Friday, April 24, 2009

Feels like summer riding.

It felt like summer here in WI today, high in the 80s, lots of sun and windy! I got out for a 64 mile ride, a nice hard effort, here it is:

I touched 3 counties on my ride (Racine, Milwaukee and Waukesha), could have made a 4th if I'd went west a few more miles! It got HOT fast, and the wind kicked up about mid ride. Especially out around Tichigan Lake, there are some nice rollers and sweeping roads, but I had that SSW headwind as I made my way to Hwy 20 and then Hwy K to head back in. The heat was hard, I've been used to riding in the cold or at least cool temps. Plus, I was riding my alum Trek, it's a heavy bike and transmits all the road noise up my back and into my arms. I'm glad I shipped my CF Giant for the long ride next week. I pushed harder than I wanted to ride today, averaging about 17 mph for the entire ride. I only made 3 stops, and bought a one liter bottle of water at my "lunch" stop. Otherwise, wasn't hungry. I brought a PBH (honey) with, and had a Clif Builder Bar, along with some Poweraid, but I did not drink enough. I was dehydrated this afternoon, but I managed to drink a lot of fluids and felt better within two hours following the ride.

Pre ride, I had to slap a computer on the Trek, as my Cateye Astrale 8 is on my E7 TT bike (I borrowed the Astrale 8 from my wife's bike, as well as her pedals for this ride!). I was doing some routine maintenance on the Giant prior to shipping it, and found the left Keo pedal spindle appears to be bent. Now these are my Look Keo Carbons, decent pedals, but they have 3,800+ miles on them. I need to contact Look to determine if I can get a new spindle-I do not want to risk the crash if my pedal shaft snaps! I took the newest pair of pedals I have for the trip, a set of Keo Classics which should be just fine.

I managed to get my early season tan lines started today as well, I put on sunscreen, but my jersey sleeves must have slipped up as I rode, and yep, I got some serious farmer lines (still red) going.

One week from today and I will have started the 1,000 mile ride. By this time next Friday, I will have 115 miles under my belt! I hope there isn't a huge heat up for the ride, I guess time will tell. I have a feeling I will be tired next week, and the routine might fall in like this: ride all day, go eat dinner, have a beer (maybe) and go to bed, then repeat.

I need to pack my clothing and go over my bike gear this weekend. One more trip to the LBS, I need a few sleeveless base layers, a rain cover for my helmet. It was a bit like Christmas the past two days, except for the 8 degree temps and sun! I just got a Nike Windblock ride vest today in the mail, very nice purchase on ebay for $22. Yesterday, I got my new pair of Assos UNO bibs as well. I will be bringing 2-pair of Assos and 1-Pearl Izumi bibs; I wore the new Assos today, very comfortable, nice chamois, fit is exceptional. I want to (eventually) have all my bibs be Assos brand, I just need to budget properly to afford another 2-3 pair!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Shipped my bike tonight!

I opted to take my Giant on the long ride, I hope it survives the UPS wrath! If not, I've insured it for enough for me to buy a new CF bike in Wash DC! I think it will be fine, the cardboard bike box I bought from the LBS seemed durable, after all, they had received a Trek TTX 9.5 in it, and that bike was OK. And, thats a pretty expensive bike, like $5,500 me thinks.

The bike will be at Kev's on Thursday, he will call me when it gets there and I will let you know if it survived!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

10 days to go.

Thats until I leave for Charleston SC, with a quick stop in VA for some visiting, food and gathering of gear.

Lots going on since last post, Dennis and I shot some pics, here's one:

We got a 2nd Long Ride patch one of the guys had made up, here it is:

Let's see, Dennis and I had our fundraiser last night, decent turn out, slightly less attending than we hoped, but we still raised over $800 in 5 hours, so not bad.

I picked up my bike box from the LBS today, it's a Trek Equinox TTX 9.x, has straps in it, padding, foam, etc. It should do nicely, I'll be shipping the Giant out in the next few days, after I clean her up. Tires and rims are holding up well, I also bought new gel padding and bar tape today, I will install tomorrow. Also picked up a new jar of Assos cream, I like this better than the Paceline Products Chamois Lube I had been using. No irritation, saddle sores or skin rash since using the Assos.

I also got sick earlier this month (head cold); now, I got a sore throat a few days ago, culminating in a screaming raw throat last night at the fundraiser, with loss of voice. I could not even swallow this AM, so instead of doing my 5 hour ride I had planned in the 70 degree sunny morning, I went to Urgent Care for meds. Five days of antibiotics and prednisone should do the trick. I feel good otherwise, just sinus pressure and throat issues. I feel I could ride, just don't want to push my luck this close to crunch time.

I rode yesterday before the fundraiser, did my 17.5 mile out and back in 58 min flat, best time this year, averaged 18mph, stronger crosswinds the entire ride so I can't be too sick! Physically (and mentally), I feel ready for the long ride; I changed out saddles on the Giant, opting for my fizik Arionne instead of my Aliante, which I think broke in the middle-support is just gone and it flexes badly.

I'm ordering one new pair of bibs for the trip, either Pearl's Ultrasensor or Assos, if I can find a sale on them (wifey gave me the green light of purchase power tonight)! That will give me three "good pair" of bibs (1-Pearl's and 1-Assos as of now), so I can have a clean pair each day. I also need one or two summer base layer tees, a dew rag and I might order a new headset for the Giant yet. I would have to install it once on the east coast, so we'll see, it might wait.

I'll be making my (packing) list and checking it twice (tomorrow), making sure I'm not naughty and leaving essential gear at home. I'm getting pumped for the ride, 2 weeks on the road, riding 11 days, this will be a life time ride for sure, can't wait.