Friday, March 30, 2012

Solvang -- My Tuchus!

Last Friday, I drove to Solvang for the first double of the season.  Forecasters promised rain, so I shelved the newly-repaired Llewellyn and went with my fendered Spectrum.  Checked into the hotel and dressed for a ride.  I hadn’t been on this bike in over a year, so definitely needed a shake-down ride.  Rode into the wind, westbound on Highway 246, then north on Drum Canyon Road -- also into the wind -- and back for 70 minutes.  When I returned to the hotel, my sit bones weren’t feeling good.  So I decided to raise the saddle.  By half a centimeter.  It’s not as bad as it sounds – on the ride I’d wear my Riivos that have a thicker sole than the Rocket 7s I wore on this ride.  So, yes, a different bike, a new position, and different shoes.  I also felt a bit cramped with the 10cm stem that was on the bike.  Stupid?  Very much so!  Oh well, what the hell.  Kevin Thornton came by in the evening.  We’d met online and would ride this double together.

Solvang Spring Double.  Sucked.  First 101 miles took 5:32 at 19.1mph.  The return took 7:40 at what felt like 12 mph into 15-25mph headwinds.  Fucking demoralizing.  The wind did a complete 180 from the day before.  Had this double been of Friday, we would have finished at least 1:30 earlier.  Last year’s 90 miles of rain was better than this.  Glad I brought the fendered bike, it made the rain stay away until late evening, but I wonder if my fenders were catching the wind and slowing me down.  Funny thing is legs felt OK at the end of the ride and responded well to efforts with no hint of cramping.  There was severe brain cramping, however.  I’m pissed at this ride and it’s all wind-related.  Fuck it; don’t want to write about it anymore.

Oh yeah, the bike fit and the shoes worked out just fine.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Looming Double

It's the week before Solvang Spring.  Every year I feel in equal parts excited and anxious as this double approaches.  This year it seems these feelings started bubbling up earlier.  Maybe it's because I was training well a month ago and felt optimistic.  Then I got sick and it took me two weeks before I felt normal and another ten days before I felt normal on the bike.  So I was nervous that I may have a bad ride or DNF, god forbid.  For the past week, I've been training well, albeit doing mostly intensity work.  But this training has returned the optimistic outlook.  Then there's the weather.  We have had a very dry winter until ten days ago, when it started dumping daily, just as I had hoped to do one last endurance ride to prepare.  I've been checking the forecast for March 24, the day of the ride and it's been changing daily.  First it was showers the day before, then showers the day of the ride, and for the past two days it's been partly cloudy the day before and the day of and showers the day after.  Since it's now four days before the ride, I hope that forecasts become more precise as the time to the ride shortens and it remains dry for the 24th.  Of course no one told Mama Nature that it wasn't supposed to rain on the day of the ride last year, when it dumped for the last 100 miles of this ride.  But even a cyclist very well prepared for louse weather doesn't look forward to riding in the rain -- at least one doesn't.

In other good news, my Llewellyn frame has been repaired and I'll have it built up and ready to ride at Solvang, if I choose to ride this bike.  I think I will.  I'll have to do a shakedown ride or two to get used to the bike again and for the bike to get used to me.  I think we can work together well.  Unless the forecast changes.  Then I'll take my fendered Spectrum. 

Hmm.  Just checked the forecast for Morro Bay, the north-most point of the ride and it has 30% chance of rain on the 24th.  Glad I looked.  Plan B is becoming Plan A and I will be taking more rain gear than anticipated... unless the forecast changes again.