Introduction, and Some Questions

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by slothluvchunk, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. slothluvchunk

    slothluvchunk New Member

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    Hello all - I've been lurking here for a bit gleaning pieces of advice.

    I'm a Coloradoan who road a mountain bike casually (10-15 miles/week, easy to moderate singletrack) for several years, and then took about a decade off due to illness.

    The short version of my story is this:
    After 8 years on dialysis (most of my 20's, and into my early 30's) I received a kidney transplant last March. It's been a very long recovery, as just 5 months prior to transplant I found myself in emergency open heart surgery to replace a heart valve that had been destroyed due to an infection (unrelated to kidney disease - what can I say, some of us get all the luck).
    Anyway - I'm 33, and finally have a relatively "healthy" body again - at least in theory. The trouble is, I don't know what that means!

    I'm getting back into biking, and we're planning to do a couple of rides this summer to raise money for a specific organ-donation charity. One of those will probably be Elephant Rock here in CO, but the big one we're "training" for is RAGBRAI.
    We have a team together of several people, and are super psyched about going there, but I only have 6 months to get in shape, and am working hard to do it.

    My wife and I picked up a couple of used roadies, and we're loving them so far.
    I wound up with a several year old Cervelo Prodigy 9sp. double.
    I've got it on the trainer inside (Tacx Swing), and am riding every day. I'm trying to either spin easy (lower resistance on the mag) in a larger gear for an hour or so, or crank up the resistance, and push harder for 30 minutes or so - I seem to be able to do that on about "two clicks" of resistance, and seem to sit on the smaller ring for most of that.
    Here's the thing - I noticed a couple weeks back that the "small ring" here is a 42, so I'm running 53/42. Based on what I've read that shouldn't be what's on there, so I'm trying to figure out the least expensive way to "fix" this to better be capable of climbing (especially given that I'm making up for 10 years of relative inactivity, and life-sucking dialysis). My thinking is that I should get a 39 and simply swap it out, and then get a 9sp. 12-27 cassette for the rear. I'd love to go all out and get a SRAM Apex compact double, or something along those lines, but that's pretty pricey, and means replacing everything but the brakes - is moving to a 12-27 with the 39 going to make enough of a difference to increase my ability to climb some small/medium hills? I don't do any big mountain riding here, but we do have lots of hills, and RAGBRAI is also going to have lots of hills.

    My second question is regarding training.
    Is what I've described above a good starting place? Other than getting on the trainer and pedaling, I have no "program" that I'm following, other than that I try to go harder for a few minutes, and then spin for a few minutes. Does anyone have a basic training program that someone like me can follow to set specific goals, and see specific gains each week? I'd love to be ready to ride the Elephant Rock century in June - but that may be a bit far reaching. Is it possible to go from "I can ride 10 miles comfortably" to a tough century in 6 months?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated for diet, miles/time in the saddle, and specific training programs (if anyone has something like that) to get me from being comfy in the saddle for a short ride, to comfortably climbing hills (they scare the hell out of me right now), and able to sit 60-70 miles a day in the saddle for RAGBRAI.

    Sorry for such a long first post - but I have so many questions, and am traveling blindly here through this world of "training." After being sick most of my adult life, I've never had to "train" for anything, because I've never been able to do anything.

    - Goonies Never Say Die
     
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  2. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    Welcome to the forums, Sloth! It's great that your health has improved so much that you could begin training, that's really awesome! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/icon14.gif

    There are a lot of people on here who tell you exactly what you need to know about your gearset and give you some great training advice, so stick around and make yourself comfortable. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/cool.gif
     
  3. slothluvchunk

    slothluvchunk New Member

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    Thanks a lot 64Paramount.
    I posted in the training forum as well, thinking this may not have been the right place (some fora are pickier about that than others).

