Monday, May 26, 2008

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

I got the "all clear" from Husband to start exercising again. Yay! We decided to go for a bike ride today. I had originally wanted to get in a ride of 55 miles but since this is my first time back on my feet in a week, we opted to target 40-45 miles instead.

The weather forcast was promising, and I was very excited to test out some recent changes:

1) A few weeks ago, I removed my aerobars. The fact is, I was simply never comfortable riding with them. They made my right shoulder hurt and I didn't like being away from the brakes and shifters. They don't do much good when you don't use them. I'm fairly certain that removing them was a good idea, my bike handles better and I think I've picked up some speed. There is a downside, though. I lost the capacity for a third bottle, my aerobottle up front. Which leads to the next item.

2) When I was feeling miserable on Friday, I went to the local Performance bike shop and picked up a Profile Aqua Rack. I learned about these by riding with Cindy, this is the rear bottle holder contraption that she keeps hitting her leg on. I wasn't sure how it would fare for me, I have a much larger underseat bag than she does. I had to mount it quite a bit lower and it barely fits, but it does seem to solve my hydration problem for now. Yay.

3) Speaking of seats, I switched the seats between my two bikes last fall, putting the comfy women's specific gel seat on my carbon bike and the less comfy women's specific seat on my commuter. Since then, I've noticed that the seat height was a tad high on my carbon bike and a tad low on my commuter bike. I always forget when I'm at home, but quickly remember when I'm riding. Anyway, the aqua rack mounts to the seat post, so I had to take the seat post all the way out and put it back in, so I figured that was a good time to bring the seat height down a bit. I think it's perfect now!

4) I've not been happy with cycling shorts. The pads have enerally caused more problems than they solve. And none of them seem to fit me very well; they are uncomfortable all over. So I pretty much ride in tri shorts. This is okay for shorter rides, but for longer rides, tri shorts don't seem to be cutting it. I tried on at all kinds of shorts this weekend at REI and Performance, and decided to buy a pair of Novara Mia Gel Road . They are different. First, they are made of a microfiber material, not the typical spandex material. Also, the front part of the waiste band does not have elastic; it has a crossover stretch fabric instead. For someone like me, who has a "hip-challenged and tummy flab rich" body shape, this is incredibly comfortable. Finally, the padding was narrow enough that it didn't seem to rub in a bad way. They passed my first riding test well enough that I think I might buy their Mezzo shorts (same design, but a 'pro chamois' instead of the 'recreational gel' and a little more $$).

5) After hitting the wall last time, I decided to modify my nutrition and rest stop strategy. I packed some whole wheat tortilla peanut butter rolls in my bento box along with a broken up luna bar. I carried 3 bottles accelerade and one bottle water. Rest stops were planned every 10 miles or so. What a difference! I never hit the wall today and was still going strong all the way to the end of the ride.

Our ride ended up just short of 44 miles in about 3hrs riding time. We passed lots of other cyclists frequently found ourselves clipping along at about 17-18mph. For me, that's pretty darn fast. Our average was much slower with the rest stops, but I felt strong and am happy with all the changes that were implemented. Best of all, I've regained confidence about the 65mile ride on June 7.

27 comments:

  1. That's what I call a banner day!! Glad you are feeling better!

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  2. Hey Lisa - sounds like a great day! Glad your over the lurgy too!!

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  3. OMG 44 miles?!? Wow that is a.w.e.s.o.m.e!!

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  4. Great ride--- Alot of great information also. You'll do great in June.

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  5. Good to hear you are feeling better. Sounds like you had a great ride

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  6. Sounds as though taking some time off gave you the opportunity to get some things straightened out.

    Good job on your ride and I'm glad you got some bike shorts to suit.

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  7. Great ride, Lisa!! Glad it went well and you liked the nutrition changes.

    My wounds are healed and the Aqua Rack and I are friends again :)

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  8. Strong ride - specially given that you were sick and managed a 44 miler on your first day back, thats awesome!

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  9. WOW! Big day!! I am so glad you are back and feeling better! I am going to check out those shorts! Thanks!

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  10. Nice job on the ride!! Have you ever tried bib shorts? It's a nice way to get around the elastic around the waist thing. :-)

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  11. Well done!! You are so kicking booty on that tour - no problemo! Also - thanks for the info on the shorts. I've been in a dilemma too. I love my Sugoi riding skirt for leisurely distances but I don't have any long distance training shorts that work. I was thinking of the Shebeest ones but the ones you've got sound like they might work for me!

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  12. Glad to see you are feeling better and are back on the bike again. Those new shorts look interesting.

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  13. Glad you got the all clear! You've clearly been making use of it!

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  14. Thanks for stopping by and great job with the bike work-out!! I don't believe my Huffy would go that fast no matter how hard I pedaled.

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  15. I think that ride on june 7th will be a snap... good job on figuring out the nutrition...what a difference!!!

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  16. Holy Moly. I would be so dead. Good for you!!

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  17. What good news - feeling better, got new stuff (which I now want too, I must stop reading blogs, it's very expensive) and a great, confidence-building ride!! Go you!

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  18. Glad you're feeling better and more confident about the upcoming ride as well. I always enjoy reading other people's gear suggestions. If ever I get real serious about things I'll need to figure out what to invest my money in!

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  19. Glad to hear all of your modifications helped! It sounds like a freaking awesome ride!!!

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  20. Great news on many fronts (and backsides). Good luck.

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  21. Glad you're back in the saddle. And thanks for the help with the graffiti deciphering!

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  22. You sooo rock! 44 miles. Wow, I hope that someday (soon) I can get up to that. I know that as long as the nutrition is in place, it shouldn't be a problem. I like your idea of every 10 miles, stop for nutrition. It probably clips away the time faster too, knowing you have a stop coming up.

    As far as the seats go, I'm having issues with my seat that's causing discomfort. I've borrowed a few seats from a co-worker and am going to try those out. I've got to get comfortable on the bike.

    Thanks for the link on the cycling shorts. I'm a little the same when it comes to shorts and the middle. I'll have to check thouse out.

    Glad you got the all clear from the Dr! You're going to do great on your upcoming ride.

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  23. You're so thoughtful about making all the changes...I'm really impressed!

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  24. Wow. That makes me want to hop on a bike and take a nice ride. You described my body too. Waaah.

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  25. Getting the miles in. Feels great when all your planning works out, eh?

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