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Weekend Wrenching

Weekend Wrenching

Checked out a couple of videos, then decided to get my hands dirty. I found that engaging the clutch on my rear derailleur made it slightly stiffer than I liked, so I ended up riding on Friday with the on/off lever kind of wedged half way on. That was perfect, so I opened up the mechanism and adjusted the tension.

Nothing remotely difficult. Just feels good to learn something new about maintaining my bike.

The next thing, I think, is going to be overhauling my fork. Aside from my bottom bracket, it's about the only thing on my bike I haven't worked on yet. (And at this point, the only thing stopping me from doing the BB work myself is lack of tools. That's exacting stuff, and bearing presses are pricy.)

It's wonderful how quiet my bike is these days. No chain slap, no derailleur dangling, no grinding gears, no squeaky bottom bracket. Just my breathing and the sound of tire treads on the trail.

Tahoe Prep: Week 12

I worked from home on Monday, which gave me a chance to explore some more of the local back yard trails. Great fun. And I took a big bite out of my PR on the switchies north of Amar Rd, which is great. Felt terrible, but whatever.

The wrenching I did last week feels great. So nice to have everything back in solid working order. And I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't know what the clutch lever was on my rear derailleur. Just to get acquainted, I've ridden with the clutch on for the last few rides, and I love it. No more chain bouncing around all over.

Okay, so how'd I do on the checklist?

Hard climb 3 days: Check!

Switches on Wednesday, Skyline climb Thursday, and Purple Sage on Friday, all in 3rd cog (24x32, I think?). I can definitely feel it in my hips.

Ride 3+ hours: Check!

Finally tally: 4:08

Keep my weight level: Check!

With much of this week being essentialy an extension of the Christmas break, I tried to dial back the sugar intake, but didn't want to stress about getting it back to my one-cookie-per-day norm.

Next Week's Checklist

  • Hard climb 3 days
  • Ride 3+ hours
  • Drop a pound

Time to resume the weight loss. My goal is to get under 180#, and I'm nearly there. (My stretch goal is to get under 175#. We'll see how that goes.)

Back Yard Trails

Tahoe Prep: Week 11

Tahoe Prep: Week 11

The week of Christmas was mostly off the bike, as expected. The only ride was just over an hour.

But I did get some wrenching done.

My rear hub is now fixed. I pulled everything apart, re-set the bearings, and reassembled everything, and it's running smooth again. Huzzah.

I also replaced the rear shifter cable, adjusted the rear derailleur, & re-aligned the rear brake calipers.

Friday was windy and ~50°F, but I figured that once I got moving, I'd warm up. Nope. So now I know. Below 65°, I wear a base layer. I've found that I'm crap on cold days unless I'm comfy under my kit, preferably a bit sweaty.

And my repair kit stood tall on Friday's ride:

  • electrical tape fixed a busted strap on my helmet (comfort strap, not safety)
  • multi-tool adjusted the rear brake calipers
  • DynaPlug fixed a hole in the front tire
  • CO2 & nozzle re-inflated the front tire perfectly

I've had a bit of a cold since then, so I suspect that part of the reason I didn't feel like myself is that I was getting sick.

It was a full-on rest week, and I ate an unholy crapload of Christmas goodies, so I'm actually fine with the scale telling me I'm at 182.4 this week.

Next Week's Checklist:

  • Hard climb 3 days
  • Ride 3+ hours
  • Keep my weight level

It's a short week, and it's the New Year, so I'm not going to push myself to get back on the fat loss program. I'll behave myself, but I feel like expecting the usual progress would just be setting myself up for failure.


Tahoe Prep: Week 10

Tahoe Prep: Week 10

The weekend is going to be full of family and holiday stuff, so the tenth week of training is history.

Evidence of Progress

Last week I took 36 seconds off my Skyline PR, which was great. This week, as planned, I popped up a gear, and I've started doing the Skyline climb two gears up from my granny.

On Monday, the goal was just to get my workout, not implode, and see how that felt. It felt fine. So today I pushed the pace.

I finished just 6 seconds off PR. And the graph above is kind of bananas. All the places where I was crushing my old pace were the steep climbs. All the sections where I was falling back were the relatively easy stretches where I was a little spun out and catching my breath.

If I just match my old PR pace on the flats, I'll take about 30 seconds off my time.

And when my legs get stronger and I'm spinning the new gear at the same cadence as the old one, I'll be even faster than that.

So that's good news. How did the checklist shake out?

Drop a Pound: Nope

  • Last Week: 182.4#
  • This Week: 182.0#

I weighed in on Thursday instead of waiting until Saturday morning, so that tilted the scales against me. But still. Dropping just .4 lbs. doesn't get me full credit.

Ride 3+ Hours: Check!

Finally tally: 4:08

Do the "hard climb" three days: Check!

Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday on the "hard climb", with a trip up the "Southside Switchies" bring the weekly climbing total to 4465ft.

Next week is Christmas, so I'm aiming to relax and enjoy and let my body recover from all this work. (Though the plan is to go to a spin class on Christmas Eve. Never been before. We'll see how that goes.)

Tahoe Prep: Week 9

Tahoe Prep: Week 9

Drop a pound: Check!

  • Last week: 183.2#
  • This week: 182.4#

I'm not going to quibble over the .2#.

Ride the "hard climb" three days: Check!

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, like clockwork.

And on Wednesday I took 36 seconds off my PR up Skyline the Hard Way, the "hard climb" I've been using for a lot of my training rides lately. To me, that's evidence that the training I'm doing is working & I'm recovering well.

I feel like it's time to take the intensity on that climb up a notch. I've been intentionally not using my bottom cog on this climb. If I feel solid on Monday, I'll step up and not use my bottom two cogs.

Ride 3+ hours

Final time: 5:26, well beyond what I planned.

Thursday's ride turned out to be much longer and harder than I planned, so I intentionally backed off the intensity on that ride, and for Friday's "hard climb" I concentrated on getting a solid warmup and cooldown, and staying out of the red zone on the climb. So I was much slower on the climb than on Wednesday, but still did fine and got the training in.

When Janell goes to Zumba, do a GB workout: Nope.

Work interfered with this plan, and when it became clear that I was going to be able to ride all five days this week, I let this go.

Next Week's Checklist

Same as ever:

  • Drop a pound
  • Ride 3+ hrs
  • Do the "hard climb" three days
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