La Vie Velominatus: The Rain Bike

La Vie Velominatus: The Rain Bike

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In our privileged stables of bikes, it ranks towards the bottom of the heap as Bike #2 or lower, but the Rain Bike is no slouch. This is, after all, the bike we rely on in bad weather, trusting it to carry us safely through what typically amounts to the most dangerous conditions we ride in. Provided you ride year-round, you likely ride this machine more often than your Number One – assuming you live in an environment that isn’t a tropical island (I’m looking at you @gianni) or classified as a desert. It follows, then, that this is a machine to be curated with great care and several factors should be kept in mind when selecting the machine for this wet and dirty work.

The first consideration is the material. I hope I’m not spoiling anyone’s fantasy by pointing out that rain isn’t actually made of the sweat falling from Merckx’s guns as he pedals high up on Mount Velomis; it is mostly water, mixed with some acids and other crap. Rain water can cause certain kinds of materials to become compromised in one way or another. Steel, for example, is particularly prone to this through rusting. Calfee’s bamboo frames might be susceptible to becoming soggy – I’m not sure. For a bike which is to be ridden primarily in wet conditions, choose a durable, non-corrosive material like titanium, aluminum or carbon.

The second consideration is the components. Here’s the other news flash about riding in the rain: the roads are less pristine than they are in the dry. Road grit gets in your drivetrain and on on your rims, acting like coarse sandpaper to accelerate wear. Since you’ll be replacing some parts more often than on a bike ridden in the dry, this is a bike for which to get economical about gear selection; you aren’t going to want to replace your full titanium Super-Record cassette and chain after it wears out in 1/3 the time. The shifters, brakes, crankset, and derailleurs don’t have to be greatly affected provided you maintain the bike in the style of a velominatus, but the wheels, bottom bracket, derailleur pulleys, chain, cassette and freehub will certainly feel the strain. Anything that moves, has a bearing, or lets water in is a candidate for accelerated wear.

Third, this has to be a bike you’re going to love riding, not some beater that gets abused and you tolerate throwing your leg over. As much as riding in Rule #9 conditions is badass and an invigorating experience, it does get a bit tiresome when you ride in the rain every day from October to March (or May, for you Pacific-Northwesterners). If your position isn’t right and if the bike isn’t a pleasure to ride, it’s not going to make getting cold and wet any more enjoyable.

Lastly, this bike will be taking abuse, so remember that your safety is entrusted to this machine in conditions when visibility is low, stopping distances increased, and road surfaces slick. Maintain this bike more diligently than any other machine; check the brake pads and rims for dangerous wear, check the metal bits for rust and cracks, and keep a close eye on the chain and cables. Resist the temptation to spray it down with the garden hose as the pressure can lodge the grit deeper into bearings and other nooks and crannies on the bike. After each ride, clean the braking surfaces carefully, wipe the chain down (or, better yet, use a Cyclone with soapy water to get the grit out from in between the links) and always use a wax-based lubricant to keep the dirt from sticking to it more than with traditional oil-based lubes.

But most of all, remember that the best kind of ride is the one you’ll be able to do again; stay safe and ride carefully. Vive la Vie Velominatus.

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// Accessories and Gear // La Vie Velominatus // The Bikes // The Rules

  1. @The Engine

    Strava won’t work on my Android device – what should I do?

    Several options:

    1. Buy a decent phone.

    2. Ride with a V-Meter.

    3. Meditate heavily on Rule #5.

  2. @The Engine

    Strava won’t work on my Android device – what should I do?

    As long as you can save the gps file in say gpx format, you can upload to strava from your hard drive. I have win 7 phone so no compatible strava app here, but uploads file fine.

  3. @versio

    @The Oracle

    @versio

    Nate, Natey, Nato “” here are some details for your future references to The Sword. 3T Team Ergosum, 3T Team ARX 130mm at 17 degrees down (threw Ti bolts away to use steel head bolts), ZIPP Service Course tape Black, 2012 Black/Red Centaur carbon controls with Black hoods. No computer to fuck it up. No regrets, but I sense Nate regrets.

