Sunday, May 24, 2009

Millarville, via Nepal

The only fitness related thing I did yesterday was give Estela a shower and shampoo. She's been rode hard a lot and put away wet a couple of times, so I thought it was time to show the love. She's been a total champ so far.

Everything that can easily be taken off was taken off. I set up on the driveway and popped the chain off. That went into a jar of degreaser to soak. It was filthy! Crusty. Black. Gritty. Yuck. More degreaser on a brush went over the gear teeth, and left that to soak in. Shook and swirled the chain around, and watched the jar of degreaser turn black.

Using a garden hose set for a very light spray I rinsed her down to get light road grit off, then washed the frame with soapy water, and rinsed. Scrubbed at the gear teeth front and back with soapy water. Cleaned the rims and spokes, and rinsed it all again. Scrubbed some of the spots I had missed on the gear teeth and cassette. I count myself lucky; I only got one small cut on my hand.

When I fished the chain out of the degreaser, it still had lots of guck on it. A stiff brushing took some of that off. Then I scrubbed it with dish soap and got this black fine gritty slurry off. Rinsed that, and decided to do it again. This time the slurry was gray with no perceptible grit in it. Rinsed thoroughly and left it to dry in the sun. At this point you could handle the chain without getting your hands instantly filthy, but it was still a little sticky.

I inspected the gear teeth and chain for signs of wear but didn't see any. Threaded the chain back onto the gear teeth and put it back together again. Next time, I'll be a bit more careful about the two little half links; for a little while I lost one of them.

I tried to oil the chain lightly, but probably ended up with too much lube. One website I consulted suggested using a toothpick to apply a dab of oil to each link rivet. Who has time for that? Ran the chain forwards and back, wiping off any excess lube, making the chain go through an S as I did it. Next time, I'll wear rubber gloves. I didn't think of that until my hands were already filthy.

It was fun going through the various websites, including the link that Leana sent me. There are lots of opinions on cleaning bikes, and chains. What do you do, and how often do you do it, or do you pay someone to do it? I was a bit intimidated by taking the chain apart, but it was easy as could be.

This morning is Julie's Half IM in Victoria. Go Julie Go!

Today Leaha and I went down Road to Nepal. Actually, we went further than that, turning right, and going on to Millarville. It was a perfect day for a ride, starting cool and warming up. Also starting calm and getting gradually windier. I have to note that shifting is quieter, and the whole experience is quieter and smoother. There was a clunk I used to get sometimes, but I couldn't get it at all today.

We weren't in a rush. My legs felt pretty good, but it was only Friday that I had done a long hard ride. Leaha was still a bit tired from the long ride last week, and she's never done this ride. Still, we made excellent time to 22X and down to 543. There were lots of riders out and we even passed some of them. Uphill even. Maybe it's juvenile of me, but I still get a kick out of being able to pass someone. It wasn't so long ago that I was exclusively the passee, not the passer.

The wind picked up as we headed west, so we were looking at a fast return. I'd forgotten how rough that road is. We stretched our legs at the General Store and headed back by the same route. It shouldn't be a surprise anymore, but we were going into the wind again. Both of us were getting a bit tired, and I think we were a bit slower coming back than going, though I wasn't really keeping track of distance and time.

In the end, my distance is 85 K, watch time is 4:01, and the bike time 3:46 adds up to an average speed of 22.4 Kph. Max speed is nearly a land speed record for Estela, hitting 87.2 Kph. Love it! I rode back for Leaha a couple times, so don't assume that's really how far it is. This is still faster than even a short while ago on a day when I was really pushing it. I worked hard on spinning up the hills trying to stay light on my feet. Maybe next week I'll try a speed run to the bottom and back to see if I've improved.

Leaha seemed to like the ride, and is impressed by the hills. I suspect she'd like to tackle it when she's feeling fresh and strong. We both agree it's a much tougher ride than the 70.3 course.

We took a short T2, and ran for 20 minutes. I could have run further and faster, I think, maybe, but it's a great confidence booster to get off the bike and find your running legs right away.

Came back, did the recovery drink, some stretching, shower, food, ect thing. I need to do a bit more stretching later, especially calves and hams.

This is as good as training gets. A perfect day, some of the best scenery in the world, a wonderful ride, and good company. No wonder I'm in a good mood.

Weekly summary
Swim 1.25 hrs
Bike 9.25 hrs
Run 3.8 hrs
Total 14.3 hrs

1 comment:

  1. Nice job on cleaning your bike! My chain is filthy again after being on the back of my car for 7 hours so I'll have to give it a quick clean sometime soon.

    Sounds like a great ride Keith. I'll have to come down and ride south one of these days. I need to work some good hilly rides into my repertoire to prepare for Lake Stevens in August! Glad to hear that you are seeing some good improvements and that you are now the one passing people. Keep it up!

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