Hammered. And it is all good.
Last Post 03/07/2014 06:41 PM by 79 pmooney. 4 Replies.
Author Messages
79pmooney

Posts:1157

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03/03/2014 08:17 PM
Went for my first real (non-commute) ride in probably a month this afternoon.  Warm!  59 degrees and climbing.  And windy!  Classic early spring.  I did my almost as classic ride, upwind on the fix gear until I was spent, then turned around and tried to fly home on tired wings.

This was a ride I did many times as a racer.  Call the weather then plot out a ride to a town roughly 50 upwind miles away.  Eat lunch there and fly home.

Those rides were hard to the core.  I know they meet none of the standards now for "proper" training, but I also know they were regularly breakthroughs in my conditioning and the depth of that conditioning.

Now I am far older and have been riding far less.  I went 18 miles to the turnaround.  But the small hill coming home with a strong wind at my back had me deep into O2 debt with legs that were totally spent, bringing back old memories.  Feels like this ride will play out to be that breakthrough.

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1157

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03/03/2014 08:35 PM
One real blessing; having this bike (Jessica J, my ti road fixie) set up as a "dual cockpit" machine. In other words, two handlebar, brake levers and brake calipers. One is a narrow road bay (standard nice Nitto) with Tetro levers and SunTour sidepull brakes; a sweet match for those levers. The other is my climbing setup; fairly deep and wide (43 as I recall) pista bars with road V-brake levers that are really big - I can wrap all my fingers under it easily and Shimano dual pivot calipers (to get the braking power up with those weak V-brake levers).

The set-ups are really different. Feels like two different bikes. The climbing set-up is the ticket for climbing. I"ve thought for years the pista tops or Cinelli 65s would be rfeally sweet for seated "Bernard Thevonet (sp) style" climbing as the generous curvature would rotate your elbows out for better breathing. It does. And those levers are sweet for long hard out of the saddle pulls. I have them mounted low, at the farthest forward, horizontal location which my wrists prefer when I am really going hard out of the saddle, but the set-up sucks to be on the lever tops seated going up wind. And really wide bars going upwind is a LOT of work.

But for conditions like today, the road set-up, narrow (38?) bars and the Tektro levers with the smooth tops are really sweet for that upwind stuff.

Ben
Nick A

Posts:119

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03/04/2014 12:44 PM
Yeah, but with the fixed, you never get to really "relax", even with a tailwind.

Nick
79pmooney

Posts:1157

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03/04/2014 02:14 PM
Nick, you learn to relax with your feet spinning. (Until you can do that, going downhill is scary.) And the big benefit of that will show up in races where you can relax without coasting. Riding fix gears will teach your body to relax every muscle that isn't actually powering the pedals. Sounds obvious. But riding gears, there is little penalty to having the non-working muscles slightly tensed and it is easy to be completely oblivious to it. Those slightly tensed muscles will become a huge problem when you pedal downhill at 45 mph in a 42 x 16. In fact, until you teach your body to relax those muscles completely, it will be terrifying.

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1157

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03/07/2014 06:41 PM
Just got back from a flat 50 miler, fixed, 43 x 17. In line with the training article of another thread, I m made a point of keeping a sustained effort, which meant it kept "feeling harder" as the ride went on. Now this was alone, fixied, in some wind and little rises, so the rpm, pedal pressure and work kept changing.

With 11 miles to go I was feeling pretty cooked and my get up and go definitely gone. But I spotted a rider a 1/4 mile ahead. So like a returning salmon, I had to go for the bait. (On a salmon's return to it's birthplace, it has one goal, arrive, spawn or fertilize and die. They do not eat but they are suckers for bait, flies and the like. Old habits?) Caught him and we chatted up the hill I was dreading, then it was onto the main road. I was happy to follow him downhill, but he was going too slow on the other side, so I passed him, offering my wheel, then powered seated to the light at the top. No, no, this wasn't any great earth shattering acceleration, just one tired rider pulling another.

Wow, I felt that to my bones! I rode easy home and came in froim the garage with a body I can only describe as "whimpering". I am finishing up the ride food in my pockets and heading for a long shower (if my legs can hold me up).

Ben


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