I have decided that I want to try a triathlon. At least a half Ironman, and probably a full Ironman. So maybe it’s time I update my bike. I have put a bunch of miles on my 1990 Trek 1000. But I am thinking I might want a better bike.
I glanced on ebay and found some nice bikes. I will keep monitoring. Not sure what I want though.
I also checked out craigslist, but didn’t see any tri-bikes there. I will keep an eye out.
I seached online and found one seller selling some of last years bikes for what looked like a great prices. Such as a 2007 Felt T43 Tri Bike for $900, or a 2007 Felt S32 Tri Bike for $1250. Another place had a 2006 Jamis Trilogy EI for $1160. At least these seem like great prices when I search for tri-bikes.
I stopped at one local bike shop and he had a couple Orbea triatlon bikes. One was selling for about $3700, and the other was more expensive. These are more than I want to spend. He mentioned that he might be able to get an entry level Jamis tri bike.
I think an entry level triathlon bike would be fine. I just want to finish the triathlons in a decent time. I have no ambitions of winning them.
I will probably sell my recumbent bike to help pay for a new bike. The recumbent is okay, but I would ride a regular road bike more often I think.
I have a lot of training to do before I am anywhere near ready to do a half Ironman, so I have a lot of time to shop and do research. Still, it would be cool to have a nice new hot Tri bike!
I rode my mountain bike in a race yesterday. The race was mostly on dirt roads, with some sections of paved road. Some of the dirt roads were not so much roads as really nasty 4×4 trails, full of potholes. But there were some downhill or at least flat sections that were either paved, or reasonably smooth dirt where I could really fly. And I am glad I had mounted aerobars on my mountain bike. This was the reason I bought the aerobars in the first place. Not this particular race, but another one sort of like it. They are Century style aero bars made by Profile Design.
When I mounted them, I was a little concerned about how solid they would be. The handlebar is tapered where it comes out of the stem. I mounted them on, and really cranked them down. They seemed to be sturdy, but the clamp was as tight as it would go.
During the race, I love the aerobars. But over the 30 mile course, the handle bars loosened to where they would move up and down some. I need to go back and figure a better way to mount them. I might be able to use some shims. I was thinking maybe rubber, but not sure if that would be solid enough. Maybe a soft metal like copper? I could make some shims from a small piece of copper pipe. Or I think I can buy shims, but they are designed for flat bars, to go from one diameter to another. I might be able to shape them for the taper using a dremel tool?
I have a while before my next race, so I have some time to play with the design.
Today was the Ramble Around Prattsburgh, a 30 mile mountain bike race.
I slept okay, but not great. I guess I was nervous about the race. We were told in the weeks before the race “Expect to take 3-4hrs to finish, 2 1/2 hrs if you are really fast.” Looking at the course description, I just couldn’t think that it would take me 3 hours to ride this course. I thought I could do it in 2 1/2 hours. I couldn’t imagine that I had a chance to win against real cyclists.
They later posted a video of the course on YouTube:
It looked tough!
The race wasn’t until 1pm, so I had the morning to relax…or to stress. I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast, and my usual can of Diet Pepsi.
I had most of my stuff packed and loaded the night before. I still wasn’t sure which jersey I would wear, so I packed both my Dark Side Of The Moon jersey and my Jesse The Body jersey. So there wasn’t a lot to pack in the morning. The race was about an hour drive away, so we left at close to 11am. The drive went okay except for construction. But we got there in plenty of time. We stopped at Burger King along the way where I got a Whopper With CHeese meal with a regular (non-diet) Coke.
I checked in and got my timing chip and number plate. I was number 15. Way cool, it had a 5 in it! I would have loved to have had 25. But I’ll take 15. I ended up deciding to wear my Jesse The Body shirt thinking the black Dark Side Of The Moon shirt might be hotter in the bight sunlight.
The race started at 1pm. They had an enduro motorcycle guide us out of town and for the first 3 miles. We rode at a relaxed pace. Then the guy on the dirt bike sent us on our way. Starting about the 3 mile mark, we started a slow steady climb. Just before the top of the hill, it got steep, and I got off my bike, and pushed it up the hill. I wasn’t going much slower than the guys laboring to pedal up the hill, but I was using A LOT less energy. And it was nice to strech my legs. When I got to the top, I got back on my bike. I got down on the aerobars, and started flying. There were long sections of steady downhill. I flew past some of the rider who passed me on the hill. I hit a top speed of almost 33 mph! This downhill lasted from about mile 5.5 to about 12.5 with short bits of uphill interspersed. I spent a lot of time on my aerbars in this section. I passed the photographers while on my aerobars, and I can’t wait to see the picture.
Most of the course was made up of dirt roads. But there were sections of paved roads as well. And parts were really steep bad roads that would be impassible to cars or trucks without clearance and 4 wheel drive. And still one section at the end was on soft grass, and through really sloppy mud.
But now we were climbing again. The first part of this hill was very steep, and I again got off my bike. I saw at least one other guy pushing his bike too. But when we got passed the first part, it wasn’t as steep. The hill continued upward, gradually levelling out, then starting to go downhill. This downhill was very rough in some sections. I was flying down the hill hoping I wouldn’t get a flat tire from all the ruts and holes I was hitting. Towards the bottom I was using more and more of my brakes. I was wondering how much would be left of my brake pads by the end of the race.
