Wednesday, August 30, 2006

test run

The past week+ has been a build, meaning the workouts are harder and focused on making specific strength and speed gains--i.e. tempo running, spinning with badass hill intervals, and swimming for distance.

Today is a double-header--bike and then swim with Christine--I just finished a quick spin down Foothill to Mountain View and back, working on cadence and testing out a few modifications to the trusty little steed.

1. New saddle. I replaced the stock Bianchi saddle with a Terry Butterfly--bonus that the titanium model was on sale! The reason for this? The stock saddle was a men's saddle that left my nether region quite torn up after any sizeable ride. The Butterfly has been recommended to me by pretty much every serious female cyclist I've asked about saddles. It has a lovely, strategically place hole in it to relieve pressure. The verdict--not too shabby!

2. Raised the seat by about 0.5 inch. Knees have been bugging me uphill for awhile, now--thought when I bought the bike, the professional fitting by Los Altos Bicycle Outfitters was perfect. This is exciting because it means my pedal stroke has evolved and I'm getting more efficient. Woohoo!

3. Removed the visor from my helmet. I did this because my trapezius has been bothering a me a LOT after rides lately. Removing the visor will hopefully increase my field of vision enough so that I don't have to keep my neck too extended while I'm down over the handlebar.

4. Replaced stock inserts in bike shoes with gel inserts. Hopefully this will absorb impact on the downstroke and help keep me toes from getting numb--though the occasional deep tissue sesh on my calves with Kristi does the trick quite well, also!

5. Increased pedal tension. Tension on the pedals is what makes it harder (or easier) to clip in and out. This is especially important at red lights (see my last entry). Contrary to what my recent spill might indicate, I actually needed to increase mine--My tension was previously so low that I would clip out and my cleat would immediately "slip" back into the pedal!

So that's a LOT of modifications to test out on one little ride--but they were all very minor.

Now, off to Burgess for a swim!

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