Monday, March 19, 2007

Transition to carbon...

Was a little woried about going to a full-carbon frameset but after this weekend, I am sold. What a ride! Not too sure how carbon plays into the whole game if you are a full on racer. Someone looking for every bit of power to be efficiently sent from your legs to the pedal without any loss. But for me, it works. I was looking for something fast but comfort is not a bad thing either.

Got my first true ride in Friday afternoon with Scott. Not a long ride but not easy either. I think we were riding in 17 mph winds with gusts of 25. Didn't have my computer but I think we did about 18-20 miles, up to the church on Wallahaathchee and back. This was perfect because I wanted to accomplish 3 things on the ride: 1. make sure everything worked mechanically on my new bike 2. see if there were any noticeable differences in riding a full carbon frameset 3. then see if the bike was set up properly for my fit. I was happy that the "other" shop went over everything when they installed the headset and I was very pleased with their work. My brakes were even adjusted which meant they went over everything. The biggest difference I noticed right off the bat was road vibration. It was virtually non-existant. It was such a quiet ride. But the wind was blowing so hard, maybe I just couldn't hear it. But it was a lot smoother of a ride. Once I get a little longer ride in, I will will really be a ble to tell the difference. As far as fit, the seatpost was about 2 cm too high. My knees were extending way too far through the pedal stroke and were aching by the time I got home. Luckily we weren't out for an 80 miler or I would have had to make some adjustments on the road. Other than that, the bike felt great. I did notice that going from a 56cm to a 58 cm has me reaching a tad further resting on the brake hoods. But it didn't take long to get comfortable and I think I should have been riding a 58 all along. My upper body seemed a lot more relaxed, even in the drops. Again, I need a nice long ride to really tell (Scott, how about that ride to Valdosta?).

Saturday came and went like a blur. Overslept and missed the club ride. A little bummed because I really wanted to ride a nice slow ride with those guys cause I hadn't seem them in a while. From what I heard, they had a great ride. Maybe next time I will get my sorry tail out of bed. So instead, we went to the grocery store and met up with my sister and nieces who were on their way down to the beach. It is always good to see them. I wanted to take it easy this weekend and let my body rest and that is just what I did. It was a nice change of pace and something I needed.

But by Sunday, I was jonesing for a little pedaling action. I knew Alan and Chad were planning on leaving about 1pm for a ride so I gave Chad a call. He said Alan couldn't make it so I met up with Chad at the CVS for some intervals. Not sure if whoever is reading this blog does intervals but if you do, you know exactly where I am going with this. Intervals are brutal. Especially the ones where you take your heart rate to the max and keep it there for extended periods of time. And those are what we did - 4 minutes at your max, 4 minutes of rest, 4 reps. I was hating life.

Doing intervals with Chad is like watching an F16 take off from an aircraft carrier. He would give me a heads up and BOOM, his legs would explode and he was gone! I don't know what was running through is head but it was like somebody was trying to get him. Not sure how he does it but I need some of that! I watched my clock and kept him within about 50 yards but that is the best I could do. I know I was using a lot more energy that he was. Come 4 minutes, I had to keep going just so I could catch up with him to start the next set! But it was good, hard training that I needed and will continue to do to work on my heart and overall conditioning. The new bike never missed a beat and is very rersponsive which I was happy with. Every bit of stiff as my last frame, probably more.

Overall a great weekend. 2 short hard rides in on the new bike, worked in the yard, hung out with family, it's all good. This week I plan on putting in a spin class and a couple of road rides. Then the big dqay in Tuscaloosa on Sunday. First race of the new year, and a road race at that.