We make holes in teeth!

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Poor/Pain House/Cave

Today is Choose Your Own Title day. Your main options are pretty limited though. I will walk you through each of the 4 possibilities.

The Pain Cave

I'll go with this one first since this is going to be a cloud over my whole day and, as it pertains to you, will explain why this post is going to be lackluster at best. I'm burning right now. Yesterday took much more out of me than I suspected at the time and the accumulated training stress of 3 weeks has me sitting at the mouth of the pain cave. I'm sure I have a week and 2 days of mojo left to work my way through to the end of it. But it's not going to be easy, especially topping it all off with a race.

Sitting on the train I feel like I've been dragged down the street tied to a snowmobile, without the pseudo-soft base of freshly fallen snow. Thinking is a bit of an effort today and I can only imagine how next week is going to feel.

But this is what it's all about. This is where you make your gains and why you set build periods. It allows you to dig a hole for yourself that your body can later overcompensate for and become stronger. And by setting the light at the end of the 4 week build tunnel I have something to look forward to, a rest week that end with the 4th of July celebrations when I can party like it's 1999 if I so choose to (Not really - alcohol is awful for you). Having that end point there allows you to get on the bike when you really don't feel like it.

So the question you might ask is, Is this fun? The answer is still yes even though I admit yesterday's ride was a tad much. That was a tough effort and enough things hurt that I can say that no, yesterday I pushed past my limits a bit too much. Other than that though, yeah, so far so good.

One upside is that I can, and do, eat as much as I want. It's actually fairly difficult to maintain a balance in my diet right now because I get so ravenously hungry at times I just eat whatever I can find fast. That's rarely a bag of carrots.

The Poor House

So I picked up my bike from the shop yesterday and I had to pay 371 dollars in exchange for the work they did. I can't begin to describe how astounded I am at this number. Like I said in a previous post, didn't I just buy this bike 14 months ago for 2 grand? How it is that the seatpost and headset are toast already? That's 145 right there. Throw in other odds and ends and it adds up quickly, as my stunned wife can attest to as well.

So no more bike shop for a lot of this stuff. Nothing against the bike shop of course, Gary and Tony are great guys. But I've now dropped 700 dollars into the bike since I bought it which is 35% of the price I paid for it. That's more than I spend to maintain my car every year, and that statement is not an exaggeration at all, whatsoever.

I have this mental block about tearing apart a new bike which is why I bring it to the shop. But at these prices I think that block just fell off my brain. None of this is rocket science it just takes time and experience. Tony said he had the bike on the rack all afternoon Tuesday which amounts to a lot of time for me, a guy with a full time job and a 14 month old daughter. Plus I don't have the experience to be able to disassemble, diagnose, and reassemble the bike that fast. And I don't have all the parts I need on hand to pull it all off. But at these prices I'm going to need to.

A perfect example is brake pads. Front and rear pads plus labor comes out to almost 60 dollars. Wow. And. Wow. Given that the team I ride for is suppose to be giving me 3 sets of free Galfer pads combined with the 4 minutes it takes to change them, that's 60 dollars that just magically disappeared from my wallet for no good reason. 311 is still a big number but it's much nicer than 371.

The seatpost breaking is inexcusable and should be covered by Specialized. Quite frankly they should be embarrassed to be using such a poorly engineered part. I have the old post and will ask the neighbor to weld it so it won't rotate anymore. The fact that it's actually 2 pieces which begs to eventually rotate is really bad engineering. I guess I really should contact the company and bitch about it and see if they float me a new post. Or I could wish in one hand and shit in another and see which fills up faster. So anyway 90 more dollars for a new Thomson post that I should not have been spending. 221 is still a big number but much better than 371.

