One good thing about riding roadies is you can pretty much ride it one day after a massive weekend of rain. The boys were all suffering withdraw symptoms so we took the good weather (for the most part) and hit up SOP again. Brad turned up with his yeti 29er and surpringsly he did pretty decent for a mtb with a slow ass nevegal up front. I am recommending him to get a cheap roadie because there is no substitute for roadies on roads. The pace was decent with a few sprints here and there and it was mighty enjoyable until we were visited by rain clouds. We waited under shelter a little and decided to make a run for it once it slowed down a little. I however, had to ride home and on the way home the skies blessed me with a little more water. A constant stream of water aimed straight at your ass is not a good feeling.
I managed to TT Felix’s loop by myself around 7pm and found it to be pretty interesting. The course has a lot of external factors that you need to consider and it might temper with times a little so keep that in mind. Around 7pm there were no shortage of walkers along with their dogs on the cycle path. Some with leashes, some without. Care needs to be taken for sure. Add to that blind corners and lights and it definitely will make the times pretty varied. The loop for me was pretty painful as it should be and i kept telling myself that the pain was my friend but at certain points of the loop i just wanted it to be over. I managed to even work up a stitch and every breath became painful. Still, i pushed myself to finish the course and thanked god once i reached “poseur junction”. The time on strava was pretty much what i expected. It’s not crash hot but it will do. Hopefully i will be able to go back in the near future and better it.
Got back home around 12 and managed 5 hrs of sleep before i woke up for a ride with cliffy again. This time we hit the brighton cycle path and rode to Kurnell and back. My only aim was to TT the Kurnell section and TT it we did. We didn’t suck each others wheels as we just took off at our own pace but straight away i was giving it my all once again (which seems to be a reoccurring theme now days). 170-180 for the rest of the section and it was plenty of pain. One thing i realised today was this. There are moments during a section of that intensity that i think i need to slow down.
My body tells me to bump the gears down and take it easy but i’ve noticed today that i can push past that threshold and keep the tempo going. My body is telling me to slow down but i can still apply similarish power to the pedals. For the last 1-2km’s that was what got me through to the end of the caltex. Checking on strava later on at home tells me i managed a 37.8km/h average which i am pretty happy about. Riding on the flats isn’t easy for me and riding with clifton shows this even more. I have to exert so much more effort to get a similar result on the flats that all i can rely on is my fittness/endurance.
This was my second ride of the Kurnell TT section. For the first run i managed an average of 35.6km/h and a finishing time of 11:14 instead of todays 10:35 run. So basically today’s run netted me an improvement of 30-40 seconds or so. Why is this? I was pushing hard for both runs but i guess there are a wide variety of factors. For starters, the wind might be slower today? Maybe i am slightly more rested or stronger? Maybe it was the two slices of super supreme pizza also known as breakfast of all champion cyclists? Maybe it was my repositioned saddle offset? I don’t know which one it was or a combo of those but i am going to talk about the repositioned saddle offset.
I have always ridden my bikes with a pretty in-line saddle offset. I have always thought my short legs = less saddle offset but in keeping with my own recommendations i decided to try things just for the sake of it. I did a little reading on the interweb and found some points and connected some of my own findings on the trainer and deduced that a further back offset was worthwhile to try. I noticed a long time back on the trainer that in a given gear/resistance it was always easier to pedal and hence produce more power the lower my upper body was. The worst power producing position was on the tops, followed by the hoods and then finally the drops. Reading articles explained why this was so. It further explained that the further your saddle is back the more lower your torso will be which is good for producing more power not to mention aero advantages. However it is all a compromise and some riders can only take so much aggressiveness in a position before they deem it too uncomfy. So basically it is all a compromise and i guess it is up to me as a rider to work out what i can compromise.
I took note of the original saddle position and moved the saddle back on its rails by 2cm or so. I also lowered the seatpost to cancel out the further offset and my findings from my two rides subsequently is pretty positive. The position is ok to me so far. It is damn aggressive (it was aggressive already before) but i am not feeling weird aches/pains from my short rides so far. It is prolly a good idea for me to do short rides to ease into this new riding position so that when i do go on a 100km+ ride i wont die. First thing i noticed with further saddle offset is a more smoother pedaling stroke. Especially at higher RPM’s of cadence it was easier to keep the cranks turning. That is the most obvious change i have realised. It also feels like i am producing a little more power but that’s pretty well tested because i am lower on the bike now and i can use additional muscles to “pull” myself through a typical cadence. So far so good but time will tell!
Long post already so no more from me for today. Cya and i recommend you all to ride before the skies dump us again. Man, if you had the patience to read this far you are pretty damn awesome in my books. If i saw someone write this much on their blog id just skip it completely lol