5/29/2011

Efficiency and the number 3


I’m of German descent and a first generation Canadian. I’m very happy (most of the time) to be a Canadian but I feel sometimes that my Germanic heritage is deeply rooted in my psyche. I find efficiency and simplicity very appealing. Also I really, really like beer. I believe I just made my bike a lot more efficient by changing the crankset and BB. I won’t bore you with the reasoning behind its greater efficiency but suffice it to say I can feel a big difference. Stiffer and lighter = better power transfer!
New cranks make fastly!

I hammered out to Whytecliff yesterday and was quite happy with the speed and feel of my bike. Today was another testament to the efficiency of this crank in getting the power to the ground. Krista and I did a 128km spin out to Steveston with a Deep Cove warm up. The bike felt fantastic even as I didn’t.

Oiled, inflated and awaiting their riders.
It was a gorgeous day and I was stoked to not wear a long sleeve base layer or even take a vest on the ride. The warm weather, however, makes plants bloom and my allergies kick into high gear. Today was a bad one and I hoped as we made our way off the shore they would clear up. Wrong! Krista had been out to her cousin’s stagette in Whistler just last night so wasn’t exactly “primed” for the ride. I’m actually very impressed with her performance on this ride. I may have been a snot faucet but she was running on a scant four hours sleep and we still maintained a 28.4km/h average speed. Were the tables turned I would’ve slept the day away and regretted it all week.

I think my injury/strain is completely healed now. I had a pretty good week on the bike having ridden 333km in total. That’s more where I feel like I should be at this point in the season. Really looking forward to 200(ish)km ride next weekend as a group. I think we’re all itching to get a serious ride in.

5/24/2011

Cautiously Optimistic


After nine days off the bike I finally rode yesterday. It felt great! Thankfully, my leg seems to be on the mend.

The cause of my strain has yet to be determined but a couple physiotherapy appointments, new cleats (with increased float) and new footbeds seem to have made the difference. I’ve also learned many new stretches to incorporate pre- and post-ride. Only more rides will tell if I've fixed this right. Fingers crossed!

Krista and Tony got to ride a Century yesterday and, as much as I wanted to, I only rode half that. I still think my 85km spin tested everything out pretty well and I had no signs of pain during or after the ride. Nice to be able to walk after a ride!

Despite losing out on almost two and a half weeks of training, I still feel like STP won’t be a problem. I kinda don’t even care so much about hitting our time target – although I think we still can – as I do about being able to ride again. As Krista can attest to, I get right grumpy if I can’t ride on a nice day.

Let’s go!

5/14/2011

May-vember


I have yet to ride this season without a long sleeve base layer on. This is completely unacceptable! It’s freakin’ mid-May! I would also say that we’ve only had “good” weather on maybe 3 rides total. Enough already.

That being said, Krista and I got out for a 106km spin to Steveston and back today. It was cold(ish), overcast, rainy, windy and (just to sure) generally shitty!

The bike feels good with its fresh bar tape but my bi-polar ankle isn’t on-board with my training. Feels fine (mostly) when riding but afterwards walking is painful. I’m at a loss and have a physiotherapy appointment for Monday morning. Hopefully Denise can shed some light on my problem.

Tony didn’t join us as he was partaking in a Spin-a-thon at Obsession Bikes with his Ride to Conquer Cancer team, Blazing Saddles. They have a massive team this year Captained by Doug Jeffery. Doug has done massive work for the team and unfortunately could not attend the event today. The team has an astounding goal of raising $73,700 this year! To date they’ve raised over $50,000 but still need help in reaching their target. The team can be contributed to here and I know that Tony could really use help getting to his target as well. To aid their fundraising, I’m encouraging my local friends to come out to a pub night Tony is co-hosting on May 28. It’ll be at the Mosquito Creek Bar & Grill in North Vancouver. I’ll post details later on but save the date to come help out a great group of people in an effort to kick the crap out of cancer!

