Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hanging On By a Thread - A New Kind of Riding

Andrew in one of two races last season
Much has happened on the bike since August, when I last posted. To jump off the end of that post, Andrew did become a racer. While he only did two races at the end of last season, he finished respectably and we settled in for a winter of indoor track. With me observing from the bleachers of one Armory or another, getting fat.

That's right, I did it again, no training through the winter, gained twenty-two pounds and now that we're finally back out on the roads, I'm hanging on by just a thread! Oh, you see what I did there? I worked the title of the post right into the second paragraph here, so now you know the gist of things.

Thanksgiving morning, I always do such a nice ride, early out, brisk air, anticipation of a great day with family (meh) and food. Maybe I get a few more days of riding in and then BAM! COLD WEATHER! I hate cold weather. And as the years go by, I have less patience for cold weather, so no riding. Well, there's plenty I could do indoors, you say? Yeah, right. Go back and read my post; "DAMN!" March 12, 2010 and you'll be up to speed. At least one of us will be...

The Van Dessel Rivet is the epitome of crit bikes 
Anyway, the good news is Andrew and I both acquired Van Dessel Rivets! Oh yeah! Andrew ordered his built up as a complete bike with SRAM Rival, Mavic Ksyrium SL's, Continental Grand Prix 4000s and his special Bontrager seat, which he won't part with.

I, on the other hand, just got the frameset. You see, I've got to build mine up myself in order to become one with the bike. Not at all over the top for me. Part of my involvement in anything is a thorough, practical understanding of the inner workings and a complete delve into the marketing hype, so I'm well versed with absolutely no one to tell. Except Andrew, of course.

So while my Van Dessel Rivet frameset sits anxiously on the shelf in the garage, it now has company in the form of a pair of Williams System 30 wheels. Sweet. I've decided on a Shimano 105 (new 5700 release) transmission. The trickle down engineering and quality make this group one smooth fine value.

Now here's my thinking. With the money I've saved going 105 over a higher priced group, I will replace the bottom bracket with self leveling outboard ceramic bearings. Ceramic bearings spin way faster and way longer than steel. Ha! Not finished.

Off come the chain rings and on go.... wait for it.... Rotor Q Rings. Yep, oval-ized and aero 53/39's. Instant bad ass.
Yes, I know I'm still twenty-two pounds overweight and haven't ridden all winter. Way to kill my buzz...

We are back out on the roads now, trying to make up for lost time. Andrew is in decent shape and has definitely risen to the next level. Where last year I was pulling him all around, now I couldn't keep up with him if I wanted to. He has become stronger and has begun to apply his exceptional brainpower to the sport.

Me, I'll be back down to 150lbs in a few weeks, in spite of continuing to eat as much as a horse. Most rides I'm on, I'm pushing close to failure. I know that's not necessarily the best training method, but I simply find myself at that tempo all the time. My happy place on the heart monitor begins at 168 and when I'm maintaining 172, I get this euphoric elevation of consciousness. Fancy way of saying I am dizzy and barely in control...

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