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Old 11-04-2012, 03:27 PM   #76
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Laid back club ride. Someone broke into my truck while I was gone, but didn't steal anything.

Time: 2:29
Distance: 40 mi
Avg Power: 143
Avg HR: 140
Avg Speed: 15.6 mph
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:54 AM   #77
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

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I don't really have any goals this year except to get into better shape. Last year it was to do the MS150, which I did, and I'm doing again this year. But I have no question I can do it, I could do it tomorrow, no problem. I'm a little afraid to commit to trying to race because I know it will be brutal and soul-crushing.
I don't know much about cycling races. I'm assuming they're a bit more hardcore than running races cos you have to spend a ton of money before you even start trianing. Running races get everyone from the elite to the fat old women who walk 90% of the course, but I guess cycling races don't get many of those.

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Maybe I'll try swimming this summer when it starts to get hot. Or possibly earlier, like in the spring. I assume spring/summer is probably prime triathalon season. I could probably do a sprint tri (that is, I could probably *finish* it, doubt I'd place in the top half)
You say you'll wait till it gets hot before you start swimming, does that mean that you don't have indoor pools there?

I don't know about your area but May-September is the main season here, but then the UK is way colder and wetter than Texas.

Given that you're already a decent cyclist, and your aerobic fitness will carry over well to running and swimming, I think you'd be able to transition to triathlon pretty well.

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I felt bad about badmouthing my biking so I gave it a good cleaning and lube job to make up for it.

That ****er better appreciate it.
It's pretty sad but I used to love spending hours cleaning and tinkering with my mtb. Looking forward to getting back into that with my road bike when I get it.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:10 AM   #78
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

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I don't know much about cycling races. I'm assuming they're a bit more hardcore than running races cos you have to spend a ton of money before you even start trianing. Running races get everyone from the elite to the fat old women who walk 90% of the course, but I guess cycling races don't get many of those.
There are different kinds of cycling races, but the kind most people think of when they think of them is a road race, where everyone is riding at the same time. If you are not quite as fast as most people in a running race, you'll finish with a worse time than them. If you are not quite as fast in a cycling race, you fall off the back of the pack and as soon as that happens it is OVER, you'll have to quit, or finish not just last but like with a tme 30-50% worse than anyone else. This is because there's such a huge aerodynamic advantage to riding in the pack. Pretty much everyone I know who tried a cat 5 race just for the hell of it had this happen to them. It seems pretty humiliating to me.

There are other race types, such as time trials, where you ride alone and the only thing that matters is your time. I've actually done a few of these, and they turned out like I expected, pretty bad. These events seem boring to me, like most track and field type events. You already know who is going to win before the thing starts because pretty much everyone knows what they're capable of, they spend 10-20 hours doing it every week.

Unlike running events, also, you don't generally get that many Joe Randoms showing up to race, it's pretty much all serious cyclists. They have a regular race series that I go watch sometimes that takes place on a car race track, and pretty much all the people are badasses. In fact, cat 5 races are filled with sandbaggers - people who are much better races but haven't been forced to move up the ranks yet.

I work at a company with a huge cycling culture and there are several semi-pro racers and some ex-pro racers. One guy I ride with occaisonally, and his fitness is just incredibly off the charts. His 5 minute power output is *three times* mine. His max heart rate is 200. I literally can keep up with his 5 minute all out pace for less than 5 seconds.

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You say you'll wait till it gets hot before you start swimming, does that mean that you don't have indoor pools there?
Nah we do. It's more a matter of having more free time because it's too miserable outside to bike.

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I don't know about your area but May-September is the main season here, but then the UK is way colder and wetter than Texas.
Most of the tris I know about have the swimming portion in open water - I guess you guys might not do that? That's a whole other ball of wax too, not only would I have to swim hard for a long distance, but if I fail, there is no edge of the pool to swim to. They usually have kayakers though to help you out.

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Given that you're already a decent cyclist, and your aerobic fitness will carry over well to running and swimming, I think you'd be able to transition to triathlon pretty well.
I did some running last year. I thought it would be a total piece of cake but it was harder than I thought. I ran 5k 3x a week for most of the winter but gave up when it got hot out. I sweat like you wouldn't believe and I'm kind of prone to over-heating, where I am not tired yet really but I can't go on.

