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4/27/15 The curse of two millimeters...

Submitted by Jacob on Mon, 04/27/2015 - 12:30

It’s been a great few weeks, good weather for riding, my job is back in Annapolis so I have two hours of time back in my life (since I don’t have to commute anymore), and baseball season is in full swing. If only the Oriole’s pitching would get into shape…

Thursday I gave a speech at the Annapolis Rotary, who received my presentation very well.

I also went to a bike shop about 5 miles away in order to track down an exact pair of cycling shorts. I cut out all of the padding (called the chamois) immediately. There are already a few people who think that I am crazy, but I don’t think so. The tensioned-leather Brooks saddle that I rode on in 2013 was never comfortable because it was too wide. I rode on it since before the ride in 2013 and put about 12,000 miles on it. It was definitely sculpted to my posterior. But you can’t make a wide saddle narrow.

So I bought another Brooks in November 2013, a narrower model called the Team Professional. It’s been great so far, but the initial adjustment was difficult. The thing about padded shorts is that every pair has different padding, and it affects the break-in of the leather. By finally getting the adjustments dialed-in and by removing the padding, I am confident for a much more comfortable ride this time. Hopefully, I will now only stand on the pedals in order to generate additional power, not to escape pain. An added side affect is that I need to raise my seat post by a millimeter or two, which has proved difficult since it seems that my post has cold-welded to the frame somehow.

“The curse of two millimeters” is a feeling of weakness that happens near the end of long rides. When exhaustion sets in, you begin to wonder if your seat is indeed high enough. Am I getting all of the power available from my quadriceps? At the end of the ride, the doubts creep in. So you’ll raise the saddle by two millimeters only to find yourselves stretching your ankles and then you have to return the seatpost to its original position.

However, the removal of padding certainly does warrant a raise of 1-2 millimeters, and it will be nice to get the bike into Bike Doctor Annapolis tomorrow to see what can be done about the stuck seat post.

After the Rotary Club presentation and the chamois removal, I went on a shop ride conducted by Bike Doctor, and I got to ride with Greta Neimanas, a gold medal World Champion Para-cyclist. I took two pulls in front with a headwind. Greta definitely did about 90% of the “work” between the three of us. To non-cyclists, that means that she rode in the front nearly the whole way, while the rest of us rode more easily in her slip-stream. A more balanced group would have had a more even distribution of work.

This is already a long post so I’m going to wrap it up! All of this stuff is worth writing about, all in one day. I need to get a GoPro or something and just let pictures and videos do the talking!