Tag Archives: Boyd Cycling

Fatigue equals fun


I’m not old. I’m just older. Forty-five is just fine with me, but things are a bit different than they were when I was under forty. One of the biggest differences is fatigue.

There is a good amount of truth in that saying, “I can basically do anything I’ve ever been able to do, but it takes me longer to get over it.” I used to be able to go several days in a row of hard efforts and then after a day or so off be ready to get back at it. Now, it takes a little bit longer!

Still, I enjoy the feeling of fatigue after a ride. On the other hand, I don’t care much for it when I am on the bicycle. There were plenty of opportunities to feel it yesterday.

My employment anniversary date comes up next month. I have a number of vacation days that I have not used. If I don’t use ’em, I lose ’em. There have been years when I just let them go, but this year I decided I might as well pick some nice days and get out of the office to ride. What this means is I’ve put in a good amount of miles the last several days.

Friday I took off to get some personal things done and only got on the bike for two hours. Of course, Strava rated it as Tough. 31 miles in two hours with over 3000 feet of climbing.

Saturday I rode for over five hours. 77 miles with over 6000 feet of climbing. Strava called that one Extreme.

Sunday I basically went to church and then sat on the couch all day!

Monday was too busy with work that went into the evening.

Tuesday I was able to get out after work and knock out an hour and a half ride. It was another attempt to meet my goal for the “Pait’s Place to Paris” segment. The idea is to leave my house and make it to the top of Paris Mountain in under 30 minutes. The fastest time I have recorded is 30:32.

Well, Tuesday I was going to get close, but dropped my chain just before the last climb. I ended up with an encouraging 31:23. Icing on the cake is that I inadvertently picked up a Strava KOM that I had lost some time ago. At the same time, it was a good little effort just before Wednesday when I had plans on my vacation day.

It was on Tuesday that I learned that John James had finally bested me on the Hour Of Power KOM #3. He and I have a friendly rivalry on the KOM’s along this route. I had been able to hold onto this short punch uphill for awhile with a time of 46 seconds.

Tuesday morning he beat me with a time of 45 seconds. Then he had the audacity to call me out about it on Facebook. Well, that could not be allowed to go unchallenged!

Wednesday morning I set out to set things right. To be honest, I didn’t have a lot of confidence. When I would stand to put any power down, I could feel the soreness in my quads. I was also battling soreness in my Achilles tendons and lower calf muscles.

Still, when I got to the segment, I stood up and gave it all I had. A couple weeks ago that effort would have blown me to pieces. However, this morning I was able to hold an average of 800 watts to the top. I was cautiously optimistic, but I would have to wait until I got home to learn the results.

I was back! 44 seconds was my time. I had dethroned King James. However, my day was not over.

After grabbing a bite to eat, I headed over to Boyd Cycling. It is located in the building that houses the Swamp Rabbit Trail Cafe and Grocery. I planned to participate in their group ride.

A funny thing happened on the way. I had rushed out of the house and was about 3 miles away when I looked down at my shadow. My head looked funny. I then realized that I didn’t have a helmet on! I had rushed out of the house with a skull cap on to keep the sun off my bald head. I assumed the pressure of the cap on my head was a helmet.

I called the Beautiful Redhead and she caught up with me to hand off my helmet and thankfully that allowed me to make it to the ride start on time. We rolled off down the SRT to Paris Mountain, over the mountain to the other side where we turned around and came back up to the towers. I had pounded up the Furman side in seconds over 13 minutes. Of course, Boyd Johnson and Billy Campbell finished ahead of me in under 12 minutes while talking along the way. I was definitely feeling the fatigue at this point.

That was okay. We were heading back now, right? Wrong. When we came off the mountain Boyd remarked that it was now time to go along the base of the mountain.

I was fine with that. There weren’t too many hard segments that way. Wrong again! You certainly can ride along the base of the mountain without killing yourself, but — oh, no — that was not Boyd’s plan. He went on a search of all the climbs. I rolled in to the finish feeling almost as tired as I did several days earlier when I climbed Caesars Head.

In my last post, I listed my fitness numbers. Well, by the time I finished this set of rides, I had climbed from a fitness score of 48 to 61. However, my fatigue score by the end of Wednesday was 121!

Of course, what every rider wants is form. Form = Fitness + Freshness. You can put this in numerical equation by saying 61 (fitness) – 121 (fatigue) = -60 (form). Now the challenge is to “get fresh” without losing too much fitness. I’m aiming for May 19 and the Memphis In May Time Trial portion of the triathlon relay. I’ll work to get my fitness up as high as I can and then give myself time to move that form number into the positive category.

One score had definitely gone up during all of this… my fun quotient is going off the chart!

I am a Swamp Rabbit Criminal

Yesterday I wrote how I was battling a stress knot in my neck. I knew that a good way to relieve some of it was to get out and exercise. So, shortly after 11:30 AM I rushed home to get changed to make it to Boyd Cycling for a lunchtime ride. I ended up learning that it pays not to be late.

I reached the start location off of Pete Hollis around three minutes after noon. It was obvious I was late because there were no riders standing around getting ready to head out. However, I didn’t know how late I might be. Perhaps I could catch them.

It was funny running up to the door of Boyd Cycling to check and see how much time would need to be made up. I didn’t get a definitive answer… It may have been 5 minutes. It may have been 10.