The headset, well I'll take that one I guess. It seems that the quality of the frame is such that some of the parts are junk, the headset being one. Apparently it was wet and rusty, which is why I'll take it because yes, I have washed my bike with a hose. That 55 plus the labor is on me, to a point. Why anyone would build a bike without sealed bearings all over is a little confusing. I would have just plunked down the cash for the Chris King headset ($150, 10 year warranty) but this thread makes me thing the CK headset on the Specialized bike is a questionable idea. It seems that I'm lucky my bottom bracket (non-sealed) wasn't toast as well. So in that respect I guess 371 is better than 421.

Then there were little things like the spoke I replaced before the race, maintenance of both shocks, bending the disc back to true (as best he could). I did maintenance of the rear shock last year but didn't replace the seals. It's not hard I just didn't have the parts to put new ones in. If I'm smart I order a rebuild kit now so I'm ready to do it this fall or next spring. I'm a little daunted by the front shock though I suppose I shouldn't be.

Oh and the bushing on the rear mount of the rear shock has been replaced 4 times now. I'll let that statement speak for itself.

That's enough for now. It always feels good to vent and if either Gary or Tony are reading this, no offense to you guys it just blows me away to have a $700 yearly cost to maintain the bike. I do well enough at my job but that's impossible to keep up.

The Poor Cave

Where I will be living without the wife and daughter if this level of spending keeps up.

The Pain House

Jump up jump up and jump around!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Gears and Another TT

First off I wish I had this link yesterday:

I obviously really suck at picking a "general" route. 2327 feet of vertical in 26.64 miles is stupid. Sure there were some climbs but that's just silly for a endurance/tempo ride. I will give myself an artistic A for the course though. That's a solid looking loop on the map in terms of shape.

So onto Gear Ratios:

I wrote yesterday that I generally climb in my 42x23 combo. I mentioned that to Albert and he replied as such:

"Holy cow!!! I thought it was a 23 i looked down at that thing and was like you are fucking nuts for doing everything in the 42

My front ring is a 36 and my 2 biggest in the back are 25 and 27

Non compact gearing would be a 39 up front and 25 and 23 in the rear (what I had on my first bike)

So lets look at some gear inches

42/27 42
42/25 45.4
42/23 49

39/27 39
39/25 42.1
39/23 45.8

36/27 36
36/25 38.9
36/23 42.3

So in a 42/23 you are at 49 gear inches.

I never use my easiest gear ( kind of a mental leave one just in case) and I rarely use the 36/25 combo but i use it. So even if I used the 36/23 on every hill that is 7 gear inches less then you were using!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's a lot.

For me to use the same gear inch I would be in a 36/20... my middle of the cassette is a 19. Do I climb some hills in that gear? Sure I do but not some of the monsters we were doing.

You know when Elle had her triple she used to do the same thing. I would get this from her. "I don't want to use the small ring" I would tell her she is crazy. That 42 is a big ring up front to do hills on. I know its a mental thing and I do it too with not using my easiest gear.

I wonder what this has done to help or hinder progress. I think its fine to have a day where you say you are going to do all hills in that ring, and then i think you should have a day where you do all hills in the little ring.

Ah wtf do I know, other than I would never have done those hills in that gear."

I agree, what the hell am I thinking? In terms of how it applies to my training well it's a good question. I do spin more than in years past but to be sure this isn't going to help that cause. So yet another reason to lose my middle ring hangup. Plus when the cadence drops so low you're
entering a realm of strength training on the bike. Maybe not so bad for off-season but it's June now.

So lose the grind and drop to the small ring. I'll have another chance this weekend as Nat has basically given me the green light to ride as much as I can Sunday. I'm certainly going to go up and over the 6 hour mark and if I'm smart I'll take this opportunity to push the 8 hour mark. Now I need to figure out where to go. Too many options to list right now.

For my own future reference, I will link this RBR thread about climbing and power output.

I did my TT today and it went OK. I beat my previous record by a hair or 2 but it took all I had to do it. My primary muscles were fine but my tendons/ligaments were really screaming at the end, and my left butt muscle (or thereabouts) hurt like hell. When I got off the bike I could barely walk. Literally.

