took off yesterday and rode up to rochester to pick up the vue with her newly replaced tranny. it was a good day/excuse for doing some gear testing for transiowa. cold, rain, wind and a good mix of all kinds of gravel conditions. 92 miles total with somewhere around 50-55 of it on gravel. picked up the vue, devoured some chipotle, headed to blockbuster to pick up some new music (slipknot and jack johnson) for the transiowapod, then to kathy's for a beer, and finally hit burger king on the way out of town. very happy with how the body handled the ride. looking back on yesterday's ride leaves me with a few thoughts:
1. hands down number one....listen to my body. i paid very close attention to how i felt yesterday and continued to feed the mechanism. this was the best i've ever felt on a long ride.
2. the gearing change was a good idea. no more stubborness. in fact, if the weather looks potentially crappy for trans then i will drop a few more teeth and run a 34x16. legs felt good even after i finished yesterday.
3. meat. yesterday i took some venison with me and it was awesome riding food. had a fair amount of energy bars and gu but when it was time to eat, a few slices of venison summer sausage was perfect.
4. i'm getting bibs and i'm getting bib knickers. no more waist bands and no more knee warmers for long rides. the constriction around my thighs/hamstrings encourages cramping.
5. heavy packs suck but i'm gonna go with one again this year. would have made it 100 miles on two bottles and a full bladder. tools in the seatpack. food, clothing, ipod, light/battery in the pack.
6. last year's set up proved itself useful again using a topeak bar extender to attach directions to.
7. guitar ted, if you're listening, we need to install these little cabins like they have on the root river trail along the route of transiowa this year. preferrably with someone grilling for participants. made a great place to stop and eat and throw on a rain jacket when the skies opened up yesterday.
8. "b" roads may be nasty but choosing to ride through road closed signs into a stretch of hilly road construction may seem like a shortcut but after walking a mile and a half in ankle deep clay with wheels unable to even turn left me wishing for "b" roads.
9. tire selection. still wrestling with this one. hard not to go with 32's cause they roll noticeably faster. but the 38's are more comfy and actually lower tread so not giving up as much as you'd think in the rolling resistance. for now i need to at least replace the slow leaking tube up front. started yesterday at 60psi up front and i'm guessing i finished between 30 and 40.
10. transiowa's out there. no bullshit there. its out there and its coming fast. happy training to anyone smart enough (?) to throw their hat in the ring.