Sunday, January 31, 2010

California - Creak Never More

("Quoth the Raven Nevermore")

So, this morning, instead of enjoying a nice jaunt out in the California sunshine, we schlepped my bike over to Nytro, the closest Cannondale dealer around. The mechanic there, Rich, said he'd try to work on the bike, given some time and no rush of customers.

As I wheeled the bike over I thought to myself, "Watch me bring the bike in there and not creak at all."

Luckily, when I got there, I saw only one person dropping off a bike. And luckily the bike creaked a bit.

Nytro Rich quickly and professionally looked at my bike, perhaps helped by my introductory plea:

"Look, I put the bike together so please go easy on me."

He did some sanity checks, noticed that one of the crank arm bolts was a bit loose (relatively speaking) and found no creaking.

"Take it out for a spin behind the shop and let me know how it is."

I took it out for a spin and it seemed fine. A little complaint here and there, but, look, compared to the gravel-grinding from before, this was pure heaven.

I slapped a big-to-me tip on the bench.

"Thanks for buying me lunch!"
"No problem."

Tip: if you want to be nice to your local bike shop, either pay for service they offer for free or give them a tip.

We checked out some nice bikes (price tags on three of them - $13k+, $10k+, and $10 even - imagine seeing a $10,000 bike and it's not the most expensive one in the shop?), some other nice bikes (how about factory painted shop logos all over a Super Six?), and some other nice bikes (aero Felt road bikes and such). I fondled some aero bars (for what? I never TT), looked at Capo clothing (I think they look good), and chatted a bit about my Tsunami.

We returned back to home base, my hosts dropped off the kids at a friends, and we went out for a pleasant jaunt. Before we left I did what I tell my friends to do - put lube everywhere that may creak. I know, I know, it can get messy and all that, but I dropped lube everywhere. The replaceable dropout, headset cups, chain, I'm sure some other parts. The bike seemed to appreciate it, letting me ride in silence.

We headed out to the PCH via some climbs, and on one of them I made a relatively big bridging effort. I surprised myself by bridging with relative ease, and I eased hard and stayed with the bridgee.

Upon review (in other words, after I got back and downloaded the SRM data) I saw that it was about a 700 watt effort over 20 seconds. Very nice, for me, since I felt like I could do that for a much longer effort if I had to. It's no Cancellara, but hey, I'll take it.

Let's put it another way. It's what I have to do at Bethel, every lap, when the going gets tough. It's a lot of effort.

As a bonus my heart rate broke the magical 154 barrier, reaching a peak of just over 160 bpm.

Woohoo! Elastic heart, come my way!

After that, to my surprise, we ended up doing a few jumps. I did a bunch of 1200+ watt jumps, none feeling world-beating-worthy but all of them giving good sensations. I'm lacking a lot of strength I think, since I feel like I can't apply full power to the pedals. More specifically my upper body can't support the efforts properly, failing to anchor my torso properly for my legs' efforts.

My heart rate bounced around nicely, going up and down as I made efforts and then eased.

I noted that in the first 30 seconds or so of "ease" my heart rate would drop a good 30-35 bpm. This boded well for any race where I could coast for 30 seconds between corners.


Seriously, though, it meant that I was getting decent, at least cardiovascularly.

Overall the day was a success. Less creaky bike. A few efforts to blow the dust off the machine. Affirmation of the frame's geometry and position. Relatively good fitness.

The next few days will involve doing some decent miles. I'll start with shorter but more intense work, graduating to longer, more diesel type efforts.

See, the way I see it, if I do a lot of short, hard efforts up the side of Palomar, that could count as a bunch of short, hard efforts.

Okay, maybe not.

Or maybe.

At some point, relatively fresh, I want to go out there and do Palomar with my heart rate in the 150s the whole time. I may have to call and get a ride home, but I'd like to do a fair effort, lay it all out on the road, and see what the combination of the weight loss and new frame get me.

And, if it doesn't rain at the end of the week, I'll think about even doing a little race. Maybe.

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