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I had built a cyclo-cross bike, but in the weeks before the race, I had problems with the front derailluer. I think the cage got slightly bent during a bad shift. The biopace rings made it worse. It wasn’t shifting well, and was throwing the chain sometimes during shift. Then the chain broke. I ended uop taking my mountain bike to the race.
Most of the other people at the race also had mountain bikes. There were a small percentage of cross bikes. But some people had also tweaked their mountain bikes. The bikes had been fitted with aerobars, skinnier tires. And some of them had clipless pedals.
So I have ordered skinnier tires for my bike. The choice of narrow 26″ tires is not large. I found some Panaracer tires that are 26″x1.25″ They are kevlar lined. They are touring tires, without a head tread, but I think they will work well. Especially on the gravel path that makes up most of the course. I ordered a pair of these. I have also found some Schwalbe tires that are 26″x1.33 inches, and are knobbys. If the touring tires don’t work well, I could try these.
I bought aerobars off of ebay. The are Profile Designs like the other guys had. I will have to looking to the properway of installing them as far as angle and such.
I will look into putting cages and straps on my pedals, or maybe the clipless pedals. I would have to buy shoes, and they would also take time in the transition.

I converted a Trek 700 hybrid style bike to a cyclocross style bike, with drop bars, etc. I started building the bike also a year ago for an off-road duathlon race that is occuring this coming weekend. But then I saw the weather report. 4 days of rain. The bike I built as relatively skinny tires. Not designed for full out mud. So I started thinking I might be better off with the mountain bike with it’s fatter tires.
I intended to ride my road bike on the wind trainer last night instead. But instead I ended up recaulking the bathtub and never rode the bike on the trainer…oh I did ride a bike…I took my homebuilt cyclocross bike out on the road to test it. I had some problems with the front derailluer last time I rode it. I was having problems shifting last night. I need to replace the front derailluer, but no time before the race this weekend. I tweaked it, and got it to shift better. Then riding down a hill, I turned to ride up my driveway and shifted down…apparently not far enough (or soon enough), as it was tough to pedal up the hill. So I really started pushing on the pedals to get up the hill…and the chain snapped.
So I guess I will ride my mountain bike….probably a better choice anyway with the predicted 4 days of rain and there will likely be a lot of mud. More than the other bike was designed for.

I have a handfull of these Spinervals DVDs, and similar. This one was only 45 minutes long, so I was thinking how tough could it be. But this was a tough workout!
There was a short warmup. The first set was spinning for a minute and shifting to pregressively harder gears, each for a minute. Then there was set of superspinning where I was supposed to spin at 120 rpm or faster. I don’t have any thing to measure my cadence, so I just spun as fast as I could. After a short rest there was a simulated time trial race. I got about a minute into this, and had to take a short rest! Wow, I was gasping for breath.
After a short break, I got back on the bike and started up again. I was able to keep up with the prologue set. The last set was 30 second of superspinning, followed by 20 or 30 seconds of cranking in top gear, first sitting, then standing. Then after 10 seconds of easy spinning, the set continued. After this last set, there was a 5 minute cooldown. It was a tough workout! My legs felt like they were swollen. If you was a short, but hard workout, this one is pretty good!

Not sure if it a seasonal thing, but the last few days I have started seeing bikes places out on the curb. Maybe now that winter is coming, the people are done riding them, and they plan on getting new ones next year? Sure, these are the cream of the crop bikes. Two days ago I saw a BMX style bike out on the curb on my way to work. Or it was a small mountain bike, not sure. It had 21 gears, but it looked more like a BMX bike. I looked it over. One of twist grip shifters was busted all up. I couldn’t find a brand on the bike. And the components were junk, so I passed on it.
Today on my way to work I saw an older road bike place out by the trash. I was hoping it might be an old Trek or Fuji or something. But it was a Columbia. The read wheel bent…actually folded might be a better word. The frame was cheap junk with crimped chain stays, etc. Department store junk. I passed on it. A minute or two later I passed another bike. A mountain bike. It was a little better quality. It looked like a mish mash of stuff like stuff had been replace randomly. The front wheel had a quick release, while the back wheel didn’t. The frame had a variety of stickers on it suchs as Shimano, and Specialized. The frame appears to have been painted, and then the stickers applied. I needed to get to work, so with way too much effort, I managed to cram the bike into the back of my car. I will take a closer look at it later. If I decide I don’t want it, I can always place it out on the curb for someone else to take.

I have bought a handfull of Spinning DVDs. I have a couple of the Spinervals series of spinning fitness DVDS (1.0 No Slackers Allowed, and 24.0 Hillacious). I have one of Chris Carmichael’s Train Right DVDs (Time Trial). And I have Rides Volume 2-Las Vegas, Valley Of Fire. I also have a free Chris Carmichael DVD that I got as a promo.
I have watched one of the Spinervals DVDs while I was running on my treadmill. I haven’t worked out to it though. I have also watched the free Chris Carmichael dvd.
The only DVD that I have ridden my bike to so far was the Rides Las Vegas DVD. I really enjoyed working out to that one. While most of the DVDs show a group of riders in a room with all of their bikes mounted in trainers, the Rides DVD shows the riders actually out riding on the road. So while I was spinning on my bike, I can see actually scenery. It is nice to see the hills when I am cranking on the pedals.
I liked Rides Volume 2, that I want to get Rides Volume 1 which has the riders going through the Rockies.
The resistance on my Cycleops Wind trainer left a little to be desired. I was in top gear with no more left to go. I downloaded the manual, and learned I needed to crank the knob down harder. Once it touches the wheel, I needed to turn it 2 or 2-1/2 turns. That seems to give it more resistance. But I will see how it works next time I do spin training.




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