So I waddled into the house and said fuck it, I'm taking the day off. Walking hurt, sitting hurt, standing hurt. Ouch and ouch, that was a serious effort. Like I said in the GPS post, if you do that every day you're setting yourself up for major burnout. It's almost 1:30 now and I'm still sore.

The day was a little breezy and my legs were a tad sore, so I was skeptical that I was going to have any chance to beat my old record. In the end I turned the corner at the top of my hill with about a 500 foot lead. Almost nothing.

Undoubtedly I was stronger last time but since I had toasted the record already I had no real cause to push that day. Next time will be an interesting match. Today was a pretty big effort, a really good threshold workout which is the point of all this.

Last time:

This time:

A little confusing but last time I didn't start the timer until about a half mile into it, and that was low speed stuff at the start. That was when I didn't really know what I was doing so I didn't capture the ride entirely. This time I did, which translates to the extra .3 miles in 40 seconds. Like I said it was real close. It would have been more like .1 or .2 miles save for the fact that entering the swamp I had to circle once at 3 mph at the end of the road, and coming down the hill to my house they were cutting down a tree so there was refuse all over and I had to go through it at 5-10 mph instead of 35. So my gap got really small at that point.

I need to refine a few details of the course and the method, but in all this is a great use of the GPS. I probably should warm up properly which I think is why I hurt so much after the ride. I also think I need to end the course on a flat and fast stretch so I can really blow it out of the box and give it all I have.

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Since I seem to be on a roll with this blog thing I'm going to stay in-line with trying to be more helpful to the readers. Even though Terren's ass stayed in bed while we got stuck with water from his garden hose on Saturday I'm going to throw out a few thoughts on making your own sports drink.

This recipe for "Katoraid" came up on RBR recently so I will pass it along:

2.5 (100 mg.) potassium tablets, crushed
1 pack Kool-aid (any flavor)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

Mix everything together. Makes 2 liters. If your using a 24 oz. water bottle, use 1/4 a cup mix.

Nutrition Facts for Katoraid : (for 710 ml, same as standard size Gatoraid)
87 mg. potassium
51 g. sugars
209 mg. sodium
191 calories

Nutrition Facts for Gatoraid: (710 ml, standard size Gatoraid)
80 mg. Potassium
42 g. sugars
300 mg. sodium
180 calories

Yeah, it's a lot of sugar so use at your own risk but that's what this shit is. Also, the electrolyte aspect of it is useless if you're exercising for less than an hour so you can leave out the potassium and salt which essentially means that Gatoraid=Kool-Aid + salt. The real question becomes, what do you want out of a sports drink? Is this primarily for exercise at the gym? If so, how long are you exercising for? What time of day? Riddle me that and I'll try to come up with something that works for you.

I've made my own concoctions in the past mixing a small amount of Accelerade with maltodextrin. The problem with maltodextrin is that you need to buy it in bulk to get a decent price. I happen to have 20 pounds of it left so for me I can experiment at will. I've recently started cutting my Heed with it on shorter rides. That way it makes the pricey stuff last longer.

Some people use honey water. Some people use nothing but water when exercising for 2 hours or less. That's pretty cheap unless you use Holy Water or yak sweat.

Or you can just find some powdered Gatorade and throw in the towel on the DIY experiment but where's the ingenuity in that?

Incidentally Terren lives in about the greatest biking territory in the state. You have no choice but to climb hills which makes you strong like bull! Go out and make a loop which includes W Valley Brook and Bissel, do it 5 times a week, and call me in 8 weeks as you'll be a climbing monster by then, dropping me like Michelle drops a buttered bagel down the hatch.

That's the extent of today's PSA. On to the Wednesday ride which is an endurance or L2 ride by Joe Friel's direction, using the hard/easy approach. Since I went hard yesterday the prescription is to go easy today so I can go really hard tomorrow. The Thursday plan is another Swamp TT and the virtual partner goes on for that one. Fun stuff, I look forward to it.

