TC-1 Hard Shell Case … đŸ¤”

I have been travelling with the TC-1 Hard Shell Case for several years now, and have written about it several times in the past. In fact, it is one of the mostly read posts on this blog, with over 800 view in 3 years. Go figure.

What its it about this case?

Other cyclists must like to travel with their bikes 😀

The case was used when I got it. It originally belonged to one of my son’s clients. He disposed of it because the side clamps that secure the box together had been damaged, and removed. There is a small combination lock at the top, and a wide velco strap that keep the box closed but I have been increasingly more nervous travelling with it. I’m frightened it will open up in transit, and I will loose everything.

I have considered purchasing a new box but this one is a good size and weight, and apart from the missing side clasps, it is in excellent shape. So, I decided to fashion additional, high-tech closures.

So, off I went to Home Depot, returning with two additional tie-down straps, and double-sided, stick-on telco strips to secure the straps to the box. Now it can’t break apart in transit.

I’m ready to go 😂

Caffeine free … đŸ¤”

IMG_6978

It has been 2 weeks.

For 2 weeks I have been weaning myself off coffee. First, I cut back to 2 cups a day. One in the morning, and then another with lunch. Then I cut out the mid-day cup. And now, I have cut it out all together.

Instead, I drink more water, herbal teas, and just today purchased a 1/2 pound of decaf coffee from one of the local coffee roasters.

Like many men, I sometimes suffer from a bought of prostatitis, and have even written about it previously several times. It is annoying having to interrupt a ride for a “nature break”, and get up repeatedly throughout the night. During the past 2 weeks I have tracked the number of cups of coffee I have a day, and the number of times I get out of bed to visit the washroom.  My Garmin Activity Tracker actually records the quality of my sleep, and the number of times I’m up. I am happy, and somewhat surprised, to report that several times this week I did not get up once. That’s right. I did not get up even once. I can’t remember the last time that has happened.

It would appear coffee is the culprit. Over the years, I have gradually increased my intake with ever stronger blends. There was a time I never drank coffee but that changed when I moved to the west coast, and was introduced to a place called Starbucks. They had just opened their first Canadian location a block from my new office, and I began making daily treks for a cafe latte, a “tall” dark black coffee, or a “shot-in-the-dark” (black dark roast plus a single shot of espresso). At first, it was once a day but gradually increased to 3 or 4 times a day. Not only was I drinking way too much coffee, I was spending a lot of money unnecessarily.

I have also stopped drinking fluids of any kind later 5-6 PM. As I’m writing this it is 4 PM and I have just made a decaf coffee. This will be my last drink for the day. And, one other thing. I stopped using electrolyte tablets for my gym workouts, and short rides under 90 minutes. I don’t need the extra salt for these shorter workouts.

Well, I’ll see if this lasts. I have not been on a long ride yet but have noticed that I go less frequently throughout the day as well. Maybe 8-9 times. Come to think of it, I just returned from a 2 hour ride, and did not have to stop. Not once. That’s good 😀 I can remember times when I have had to stop as many as 3-4 times on the same route.

Most people urinate between six and eight times a day. But if you’re drinking plenty, it’s not abnormal to go as many as 10 times a day. You may also pee more often if you’re taking certain medications, like diuretics for high blood pressure.

And here I thought coffee was a health drink full of antioxidants and essential nutrients.

Black coffee is low in fat and calories and supplies a wealth of antioxidants that help protect your health. Certain risks have been linked to drinking large amounts of black coffee, but rest assured that you can safely drink a cup of coffee every morning. People who drink a lot of coffee are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who drink smaller amounts, or no coffee at all, according to some studies. According to Harvard Medical School, this is because it contains ingredients that lower blood sugar.

Oh well. I’ll just have to learn to do without 😟

Cadence Kit … đŸ˜‚

IMG_6975

I have written about my new cycling computer before. The VDO M6. It has functions I never had previously. Heart rate. Gradient. Elevation gain. Time spent in each of 4 pre-defined training zones. Temperature. Stopwatch. And, with the optional Cadence Kit, current, average, and maximum cadence.

Well, this week I purchased the Cadence Kit. It’s optional, and I wasn’t sure I needed it. Then, while training on the spinning bike, I noticed how much attention I pay to the cadence display. A lot. I have learned that by increasing my cadence while in a lower gear, I actually increase my wattage output. This is a lot easier than pushing a higher gear. I’m using my cardiovascular system to generate the power, rather than my leg muscles which tires more quickly.

For the most part, the higher the intensity, the higher your cadence should be. The reason for this higher cadence is that it stresses the aerobic component more. A higher cadence engages slow twitch (Type I) muscle fibers, which are the oxidative fibers, thus saving your powerful and fast twitch (Type II) muscle fibers for when you need them – sprinting, attacking, climbing, surging. Pedaling with a higher cadence also generates decreased muscle tension and blood vessel compression. This allows blood to flow to the muscles with O2 and carry waste products away easier.

On the spinning bike, I average 90-110 rpm, sometimes higher, during my workouts. Can I do the same on the road? I have no idea, but I’m about to find out.

Most social cyclists sit on a cadence between 75-85rpm. They’ll plod along at one tempo for hours, regardless of changing terrain. What we suggest you learn is increase your cadence to between 90-100rpm regardless how flat or hilly the route is. – BikeRoar

Well, I’ll try.

I installed the kit on the Roberts frame for now. I’ll be training on this bike mostly for the next 2 months while I’m back at the cottage, cycling the quiet, rural roads. By the time I return, I will have a better understanding of what cadence I maintain on the flats, and while climbing.

How will I train differently, you ask.

I’ll try riding at 90-100rpm most of the time, and increase my cadence on small grades, remembering to control my cadence through gear choice, and not by increasing my physical effort. Once I have this down pat, I’ll increase my physical effort and pedal a faster cadence in a higher gear, which means I’ll go faster uphill 😂

Sounds easy enough. Right?

Stay tuned 😀

Tick Tock … đŸ¤”

IMG_6926

This clock now hangs proudly in my den.

It was a birthday gift from my son several years ago. We hung it in the bike shop. That was appropriate. Right? Well, I don’t spend that much time there, particularly this time of year. What a shame. So, I moved it into the house, and hung it on the wall I face mostly while relaxing in the den.

I love this clock. You see, my son made it using chainrings – Suntour 52/42 – from one of my first road bikes. Back in the 80’s, Suntour was a popular brand used on mid-priced bikes. The company no longer exists, but in it’s prime produced quality derailleurs, and chainrings 😂at a reasonable price.

The clock got me thinking … 🤔

I have a lot of left over bike parts. Handlebars. Chains. Derailleurs. Wheels. Inner tubes. Tires. Cranks. What do I do with it all? Apparently, I can recycle the tires. That’s a good idea. I’ve seen sculptures made from chains, coat hangers from handlebars, and chairs from inner tubes. And, I see all of these components listed on eBay being offered up for someone else to enjoy.

At the moment, I have 3 SLK stems and Dura-Ace cranks with racing chainrings sitting on my TV stand. I’m trying to decide what to do with them. What better way than to have them in constant view. A constant reminder to do something with them. The stems are too long, and I no longer use them. And the Dura-Ace chainrings are too large for these parts. I have converted my road bikes to compact setups.

I could hang them on the wall as art. I love looking at them. Or, I could sell them. They are worth a lot of money. Then again, I could build another bike … 😂

Do you have other suggestions?