and I ended up sleeping those couple hours in the morning.

Therefore I didn't have a lot of time to ride - about 40 minutes. So I figured I'd get another baseline for my max RPM's. A perfect task for a short ride in my basement. I warmed up for a bit and when I felt that an explosive effort wouldn't rip a tendon somewhere, I jumped off my bike, switched shoes (no clipless on the spin bike), and jumped on the spin bike.

The heavy flywheel rolls pretty quickly and I found myself soft pedaling at 110+ rpms. Max RPM efforts really require a lot of mental effort so I gathered myself for about five minutes. Finally I took a few quick breaths (I don't know if it works but good athletes do it so I figure it can't hurt) and tightened my grip on the bars.

And went as fast as I could.

I was immediately in the 240 range but had problems exceeding it quickly. Basically you end up at or close to your max speed right away. I can sometimes eke out another 5 or 6 RPMs but it's not like I can find 20. I really wanted to see 250+ so 240 was a let down.

I had to wind down and give it another shot. It took me a few minutes to get back to a calm state and I tried again.

And again.

247 RPMs.

Not that great. Good, but not great.

I switched shoes and got back on my regular bike. And started thinking about finding an extra 20 or 30 RPMs. 40 would be awesome and anything over that would be a new record for me.

I want dropped bars, not the generic exercise ones on there now. A longer and lower stem. Lower Q factor cranks (I feel like I'm straddling that tiny horse in the news). New cranks means a new bottom bracket since the thing has a 1-piece crank now. And new cranks means I can put on clipless pedals. And use real cycling shoes.

Now to find a three-piece bottom bracket converter for a BMX bike. I can use a crankset and bottom bracket I have sitting around. And I'll just swap pedals onto the spin bike.

Then we'll see what happens.

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