Sunday, September 30, 2012

Whew! What a ride!


I dubbed my new pony as Enzo Corleone Cervelo. Enzo to invoke the spirit of Signore Ferrari = SPEED. Corleone because I was made an offer I couldn't refuse, AND it's my favoritest film of all time. Cervelo because that's what it is. :)

I had my high tech bike fitting yesterday at Iron Gear Sports. Very involved and detailed including hooking up some sensors to get everything just right. Unfortunately, they didn't have all the parts needed to do a final customization. A shorter part is needed to ensure my elbows are closer to my body in aero position, and they needed a bracket to mount my computer. Other than that, I was ready to roll Sunday morning.

The planned route was meet at Sheepherders Park off McDowell, ride East on McDowell to Power, turn North to the Bush Highway and stay on that to Saguaro Lake marina....and back.

I met up with Rachel at 6a, and we took off. I was sooooo excited to try out my new pony, and to start learning to ride in aerobars. I tried aero position after about a mile - it was HARD! Not balanced at all, and wobbly all over....grrrrr. Kept going though. I also have a new pedal system - Speed Play. Yeesh.

Got to Power and started heading North to Bush Highway. Once Power ends and Bush highway starts, the road surface gets really REALLY rough! I likened the experience as the difference between riding in a high powered Italian sportscar on a smooth surface - the experience is fast and smooth, but once you hit a patch of rough road - you feel every single little bump. Yeah, it was like that....not fun at all. Then to add to the body jarring as we climbed some hills, one of my wheels starts squeaking...then it starting yelping like a lost scared puppy, and I could feel it catching somewhere. Mid-hill, I stopped and was looking at brakes and everything. Couldn't find the rub. Got back on but I forgot to gear up a bit to make starting off on a hill steadier. I started to lean right into the guard rail, and I couldn't get my right foot unclipped fast enough. Yup, I went down wedged between Enzo and the guard rail with my foot under the bike and I still couldn't get unclipped. After some sailor words, I was able to get maneuvered to standing enough to unclip. This was really starting to suck.

Got myself going again, climbing was really hard and loud. I finally caught up with Rachel and let her know that I was having some bike difficulties, and I'd rather just get to the four way stop and head back. Since there weren't any more big hills Rachel wasn't able to hear the squeak and yelp. Heading back we finally hit some hills and squeak was there. I was telling Rachel that I'll have to call the fit guy, but I forgot his name. All you locals know there's a big hill just as Bush Highway turns back into Power road. I started climbing, and forget it. I got off and just started walking up the hill.

Rachel joined me, and we just chatted walking up the hill. Towards the top of the hill there's a parking area for hikers. I saw this young family getting ready for a hike, and they were using a baby backpack. I started telling Rachel about using one of those backpacks in law school as we were passing the parking lot when I hear, "Annette?" I turn around and its the young father calling me. "It's me Brian. I did your bike fit yesterday."

Cue the choir of angels!

I just about did a hallelujah dance, but settled for a fist pump and a "YESSSSSS!" He asked how everything was going, and I told him everything that happened since we started riding. He looked at the rear tire and found that it was rubbing on the frame, adjusted the horizontal and took some air out. He didn't have any tools otherwise he would've adjusted the saddle to be level again.

I thanked Brian profusely, apologized to his wife, who was really cute and nice, and we finished walking up the hill.

It's amazing how just a small adjustment makes a HUGE difference! I was back in my Italian race car. Tried out the aerobars again in my highest power gear, and it was FAN-freakin-TASTIC! I was cruising on McDowell finally enjoying the great morning, and I felt confident and stable enough to sneak a peek at my Garmin to check my speed. Typically, I average 12-14 mph with some effort. I was pretty sure that's what I was doing because it didn't feel hard. So I dared to sneak a peak and just about had a crash.....I WAS GOING 20 mph!!!!!!!!! HOLY GUACAMOLE!!!! It was like driving a brand new car for the first time on the highway and realizing you're going 90 mph.

