Tuesday, January 26, 2010

WINTER’S RETURN CHANGES RIDE EXPERIENCE…

Oh, it was going so well. Our cold winter weather had skedaddled and warmer Gulf Coast air had filled the void. Dreams and plans for an early spring were abundant in my mind even though I knew all along that it wouldn’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t last. I know we need more cold weather. It is wired into my brain that winter is for cold temps. Still, those couple of rides last week in “spring-like” temperatures got me revved up for more.

Friday night and Saturday brought back cooler, not particularly cold temperatures, but they were accompanied by heavy rains and winds making riding less than wise on our narrow two lane, no shoulders roads. I was getting antsy, grumpy, testy, and agitated. I wanted to ride! Finally, I had enough and decided to do something before the Vikings and Saints took to the field on Sunday.

I determined that I would take a nice Oceanside Ride around Hawaii. So, I loaded up and decided to ride with Italian coach, Marzia Cozzolino. We decided to stay close to the coast and avoid significant climbs today. Instead, it seemed like a good day to focus on spinning and intervals. There were a few rollers but really, nothing to challenge the climbing muscles. As Coach Marzia insisted, I focused on my spinning skills and keeping my heart rate in the training zone. She is always so supportive and encouraging on our rides together.

The scenery was beautiful as we circumnavigated the island. Traffic wasn’t heavy in most places. The bike paths certainly lent a more secure feel to the ride. I was impressed with the number of motorcycles out and about although each time I’ve ridden this particular circuit, there seem to be pretty much the same number of motorcyclists on the roads.

I was having a good workout and building up a nice sweat when my “best half” came alongside and started capturing the effort…

 

 

 

Trainer02

(Zeke following Coach Marzia’s directions)

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(Hawaiian circuit on the big screen)

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(Hawaii “in my mind!”)

Yep, I broke down and got on the trainer for the first time this year. I’d avoided it until now due to having maintained a riding schedule all but one week since late November. I first attempted spinning to a CD given to me by the “Woodman” but it proved not to be compatible with my system so I broke out my Global Ride “Hawaii series” and selected the Oceanside Ride mentioned above. I purchased this series when it was first released at Christmas 2008. I’ve previously reviewed my experiences with this commercially produced boxed DVD set of rides. I did get a good workout and this is probably about as close as I’ll get to really riding in Hawaii. I use my DLP ViewSonic projector to display the image on my screen so I get quite a large presentation of the ride. The sound runs through my sound system and 4 speakers and that certainly adds positively to the effect. I do have trouble following some of the spoken directions of the coaches so I tend to try to match their instruction while increasing/decreasing the workout as I need at the time. In lieu of getting out on the road, it keeps my cardio status up to standard and works on my spinning skills as well. I focus mostly on maintaining my heart rate and cadence count.

At the end of the session, I examined my tires and noted that I could see pockets of purple color beginning to show through the rubber on the rear tire. I’m glad to have observed this in the comfort of my basement rather than finding it out after flatting on the road. The rear tire in particular is shot so before I do get to ride on the road again, I’ll be getting new rubber for front and back.

Continental Ultra Race tires came on my Fuji CCR3 at the time of purchase and I’ve put a little over 1500 miles plus last winter’s trainer sessions on the tires. I’ve settled on going to Continental Grand Prix 4 Season Tires this time around. They get excellent reviews but are somewhat higher in price than the Ultras that I’ve been running. I’m currently awaiting a return call from my LBS to see if they stock them. If not, I’ll be heading to REI this evening to make the purchase. Tomorrow may be clear and in the 40’s! I may need to ride!

Until later,

- Zeke

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