Tuesday, November 29

As the Dick Turns

I'm not contractually obligated to fill this hole, but I feel compelled to after some (blessed) time away.  Since I last posted, I've ridden every bike that I own, I've completed meaningless household chores, I've communed with my local extended cycling family, and I've done fulfilling trail work.  And I've ruined bike cycling as a sport for myself.

Images in the order blogger loaded them and also for funsies.

I'd almost consider myself on the lazy side of things, activity-wise these past two weeks.  I rode bikes, but not too much or not too hard.

I did some work on the Winter Shart Tarck course that was supposed to be done as well as a side project that I had personal interest in order to make great bike race more betterer.  All the work that I was a part of was more pleasant and rewarding than caulking my bathtub for the third time this year.

This small hump/bump/jump down into the gully will either provide the fruit of fun or not.  It remains to be seen.

When I said I rode all my bikes over the past couple weeks, only kinda.  I'm now a Zwifter.  Some might remember that I finagled my way into a smart trainer towards the end of winter '22, just in time to have very little interest in riding it and tossing it in the closet.  Now that I'm back to that time of year when it's dark when I wake up and even darker when I get home, I'm dabbling.  Pretty sure that I mentioned some time ago that I hardly get any exercise as a "bike messenger" anymore, and I also took on an additional role at work, so I'm left looking to get as much physical effort as I can pack into the small amount of time that I have before I go to bed...

I was spoiled back when I could rely on my job to keep me fit.  I mocked you Zwifters, but now I've been assimilated.  So, Zwift a couple/few times a week after work just to stay fit enough to do the things I do.

Of course, I'm still mired in three steps forward two steps back in the process (much better than Paula Abdul's love life in the late '80s).  Get my laptop to communicate with the trainer, and now my laptop is on the way out with a bad battery and a charging port that's limping along.  Mirror my phone with an Apple TV (that's too old to talk to the trainer itself), and have a wonky display ratio.  Everyone seems to be going about 45MPH while I'm going 13MPH, and I can't "interact" with my environment because I can't reach any of my devices.  I didn't realize that when you first start, it begins with a five mile ride to get familiar and read helpful hints... and I already took my shower for the night... and the caulk wasn't cured yet... so I went to bed stinky.

All this because what I really want is an interval type workout that distracts me from the pain of doing an interval type workout... without me having to really pay attention to doing intervals.

Being that the other option would be to bundle up, charge my lights, and go climb the one .o6 mile steep hill that's "near" my house over and over and over again... I'm committed to making this work...

until such time that the days are longer and my clothing and light needs lessen.  I've been a year 'round outdoor rider since I commuted to Youngstown State back in the late '80 (back when a Paula Abdul reference wouldn't be lost on most people), so talk all the shit you want.  I'm old, calloused, and immune, so...
I ride my real bike on weekends when the sun is out doing its thing.

The last stumbling block to getting on the trainer was my lack of desire to bolt my Epic Evo down to a hunk of machinery.  I needed to use a geared bike, but it hurt my feelings, so I made mental checklists while at work of all the pieces/parts I would need to get which bike on the trainer and how much I'd miss the functionality of each possible bike in my "quiver" and what would be my cheapest option if money has to be spent.  I woulda been willing to throw down on someone's clapped-out roadie, but the marketplace was not being frandly.  In the end, I membered that I had the cable actuated gears from the stock build of my Epic EVO, and somewhere in my pieces/parts collection was a random PMW geared slider from my three month experiment with Shimano 11 speed.  Whilst digging around, I found this:

Which made my head hurt because not only why do I have this complete XTR lever but also why didn't I know I had it the last time I broke a blade and needed to order a replacement?

In the end, it only took a $35 chain to finish the puzzle, so figure 3-4 months at $15 per month and just add a piece of my soul to the cost... so under a Benjamin.  I did have to take the 38 tooth chainring off and replace it with a 4 bolt narrow/wide 34 tooth that I had (where did it come from?) as the chain came off just pedaling along.

Not all Winter Shart Tarck work is playing in dirt.  I stuck around until Neal and Mike said all that could be done was done, including this giant berm that wasn't really a berm but totally will be.

Did I even mention that I did officially sign up for the series already?  No?

Well I did because nothing is gonna convince me to throw a leg over that stupid smart trainer more than the impending doom that is five weeks worth of intense suffering.

Speaking of intense suffering, I also did cyclo-rossing this past weekend.

Did I do it right?


craig said...

Get a lightning to HDMI adapter and use your iphone and an external monitor for zwift. I got tired of waiting for a laptop to boot up that I would either get water or sweat on while stuck inside on the trainer. All the advantages of a bigger screen with the convenience of an iphone (though it does not make me hate "Zwifting" inside any less).

dicky said...

I am HDMI'ed from the laptop to a flat screen TV that used to be our main TV. Nice "immersive" size. Laptop is SSD, so it boots up super fast. And I can mirror the phone to the Apple TV as well. A paralyzing amount of options already.