    Dude, stop calling it “The Sword.”  That’s as bad as the douchebag who posts on here who insists on calling himself “The Oracle.”

    How about I call my No.1 road bike “Steel Bitch!”

    That’s marginally better.

  4. @meursault

    Glad to help.

  5. @Nate

    @frank

    No worries.  In other news, it looks like my Felt had a lifetime warranty on the workmanship so I may be in line for a new frame that-a-way.  In which case I think I’ll make it a cross bike.

    So I dropped the cracked bike off at the Felt dealer earlier this morning and I already have word back that they’ll replace the 7-year-old frame for the cost of shipping the new frame.

  6. @Nate As long as shipping is $50 and not $1500, that’s excellent!

  7. @Flying Crowbar

    Quite pleased with the support they are providing.

  8. @frank

    @Nate

    I was getting to a point where my pace on certain climbs was driven by what I thought the numbers were telling me rather than what my body was telling me.

    Which is precisely the pitfall with riding with numbers. Especially for folks who fixate on HR. Stop when your legs say stop, not your computer.

    So here’s a case where I’d disagree. Knowing what my max HR is can help me measure a peak effort over a longer distance without blowing up. “The Ridge” would be an example of where I did that. I was certainly in ‘the tunnel’ but glanced down once or twice to see if I had more beats to give. I didn’t. But without the HRM, I can gauge it pretty close.

  9. @scaler911

    @frank

    @Nate

    I was getting to a point where my pace on certain climbs was driven by what I thought the numbers were telling me rather than what my body was telling me.

    Which is precisely the pitfall with riding with numbers. Especially for folks who fixate on HR. Stop when your legs say stop, not your computer.

    So here’s a case where I’d disagree. Knowing what my max HR is can help me measure a peak effort over a longer distance without blowing up. “The Ridge” would be an example of where I did that. I was certainly in ‘the tunnel’ but glanced down once or twice to see if I had more beats to give. I didn’t. But without the HRM, I can gauge it pretty close.

    I can see the use on that.  I used to ride with an HRM.  It definitely helped me learn what being in the red zone felt like.  Now that I have more experience I prefer to ride on feel.

  10. @ChrisO – Thanks for the heads up. That was the one thing I was thinking I should try, but never did. heh.

    @Nate – Good point about the garmin influencing uphill pace. I’ve actually bonked out of a ride feeling like a complete pussy because I was ascending a lazy grade at walking pace. It was very disheartening. I might have to take this page from your book when I go ride Climb to Kaiser next week.

    @frank, @scaler911  – Even if I watch my heart rate while climbing, I can’t go any faster than my legs will allow. (and my legs are pussies on the longer, more demanding climbs…) I do, however, try to use my HR + Cadence to determine a good pace to set for a longer-distance ride. I don’t want to exceed 140bpm and 90rpm for the first hour of a Century if I can help it. That way I’m not completely blown out for the last 35-50 km. My max HR is 178.

    @Nate  – good news about the frame, mate!

  11. @Frank

    One last point: this is not twitter. If you have something to say, take the time to say it; don’t use a hashtag. For instance, in the case of your example, it would be better for you to say something along the lines of, “You can kiss my white ass, you stupid Dutch fuck.”

    Apologies, but I wasn’t being as rude or disrespectful as you think: on this side of the pond, “my arse” is tagged on the end of sentences to express incredulity, as in “A dope free TDF? My arse!”

    You are, however, more than welcome to kiss my arse should the occasion arise, but bearing in mind the biblical weather we’re having, a brisk rub-down with a damp copy of the Sporting Life would be prefered!

  12. @Nate

    @scaler911

    @frank

    @Nate

    I was getting to a point where my pace on certain climbs was driven by what I thought the numbers were telling me rather than what my body was telling me.

    Which is precisely the pitfall with riding with numbers. Especially for folks who fixate on HR. Stop when your legs say stop, not your computer.

