The 4 - 5 inches we got on Friday night quickly melted off of the roads and the bike path thanks to the pavement being warm enough to keep the snow from lasting long at all. Sunday when temps hit 37 by 11 a.m., I bundled up with my layers and headed out on the trail to ride to Carlisle and back. Round trip is 26 point something miles and I wanted to see how the new 130mm Thomson stem felt on the Dos Niner. The stem is a result of a fitting session I recently had to see what position on the bike has me pumping out the most power for a sustained period. It turns out I have been riding in too low of a position with too short of a stem that was robbing me of some power on the Dos Niner and JET. "Too cramped" is what the fitter said and too much curve in my back. Hmmmm.... Everything felt fine to me, but he is the professional fitter so I'm giving his suggestions a try.
Not to mention, I've cut the steerer tubes a bit too short on those two forks, but thanks to angles of stems, the plumbing solution was available (even though it looks a bit odd). I felt pretty good (actually really good) with the new position and now think I could even benefit from some bar ends. Those Ergon grips with the short bar ends that work with twist shifters look good, but I'll wait to see what the Dos feels like on dirt and climbing off road before doing anything else.
Regardless, I had a nice ride for the first round trip to Carlisle and back this year. The 13 miles out was against the wind and even though I was trying to keep it in lower HR work zones, it was a bit of effort to keep moving forward. Turning around at Carlisle and having the wind behind my back was a full 3 gear difference. I was flying on the way home and did my usual 10-12 minute interval on the final 1/4 section from Summerset Road to Indianola. It's uphill the entire way with several steeper sections that are like built in "juiced efforts" that mimic more what climbing off road is like where you have to up your watts for short burst of time even though you are at the end of your tether which recreates the over/under interval scenario for LT.
It felt good and has been nice to be off of the C7i trainer all week long. I still need to do some work on the trainer the next 2 weeks since it has the power meter to make sure I am hitting my targets during intervals as race season approaches in April. But I can now mix it up outside thanks to the weather breaking to the favorable side. Tara will ride the Carlisle trip today as she gets off of work early and the temps will be mid-50's with sunshine.