I stink at recovery rides …

Something else cool happened on Saturday–I was given a pair of fairly nice aero bars. Bryan, my local bike shop owner, told me more than a month ago that he had a pair of aeros at home that he’d give to me. Despite my offers to pay, he told me to just take ’em. So Saturday, when I got some time, I went over to his shop and hooked my Cannondale up with a set of antlers.

There was one stipulation: I had to find my own padding for the elbow rests. Believe it or not, I found some foam in the kids section of the local crafts store that worked just fine. Total cost, including velcro, glue and foam: about $7. It didn’t take long before I realized I’d have a pretty quick and substantial ROI.

I wasn’t feeling too patient, so as quickly as I could, I hopped on the bike in a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and tennis shoes. The first thing I noticed was that staying above 25 mph was much easier, even into a headwind. The second thing I noticed was that spending energy quickly was much easier. On my first ride with the aeros, I clocked a kilometer at 1:25 without getting out of the saddle–and that was into a light cross/headwind. So right off the bat, I’m thinking, "This could be a lot of fun."

Somehow, I haven’t been able to get back on my bike without trying to see how fast I can go without breaking a sweat. So much for recovering from my Pass Climb on Saturday.

Now, do I anticipate these helping with my Teton Pass climbing goal? Not really. I’ve read that aerodynamics have little or no effect when you’re traveling at less than 10 mph. But they’re doing a good job of making road bike riding more interesting for me. Like I said, this could be a lot of fun.

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13 thoughts on “I stink at recovery rides …

  1. uncadan8

    I would put a set of aero bars on my C-dale except that it would greatly increase the thigh-smacking-large-gut part of my ride. Maybe after another 20 pounds comes off.
    On another note, I found a whole series of hills less than ten miles from my house with which to obliterate my legs. Yeehaw!

  2. Tom Stormcrowe

    Kelly, I have the hill for you! 15% grade at the shallowest and no traffic and not too tall! Good training hill for intervals! 300 foot rise is all it is but it\’s the toughest 300 feet you\’ll ever ride! That\’s where I do my climbing training in form of uphill windsprints.

  3. Unknown

    You should have put the aero bars on your mt bike.
     
    Recovery rides are for ninnies.
     
    Seriously, I haven\’t ridden consistently enough in about 10 years to need a recovery ride. I get plenty of rest on the 4 days a week I don\’t ride.
     
    Botched

  4. Zed

    Botched- As dorky as it would be, there are enough dirt roads around here that the aero-mtb thing could work. That\’d still be ridiculously dorky, though, so I may not be the one to break that barrier.
     
    Tom- sounds like a nasty hill. What\’s the distance on it?
     
    Mocha- hills are the bomb-diggity. Give it time, you\’ll love \’em someday.
     
    Dan- you never know, maybe the friction caused by your legs and gut rubbing together would increase your heat and make you sweat off more chub. It could mean the big difference in your weight-loss program … or just be terribly annoying.

  5. Tom Stormcrowe

    300 foot rise in 2000 feet or 0.38 miles linear distance. It\’s truly short but nasty! Good aerobic builder for uphill sprint reps!

  6. Tom Stormcrowe

    ps, a lot of people who\’ve converted their mountainbikes for touring around here have Sun-Flyte aero\’s mounted on their flatbars as well as bar ends!

  7. Unknown

    Aero bars are fun.  I threw them on a bike I had and borrowed some Spinergy wheels.  It added about 2mph to my cruising speed.  Climbing with aero bars, well, you\’re right about the speed, and think of the weight plus the fact you\’re robbing your hands of some space on the tops.
     
    I need some clip ons for a few time trials out here in TX, but maybe I\’ll wait until next year.  Just got married last night, so I\’m not sure what my racing schedule will be. 
     
    As for climbs, here in Austin we have some beast named Jester.  No figures yet, but both sides are brutally steep.  I\’ll see what type of data I can unearth.  If you ever find yourself down this way, give me a yell.  We can get some great rides in.

  8. Tom Stormcrowe

    Mike, I did a quick internet search and Jester Blvd Hill is 0.5 mile @ 15% with a difficulty scale of 8. Go here for the hill info in Austin, TX

  9. michael

    Tom- Sounds like a killer. Oh, and on the mtb\’s with aeros, I meant strict knobby-tired mt bikes, not necessarily commuters. I think aero bars on a flatbarred commuter are an intelligent idea. Heck, if I had a specific commuter, I\’d probably have a similar setup.
     
    Mike- as your fill-in personal coach for the day, I recommend a training schedule of … nothing for the next week. Congrats on getting married! That\’s awesome. I very seriously doubt I\’ll ever make it to Austin, but if I did, I have a feeling you\’d be way out of my  league. Aren\’t you racing cat 1 or 2? Yeah, I\’m nowhere near that.

  10. Kelly

    Ok, Tom. Give me more specifics. I may actually be able to leave these flatlands and hop on over to your state. You\’re not that far.
     
    Caloi? I\’ll try it. Just for you.
     
    Then, if I hate it, I\’ll write all about it and blame you.

  11. Tom Stormcrowe

    Kelly, it\’s a climb up the Wabash River Valley out near Fort Quiatenon, south of West Lafayette. It\’s a great training ride. We also have great coffeehouses here in the area, Panera\’s, Starbucks and some really fantastic local stores as well! Let me know if you seriously are coming, and I\’ll map out a great ride that covers the Wolf Park (Real Wolves in a pack at a research station funded by Purdue), Prophets Rock, where Tecumseh watched the Battle of Tippecanoe, The Tippecanoe Battlefield Memorial, as well as Fort Quiatenon. Be a good excuse to get the hubby out riding as well!

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