    So here’s a case where I’d disagree. Knowing what my max HR is can help me measure a peak effort over a longer distance without blowing up. “The Ridge” would be an example of where I did that. I was certainly in ‘the tunnel’ but glanced down once or twice to see if I had more beats to give. I didn’t. But without the HRM, I can gauge it pretty close.

    I can see the use on that.  I used to ride with an HRM.  It definitely helped me learn what being in the red zone felt like.  Now that I have more experience I prefer to ride on feel.

    We had this chat awhile ago. Was it Marcus who watched the rest of the breakaway leave him behind because his HRM told him he was already at his limit? Or was it Marcus who lambasted some poor buffoon who made this excuse? How often do you think JENS looks at his HRM? And is it at or beyond threshold that he shouts “shut up legs.”? Just asking…

  13. @RedRanger

    Don’t forget that your iPhone, Garmin or hi tech GPS in the new 787 are all getting info from the same satellites.  And with waas they are crazy accurate. I doubt that a thin layer of Lycra is really going to affect that. The hanger I’m in right now is metal and I can still get a gps position on my iPhone.

    Are you standing beside a black helicopter?

  14. @the Engine

    @RedRanger

    Don’t forget that your iPhone, Garmin or hi tech GPS in the new 787 are all getting info from the same satellites.  And with waas they are crazy accurate. I doubt that a thin layer of Lycra is really going to affect that. The hanger I’m in right now is metal and I can still get a gps position on my iPhone.

    Are you standing beside a black helicopter?

    nope, just an old ass 727

  15. @frank

    @The Engine

    Strava won’t work on my Android device – what should I do?

    Several options:

    1. Buy a decent phone.

    2. Ride with a V-Meter.

    3. Meditate heavily on Rule #5.

    My Cateye wireless dofer has a habit of randomly turning itself into a V-Meter for no apparent reason. One minute all is well and then the screen lights up every liquid crystal, then it switches off, then it asks for units and then it goes back to the factory default anything from 10 minutes to three days later. Both my Cateyes do this and it isn’t the batteries so from time to time a big V decal is all there is.

    I always meditate on Rule #5 – I side effect of sciatica (I’m slowly getting better thanks for asking) is that it demands Rule #5 compliance 24×7.

    Tomorrow I am going out with gleaming white bar tape, a correctly placed hat and properly tensioned shoes and I will not return until I have communed with the Man With The Hammer.

  16. @meursault

    @The Engine

    Strava won’t work on my Android device – what should I do?

    As long as you can save the gps file in say gpx format, you can upload to strava from your hard drive. I have win 7 phone so no compatible strava app here, but uploads file fine.

    I’m nearly 50 and this may as well be in Cuneiform – I’ll look at it again tomorrow and see if I can pick my way through it.

  17. @The Engine

    Strava won’t work on my Android device – what should I do?

    Un-install then re-install Strava.  First time I installed it I could never get a GPS signal.  I still have trouble getting a signal now and then but once I get the signal it works just fine.  Sometimes I think that the problem is my impatience.

  18. Using an HTC Desire S

  19. @RedRanger

    @the Engine

    @RedRanger

    Don’t forget that your iPhone, Garmin or hi tech GPS in the new 787 are all getting info from the same satellites.  And with waas they are crazy accurate. I doubt that a thin layer of Lycra is really going to affect that. The hanger I’m in right now is metal and I can still get a gps position on my iPhone.

    Are you standing beside a black helicopter?

    nope, just an old ass 727

    You’re in Tucson aren’t you?

  20. @Steampunk

    @Nate

    @scaler911

    @frank

    @Nate

    I was getting to a point where my pace on certain climbs was driven by what I thought the numbers were telling me rather than what my body was telling me.

    Which is precisely the pitfall with riding with numbers. Especially for folks who fixate on HR. Stop when your legs say stop, not your computer.

    So here’s a case where I’d disagree. Knowing what my max HR is can help me measure a peak effort over a longer distance without blowing up. “The Ridge” would be an example of where I did that. I was certainly in ‘the tunnel’ but glanced down once or twice to see if I had more beats to give. I didn’t. But without the HRM, I can gauge it pretty close.

