So ends my cycling/training hiatus. Now we start all over again, building on what we began earlier this year. This week has easy ~50km rides this week, with some big volume kms in store for me in the coming weeks, as promised yesterday by Coach. Well, that was on the cards: a good pursuiter has a very high aerobic capacity and high anaerobic threshold. There is only one way to achieve those: lots of km and intervals (ok! that’s two). My strength endurance and speed endurance also need lots of work, so you can bet that there will be monster hill repeats, SE efforts on the ergo and cadence work in the not too distant future.
This weekend Mr Legs and I finally got around to tweaking his track bike, which is, essentially, too short for him. In the drops, he looks cramped, and rides cramped, with nowhere to slot his mega quads but out past his elbows, like a frog with huge testes. Ultimately, he needs a bigger (longer) frame, but that won’t happen until next year. After some experimenting with his riding technique with the bike locked into the trainer, we swapped a longer headstem onto the bike, and flipped it so the handlebars sat higher. This seemed to help a little, but the stem was still too short, so we put an even longer stem on, which did the trick within the parameters in which we were working. The longer stem raised a new concern: flex. The stem used a 2 bolt arrangement to hold the handlebars and seemed to flex under pressure. Some more rummaging in the spare parts box, and out comes a heavy duty mtb stem of the same length.
Next issue was with the handlebar width. Mr Legs’ current track bars are 40cm wide –waaaaaaaaaay to narrow for his manly, broad shoulders. We measured his Alpine Classic bike, which was custom built, and the handlebars are 46 cm across. A quick search online and it seems the majority of track bars are around 40 – 42 cm with the occasional 44 cm. We had some 44cm road bars and put those on, and again, a small improvement was made in riding position and the frog leg position. Added to the shopping list: 46 cm road bars with shallow drop and cut away tops, for wrist/forearm clearance. This is going to be a tall order but if we can get some criterium bars (as recommended by Coach) then they should do the trick. Hopefully now some of the issues Mr Legs has had putting power through the bike will be minimised (skipping rear and front wheels for example) and his track riding and racing a little more comfortable and enjoyable.
As for me, I’ve decided my new hobby for 2008 is collecting wheels. I picked up an almost new pair of Campag Eurus at the end of the Herald Sun Tour, and an old shamal road wheel on Saturday, which will be converted to a track wheel over time. On my wish list: rear disc, front shamal, corima 4 spoke front wheel, powertap, win tattslotto.