Monday, April 17, 2006

Attitude and Shifting

Had some revelations on the bike about attitude and shifting my front chainring. I learned if I act like I am tired I will tired. I also learned it feels much more efficient to ride in my middle ring unless I am climbing something really steep. Here are the comments I sent to my coach.


My workout yesterday was more laid back. I didn't pay too much
attention to my heart rate. I glanced down every once in a while to
make sure I wasn't slacking too much or using too much gas on the
hills. I tried to be as smooth as possible and not waste any

After about 4 hours I started having a little pity party in my head.
Telling myself how hard this was. Thinking about how I was tired.
Then 30 minutes later this little kid sees me go by for another lap
and comes flying up the trail after me. I let him go by then take off
after him to see how fast he is. Turns it out he was fast. I stayed
behind for about 10 minutes. I glanced down and noticed my heart rate
was about 180 and I could feel how much this was taking out of me so I
let up. It was a lot of fun trying to keep up with him though. I
also noticed as soon as I heard coming after me I was no longer tired.
All those bad thoughts were instantly pushed out of my head. Even
after I let up I felt a whole lot better than I did 30 minutes before
I saw the little kid.

I thought about one of my bad habits yesterday. I hardly ever use my
front derailleur. I normally keep my bike in my granny gear and only
shift in the back. I think I started doing this because my front
derailleur would never shift. Plus when it did there was about 50
percent chance that it would throw my chain off onto the frame or I
would get chainsuck. Only using my granny gear makes my riding pretty
inefficient though. I mostly coast on the downhills and spin out on
the flats. Then on the climbs, I probably go harder than I need to
make up for being slow everywhere else.

I tried yesterday to use my front derailleur. I did feel faster and
more efficient in the flats. I ended up not downshifting though. I
started climbing everything in my middle ring. After awhile this
started making my back hurt because I lost my form and posture. After
that I switched back to my granny gear and only shifted back to the
middle ring a handful of times. I will keep working on this in future
rides. Plus I think I will buy a new front derailleur. Mine is 7
years old. Probably hardly used though. :)

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