5/11/2011

RIP Wouter Weylandt


Wouter Weylandt

I’m not a racer by any stretch of the imagination. I ride for fun and with friends. Professionals are no different. The Giro D’Italia mourned the loss of Belgian rider, Wouter Weylandt on the 3rd stage of this year’s race. Weylandt clipped a wall and tumbled hard to the ground when going down a mountain pass at a high speed. He was the first fatality of the Giro in over 25 years. Wouter was just 26 years old.

Tyler Farrar joins Leopard-Trek to honour their fallen friend at the end of stage 4
His team, Leopard-Trek, decided to ride the 4th stage out of respect for Wouter and his family. The stage was neutralised as the peloton – all wearing black armbands – rode together. Each team headed the peloton in 10km intervals with Leopard-Trek finishing the stage with arms locked. They were joined by Wouter’s good friend and training partner, Tyler Farrar.

Leopard –Trek has now withdrawn from the Giro stating “He was only 26 and his loss has left a big hole inside all of us." Farrar, who rides for Gamin-Cervelo, has also withdrawn from the 21 stage race.

Ride safely.

5/09/2011

Ageing Sucks!


I don’t know whom I was trying to kid about not having some sort of ride-limiting injury this season. It always happens and this year is no different.

What seemed to be shin splints has now been (self) diagnosed as Anterior Compartment Syndrome. The main difference is a distinct swelling just above the ankle. Quite painful at first but with some ibuprofen, massage and rest (R.I.C.E.) it seems to be getting better.

The frustrating thing about this injury is I’m not exactly sure how it was brought on. There was no acute incident so overuse is most likely the cause. I’m suspecting a slight change in my pedaling dynamics but my shoes and cleats have no signs of excessive wear. Another very annoying thing was trying to stay in a position with my foot elevated. I’m passed that stage now but with the PlayStation Network down, Netflix hasn’t been available on the TV for almost a week. I am thankful that I can walk and drive without pain again so at least I’m less housebound. I’ll most likely attempt a spin indoors on Wednesday if things continue to progress as they have. Krista suggested this as it’ll be easy to quit at the first sign of discomfort. A mirror might help me analyse at my pedaling as well.

Needless to say, I had to bow out of the ride to Steveston on Sunday. I wasn’t terribly upset because that was my last ride but I did miss the group aspect. I do look forward to our group – small as it may be – rides. Hopefully by next weekend I’ll be back in the saddle. Thankfully fitness isn’t easily lost. A week or so off the bike will probably give me a few more bullets for the next ride.

Ageing sucks but I can’t imagine how much it would suck if I wasn’t active.

5/05/2011

Spring Cleaning



Nothing gets my bike cleaner than a rainy day or injury. Today is a bit of both; grey and intermittent rain with a side of inflamed shin splints. Only time will remedy either issue. Seeing a perfect opportunity to clean the winter/spring off my chain and pull my BB once again, I took it.

 Ready to get all gunky again.
I noticed lots of gunk in my links so I figured I’d pop the chain off, degrease and give it a good scrub. Last time I had my BB out I forgot to write down the info required to purchase a replacement: shell size and spindle length. Why not kill two birds with one stone. Only downside to the maintenance this time around was no beer. Mornings and beer don’t usually work for me and I’m taking ibuprofen pretty regularly today.
Cleanliness is next to un-creakyness!

Only cassettes you'll find round here.
Drivetrain is clean and the info I needed in hand. I should get another BB to have ready for install when necessary but I do have to say it actually feels smoother than I remember. I may put off the purchase for a while. This one only has about 14,000km on it! The tech at Obsession told me that’s almost the lifespan of a bike for most folks. Not me - my parents taught me to take care of my toys!


5/04/2011

May the Fourth be with you!


I know many people that just have to say that every year - I’m one too.
Bet I could do STP pretty quickly on this baby.
Gardens at UBC
Decide to roll a solo shot out to Steveston today. I did cut short of my planned 142km but still managed 123km. I’m nursing shin splints and probably shouldn’t have even gone that far. The force was strong with me this day, indeed. Very little wind and traffic. The only downside was riding it solo. Krista has fallen ill. Hopefully my leg feels better again by the time she does.

R.I.C.E. baby R.I.C.E.
Steveston snackage!
She may not look like much but she's got it where it counts.