This is all based on not going too hard the day before, a concept which is much easier to say than do sometimes. Last week my L2 ride was mentally painful and it seemed like every tweak in my body came out as I plodded along. So the plan today was to split the difference between endurance and tempo. Not too taxing yet not totally devoid of juice. This is another one of those "beyond the scope of this blog" items that I may come back to in a week or 2 since I'm still torn on this part of my weekday.

As an aside I'm actually running a 23 as my biggest gear in the back which makes my insistence on staying in the 42 up front even dumber. This paragraph has no natural place in this post so I'm going to leave it right there. It has nothing much to do with today's ride other than the fact I started using more of my gears.

I did a good enough job staying in the ballpark today, with maybe a lean to the tempo side a little bit but nothing that's going to leave me in too much of a hole in the next 24 hours. I was in the saddle at 5:04 this morning and stayed there for 1:45, a decent total for a Wednesday morning. I don't have a ride link because I was pressed for time. I'm going to teach Nat how to do it so when I get to work I'll have my ride details to look at.

I'm still torn on the aim of this ride though. I know I said it was beyond the scope of this entry but I apparently lied. So here's a generic week summary right now:

Tue: Hard, hill climbs
Wed: Relatively easy
Thu: Hard, time trial or threshold

The concept here is this. You make gains because of your hard Tuesday and Thursday workouts. But can you go hard enough if your Wednesday workout is too hard?

On the flip side a lot of people say the easy rides are a waste because you're just riding around if you go at endurance pace for 2 hours and I tend to agree. So why bother with the Wednesday ride at all? If I had the time this would be a 3-4 hour endurance "no burn" ride and that would be that. As it is, the ride turns into a "light burn" ride but maybe/probably still too light to effect much change.

But then you don't need to be as fresh to get the most out of the threshold work. The main reason I'm even considering Thursday fatigue is because I want to do that swamp TT tomorrow which is probably the wrong way to look at things. Given that, I answered my own question and today's ride needs to be harder. It wasn't a total waste because there were a lot of hills and I did press more as the ride went on. But it also wasn't as effective as it could be, especially since I'm trying to dig myself a hole right now.

Well now that the problems of the world have been solved by pure reason all I have left to look forward to is the poor house that Gary and Tony are sending me to. Tony called yesterday to say my headset is pretty much shot. This on top of the skewer, brake pads, seat post, spoke, front and rear shock service, new housing, and who knows what else. Seriously this hobby can send you to the poor house fast. Didn't I just buy this bike a year ago for $2000?

The in-laws came back from Taiwan Monday night and brought me back some peanut candies and 7 bags of loose leaf oolong tea. In addition to my coffee elitism I'm a tea elitist as well. I roast my own coffee, grind it daily, and use a french press. I also only drink loose, whole leaf, oolong tea hand-delivered from Taiwan. Neither gets any sugar nor milk added. The non-descript bag of tea on my desk at work:

How. Exciting.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Walter's GPS Tuesday

I'm loathe to submit 2 blog entries in one day so this will be a dual post on 2 almost unrelated topics. The first is my initial assessment of the Garmin Edge 205 GPS. The second is my Tuesday ride notes. First I will get into the GPS, since it's really Monday late afternoon on the train as I write this.

I bought a Garmin Edge 205, the one without the heart rate monitor and cadence sensor. I've done heart rate training in the past and I'm done with it. The cadence sensor would be nice to have but not for double the price. I can always buy one separately if I want.

To best illustrate what I think of the 205 I will describe my actual experiences. This post may be somewhat long so consider yourself forewarned.

The first time it failed me I don't have a solid explanation for why. I was trying to retrace the 50k race course and when I hit the "do course" button nothing happened. The course never showed up so Brett just led the way. Looking back I may have done something wrong so I the "GPS failure" might be user error. But I'm not sure either way.

