Posts filed under ‘Misc’
Amazing cleat story here – after two and a half years and at least 25,000 miles I had to replace my speedplay zero cleats this morning. I knew that there was a problem about a week ago when the right cleat was loose even with the tension screws closed all the way down. It turns out that I had sheered off a plastic tab that helps hold the locking mechanism in place. It’s hard to tell in the blurry picture, but you can wiggle the locking mechanism with your hand even though it’s supposed to be secure. So today I installed a replacement cleat, and I thought the warning message was hilarious in light of the miles that I had on the shoe. It says to replace the cleat every 5,000 miles! Mine lasted 5x longer than that! Tonight’s the Charlotte Criterium (Presbyterian Invitational) and I’ll be posting my race report sometime tomorrow – hoping to get more points in the USA crits series to keep my top 10 standing (I’m currently 7th by 1 point).
My wife was getting ready for a garage sale this Saturday when she found these two posters that I saved from my college racing days at Clemson University. I was a big follower of the principles laid out in Eddie Borysewicz’s book “Bicycle Road Racing”. One of the things that he recommends doing at the end of every season is to make a poster for the upcoming year with a box for every single day of the year.
The week to end all weeks was a 504.8 mile week Oct 14-20 (Monday-Sunday). I raced the Michellin Classic on Sat/Sun Oct 12-13 and then had a 504.8 mile week to end out the 1996 season. Check out these rides for that week:
Mon 10/14 – 25 miles easy
Tue 10/15 – 107 miles (first time to ride to Highlands, NC and back from Clemson)
Wed 10/16 – 54 miles
Thur 10/17 – 35 miles
Fri 10/18 – 38 miles
Sat 10/19 – 200 miles (to Brasstown Bald and back)
Sun 10/20 – 45.8 miles
Total mileage: 504.8 miles!
Other highlights are listed below and visible in the pics, too:
- Assault on Mt Mitchell 1995 – 21st place
- Morning resting heart rate of 36bpm
- Low weight of 115 lbs on March 18th, 1995
- A ride with the comment “fell-on-ice”
- NC/SC state TT 40k in 1:00:08 on August 25th, 1996
- My “pass-out on the bike” crash at UGA on April 20th, 1996
One of the things that I am happiest about this season has been my performance in the Georgia Cycling Grand Prix. Here is a screenshot of the current standings … while it is fun to be at the top of a list with so many professional riders, the reason is that the pros only did one or two of the races whereas I have done nearly all of them!
Since it has been a little over 14 months since my last crash, I thought I would go out and wreck my bike today. Well, OK, that’s not exactly why I fell off my bike going 25mph, but the end result is the same! Here’s how it all played out: I left my house for a 50 mile training ride armed with three bottles for the heat. I made it about 10 miles just past Liberty Park on Sicard Hollow when I noticed that my rear tire was nearly flat. Fortunately, another rider was stopped on the side of the road making a phone call, and he offered me his pump since I wasn’t sure if there was much CO2 left in my CO2 cartridge that had already been used once or twice. I quickly changed the tube, putting in my spare which I knew had a slow leak in it, pumped everything back up, and rode straight home to put in a better tube. I also decided to put on a new tire that I had bought a while back and not used yet.
Excited to get going again, I railed the 12% downhill outside my house into the 90 degree righthand turn at the bottom of the hill at about 30mph. No problem, everything felt fine. Less than 100 meters later is another 90 degree turn at the next intersection. Still going about 25mph I turned left at this intersection but the brand new tire grabbed really hard and my momentum nearly instantly overcorrected the bike pushing it to the other side. With my pedals still clipped in, this propelled the bike up into the air on top of me with me sliding on my back underneath it all the way across the intersection into the gutter on the other side of the road. I must have landed softly somehow as I’m not sore anywhere other than the middle of my back where I had a bike pump in my back jersey pocket. With just a little bit of road rash on the left side of my body, I definitely call myself lucky. Here’s the maps and my HR data during the wreck:
- Climbing out of my driveway after putting on new tire at the house
- Descending the steep hill on Laurel View Rd
- Wrecking and sliding across Laurel View Ln intersection
- Gathering my water bottles and checking my bike
- Deciding to continue on
- Deciding to return to the house and fix my brake shifter lever (turned inwards)
I went ahead and purchased a new front wheel. I read an article about a Zipp carbon fiber front wheel that failed catasrophically after being “fixed” with carbon epoxy. Basically what can happen is that the crack will deepen underneath the epoxy and you won’t be able to tell because it’s hidden by the epoxy.
I went with a Neuvation tubular carbon fiber 50mm wheel. Even though this has been my best season ever (and I’m quite happy with it – although it’s not over yet!), I haven’t quite had the monetary success to be able to afford a $1000 Zipp wheel or $600 American Classic. The Neuvation will weigh about 100-125 grams heavier than the American classic that it is replacing at a cost of just $279. As long as it is stiff, corners well, and rolls smoothly that shouldn’t be a problem. I will definitely report back on how it goes!
Also, I replaced my rear training tire today. I got a good deal on the Forte Pro DC tire, and I got about 4500 miles on them before the rear one started to shred. The front one is still going strong – probably another 2500 miles left in it.
Also, with my Polar power meter purchase, I got a gift certificate for a free Road ID. It’s very handy, comfortable, and I’m not sure why but it reassures my wife about my riding and training. I know from how badly my eyes burn during workouts that my sweat is pretty caustic. After only 3 weeks, the lettering on the ID is starting to fade. Fortunately it’s a lifetime warranty so it looks like I’ll probably be sending it back in for warranty replacement before the end of the year!
First, let me start with a question. If this was your expensive carbon front wheel, what would you do? This happened during a crit when I heard a loud pop and thought I had blown a tire. I was able to finish the race with no apparent problems, but the clicking I heard during braking was the outer layers of carbon fiber getting caught on the brakes. The crack is only to the outermost layer of the carbon, and it is peeling off like layers of an onion. I am planning on taking it by Cahaba Cycles later today to get a recommendation, but I am wondering if anybody out there has had a similar problem.
Also, I’ve been meaning to post these pics for a while, but I recently had to update some equipment on my bike. First, my speedplay x-series pedals were wearing out, and I was wanting to move to something with a little less float so I used my store credit at Cahaba Cycles (thanks guys!) to purchase a new set of Speedplay Zeros. These pedals allow you to adjust how much float you have, and they are awesome! Finally, after 15 months and at least a thousand (maybe two thousand) miles of hard racing, I had to replace the tubular tire on my rear American Classic racing wheel.
Well, it’s been a few weeks now, but the next few weeks I am racing in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee starting this weekend with the Cuba-Meridian Challenge in Meridian, Mississippi and Cuba, Alabama. Next weekend is the River Gorge Omnium in Chattanooga, Tennessee followed by a few weeks off before our hometown race – the Pepper Place crit in downtown Birmingham. Stay tuned for more details!