Sunday, May 04, 2008

The New Bike
I read a tri blogger who has dubbed one of her bikes Bitch, the other La Gazza Ladra. (This woman is hardcore — and funny. Check out her recent post, "The Hidden Cost of Ironman Training.")

This comes to mind after seeing Infospigot's inquiry, in comment to my preceding post, regarding how long my Saturday ride took and what did I think of the bike.

The bike is the new bike, or, as I like to call it, with characteristic creativity, The New Bike.

I rode The New Bike 20 miles on Friday, 48 miles on Saturday, then another 25 today. I can report that The New Bike is must faster than my LeMond steel roadie, which was built before the Iraq War began. Another lifetime, practically. Traveling over a level stretch of smooth pavement, in calm conditions, I cruise along at 22-24 miles per hour on The New Bike, easily a couple em-pee-h-is faster than on the LeMond. And the ride is plush, the handling excellent, the shifting and braking ... all good.

Just one problem, really — one with particular resonance given the planned activities of June 22: I can't imagine riding the thing for six hours.

I know going aero can be rough at first. Some people, it's the back that's a problem. My back is OK with it. Some people, it's the butt that's a problem. No butt problem here. My issue is the back of my neck and my shoulders. After about 15 minutes, there's a whole lot of achin' going on. So I get out of my aero position for about 30 seconds, stretch things out, then I’m good for another 15 minutes of slicing through the air oh so dynamically.

Poking around online, the prevailing view among experts is that neck and shoulder pain usually mean your body needs time to adjust to the new riding style and, second, you might want to consider getting a professional fit. So I'm hopeful that as I ride The New Bike more, I'll grow accustomed to the stresses it puts on my neck and shoulders. And to be sure there's not a structural issue, I'm going to get the fit — next week, if all goes as planned.

As for how long the ride took — the Saturday ride — that was 2 hours and 45 minutes. Stop signs, traffic signals, horses (Springwater Corridor; seriously) and other impediments one wouldn't find on a triathlon course ate up a solid 15 minutes. So while actually riding, I averaged a tad over 19 mph. Not spectacular, but since I didn't really push it, not bad either.

Meanwhile, there was swimming and running over the past couple of days as well, but just a bit: 4,500 yards in the water, and a couple of little 3-mile brick runs after the bike rides yesterday and today. My vow is to run LESS in the next four or five weeks of serious ICDA prep, because I don't need to run. Five rides (at least one long), four swims, three runs — that's what I'm aiming for each week. We'll see how it goes. With a heavy load of childcare and work approaching (including a five-day trip to New York, argh), scrambling will be the name of the game!