The second time it bagged me I was trying to follow a course at Mahlon Dickerson and the reception got so bad that it could no longer tell me which trail I was supposed to take. The reception was down to something like 100 feet of accuracy which does you no good when you're trying to follow a precise trail. It worked perfectly for an hour and change and eventually it zeroed in on where I was so I was able to use it to get back to the car. Plus, I picked up some trails I knew by that time so it all worked out.

Third time I tried to upload a course only to find out when I got on the road it had failed. Apparently you can only hold so many courses and I was using too much memory. I had failed to note the upload didn't work.

I have not yet successfully followed a course in the woods. I have created road rides on and that has worked flawlessly. This goes with the territory of course since roads are rarely packed so close as trails are.

After some headache getting the Garmin Training Center and MotionBased Agent to work with the GPS on the PC, they have worked flawlessly as well. I needed to back out to the previous release of Training Center but I finally got it to work. I also love the ability to upload the course and view the details on I especially like the elevation profile.

The virtual partner is great if you want to race yourself, or someone else for that matter. Without question this is a good training aid if you use it properly. However if you race yourself every day you're going to blow up, plain and simple.

I haven't really explored too many of the other features like the lap stuff, marks, or waypoints. I'm sure there's more but I consider that offseason material you can use to explore and so on. When I'm out there now my intention is usually to haul ass so stopping to mark waypoints isn't exactly what I'm doing right now.

In terms of screen details I find it solid, not really lacking in anything. It doesn't tell me the temperature but I don't need a piece of electronics to tell me if it's hot or cold out. You probably also need to understand me as a consumer to better understand my point of view. I bought it as a specific tool and I'm using it for that purpose. Sure it might also make coffee but I could care less, I didn't buy it to make coffee. Sort of like my cell phone. I use it as a phone. It has games and Internet and shit but that's not why I got it. I needed to use it as an alarm one day so I explored my options and found it had an alarm. Same deal with the GPS. I haven't had need to use it for the bells and whistles so I'm not familiar with what they might be.

Speaking of alarms, it apparently has all sorts of alarms so you can have it beep at you every hour or 15 minutes which could be helpful in making sure you eat or drink enough on the long rides. It also has workouts which to me seems in the realm of tits on a bull.

To be fair I will address the bad experiences I've had so far. Case 1 could have been user error so I'll cede that's likely what happened. Case 2 is the nature of GPS. You really should only use it as a helpful tool and realize that it's not going to be dead on balls accurate all the time. Case 3 was my not knowing to look for an upload failure. I'm sure it was obvious but I just clicked it away.

At this point I'm comfortable with the limitations and quirks of the unit. If you ask me if I'm happy with the purchase the answer is a resounding yes. It adds yet another cool dimension to a sport I already enjoy. Do I need it? Well who needs anything these days? They have fucking sweaters for dogs and we're discussing the utility of a bike GPS?

Now to specifically address Walter's situation, since, like I said in a previous post I'm all about customer retention. The real question is nothing, 205, or 305. Now I think the nothing option speaks for itself. Any iota of rational thought will lead you to the conclusion that you do not need a GPS. But then I have 4 bikes and I think Walter has at least 3 so obviously rational thought is out the window. I am reasonably sure neither of us has a sweater for our bikes though so we're not too far gone.

The question then becomes 205 or 305. The difference is heart rate and cadence I think, and maybe some other bells and whistles I would never use anyway. If you see yourself ever actually "training" the 305 might be a good investment. I learned a lot about myself with the heart rate monitor and it was a good tool to have. Cadence is also a neat thing to have the ability to view.

On the other side of the coin, you can train effectively without heart rate and cadence but the details of that are another post entirely. Personally, I think even if you might want to get serious about training in the future the 205 is the better choice at its price point. You can always buy a heart rate monitor or cadence sensor separately at a later time (but not integrated with the Garmin unit).

Then it becomes a matter of nothing versus the 205. Without question some of the reason I like the 205 is because I train. But if you want to map out road rides to do, or use it to learn any number of mountain biking parks, it can be a real good investment. At the end of the day it's not terribly expensive, I think I paid 135 for it. If I use it 27 times it comes out to $5 per usage. Of course that's too much but as much as I ride (100+ times this year already) that cost per use drops really fast. And I do really like it so far, even with the 3 screw ups I've had with it.

