Friday, April 18, 2008

Added weight

4kg kettlebell in Berthoud Bag.

So....I got to thinking about my bike set up. According to the latest issue of the Bicycle Quarterly, who tested a Coho, it weighs around 29 lbs. Making the Coho considerably heavier than my Motobeceane. Of course each Coho weighs slightly different as they are custom; not one size fits all.

This led me to think about my rides last year and my 2 brevets on the Coho. I rode a lighter frame last year. Riding these events was not a to difficult. When I added gear and water for the 600k, the rig was significantly heavier. I believe my camel-bak came in around 8 lbs. The added weight was different and I wasn't used to it.

The Coho's added weight doesn't seem heavy but there is a difference. Cruising speed is similar but the top end isn't quite the same. During the winter brevets, I carried some extra liquids and cold weather gear in my bag. Not a factor until you ride up hills of significant grade. Yikes, absolutely a difference.

After nearly 4 months on the bike, I feel part of the bike. It is an extension of my body. But reviewing my lessons learned brings me to a different training approach. I've decided it is silly to struggle with something I can control. I can control how much weight I'm carrying and how much weight I can handle while cruising. There is a need to acclimate to producing more power for an extended period of time.

Why take chances when I can simply practice riding with added weight?

Today's chow and kettlebell.

The added weight had very little affect on my average speed or bicycle handling. In fact I blew over the Lesner Bridge like it was a speed bump. With that said, I have to admit...I am DONE. I feel like I rode 200k today. I will use this training tool more in the future!

Z neural warm up.
Ride: 30 with 4kg added to bike.

If I have to make an educated guess (I haven't put this on the scale), this set up is in the 40lbs ball park. I hope I don't carry an additional 8lbs of weight on a brevet. The hope is perhaps a few pounds. The hope is that I am over doing it I will be light on the next brevet. Or, perhaps I should start training with kevlar as well....HMMMM.

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