    It's really great to be back up and moving - but I have no idea how I stack up, or where I need to be in order to comfortably (and enjoyably) complete RAGBRAI. I don't know that I'll ever be someone who's cranking 250W sustained, or be competitive in the Deer Creek Challenge, but I'd like to get some sort of "schedule" to get me from here, to comfortably climbing some rolling hills, and hitting 50+ miles no problem (without fear of how many hills are on the route!).
     
  4. EllaJane

    EllaJane New Member

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    http://cycling-cleats.blogspot.com/
     
  5. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Here are some links to sites that have recommendations for tour training and some that are actally connected to the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.

    http://www.bicycletouring101.com/PhysicalPreparation.htm
    http://cycling.unitycode.org/preparation/training.html
    http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/conditioning/a/aa052703.htm
    http://www.wadenelson.com/ragbrai.html
    http://ragbrai.com/2010/02/02/training-for-ragbrai-short-and-flat-ragbrai-ahead/
    http://www.cyclesportcoaching.com/Files/RagbraiTraining012609.pdf

    This one is especially good because it has a chart for training mileage suggested for the 2010 RAGBRAI. Although the route changes each year, it is still basically the same mileages so this training chart will also apply well to the 2011 RAGBRAI.

    http://ragbrai.com/2010/03/30/ragbrai-training-2010-mileage-guide/

    Beyond this, any bicycling tour training guide would be helpful for you. You will need to remember that you are training to ride long distances on consecutive days, so a guide to riding a century will not be as helpful to you as touring training guides as the authors of a century training guide are usually assuming that you will have a day or two to rest after your one day of riding. So you want a guide that will help you build long period stamina over a single long distance stamina.
     
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  6. slothluvchunk

    slothluvchunk New Member

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    @kdelong
    Thanks so much. I've seen a few of those before, but the collection is very helpful for me. Lots of new information there as well.

    Also - thanks to each and every one of you for taking the time to respond and help me out here.
    This is a huge thing for my wife and I, and we're very excited about it.
    I was totally excited to get out on the road this week, but then we had a couple big snows. Not to worry, we're supposed to be into the 50's over the weekend, so it may still happen.

    Again - thanks much!
     
  7. frankiemuniz01

    frankiemuniz01 New Member

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    The group is separating which makes it insanely more difficult to draft. coming thought the final turn, I stood up and laid in the acceleration, sprinting. One guy next to me was doing the same, and he was just a hair faster than I, but he couldn't hold it for the duration and I edged out in front. I passed two other riders who had were not sprinting. It doesn't really mean anything since I am no where near the top 20 among this 105 riders present. Yeah, there was quite the turnout for the first race of the season. End result, I am happy with my performance today. And as I said earlier, I still have all my skin.
     
  8. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    I presume you still have your MTB ... and, that it is also has a 9-speed drivetrain ...

    If so, then for the moment, consider simply swapping cassettes ...

    • while it should not be the case, if you can't adjust the B-screw on the Road bike's rear derailleur enough to accommodate what I presume is an 11-32 cassette, then set the upper stop on the rear derailleur so that the 32t cog is not accessible

    Changing the upper pulley wheel from an 11t to a 10t should make it feasible to use a 34t largest cog on most contemporary Road bikes:

    [​IMG]

    That's a 9-speed 12-34 XTR cassette (I already had it ... the unseen crankset has 53/39 chainrings), but an 11-32 LX (or, SRAM!?!) cassette will undoubtely work just as well FOR YOU (I have an 11-32 cassette on a different Road bike which also has 53/39 chainrings) ...

    • if you don't have a 9-speed 11-32 cassette on your MTB or if you want-or-need to buy one, then your cost will be $20+ & the cost of a lockring tool & chain whip if you don't have them

    BTW. Adjusting the B-screw AND changing to a 10t pulley wheel should make it possible to use an 11-36 cassette with your current Road rear derailleur ... you might need a new chain ... heck, you could probably just move BOTH your MTB cassette & MTB rear derailleur onto your Road bike!

    Of course, at some point, you may want to replace your 42t chainring with either a 38t or 39t 130BCD chainring.
     
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