Sunday, October 08, 2006

Back to basics

I am giving up everything! Not quite what you think though. I am only giving up the freewheel. I am going back to basics. I want to experience training like a child again. Remember the days when you got on your bike (that Huffy single speed) and just go all day? You gotta remember it, be home when the streetlights come on?

Well this is what I want and will do over the off season without the restriction of the streetlights. See I live in the country and we have no streetlights out here :) What I am talking about is riding like a kid again.

I am almost finished with my fall project which will help me achieve this new dream. I took an old 1973 Takara steel road bike I got from some farmer who was cleaning his garage out. I stripped it down to a lightweight sleek machine. Cut the roadbars into bullhorns, added an aero lever brake, removed the derailers, rear brake, freewheel and small ring on the cranks and made a fixed gear training ride. Now a few of you might think I am crazy for putting a $1000 wheelset on a $12.59 bike. This is only temporary. I am having a wheelset built up for the "winter time."

Yes it is true I do only have $12.59 invested in this. The aero lever and brake cable and 1 innertube are the only things I have purchased. I still have the chain for $10.00 to buy and like I stated before, the new wheelset will add another $200. this will be a pretty built up fixie for not a lot of dollars. The majority of the parts were lying around the workshop from old bikes. Makes it part of the fun seeing what can be done with old stuff.

Fixed gear for training outdoors in the winter (or for the next 4 months). Well let me break it down for you what a fixed gear will help you with. If the bike is moving, you are pedaling. You stop pedaling you don't move. This will "retrain" my legs to increase my cadence (hopefully). If you ride five miles at 10 miles per hour, you pedaled for entire time consistently. This will dramaticly improve areobic capacity in the end. You will gain strength also because you only have one gear, no fancy granny gear ratios to "make it work for you". You pound out the hill and burn your quads!

I have to admit it but I am a bit scared about the winter months ahead. I have NEVER trained in the snow and ice of Wisconsin. Heck I have never bike trained when it was under 50F and I have only biked in the rain twice! This is challenge number one. Get over the mental part!

All the self talk like
"go inside on the trainer,
maybe tomorrow,
its too cold,
it looks like it might rain,
ect, ect, ect ....

When I succed in hitting the pavement in the yuck of January the first obstacle is overcome. Damn those demons!

I really want to go into this spring ready to hit the season totaly prepared instead of biking like crazy 2 months before the Half IM to post a dissapointing 3 hour bike split. Challenge on! Ride through the winter on the fixie while others are doing nothing and get that half IM split to a respectable 2:40.


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