    I can see the use on that.  I used to ride with an HRM.  It definitely helped me learn what being in the red zone felt like.  Now that I have more experience I prefer to ride on feel.

    We had this chat awhile ago. Was it Marcus who watched the rest of the breakaway leave him behind because his HRM told him he was already at his limit? Or was it Marcus who lambasted some poor buffoon who made this excuse? How often do you think JENS looks at his HRM? And is it at or beyond threshold that he shouts “shut up legs.”? Just asking…

    I’m sure @Marcus will turn up and remind us of his opinion.

  21. @snoov

    Using an HTC Desire S

    I’ve got last year’s Google branded HTC desire and Strava seems to be objecting to the version of Android its running – mind you the signal here is intermittent at best – I’ll give that a try too.

  22. @the Engine yes

  23. @the Engine

    @meursault

    @The Engine

    Strava won’t work on my Android device – what should I do?

    As long as you can save the gps file in say gpx format, you can upload to strava from your hard drive. I have win 7 phone so no compatible strava app here, but uploads file fine.

    I’m nearly 50 and this may as well be in Cuneiform – I’ll look at it again tomorrow and see if I can pick my way through it.

    I am 46! Just saying that the gps (gpx) file that saves on your phone, can be uploaded to Strava using their ‘upload from my computer’ option. Once you transfer said file to your PC. Bit long winded, but that is what I have to do as no Strava app for my win 7 phone.

  24. @meursault

    @the Engine

    @meursault

    @The Engine

    Strava won’t work on my Android device – what should I do?

    As long as you can save the gps file in say gpx format, you can upload to strava from your hard drive. I have win 7 phone so no compatible strava app here, but uploads file fine.

    I’m nearly 50 and this may as well be in Cuneiform – I’ll look at it again tomorrow and see if I can pick my way through it.

    I am 46! Just saying that the gps (gpx) file that saves on your phone, can be uploaded to Strava using their ‘upload from my computer’ option. Once you transfer said file to your PC. Bit long winded, but that is what I have to do as no Strava app for my win 7 phone.

    Ah – I’ll look for the USB cable in the morning…

  25. @frank

    @Albert

    Given that visibility is generally lower when it rains, a good rain bike should feature lights.

    Correct. Its hard to see, but I have one mounted on my seat stay. I like to keep the light on a point that is as far out as possible to buy myself a bigger swath from passing traffic. In winter, or on especially rainy/dark rides, I will also mount a flasher on my traffic-side drop on my bars. And, of course, a white flasher on the front.

    Again, the best kind of ride is the one you come home from safely.

    The added benefit of that mounting location is that the rear wheel isn’t constantly spraying road wash onto the light. I find Superflash lights tend to let water in on the seam near the switch, which happens to be on the bottom.

  26. @RedRanger

    Hey RR, Aeroflot called.  They’re pissed you took their best plane.

  27. @frank

    @scaler911

    @RedRanger

    @frank

    @RedRanger

    @frank didn’t  you get #3 to race with? What’s going on with that?

    I’m behind on everything because there’s this website that eats up heaps of my time. Still aiming to race this year, probably starting in July or so. We’ll have to see. CX for sure.

    Bummer.

    Having hung out at Casa de Frank, you people (myself included) eat up a shit ton of his time (and Merckx bless him for it). But don’t feel bad; he loves it.

    I do love it, I wouldn’t do it otherwise. Its the whole narcissistic feedback loop inherent to the internet. “Of course people care about what I have to say, so I’m going to say it…SHUT UP MOM, I’M BUSY!!!! AND BRING ME FRESH CHOCOLATE MILK!!!!”

    Or meatloaf?

    http://youtu.be/1bMs04JK0BQ

  28. @Steampunk

    @Nate

    @scaler911

    @frank

    @Nate

    I was getting to a point where my pace on certain climbs was driven by what I thought the numbers were telling me rather than what my body was telling me.

    Which is precisely the pitfall with riding with numbers. Especially for folks who fixate on HR. Stop when your legs say stop, not your computer.

