Monday, November 10, 2008

More bikes = better...

Friday I tested the ankle again by running a slow and steady five miles on the treadmill during lunch (43:00 minutes). The Achillies was fine but I do not want to damage it further. Jodie and I went 'Ballroom Dancing' on Friday night - it consisted of a 1 hour class and then a social mixer dance. There were all ages at the dance and many talented people. Not knowing ANY dance steps was definitely a liability but I am confident that I can gain the basics and then really enjoy myself.

Saturday I decided to have an easy bike ride (once again did not want to test the Achilles). Road a moderate 40 miles with no discomfort at all. Stopped and talked with some friends - no need to push the pace. The twenty miles out took 1:12 and the return (no talking or stops) took just over an hour - 1:02. This was a bonk ride - I ate nothing prior to leaving and did not have any calories while riding. In theory this should (over time - meaning years) allow your body to more efficiently process fat for energy. Almost all of my early morning exercise is with out calories. I've been doing this for a while. I can easily go for about 2 hours at a moderate pace, however, when the pace is elevated, an hour is about the maxmium.

On Sunday, after the success of the previous ride I hit the trail again. Since I was planning on riding a bit faster I ate my cup of oatmeal with a little brown sugar. I started out harder but still stopped and talked with Jodie for a few (she was doing a 10 mile run) and took my time at the Bassfield turnaround (4 minutes - bathroom, fill water bottles, etc). A few miles out from Bassfield on the way back I started to lose my steam. Fearing a bonk - I pulled over and added some powdered Gatorade (with electrolytes) to the water bottle and took a big hit. I think this was just enough to fight the wall off. I completed the 50 miler at 2:34 - just under 20 MPH average - of course, if you take out the talking and stops then just over 20 MPH - but, you don't do that of course.

On a side note, I really do not believe in many spontaneous purchases - I prefer to research and 'get the best deal.' This can be a gift and a curse - it can really cripple some of my purchasing decisions. Anyway, I bought another bike on Friday. This will make 3 bikes (6 total if you include Jodie's bikes - yes 6 bikes for 2 people). I bought my road bike - a Scott Speedster 60, an entry level road bike with entry level components (SORA) - (my first real bike) in February of 2006.

I only put about a thousand miles on it the first year - I did not have any really good routes in Terre Haute and Jodie and I only road on weekends in Bloomington. After moving to Hattiesburg with the Long Leaf Trace the miles started to add up. This bike became my everything - commuter, weekend rider, triathlon racer, etc).

I also had a pretty significant crash on the Scott. I was in a group ride and three of us went our own way. I was at the tail end of the group and I hit a very small bump in the rode. For what ever reason, the chain sucked down between the frame and the crank and locked up. The bike stopped immediately (at a little more that 20 MPH - I had my polar heart rate watch on and it recorded the 20+ to zero speed drop in about 1 second) - I did not stop and did a classic high side crash. I landed on my right side - elbow, knee, thigh, etc and rolled across my back to the other side all the while obtaining road rash. Luckily, nothing was really hurt - I landed flat and except for the bruising and rash everything was okay. By the way - road rash on top of sun burn is extremely uncomfortable.
It took about 20 minutes to dislodge the chain and limp home the 20+ miles. This chain suck action would happen several more times, generally when I was starting to stand up on the bike and really crank. No further accidents but the fear factor was high. I have become hesitant to ride the Scott hard.
I ended up getting a dedicated triathlon bike this spring (2007 - Giant Trinity A1). I purchased the bike new off of eBay for a little less than 50% off of MSRP. This triathlon bike immediately cut time off and added MPH's to all rides. It was many pounds lighter (about 8 lbs less than the Scott with area bars).

I do not have a cyclometer on my triathlon race bike - I do not care how fast I am going but only that I am going as fast as I can. However, if I look back on my training logs I am sure that I could get a pretty good idea - my guess would be about 1500 since spring. A dedicated triathlon bike doing commuter and distance and everything riding is not the best choice.
Hence, to my point, just as I set specific criteria when I purchased the Giant, I have been looking for a replacement road bike for about year (even before the crash). I have been looking for a certain level bike for a certain price. Last week I found such a bike. Once again the location was eBay. I found a 2008 Madone 4.5 full carbon bike with 71 miles on it.

This bike retails for $2400+. To seal the deal the seller was offering free shipping and a reasonable 'buy it now' price - these attribute of the sale were important. Microsoft, with their search engine, offers a cash back incentive for many retailers. eBay is one such retailer at this moment. Not to go into too much detail but with this transaction I was able to get $200 cash back. This made the purchase enter my buying zone. I am excited about the planned spontaneous purchase of the new bike.

Although the bike is the lowest Madone that Trek offers it is still full carbon and an enormous step up from the entry level Scott.


Brad Ward said...

Grats on the new bike. It looks great. Got to love those planned spontaneous moments huh?