By this point you're either dead asleep on the keyboard or you've made your decision already. I hope something I said in there triggered what the right answer is for you. If you have any questions, just shoot me a PM and I'll expand in a future post. If nothing else, buy me a beer for spending the last 40 minutes banging this out on the way home.

Well now, that really long post doesn't leave much room for how my ride went this morning. So I'll try to make it short and sweet. Shouldn't be too hard since my thumbs are bleeding from all the typing. I should also be able to tie in how I used the GPS on today's ride. Integration baby!

Tuesday is my L5 day which means short 3-8 minute intervals. Two weeks ago I did sprints and didn't much care for them. Last week I did 24 minutes of climbing in 12 hills and didn't much care for that either. Translation: I'm still looking for the best L5 workout.

Today I tried "The Hills: Home of the Pod People." It really is called The Hills. I don't know if they have a subtitle like that or not but if they don't, they should. I hit the ground (road) running (riding) early (at 5:06) and blazed (not literally) my way to the base of the first climb. It took 24 minutes to get there which I thought would press me for time, but in reality gave me exactly what I needed to warm up and cool down on the ends of the workout.

I did 5 repeats of varying length on both sides of the climb. I think it went something like 6, 9, 5, 5, and 5 minutes. The last 3 are my zeroing in on the perfect set, since you more or less want to have each climb the same length and rest time less than the climb time. I also like 5 minutes as an interval length for reasons beyond the scope of this already verbose entry.

An aside for those of you who might actually start doing intervals at some future point. Give yourself a full rest between sets to start. So 5 climb, 5 rest. Short rest periods is not a good introduction to this. Also be warned that people who add intervals to their training have a 50% dropout rate. Having said that they work like butter on a warm bagel. Interpret that as you will.

In all 30 minutes of climbing in 42 minutes is pretty aggressive. My rest periods were something like 4, 3, 3, and 3 minutes. Times are not precise because I just started the next climb at the bottom, so the rest interval was whatever it was, 2:30 or so for some of them. I'm in week 3 now if this 4 week build so I'm going to start really pounding on myself over the next 12 days to close out the 3rd and 4th build weeks.

In keeping with the spirit of the GPS theme I will show another way I use the unit on today's ride. Since my aim today is to climb and then get back to the house in time to get to work, I used the GPS as a clock and a timer. At the base of the hill I would hit start and at the top I would stop it. That gave me a running total of my climbing time as well as showing me what "real" time it was, both on the same screen. I knew I had to cut it off and start for home by 6:15 so having both of those fields on the same display right there is valuable. Apparently you can customize the display but whatever.

Today is about as perfect as it all gets in terms of both training and the usefulness of the GPS. I felt good on the bike with my legs responding well today. On the far side climb I hit 18.5 at one point which is decent for a flat road let alone an uphill. The GPS was extremely useful in keeping things well defined, a pretty key concept when you cut things as tight as I do to catch the 7:25 train to Hoboken.

Full stop. That's quite enough.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Another Weekend Recap

Goddamn power went out this morning which isn't a big deal but I was never able to get a good cup of coffee. I had to resort to the hand grinder which is fine but then boiling the water on the stove and something wasn't right. Water temperature or grind size got all fucked up and both cups were so bad I just tossed them. Yeah I'm a coffee elitist. So I'm sitting on the train and I have to piss like mad and I didn't even drink any caffeine to get here and now I'm starting to get hungry.

Moving on. It seems I have soooo many more readers than I previously thought (5 instead of 2?) so I guess I'll have to make this blog a hair more entertaining while still leaving some semblance of a record as to how my riding went in the event I do actually want to look back and learn something from it. Like they say, those who don't learn from history are doomed to have large breasted women flash you all day.

