Thursday, 19 November 2009

3 Spin Classes, 2 Weekend Rides, 2 Product Reviews

Last Monday, Mistress Wendy Rick Rolled us, then hit us with another round of God pop. The class appeared bemused; JK admitted to liking it. Then on Wednesday, Lisa led us through four 10-minute intervals at 80-85% of max HR. Twas fine.

No outside riding all week, and I was jonesing by Saturday. Redwood Pine Happy Bearcat made for 55 miles on another gorgeous fall day, cold enough for a long sleeve jersey and toe covers. My legs felt great! It apparently makes a big difference when I take Thursday and Friday off and don't eat a pound of oatmeal for breakfast.

At mile 45, I was feeling like a superhero (tailwind,woot!), when my rear tire went flat with an emphatic hiss. Not surprising considering the Friday rains had washed all kinds of crud into the gutter on San Pablo Dam Road. I failed to find the offending object, which always makes me nervous. But I put in the spare, inflated it with a CO2 cartridge, and was off.

At the base of Wildcat, I had warmed up again and was ready to make a good push back home. But just as I started up the climb, the front tire went all squishy. Balls. I spent a bunch of my second CO2 cartridge just trying to locate the hole to patch it, and by the time I got it all together, the tire was only 1/3 full.

Head low, I limped into Inspiration Point and borrowed a pump from another cyclist. This lack of self-sufficiency threatened to enact my shame spiral.

But look at this shiny little pump! Oooh - smooth action and the hose stows away in a neat package! Even with my vestigial arms I was able to pump 85 psi into the tube. I was impressed enough with the Lezyne Pressure Drive to order one that afternoon from REI. My old frame pump doesn't fit on the IF, so I've been in the market for a replacement. For most rides the CO2 setup works great, but I appreciate the extra insurance of a hand pump after a rain.

I was starving by the time I got home, so stopped by Cactus Taqueria for a chicken burrito, then went out with La Roleurette to Noodle Theory a couple of hours later. They make a really nice bowl of catfish katsu with curry noodles. I wish we had one of these on Solano. Great Asian comfort food at a good price.

Sunday, I met JK to do the Zoo Loop, a 55-miler around Lake Chabot. This isn't my favorite route, but the stretch on Skyline offers some great views of the East Bay hills, and as you descend towards the Oakland Zoo, you zip through a tight grove of eucalyptus trees, which make me feel like I'm on Endor. The fog never cleared, and I got back soaked. I gave the bike a long overdue wash, and hung it up to dry.

Speaking of which, bike washing is a "snap" with the Wipperman Connex link! Just unhook the link, take off the chain, and no more dragging grease all over the frame! Get at tight spots on the chainstays and bottom bracket! Unlike the SRAM Master Link, which is near impossible to undo, the Wipperman pops off effortlessly!

"I've put 500 miles on the Connex and a Shimano Ultegra chain and have had zero problems. In fact, it runs smoother than the regular Shimano pin!"

Seriously, though, the thing works perfectly. Online reviews suggest the Wipperman chains are prone to breakage, but the link mates well with my Ultegra chain, so no worries.

And, to bring this long rambling post full circle, tonight I had the usual Monday session with the Mistress. She opened with this song, which KICKS ASS!!! I would love to DJ a spin class composed entirely of 80's hair rock.

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