Base-building Week FOUR: Ow. Ow. Ow.

Good thing it’s a rest week in my 12-week base and strength building training plan, because I can barely walk. You see, “rest weeks” on the bike correspond to “hypertrophy/heavy weeks” in the weight room. And yesterday’s workout included dumbbell-lunges down the hall and back. And I have a long hall (about 13 lunges one-way). And I’m overzealous about heavy weights with leg exercises. And I did three sets of them.

So, after crawling to the shower this morning, I regained enough mobility to lean against the wall and work the kinks out of my hamstrings. I thought I’d been working them well, but once again, the nature of large muscle-group exercises came back to bite me and to leave me lurching out of chairs. But, at least all this tension in my legs LOOKS cool.

I’m looking forward to the installation of the Precor AMT 835 in my office next week. I don’t have a lot of options for cross-training (My old joke is, “if you see me running, then you’d better turn and run, too!”), so the adaptive motion “Open Stride” of the AMT will give me everything from stair-climbing, elliptical training, and full-stride running in one machine, WITHOUT the horrible impact (To quote my ortho, “You have massive, powerful legs…and SHITTY little knees.”) A full review will follow.

Also, kudos to SHIPBIKES.COM! These folks take quite a bit of the pain out of bicycle shipping, offering multiple levels of materials at different price points. My favorite is the eBike, which costs $40, but which gets around oversize shipping rates. But if you’re shipping something for yourself, splurge and get the Air Caddy, which barely requires any disassembly at all; just clip the fork in, tie it all down, and go. Your bike looks like a big piece of pie. Sure, there are cheaper ways to go, but who wants a mangled Moots?

Tales of the Stupid, Part Fifteen

So, I’m installing an 11-speed cassette on a pair of Mavic 125s. I am on auto-pilot, opening the box, stacking the cassette and getting on with things. I put on the lock ring, drop a tool on it and tighten it down, and notice an awful lot of play in between the last three cogs.

“Hmmmmm…,” I think and I examine the cassette. “There’s not USUALLY a spacer in an 11-speed, but this one sure needs one.”

I remove the cassette and drop in the spacer. Now, the last cog is clearly standing OFF the body. That’s NOT right.

I call my buddy Marcus at Higher Ground. He hasn’t seen this before. Neither has Tyler.

I get off the phone and think, “I should probably count those cogs.”

Sure enough, it’s a 10-speed cassette in an 11-speed box. I count the cogs again. Still 10-speed. And the box is CLEARLY labeled Shimano CS-6800. It’s the RIGHT box.

I call Marcus back and tell him.

“Yeah,” he said, “Tyler and I thought about it right after you got off the phone. It’s probably a 10-speed.”

To use his word, it sure was JANKY that I received a new 10-speed cassette in an 11-speed box. How did I not notice that the cassette was awfully heavy and shiny in the first place!? Dammit. Who would do such a thing!?

THEN, I remembered where the box came from….

I purchased a Wahoo Kickr and an 11-speed cassette a month ago from Colorado Cyclist. The Kickr ships with a 10-speed cassette, and, knowing what I had purchased the Kickr for, they had already opened up the unit and INSTALLED the 11-speed cassette for me, enclosing the 10-speed in the leftover box. I’ve been riding the Kickr for weeks without ONCE thinking, “Hey…how is my 11-speed group working so well with this 10-speed cassette?”

So, it wasn’t janky at ALL. Colorado Cyclist is AWESOME and looking out for me.

I’m just stooooopid.

SOLD! Day THREE: Framed Minnesota 2.0 Fat Bike – $670 shipped

Yep, it’s a 2014 Framed Minnesota 2.0 fat bike. I bought it to replace my original Surly Pugsley (also for sale), but then decided that it just doesn’t snow enough here in Tallahassee, Florida, to make ownership worthwhile. Besides, I’m a terrible mountain biker, and I figure owning one good, weird mountain bike (a Black Sheep Darkness 36er) will be enough for the easy trails and dirt roads I frequent when I’m wearing knobbier.

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It’s a LARGE (20″), in silver with red anodized rims, with the Truvativ crank, SRAM X7 FD, SRAM X5 RD, Avid BB5 mechanical brakes. It’s wearing Vee Mission tires and has nice upgraded bars and stem and cage in matching anodized red. This bike is basically new, having been ridden twice.

Effective toptube = 588mm
Seat tube = 533mm @ 73 degrees
Headtube = 120mm @ 71 degrees
Wheelbase = 1108mm
Standover = 826mm

Pedals are NOT included.

Just saw that Framed has re-priced these, so I’m dropping the price for a SWEET deal. Again, this bike has been ridden TWICE.

$670.00 shipped to your door, so long as your door is somewhere within the continental United States. If not, talk to me and we’ll see what we can do.
SOLD!

Also, feel free to contact me with questions or concerns.

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FOR SALE 2015, Day Two: 20.5″ Lynskey Pro 29 – $2566 shipped

For those of you who have seen my mountain bike race video, it should come as no surprise that I am selling a mountain bike. Should I even be ALLOWED to ride one?

This is a Lynskey Pro29 in 3/2 Titanium. I’ve rarely ridden it, as I just don’t get out to the trails very often, choosing to spend most of my time on the roads, or riding a cross bike on the comparatively low-tech dirt I prefer. As such, I’m consolidating my dirt collection down to a cross bike and a 36er, because I’m just weird that way.