I suppose I need more pictures too because people like pictures. Note how society these days does poorly when there are no pictures. Instruction manuals are a perfect example. In fact it's so bad now that this sample more or less summarizes the state of our collective attention span:

On a related note that's the kind of crap instruction the GPS unit came with. You can tell it's just one of the developers who got coerced into writing it. I know since I've written the same exact kind of garbage in the past for technical manuals. It couldn't be any less helpful, really. Anyway I hope to cover the Garmin Edge 205 details in tomorrow's post. Today is the weekend recap.

Saturday went fairly well, coming in at the expected 85 miles in about 5:25 of rolling time. Total vertical was more than expected at 7200. It doesn't get much more hilly than that. Here's the link and profile. Really dig the elevation profile for this one:

Got out the door with no problem and was actually early to Albert's house. Rolled over to Chester and stopped at a Quick Check while I pissed behind the Chester Mall. Got slightly lost going to Terren's house in Califon but I know the area and all road lead to Rome out there so we made it and found an insane hill in the process. Thankfully we went down it.

Terren wasn't there or was sleeping or hiding or maybe walking the dogs. It was like 8:15 in the morning and both cars were there but no sign of him. I just stole some atrocious tasting water from the hose, pissed behind the shed, and took off. That's all well and good anyway since more people time would have led to more stopping time, something I piled up at Albert's house since I was early and he wasn't ready yet.

We climbed up out of Califon and took a hard right on Califon-Cokesbury Road which is a bitch of a climb. That's when Albert suggested my 42-25 climbing gear might be a bit aggressive, or idiotic may have been the word, I forget. My pushing big gears on the climbs may be part of why I cramp. I have a mental block with using the small chain ring which is probably silly. Shortly after, my left hamstring started twitching as we climbed up and out of Lebanon towards the reservoir.

So I need to pick a bit of a lighter gear and start spinning up these hills and see how that goes. I tried it for the rest of the ride and it seemed fine. On the far side of Round Valley there's a brutal climb on Stanton Mountain Road and I lumbered up it without any more cramp warnings, so that's good.

After that we rolled through Whitehouse Station and stopped again for water. We were probably both starting to dehydrate by then since neither of us were pissing anymore and we were probably sweating less. Well I know Albert was since he was dripping sweat when we had started and wasn't by the time we got to the general store.

After that it was flat through the horse fields of Lamington which sucks the life out of you when the sun is that bright. I threw in one last climb through The Hills which I did to see how my legs would feel after a long ride. All in all felt really good considering. Having said that I was happy to be done and ideas of tacking on miles just to hit 6 hours or 100 miles seemed dumbed than climbing in a 42-25.

As much as riding solo sucks on a big ride like that I don't think it's possible to get my own pace riding with anyone, at least not Albert. He blazes up every hill as fast as he can which just sets the wrong pace for what I'm trying to do. The idea is to get done with the ride and not be grateful to be done. So in that respect the ride was a bit of a failure because if I couldn't have kept riding much longer Saturday. It's impossible to "ride your own ride" when you go with someone else and thus hard to really dial in everything you need to. So I think my next biggie will be solo.

When I got home I was 4 pounds off my start weight and eating was slightly difficult. So I was dehydrated for sure. It took about 4 hours of down time to snap out of it then I was fine. I drank 6 water bottles in 6 hours of real time which apparently isn't enough. I need to creep up to the 32 oz per hour realm on my rides I think.

Dropped the mountain bike off at the shop Saturday and after I listed everything that needs to be looked at there was nothing left of the bike. Well, my handlebars and grips are fine. Other than that just about everything needs attention. Hey I ride hard these days. That's why I bought that bike right?

Sunday was a shorter ride to the in-laws to get the car which I left there Saturday. There were 2 big fat hills of note with the last momma being Union Hill Rd. Link and elevation profile. The last big spike is Union Hill Rd:

And that's the weekend. This post is way too long already so I'll cut it off now. I don't want to kill any of my new readers with boredom.

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