    So here’s a case where I’d disagree. Knowing what my max HR is can help me measure a peak effort over a longer distance without blowing up. “The Ridge” would be an example of where I did that. I was certainly in ‘the tunnel’ but glanced down once or twice to see if I had more beats to give. I didn’t. But without the HRM, I can gauge it pretty close.

    I can see the use on that.  I used to ride with an HRM.  It definitely helped me learn what being in the red zone felt like.  Now that I have more experience I prefer to ride on feel.

    We had this chat awhile ago. Was it Marcus who watched the rest of the breakaway leave him behind because his HRM told him he was already at his limit? Or was it Marcus who lambasted some poor buffoon who made this excuse? How often do you think JENS looks at his HRM? And is it at or beyond threshold that he shouts “shut up legs.”? Just asking…

    Well, I suppose thats a subjective issue. Myself, I use it more as a way to conserve matches on a long ride or race. I learned a long time ago how to use it, and it works for me. That said, I have gone “red” on occasion when I didn’t think I could for longer than I could. On the Seattle Cogal last weekend, when we were ascending the last big climb (Ames Lake I think), I was maxed, and watched as 3 guys slowly rode away from me. Then I gunned it, passed Frank for about 100M, then he came around and they all rode away. I figured WTH at that point and went harder, way over what I thought my limit was, got a bit of ground back. So who knows if my conservation earlier in the day helped, or just “being in the moment” changed how hard I thought I could go.

  29. @scaler911

    @frank

    @Nate

    I was getting to a point where my pace on certain climbs was driven by what I thought the numbers were telling me rather than what my body was telling me.

    Which is precisely the pitfall with riding with numbers. Especially for folks who fixate on HR. Stop when your legs say stop, not your computer.

    So here’s a case where I’d disagree. Knowing what my max HR is can help me measure a peak effort over a longer distance without blowing up. “The Ridge” would be an example of where I did that. I was certainly in ‘the tunnel’ but glanced down once or twice to see if I had more beats to give. I didn’t. But without the HRM, I can gauge it pretty close.

    Been there. I used to race my XC skis with an HR; 2.5 hours pegged at the HR I knew I could do. Never chasing anyone, always letting them go, knowing they’d blow and I’d come back to them. Then I realized it wasn’t any fucking fun racing that way. What’s fun is seeing if you can pull it off.

    Also, the only time your approach works – which in theory does very well – is when you really, truly, know your max HR and your zones. But as your fitness and health change – even if you have a sniffle – your max will be different and you’re pegging to a false number.

    I believe the HRM is a super useful tool, but for the vast majority of athletes (i.e. those not being cared for by a full-time staff of doctors), they are artificial in realtime.

  30. @Scilly Suffolk

    @Frank

    One last point: this is not twitter. If you have something to say, take the time to say it; don’t use a hashtag. For instance, in the case of your example, it would be better for you to say something along the lines of, “You can kiss my white ass, you stupid Dutch fuck.”

    Apologies, but I wasn’t being as rude or disrespectful as you think: on this side of the pond, “my arse” is tagged on the end of sentences to express incredulity, as in “A dope free TDF? My arse!”

    You are, however, more than welcome to kiss my arse should the occasion arise, but bearing in mind the biblical weather we’re having, a brisk rub-down with a damp copy of the Sporting Life would be prefered!

    I’m glad you made it back around. I’ll gladly kiss your white ass when I’m in Scotland next. Stick around, we’re full of shit, but we have fun. Cheers.

    @scaler911

    @Steampunk

    @Nate

    @scaler911

    @frank

    @Nate

    I was getting to a point where my pace on certain climbs was driven by what I thought the numbers were telling me rather than what my body was telling me.

    Which is precisely the pitfall with riding with numbers. Especially for folks who fixate on HR. Stop when your legs say stop, not your computer.

    So here’s a case where I’d disagree. Knowing what my max HR is can help me measure a peak effort over a longer distance without blowing up. “The Ridge” would be an example of where I did that. I was certainly in ‘the tunnel’ but glanced down once or twice to see if I had more beats to give. I didn’t. But without the HRM, I can gauge it pretty close.

