Sunday, February 15, 2009

Power intervals, hide & seek, chivalry and a broken chain

Wow! How's that for a title. In case you haven't already guessed, I will be writing about quite a few topics this go around. However, I can honestly say, it's still all about the bike.

Last Sunday I went for my first training ride with Coach Tim. Now, Tim and I have ridden together a lot over the last 5 years. But this was the first time he was going to coach me during the ride. The plan? To go out and ride power intervals over 5 smallish hills. Of course, before we can ride we need our pre-ride pick-me-up from Flying Goat Coffee.

Then we're off. The first hill was relatively easy and more of a warm up. The only problem was my shifting. I was climbing in the middle ring but every time I went to the larger cogs in the rear the pedals would skip. This was more annoying then anything else so I just decided to deal with it and fix it back at home. Over the next 45 miles we power climbed 4 other hills. The goal was to stay in a monster gear, turn the pedals at a cadence between 50 and 60 rpm, and absolutely stay in the saddle. It was the last part that was the hardest for me. You see, I rather enjoy climbing out of the saddle. In the end, it was a great workout and one I definitely felt the rest of the day.

On the way home I stopped by NorCal Bike Sport and they checked out the sled. I had just cleaned it really well the day before and was assuming I knocked something out of whack. They took a peek and said that some road gunk (it was a rainy day) had clogged the cables. So a few minutes later I was good to go and at no charge.

Yesterday, Carmen, Dennis and I went out under very stormy looking skies and played a 60 mile game of hide-and-seek with the rain. We were mostly successful. While it rain on us a few times, we never really got wet. And, you could see by the water on the road that it had recently rained very heavily in some places.

It was during our very first wet section that I started thinking about chivalry for some reason. Don't get me wrong. The women I am lucky enough to ride with can definitely hold their own and have towed my back home on more then one occasion. Still, in my mind I asked myself this question. On a cold, windy, rainy day, is it more chivalrous to pull in front and block the wind while drowning the woman behind you with road spray, or should you ride behind her to make her deal with the wind and accept the free ride? I did not come up with an answer.

The only real issue on the ride occurred towards the end. Once we started riding, I discovered the bike was still skipping gears. What the hell! I guess it's back to NorCal. Then, at around the 50 mile mark, while we were going up a small grade, it started skipping with every pedal stroke. So I stopped to see if something was in the chain. And as I slowly turned the pedals to inspect the chain it simply fell off onto the road. Well, maybe that's the problem. The solution? Fortunately, I carry a chain tool with me and less then 10 minutes later, and 2 chain links shorter, we were on the way. The bike worked perfectly after that.

Right now, I am getting ready to head downtown to watch the finish of Stage 2 of the Tour of California. Look for news about that in the coming days.

Until then,


1 Comment(s):

Nicole said...

Probably best to ask the woman which she'd prefer!! Personally I find the spray from the tire in front of me way more annoying than rain...those power intervals sound HARD! :)