Sunday, December 2, 2012

Keeping The Gears Turning

Because I wanted to concentrate on racing and not merely on racking up a lot of miles, I began 2012 with no mileage goals.  Nevertheless, I will finish the year with a handful of personal records, including a new mileage mark for December.  I rode 43 miles on Saturday and 30 more today for a total of 73 … and I’m probably going to add to it before the month is over.  That beats the old record of just 45 miles, set last year.  I also set new personal bests in January, February, March, and November.  With my year-to-date total now at 4,903 miles, I can hope for my second consecutive 5,000-mile year.  Surpassing last year’s 5,113 still appears unlikely and will require another spell of uncommonly warm weather.

If today’s weather had been more typical of Dec. 2, then I might have been tempted by the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin’s annual bike swap at UW-Milwaukee.  But really I don’t need much right now; on Friday I received a couple of cassettes I had ordered, and this week I will receive a nice flat handlebar to replace one that is too wide and too heavy.  With the new parts installed the 29er should be ready for early spring training.  It will get a new chain, new cables and new cable housing before the racing season begins.

Tomorrow I will add weight to a couple of my home gym exercises.  That’s always a good feeling.  But my treadmill is in rough shape and I’m not sure I should still be using it.  It’s 15 years old and the belt is disintegrating.  I don’t know whether replacing the belt is a good investment.  I use the treadmill only 15-20 hours per year now that I have a bike trainer and a greater willingness to exercise outside during the winter—whether riding, hiking, or snowshoeing.  The treadmill is a nice thing to have for a change of pace, but I don’t use it for serious training.

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