Been kind of a weird week. Felt like I was over the post-holiday cold and managed to get some decent miles in last weekend and before work this week. But, after the ride, I’d get bongo-ears the next day, y’know when everything sounds like it’s coming in through a drumhead. The day after that, things would seem fine, so I’d (wisely/unwisely - you decide) ride again. This afternoon, it got bad enough to put me to sleep for an hour or so. Walked the dog for a while to wake up - it’s dropped into the low 30’s up here in the hood and supposed set some record lows tonight. Now I’ve got the crackly yawns, but at least no dizziness anymore. There was some Bob Roll article a couple (?) years ago in which he wrote about how a cyclist should feel - he made it clear that feeling like crap was par for the course. And of course, the eastern European coach voice just crosses his arms and observes, “Cold in head. Ok to ride”
It clearly affects my writing. Normally I don’t whine all that much. Ok, maybe I do, but usually manage to edit most of the worst out before posting… Sorry.
I’m having foot issues. Or, more precisely, the front end of my feet (yes, I’m aware those are my toes - but it makes it’s way back to about mid-foot) are getting frickin’ cold on rides of late. Even if I’m able to keep the rest of me warm, those tootsies just don’t get happy until they are thawing in the post-ride hot shower. With this colder, static weather, what works for shorter rides gets reasonably uncomfortable as the distance and time increase. I tried a double-layer sock system on one of the AM rides this last week, with the thin against the skin trick, but that didn’t seem to make a dang bit o’ difference - and it was arguably less comfortable for the first bits. It seemed that the socks were reasonably dry at ride end, so the chill may be a direct result of my nice high-wicking socks combined with my breatheable SIDI’s. I’ve got an old set of Performance neoprene booties, but those add a lot of bulk, and seem like overkill. So, today I snagged a set of Pearl Izumi Calientoes, which I’ll try this weekend. They’re basically an insulating foot condom, which ought to be enough to prevent the airflow from being quite so effective. Of course, purchasing such things makes it more than possible that the temps will climb back up…
It was good to get out to the Lighthouse (Pt. Reyes) last weekend. Even though I’ve been out there a number of times, I’ve never actually ridden my bike to get there. And, like most roads covered only by motor vehicle, it had been flattened considerably in my memory. I knew that the climb up from Inverness was noticeable, and I left a few hoofprints next to my tire tracks on the way up. But, my happy-thoughts brain recalled the flat road out past the Antennae Array (beyond the oyster beds) as extending most of the way to the Lighthouse. (Sorry if these references are extremely specific - there’s a bikely map if you want to play along at home…) Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong. It’s a long and lonley haul out there, but it surely h’ain’t flat. Glad to remind myself of that before the event. Even more glad to have a freewheel and a bailout chainring, especially on the way back. I ended up using the freewheel all the way back to the “Y” split towards Drake’s Beach, and kicked it into the low/low for the last little oomph up to that point.
For the rest of the ride back to Pt. Reyes, the fixed worked well. I’ll definitely trade away some ultimate speed on the downhills, but the moderate incline and flat stuff plays nicely to a fixed gear system.
Food will be a definite issue. I’ve been eating like a linebacker all week, and really white-knuckled it a little too much while on the road Sunday. I was a bit spacier than I realized until stepping off the bike at one point. My working plan is to pack some sandwiches, so I’m eating familiar stuff. I’m not worried about spoilage - with the weather like it is, egg salad or tuna fish with extra mayo would keep just fine. You might have to thaw it a bit, even.
As far as the bike goes, it’s working pretty well. I turned up a nice solution to mounting the lights, which I’ll document this weekend. The rack will get mounted this weekend, but I’m only going to rough-fit the fenders and add rainflaps. The ride last weekend confirmed that I’ll be flipping and flopping the rear wheel, so unless rain is forecast, I’m going to forgo the covered wheel approach unless needed.
After reading through last year’s instructions (easy to find on Carlos’ excellent sfrando page), I may opt for some new tires. The Pasela 32’s that I’ve been running show little serious use, but Todd recommends that tires have less than 100 miles on them. No reason not to follow that advice, and I’ll just swap ‘em off after the event. I’m also leaning towards a new chain before the ride, thought I’ll probably measure it before just yanking it. Other than that, I’m just trying not to complicate a simple system.
This was supposed to be the last “hard” week, with a little tapering next week and then an easy week before the brevet on the 27th. Hopefully the brain pokiness will dissipate and is related to the efforts of last weekend and this week. Feel like there were some other things I’d wanted to mention, but hey, that’s it for now…
Your AM update -
According to an sfrando group post, the 200K rider limit has been reached as of Friday.