Homer's Travels: Cycling Update ... Making Progress In Fits And Starts

Friday, May 22, 2015

Cycling Update ... Making Progress In Fits And Starts

A couple of weeks ago I set a goal for myself.  I wanted to push my personal best from 40 miles up to 45 miles (72.4 km) in two weeks.  Last friday I pushed my range up to 41.3 miles but in the process I noticed a problem with my bike.

When I coasted the chain would go slack to the point that the chain was resting on the bike frame.  This is not a good situation.  The chain could easily jump gears.  After finishing my ride I drove straight to the Trek cycling store and had them look at it.  They said the chain was stretched and the gears on the rear wheel were showing a lot of wear.  They recommended a medium level overhaul of the bike.  I'd hope to wait until I went on vacation in June to get the bike overhauled, thus not missing any of my training rides, but, since I was already there, I asked them to go ahead with the overhaul and to replace the tires while they were at it.

I ended up missing one ride, which wasn't too bad.  I picked up the bike and started out on a ride on Tuesday.  It didn't take long to realize that the problem was still there.  *sigh*  I'd planned to do a 43 mile ride but cut is short and did only 25 miles so I could get it to the Trek shop before it closed.  This time they replaced the mechanism in the wheel hub that allows it to freewheel - i.e. what should have been done the first time.

So I ended up missing one and a half rides because of all this mess.  Not much really but each training ride feels precious to me.  We've had a rainy May so far and trying to fit in rides has been a challenge.  The bike feels great now.  It's never shifted so smoothly.

When I went for a ride yesterday, I was thinking about going up to 43 miles but I changed my mind just before and pushed it out past 45 miles.  I ended up doing 45.9 miles (73.9 km).  It would have been easier if I'd had those one and a half rides before I did this.  I was really hurting when I got home - even a banana-nut muffin didn't fix it.  But I met my goal and I'm ready to set my next.

My new goal is 50 miles (80.5 km) by the start of our New England vacation in the middle of June.  I'm giving myself a little more time since I will also have a camp in there somewhere and will probably miss another training ride.  I hope to fit in a ride tomorrow morning ... but it will be a short one, I think.  The good thing is, a 32 miles ride now seems like a short one and that feels like progress.

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