Monday, March 17, 2008

Brake fluid screwup

I've been having issues with my Juicy 7s for the past few months. Just mushy lever feeling regardless of how many times I bleed it. Poor stopping performance. No doubt my bleed technique has much to be desired, but I think my brake fluid choice was bad.

I went with some DOT 5 silicone from the autoparts store and have realized this is a bad thing. Juicy's take DOT 4 or DOT 5.1

DOT 3, DOT 4 and DOT 5.1 are glycol based and the higher end ones are synthetic. They all mix ok, but DOT 5 is silicone based and does not mix well with the others and it is not recommended for Juicys.

I am not sure yet if I've totally hosed my internal seals, but I haven't been leaking any fluid. I'm going to flush the system with Valvoline High Synthetic DOT 3/4

a couple of times and see if that helps out. But am prepared to overhaul the calipers which really isn't all that hard, provided I can get the bolts off. Last time I had to dremel a slot in one and almost had to drill it out.

Really I want to try out some Forumla Brakes, the one thing I'm concerned about though is how much adjustment there is for pad contact with the Formulas. My hands are very small, and I have to have my lever contact very close to the bars otherwise my hands ache a lot. Juicys have been wonderful in that regard.

New cycle

Just coming off a rest week. Rest weeks can play hell with your mind. The legs need the rest which is fine, but intially coming back from rest is hard. My legs feel stiff and tired and my chest heaves and I am going really slow. Patience hasn't been a forte and I need to remeber to give it a day or two for the legs to get back underneath me.

MSP is starting to transition now into some shorter higher intensity efforts. Though I totally bagged some leadout intervals the other day. Which is unfortunate. Leadouts are a good/bad thing for me. They hurt so much, I feel like I can't even do them worth a snot to the point that they seem worthless while on the trainer, yet I do believe that they pay huge divedends while on the trail.

I'm continuing to just follow the plan on paper. No major race goals are on the horizon, but I need to keep something as a goal to shoot for. Not sure yet what that will be, maybe a time breakthrough on Old Farm or a 50miler mtb ride?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Oh my acheing shoulders

The back of my shoulders have been really acheing after every mtn bike ride. I'm not riding a whole lot and haven't been lifting in months so it could just be fatigue. But my external rotators are tender.

I've been trying to keep an elbows out position more which I'm sure is taxing them a lot. Wes had suggested some external rotator exercises that I need to get on. Also I might not try and emphasis so much of an elbows out position. It sure does seem to promote more stability on the downhills but my shoulders are amazingly weak during any movements involving the external rotator.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hail to Morris

This past weekend my friend led me on an epic 3hr plus ride on Brush. Not just any ride, but 4X up the mountain. There is no easy way about this mountain either. 4X up is typically 2 more than we normally do.

The entire ride I was going pretty solid. Very pleased with how well it went given the state of training.

This ride solidified just how awesome the Morris plan is for the real-world heroes that 95% of us are. Jobs, wives, kids, homes, other hobbies, sleep deprivation.... We want to ride well and ride hard, but there is no way that we can fit in the 10-15hrs of training that a typical program calls for at the sport to expert level.

I swear in the past month I've maybe done one ride over 2 hrs, with many being under 50minutes. Realistically riding training about 3-4 days with 1-2 days completely off and 1 day just spinning. Lately I've been commuting a little more by bike. Right now my mind is focused elsewhere and my time is being divided into numerous avenues.

Sure with a will there is a way and I could fit in more riding, but honestly I don't even want to right now. But I DO want to ride well when I am out there. I DO want to be able to climb, single track and descend as well as I know I can. Hence the praise to Morris. I can have my cake and eat it too. Balancing everything that most of us has on our plates is a success in unto itself. I mean think about it. You gotta take care of yourself, be partner with your wife in the business of regular life..If you have kids it's an exponential increase in demands. Then we got jobs, if you have a house it adds another dimension of needs, and then there is TV, sports, Xbox and other necessities. Oh sleep too. and on and on.

It takes commitment and effort but I think the plan is worth it just to be able to ride well on that weekend group ride.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

One day at a time

I'm continuing to follow some sort of training plan albeight just one day at a time. It's to the point right now where I am not thinking about training at all. I've entered about 3 months worth of workouts onto my Yahoo Calender. Every morning I'll get up and have my cup of coffee first w/o eating breakfast. I'll check my email first thing and there will be a reminder from the Calendar service with the workout.

If it is an interval ride I'll go right down to the basement w/o eating first. If it is an off day or easy day I might go out for 1/2hr on the road bike or commute or do nothing at all.

Right now the MSP intervals have increased to about 12 minutes. In addition there have been some workouts with shorter intervals but also with decreased rest. Earlier in the year everything was 1:1 work:rest. Some of the workouts have been 1on :45 off or 3on 1off. Those 1xs didn't go so well. The 3 min intervals went decently. The cool thing is that my 12 min intervals are only 10 W less than the 3 min intervals.

For the longer intervals it is much more about mental toughness than about fitness. It takes concentration to keep the mind wandering and the power output consistent. I've found my cadence slowly start to decrease through the interval, and then the electronic brake starts to overcome my pedaling. I have to 'wake up' get on it a little to maintain the steady state.

I've done one MSP workout outside on a long hill. It felt real good. There is no electronic brake just gravity so if you start to fade a little you won't stop dead, just slow down a tad.

The weather is starting to improve and it's time to get outside more. My primary motivation for the moment is to just have fun. Training for now is sort of an insurance policy that supports the having fun aspect. It's enough to keep me fit but not so much that it is becoming a 'job'. I'll admit the past few years it was more task/goal oriented because that was the goal I'd set. Those goals may come back to the fore front shortly or may not.

The constant though is just the cycling itself and the fun, freedom, social, and empowerment aspects that it provides. It can be slightly expensive to get tooled up but cycling has got to be one of the best bang/buck activities there is. Running is probably the best but I don't do running.

One thing I've been thinking of is all the incredible riding around me that I haven't been doing. Places like
Fort Lewis
Carvin's Cove
Mountain Lake
Mt. Rodgers/Iron Mountain
Potts Mountain

All these places are within 2hrs of here but I have rarely been out to any except for a race in the past years.