As I was talking another rider pulled up. It was Clive De Sousa, the owner of Glory Cycles. He said he would start off slowly while I got my bicycle off the car. I could catch up with him as we headed down the SRT toward Paris Mountain.

Finally, I rolled off at ten minutes after noon. I was cranking it too. From a cold start I was spinning along at over 300 watts. By the time I reached Furman I was starting to feel it in my quads. I’m getting too old to jump on a bike and push it without warming up!

Just after the train car by the Furman campus, I caught up with Clive. We then rode on to Paris Mountain maintaining a pretty good pace. There wasn’t any conversation until we reached the base.

We both agreed that we weren’t going to push it. At that point, I don’t think I could have! Clive was going to ride over and then return to town. I was going to go over and then return on the same route as we came out on. I figured at some point I would run into Boyd and company.

The ride up was fun. I didn’t look down at my computer the whole climb. We talked as we made our way up the 2.2 mile climb. Several times, I was getting out a sentence between deep breathes.

Having never met, we introduced ourselves and I explained why I was wearing the Trappe Door Cycling kit even though I wasn’t on the team. That lead to a short conversation about Worthwhile. Then I asked Clive about his business and he gave me some of the strategies behind Glory Cycles.

Shortly after the half-way point, Clive got an ear full of the I Do It For Foundation. It was kind of like having a captive audience. There wasn’t much place for him to go. He either had to sprint ahead of me or come to a stand still on the side of the mountain. Maybe I should take people on that ride more often!

Finally, we separated at the wall as I pushed it to the top. Clive was shortly behind and we took off down the mountain together. It was at that point we started coming upon the riders with the Boyd Cycling group. Then we went past Boyd himself riding clean up.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch them because I would have to descend and then climb back over the mountain. However, it would be a good workout and if I rode hard, I might be able to catch them before everyone left the shop.

Getting down fast was easy. It was a little harder going fast back up! However, I made decent time and before long found myself back on the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

At that point, I continued to push it. It isn’t something I normally do. It is actually a matter of pride that I don’t normally ride fast on the SRT. I’ve always worked to avoid getting Strava personal bests or KOMs on the stretch. However, this day I was just trying to get back to connect with the guys on the ride ahead of me.

As I pulled up to Sulpher Springs I heard something come up behind me. It was the motor cycle policeman. “Hey, did you know that the speed limit is 20 mph and that there is a $100 fine for not stopping at the stop signs?” He said that in a manner that indicated that I had not stopped at any of the stop signs. I replied, “I didn’t stop at the stop signs?” He said, “Not a one since Roe Ford Road.” Hmmmm, I thought to myself, I was positive I had stopped at the crossing roads. It popped out, “Seriously, I didn’t stop at any of them?” “Nope,” came the answer.

Well, I wasn’t going to argue with him. He basically gave me a warning and I said, “Thank you, Sir.” We then waited for the traffic to clear and I crossed to continue on my way. As I did so, I switched my Garmin over to show me the speed and made sure I kept it under 20.

I think the issue at the stops is a definition of stopping. No, I did not come to a complete roll back stop with my foot down on the ground. It would be more of a slow rolling track stand until traffic cleared or I was aware that no traffic was coming. There is no way I am stupid enough to go blowing through one of the signs. At the same time, it is a bear to lose your momentum with a complete foot-out-of-the-pedal stop.

Once again it reminds me why when I am doing anything other than riding with my kids I avoid the SRT. I’d much rather ride the newly smooth Buncombe Road and not have to worry about getting pulled over for speeding and it is actually nice to have the advantage of the traffic light system.

I really don’t like being a criminal… even if it is just a Swamp Rabbit Speed Bandit.

A new alloy wheel set for a $50 gift?

8 Days – $10,400

Pledge to the 2012 Ride for Mike

We are into the final push of the fundraising for the 2012 Ride for Mike. Of course, we’ll continue to raise funds for the I Do It For Foundation beyond the ride. We just won’t make every Low Cadence post about it!

So, what is this about a new alloy wheel set for a $50 gift? Here is the fine print. It is part of a drawing.

Boyd Cycling Vitesse wheels

We are making available a set of Boyd Cycling Vitesse alloy clincher (tubular if you’re that kind of person) wheels. How you become a part of the drawing is by going to the pledge page, making your pledge of $50 or more and choosing the amount of unique numbers you wish to place in the drawing. You may give a larger amount as well — say, $300. In that case, you will be distributed 6 numbers.

Once 20 numbers are distributed, we will conduct the drawing. So, you will have at least a 1 – 20 chance of receiving the wheel set. If we do not reach the 20 number threshold by noon on Monday, October 22, we will conduct a drawing with the numbers we have available.┬áIf 20 numbers are distributed by Wednesday, October 17, we will have a second drawing following the same process.

You can learn more about these wheels at BoydCycling.com. We at Low Cadence appreciate the way Boyd Johnson and crew have worked with us over the years. The Low Cadence machine uses Boyd carbon 50mm clinchers for daily use. Here is an opportunity for you to help a cause and get your own set of Boyd wheels.

People ask why we do these promotions instead of just asking for money. All of the people who have given to Ride for Mike would have done so without these promotions. We are thankful to have that kind of support.

The reason we do it is because we want to give back to those who give. This is not a gimmick to raise money, it is our way of saying “Thank you” and recognizing the sacrifice of your gift. So, feel free to give out of the goodness of your heart, but don’t deny us the pleasure of expressing our appreciation in these tangible ways.

Besides, it makes it a lot more fun!