    I can see the use on that.  I used to ride with an HRM.  It definitely helped me learn what being in the red zone felt like.  Now that I have more experience I prefer to ride on feel.

    We had this chat awhile ago. Was it Marcus who watched the rest of the breakaway leave him behind because his HRM told him he was already at his limit? Or was it Marcus who lambasted some poor buffoon who made this excuse? How often do you think JENS looks at his HRM? And is it at or beyond threshold that he shouts “shut up legs.”? Just asking…

    Well, I suppose thats a subjective issue. Myself, I use it more as a way to conserve matches on a long ride or race. I learned a long time ago how to use it, and it works for me. That said, I have gone “red” on occasion when I didn’t think I could for longer than I could. On the Seattle Cogal last weekend, when we were ascending the last big climb (Ames Lake I think), I was maxed, and watched as 3 guys slowly rode away from me. Then I gunned it, passed Frank for about 100M, then he came around and they all rode away. I figured WTH at that point and went harder, way over what I thought my limit was, got a bit of ground back. So who knows if my conservation earlier in the day helped, or just “being in the moment” changed how hard I thought I could go.

    You forgot to mention how I was in the 53×17. That‘s why I was going faster. You see, you go faster when you push on the pedals harder. Very confusing.

    Or, as Keeper Jim’s son says whenever he gets on his trike – “Push pedals, go faster!”

  31. On HRMs I would agree it is not fun and not in the spirit of the Velominati is to literally ride by the numbers – doing x minutes at y zone etc – when you are riding with other people. On the other hand if you are training and on your own it is good for achieving specific goals, like intervals at 95% etc.

    The benefit when in a group or a race/event is that once you have some experience and context it gives you an early warning about how long you can maintain an effort or keep up with a group etc. If you don’t care about blowing up totally then fine, but that’s not always the case and you need to know when to conserve your energy.

    For example we are now riding in temperatures going up to 45C – it does weird things to your heart rate, and your capacity. I’ve blown up on rides which are well within my normal abilities. So when I see that having come off the front of the group my HR is not actually going down when I get back on the wheels, I know it is time to worry. I could do it by feel but a road in the middle of the desert is not where you want to have a total bonk and the HR allows a more exact calculation of how much is left in the tank.

    In fact I would go so far as to say that in extreme conditions it is stupid, possibly dangerous, to choose to not to ride with a HRM if you have one.

  32. @xyxax

    @RedRanger

    Hey RR, Aeroflot called.  They’re pissed you took their best plane.

    That’s an Aeroperu 727 actually…

     

  33. @the Engine

    @xyxax

    @RedRanger

    Hey RR, Aeroflot called.  They’re pissed you took their best plane.

    That’s an Aeroperu 727 actually…

    Right you are. It’s pretty much gutted but hydrolics do work with ground power turned on. We have another 727 out side that is pretty much fully operational. All 3 engines work and so do most of the cockpit instruments.

    In that picture we were getting ready to jack that plane up off the ground.

  34. @frank

    @Scilly Suffolk

    @Frank

    One last point: this is not twitter. If you have something to say, take the time to say it; don’t use a hashtag. For instance, in the case of your example, it would be better for you to say something along the lines of, “You can kiss my white ass, you stupid Dutch fuck.”

    Apologies, but I wasn’t being as rude or disrespectful as you think: on this side of the pond, “my arse” is tagged on the end of sentences to express incredulity, as in “A dope free TDF? My arse!”

    You are, however, more than welcome to kiss my arse should the occasion arise, but bearing in mind the biblical weather we’re having, a brisk rub-down with a damp copy of the Sporting Life would be prefered!

    I’m glad you made it back around. I’ll gladly kiss your white ass when I’m in Scotland next. Stick around, we’re full of shit, but we have fun. Cheers.

