Been a good last few days for miles. I rode 71 miles Sunday alone on a hilly and windy course. Longest ride of the year so far for me and I could really feel my deficits at the end. Those being sore shoulders, sore hands, sore neck, sore rear, and sore legs. I’ve been getting good mileage but its been frequent shorter rides, lately a long ride for me has been 30 miles. These kind of rides are great to hammer and get top end power, but I’m a firm believer that a person must really put in long rides to be fit for long rides. You can ride one hour hard every morning and be in great shape but you’re going to hurt when you get into 3+ hours if you haven’t trained for it.
Partially the impetus for this longer ride was my upcoming short tour on the TransAM to Mammoth Cave. I’ve got to get some longer days in or that tour is going to be a sufferfest. Too continue the training program on Monday I got a 20 mile ride in even though I was sore. I took my cross bike which I’m planning to take on the tour, and I found it had some problems. You may remember a post awhile back where the crank fell off. Well I got it back on and got it to stay but there is a persistent clunk with every pedal revolution. I couldn’t figure it out, but I was wary of the crank anyway since the spines were about half gone. Besides the clunk this bike has always had lots of annoying tick sounds.
I took out the Shimano 2 piece crank and found that the drive side bottom bracket cup was loose, really loose. I decided to play it safe and replace the crank with an older 3 piece that I’m certain won’t fall off. Besides the crank I couldn’t get the bike to shift. I traced the problem down to a bad kink in the cable right where it passes through the slide under the bottom bracket. How that happened I have no idea but it was an easy fix with a new cable. Now the bike is quiet, clunk free, and shifts good.
To further my goal of tour training I purchased a handlebar bag, a really cheap handlebar bag, and stuck it on. When I went bike camping a few years ago I really needed somewhere to stash stuff that was easier to get to then my paniers which like big waterproof sacks and really annoying to open and close.
Continuing my tour training this morning I got 30 miles in at a very lesiurely pace, just spinning and trying to enjoy the scenery. I gather that touring is a state of mind. Instead of focusing on heart rate, performance goals, average speed, and stuff like that a touring rider needs to be able to “chill” and “enjoy the ride” I definitely need to train these two skills.
I test fitted my rack and a pannier after the ride and I don’t think the dreaded “heelstrike” is going to be a problem. Touring bikes have really long chainstays so you don’t strike your heel on your paniers. Cross bikes have longish chainstays but about an inch shorter then a touring frame. It was close but I think it’s going to work.