This 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.
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.
Historic Cannondale Village.
I Am Not Ted King
Ok, maybe not everything else, but instead of making separate posts I thought I would just put all that is going on in my head currently in one post and try to keep it organized.
First lets talk about bike efficiency. I remember when I first test rode the CAAD10 how it really wanted to propel you, especially up hills. My test ride started off at the bottom of a hill, a small 5 minute climb if you will, when I got to the top I was so impressed with how it felt, I turned around and went back down only to go up again. I had never been on the hill before and I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t. I got it on flat ground in an aero position and it just wanted to go. It just seemed like there was no lost power with this bike, it was very efficient, everything I put into the pedals made it to the pavement. After it’s purchase I didn’t get too many rides outside before the cold and winter came forcing me inside on to the KICKR. Now that I’m back out on the road I am still amazed at how much more efficient my new CAAD10 is. I’m riding a bigger gear now (52/36 vs 50/34), don’t even use all of the cassette except on the nastiest of climbs, and while I’m not faster on the climbs I’m finding I can ride them “easier” if that makes sense. Bigger gear, lower HR and lower perceived exertion. Sure the C’dale is lighter by a few pounds and I may be a little more fit than last year but I feel the biggest difference is going from a do everything entry level jack of all trades, master of none style bike to an upper-mid level race bike. The CAAD10 just wants to go fast and propels you up those hills.
Inspired by this post over at PedalWORKS I decided to do some experimenting with my own tire pressures.
Previously in my 25mm tires I had been running 90psi in the rear and 85psi in the front. Now this clearly goes against the tires minimum recommend pressure of 102psi but it is comfortable and I have never had any ill effects doing so. Interestingly enough the pressure calculator recommends 82psi in the rear and 62psi in the front for my weight on the bike. 62psi seems way too low for me so for the first test I inflated the rear to 82 psi and the front to about 75 as that was as low as I was comfortable going.
To do my testing I picked a loop around my town that could provide me varied testing surfaces (smooth, bumpy, flat, climbs). With the tires inflated to 82r/75f I set out on my course. To be honest I didn’t notice all that much comfort from my usual pressure nor did I feel like I was at a disadvantage either with lower air in the tires – meaning it didn’t seem to give me any additional rolling resistance.