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What A Mess…

August 2014

I sucked on Sunday for the Assenmacher 100… The first thirty miles were excellent, my legs loosened up after the first ten miles or so and I felt good. There were small problems though, like the talent pool was more like me and less like the twenty racers we had to hide behind last year…and the pace was still pretty close. I took a few short-ish pulls up front but spent a lot of time hiding.

I was smiling as we pulled into the second rest stop (we always skip the first). I topped off a bottle with Gatorade, had a couple of PB&J corners, a white chocolate & macadamia nut cookie and was ready to go.

The next fifteen got progressively worse. I switched around my saddle a couple of weeks ago and when I hit a pothole that felt more like a fjord, it nosed down about a half inch. I tried to eyeball it and nosed it up too much by about three millimeters…which meant I couldn’t ride in the drops comfortably. Add to that a nice little bonk and I was off the back before I knew it. Fortunately, Matt went first so he led us out on a shortcut that put us in front of the group so we could latch back on. I stayed with them for another four miles or so before falling off the back again, this time for good… As the group faded, I knew I was in trouble. 45+ miles out and bonked. Then I came to an unmarked intersection… I should have gone straight but I was distracted by a work call (on Sunday) so I was sure they turned. Oops.

Ten miles later I knew I was in trouble, bonked and lost. I programmed in my home address and got to creeping home. Five miles more and after I completely ran dry of Gatorade in the middle of nowhere, I called my wife. I quit.

Waiting on the side of the road I had a come to Merckx (so to speak) moment, and a much needed discussion with my inner punk-ass-bitch. The main gist went like this: There were a few minor issues I had to work through but the sad truth is it’s been a month since I really busted my ass on my bike – sure I worked some in the mountains, but when I started surpassing my cycling buds I got complacent on my training rides.  Sure I still worked hard and I went pretty fast, but I didn’t keep the pressure on and that led to the one big problem with cycling fast:  Everyone who can ride fast knows, including me, that if you’re not getting faster, you are getting slower.  So the question was, do I want to live with the slower me or do I want to buck up and start working again?

Basically, with a whole bunch of explicatives in that inner discussion (I’ll leave those out), I kicked my inner punk-ass-bitch’s ass.  When I got home from the office yesterday, I really went to work on him.  I set out to make the first ten miles of my ride hurt. With the club ride tomorrow, I wanted to leave the last six to spin my legs loose.  Now this isn’t really recommended – after a long, hard bonking ride, to go back out the next day and hammer, but I needed to kick my butt a little bit.

The idea was simple really. I started out fast and every time I wanted to slow up a bit I pedaled harder until I hit the ten mile mark, then I sat up and cruised home after stopping at the shop to let Matt know I was good and to level out my saddle (forgot before I left so that ten miles was quite rough).

For those who might wonder about saddle tilt, the concept is simple. Nosing the saddle up helps you to sit more upright – it supports that position best. On the other hand, nosing the saddle down promotes riding low but too much and you have to work to keep your bum on the saddle. Most suggest, and I agree, that perfectly level is best though there is certainly room for disagreement.

More on my mess in the next post…


  1. I think we’ve all had those little “discussions” with our selves. If anyone else spoke to me the way I spoke to myself, I think I’d be in a few fights!

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