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It's pretty sad but I used to love spending hours cleaning and tinkering with my mtb. Looking forward to getting back into that with my road bike when I get it.
Riding 4 days a week, cleaning kind of falls under "why bother, I am just going to ass it up again tomorrow". The derailleur wheels were squeaking something fierce though so I decided it was probably time to give it a good once over. Now that you can't hear the squeak, I can hear a creak that I need to take care of.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:33 AM   #79
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Yeah that's kind of what I figured about the standard of cycling races. It sucks there isn't some kind of 'beginners' series under the cat 5 races. The bike part in triathlon strikes a middle ground because although you're all racing together against each other at the same time, they're generally non-drafting to avoid the peloton, problem. Also I think triathlons tend to be more like running races in attracting a wide variety of standards from the elite to total beginners.

The tris here are open water, but most people do their training in the pool. That said, most sprint tris are done from the pool and open water only comes in for oly and above. Open water season here starts around April/May cos that's when it starts to get warm enough (lol warm.... read 'not totally ****ing freezing'). My plan is to spend the winter learning to swim the distance easily and well, so when I get into the open water I don't have to worry about anything other than getting used to not being in a pool.

I hadn't even thought about the heat there. That must be pretty crippling once it starts to get hot. The weather here might be pretty awful but at least you can get outside and run almost 365 day, even if it is a bit grim sometimes.

Some of the Ironmans around Europe that I've been looking at just look brutal. Lanzarote especially is often >30C (86F?) in the shade by the time most people start the marathon.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:42 PM   #80
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

86 degrees? In the summers here it's above 100F most of the time (37.78C). It was probably 86 degrees by the end of my ride yesterday (started at about 65 though). In the summer the lows will often get to the mid 70s but that's at like 4am. By sunrise it's usually already in the 80s. Last summer I would ride about 2-3 times a month, only very early morning, and usually trying to do rides less than 2-3 hours so it wouldn't be baking by the time I got back. Despite religious sunscreen I developed a very dark tan with ridiculous tan lines where my cycling clothes go. So I did a lot of kayaking instead. The weather is just as awful but you can be wet for most of it and there's usually something of a cool breeze over the water.

In most of the US, winter is the off season for cycling, but here it SHOULD be summer. But it isn't. These ****ers race all through the summer, it's totally brutal.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:09 PM   #81
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

That's nuts. No thank you.

I'm suddenly a lot happier to just put on my hat and gloves and go out in my beloved wind and rain.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:14 PM   #82
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Skipped tuesday due to illness. Was feeling OK today so I decided to ride. So I had 2 options for today, the ride I missed or the ride that was scheduled for today. The ride that I missed was waaaay easier so I chose that. Still kind of congested. Will probably do the ride I should have done today on saturday instead of a super-easy ride that was scheduled (2 hours of laid back riding). The net effect will be that I'll have skipped the easiest ride of the week which I'm OK with.

Honestly, the ride scheduled for today, I am dreading it. It's described in the text as very difficult. You basically do a set of power intervals but instead of ramping up to your max power and staying there, you basically "jump" into the intervals and go from a regular riding rate to as hard as you can, so like 600 watts+ for me probably, and then tail off as you start to get tired. After this set you do a set of normal over-under intervals. This ride is supposed to wreck you, literally, so they save it to towards the end of the program.

Anyway, today's ride was a set of "FastPedal" intervals, where basically you pick a very easy gear and pedal as fast as you can. I honestly have no idea what this is supposed to accomplish but many long distance racers ride at insanely high cadences. I can sustain about 120 rpm without bouncing in the seat a lot so that's what I did.

Time: 1:10
Distance: 18.3 mi
Avg Power: 146
Avg HR: 140
Avg Speed: 16.0 mph

It was amazingly foggy today so I changed my route to stay completely off main roads as much as possible. Visibility was ridiculous, 20-30 feet maybe. I got soaked just by the fog, no rain.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:23 AM   #83
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Do you have any recommendations for books or websites about cycling technique?

I used to think that there was nothing to riding on the road but since looking into it a bit more I realise there's so much stuff like cadence, gear selection, body positioning etc and I'm wanting to take a much more scientific (or at least well thought out) approach to my training.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:42 AM   #84
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

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Do you have any recommendations for books or websites about cycling technique?

I used to think that there was nothing to riding on the road but since looking into it a bit more I realise there's so much stuff like cadence, gear selection, body positioning etc and I'm wanting to take a much more scientific (or at least well thought out) approach to my training.
I don't really know of any books that talk about it. It varies a little from person to person but a good starting point is to ride at a cadence of 90rpm or higher pretty much all the time. As far as gear selection goes, you pick the gears that will let you do that, at a fast enough speed. You often have more than one choice of gears to get the same gear ratio - like an easy front gear and a hard back one and vice versa. The general rule of thumb is you don't want to "cross-chain" which is having a really easy gear in front and a really hard one in back or vice versa.

