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    Over my head or form issue?

    There are two schools of thought about training and racing. The old school was train hard so racing feels easy. The modern school is train easy. A benefit of the old school was that you put in ehough time at high effort and when tired that form was maintained in high efforts and when tired...
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    How do you carry your spare tube and tools on a long club ride?

    I don't carry much. My tool kit is not much larger than 3 tire levers. I seldom use them. I carry 2 tubes in a plastic bag. It all fits into 1 pocket. But in the distant past, when I was doing long solo rides, I carried more gear and had a seat post bag. One good reason for putting tools in...
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    Any way to keep rim brakes from wearing down rims?

    I knew people who could do it at speed. I always found it easier to avoid situations where I had to rely on the limits of my abilities of braking or steering. If you are riding "fast" a foot behind someone where somehting bad happens to him, you are going to be part of that badness. I don't...
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    Should I buy a power meter?

    As I said I will let you deal with your personal problems on your own.
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    lower back pain on hill climbs?

    Pain goes away with experience. I don't think you have enough miles in to feel comfortable with a long climb. I think the typical climbs in your area ar 6% for 6 miles (2000'). Since you were in your lowest gear, I would suggest buying lower gears. I will be in Menlo Park in about a week...