Freaky Wind = Hard Ride
I did a ride this morning to test the new TT-style setup on my road bike. For the race season, I’ve replaced the handlebars with a Profile Airwing and mounted a pair of Profile T2+ aerobars on these. I’ve replaced the integrated Tiagra shifters & brake levers with Crane Creek brakes, and Shimano Dura Ace bar-end shifters.
Heck, all this makes me look almost like a real triathlete . . .
Anyway, the ride was not as good as it could have been. The T2+ bars were in the same position as when I was using them with the bike’s original road bars & shifters. But now that I had to get right to the end of them to change gear, it was clear that they were far to far forward. I mean, riding while virtually lying down on your stomach is very aero, and also incredibly uncomfortable. My neck just isn’t meant to bend like that. More importantly, with my upper arms definitely not vertical, the strain on my shoulders was something else.
So I ended up doing most of the ride in the ‘hoods’ position. Which was also not good. I’d set up the Airwing so that it’s lower section was horizontal, and this meant that even on the final up-sweep, my wrists were in an uncomfortable position, not taking the weight straight-on. Plus, in that position, and the gear shifters on an entirely different part of the handlebars, I wasn’t changing gear anywhere near as often as I should have done, so my cadence was all over the place.
In short, I’m pretty sure that I looked like an eejit with all the gear and no idea.
And then to make things worse, the wind this last week has been really quite freaky. Get this - you’ll never believe it . . . it’s been blowing from . . . . . . . . . The East.
Doesn’t happen very often, and when it does, it’s cold and always catches me unawares. So I rode out to the west Actually, riding East isn’t an option from here. At least, not an option if you want to stay dry, breathing, and the right side of hypothermia. Unless you’re dressed for it:
So yes, I did ride out with the wind to my back, whooping excitedly at the incredible feeling of speed and power. Of course, this was further helped by several long down-hill sections, where I became convinced that I was invincible. Yeah, right.
At my turnaround point, I stopped to take stock and catch up on the fluids that I’d forgotten to drink in the previous 50 minutes excitement (average speed 21 mph! Yes! I ROCK!), and then headed for home. And got a 65 minute reality check that really, really hurt.
A lot. As in,
Eat humble pie you stoopid ignorant, proud speck of insignificant road grime.
Once I got home, had some more food, showered, and had some more food, I spent a studious 45 minutes with a multi-tool fixing the bars’ setup. And then about another 20 minutes riding around the block fiddling with the tension on the rear shifter’s cable. Things hadn’t been quite right there either, but not wrong enough for me to moan about it previously.
76 days to race day - lots of time left to get this right yet.
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 04/20/2008
- Time: 21:58:53
- Total Time: 1:56:00.00
- Distance: 31 miles
- Average Speed: 16.03 mph