    @scaler911

    @Steampunk

    @Nate

    @scaler911

    @frank

    @Nate

    I was getting to a point where my pace on certain climbs was driven by what I thought the numbers were telling me rather than what my body was telling me.

    Which is precisely the pitfall with riding with numbers. Especially for folks who fixate on HR. Stop when your legs say stop, not your computer.

    So here’s a case where I’d disagree. Knowing what my max HR is can help me measure a peak effort over a longer distance without blowing up. “The Ridge” would be an example of where I did that. I was certainly in ‘the tunnel’ but glanced down once or twice to see if I had more beats to give. I didn’t. But without the HRM, I can gauge it pretty close.

    I can see the use on that.  I used to ride with an HRM.  It definitely helped me learn what being in the red zone felt like.  Now that I have more experience I prefer to ride on feel.

    We had this chat awhile ago. Was it Marcus who watched the rest of the breakaway leave him behind because his HRM told him he was already at his limit? Or was it Marcus who lambasted some poor buffoon who made this excuse? How often do you think JENS looks at his HRM? And is it at or beyond threshold that he shouts “shut up legs.”? Just asking…

    Well, I suppose thats a subjective issue. Myself, I use it more as a way to conserve matches on a long ride or race. I learned a long time ago how to use it, and it works for me. That said, I have gone “red” on occasion when I didn’t think I could for longer than I could. On the Seattle Cogal last weekend, when we were ascending the last big climb (Ames Lake I think), I was maxed, and watched as 3 guys slowly rode away from me. Then I gunned it, passed Frank for about 100M, then he came around and they all rode away. I figured WTH at that point and went harder, way over what I thought my limit was, got a bit of ground back. So who knows if my conservation earlier in the day helped, or just “being in the moment” changed how hard I thought I could go.

    You forgot to mention how I was in the 53×17. That‘s why I was going faster. You see, you go faster when you push on the pedals harder. Very confusing.

    Or, as Keeper Jim’s son says whenever he gets on his trike – “Push pedals, go faster!”

    Oh for fucks sake. THAT’S all I have to do to go faster? By Merckx, I’m going to give that a go today!  I learn something new every time I come to this site.

  35. @RedRanger

    @the Engine

    @xyxax

    @RedRanger

    Hey RR, Aeroflot called.  They’re pissed you took their best plane.

    That’s an Aeroperu 727 actually…

    Right you are. It’s pretty much gutted but hydrolics do work with ground power turned on. We have another 727 out side that is pretty much fully operational. All 3 engines work and so do most of the cockpit instruments.

    In that picture we were getting ready to jack that plane up off the ground.

    Cool

  36. @scaler911

    Yes, it is that simple! Glad to help!

    @ChrisO

    On HRMs I would agree it is not fun and not in the spirit of the Velominati is to literally ride by the numbers – doing x minutes at y zone etc – when you are riding with other people. On the other hand if you are training and on your own it is good for achieving specific goals, like intervals at 95% etc.

    The benefit when in a group or a race/event is that once you have some experience and context it gives you an early warning about how long you can maintain an effort or keep up with a group etc. If you don’t care about blowing up totally then fine, but that’s not always the case and you need to know when to conserve your energy.

    For example we are now riding in temperatures going up to 45C – it does weird things to your heart rate, and your capacity. I’ve blown up on rides which are well within my normal abilities. So when I see that having come off the front of the group my HR is not actually going down when I get back on the wheels, I know it is time to worry. I could do it by feel but a road in the middle of the desert is not where you want to have a total bonk and the HR allows a more exact calculation of how much is left in the tank.

    In fact I would go so far as to say that in extreme conditions it is stupid, possibly dangerous, to choose to not to ride with a HRM if you have one.

    I’d agree with this; I’d also say that for anyone to understand their body, they should spend loads of time training/raching with one. Same with cadence sensors. You need the data to understand your body.

    Once you have done it long enough to understand you body, you can ease off on the data and ride on feel. But I would reserve this for the very experienced riders.

  37. I never cared for HRMs, because all I could do was estimate what these numbers meant. 103, 140, 165, 188bpm – what does that mean to me?