My rear wheel has 10 gears. In the easy front gear I'll only go up to 6 or sometimes 7 before I switch to the hard from gear. Likewise in the hard gear if get down to 5 or 4 I'll shift the front down. I know from experience that if I want to switch the front gear and keep the ratio about the same I need to switch the back gear 2 in the opposite direction. Like I'd go from hard-4 to easy-6.

Sheldon Brown's website, sheldonbrown.com, has a lot of really comprehensive information on bikes and cycling. He is unfortunately dead but the site is maintained and added to. It's a very good thing to read a lot of. He's a very practical person (in some regards, in others not so much, like he owned 20 something bikes)

Regarding position, basically you need to look at other people and see how they do it. The more upright you ride, the more air resistance you have. It makes a pretty big difference, like the difference between normal riding position (on the "hoods") and being on the drops is 1mph+ at 20mph. If you have aero-bars, it's a lot more. I don't ride with aero bars that much, but I do if I'm going to be with a group that is much faster than me, because I'll get dropped off the back sometimes and will need to catch up.

Riding in a pack is a skill that is hard to learn because it's scary. But it's soooo much easier to ride with someone RIGHT in front of your wheel - like 15-20% easier. If you're in the middle of a pack it's even more. A guy I know who does cat 5 (the lowest tier) racing says that for him all his power in a race is at 1 of 2 levels, 180 watts or 220+ watts. 180 is in the pack, 220+ is by himself or relatively unprotected (at the front or the side)
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:16 PM   #85
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Aero bars are a big no-no in pack riding, as far as I recall. The distance to the brakes and decrease in maneuverability is dangerous in a large group.

As far as pedaling technique, you basically want to be moving your legs in as close to a perfect circle as possible. One easy way to test is to try some single leg pedaling, and see how much of the stroke is not efficient, and slowly work on improving pulling/pushing through the deadspots at 12/6. The other is to go up gears and learn to pedal at 100-120 rpm on flat roads.

The other big tip that was emphasised a lot was "heels down" on the downstroke.

Bikeforums.net has some good info, as does youtube.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:25 PM   #86
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Absolutely, riding on the bars in a group is bad. But if you get off the back, you get down on them and ride your way back. Admittedly people will sometimes get anxious if you just have them. I have a set that go on and off really easily, I put them on when I know I'm going to need them.

Although I ride by myself almost all the time, I don't really use them that much then. Every once in a while to keep in the habit. But for the most part I am not trying to break speed records on my own so what's the point. Something that makes me artificially faster gives me nicer numbers to look at but that's about it.

In a race? I'd use whatever was allowed. There are little booties you can put over your shoes that apparently are worth a small percentage.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:34 PM   #87
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

BTW this is a pretty nice bike calculator. It's theoretical, of course, but the numbers are reasonable. You can find out how much you gain/lose by making certain kinds of changes (weight, riding position, incline, etc)

http://bikecalculator.com/

I actually implemented this all in python once so I could make graphs but damned if I know where it is now.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:35 PM   #88
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

I suspect they would not let you start a road race with clip on aeros.

From my basic reading, a TT bike frame and riding position have certain differences from standard road positioning, partly to improve aerodynamics, partly to improve power output in that position. What percentage of increase do you estimate you see in a hybrid position on clipon aeros with standard road frame as opposed to a true aero position?
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:43 PM   #89
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Aero bars are not allowed in most road races but neither are TT bikes as far as I know. I honestly don't know all the dos and don'ts there.

I've never ridden an actual TT bike so I can't compare. Getting in the aero position from anecdotal evidence is a huge advantage. I can go from 22mph on a flat road to 25-26 no problem. It's less of a benefit at lower speed.

I think if you were going to ride time trials, didn't have a TT bike, and wanted to use aero bars you'd probably want to change your seat position at the very least. TT bikes assume you'll spend most of your time on the bars, road bikes assume you'll spend most of your time on the hoods. On my bike, for example, it's impossible to shift "up" from the drop position, just down (unless I replace my shifters, which I probably will at some point)

The main thing I don't like about clip ons is that you can't shift from them, unless you semi-permanently reconfigure your bike for it, at which point they're no longer really optional accessories you can just take off. I am looking forward to electronic shifting becoming the norm, because that should make it easy to have multiple sets of shifters and brakes.

