Archive | February, 2012

City View

29 Feb

I wanted to get in a few extra miles in last night other than the commute yesterday so I packed a bit less than normal on the way to work with the idea to leave my bag at work and grab it then next day. Took a couple laps around Fairmount but the legs weren’t in it. Big ring climbs turn to small ring jawnts and fast pace flats turn into lallygagging in the drops. Oh well. It was nice out/amazing for end of February so I shall not complain too too much. I snapped a few iphone photos of the sights along the route. Not really impressed with the quality though, not sure if its the uploading to wordpress or the low light. Oh well.

 

City looks fairly small from back here.

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There are quite a bit of old mansions up in Fairmount park, though ive never been inside any of them.  This one is usually at the end of a false flat sprint route.

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Looking down at boathouse row/art museum/city.

 

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Weekend Roundup

27 Feb

Saturday morning I woke up to ride out to Oaks for a bicycle expo. Game plan was to cruise out to a teammates house along the way and ride to the expo with some of the team to check out the sights and sounds. The forecast predicted wind and plenty of it. There was a 20-25mph constant wind from the west, ie head wind for me the entire way there.

As I was struggling in the wind trying to stay in the drops, I saw a wall of dark clouds. I didn’t remember anything about precipitation in the forecast so I didn’t think much of it. After another miles or so I started seeing flurries and thought this was fun. Nothing wrong with a little winter. Then it actually started snowing. This I didn’t like as much since I had on a base layer and a wind vest and that was it. I wasn’t expecting SNOW!

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I eventually made it to Ben’s and tried to warm up a bit as we talked and waited for the rest of the crew. We then watched the clouds leave and the sun come out.

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This was nice, but it presented us with an interesting trade off. As we rode the couple miles out to oaks you could either be at the front of the group and fight the wind, or sit in and take all the melted snow spit-up in the face. Its pretty easy to see who sat in!

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We finally made it to the show and was treated with some bike parking. As usual the ticket I received in order to get my bike back was lost in the next 30 minutes.

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Did you know they made shoes that look like cycling shoes made for standing on the podium? Ryan was amazed.

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Ben won the pull-up contest.

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During the show we saw a couple other team mates as well as a few sponsors.

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After the show we stopped back off at Ben’s where I was able to check out the engine they swapped into the rabbit from last weekend.

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Sunday I went for a quick recovery ride with a friend around Fairmount then had lunch plans with the lady.

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We cruised to center city for a beer and lunch at Good Dog/

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We were calming down for the night, breakfast and lunches were made, and the TV was on. One of our cats is a bit of an investigator shown below… We like to call him Investigator Grissom.

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Fast forward a few minutes and we ended up having to take him to the emergency vet. We then watched the entire oscars & jimmy kimmel. Anyways hes luckily doing fine now! But I ended up going to sleep at 3am and waking up this morning at 6:30am so the legs felt like rocks on the ride to work this morning. Cant wait to get some recovery sleep in later this week as ive been drilling the miles for our team monthly mile competition.

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Ergo

24 Feb

After seeing ton of flat bar commuters/mtbs I picked up some ergo grips for the Salsa Vaya and tried them out for the first time yesterday. I had just been riding some bmx grips I had laying around and could feel the wrist fatigue at certain points during my commute. This is the first time ive ridden a flat bar in a long long time minus a bmx bike so I wasnt really sure what to expect. I’m looking forward to trying these out over the long run and giving a update later down the road. But in the last two days I have really enjoyed the hand position as well as the extra surface area that I have to grip.

Quick photo from the iphone cruising home last night. This morning was a bit wetter but I had a fun tailwind coming to work. lets home that wind changes direction for the ride home.

Weekend Roundup

20 Feb

After last weeks attempts of trying to get over this cold, I needed to get out for a few miles Saturday morning, especially since the weather was suppose to be amazing (~50F). My sleep has been less than ideal lately with coughing episodes waking me up periodically throughout the night. Because of this, I didn’t set an alarm and missed the group ride I was planning on riding with Saturday morning. Instead I did a solo ride on the road bike which I hadn’t ridden since May of last year… (terrible I know.) I re-greased the headset (its in miserable shape but I have one on order since 1-1/8 to 1-1/4 headsets aren’t super common), threw on another chain as one of the link in the old one must be slightly seized, and got the rear derailer back in business.

It was a perfect day out and cruised out on the SRT towards valley forge. Tried to snap a few along the way with the phone.

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While I was there I got to check out the new team van. Some interesting plans for this thing, Im intrigued to see how it turns out.

