Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

A Busy 10 Days

Over a few rides, week before last, I started to notice a problem with throwing the chain on the single speed Beast. I finally realized that I need to modify the dropouts on the frame, so that I can use the quick-release axle length, without the axle flexing in the non-drive dropout. I can do that, and eventually will, but I need to concentrate on training, right now, not fabricating bike parts.

So, in light of that, I pulled the trigger on a Bikes Direct Deadeye Monster single speed fat bike for $399 (thank you PayPal Credit). I had been eyeing them, for a while, but didn't feel justified in buy-in one until an actual need for it arose.

I swapped over the cockpit setup from the Beast and temporarily swapped the seat post and seat from the racing bike (they are both 27.2mm internal diameter seat tubes).

Here it is, shiny and new, last Friday

I like the orange paint, and the rims and tires are the same as those on the Beast, so the transition was not too jarring. Both the front and rear hub spacings are 135mm, so I might eventually relace the front rim onto a single speed hub so that I can swap them out, if the need arises on the trail.

The next day, I did a 30 mile ride on the Highline Canal Trail. We had experienced a few warm, sunny days, and a lot of the snow had melted from the trail, leaving some pretty long stretches of deep, sandy mud.

Judging by how muddy the bike and I got, with fenders installed, I shudder to think what it would have looked like if I had left them off. I have a down-tube splash guard coming, from eBay, to try to alleviate some of this, in the future. And, I repositioned the rear guard in an attempt to keep some of the mud and water out of my jersey pockets and shorts!

The next few days were a wash for training. My band played a pre-game show before the Super Bowl, down at Englewood Tavern, and we had a show at the Lion's Lair on Tuesday. So, I couldn't even ride back and forth to work, in order to get some pedal-spins in.

On Wednesday, we had a severe enough snowstorm that we were sent home early, from work. It took me an hour and a half to drive 12 miles...

The next day, I was still wiped out from the previous weekend, and a bit down in the dumps from some of the personal things I went through in January. So, I took the day off work, but only managed to ride to the coffee shop and back on the Winter Commuter, with the studded tires. I was not happy with myself, but it was just how the day went.

Friday dawned cold, but sunny, and I suited up for a ride on the new snow. I pushed it hard for 10 miles, then turned around and headed back. I kept my heart rate up, and got in some pretty good strength training.

I had added a water bottle/snack carrier to the bike, which made hydration and fueling a lot easier. I think I'm going to get another, and have two on the race bike.

I came home a lot cleaner from this ride that I had from the previous Saturday's ride!

I was pretty happy with my performance on Friday's ride, but I was getting a bit worried about my endurance. The only training I have been able to get in has been in the form of relatively short (20-30 miles) high-effort snow rides on a mostly flat trail. The constant snow storms have really limited my ability to get out for longer, hillier efforts.

But, after the sun and warmer temperatures of Friday, I decided to take the race bike out and try to do a long loop on the bike trails around town, Saturday morning. The bike trails are typically plowed, and I figured that the sun would have mostly cleared off the layer of snow which the plows leave behind.

So, yesterday, I left the house at about 9:00 A.M. on the racer. It was really sketchy, getting out of my unplowed neighborhood, but I made it to the Cherry Creek Trail without incident. Heading south, I was happy to see that my assessment of trail conditions had been good, and the pavement was mostly dry. Until, that is...

I crossed into Cherry Creek State Park, where no trail maintenance had been performed! This was rough, and icy, and caused me to crash at one point. Luckily, I was being super cautious and going slow enough that I was able to get clear of the bike and land on my feet as the bike went down.

The entire distance across the park was like this, and it was the only stretch I encountered on my entire ride, where the trail was not plowed.

Eventually, I got past the park, and was able to pick up my pace, again.

I followed the CCT to the E-470 Trail and turned west. I rode along 470 until I got to Chatfield State park, and turned north on the South Platte Trail, which I followed to Evans Avenue. (Somehow, I rode right by the turnoff which would have taken me to Dartmouth Street, as I planned.)

From there, I zig-zagged through the neighborhoods to Kaladi, where I stopped for coffee and a snack before riding the final two miles to my house.

I don't yet have the cyclometer on the racer, so I don't know my mileage, for sure. As near as I can figure, it was somewhere between 50 and 60 miles of riding, in 4 hours and 45 minutes, to Kaladi Brothers.

One of the things I was interested in finding out was just how long I would be comfortable on the bike. At about the 4-hour mark, I began to feel it, pretty badly. I was pretty bummed by that, as I need to have the capability of staying in the saddle for, at least, twice that long in order to be confident of finishing the C.O.G.-100.

Today, though, I feel a bit a better about it. I found some good info about training with low-carb intake, a method known as "Training Low". Some people do this as a way to train their muscle tissue to uptake carbs more readily, when they are available. According to what I read, though, this will bring on fatigue a lot more quickly. A 3 hour low-carb intake ride can bring on the same fatigue as a 5 hour ride with normal carb intake.

I was still experimenting with eating low-carb on the bike, yesterday, and I think that affected me. I am going to experiment, on upcoming rides, increasing my carb intake to match the effort and duration of that particular ride.

So, on a bike commute day, I might ingest 50g of carbs rather than my normal <35g .="" 100g.="" 85="" a="" and="" approximately="" day-long="" endurance="" high-effort="" maybe="" on="" ride="" short="" to="" up="">100g, as needed. But, I will still keep my calories in a reasonable zone. I'll just reassign the percentages of fat vs. carbs.

On rest and recovery days, I'll stick to the Keto diet I have been following, since last July. I find that I feel good on that diet, and I stay satisfied.

I'm having to get all scientific on this, as I only have 51 days until the race. Of those days, I am out of town 4 of them, for work, and I am sure things will unexpectedly interrupt my training schedule. Therefore, I have to optimize the time I train, as well as I can!



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