Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Of Slipping Seatposts and Forecasts.

I put a different seatpost on my bike I'll be using this weekend for the Crank N Camp excursion.  I had reported yesterday that my bike was ready to go from the 2.5 mile ride into work.  Well, that changed on a ride afterward.

Bob had asked to meet up for a scouting ride Friday to see if the trail is good to go for this weekend.  I decided it would also be wise to see how the trail faired after a rain like we had on Sunday/Monday.  So after work I rode to the trail to check it out.  On my way there, I started to feel like my knees were hitting my chest.  I thought, "Well, maybe I moved my saddle too far forward?"  So I stopped, got out the wrench, and adjusted.  After another few miles things just did't feel right.  So I stopped, got out the wrench, and pulled the seatpost up.  That was way better.  I felt near perfect.  I had a smaller wrench so it would fit in my seatpack, but getting enough torque on the seatpost binder was diffuclt.  Oh well, it should work.

Not at all.  After only a few more miles, I could see my seatpost getting shorter and shorter.  Grrr...  So finally, after I had gotten to the trail and saw that it was fine only 8 hours after a decent rain, I moved the seatpost out one last time and really reefed down on the bolt.  It stayed there, for the most part.  And I had the position pretty good cause I was feeling strong.  I really pushed it on the ride home.  Granted, I had a tail/cross wind, but still making my heavy commuter move quickly was a welcome experience.

So I got home and decided to check my seat height.  IT WAS 2 CENTIMETERS TOO SHORT!!!  If you have ever moved your saddle around by 5 or so millimeters, you know what a difference that makes.  I was 20 millimeters off.  Well that explains the horribly sore muscles this morning.  They were not used to that position at all.  My hamstrings feel like I've been doing leg curls for days.  And my quads are tweaked in all the wrong spots (mostly around my knees - which is very bad).

I think the reason I felt strong is because I was using muscles I don't normally use, but I paid for that in soreness.  But I may have to revisit my position if a lower saddle did help the strength factor.

On to the Forecast.  This weekend looks glib, Matt.  Originally, they had thought it was going to be rainy on Friday maybe into Saturday.  Now they're saying Friday sprinkles and Saturday Thundershowers???  Not sure if I want to be stuck out on the Wabash trail between towns with lightning around me.  Hopefully the forecast will change again before the weekend, but as it stands now, the trip might be in jeopardy.  And not the good kind with Alex Trebeck.


Biker Bob said...

I'll keep a close eye on the weather. Thunderstorms would be a definite no-go if they are on Saturday or Sunday. Good to know the trail was in decent shape so quickly after a rain. I wonder if the rest of the wabash recovers quite as quickly from a soaking.

Sean said...

You should have seen me on Mike Miles' old Orbea. It's a 54. I ride a 56. I would have been okay except for the fact that the seatpost was seized. I looked like I was riding a kid's trike.

Especially because on my Tarmac, I use extra-long 175 cranks. This puppy had 170s. And I ride with 44mm wide bars. These were 42mm.

It was very uncomfortable. I quit after a couple hours and had my dad pick me up because of pain under my left patella. Then I woke up the next day sore in all the wrong places.

munsoned said...

Yeah, sizing is THE most important factor on a bike. Cycling is mostly muscle memory, so if you change your position and use new muscles, your body does not like it much. Granted you get more of a workout and it's best to cross train anyway to work your whole body. But who wants to run or hit the gym when you can just as easily ride to bliss on your familiar bike?

Jonny said...

So, if your weekend camping gets cancled due to weather, any thoughts on some weekend road riding?

Scott Redd said...

I don't have a lot experience with this trail, but I will offer my observation on what my wife and I experienced on our tour to Shenandoah last week.

The trail between Council Bluffs and Mineola, and then on to Malvern to some extent, is almost like riding on cement... like slightly bumpy cement that's covered with gravel, but it's pretty hard packed.

However, once past Silver City, it begins to get soft. There are places where it's covered with decaying tree litter and moss. When we rode, it had rained a few hours before in Malvern, and was still spitting a little. The going got very slow for us on in to Imogene and then to Shenandoah.

Though we didn't sink in and create ruts, it did feel like someone had grabbed on to our cargo racks and was keeping us from moving as quickly. Also, the fine grit would stick to the tires, which also seemed to have a slowing effect.

I wouldn't go any slimmer than a 35mm tire, especially if you're carrying cargo.

I would guess that unless things dry out quite a bit over the next few days, you might experience a similar ride.

I won't be able to join you. I hope you all have a great time! Be sure to blog what you can. (The Emerald Isle in Imogene has wi-fi, by the way)

brady said...

But who wants to run or hit the gym...I do.

Lemme gently remind you that weight bearing exercises are great for bone density as well as protecting you from overuse injury that you can get while riding blissfully on your familiar bike.

Mike Miles said...

Sean, I'll add a 56 to the stable for you.

munsoned said...

Brady, I know, I know. That was supposed to be kinda tongue in cheek, but it's also rather true. If I could convince myself that running is fun and also stick to a weight program, I know I would be a healthier, slimmer person. I think in my case, it pretty much boils down to laziness. I've always been a social exerciser. If I have friends to run/ride/lift weights with, then it's easy to keep it up. Otherwise, I go home and play video games for hours on end.

Jonny, current forecasts still say rain and thundershowers all day on Saturday, but Sunday is looking awesome. So if the trip is a no-go, I'd be happy to do some Shabbos +1 mileage with ya and whoever else wanted to join. I will post about that by Friday after the decision is made on the trip.

Scott, thanks for that input. I forgot about that from the last trip. There was a huge difference in trail condition between the very popular CB-Mineola section and the rest of the trail. Basically, the further you head South, the worse it gets. As I stated above, at 70% chance of rain all day on Saturday, our ride chances are looking rather glib.

Mike Miles said...

Also, Jonny.... I'll be back in town Sunday morning and if I feel bleh, after the travel getting in a few hours is probably better for the overall fitness than a 40 min crit in Lincoln. I could be game even if Mr. Munson is curled up in a tent somewhere avoiding lightning strikes.

Biker Bob said...

This Sunday is also the Bike Masters century ride. They have a post about it on the BMCC blogspot blog. If we don't do the trip to Coin, IA I will be doing the 100 mile ride on Sunday.