Over the last number of years, I had kind of gotten away from my bike a bit due to various other personal commitments and priorities. While I always continued to ride, I wasn’t doing a whole lot of it. In more recent years however, I rediscovered my bike and the joy of cycling so I’ve been gradually riding more and more. Last summer, a friend and I each set a goal of riding 1000k. I achieved that goal of course, but I got off to a much later start at it than I did this year and I really spread the distance out over the summer. It wasn’t actually until mid-September that I surpassed the 1000k mark, and I finished out ’08 with a total of 1054k. Based on that, I decided this year to push the envelope and try for 1200k. After a much earlier start and a much greater commitment to riding, and here I am…end of June and already over the top. With a solid 3 months of good riding weather still to go my next step is to reset my goal and see what I can do for the rest of this year. More on that later.
Beyond reaching my goal, this Saturday’s ride was better than last weeks’ disaster, but I have to say that I still struggled a bit. My lungs are great, but I just can’t seem to find the right power in my legs. Now I realize that I am not training properly and I’m sure there are lots of people more than willing to point that out as the reason for my lack of power. I’m really not that concerned about proper training as I’m not really training for anything in particular. What I find frustrating though is that I seem to have so much less power now than I did when I had only 400k under my belt. A couple times on Saturday, I really had to yell at myself to push. Mind you, the first half of my ride was into a headwind, but even so, that’s nothing new.
The good news is that I didn’t bonk like last week. I took everyone’s advice and followed it as closely as I could. I drank…and drank…and drank through the entire ride, fired back a GU2O gel just before the halfway point, stopped for a quick PowerBar lunch at around 60k and even gulped back a half-liter of chocolate milk with about 25k to go. I felt a lot better and my legs didn’t tie up in knots, but I still only managed to average 26.2 kmh over the 105k. That’s not bad I guess, but it’s still only 2 kmh faster than last week when I was dying. I actually like to think I’m riding a bit faster than that anyway. A good 30k of my regular route involves a lot of red lights and stop signs as I try to get out of and get back into the city. Of course, coasting to a required stop slows things significantly.
The only two other noteworthy items are more mechanical in nature. Mid-ride, my cycling glasses more or less exploded. I took them off during my little lunch break and as I put them back on, one of the lenses dropped out. On closer inspection, the frame was broken, which was odd because there was certainly no impact that could have caused that. Fortunately, I was able to jury rig the lens back in place and it stayed put until I got home.
More annoying than that though is that my crank set seems to have developed a nasty clicking sound, which has been there really since I rode in the rain during the Ride for Heart. That’s the main reason I hate riding in rain. It’s not that I dislike getting wet. Just seems like every time I do, my bike develops some mechanical quirk that drives me crazy. The worst with this little tick is that I can’t pinpoint it because I can only hear it when I’m actually riding with real pressure on the pedals. It has to be in the bottom bracket though, as I’ve pretty much eliminated the crank, pedal or cleat. Problem is I don’t have the right tool on hand that I need to overhaul the BB. I soon will though, along with new glasses.
Now, for the moment you’ve been waiting for. I’ve decided on going for another 900k for an even 2100, exactly double what I did in 2008.