2016 was a difficult year for me on and off the bike. My cycling didn’t go exactly as planned and much of that was due to my fiancee’s auto accident and resulting (slow) recovery which is still a work in progress. I would have like to spend more time in the saddle but family comes first and there were a quite a few days where I was just too mentally exhausted to even get on the bike even thought I had the time. The most disappointing thing to me was missing my mileage goal, but there are more important things in life than a number. I’m hoping 2017 brings us some good things, on and off the bike, the biggest of which is our wedding in April that we are both excited for. With that I leave you with my 2016 stats and you won’t see a post again from me until next year.
…and all through the house, not a crankset was turning, not even a 1x.
Hrmm… ok so it needs a little work.
It has been a little while since I last posted, but as the rest of the house is asleep on this Christmas eve, I’m a bit high on energy after a terrific day with my dad on the links and a great family dinner out. I didn’t do all that bad either considering I hadn’t swung a golf club in at least 15 years. I started to get some form back by the time we finished so I may try to get out there a bit more often now.
Anyway, since my last post there is what has been going on in my cycling life:
- I started racing on Zwift. Riding CX really made me want to race some more and what better way than on Zwift over the winter. I’m only in Cat D right now due to a somewhat low FTP w/kg since I didn’t have the summer training as planned, but I’ve been doing pretty well and have even caught a few podiums. My w/kg is improving weekly so I’ll likely be up to Cat C by the new year.
- I’m not sure how I managed it, but Vision racing recruited me after a few races on Zwift and I have been riding for them for a couple of months now. It’s a great group of guys and gals and nothing like having other teammates or a DS in your ear as you are racing. Lots of strong riders on the team so hopefully some of their racing knowledge will rub off on me.
- I put my application in for a multi day ride called the “Police Unity Tour.” It starts from the 9/11 memorial in NYC and goes to the Law Enforcement Officers memorial in Washington D.C. Due to the amount of applications received from returning riders, I’m currently on the wait list with 75 other people. I’m not sure where I am in line so I may or may not get in but if I do this will be my “A” ride I am targeting. It’s not competitive in nature but is 4 days long and has back to back centuries which would be new to me.
- I got an Knog Oi bell for my bike. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet but it doesn’t look like a bell and you can hardly notice it on the bike (I have the all black model) and it might be less jarring then yelling “on your left!” as I got whizzing past.
- I’m on the hunt for a power meter for my C’dale. I’d really like a spider based unit like a Power2Max or Quark, but they are a bit cost prohibitive especially since I have a wedding coming up. I do like the idea of pedal units like the Powertap P1 for the Garmin Vectors, but they are really cost prohibitive so I’m leaning towards something like a Stages to replace the left crank arm. I probably don’t need double sided power but I’d just like to have numbers while I’m out on the road.
- I’m on the hunt for some new wheels. I’m
looking drooling over the Flo Cycling 45 & 60 models. Not sure if I can swing them before the wedding but we’ll see. I’ll probably spring for a power meter first.
With all that said I am not getting a bit sleepy and Santa will be here soon. My Christmas present to myself will be a ride outside tomorrow. Since I’m visiting my parents in SC it should be a wonderful ride outside not requiring any cold weather gear!
He sprung to his saddle, to his team flicked an elbow, and away they all peddled, dropping everyone with ease,
but I heard him exclaim, as they hammered out of sight…
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Today was the day I finally got outside for a bike ride, unfortunately it is much later than I had hoped. Between TrainerRoad, Zwift & my KICKR I don’t feel the need to get out and brave the cold in the middle of winter, I’m more than happy doing my structured workouts. However once the weather starts to warm up a little and time springs ahead so there is more light in the evenings I like to get outside and breath in the fresh air. That didn’t happen this year for a variety of reasons but I would still find time to do my workouts 3-4 times a week.
Then came a mini vacation to Walt Disney World. No bike down there so I did a little running a couple of those days. Nothing crazy just 5K distances and some intervals thrown in. The weather down there was perfect, coming home was very depressing. It was hard for me to get motivated and I rode the KICKER once the day after getting back and took the next two days off vowing to get outside on the weekend. Unfortunately those weekend plans didn’t come to fruition as my fiancee was involved in an serious automobile accident that Friday evening coming home from work which would derail any training plans I had made. Thankfully, she basically walked away with some minor cuts and bruisings along with a mild concussion but there were numerous appointments and follow up doctors visits that needed to be attended. Between going back and forth to those and back and forth to work I was mentally and physically spent I couldn’t event think about peddling a bike.
For my whole life I have never been able to touch my toes. I have often been told that it was because of tight hamstrings but I never really thought much of it as it really didn’t affect my daily exercise and activities. In my effort to become a better cyclist I have been stretching after my rides to stay flexible but even after months of stretching my hamstrings I was no closer to touching my toes than I was on day 1. I started to research the subject and as it turns out my issue isn’t with tight hamstrings after all it’s with not properly bending at my hips and instead trying to bend at my lower back. The “fix” is easy as a specific set of stretching exercises that had me touching my toes in a matter of minutes. Basically the progression is retraining your brain/body into accepting it can do this. This video explains the progression very well:
In case you are a skeptic here is another video showing how it works on someone who could not touch their toes beforehand.
Now I still have some tight hamstrings but I can at least touch my toes now. I still need to do the progressions after a day or so but that should subside once I retrain my body.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, mostly because I haven’t had anything real interesting to share. I’ve just been logging away the miles and preparing for the event I participated in today.
I rode in my cycle clubs annual even – the Golden Apple. I chose the 60 mile route and got started about 7:30 am. I wasn’t riding with any particular group of people as most wanted to get a later start but I picked up with different people along the way. It was an absolute great ride with the exception of my first flat in over a year. Coming out of a fast downhill I could feel the bikes back end get squirrely and a quick look down confirmed my suspicions. I managed to get it stopped without wiping out and set off to change the tube. I found the offending staple in my tire and of course removed it so I wouldn’t have a repeat. Of course the new tube I was using had a faulty valve and wouldn’t hold any air so I had to borrow a tube from one of the road marshals at the intersection I was stopped at. Once that ordeal was over I was on my way again.
There was no more mishaps for the rest of the ride and I was taking it pretty easy. I had done 50-52 milers before but this one has a lot of climbing so didn’t want to burn out early. Even still at the 44 mile rest stop I needed an extended break for about 15 minutes so I could sit down and recover a bit. That certainly helped and I was able to finish the ride strong. Total mileage ended up being 62 so I managed to squeak out my first metric century in the process! Oh and total elevation gained was just over 4000 feet – Strava and my Magellan both agreed for once!
In other news I bought a new crank, FSA Gossamer, to put on my bike and ditch the square taper crank as it flexes too much under power. The Gossamer isn’t the lightest crank on the market but they are stiff and should shave about ~1lb off the bike in combination with the BB swap. After that I’m contemplating upgrading to 10sp from my current 8. With all the hills around here I’d really like at least a 28 in the rear and I can’t do that with my current setup. The biggest expense with doing the swap will be the shifters so I’m keeping my eye out on ebay.