Friday, January 28, 2011

California - Day 4 Shop and Ride

I had two items on my agenda: get the headset cups pressed in the new frame and go for a ride.

The first seemed pretty straightforward. Bring frame to local shop, a few miles away, get headset cups pressed in the new frame, and ride back home.

Then, because I'd be ready to ride, I'd just head out for a "real" ride. It'd be my first ride in FIVE days.


So I got TsunamiOne ready, brought the frame out, got everything else ready for the ride (helmet cam, SRM, remember gloves, etc etc etc).

I got outside, closed the door, and though, aw, it's such a nice day I should take a picture.

TsunamiOne with TsunamiTwo draped over the bars.

I tried to get going but realized that I couldn't even get my feet clipped in while holding the frame in one hand.

I puzzled over this for a bit and thought of a solution - wear the frame!

(This relates to an old Reader's Digest story where security prevented a passenger from boarding a plane with a lamp shade. Obviously the shade was very fragile and it'd be best to bring it onboard. Problem was the lampshade was a "carry on item" and the person already had one plus a personal one. Turned away, the passenger walked off. A few minutes later the passenger was at the front of the line again. This time the passenger was wearing a hat that resembled a lampshade. The passenger, and the lampshade, got on the plane.)

I tried to put the frame over my head but the helmet didn't fit through the small main triangle. Removing the helmet let me stick my head through, and I put my helmet back on.

I had this morbid thought where a passing truck snags the frame by a drop out or something and decapitates me as it pulls away, but I pushed this out of my mind. I didn't need any decapitations today.

I got lost on the way to the shop and had to navigate by looking at the freeway that I knew went right behind the shop. I'd turned west when I should have gone east. Whatever. I got there.

I got to the shop, Mike the Mechanic (seriously, that's his name) said he'd do it while I wait.


It may have helped that the team kit has Trek and Bontrager on it, and it's a Trek Superstore.

(I should point out that I'm wearing version 2.0 of the kit, the Hincapie stuff. It totally rocks!)

Well whatever it was, he pressed the cups in and charged me a nominal fee. I padded the ticket by buying some energy bar stuff and a second Halo headband thing.

I got back to home base okay, dropped off the frame (no pictures), emptied out the stuff I got, ditched some of the cold weather gear I'd packed "just in case" (I was already hot and I just had a jersey and shorts on), found my long finger gloves (I try to wear them all the time), and headed out to the Pacific.

As in the Pacific Coast Highway.

I forgot how different it feels to ride outside versus the trainer. My glutes got tired right away, I tried to get aero a lot to beat the kind of strong wind, and... well, I worked hard.

My bike also felt small, like I dominated the bike. It's weird because it's set up how it was on the trainer, although I'd been trying a 13 cm stem recently and I built it with the 12 cm stem.

The saddle felt a bit low, giving me a lot of power lower in the pedal stroke. The bars seemed close, letting me really jump hard.

In fact a truck kind of obliged and let me test my jump and roll out. I ran out of juice after a while and the front wheel got a bit wiggly with the swirling wind behind the back tires. When I checked the ride data after the ride I could see why the front wheel, the Jet6, got a bit wiggly - I was going just under 52 mph.

My need for speed properly satiated, I focused on more mundane things.

A few more jumps let me get a feel for the bike once again. They also reminded me that the Jets accelerate slowly and require immense amounts of energy to jump "energetically".

For group rides I'll be using the Bastognes.

I rolled down the PCH past Cardiff on the Sea, out to where there's a Dog Beach (dogs allowed on the beach). I turned around there, just after two guys passed me (I was doing a lot of leg resting coasting and they kind of accidentally rolled by, then I had to ride kind of slow to avoid repassing them), and then headed back.

Of course the wind hit me pretty hard. Figures that I had a tailwind on the way out. But that was okay, I felt okay on the bike, surprisingly so. I rolled hard, focused on staying low, and realized that, once again, I felt more comfortable in the drops than on the hoods or tops.

I really like a bike that fits.

I rolled up to someone, tried not to pass, but eventually (after I stopped at two lights that the other rider ran), I decided I'd stop being polite. Look, the other rider was the one blowing the red lights. So I rolled by hard on one of the rises where all the surfers park, and he disappeared behind me.

When I stopped to swap the helmet cam battery, he rolled by just as I finished up. That was good - a few minutes gap in 15 minutes of riding.

At some point my legs just totally failed. No energy, no juice, and I spent a lot of time just stretching and stuff so I wouldn't have to pedal.

At one point, just before home, I did a trackstand (per usual) at a light. When I rolled away a CHiPs motorcycle guy said something to me. Since it wasn't "Hey, you!" or "Stop or I'll shoot" I kept rolling.

When I got about 30 feet away my brain finally processed what he'd said.

"Hey, nice trackstand!"

It was too late to acknowledge but it capped off a nice day. No decapitations, headset cups in frame, and I got a nice ride in.

Tomorrow, if things go as planned, I'll do one of the famous group rides in the area. Meet up with maybe a BikeForums rider or two. Hopefully not embarrass myself.

But first I need to eat. Oh yes. Eat.


Anonymous said...

Per our emails, I googled your blog name along with the word "fit." I should have known -- lots of good stuff!!!!! Prior, I had only known of your "T1" fitting thoughts -- that, plus your knowing a ton, prompted my email.

This post came up on page 1 of my search, so, here I am enjoying your stories/adventures/writing. I now appreciate even more your emails knowing that you've been writing here too!!! That's a lot if time.

Enjoy SD!! And good posts!!!


Aki said...

BDW - you're welcome. Your questions are ones you need to answer now, not in June, so they're a bit more urgent than "so I don't know which rear derailleur to get, Force or Rival".