Thursday, January 29, 2009


So I'm just riding along when I start to notice way too much float on my right pedal. Turns out the cleat was totally worn down to a nub and starting to crack. Time to dig around the garage for a fresh pair. Might as well get around to addressing the nagging discomfort in my right hip and head into the season with a good fit. This has been an on going project since The Steve made some major adjustments back in October. I had been procrastinating the final drop of the saddle for fear of opening this can of worms I call Bike-Fit-Whac-A-Mole. Anyway, I got the cleat angle I wanted but then started getting pain on the IT band just below the knee. I checked the seat angle and set back and made minor adjustments on the fly. No luck. Dug around my cycling library and concluded that the new IT pain was possibly caused by too high saddle. I lowered the saddle a half cent past the goal and got pain on the front of the left knee. 99% chance this is a saddle too low pain. So I put the saddle back up to the goal, which, by the way, is a full 2 centimeters lower than it was last season. The right leg just below the knee IT pain returned. The problem went round and round my head. Seat too high, IT pain, seat too low, other knee front pain. Back and forth, to and fro, a vicious circle. Oh yeah, The Steve mentioned I might have a leg length discrepancy. On the way to work the light came on. It had to be the the Q-factor. I moved my right cleat a few millimeters out moving my right foot a few millimeters in and voila! Problem solved. Of course we won't know for sure until my 150 mile ride on Monday.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

tic-toc tic-toc

In an attempt to recover for hard weekend rides I've been commuting at an easy pace. We've been doing the Saturday River Ride pretty much every week and then I do my long ride alone. This week's long ride was 130 miles, 75 on the road and 55 on the tt-bike...all on the Parkway. This gave me a chance to work on my nutrition strategy, my lighting for the night loop, and the specificity of the event. For this week's nutrition experiment I did the road bike portion with my Camelbak filled with water and three Elixir tabs. The Camelbak is way more comfortable on the road than on the mountain bike. I'm thinking about trying a 100 oz reservoir so I can do 10-12 hours on one refill. And, as a side benefit/discovery, there will be no more worrying about stopping for water on 100 miles tempo rides. I hopped on the tt-bke and was able to cruise comfortably at 20 mph for about three hours. The lights worked perfectly and with two complete sets I am good to go there. And of course the specificity of the race requires riding all day on the road bike then jumping on the tt-bike and riding 14 hours through the night. Not exactly tactical rocket science but definitely an important detail none the less. The next big ride is Mt. Diablo. I'll be doing a threshold test to see where we're at. The Chronic Training Load has stabilized in the 105-110 range and recovery is starting to be more predictable. Oh yeah, I've dropped 3-4 pounds and am back in the groove there too. Rock on!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Plan B

I was hoping to go around the lake with Marshall Grade thrown in for giggles but I awoke to a cold and wet day and decided to invoke the Hamby Rule. The Hamby Rule states that the a workout may be shortened to two-thirds if the weather is crappy. Cold is okay, wet is okay, but cold and wet is a no go. Any kind of storm advisory moves the workout indoors. Anyway, I waited for the storm to pass then headed out for some sweet spot and sub-threshold intervals.

3x10:00 @ 250-260
2x 25:00 @ 230-240
1x10:00 @ 230 standing into the wind

That's 90 minutes of quality cruising.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Go Big!

I logged 18 hours in the saddle this week with building strength and endurance the only goal.

Tuesday I rode from my house to Forresthill and then six miles up Mosquito to the snow line. 8000-10,000 feet of climbing and 140 miles in ten hours.

Thursday was 5000 feet of climbing around Grass Valley and Nevada City with the family.

Friday, back to work recovery commute.

Saturday, River Ride, which for us is 60 miles in three hours fifteen minutes.

Next week is less miles and more sub-threshold intervals.