Friday, April 13, 2012

Dolce: Now in Aero

Dolce with Aero Bars
While we were on vacation, I took Dolce down to Little Ade's in Pekin to get a little annual maintenance and aero bars installed. I picked her up on Tuesday after going through a one hour fitting with Mike. First, we adjusted my cleats after I told him I've experienced some numbness in my left toes on longer rides. Next we (meaning HE) adjusted the seat height and brought it forward a bit. 

After spinning a bit, Mike asked about my flexibility again. Yes, I am definitely flexible since I can put my full palms on the floor in a forward fold. So we adjusted the bar height down which will hopefully allow me to get out of the wind especially on these spring rides. I also purchased some new tires from Mike, the Continental 4000. The Continental 4000s are racing tires made from a special compound which allows the tire to grip the road easier. I can't wait to put them on, but that has to wait until I'm done on the trainer. 

All in all it was a good hour spent with Mike learning about the adjustments he was making and talking through the changes. I explained to Mike that I was willing to absorb any and all nuggets of information he was willing to share with me. Heck, I'm no fool. I need to learn as much as possible about how to be effective on the bike. 

I brought Dolce home and put her right on the trainer. I wanted to try out the aero position and make sure I wasn't going to absolutely hate it. I spent 45 minutes on the trainer that afternoon and really felt comfortable. 

The weather has definitely cooled off and I knew with the rain in the forecast for the rest of the week it was probably going to be a big trainer week. I spent another 60 minutes on the trainer on Wednesday. 

By mid-Thursday my legs had hit post-vacation mode: AKA tired & achy. I guess that's what happens when you take a week off and have to teach 2 PUMP classes in 24 hours as well as spend the time running & biking. Hmmm. So I decided to give the bike a rest on Thursday, but on Friday realized that was probably a mistake. I wanted to get Dolce out on the road for a short ride before attempting a long ride on Saturday with Awesome Cheryl. Friday morning the clouds were moving in quickly so I jumped on Dolce for a short ride. 

As soon as I took off, I knew I was going to be in trouble with the strong wind gusts. I decided to stay close to home since the weather didn't look great and I didn't want to be out in the middle of the country with tired legs and a bike I couldn't handle well. I decided to ride into a nearby subdivision hoping to get protection from the wind while I tried out my aero bars. I really do feel fairly comfortable in the aero position. I know I need to work on engaging my core more so my slight twitches don't end up throwing me into another rider. I rode around the neighborhood a few times when I suddenly decided to veer off and take another road...a little late. I came up out of aero position, but with the gravel on the road, I couldn't slow down enough. Luckily, I was able to ride into the yard and avoid a crash. I couldn't help giggling and hoping no one was looking out the window watching me ride through their yard. Sorry to whomever lives at the corner of Ashley Ct & NW Windermere Rd!

I took one more loop around and started to head home. I was worried about the wind on the way home. It wasn't coming directly at me, but it was pretty gusty and the raindrops were beginning to fall. I came to one spot on the road where the trees providing protection from the wind suddenly fell away. I swear the wind almost blew Dolce right out from underneath me. I was riding fairly close to the right side of the road. I gripped my aero bars hard and managed to stay out of the ditch, but it was definitely a close call. Only a little over 7.5 miles, but it was a good initial ride with my aero bars. I guess I now have a Dolce 2.0. 

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