It always seemed weird to me that TT bikes have the brakes in the "normal" position, i.e. you still can't brake in them while on the aero bars.

The bars are hard to get used to. You're now steering on a lever that's a foot forward of the swivel point and any movement of your upper body can cause you to change direction a bit. I spent some serious time on the trainer with one before I ever went on the road and even then I felt pretty wobbly. After I felt OK on the trainer I'd go on the road and spend a minute or two at a time on them until it felt pretty natural.

It really helps if you feel comfortable riding without hands. Riding without hands on a trainer is something I'd like to be able to do but am too pussy to do it (roller trainers are way harder to balance on than being on the road, there are lots of hilarious youtube videos of people trying to learn to ride on them)
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:45 PM   #90
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

That bike calculator site estimates that if you're going 20 on the hoods you could go 23.5 on the aero bars. That sounds about right. That might not sound like much, but the average person like me would have to go from putting out 215 watts to 325 watts to get the same speed increase while staying on the hoods.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:15 PM   #91
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Interesting stuff, I can't wait to just get out there and try it out. I've got a trial booked on the tri-club demo bike which should be available at the start of December and I'm planning on buying my bike after I've played around on the club bike for a while and got used to it/got an idea of what I should be looking at when I buy.
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:27 PM   #92
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Miserable miserable ride, tbh. I did my intervals and then rode around kind aimlessly. I changed my route a few times because the wind was just NUTS. Tried to break it up so I wouldn't have 10 miles into the wind. weatherspark.com reports that wind was 18mph gusting to 30mph. You can tell it's bad when the wind is at you're back, you're going 25mph, and there is NO wind in your face, and the shadows of clouds are outrunning you.

Anyway,
Time: 1:48
Distance: 26.9 mi
Avg Power: 161
Avg HR: 150
Avg Speed: 16 mph

Heh, compare this to my last ride, where I'm putting out 15-20 watts more on average (10% more power), 10 bpm higher heartbeat on average, and going the same speed.

More of this weather tomorrow. I have 50 miles scheduled.
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:30 PM   #93
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Don't get me wrong though it is freakin beautiful out. Austin doesn't know it's winter time. It's 75-80F outside, beautiful blue sky, sun, clouds.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:13 PM   #94
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Quick and possibly obvious question regarding power readings. Is max power output related to the size of the rider? Or put another way, will a lighter rider go faster than a heavier rider if they both ride with equal power output?
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:04 PM   #95
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

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Quick and possibly obvious question regarding power readings. Is max power output related to the size of the rider? Or put another way, will a lighter rider go faster than a heavier rider if they both ride with equal power output?
Yeah. Like a friend of mine is an extremely fit rider. She's a woman, maybe 5'1" or 5', I would be shocked if she weighs more than 100lb. Her average power output on a tough ride is like 115 watts. For me that is toodling along at 13mph or something.

Riders are usually rated in watts/kg, that's sort of how you decide where you fit in the rider spectrum. Readings are typically taken at 5s, 1m, 5m and 20m or 60m (20m seems more common because most people don't have that many samples of 60 minutes of their hardest effort to select from)

Today was kinda LOL. I show up to the weekly ride I do, and my rear wheel is kinda wobbly. I take a look and it's like 1/4" or more out of true and some of the spokes are quite loose. I bail on the ride and go by the bike shop but it won't open until 11. So I go home and come back at 11. But they actually don't open until 12 because some of them were riding in a veterans day thing of some kind. Whatever. They fix the wheel for free because they'd just built it and I take it for a test ride. I end up doing a total of 40 when I'd planned on 50 miles because it was windy and I kind of hate riding for 3 hours by myself.

Time: 2:26
Distance: 40.5 mi
Avg Power: 160
Avg HR: 150
Avg Speed: 16.7 mph

For the first half my avg power was 190 watts, I guess I couldn't keep that up for the full time. The first half I had my back to the wind and it's sort of easy to exert yourself because it's fun and fast and you're flying. Grinding into the wind can be kind of demoralizing when you're giving your all and going like 16 mph, so I guess there's a tendency to say, meh, **** it, I'll go 14 mph.

Last edited by RustyBrooks; 11-11-2012 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:37 PM   #96
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

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Yeah. Like a friend of mine is an extremely fit rider. She's a woman, maybe 5'1" or 5', I would be shocked if she weighs more than 100lb. Her average power output on a tough ride is like 115 watts. For me that is toodling along at 13mph or something.

