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Endurance Path – May 2014

Cycling season is in full swing now and the racing has just begun.  I’ve had a busy month between trying out some new gear and competing in a race.  Now that the trails are dried out and open, I have switched most of my riding over to my mountain bike, which is what I enjoy the most.

Lessons Learned

  1. I should not have waited so long to make the jump to a 29er.
  2. Get measured and get your bike’s geometry fit to your body to prevent back pain.

Training

I find it hard to call it training when it is just so much fun to ride.  I would ride every day if I could, especially mountain bikes.  I put 254 miles on my bicycles this month.  90 of those miles being trail miles.  Now that summer is here, my training will mostly consist of trail riding and maybe a road ride once a week.  I will also ride in to work once or twice a week also.

Nutrition

As I’ve been writing in my previous monthly updates, my nutrition continues to get better.  The more I ride, the better I tend to eat.  I continue to eat more frequent with smaller meals.  I also started cutting back on coffee and any alcohol, as I tend to get dehydrated easy when I exercise a lot and the summer heat comes on.  I have dropped a couple of pounds as well and am starting to feel a little leaner.

Events

St. Croix Woolly Race – Marathon Open Class

I’ve ridden the Woolly trail a few times now and figured I would enjoy racing on it.  I entered into the Marathon Open Class race as a way to test where I was at with my riding so far this year.  The Lutsen is coming up soon and I needed to test myself.  I finished in the back 3rd of the pack and have some work to do before the Lutsen 99er.  My biggest struggle in this race was my back.  After about 2.5 hours, my back was in quite a bit of pain and I slowed down quite a bit.

Gear

Wow, I have a lot to talk about in the gear department.  I’ve had some of this gear for a few months and I should have provided the update in previous months’ reports, but I just now decided to include short gear updates in my monthly reports. I will write full reviews on them in the future as well.  To spoils things, I did get a new mountain bike and I will start with that.

Felt Edict Nine 3 Mountain Bike

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My mountain bikes were getting pretty worn out, so I ended up getting a new mountain bike for racing, the Felt Edict 9 3.  I was able to demo ride it and was sold on it.  I’ve never ridden a 29er, but really like how it rolls over small rocks and roots, especially combined with full suspension.  The other good news is, I was able to find a last years model on closeout and save a bunch of money!

My old bikes are a full suspension Proflex from the 90s and a custom hard tail that I built on a KHS frame in 2002.  Both were really nice bikes in their day, but also have seen much better days.  I did replace the brake pads on the KHS with the Kool Stop 2 pads and will say that they are awesome rim brake pads for those still running rim brakes.

CamelBak Lobo Hydration Pack

I was looking for a hydration pack that had a large water capacity, but was still slim enough for racing.  The CamelBak Lobo fits that bill.  I can carry 3L of water and have just enough space for the necessities emergency gear on a long distance race or trail ride.

Garmin Edge 510

I had been using the Strava App on my phone for the past year and really enjoyed being able to go back and review rides.  I decided I’d like to take it a step further by adding a heart rate monitor and cadence/speed sensor without running my battery down on long rides.  I really like the Edge 510 so far.  It is my first Cycling GPS system and it did lock up on me once while trying to load a large course during a ride, but I’m pretty happy with it overall.  I can see many more metrics while on a ride and like that I can load courses to compete against with the Virtual Partner feature.  I still have a lot to learn about the device itself and all of its features and will keep you updated as I continue to use the device.

Specialized Pro Road Shoes

I did not intend to get new shoes, but was also getting numbness in my foot after about 20 miles.  When I went to replace my pedal clips to mount the Speedplays, I noticed that the clip mounting points in the shoe were actually pulling out of the bottom of the shoe, so I went ahead and replaced my shoes.  I found the Pro Road shoes on Specialized’s online outlet for about 60% off the original price.  They have a full carbon fiber sole and are extremely stiff.  I am really liking them so far and was happy that I could find older year models, otherwise I would not have been able to get this level of shoe.

Speedplay Zero Road Cycling Pedals

I had been having knee problems while road cycling and decided I would try something different than my current and old Shimano SPD-SL pedals and clips and gain some float.  I went with the chromoly version of the Speedplay Zero pedals that allow you to adjust the amount of float in the pedal.  After a couple of rides, I am very happy with them.  The float takes a little getting used to, but I really like that my foot is not locked into 1 position.  I have not experienced the same knee pain on any rides with them yet.  I’ll keep you posted throughout the summer as I spend more time on them.

Continental Attack & Force Road Tire Set

I also was in need of a new rear tire after noticing a slit around the side wall.  I was still running the original tires that came on the bike, when I bought it in 2006, and was well past due for new tires anyways.  I love to go fast and wanted to try some really light race tires to see how much of a difference they would make.  I went with the Continental Attack Force tire set.  They are light, but not made for everyday riding and I blew the side wall out of the rear tire on my third ride.  The road I was on was asphalt, but was fairly rough with a quite a few cracks in it.  These tires are nice, but are made only for completely smooth road surfaces.

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