Monday, October 29, 2007


Ride or bust...

The imperative to be able to ride on the weekend was pretty high on my list. Perhaps if I didnt have the 90km Gong ride next weekend I might have been a bit more patient, but I had to do something more 'constructive' with my knee and related niggles.

So. When my left hip got into the act on Friday morning, I took myself off to the chiropractor. Oh hallelujah, what a difference! Click and clunk, and no more hip niggle, and, I swear, even more movement with my knee. He ok'd a 'light' ride on Saturday morning, but advised against the longer 60 + km training ride set for Sunday. (And maybe ride 50km - by myself - during the week). Hmmm.

Saturday morning, with the girls on their now fortnightly paper run, just Marc and I headed off to the community ride, this time riding our 'half bikes' (yes, that's tandem rider terminology for single bikes!) He rode in from home, while I drove in. I did 31km on my road bike (in B group, while he rode A - have I ever mentioned he's a faster, stronger rider?)... and I was rapt with my knee. Hardly any niggles! And I was walking down the stairs like a normal person!

She's baaaacccckkkk!

[Oh, and the shoes!! Fan-bloody-tastic! - what a difference stiffer shoes make! As Cait will now attest, riding a bike with 'clipless pedals' is a revelation, and once you've ridden with them, you just don't want to go back to riding with joggers and toeclips - it makes that much difference to your riding. (No, I don't know why they call them 'clipless' when to me you 'clip' into them.. but what would I know?!!) And now these new shoes? Better again! We have still gone for the spd type (designed for mountain bike riding) because a lot of our riding is of a 'touring' variety, and we want to be able to walk around in comfort when we stop. (Specific road shoes and cleats make that a lot harder - in those you don't have 'high heels', you have 'high toes' !!) and I for one decided I didn't need a whacko walking gait to niggle with my back.) These shoes, as I didn't explain in my last post, are stiffer than the lace-up models we first had. And to think that two years ago Marc had to convince me that it was worth getting 'cycling shoes']

So, anyway, what the hell... I decided to ride on Sunday. Against professional advice I guess, but he doesn't really understand what sort of training we need for a big 90km ride - on tandems.

It was a big day... 70km... which included the 3 km 'Bruxner Park' hill, plus a lot of other ups and downs. Cait and I had some frustrations with our tandem, including the chain jumping off the front derailleur - and getting so wedged Marc had to break the chain to unwedge it - and the fact that we *think* we'd go faster with skinnier tyres like the others all have. (The difference was particularly noticeable when, for both of us, our last significant rides were on road bikes with skinny tyres, AND the rest of the group were also on skinnier tyres and scooting along a lot quicker than us.)

For a time there yesterday we were both feeling a bit negative about the tandem experience vs the concept of riding individually on road bikes. (Not that she and I both have road bikes - so defecting to 'half bikes' next week is not an option.) I even confess I told Marc this new tandem was a "$2000 piece of ****" . He, understandably enough, countered with a number of reasonable arguments as to why this was not the case - and that, no, we didn't actually ride faster on the old tandem. I am lucky he didn't thump me for being a spoilt brat.

The misbehaving derailleur was a bit of a downer (as was the heat we encountered during the middle of the day)..but perhaps our yee-ha 73 kph coming downhill back into Coffs gave us the sweetener we needed. (Marc did about 82 on the triplet, which, he says, handles better the faster it goes!!)

I am a bit sore everywhere today - surprise, surprise - so I'm contemplating the wisdom of having ridden (knee-wise) - however the training yesterday was probably more beneficial. In the scheme of things. I would never have ridden something quite as tough by myself during the week. I'll rest the knee now for a few days. (After I see how I go at swimming today!) And I have another massage booked for tomorrow.

Marc has also promised skinnier tyres, and he spent last night trying to fix the derailleur - to no avail. Bike shop job he thinks.. just hope it can be sorted for the weekend. If we hadn't ridden such a ride yesterday we would have been facing these mechanical problems on the Gong ride itself.


You are crazy, do you know that!!

I am glad you survived - and so glad I have firefox back so I can catch up on everyone again!!

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