Sunday, October 21, 2012

Turning 29, Eastern Shore, and DCCX

So I turned 29 a few days ago, and that was a revelation.  For me, it was a chance to reflect on the good  things in life, as well as the bumps in the road.  And the not so good things in my life really are just that: bumps.  Overall, can't complain about the way things are going.

I decided to gift myself with a long Saturday ride out in the Eastern Shores of Maryland, and man was it gorgeous.  I drove out to Tuckahoe State Park and rode out to Dover, DE and back, making a figure eight.  On the way out (W-E) I had a good tailwind and was flying.  The way home was into the wind and much, much slower.  The Colnago performed beautifully, and aside from a flat right at the turn around in Dover, it was a perfect ride.  The Strava of the ride is below.

Today, I drove out to the Armed Forces Retirement Home in DC to see my friend Erin Silliman race.  Erin's an old high school friend of mine who picked up cycling maybe 5 or 6 years ago, and in that time has rocketed to racing Cat-1 on both road and cyclocross.  Today, she raced hard and finished on the podium alongside (among other all-star women) Laura vah Gilder.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stick around to watch Erin's boyfriend Greg race.  Some pictures I took from today's race (sorry, all I had was my phone with me)

Erin on her way to the podium.  Greg is over there on the right in the blue shorts cheering her on.

No cross race is complete without some tutus

Nice wheels, E!

This is steeper than it looks.

Little downhill that some people got air on.

Lap/finish area.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rol Race SLR Initial Impressions

So yesterday was the first day I got to take the Rol Race SLRs out for a ride.  It was a shortish tempo ride with a double loop of the St. Stephens and Chesterfield punchers.

As I pedaled out from home, I realized something very quickly: my legs felt like crap and I knew it was going to be one of those hard days where you work like a dog but don't go very fast.  Nonetheless, I was very pleased with the stiffness of the Race SLRs.  They feel very solid, even more so than the Mavic Ksyrium SL's that are my go-to wheels.  They feel about the same accelerating as the Ksyriums, but hold speed better.  I also noticed that the bike picked up noticeably more speed coasting down hills (and I was coasting a lot because of my lead legs).

Still, when I got home and uploaded the ride to Strava, I was surprised by what I found.  An average of 19.4 mph is much higher than what my legs were telling me.  Moreover, several very high placings on the St. Stephens and underwood climbs and a 3rd overall on the Muur van Chesterfield segment, which features a 6.8% average but rises to 15% for the last little segment was enough evidence for me that these wheels work very well.  Certainly I'll need a bit more time on them to tell, but for the time being, I'm very satisfied.  I'm thinking I might try running the American Classic rear wheel once it's back from the shop with the Rol front wheel and see how that feels.

Anyway, here's the link to the ride.