Found and Lost


It is with a ponderous hand that I write this.  It is with a shamed hand that I publicise this.  It is with a resolute hand that I move beyond this.

Found:
12kg I neither wanted nor asked for.

Lost:
All semblance of cardiovascular fitness.
2/3 of my legendary leg strength.

Something happened this January which I wasn’t prepared for.  I rode the track season hard.  I haven’t ridden a full track season since 1989.  It felt good.  I got some strong results.  One of my road trips even paid for itself.  But at the end of the track season there was no reason to drive 50km each way to the velodrome 3 times a week – especially with petrol prices where they are.  And there was university starting back.

The previous year, and the one before that, I’d used January as a big base for a good high (for me) mileage year.  And the weight curve showed it. 
Jan-May ‘06 14kg loss.  Jun-Dec ’06 10kg gain.
Jan-May ‘07 12kg loss.  Jun-Dec ’07 5kg gain.
Jan-May ‘08 9kg gain.  Jun-Dec ’08 who knows.

All I know is that I didn’t gain anywhere near as much over winter/spring last year as I did the previous year.  I’m going to aim to beat that plus take back some of what I didn’t do this summer/autumn.  Last Tuesday was my final ever university exam.  I’ve got half a dozen assignments to write in the next 10 days then I have 2 weeks of fulltime lectures followed by a 14 week practicum and that’s all she wrote.  A fully qualified high school physics teacher will pop out the other end.

It should be easy.  I’ve got all the confidence of my achievements from last track season and I’ll be starting very specific training in July after 2 weeks of just reacquainting my legs with the process of going around.  The best part is that my prac is 25km down the reasonably flat highway so if I get the babysitting details sorted out I can pedal up and down thus saving some $30 a week in petrol and putting in a reasonable base on the bike.  All that’s needed on top of that will be the regular Wednesday nights at the velodrome and probably a weekend visit as well.

After the escapades of Unholy-rouleur Jim last year, folding his chainring over doing intervals.  Twice.  I was given some hints (salt in the wound) by the mongrel who beat me out of the sprint bronze at the state titles that I should be doing standing starts with the sole aim of folding chainrings.  Hi Jim.  I wasn’t sure if it fell into the same category so I didn’t bother to tell him that I recently snapped my pedal axle on a standing start.

I also didn’t bother to tell him that all of my bikes have old crank sets on them.  Why.  Why would someone with limited time and money spend hours trawling eBay for 20 year old cranks.  Simple.  144mm PCD.  You can’t fold a chainwheel if the flimsy chainwheel doesn’t have to support itself.  144PCD means the big fat crank spider is taking all the strain and the chainwheel is just a circle.  All these new cranks with 130mm or even 110mm PCD means that the flimsy chainwheel must reach down to attach to the crank arm, exposing the victim – ahem, owner – to unnecessary flex.

2 things.

1. Don’t come around here trying to tell me it’s BCD because as my good friend Dave at Daromi Cycles told me PCD is engineering speak for Pitch Centre Diameter.  The fact that bike riders have claimed it and maimed it and twisted it to Bolt Centre Diameter doesn’t make it right.

2. If I can use 1800 watts to take almost 120kg from zero to 60km/h in 150 metres without folding a chainring, why would I spend money changing PCD to a less structurally sound item?  Don’t answer that, it’s rhetorical.  Plus I don’t want to hear you make a fool of yourself.

All I know is that today, day 168 of 2008, I rode only the ninth ride over 40km this year.  There’s already 98 days with a zero against the mileage for the year.  But my eyes are open now and I can smell the beginning of a good strong 9 month run to the state titles.  It has to be.  I’ll be in deep trouble at home if I’m not under 100kg and firing on all 8 cylinders (yes, of course my trackie legs are V8s) when I roll my new carbon fibre track bike out onto the launch pad in October.

Oh yeah, Dave from Daromi Cycles has already got all the measurements and specifications.  Carbon grey with red highlights.  I can’t wait.  So we end on a brighter note.

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27 Responses to Found and Lost

  1. Boz says:

    Nothing like a little commuting to pile up the mile. I take the long way home to kill 2 birds w/ 1 stone. Carbon track bike ? You are gutsy (in a good way).

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