Yesterday I watched some YouTube videos on how to fine tune a derailleur. I had not cleaned my bike in over a month. It has been cold and I have just been putting White Lightning on the chain when it got to loud during my commute to work. Well Sunday evening I decided that instead of watching my girlfriend Ellen host the Oscar awards, I would clean my drive train.
First I wanted to restore movement to my lower gears so I watched a few videos to remind myself of how to do it. Down here in the flat lands I do not shift much and I wanted to use my small 12 tooth and 13 tooth rear cog on my commutes. After about 10 minutes of adjusting I was satisfied with my work so I cleaned up the chain.
This morning I rode to work on my 25 mile commute in my smaller cogs and it felt great. I have been riding in this “single” speed mode for some time as it gives me a chance to get my legs strong for hills and then I will shift gears. Today was a fast ride and I was having so much fun. I reflected on how last year when I was riding 19 MPH up MLK Blvd. I was really pushing myself to stay above 19 MPH. This morning I was able to hold myself back to stay under 20 MPH as I wanted to ride the whole way to work on MLK at a fast pace.
It as taken me 40 years of adult bicycling to finally understand what Greg LeMond was talking about. “It never gets easier, you just ride faster”.
I started my morning ride slow as usual and I generally ride faster towards the end as I turn from HWY 91 onto Lily Pond which turns into MLK. When I started bike commuting this route this was my least favorite part of the ride. The traffic is nuts when school is in session and the road is bumpy compared to Leary. I guess that is why I started playing this game of seeing how fast I could get past this part of my commute. I play this game to see how fast I can get from HWY 91 to ASU.
Now if a cycling coach told me this was an incremental training circut I would complain about it, but since this is a game that I titled “Ride Like You Stole It” I have so much fun seeing how fast I can ride this route. Today I shaved 5 minutes off my year to date commute time. I made it to work in one hour and twenty five minutes. My fastest time is one hour and twenty three minutes. I have to get lucky with the two stop lights at Oakridge and Oglethorpe to get a really good time, but that is part of the game.