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Home » Cycling » The cure for everything that sucks.  Including chicken legs. An Addendum

The cure for everything that sucks.  Including chicken legs. An Addendum

December 2015
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Yesterday’s 24 mile ride was just shy of exactly what the doctor ordered…  Well, if a doctor had ordered a bike ride, anyway.  Actually, Dra. Martha Castro would have ordered that, without doubt.  I can call that good.

That said, by the time we hit the home stretch, with a glorious tailwind, I was absolutely bummed that we were done.  24 miles is sweet, don’t get me wrong, but even in December, I like a bit longer.

Mrs. Bgddy got home from her board meeting shortly after 1 and asked if I wanted to ride.  Perfect!

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I opted for the Trek over the Venge.  After all, I really do like riding that bike and surely wouldn’t be too big a disadvantage, riding with my wife…

She kicked my ass in a few sections of that ride.  We ended up pulling in almost a half-mile an hour faster than my ride with Mike just five hours earlier, and on the Trek.

Now a bit of commentary. It is often said that it’s all about the engine, that the bike isn’t all that important. This sounds awesome and tough but it is absolutely not true. This isn’t to say one can’t make up the difference with a little more want to but I was darn near hurling on my top tube trying to keep up with my wife, while my earlier ride on the Venge was easy and fun.

First, the frame isn’t all that big a deal. The wheels on the other hand, an entirely different story. Components aren’t all that big a deal, but they’re not nothing either.

Now, fair enough, it was my second ride of the day so I may have been a little tired but facts is facts folks, my wife was on her good bike and I was on my rain bike and I had stretches where I had no choice but take her draft to keep up…

On another note, I won’t lie. It was kinda sexy struggling a little bit to keep up. My wife is getting good, whether she knows it or not.

It was 40 miles for the day. And that was even better.

Today, it’s sloppy outside so we’re on the mountain bikes.

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Pick your medicine, they all work the same. Some just work faster than others depending on personal preference. If, however, you find two-wheeled medication doesn’t suit you, rinse and repeat until such a time as it does. It’s you, not the bike.

It also might help to think more like a kid and less like an old stick in the mud. Thinking younger won’t hurt you. I promise.

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9 Comments

  1. Kecia says:

    Outdoor riding in December in the Midwest is often unheard of unless you’re bundled up so you can barely move! I’m loving this weather! Now if we can just have some longer daylight to get out and enjoy it a bit more 😉

  2. Kitty says:

    Love the post! 😉

  3. Tracey says:

    I am so jealous. I won’t ride in the cold weather, but it’s been 55 – 70 degrees all weekend (including Friday), so I should be out there riding every day. BUT I hurt my back and can hardly sit or stand for more than a few minutes, let alone ride my bike. It seizes up and the pain is excruciating. Enjoy your riding. Sob. I miss it so.

  4. Oh, shucks, admit it — the bike didn’t make a smidge of difference. It was ALL Mrs. Bgddy. heh heh heh

  5. Brent says:

    Actually, in many cases the bike does have more to do with it than you’re admitting to here.

    I agree that most of the time it’s the engine that’s the problem (i.e., you). I had been riding a cheap mountain bike in 2013 and 2014, and saved up to buy a really nice carbon fiber dream machine in May of this year. I did the math and figured out that just from the higher gears on the road bike powering my way on flats and downhills, I ought to be 10% faster than on the mountain bike. Imagine my disappointment in discovering, after spending thousands of dollars, that my time on my standard training ride with the new bike was a few seconds SLOWER than what I had been doing on the cheap mountain bike. That wasn’t a fluke — the first month I had the road bike, I was consistently exactly as fast as I was on the mountain bike.

    Fast forward 8 months and 2,000 miles of hard riding and it actually is a different story. I’m a lot faster now than I was in May — my average speed as measured in the “moving average” speed of my last rides totalling 200 miles is up 28% and there are a couple hill segments on the Garmin that I’m riding almost 40% faster. So the engine definitely got better.

    But wait: there’s more! I bought a fat bike last month and am hoping the unseasonably warm temps end and we start getting some serious snow so I can ride it in its natural element. Last weekend, I took it out on a 36 mile road ride with 2,400′ of climb. Thought I was going to die — I was seriously bonked at about 25 miles and really hating life for the last 10 miles. Just got back a few minutes ago from the same route on the road bike. I was 43 minutes faster on the road bike and am pleasantly tired but nowhere near as devastated as I was on the fat bike.

    I think that small differences in equipment do add up over time when you reach a certain fitness level, particularly when you’ve adapted really well to your primary bike. So if your Trek has only 10% more friction, has fewer gears than the Venge (meaning you’ll have to ride a little bit lower to keep your cadence where it belongs in many cases), and has any real differences in fit, then it’s no surprise that you were hurting on your afternoon ride with your wife and that you were much slower.

    • bgddyjim says:

      I agree with most of your comment, until we start crossing bike lines – a fat bike is obviously going to be much slower than a mountain bike will be slower than a road bike. There are stark difference between the Venge and the 5200 but most of the difference is in the wheels and the overall weight of the bike. The gear selection between the two is negligible. That said, it isn’t much of a surprise that the Venge is easier to ride faster. Many people like to claim that an expensive bike isn’t necessary, that it’s a waste of money because they’re not any faster. My point was, and is, that they are (if one can afford it). Thanks for adding your experience to the post.

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