Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

The Silver Bullet in all her middle-aged glory. I adore the whitewalls.

So, last I wrote, I was heading over to the Harris Cyclery web site to buy a wheelset, crank, tires and tubes for my 1981 Fuji Monterey bike. That didn't work out too well as Harris' website is saying that the only wheelset that fits my frame's spread is sold out until January 15th. Meh. No, I'm not going to try and build up the wheels myself. I am not interested in riding a beginner's first build wheelset on slippery roads. I know me. That would be bad.

Undeterred, there are other things that I need to address anyway, the most urgent is that I have ZERO amount of cold-weather cycling clothing. Sure, I live in New England and have warm clothing, but walking to my car in 30 degree weather is not the same as riding a bike 20mph in 30 degree weather. The biggest issue was expense as everything cycling is pretty expensive on a part-timer's budget.

The base layer is always the key to warmth.Thinking about a cold-weather cyclist's blog I read about a few years ago, I did a search on Army/Navy Surplus and found that Barre Army/Navy Store in Vermont features a set of polypropylene thermal underwear for about 50 bucks, shipping included. That's the sock liners, glove liners, balaclava, jacket and pants all in one. I might have been able to search around and find the individual items cheaper elsewhere, but I love it when a store has a clue and saves me time. I thought I'd start with this set and take it from there.

I have a pair of Shimano mountain bike shoes that I planned on wearing through the winter rides. Shimano does not make the 42.5 size that I wear (few do) so I bought them a half  size up and wear thick socks. I'm hoping the sock liners and a pair of wool socks will be warm enough for my planned rides. I like them because of the recessed cleats. That was a great confidence-builder when I was first learning to clip in. Clipping out and having my foot slide out on the asphalt would have been interesting and a bit comical but I'm not interested in rolling around the ground like Nomar Garciaparra after his nasty groin injury and probably having my other foot still clipped in. The image of me lying on the ground in major pain while trying to explain how my accident happened to some early 20-something EMT trainee was more than enough incentive to get the shoes.

As far as not being able to ride now for at least a couple of weeks, I can just continue on with my regular workout routine and add some outdoor running up hills, spin classes and a few mini-tris.

Mini-tris are something I started doing about 3 years ago at the clubhouse in my apartment complex. I have seen many health clubs and Y's implementing these in the past couple of years. Mine consists of starting out on an ergometer (a Concept 2 Rowing Machine) for 2000 meters, then I jump on the recumbent bike and pedal over various terrains for 45 minutes while trying to keep my cadence at 80 RPMs (I'm 49 years old so 90 RPMs is a little tough for me) and then I run for 30 minutes on the treadmill, which, in all honesty, quite often quickly goes from a run to a middle-aged fat broad shuffle.

So the first lesson in this HH100 exercise is, "expect the unexpected," or, as my Dad used to tell me when I was a musician studying jazz, "Kid, always be read to improvise."

Thanks, Dad. That piece of advice has come in pretty handy over the years.

1 comment:

  1. Way to go. I am rooting for you.

    You were able to sign up before I did. My computer crashed so I was three days behind.

    I will follow your training. I don't know if you read our 2010 adventures with the HHH event, but if you didn't, will give you a clue what will happen if you don't take your training seriously.

    Good luck.