Cranky's Corner

Give me coffee and no one gets hurt!

Freight trained

I was on one of my usual weekday routes that take take me something between 45mins to an hour to complete. I have 3 general routes, one flat route, one moderately hilly and one with a couple of good climbs in it. I generally use these as hard efforts trying for PRs and maybe a KOM if I can swing it (not likely lol). If I need a recovery ride I’ll do the flat route at an easier pace usually. Anyway, on this particular night I was riding the moderately hilly route and heading back towards the homestead. I was on this section of road that has a short little uphill then it levels off before another short uphill which leads into a false flat.

As I hit the little flat section between the two little hills there is a street on the left and a group of riders are waiting for traffic to pass. I give the wave and keep may pace up the next incline and then picked up the pace a bit on the false flat. I’m doing about 20mph and I can now hear the group of riders behind – it was expected, I knew I wasn’t going to hold them off nor was I trying. The lead rider give me an “on your left” and then tells me “nice pace” as he passes me. The plan was to hang on to the back of the group after they passed and get a little free speed. That never happened. While they didn’t pass me all that fast I under estimated their speed and didn’t give it enough gas to hang on and I lost the wheel.

What really irked me though was they gave me zero room as they passed. I was riding the white line and there are a few storm drains that extend out to the white line and a little beyond, which normally of course I’d adjust my line into the lane and stay there until all drains are passed, but that wasn’t happening this night as I was given no room and I had to navigate the storm drains at speed. Each drain is surrounded by concrete so I had a smooth area to ride on but none of then are level with the road which made for some fun. So boo on that group for not being courteous. I always pass single riders with adequate space especially if I can see some road furniture ahead.

Random musings: gloves, hot dogs, 52×28, nutrition

I prefer to ride with no gloves. I’ve always worn gloves until recently. I don’t get along well with padded gloves and the last couple of pairs I’ve bought had no (or very little) padding which suited me well. My favorite is a pair of leather gloves but my biggest problem is when my hands sweat and get the gloves soggy I tend to move around in the gloves a bit. So recently I’ve stared to ride barehanded. I like the feel, my hands don’t get sweaty, but I’m not thrilled as I’m always afraid of hitting the deck and landing on my bare palms. I was a teenager with a bike and a skateboard so I know what road rash on the palms feels like, it’s not good. Also last week on my fondo ride my palms were getting a little sore from such a long ride, something I never experienced before. So I’m on the search for a decent glove thats tight and won’t cause my hand to sweat too much. What say you, gloves yea or nay?

Never eat hot dogs before a ride, bad things happen. ’nuff said

I’ve found that I really like 52×28 on grades up to 5%. Yeah, technically I’m cross chaining but there is something about staying in that big ring.

My lack of proper nutrition at the fondo has prompted me to go back to the drawing board and expand my repertoire. I’m back to testing GU gels again. When I started riding I used them almost exclusively but then I got away from them when I went to more real foods, but on a long ride there is only so many solids I can digest. GU also seems to be the most prevalent thing at supported rides so I just want to make sure I can still tolerate them before I head out on a long ride. It gives me another option to my Honey Stingers, Untapped Maple, Bonk Breakers and Skratch. I’m also very intrigued with the SiS products, especially their gels. Supposedly their gels are isotonic which means it has the same concentration of the fluid make up in the body (or something like that). Essentially it means you can ingest/digest one of their gels w/o needing to take on additional water, unlike all of the other type of gels I’ve used which always say to take with water. Because it’s close to  what the human body is doing naturally it will be digested and get into the body quicker. Anyone have any experience with SiS?

 

A little helmet flourish

le_aeon_grMy current helmet of choice is a Giro Aeon in “glowing red.” The last time I was shopping for helmets, this was my helmet of choice and it was just a matter of selecting a color. I chose the flame red because it’s pretty visible, it matched my Giro Empires and it was on sale. It’s a fantastic helmet, light, pretty aero and good venting. At the time I was riding my Specialized in a matte charcoal finish, and with the helmet and shoes matching  I could wear almost any kit and still be reasonably well matched and not look like I was color blind.

With the arrival of my Cannondale in team colors (white/black/lime) I thought I would add a couple of touches to the helmet to give it some character and match the bike a little better. I didn’t want to get too gaudy or damage the helmet in anyway so I had to carefully think about how to do this. The obvious choice was to use some sort of vinyl tape. On hand at home I had some black decorative tape for auto and white electrical tape. With those two colors I just started trying different patterns and stripes on the helmet. Once I got something I liked, I carefully trimmed the excess off the ends (being careful not to cut into the foam either!) so it ended at the edge of the shell  and didn’t overlap the foam for a professional look.

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Farm to Fork Fondo | Hudson Valley 2016

farmforkfondoThis past Sunday I participated in my second Farm to Fork Fondo. Last year I chose the “Medio Fondo” route which was essentially 100k, but this year I stepped it up to the “Gran Fondo” which was billed as 140k (87 miles) and ~5800′ of elevation. This ride would be a first for me as I had never done that much elevation in a single ride before.

Just to get it out of the way, hands down, this was the most challenging ride I have ever done. I was good until about mile 75 when we hit a climb known as “The Wall”, but more on that later. My biggest issue was that my nutrition was off and I underestimated my needs for the day. I always tend to take too much food with me and never finish it all. This time I planned for exactly what my expected time to be and missed it by a bunch.

The idea behind this ride (and its sister rides) is about bringing awareness to and support our local farms along with the open green space they provide and the relationship between cyclists, the landscape and healthy living. There are three more rides in the series this summer if you are so inclined, just visit FarmForkFondo.com more more details.

As with the ride last year there was no shortage of pros and retired pros on hand to mingle and ride with. The Colavita | Bianchi women’s cycling team was there, Ian Boswell from Team Sky, retired pro Ted King, along with a few others who’s names escape me at the moment.

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My Cannondale @ Cannondale

My Cannondale at Cannondale

My Cannondale at Cannondale.

Yes this is the historic Cannondale train station where the Cannondale bike company got it’s name from.

Here are a couple of other shots from the day. Cannondale’s first HQ was in a loft above a pickle factory in the village.

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