I passed the water stop that was supposedly at mile 17, but my GPS said it was mile 18, and my bike computer said it was mile 19. I didn’t stop as I still had a bottle and a quarter of water.
We hit some paved roads for a bit, and I got to use my aerobars again. The aerobars were just a little bit loose now, and would move up and down if pressure was applied. But they were still useable. And each time I used the aerobars, I would pass people. Of course they would usually pass me back on the hills.
Now we started a steady uphill again. I was playing leapfrog with a few people including an ironman. I knew he was an ironman because of the 140.6 tatoo on his left calf. I mentioned the ironman, and he commented that the Ironman race was easy compared to this race. Wow!
Then we came to a steeper really messy hill, and nearly everyone I saw was pushing or carrying their bike. But soon we were back on our bikes for some fast rough downhill racing again. Again we hit some paved sections, and I was able to use my aerobars. This area was mostly flattish. But I was still able to cruise. I passed the ironman again.
Now we were offroad again. This area was different. Were weren’t really on roads. It was more like a walking/riding trail. Part was on softgrass. And part was through sloppy mud. In the sloppy mud, I ended up getting off my bike and pushing. It was just easier. And my legs were so tired at this point. I rode along a gravel road with only a slight incline for a short distance, and I was in the lowest gear.
Then I was on the road again! I liked the road! Again I got down on my aerbars, and was cruising. I was close to end. I was heading back into town. I was routed down some side streets, soon I had one turn, and I saw the finish line. I crossed the line. I asked a guy just to make sure I was done.
I finished in 2:29:33. I broke 2 1/2 hours! I must have been really fast! I saw the result sheets and saw the winner finished in 1:47. So much for the 3-4 hours! When the results were updated, I saw I finished in 61st place. They were totally off on how long the race would take. I am not sure how many people did the 30 mile race. But I believe I finished well into the bottom half.
My wife met me at the finish line. I drank a regular Pepsi! I needed sugar!
I washed my bike, and we loaded it on the car. I had bought a couple meal tickets for $7. So we headed off to get food. The food was only spaghetti, a couple pieces of parmasan chicken, a piece of bread, some pasta salad, and ice water. And not much of it. We were a little disappointed. Then we headed to the car, and drove home.
Here is the MotionBased data from the race:
Here are pictures from the race:
Some I took on my cheap little camera. Others were taken by my wife.
I am doing a 30 mile mountain bike race this weekend down in Prattsburgh, NY named appropriately Ramble Around Prattsburgh. It is mostly on dirt roads and single/double track trails. There is only one water stop along the way at mile 17.
So I tweaked my 2007 Diamondback Sorrento mountain bike for the race. I mounted Shimano PD M520 SPD clipless pedals, a second bottle cage (held on with hose clamps since there weren’t mounts for a second bottle cage), Schwalbe CX Pro cyclocross tires (26 x1.35), and Profile Century aerobars. I also have a Cateye micro bike computer installed.
I think the bike will preform well in this type of race. There were some bikes set up in a similar way for the Black Diamond Duathlon last year.
I am doing a 30 mile mountain bike race in 2 weeks. There will be only one water stop which will be around mile 17. They said to plan on the race taking 3-4 hours. Personally, I am hoping to do better than that, but who knows. I don’t do a lot of bike racing, or even mountain biking.
Anyway, Diamondback only has mounting screws for one bottle cage on the down tube. I wanted to fit another bottle somewhere. I considered drilling a couple holes and tapping them. I have done this before but on a steel frame bike. I didn’t think it would work as well on an aluminum frame. The other mounts have a little part brazed out to thicken the mounting hole. But I thought a hole through the regular thickness of the tube, and tapped, would likely strip out easily. Then I would be left with nothing but a couple stripped out pointless holes.
I went to the bike shop and looked for solutions. There was one bottle cage that mounted to a tube using velcro. I was a bit sceptical about how well it would stay in place as I road over bumpy roads and trails. There was another bottle cage that mounted ont he handlebars. I ended up buying this.
When I got home, I mounted the cage on my handle bars. It pushed the shifting cables out, but the bike still seemed to shift fine. But I didn’t like the bottle stick up like that. I considered trying to find one of the bottle cages that mounts behind the seat like they use on triathlon bikes. But I thought the bottles might bounce out of the cages. And they would also probably be expensive.
But then I came up with an idea. I returned the handlebar mounted bottle cage, and headed to Home Depot and bought a couple worm gear type hose clamps. When I got home I took a bottle cage that had small tabs sticking of the top and botton where the screws go through. Hard to explain, but most of my bottle have brackets on the back that the screws got through, but a couple had tabs that extended up and down. I needed these. I figured out where I wanted to mount the cage on the seat tube. I needed to make sure it was high enough not to interfere with anything, and low enough that I could get the bottle in and out. I wrapped the seat tube with a couple layers of electrical tape at the places where the bottle cage bracket with contact the frame. The tape would prevent the frame from being scratched up or marred by the bottle coge or the hose clamps. I held the bottle cage to the seat tube, and using the hose clamp, I clamped the cage to the tube by the bottom tab. I then used the other clamp to hold the cage to the frame by the top tab. It was very sturdy and will not be going anywhere on the hardest of rides.