Fired up

I met up with Julie, Coach Don, Wendy (another mentor) and Janice (an ex-teammate) the day after our kickoff for the very first recovery ride of the season. Of course, this early in the game, the “recovery” distance is longer than the actual rides… but a temporary renaming is bound to confuse people. So, we congregated at the Chain Reaction parking lot to and prepared to ride – obvious misnomer ignored. 

Coach Don, utterly distraught over my lack of proper Garmin data, circled up to chat over the “Problem of the Missing Cadence.” As mentioned in the last post, we quickly discovered the source of the issue, and, thanks to Don’s handy set of tools and zip ties, solved the missing pedal button in mere minutes. When we all hit the road a few short minutes later, my computer treated me to a “wheel size calculated” message, which assured me (falsely) that we’d rectified the problem.

The reigned in pace of Saturday’s kickoff ride had barely whetted my appetite for bike time. I hit Foothill feeling strong, and immediately jumped my pace up to take the lead of the pack. And that’s pretty much where I stayed (usually less than a light’s worth of gain ahead) for the rest of the ride. I fear that I wasn’t super sociable for most of the trip; conversing mainly at stoplights and then at our rest stop. But my body was screaming to “gogogo” (even if, for me, that translates to a mildly unimpressive 15mph)… so, I went!

About midway through the ride, one of our other participants, Butch, caught up to us and rode with the group for awhile. He pulled Don and I down an excellent speedy stretch of Alpine before breaking off to join his family for breakfast. For the record – my “fast” more resembles those two’s “moderate pace”… but man was it fun chasing their tails! I made a break from the group again as we rode through the Stanford back to Foothill stretch, and spent the rest of my ride leap-frogging some snarky iPod-sporting dude in a club jersey. Side note safety tip: don’t ride with headphones in your ears people – it’s almost impossible to hear anything at 20mph without adding likely terrible music to the mix! 

Sadly, my pace slowed considerably in the last 3-5 miles of the ride. You remember that “Oops forgot to downshift out of the giant gear before that stoplight” knee twinge from a few weeks back? Yeah… that bad boy is still kickin’ around. I’ve been suffering an intermittent joint clicking ever since, but (oddly enough) it usually only presents when I’m going from standing to sitting or vice versa – never when spinning. Or, more accurately, “never when spinning” until I push off a couple times on that leg in too high of a gear! Pair that with a breakfast devoid of key vitamins (potassium) and you end up with a killer “broke knee and ready-to-seize-on-the-next-big-pull-up calves” combo deal. So I grudgingly eased up, and managed to eke out an average speed that will still 2-3 mph above my last few shots at the same loop. Woohoo!

Now, in case you were worried, I assure that I have not been lax in my food reviews despite our current short rides circuits. I couldn’t justify much food on the 15 mile stints, so I had to gather a couple weeks of tests before posting. No standout performances to speak of… but a few solid “middle of the road” competitors. 

Brand Flavor Rated (1-10) Notes
Clif Bar Mini Crunchy Peanut Butter 5 Driest of the three mini bars means an overly “granola-y” texture. The peanut butter flavor is actually suitably subtle, but oddly sweet. Not terrible, not fantastic. Just a bit …blah.
Gu Chomps Cranberry-Apple 8 Pretty much exactly the same rating as last Gu chomp. Good texture, solid flavor (with an unexpected salt kick on the back end). Interesting to note that chomps have the highest complex carbs, amino acids and potassium levels of all the major blocks. Perhaps this offsets their annoying giant packaging?
Cytomax Lemonade 6 Basically a watered down tart lemonade. Slightly weaker than the orange version, but still fairly tasty. 
Luna Sport Electrolyte Splash Lime-ade 4 The oddest combination of a very watery, very sweet limeade on first taste… with a surprisingly salty finish. I didn’t hate it… but I didn’t much like it either. I think the tart component was totally missing (which is typically how I trick myself into drinking my regular water).

As for the ride data, this should be the last week that cadence is missing. It turns out that the pedal sensor was too far from the frame reader, although it was close enough to the wheel monitor — hence the “wheel size” message. I just spent a good thirty minutes or so futzing with the positioning out in the garage (In the cold. And the dark. The things I do for you people!), so hopefully we’ll be all set for tomorrow’s timed ride.

6 7 09 Recovery ride


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What do we have here?

An often sarcastic, occasionally humorous journal of my training adventures in preparation for the Livestrong century ride. I took up cycling back in '07 in hopes of meeting new people, and, with the help of Team in Training, making my small positive difference in the world -- and haven't stopped spinning since. Follow along as my Trek road bike and I try and hash out our differences, hopefully with me upright and in the saddle.

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