Well its the end of a long, psychiatrist slow rest week. I got some nice time off the bike, but unfortunately with all the school and time catching up on bike maintenance(polishing my frame, cleaning the chain, building a new wheel etc…), it didn’t equate to more hours of free time that I usually discover in a rest week. But as usual, I did a little exploring to break the routine, checked out the dead end roads to find out just how far they went until it dead ended, and checked out some new roads outside of my usual training grounds and loops. Not to mention getting chased down by some new dogs. Another plus to the shorter rides this week, was the smaller window if time it takes to get out and back without getting rained on. I managed to fit my rides perfectly in between the rain passing through. Amazing! But all in all, this has to be the busiest rest week I’ve had, speaking of which, time to stop procrastinating and get back to homework, before another big week of training starts.
So its about midnight, purchase and I’m still up with a 6 hour training ride planned for the morning. At this point, you should be saying: “But Chris, you should be in bed, sleeping for a 6 hour training ride, why are you still up”. Well Ill tell you, because freakin bike parts break. You can just be sitting down to true your wheel, when all of a sudden, you notice the reason it is out of true is because the spoke is being pulled out of the rim and there is a giant crack that goes from one braking surface to the other. I was happy to see that the wheel held up after some miles of riding on it like this, and that it didn’t implode on me on some 50 mph descent. So after setting the potential wheel of death aside, I moved on to my rain wheel, sitting in a dark corner of the garage like a cornered wolverine waiting for me to make my move.
I picked up my enemy and placed it on my bike. Gave it a spin to make sure all was well, foolishly thinking I was done with the major distress for the evening, and all of a sudden it was a fixed gear wheel with a ten speed cassette on it. My derailleur didn’t quite look right as it tried to handle the forces pulling it forward by the chain as the free wheel would not engage. All chaos broke loose on my bike as its drive train made sounds you only hear during a crash. I feared for my life briefly, but then realized that my bike was inanimate and couldn’t revolt, but that assumption was rejected after my crank flew around, whacking my hand setting the bike loose on the innocent garage as I dropped it. I looked at it for a minute in surprise before moving onto the perpetrator causing this great universal unbalance.
The wheel looks relatively humane; a round smooth rubber bumper surrounding a smooth metal rim, basically connected to the hub via coat hangers. But don’t be fooled, I once knew a Cuban cyclist who suggested to use your wheel as a weapon if an angry motorist ever pulls over to give you a hard time. The rear wheel also has teeth at the center…Ten rows of teeth…perhaps its related to a shark.
So I took it off, and began to investigate its recent bandwagon hop onto fixed gear culture as it went skidding past at an incredible rate. The hub was solid as a rock, so I tried the usual dissemble to grease it up process, but unfortunately, the whole area seemed to be held together by some mystical force. Billy Mays probably sold some of this mystical force in an infomercial last night to a gnome in the garage plotting my demise. So after a good 30 minutes of tampering with this, and some new battle scars from its teeth, I said enough, and proceeded to pour a gallon(maybe not a whole gallon) of tri flow of on it to hopefully loosen it up for another day. For now Ill be rollin on Karey’s spare back wheel, which I’m going to spend a lot time with in the next few days. That’s the story of my night. After an arduous night of defeating the wheels of doom, its bed time.
Well its been my first week of official on the bike training, troche and in that week it was proof that all my off season training and my December of pre-season training has paid off. The final weeks of preseason went about how I was expecting, more about and I felt about how I was expecting to feel. But more recently, clinic I was not prepared for how quickly my off season training would equate to on the bike strength, power and comfort. My power is much higher, and I am a lot more comfortable cruising at the higher speeds and power outputs, and my weight is right where I want it, so my power to weight ration has improved dramatically. Its amazing how much of a difference actually having time to train can make. Last year I didn’t get in nearly this quality of training, especially in the early part of the season, which led to a late bloomer, almost too late since It came down to September and I was just starting to feel the peak and then it was all done. More importantly, I feel much more excited to get on the bike to train. This year, things are structured properly and Ill have the fitness when I need it. But enough of my finger flap about feeling good, huge power increases and the other horse manure, you’ll see what I’m saying on the results page in a few months.