Riders are usually rated in watts/kg, that's sort of how you decide where you fit in the rider spectrum. Readings are typically taken at 5s, 1m, 5m and 20m or 60m (20m seems more common because most people don't have that many samples of 60 minutes of their hardest effort to select from)
Thanks, figured that was probably the case. I guess it also makes sense that power correlates directly to weight. Just wanted to know so I've got a way of comparing my performance - although saying that I'm not sure the power readings on the gym bikes I'm using atm are accurate.

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Today was kinda LOL. I show up to the weekly ride I do, and my rear wheel is kinda wobbly. I take a look and it's like 1/4" or more out of true and some of the spokes are quite loose. I bail on the ride and go by the bike shop but it won't open until 11. So I go home and come back at 11. But they actually don't open until 12 because some of them were riding in a veterans day thing of some kind. Whatever. They fix the wheel for free because they'd just built it and I take it for a test ride. I end up doing a total of 40 when I'd planned on 50 miles because it was windy and I kind of hate riding for 3 hours by myself.
So they built it and it broke. They then took it back to fix it and kept it for about 2 months, each time telling you it'd be ready "next week". Then when they finally did it, it failed within a couple of weeks....?

I'd be looking for a new bike shop. Or learn to build your own wheels - I never built a wheel from scratch but I often re-trued the wheels on my MTB and I don't remember it being too difficult.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:00 PM   #97
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

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Thanks, figured that was probably the case. I guess it also makes sense that power correlates directly to weight. Just wanted to know so I've got a way of comparing my performance - although saying that I'm not sure the power readings on the gym bikes I'm using atm are accurate.
They may not be. But of any of the readings, they're the most likely to be right of anything else, because they're one of the only things that you can directly measure on a gym bike. Like if they tell you a speed in MPH it totally has to be a guess or estimate, but it's possible for them to know power just from, say, RPM at a given setting, because there aren't any external variables the way there are on a bike.

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So they built it and it broke. They then took it back to fix it and kept it for about 2 months, each time telling you it'd be ready "next week". Then when they finally did it, it failed within a couple of weeks....?
They are not the original builder of the wheel that broke - that I bought whole from someone else. They did take a long ass time to get it rebuilt though. And I am not super happy about the fact that it failed so quickly. We'll see how it goes from here. They're a very reputable shop and many people that I know take their bikes there.

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I'd be looking for a new bike shop. Or learn to build your own wheels - I never built a wheel from scratch but I often re-trued the wheels on my MTB and I don't remember it being too difficult.
I think I could probably true a wheel no problem - with a truing stand and some time. I could prooooobably dish a wheel although it would take me even longer.

Even worse though, the wheel was somewhat out-of-round, I guess because I rode it some while the spokes were loose. Hopefully that isn't too bad.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:22 PM   #98
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

OK, Ron, there is what I guess is a "sprint" triathalon on June 16th this year. 500m swim, 14 mile ride, 3 mile run. I'm extremely familiar with the riding course, it's basically what I am riding during the week days in the morning. I'll need to take a month or 6 weeks or running once a week I think to be comfortable running 3 miles after all that.

http://www.lakepflugervilletri.com/R...aultPflug.html

So how long would I need to get competent with swimming 500m? I am literally someone who has never swum on purpose. I can swim fine recreationally but I know zero about form or any of the strokes you're supposed to do or how to breathe, or how to coordinate legs or anything. How do you start? Take a class or something?

I can maybe con my wife into doing this too although probably not. She doesn't like to do the same things I do, because I have more strength/speed/endurance than she does and she is OK with strangers kicking her ass but not that comfortable with me doing it. I have always wanted us to work out together (running, biking, lifting weights) but she pretty much has to do her own thing.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:27 PM   #99
RustyBrooks
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Holy **** the average male finish was 1:26

I think about the best I could do on the bike is probably 0:45. I'm pretty slow running, maybe 9 min/mi but it'll be worse because I'll have swum/biked. But let's say 9min/mi, that's 0:27 more for a total of 1:12. I have no idea how long it takes to swim 500m.

The above is like under ideal conditions, my best effort in each.

The slowest finisher was 2:51. I am having a hard time visualizing that.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:58 PM   #100
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Re: RustyBrooks abandons LSD

Oh good lord it's going to be 37 F tomorrow when it's time to ride. Yesterday when I rode it was 75-80 F.
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