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(Click images to expand)

Geometry: (in inches)
Seat Tube: 20.5″
Top Tube: 25″ effective
Head Tube: 5.8″
Head Tube Angle: 71.5 degrees
Seat Tube Angle: 73 degrees
Chain Stays: 17.5″
Stand over: 33″

The bike includes:
Shimano Deore XT 9-speed group setup as a 2×9
Rock Shox REBA suspension fork (no remote, but remote capable)
Thomson Elite Stem and setback Seatpost
Mavic Crossmax 29 wheels
Cane Creek headset

Notes:
Pedals are NOT included.
There is quite a bit of fork left above the stem. As you can see, the stem has some rise to it, and I never wanted to cut the steerer tube…or I just never found the time. You can set this bike up as you wish.

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SOLD! Moots Vamoots Compact SL – $2550 SOLD!

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(Click photos to enlarge.)

SOLD! SOLD! SOLD! (Thanks Henry, I hope you enjoy this as much as I have. it’s been the model upon which my custom bikes were built. It’s a great thing.)

I’ve assessed and reassessed my cycling needs. I’ve had the collection, and now I’m going to simplify my life and my cycling. I need to RIDE bikes, not simply OWN them.

Here is a Moots Vamoots Compact SL.

This bike is an amazing steed, and has been my favorite bike for everything. Unfortunately, the last few years saw my riding decrease to ZERO, and it’s been lonely. This is the 6/4 titanium that is reputedly lighter than the more common 3/2 Ti found on most frames. (At the time I purchased this bike, there was some stink about the weapons industry taking all the 6/4 Ti, making this a comparative rarity. Quite frankly, I never checked the veracity of this claim, but it’s a good story.)

Geometry:

Top Tube: 59.0cm (virtual)
Seat Tube: 56.5cm C-to-T, 61cm effective
Seat Angle: 73 degrees
Head Tube: 19.4cm
Head Angle: 74 degrees
Chainstay: 41.5cm
Wheelbase: 100.1cm
Standover: 83.0cm

Includes:

2008 Shimano Dura Ace 10-speed group, crank-length 175mm with matching wheel set
Moots setback seatpost and 130 (0 degree rise) stem
Chris King Titanium headset
Easton EC 90 SLX CNT carbon fork, 43mm rake
Fizik Arione saddle and tape in matching metallic blue

Notes:

The pedals, cages, and WCS spacers are NOT included. I’ve swapped the spacers for the same height in carbon spacers. If you need or want pedals or cages, let me know; I have a pile of various types and we might be able to work something out.

As on all Moots bicycles, the decals are applied directly to the titanium and are not clear coated. This results in some edge peeling over time, which is evident on this bike. Luckily, Moots runs a clean-and-relabel service that will replace them for a small fee.

Oh, and yes, I’ll peel off my name decal.

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Inordinately proud of myself…

There was a time when I would NOT have made it through this workout:
PHOTO Interval Workout 20150115

It’s an hour of full-power intervals, part of the 12-week winter strength program I’ve been doing. Joel Friel is killing me, and I’m paying him to do it.

But here’s the weird thing: this workout represents a minor victory over something that has long plagued me, a lack of will. I’ve suffered from a lack of will for my entire life, and it’s taken me 45 years to realize that it springs from one place: a lack of goals.

Instead of setting goals, I existed in this nebulous realm of “improvement,” something that’s hard to quantify and that is not motivational whatsoever. I’d ride around, sometimes hard, sometimes not. My father told me, “You ride WAY too much to be a tourist but not nearly ENOUGH to be a racer.” It got under my skin; I was out there, on the bike every day and feeling pretty good about it, but my results belied the tale I told myself. I sucked, hard, and it was a source of constant discouragement.

But now, I have data to depend on, things that show me what I have, what I need, and where I need to get to do what I want to do. And it’s helping! For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m training effectively, despite knowing HOW for the past 25 years. The trainer is a nightmare, but you never rest, you never “ride around,” you simply work, and the numbers are there to prove it.

So, this is where I am. I’m still fat and slow, but I’m less-fat and less-slow than I was. And for the first time, I feel like my head and my heart are on my side. I am going to Mt. Cheaha, BSG, Six Gap. Then, I’m going to Ventoux, l’Alpe d’Huez, the Mortirolo. I’m going to make it. I going to find my heart on those mountains.

Still riding and setting goals

Riding on the trainer, that is!

October 17th, my father passed away unexpectedly. I kept riding, intermittently, through the following months, but it was difficult to find the motivation or the focus to train effectively. I don’t think there was anything particularly wrong with me, but the depression that set in after his loss, coupled with the assumption of quite a few new responsibilities, left me cold for cycling. It was a period of soul-searching.

But surprisingly, I find myself with new-found confidence. I have goals: completing some musical compositions, achieving a successful pecan harvest, improving the profits in my business, and more. And bicycling and health goals are a part of it, too:

1) I have set upon a 12-week power training and weight program using a Wahoo Kickr trainer to replace the problematic Computrainer.
2) I will be completing FOUR major climbing rides this year, including Mt. Cheaha Challenge (May 17), Blood Sweat and Gears (June 27), and Six Gap Century (TBA). I am still considering the fourth ride.
3) I will ride at a weight of 215 pounds by September 2015.
4) I will sell a majority of the bikes I own, paring down the stable to a healthy number of bike that are regularly ridden. Stay posted for the listings; they ARE coming!
5) I will have FUN!

This is doable stuff, even for a fat and slow 45-year-old. Feel free to give me crap about it if you see me eating fries.