Thursday, January 14, 2010

Triple D Follow-Up

There are a few more reports up from Frank, Troy, Colin and Drew.

Thank You
to Pranali the PT, my Doc at GHC and the staff at UW Sports Medicine for helping me straighten out whatever was going on with my knee. Thanks to Plantet Bike and Revolution Cycles. Thanks also to Chuck and Andy for the bike mojo and moral support; to my folks for hosting Lilianna the Spoiled, Furry, Black and White Chicken; and many friends and coworkers for at least smiling while telling me I was crazy. Many thanks to the organizers, Lance and Traci, and especially to the many race volunteers that made this thing possible. Finally, my warmest thanks to my wife and daughter for putting up with this whole business.

Here are a few of my conclusions about doing this crazy thing now that a couple of days have passed:

The Good
Looking forward to and training for this has really improved fitness and motivation. I also decided back in July that it wouldn't hurt to lose 30 pounds by race day either. I managed to lose about 25 and I feel pretty darn good with the combined effect.

I also get out more in the winter now. For a number of years, I've gotten pretty sullen in the fall, and downright grumpy in the winter. Having something to look forward to mitigates that somewhat.

Also, there's nothing quite like winter riding to sharpen those mad bike skilz.

The Bad

The unpredictable conditions can be a little frustrating. Like anyone, I have my share of frustrations already, so procuring more is a little...something...I dunno, stupid? It does tend to be part of the fun though and would make an eventual finish all that much sweeter. I guess.

I also get a little obsessive, especially as race day draws near. From here I can feel the missus rolling her eyes and asking "a little!?" But yeah, it's part of the package with me.

And then there's the spending compulsively on bike stuff. This is the worst part. The Epic bags and crankset were planned, but I also got several tires, new brakes, the handwarmers, tubes, and a few other things. Some of it didn't even get used, and that's where better discipline would benefit.

The Ugly

My moisture management sucked. I got soaked. I'm not sure what to do about it, but it sounds like it was a problem for many of the participants. Good thing to research over the summer.

Really, the bike I used wasn't doing it for me. The two main issues are the tires and wheel size and its weight:

Don't know what I'll do about tire size yet. I'm toying with the idea of putting my Pugs fork on a Karate Monkey and running a fat front and skinny rear. I don't really think there's a Pugs, Fatback or custom snowbike in my future. But who knows, maybe We'll strike oil in the back yard.

As much as I like the dynamo front hub for general riding, it adds over a pound and some unknown amount of drag, even when the light is off. It is likely to go. I also had a thermos of coffee along which I didn't drink. My tools and backup clothing will also be going on a diet. As much as I'd like to be prepared for any mechanical failure, I think concession has to be made for what could realistically be fixed in the cold.

Here's to next year...


Jack London said...

For your moisture management, did you take off layers during the race? I would start with ditching any sort of hard-shell "Water-proof breathable". I hear even the best fabrics can be overloaded in 20-25 minutes of aerobic exercise.

I learned a bit here.

MrDaveyGie said...

All very good points Michael. So true about the moisture management, I was sopped. I ordered some wool base layers to experiment with. I need to lose the 30 lbs and so true there is an incentive all ready cooking for next year. I know now I had the wrong tires. Oh yes, too funny about the money spent, for the first time I will say this, just my winter riding shoes >$300. But they were worth it. Knee trouble has always been a battle for me.
Happy training

Mauricio Babilonia said...

Jack, I didn't, but I'm believing now that I should have. I was wearing a Gore shell, which took close to an hour to overload, but I was out for over 5 hours. Fortunately, the synthetic base layer and light wool long-sleeve crew underneath kept me plenty warm even though they were wet. I completely overdressed my legs.

I've only read about half of that linked article, but even that has been very helpful. If it continues that way to the end it will merit its own post.

Dave, I've written a post on how I lost the weight and just have to edit and publish it. It's been the only successful weight loss in my life and went pretty well.

Wool certainly helps but isn't a solution by itself. I like it because it's pretty warm when it's wet and takes so long to start to stink. Just don't wear it as a base layer. I did that once and it gave me a scorching case of runner's nipple.

rideonpurpose said...

I can probably help with the clothing- I've not had many problems with that (although I'm lucky to have a ton of technical wear from my downhill skiing days). As nice as wool is when it's reasonable out, I'm not sure it's a good solution for something like this. I'd stick to layering synthetic long underwear tops (maybe with wool over the top) and then some sort of breathable shell over that... never anythinng more on the top unless it's well below 0 and then I add a rain shell.

On the bottom I layer smartwool socks with hot packs in the middle, regular mtb shoes and shoe covers- works for me, but I've got hot feet. the most important thing in my mind temperature wise is the bottom half though. You don't notice it if it's too warm (you're upper body just sweats) or too cold (you just feel cold). Same principles apply- but you have to experiment a ton. All I had on for triple D was my two pairs of smartwool pulled up to almost my knees, bike shorts, light weight pearl izumi tights (wearable alone even at 55 degrees or so) and then those fox downhill pants. I know the downhill pants look funny, but they are designed to be ridden in and they shed snow like nothing else. They are also padded/warm in the right spots and vented in the right ones as well.

sorry for long response, thanks for letting me use that allen- too bad it couldn't have solved my problems.