At a stop light, I told Rachel I was feeling really good and did she want to keep riding more? She suggested we head up Gilbert road and we get on the Beeline. I was good with that and since we were going past the cars I wanted to stop and re-water and get my debit card. This ride I was also trying out my mad scientist rice ball concoctions to test how my tummy reacted, and whether I felt fueled. The tummy test was working out pretty good, no grumblies, and even after all the drama on Bush highway, physically I was feeling good.

On Gilbert Road I tried out the aerobars again. Once I got myself relaxed, and balanced the experience was awesome! Because my saddle stills needs adjusting, I keep having to skooch back when I slide down the front end. I found that little movement and semi-stand actually helps to steady myself.

Beeline was windy as heck. Didn't go very far north, and turned around at first opportunity, but headed down to JR's. Once we get to the level part after the landfill, I settle down into the aerobars again. There's lots of construction going on at the moment, so I had to stay steady enough not to be crashing into the cones.

About two miles from JR's, I hit a good bump and hear POP, pssssst. damn.

Well there's Rachel and I changing the tube, when Mr. Hottie stopped. He was riding Enzo's bigger brother. BIG smile! I was tempted to go the Damsel in Distress route, but I already had the back wheel off, and just about had the tube out. double damn. Instead I said that he could stick around to be entertained watching me change out the tube - sly smile. He chuckled and let us know that he'll still be doing loops if we needed any help. and a tilt of the head. He did let me know to blow a little air into the tube to keep from getting a pinch flat. Okaaaaay.....thanks! This is my first time changing this tube - that's TRUUUUUE!

Ok, got the tube in now getting the tire back on the wheel. You know how that last little part is hard, especially with new wheels. Yup, that's when Mr. Hottie #2 stopped. "No, I think we got it, thanks!" little hottie magnet! : )

FINALLY got to JR's! Mr. Hottie #3 pulls up, "Hi, great morning for a ride, huh." I go in to wash my hands and get something to drink after Rachel comes out with her Diet Dr. Pepper. When I come out, Rachel says, "Yeah, here's my friend that's her bike." to #3. Oh yes, I really like it...Oh, we've been riding for about 35 miles now....yeah, I'm training for this year's Ironman....why yes it is getting hot now.

His buddy walks out of the store, and he's riding a Cervelo too so we get to chat more about the difference between road bikes and tri-bikes. He's training for IMAZ too, yeah only 7 more weeks (EEK!), yup, we'll be seeing y'all out there more! Have a great ride.

Rest of the ride is pretty uneventful. More aero position riding. More "I'm going fast!!!" moments then its over. WHEW!

In one ride - both the WORST and BEST ride EVAH!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

GRI--Gu Related Injury!!

A race update will follow, but I wanted to share my bizarre race "injury" from the Nathan's oly today. About 10 miles into the bike, I decided I needed a power bar gel to boost my energy. Since it was already HOT out, the gel was warm and much more runny than usual. As a result, I got gel all over my leg, bike, and arm. The gel oozed down my leg and on to the back of my knee. For the remaining 14 miles, the skin on the back of my knee stuck together and pulled apart with every pedal stroke. By the end of the ride, I had rubbed the back side of my knee raw. Lesson learned--beware the gels!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

my tri bike!!

I've met some ladies who live close to me to train with!  One of them is also doing IMAZ this year, and the other is just an incredibly fit, incredibly good friend who likes waking up at 4:30 to go on rides with us.  
They have been my saving grace!

We've done many rides, and seen some gorgeous sunrises.
 I'm beginning to feel more confident in my biking abilities.
So why not mix it up by switching bikes?

My new baby, my Specialized Shiv.
Now all I want to do is ride my bike.
11 weeks to go.
Man, I've got to get some century rides in!

But that won't happen this weekend.  Saturday I'm doing a Sprint, it should be fun!