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Ended up stopping by one of my teammate’s warehouse were him and another teammate were getting an engine hoist in order to put an engine in him rabbit project.

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Also very jealous of his Lupo 3L project.  First off Ive always been a fan of the Lupo design and second off these 3L versions are a super lightweight version with manly AL components for weight savings.

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After my rear Sram Frce shifter broke, I pulled it off and took it to a local shop in hopes of getting it warrantied.  Later that week they called and said that they got the warrientied shifter in.  Wow!  I wasn’t expecting it to be that fast/easy.  The only stipulation was that you need that shop to do the install.  Alright, I get it, Sram doesn’t want their shifters being installed incorrectly and the shop doesn’t want to be spending time shipping/on the phone without compensation.  Im fine with that.

So Sunday morning the lady and I rode down to the bike shop in order to get the shifter on. Maybe it was dumb of me but for some reason I thought that this would take a couple hours where we could walk around the city, walk back, and ride home. I mean they didn’t have to retape the bar, just put the bolt through the shifter and dial the brakes/rear derailer in. Anyways I was way off and they said 3-4 days.

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We ended up walking home from there meandering throughout the city.  First stop was at Sweet Freedom Bakery, kept walking a bit, then a quick stop at Whole Foods to pick up a couple groceries for the week and another snack.

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Walked through a couple parks, saw a ton of tourists around independence mall and snapped a quick picture as well.

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Walking was a nice change of pace especially with this amazingly warm weather for Feburary.  The legs felt a bit sore after the walk so I deemed it time to sit down and relax a bit.  Grabbed a brew, sat on the couch, and got lazy for a while.  It was a good weekend.

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Back on board

16 Feb

It feels good to be riding again. Snapped a couple on the ride last night. Im really loving these Rudy Project rx glasses I picked up a little whiles back. Debating if I should have gone with a transitional lens pair though…

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Threw some slicks on the salsa vaya and running a 46×18 now. its amazing the rolling resistance and weight that the Hakkapeliitta W240 studded tires add.

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Saw a ton of birds.

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Got home and made a bowl of rigatoni and meatballs with some home made marinara and nooch/

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Road to Recovery

14 Feb

For the last week or so I’ve had a nagging cough, tons of mucus, and would wake up with a terribly dry throat even though I had my humidifier on full blast. Eventually I got sick enough to take notice and took a couple days off work to recoup/not get the rest of the office sick. Even though there are plenty ‘bugs’ going around the office at any point in time, I rarely am effected which I attribute to diet/exercise. Unfortunately this time was different.

Due to the longevity and a few other factors, I came to the conclusion that my workout to recovery balance was way off. I’ve been focusing on the breaking down muscle side but not backing those workouts up with the rebuilding aspect. The recovery process is just as important but isnt as widely talked about. After re-listening to a few podcasts and doing some homework on the topic, I felt like most of my symptoms I was showing were spot on. Lingering illness due to weakened immune system, lack of motivation, GI distress, and so on. Ive felt the effects of over training before but I’m usually able to dodge any flu like symptoms, take a day or two off the bike, then get back to business. This time wasn’t the case so I had to reevaluate and figure out how I wanted to rebalance the workout/recovery equation.

I could obviously spend less time on the bike, but whats the fun in that? I came up with a few solutions Im going to work between to help rebalance the equation:

Since I enjoy commuting every day, that’s not something I plan on giving up. What I do plan on implementing is varying my intensity on certain days (something I should be doing anyway) in order to actively recover. I find it hard to ride ‘slow’ but something I really need to work on.

Dare I say spend less time drinking and more time doing something productive??! As much as I love hanging out on the weekends, late nights + alcohol is no way to give the legs the recovery they deserve. Game plan is to cut back a bit, which can be hard especially in the winter months.

Start and continue with a stretching plan + foam rolling every night. Love foam rolling, I just need to make it a nightly activity to help the legs recover faster.

Last is to get the nutrition in check. I started a food journal for a day or so (pretty sad I know) and would love to take the time to get back into that, at least for a week or so. This would give me an eye into how many calories a day I’m taking in and what essential vitamins/nutrients I’m not getting enough of.

Because theres nothing fun about reading with no pictures, Me, a cat and some Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Shifter Fail

7 Feb

I was having shifting issues the other day but didnt have time to take a look.  It felt like the shifter mechanism wasn’t catching but I was hoping it was a cable issue.

I pulled up the hood to see the ends of a few teeth of the gear sheared off. Im just hoping Sram’s warranty is much better that Shimanos as these shifters dont even have a year in them.