Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Taking the lane and taking some pain

These geese in Richmond Hill demonstrate how to take the lane.

The heat is ruining my plans to push hard this week. I need to make myself into a faster cyclist. In a couple weeks, I'm meeting up with a bunch of guys I know from university so we can go on a big bike ride. The speed I need isn't so I can show anyone up. It's just so I can keep up.

It's fair to say that most people I know think of me as being a little bike-obsessed. And that's OK (thank you Stuart Smalley). But among the people I went to university with, for some reason, the vast majority are at least somewhat into their bikes (or were, last time I checked). And this particular group of guys I'm meeting up with are all what I would categorize as "fast". They were all on sports teams in university and many compete in triathlons and races now.

If only I was on those teams with them, and engaged in the same training, pushing my cardiovascular system, learning how to handle lactic acid build-up and how to fuel my body for intense exercise. Instead, when I met with them, the only fuel we worried about was ethanol, and calling it a fuel in our application is a bit of a stretch.

This is why I'm now riding my one speed bike. I dropped off my regular road bike to get the bottom bracket replaced. I know I don't have a lot of time for the effects of the one-speed to kick in, but I'm hoping my strength, or at least my pain tolerance, can be improved in short order.

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Darren J 7/10/2007 06:08:00 p.m.


If you are having troubles, just draft a lot. They should be understanding if you're having trouble keeping up.
Yeah, that's true. They're nice guys and won't mind pulling me a bit. I just remember the one time I rode with them I got dropped on the first big hill. Maybe I should bring a bungee cord.
Is your singlespeed fixed or freewheel? Let's see a photo! : )

I'm not so sure that my singlespeed riding has made me any faster.
I think the geese would be more effective in taking the lane if there weren't so many of them bunched to the edge, the driver may try to buzz the middle goose by splitting the lanes. I wish my fellow geese would join me away from the curb in the morning it would make for a much more effective cyclist presence.
Good point Tanya. I think I'll start handing out flyers to the geese so they know what they should be doing. Or we could write to our politicians and ask them to paint a line down the side of the road. :-)

My singlespeed is a freewheel. I was going to make it fixed but the guy at the shop who made my rear wheel for me recommended against it strongly. He convinced me, and I'm glad he did. I can't imagine pedaling down hill at my gear ratio. It would take forever.

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