Friday, May 21, 2010

Bike Mojo is Back!

Today was a beautiful day. I got to ride my bike again, no wind, no falls. Just pure joy. So today's ride will hereafter be known as Mojo-is-back-Ride.

It all started a couple of days ago. The awesome guys from Freeze Thaw Cycles have been helping me make some adjustments to my bike. Last week I got a new crankset with bigger chainrings and a outboard bottom bracket (hubby helped put this sentence together). I don't know what that means, but is sure is faster!!! I first tried it on Saturday (also known as first metric century Saturday), but did not really notice any difference. I was still riding scared from 1) fall Wednesday, and 2) windy Saturday. But today was different!

The other change (on Tuesday), was a minor adjustment to my saddle (lower and further back). On rides over 1-2 hours, my back starts hurting me and my neck/back muscles get very stiff and painful. So Jordyn from Freeze Thaw Cycles, bike fitter extraordinaire, suggested I try this first, and then report back. Sadly, the change did not improve the back/neck problems, but it sure made me faster...

Not being very adventurous (especially when riding alone), I like to stick the same route, with minor modifications. The advantage is that I can time myself. So today I started with State College to Bellefonte on Seibert Road (I have four different ways of going from State College to Bellefonte). My old record on that route was 44 minutes and 16.6 mph average. Today, I did it in 43 minutes and 17.4 mph average (it's about 13 miles). That part of the ride is relatively flat.

The next 20 miles I tried to find long uphills (3 miles +). I did three of those (followed by the inevitable downhill that follows) and then went back on Seibert road again. I did 48 miles in about 3:25 hours, not including a couple of stretching, eating and drinking breaks.

In addition to getting my biking mojo back, I also practiced nutrition (2 x 100 calories in jelly beans and 1 Luna bar) and drinking on the bike (1 1/2 bottles ). Even though I did not completely bonk (an improvement over other rides), I was still well below what I needed. I also worked on going faster on downhills and am happy to report that I hit 35 mph (still below my 37 mph record) and exceeded 30 mph on several other occasions.

Post mojo-is-back ride, I made wubby and myself an epic lunch (included egg, peppers, onions, cheese, with salad, avocado, loads of bread (and butter), and Nutella... I think I was eating for over an hour, and my plate kept on looking full...

In other news, next week is the Fly by Night Duathlon, consisting of run-bike-run-bike-run on The Glen, a racing circuit. They still have spots open, so please join if you can! The more, the merrier!

Life is good, biking is better! Happy training!

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