Sunday, June 07, 2009

Cadence Weaponry

Why can't I look this damn smashing when I'm hunched over my bike repairing a tyre?

It had been awhile since I'd actually gone out on a longer ride on a Saturday. Since the weather hasn't been great this spring I guess I've been avoiding it. Counting this Saturday it was only the third time. The first was really pretty short, 30 KM, mainly because I was running out of time and had to get home. The next time I had planned on going a lot further but by 20 KM I had to turn around and barely made it back due to a mechanical problem (that, if I wasn't careful, would've become a medical problem). So that was a 40 KM ride. Saturday, I planned on trying to reach my goal of 80 KM. It was a gorgeous day with a perfect temperature and the bike seemed in good shape so I thought I'd take my time and go the distance. Not only would I try to reach a distance but I would keep an eye on my bike computer and watch my cadence (pedal rate) and try to stay between 80-90 as much as possible. But after more than an hour and a half I looked at the bike computer and I'd only done 33 KM and my average cadence was too brutal to mention, so I decided to head back. At least it had been a good ride, I discovered some new routes and the bike had held… that's when my rear tire felt wooden and began to fish tail. Another flat. I had actually been extremely careful to avoid pot holes but when the road becomes a pot hole held together by mini archipelagos of asphalt it becomes difficult to avoid anything. I was still more than 20 KM from home.

As luck would have it, I'm getting very good at changing tires on this bike. I had a spare inner tube and one of those CO2 cartridges in lieu of a pump. The only thing I don't like about the cartridge is it's kind of a one-shot deal. If you screw up, you don't really get another chance. It did work - sort of. The tire completely inflated but obviously the tube was twisted somewhere thus creating a bulge and thus an uneven ride (your wheel no longer resembles a circle so on every rotation you bump along). Let's just say it was a hard day for the, um, perineal fascia1. There are two things I can say about Toronto's Lakeshore Drive. It's in worse shape than GM and at least every 5 KM there is a KFC. Taunting you. Sickening you. You might think oh for sure I'll see a half a dozen Tim Hortons but nope. It ain't Tim you see, it's the Colonel.

I finally made it home and rested my bones. 80 KM is still within my reach, I think I just need a few more rides. In the end I'd done 66.5 KM and I wasn't broken by a busted tire (though I'm getting a little fed up with it). I said it was sunny though I didn't realize how sunny. I ended up with a nice radiation burn a la our sun. I guess because my shirt and shorts are snug the burn formed perfect edges almost as though they were painted on which looked pretty awesome when I went to the pool on Sunday. 44 laps. 1 KM. Took me 40 minutes. At that rate it would've taken me 44 hours to travel the same distance I did on my bike in 3 and a half (odd symmetry in those numbers). Even a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Let's just hope I don't blow a flat underwater.

FN 1. Yes I used this phrase, and yes I used the Internet to find it, but I just didn't want this bit to get all R-rated and up in your face but we're all adults here and sometimes there just isn't a good clean colloquial way of saying "soft bits" succinctly. Well, I guess "soft bits" is succinct enough. I've noticed in sports reporting they'll say "sensitive areas". C'mon. The Middle-East is a sensitive area. Let's just call a spade a spade.

UPDATE: On June 13 Peter Rogers achieved his goal by riding 82 KM in 3hrs 27mins. without any mechanical or medical difficulties.

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