Monday, July 25, 2011

Twist of fate

So I went for a little bike ride with my new cleats over the weekend and thought everything was OK. Well, I was wrong.

My legs were feeling a little funny yesterday, and now - 2 days later - they are hurting again. The pain is in odd, very specific places: on the side of my shins and under my ankles. I know this plain from when my leg was twisting the last time I tried swapping out the cleats.

It drives me crazy. I think by now it's fair to say that by some measures I am a "serious cyclist." I've climbed many hills, done many century rides, and completed three Ironman races. So why the frak can't I even pedal a bike without injuring myself?! Part of me feels like I should go in for a bike fit, but I just can't seem to rationalize paying over $100 just to tweak some shoes. And frankly I'm too embarrassed to go in just for a "cleat fitting" because it seems like something that any normal person should be able to adjust completely on their own.

I'll do another ride and try to fine tune them some more. But it's just really upsetting to me that it's just not working. The hard part of cycling is supposed to be climbing and doing intervals and getting the miles in. I can't even get past clipping in properly.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Your Number is Up

How long is "too long" to keep a race number on your bike after an event?

Some people believe you should take it off basically as soon as you get home, but I think that's a bit extreme. A race number is a bit of a badge of honor, and I feel it's OK to show it off a bit. Plus, it can be a good conversation-starter when you see someone with a race number later that week.

I joined the Tri Team in Malibu for a workout, just to do the bike ride. Laura was there, talking about the Vineman Half she did the week before. Someone saw the race number on my bike and asked "oh, did you do Vineman too?" Ever-supportive Laura just laughed and said "are you kidding? He's had that number on since October!" Yes, I still have my Kona race number on my bike but I think I have a good excuse.

As I explained, I think it's OK to leave a race number on for a week. And a good cyclist will ride at least 3 times a week. Well, this was only the third time I've been on the bike since Kona: I did a ride along the L.A. river in January, I did a Wednesday night ride in Griffith a few weeks ago, and now Malibu. So since this was only my third ride, in "training time" it only counts as one week, right? Fine. I'll take off the stupid number.

This was the first time I rode with my "new" cleats. (I tried swapping them out before Kona, but abandoned the idea.) I had to stop along the road to make a few adjustments, but I think they basically worked out OK. The ride felt fine.

Well, except for the part where we rode past a GIANT snake. I don't know kind of monsters they have growing out in Malibu, but this was no ordinary garter snake. It had one of those creepy diamond-shaped heads like a copperhead or, as Laura thought, a cobra. (As far as I know, she did not actually think it was a cobra.) Whatever it was, Did Not Like.

But in general, an uneventful morning. It felt kind of silly to drive 45 miles each way in order to bike 18 miles, but it was nice to be back with the group again. And I do have the Malibu Triathlon relay to do in less than 2 months, so I need to get some mileage in quickly.