Tuesday, August 27, 2013

80 ks. at last.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bike Show in Taipei

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My New Bike.

After much procrastination I purchased a new frame. The best my money could buy.The name sold it to me. Wielier Triestina Gran Turisma. I did a little internet search though and all reviews were mostly favourable. Like 'if we could have just one bike this could be the one'. Anyway the frame is very light weighing in under 1.5 ks including the forks. I thought of assembling it myself but as I didn't have the spanner for the bottom bracket I had my neighbour, a bike mechanic, do it for me. He had a few problems but managed all right. My old bike an Avanti Corsa with carbon back stays was pretty good, with all the parts Ultegra which had to be moved over to the new frame. I set off for my first ride and on a small hill I changed down to my biggest cog on the cluster with the chain on the middle chain ring, but after a few turns it just jumped off onto the small chain ring with no help from the deralier. I asked him about it and he said it was because this was a modern frame with a different alignment or something like that, which didn't make any sense to me. I went to Avanti plus to pick their brains but they were not at all obliging and at one point said something about 'trade secret',and me making a note about going somewhere else when I wanted a part. I went back home to ponder the problem and with a bit of luck after trying a couple of Heath Robinson solutions turned the bike upside down to put the back wheel on again, and noticed that the back stays were about 1.5 mm wider than the cones on the wheel. This didn't seem much but when tightening the quick release pulled the stays together and pulling the cluster out of alignment especially on this frame with the stay opposite the cluster being much larger than the one on the chain side.I found a washer 1.5 mm and inserted it on the distal side and hey presto it worked. Now after a few hundred ks I find the bike exceptional and very comfortable on the saddle. Choosing the size was a problem as the choice was between xtra small and Medium. There didn't seem to be much difference but I just wasn't extra small. The main difference was in the head tube. If I had taken the xtra small I would have had to have too many spacers in place to raise the bars for my comfort, so I chose the medium. I think I am enjoying riding it more than I have enjoyed any other bike that I have had.

This is the view from near the top of the Col de Argyll. Yesterday I tackled it again except that I made a much longer loop so that my ride was 60 ks. I'm very pleased with my progress.I took this photo at about the same time of the year, only five years ago. Next stop 80ks.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

My Holistic Aproach to Training Part the Two

In the first part I mentioned the use of weights in training. I have had to revert to their use again. I am having so much trouble with my arms getting tired during long rides because of their increasing weakness I feel it necessary to strengthen them. I have had to use tribars to gain relief but as they are illegal in the Round Taupo Challenge I have decided to do something about it. I think apart from strength I also need high reps with low weights for endurance, so to this end I am doing the bench press and arm curls with dumbbells, gradually increasing reps and weight. So far it seems to be helping.

In the past we were not blessed with Heart Rate Monitors to help us in our training. I have been using one for about twenty years now but only now am I making proper use of it. For long rides I was more inclined to watch my speed ignoring my heart rate. Because I have had problems with atrial fibrillation after training I have made sure not to exceed 80% of max for more than very short periods and try to stay below 70% to 75% for most of my ride (118 bpm.) Its too soon to say I have solved the problem but so far so good.

Yesterday I decided to tackle a hill I have always been scared of. Its a little less than 3ks much about 7%. Anyway I took the bull by the horns and made it without any problem. Just at the top my HR went up to 132 bpm but just for a short period and I had no ill effects afterwards.