“Trust is earned in drops and lost in buckets.”
It was fun to get out for a weekend of camping and riding with the Irvings and Jay in Fort Bragg, where three of us took on the Grasshopper Adventure Series on Sunday. 90 miles of muddy climby goodness in the redwoods and old logging towns of the North Coast.
I was slightly apprehensive as I haven’t been doing a ton of big rides in the last few years and it’s very hard to fake your way through one of these. I also was concerned about the “neutral ‘ rollout from Fort Bragg and getting dropped before the timing began. In hindsight, all that was fine and I should have simply waited for the official start at 10:30, but I knew I’d be slow, was concerned about keeping everyone at the finish for too long, and so after riding easy up the coast with Jay, A.J, and Owen, AJ and I turned up Branscombe as early starters.
I paced things well on the opening seven-mile climb and then settled into my CarbMax pace( thank you INSCYD for that information) of 230-193 watts as much as possible. The lead group ripped by before Laytonville with Owen comfortably aboard, and Jay’s group picked me up for a quick descent down 101 to Sherwood Road, where the real heinous dirt climbing began.
I had two bottles packed with 300-400 calories apiece and once I got over the climb and first descent I was able to get back onto an eating schedule of about a bar every hour. I refilled the bottles about 95 K in with more Superfuel and Roctane ( also drank a bottle of Osmo at the feed stop) and carefully managed any twinges over the last 40K of hills.
Final stats for me-
7:37 ride time
8789 ft climbed
204 NP ( right in the Carbmax zone)
My 2013 Super X was probably one of the only bikes sporting rim brakes and steeper CX geometry on the start line, but the recent upgrades of the SMP Pro saddle and the Coefficient AR bars were perfect and I really had zero issues. I also tweaked my fit while in the studio doing some projects last week, moving the saddle lower and more forward. I’m waiting for a 100 mm stem( dealing with supply issues like everyone else these days) and then will adjust the cockpit reach and stack a bit as well, going back out and down some.
A huge confidence builder for me( even after 25 years of competing I still sometimes worry about miles in the legs) and I’m excited for more challenges this summer!
Results And Kudos
Owen Irving- P1 U19, Grasshopper Sherwood Adventure, Fort Bragg, CA
Grant Haidinyak- Devil In A Rando Dress 200K
Jay Parkhill- P8 50-59, Grasshopper Sherwood Adventure, Fort Bragg, CA
John Cheetham- 5:52:29- Grasshopper Sherwood Adventure, Fort Bragg, CA
Bike Fitting Thoughts
Setting your cleats up in a neutral position works well for 95 percent of cyclists
Returning to the first point about bike shoes that fit, it’s really hard to work around shoes that are a size too big, and you’ll never be happy wearing a shoe that’s too short or too narrow.
Many riders just kind of guess and put the cleats on with a “ well, it’s close, right?” kind of statement.
Get acquainted with your feet, really it’s better without socks on. Look for the metatarsal or ” knuckle” next to the ball of the foot, and find the side of that. Now find the corresponding “ knuckle “ or bump on the base of the little toe. Feel where the bump is on the side of the foot?
Now that we know what we are looking for, put your shoe on, and properly tighten it. A helper here is useful! Find those same bumps through the shoe and mark the side of the shoe or sole a bit( see where a helper is useful?). Now take the shoe off and you will have an idea of where your forefoot sits in the shoe.
Install your cleats loosely and get them in between those dots, so if you had a transparent ruler it would bisect the cleat. Again, visualize your foot in the pedal and face the cleat forward or how your foot likes to rest, does it splay out a bit? Most bike fitters will take these patterns into account and do all types of assessments both on and off the bike, for now, at home, start with it perfectly forward. Tighten and click in!
You now have a great starting place for a cleat position! Ride the trainer and pay close attention to how the position feels. Minor changes in cleat alignment and fore-aft position make a big difference, so take some time, get it right. As with most contact points on a bike, you’re pretty close if you aren’t thinking about it. If it’s bugging you, that’s great feedback that it’s not perfect.
Enjoy the ride!
The Bike Fitting Schedule Is Open!
Lets dial in your bike fit this summer! Stocking bars from Coefficient, SQ Labs, and saddles from SQ Labs, SMP, and demos from Specialized and Fizik.
5 Micronutrient Deficiencies to Look for in Athletes
Excellent basic article and the ” Big 5″ in my opinion. One more I might consider is iron and ferritin levels, especially in vegetarian athletes. If you hit all five or six of these targets you’ll be in great shape, and they can be considered ” pillars” of the micronutrients.
I love these videos. I.R. heading to Big Bend was pretty cool and I saw lots of familar spots that Justin and I rode through this winter.
Big Bend is one of the most ” metal” places I’ve ever been and it definitely tore them up a bit. When Jeremiah Bishop says its getting dangerous, its getting gnarly.