    So I did a Lactate Threshold + VO2Max test combined. Now I know exactly where my zones are and what they mean. I know my potential (it’s shit), I could work with a powermeter or a stationary ergometer. I know that when the money’s on the table – a wheel I can’t afford to lose miles from home or a race – I can go a few beats above my usual limits, but I also know I’ll pay a price for them later.  I know that while my threshold is high (87% of max HR), the overall capacity is nowhere near the pros.

    Better yet, now that I’ve trained with heart-rate for a few months, I can correlate the numbers to the way I felt during that effort, which made my “ride on feel” so much more precise.

    Also, anyone who wants a lesson in stationary hardness should do a VO2Max test. I actually quit after 45 minutes of it not because I couldn’t push the pedals any harder, but because I had sweat pouring into my lungs from the breathing-mask and couldn’t drink to replenish what I sweated away.

  38. @the Engine

    @frank

    @The Engine

    Strava won’t work on my Android device – what should I do?

    Several options:

    1. Buy a decent phone.

    2. Ride with a V-Meter.

    3. Meditate heavily on Rule #5.

    My Cateye wireless dofer has a habit of randomly turning itself into a V-Meter for no apparent reason. One minute all is well and then the screen lights up every liquid crystal, then it switches off, then it asks for units and then it goes back to the factory default anything from 10 minutes to three days later. Both my Cateyes do this and it isn’t the batteries so from time to time a big V decal is all there is.

    I always meditate on Rule #5 – I side effect of sciatica (I’m slowly getting better thanks for asking) is that it demands Rule #5 compliance 24×7.

    Tomorrow I am going out with gleaming white bar tape, a correctly placed hat and properly tensioned shoes and I will not return until I have communed with the Man With The Hammer.

    And I did – bar tape is grimy again, hat was covered in road crap but my shoes were just so. 100km’s of wind, rain and hills – met the man with the hammer after around 5km’s and squeezed a gel shot all over myself at 80k’s but I kept going and had an awesome evening with friends and a hoppy beverage.

    Couldn’t have done it without you guys – thanks and goodnight.

  39. re: Rain Bike. This is the rain bike. Also town bike. work bike etc. It has one gear so I get on it point it up the rod and grind.

    In the winter it gets to wear lights to help prevent me getting squashed. Yes – the bars are wooden but waterproofed….and the stem has been slammed. I recommend as few gears as possible. It concentrates the mind.

  40. My rain bike is a fuji tourer with mudguards

    Don’t hold that against me, I am still a badass

  41. I live in Denmark, –a LOT of rain like Seattle. I use an APP called cyclometer on my iPhone, wrap it in a small plastic bag and carry it in my back pocket. NO problems with my phone, and very very accurate ride measurements. Rest is up to me, -the V!

  42. Cold and snowing already in Southern Germany, and the clocks change back tonight as well.

    Sigh.

    Slideshow:

    Fullscreen:

  43. Eddy in the rain;

  44. @sthilzy

    Eddy in the rain;

    Looks like the lever hoods could’nt handle the conditions!

  45. @sthilzy Pure V! From The Prophet of course!

  46. @sthilzy

    Eddy in the rain;

    Un-fuckin-believably awesome.  What a pic.

    What race???

  47. @Buck Rogers

    I’m not convinced that’s rain. Looks like he’s just dumped a bottle on his head. Seems like too much water in some spots and not wet on the top of his head. Supporters are hatless. Road & car have no sign of moisture. Time trial? (Merckx on support car)

  48. @Harminator I reckon you’re right.

  49. @Harminator

    That’s where rain comes from. Next Rule #9 ride, the rain is  The Prophet‘s sweat.

  50. @Harminator

    @Buck Rogers

    I’m not convinced that’s rain. Looks like he’s just dumped a bottle on his head. Seems like too much water in some spots and not wet on the top of his head. Supporters are hatless. Road & car have no sign of moisture. Time trial? (Merckx on support car)

    Ah, damn, I guess your right.  I suppose there really is no Santa Claus as well, eh?

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