First ride after a week off, playing with colds and sinus fluid.

Yes, this is about as glamorous as it sounds. I went to work with just a sniffle, as two posts ago will tell you, and came home feeling pretty rotten. Usually, If I have a good week at work, there is weight work for the legs and an hour of intervals on the exercise bike or 24 floors of hotel stairs i run up, three days in a row. The last time I went on a ride was April 24th. It was a Thursday and I detailed a test ride on a wonderfully capable Ridley X-bow. Nine days later I went through this illness and had zero exercise, more sleep than usual and a lot of laying around. I was very comfortable indeed.

Today, May 3rd, I got on the bike and went north. I loaded  up with two big full water bottles of HEED and two Cliff bars not really knowing how much of either I would need-I just had to get out and do something. I also was carrying a lot of extra runoff in my sinuses. I did not feel like it, but I was doing smashingly well as the Englishman would say. I worked on more out of the saddle pedaling on every ride or hill in efforts to correct the white-guy-butt problem that is really limiting my hill performance. I decided to turn around about twenty-two miles in to this ordeal. I was just south of Loveland, CO. I realized why I was doing so well after the turn. I had a tail wind.

I did not know how much of a wind there was. I did not feel like there was much wind at all but by my calculations I was facing a South by South-west to North-east breeze ranging from 8mph to are you serious. I had to remind myself to put in more power consistently to keep going. Had I not I would be out there now spinning along at 8 mph. I was corking my way through the water bottles of electrolyte and carb mixture. I was starting to crave a nice big cold water chaser to cleanse my palette. I realized it was the two hour mark and I had to start eating a substantial load of carbs but did not want any part of it. This is the hard part-forcing yourself to eat something. I whipped out the Cliff bar and started eating a small bite at a time. I eventually finished it but I was not excited one bit at having done so. Somewhere along the way I lost the wrapper. I’m sure some frequently passing cyclists saw that. I was not exactly doing too  much for a first day back but I was doing it alright. This is why I did not do the club group ride. Seventy miles would have left me behind after probably twenty.

I meandered home. My intention was to do an out and back ride, just ride the reverse course I rode out on to get a true average of progress. Of course the wind picking up did not help. That was almost forty-three miles averaging a bit over 16mph and 230+ watts output the whole time. I should be happy with that, given I was probably sweating out all of the leftover decongestants and NyQuil in my system that the UCI probably has on it’s banned substance list. It would explain the heart rate over 160 for all two and a half hours. I’m happy now. I have a good start for my two weeks vacation that begins Monday. I plan on 50 mile days of much more climbing and power potential. If I can get my riding squared away into some sort of training style I should see big benefits.

Do your own bar tape. Yes, YOU can do it yourself.

Just go to YouTube. Look at some videos. there are very nice ones at the top of the ‘bar tape’ search list. A shop will charge you $20+ for the tape and $20 to put it on – I think that’s to pay the mechanic for putting up with the job. Regardless, It’s easy. Quality bar tape is $20 from a proud of-itself-shop (or less for good stuff if you buy online) and for that money I now have Specialized black cork bar tape. I rode with it today and it is very nice. It is easy and actually a bit relaxing to do. The key is to wrap at an angle that lets the middle ‘glue’ line fall on the edge of the previous wrap of tape so you have about one-half to three-quarters of the width of the tape uncovered. That glue line in my case is a nice fat thick bead of grippy silicon rubberized stuff. That’s all you need. just use a little bit of tension as you wrap and it will hold nicely. Pay attention to the black electrical tape use when you finish. Do  it right and the electrical tape will not come up and the bar tape will be nice and firm and ready for you to force your bike to do your bidding!

201.4 lbs and a sinus infection

I’m loosing a week of exercise beyond general stretching and even that hurts. Good news is i’m about to go below 200 lbs. This is nice but what is crap is a sinus infection in my head. Lifting things and bending over means an exploding head wich feels like what that guy in ‘scanner’s must have felt, yes that scene. Of course this happens in my last work trip right before vacation time. I had grand pans of a morning ride almost every day for three weeks straight but that is all on hold with this sinus garbage. I started work with a sniffle and the occasional ear pop which is sometimes normal for pilots because honestly, we can work through that and things get better. (It is a sign that things could get worse. It’s 50/50 at that point but you aren’t officially sick just yet.) Well, this got worse and worse. The more time I spend under pressurization the longer it took to clear the ears and then the infection set in. I guess I can’t deal with this like I could in my 20’s. So I wait…and I won’t be ready for a group ride on Saturday of about 75 miles. I have been looking at cheap methods of acquiring spare parts to build up a cross frame and the price tag wont get any less than $500 in parts. This with the frame means an $800 bike. I need to look for used or discounted bikes if this is the case. I’m not sure I can swing that price.