Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The blog of Duh Moments

This blog is dedicated to my dumb ass moments related to things I just didn't know and looked dumb! So, at my expense, you get the 411 on some silly things you may be missing.

Air em up! Um, your tubes... Depending on your bike and the type of tire you ride on, they will require different volumes of air. You can't just air them up once and ride without filling them again. ALL tires go flat over time, but the higher performance the tire/tube, the faster it loses air. Here is a fantastic Youtube that covers both types of valves!
Now that you know how, also know that PSI will change during riding and also based on weather. Ask your dealer what PSI is best for your tires, tubes, weather and conditions so you don't end up with a bunch of flats!

Lube it up - your chain that is... no, not with 40 weight. I ride 50 miles at a shot and will rub my chain about every 100 to keep the grit down. Ask your salesmen at the local store which lube is best for your bike and chain and how often to wipe. I have a "dry" lube that says you can't wipe enough. I could spend all day wiping my chain because the composition sheds this black stuff... its not actually street dirt, its chain. Below is a simple Youtube of applying the lube, my lube is then followed by wiping with a towel and I run the chain backwards same as this to clean. This is maintenance you should do often to keep from having buildup over time that requires replacements. You will need to have full maintenance at some point. I'll cover that later.

Cross chain? huh? When you look at all of those juicy gears on your bike it turns out that you really shouldn't use two of them. Check out this video, he explains it really well!

What are those bars for on those other bikes? I know you see people leaning comfortably forward on two bars in the center of their bikes, like this:

The ride is in a body position, like this:

What you need to understand is that these bikes, and those handlebars are designed for triathletes, not road cyclists. I made the same "when can I add some of those to my bike" comments and got the "never" response from my bike guy. The Tri bike is ergonomically different to allow the rider to only use specific muscles when riding. Think about it, they have to swim, run and ride to complete the event. This bike allows for relief of muscles needed for the swimming and running when possible. Sure, you could choose to just by a tri bike and only ride road with it, but you won't get the workout or rides you're looking for long term. SO, step away from the handlebars...

Have a flat? Tools, you need tools! *insert grunting here*... who doesn't love tools? But seriously, when you purchase your bike, be sure to get an under seat bag and fill it with a spare tube, some patches, some CO2 and maybe a multi-tool. They look a little like this:

Now you have some tools, make sure to attend the maintenance workshop some bike shops have that will instruct you on how to change YOUR tube if you get a flat. I would add a video, but there are way to many bikes or wheel sets to cover, so get some one on one instruction before heading out for that 100 mile ride!

Liquids, snacks - hey dummy, they didn't put those pockets on the jersey for nuttin! To be serious, if you really intend to ride you need water in your water bottles and snacks in your pockets. A short ride you'll be fine, but a 40-50 (or more) mile ride you will need to break and possibly consume some calories. Depending on your normal diet, water intake, alcohol intake, etc... you may need more then other's. Nutrition for the serious rider is a lifestyle. If you are just piddling around the neighborhood, don't worry to much about it.

Get fitted... for you're bike. People always tell me I'd love to ride but I have bad knees or bad whatever and it hurts to ride. I explain to them that a properly fitted bike will not hurt at all. It's true! If the bike is right for you in size, you have the seat, handlebars and pedals adjusted for YOU, you'd be amazed at how easy it is!

In fact, even after a bike is fitted, you may later need adjustments as your body changes or you change equipment. I bought new shoes and had to re-adjust. I started having knee pain and had to raise my seat. The truth is, as you build your body and muscles, pain will tell you to make adjustments... not to power through. Muscle fatigue on a bike is expected, joint pain is not. Training properly over time will help your soft tissue become stronger to support your joints and bones. But don't ever ignore pain, ever. Knee pain and neck pain are major indicators that you need to make some adjustments.

Lastly for now, listen to your bike. I know some of us are bad about noticing something is wrong with the car because we keep the radio up so loud... but when your riding, especially with a new bike, pay attention. A noisy bike means that something is lose, stretched or you're not taking proper care. Either way, a bike in poor condition can leave you stranded or worse.

