Monday, December 30, 2013

Triple D 2014: Long Ride On The Set Up

Blazing Northward on a Southerly tailwind
Saturday was to be an outstanding late December day- 40-ish degrees and sunshine? Unheard of in these parts for this time of the year. That and Sunday was to be the complete opposite- a dreadful Northwesterly with plummeting temperatures. Wind chills for Sunday were forecast to dip into the negative 20's and 30's during the course of the day. Saturday was the day to be out then!

I didn't get going soon enough to join a small group that had declared their intentions to ride Saturday morning, so I didn't get going until closer to 2:00pm. I had By-Tor all loaded up with almost everything I would be hauling for a Triple D attempt. I maybe would have stowed more water, a bit more food, but that's it. Otherwise, this was the basic set up.
  • 2011 Salsa Mukluk Titanium frame w/Enabler fork, Fatback rims and tires, (tubeless set up), 2 X 10 Shimano/SRAM mixed drivetrain, FSA/Salsa components, Ergon grips and saddle.
  • Bike Bag Dude frame bag and "Chaff Bags" and an Oveja Negra "Gearjammer" seat pack.
  • Extra waterproof/wind proof jacket and waterproof/windproof pants, extra head gear, extra gloves, tube, tool, and pump all stowed in frame and seat packs. First aid kit and lube are  in there as well.
  • Blackburn "Flea" tail light, Cateye Micro tail light, and Trelock LS-950 headlight. 
  • Extra water bottle and gels along with my point and shoot camera were in the handle bar mounted Chaff Bags.
Frozen Ivanhoe Road
 I didn't dress as I probably would for a (most likely), colder Triple D attempt, but following is what I wore on this training ride;
  • Base layers of Omniwool tights and long sleeved shirt. 
  • Twin Six bibs
  • Long Sock Guy wool socks, (over calf length).
  • Soft shell Endura jacket
  • Bontrager commuter 3/4's pants
  • Keen "Brixen" winter boots
  • Smartwool wool glove liners
  • Buff wool balaclava worn as a head covering only. 
  • Oakley Radar Lock eyewear. 
The list does not show a jersey because I did not wear one. I was fine in this set up even though going into the wind it was probably in the 20's for a windchill factor. My hands also tend to stay warmer than most folks hands, so that is why I used only the glove liners.

Now, on to the riding part! The road was still pretty firm and frozen in with snow when I started, much to my amazement. I was prepared to get really messy right out of the gate, but all I noticed was that the Fatback Sterling tires throw up a lot of "snow chips" when they get rolling faster. Kind of odd, but they did that every time I was on firm, packed snow. Initially I was feeling just great and rolling along at a good clip for such a heavy bike set up. Then I remembered that I had a healthy tailwind. Ouch! The anticipation of hurting on the return trip was not pleasant to ruminate upon, so I set my mind on just enjoying what was on offer at the moment I was in.

A field full of frozen round bales

Snow drifts off the terraced field under a clear blue December sky.

Lunch stop under a wooden rail road bridge that now conveys a bike path across the countryside.
I had to stop once to switch out to lighter gloves and head gear, (listed above), and then it was on to my planned "lunch stop" underneath the old trestle rail road bridge on Ivanhoe Road. I was basically following the 3GR route from the Summer months. The bridge provided some respite from the wind and I took advantage of the low angle of the light to capture the image above. Then I downed two chocolate flavored gels and a bit of water before slowly making my way onward.

The wind was pretty stiff,and as I turned back South, the roads were getting wetter and dirtier. It became a game of where to run without getting everything trashed as I struggled to maintain momentum against the stiff wind. At least while going South the wind could no longer blow the slurry and spray off the front tire right on to my new drive train! The crunching and popping of bits of stone and sand in the chain and chain ring's meshing together was unnerving.

Burton Avenue looking South
I probably was in an area where the snow fall had been lighter, thus the softer roads, because as I came further south, the roads firmed up once again. At any rate, I had to break each part into a goal to reach as by this time I was starting to get really tired, hungry, and my legs were roached.

My next main goal was to get to the corner of Burton Avenue and Bennington Road so I could stop to refuel, which would leave a short section back into Waterloo, where I hoped the winds would be deflected more and I could pass by without having to work so hard. This sector was the toughest of all, and I was rather pleased with myself afterward because I was able to fight through some pain issues, with being very hungry, and fighting with the wind and soft roads. I managed to get to my goal of the intersection without a stop after the lunch stop previous.

After a break for some gummy chews and another gel, (this one coffee flavored. Yum!), I took off slowly to go the three miles to the edge of Waterloo and a bit of a break from the high resistance of the snowy gravel when I hit chip seal roads coming into town. Just before reaching Waterloo proper, I heard a cacophony of honking in the distance to the East. I turned to see a patch of a golden brown stubble field blackened by a flock of Canadian geese that must have numbered into the several hundreds. They were certainly very loud!

In the end, I managed to make the loop in a little over three hours, including stops. That wasn't too bad, considering the tougher conditions and heavier bike, when compared to my usual Summertime loop times on the same course. I paid for the effort though! I was torched. I ate a big meal and then Mrs. Guitar Ted rolled my legs with a roller, which hurt like crazy, but made my legs feel much better than they would have on Sunday.

Next up, some refining of the set up and more riding on my way to Triple D!


billy k said...

just wondering if you are still liking the sterlings tubeless? and which homemade sealant receipe you used there is a lot of different ones out there. thanks for all the great info you post. billy

Guitar Ted said...

@billy k: Thanks for the comments!I not only really like the Sterling tires tubeless, I would not run them any other way, having run them tubed to begin with. These tires are soooo different tubeless, in a better way! Tubed they felt dead, felt sluggish on acceleration, and overall were nearly a let down over the previously used Surlys, but tubeless- unbelievably different!

Now they feel supple, accelerate easily, and roll faster. The biggest thing with the Vee Rubber made tires I can see is that the pressures do not need to be run as low as Surly tires to get the same traction benefits. I have yet to go below 10psi, and would run 20psi in dry, Summer-like conditions.

I recently posted the recipe I use for tubeless conversion of bicycle tires in the comments section here:

Lance H Andre said...

The picture of the bridge at Iwannahoe road is frame worthy!

.s.s. said...

Thanks for the write up. Do you have any tips for helmets and subzero temps? I didn't see a helmet on your list.

Guitar Ted said...

@.s.s: I do not wear a helmet in winter because it makes it harder to keep warm, however, using a BMX style helmet, or one of the crop of "enduro" influenced helmets, like the Bell Super, makes this less of an issue.

MrDaveyGie said...

always enjoy reading your ride posts...the detail makes me feel I am riding along...

Guitar Ted said...

@MrDavieGie: Thanks! Sometime we ought to actually do that.....ya know- Ride together. Would be a good time , I am sure!