Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fast Bike, Dead Fridge.

Yesterday was a fun little whirlwind.
All good things in life are aero!

I slept until noon... Ok, before you simply navigate away from the page in disgust, I can explain.  Monday night, I got home after 15, count 'em, FIFTEEN weeks on the road.  By the time I got the camper situated, it was late... like pushing midnight. My refrigerator, which died last week, laughed at the idea that a change in balance might inspire it to start functioning again, but that did not stop me from trying to coax it. It was easily 1:30 am by the time I crawled into bed totally exhausted, so yes, I slept until noon.  For some reason, I never sleep like that on the road.  Being home is the final piece of the puzzle that has to fall into place for me to fully relax.  I needed it and it felt, OH, SO GOOD!!

After waking up and seeing the time, the chances of following DD's master plan for the day were shot.  I was planning to do a time trial that evening so he had me doing a morning run, then taking a nap.  He 86'd the run because he wanted uncorrupted data for the TT.

I had to get the bike into the shop to have some adjustments made and to see if the wheels that arrived were going to work for the race.  So while ignoring the somewhat dubious odor emanating from my very warm fridge, I jumped in the car and headed downtown.  I stopped by Austin Bikes and brought the bike and a cassette to Sol so that he could work his magic.  I was kind of hoping he could tune up the jockey as well as the horse but alas... no.  The workload I had for the last several weeks along with that little overreach after the last race was going to take it's toll.
Smile Sol!!
What's that look say?  Death be unto you and your camera?

**A quick side note:  I have blogged in the past about having a bike shop "home".  In Austin, that home is Austin Bikes.  There are bigger shops and shops geared more towards the triathlete but Sol and his boys know their trade and do it very, very well.  Road or Tri, it's got the best fitter and wrenches in the city all wrapped in great attitudes and topped with an appropriate amount of grease.  It is a fun little bike shop burrito.  They also have this racing team... and they let me play!!!
Goes Faaaaaast!!!

Everything came together just in time and I made it to the TT with the bike all spiffy and ready to go fast.  It was my first time out in my new team skinsuit.  I was really pleased with how comfortable it was, though for me, it felt awkward on two levels.. one, to be in public in what amounts to body paint, and two, to be representing a team at all.
Oh, wow.  Me in bodypaint my new skinsuit!

I rode out on course.  I was a rolling start.  You rode over a timing mat at the start and finish so you got up to speed ahead of time.  There was a lot of traffic and that occasionally posed some problems.  Sometimes you have to square off with the idea that living is more important than your TT time.  Overall, though it went pretty smoothly.

The one true difficulty was the deep front wheel in the gusty cross winds.  The firecrest 808 is supposed to handle more like a shallower wheel.  I am used to a 404 on a 650 circumference which, according to my research, is comparable to a slightly deeper wheel as the rim depth covers a greater portion of the wheel's overall area.  I am not sure that I ever rode the 404s with wind like we had yesterday but the front 808 gave me some substantial trouble.  I ended up coming out of aero for a stretch to gain leverage just to keep from being blown all over the road.  I need to do more training miles on the deep wheels but I also think I will add a shallower front wheel to my arsenal at some point for days like this.

There is a massive learning curve with racing and little events like this one help work the bugs out so that you can go have a good race when it really counts.  I am still developing and even my bike is not even close to dialed in yet so this kind of info is invaluable.  Also, pedaling like a mad thing for 8 miles is bound to sharpen your speed a bit.

At the end, the last woman to ride the course knocked me out of first place.  I sent a text to DD with the results and he responded: "No donuts for you."

Then I went and bought a new fridge.

Already coming out of aero.  There was a sharp turn right after the mats!!

1 comment:

  1. It's just weird how paths can depend on the little stuff without any of us knowing it, heheh. Such as refrigerators. Same thing, unfortunately, with the refrigerators; where it's the small stuff that often does them in. Every single detail has to work together for things to move forward. If they don't, then veer off another course. Hope it's a good run this time.