So now that you've had some fun at my expense, feel free to post your silly moments or questions here on the blog or on my Google Plus page and I'll add them to this blog for fun! If you want some credit for your duh moment, let me know!

post publish comments you need from Jack Cane Custom Cycles: 
Unfortunately, I see this way too much:  Athletes who lube a chain with out cleaning it -- NEVER lube a dirty chain.  You essentially turn it into liquid sand paper, which drastically shortens the life of your components.  I will be creating a video on a couple points like this soon.(When he does I'll post that too)

In regards to pumping your tires.  If you didn't buy a pump when you bought your bike --  BUY a pump.  It's amazing how many people think they'll just pump up their tires at their local bike shop (LBS).  Spend the extra $30-$40.  It saves so much time and money.  If you don't properly inflate your tires before every ride, you are more prone to punctures.  Your ride quality suffers.  Most importantly, you could damage your rim, which is way more than $40 to repair.

Don't forget tire levers in your saddle bag.  Typically multi-tools are metal which can damage your rim when you're taking the tire off (especially if it slips).  A plastic tire lever protects your rim and makes it easier to take the tire off.
End Edits

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Ass Hurts

Seriously... if your ass hurts, we have serious problems. You have to ask yourself, is my seat wrong? Am I wearing the right shorts? Did I butta? Is my bike right for me? Listen... we will have many blogs for these issues... We have one for shorts, one for butta... but I'll cover seats and bikes and the rest. Stick with me and we'll learn together how this happens, how it all works.

Future videos in the bike shop with seats, shorts, etc. Stay tuned and follow!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Hotter'N Hell Blog

I've been on the bike a bunch, but I needed to get some time in for HHH... with projected rain. Here's some vid:

After 2.5 hours of heavy yard work... I got on the trainer for 2.5 hours! Say'z 40 miles... but I think the outdoor equivalent is more...

I trained again the next day... and this is how I felt about it:

I drove to Wichita Falls and met my host family. In case you don't know, over 14k people go to #hotternhell and that means the city is overflowing with people who need a place to stay. A big shout out to my host family who gave me AND my pooch a place to stay for two nights. It's very unusual to find anyone who will let you bring a dog, but it turned out to be a mini vacation play date for mine! I left him to play and I ran off to the event to register!

As you can see, the registration was a madhouse... a line out the door! Then you check out the shopping in the convention center... 

Hey look, its Richardson Bike Mart... that's where I buy all my gear now. So I said hello, then moved along. 

 Check out the nice Police bikes... I got to see them all along the ride the next day helping us with traffic.


The finish line the day before. I got to walk back and forth under it... if only it was that easy the next day!

This is my sad face when the Pearl Izumi booth didn't have any bibs in my size...

These guys were blasting music and having a grand old time in the best viewing location of the crit races!

Above is the route map... temps the day of would be ok.... but humidity high (bad for heat) and winds were picking up through the day from 13 MPH in the am starting line.... up to 30 MPH on my way to the finish line...

Then you line up... its a mob scene of unimaginable proportions... yeah yeah, I'm standing next to the Navy in my USMC Jersey... bite me. Lots of people line up for blocks... but not many women sign up for or finish the 100 miles compared to 14k people at the starting line. Also note... no gloves. I forgot them and had to put down the 100 without them... boy did I pay for that.

The lineup waits until after the flyover and cannons. They play the national anthem... then, the real madness begins.

We had cattle guards and...

Sometimes people had a bad day...

We got to go through the air base this year... The zoomies doused me down with water... I know I was hot and all, but I think it was the jersey... #USMC

Rest Stops are full of liquids, sometimes munchies and lots and lots of people!

At the 75th mile the pack is thinned out... and because it was 15 miles from the last stop, people were very tired... worn out more and more as the day goes along. I was pretty toasted here... see video below.

It wasn't easy... and 20-30 MPH winds, 80 plus miles of chip seal... none of it was going to keep me from the finish line... 

They gave out finisher metals this year... for anyone who finished any route.  Mine took me a lot longer then most... but I didn't mind... at least not until the pain set it... and the sunburn..... 

So, without the gloves I couldn't feel my little fingers after mile 50... for days. I also got to keep this snazzy tan:

I had a special recovery plan (Don't try this at home)

Bottom line... HHH is like a cult activity for cycling junkies. Some people really love it and go year after year... others, not so much. I went for a weekend group ride this past weekend and a gal said "I didn't really like it, I tossed my metal in the trash"... I was slightly insulting since I felt like it was an achievement... but, that's my deal, not hers. She's young and can take fitness for granted while us older folks grasp at it like an elderly persons oxygen tank!

Will I be back? Yes... I sent my host family a cool thank you box, including dog toys and treats... can't wait to see em again next year! Besides.. where else would I find that many fit guys in bike shorts? I get to be proud that so few women pass the finish line of 100 miles... and I'll get to do it year after year.