It’s been a while since my last post (obviously) but not for lack of thinking about cycling.
Following the Tour de Victoria I took a wee bit of a break from regular training, and although that meant only a couple of days off the bike, my life was quickly swallowed up by other things non-cycling related. Work, predominantly.
Until recently the weather in and around Vancouver has been a big anti-motivator with regular storms, winds and buckets of rain. Subsequently, I set up my trainer for some indoor spinning which was very enjoyable. I seem to be one of few cyclists who actually enjoys trainer time. I discovered Pain Cave online, and with their nominal $10/month fee, am trying it out and so far enjoying their training sessions. More on that later.
I also shopped online and bought myself a new lid, a snazzy Catlike Mixino in blue and white, which matches my bike and many of my jerseys. Haven’t had it out yet (haven’t been out since it arrived) but I am looking forward to wearing it. More on that later as well.
I took in “The Armstrong Lie” as part of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) a couple weeks ago, which is a documentary that was originally shot in 2009 and documented Lance Armstrong’s until-then oft-critisized but never-proven-cheating cycling prowess and in particular his ‘comeback’ effort at the 2009 Tour de France. That would be his final race and he was as arrogant as ever. However, the filmmaker held back producing and releasing his film at the time, since a major drug scandal was erupting and rumblings were afoot of unequivocal proof of Armstrong’s doping. Indeed, it would be just a few months later when the dam would break and Armstrong’s deception would be revealed. The Armstrong Lie is effectively a summary of his career, intertwined with 2009 behind-the-scenes interviews and more recent admissions and chatter, filled with all the snippets and footage you’ve already seen a thousand times if you’ve even just slightly followed the story. There was nothing ground-breaking nor particularly intriguing but it rekindled the disappointment many spectators felt watching this hero amongst heroes come crashing down under the weight of his own arrogance.
My time off has effectively healed my saddle sores, though I will be looking for a preventative therapy, since it now seems I’m prone to them even over modest distances of 30-40 km. I’ll be investigating chamois creams and will report on them later.
Finally, I’ve been dealing with misreadings and improper data being reported by my Garmin 800. I’ve had issues where my indicated speed fluctuates between perceived accurate (say 30 km/hr), then half, then half of that, then zero km/hr, and variations there-of. This has affected my accumulated distance and total elevation gain readings. You might have noted with my Tour de Victoria telemetry that my ride showed -10 kilometres and -500 meters gained… All part of the same problem. I’ve trouble-shooted with a Garmin representative on email and they believe it’s simply a weak battery in my sensor unit. I will be replacing it for my next spin and hopefully this resolves my issues. I will report on this issue and its resolution as well, later.
I discovered a great new cycling magazine out of Britain dedicated to the road variation, called Cyclist. It’s a big, beefy rag with beautiful paper, layout, photography and excellent reading. Oriented obviously towards the UK scene, it nevertheless aims to please all road cyclists. Of particular note in the October edition are stories about riding around Tenerife and its wild volcanic landscapes and altitudes, and the controversy surrounding Chris Froome’s dominating 2013 Tour de France victory. Highly recommended for those that want to do more heavy lifting in terms of reading stories compared to 100-word snippets like those found in most other magazines. And they spare you a 20-page classifieds section at the end. Wall to wall entertainment.