Posts Tagged ‘Felt

20
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Cycling Camp: Part 2

 April 18th: Day 3

Sunday morning, my back felt ok. What’s complex is that my condition changes every hour. Not only do I have the back and hip to deal with (right side, cycling related), but also the left arm and leg and of course, the neck, which are totally different issues. A big, big puzzle not yet solved. Knowing that, I’ve got to have very few expectations…And lots of back up plans! Focusing on what I CAN do as my priority, trying not to think about what I miss or wish I could achieve. Easier said than done, especially when surrounded by so many cyclists here at the Massanutten resort.

Anyhow, Pat wanted to discover new potential cycling routes around the city of Luray, about 40 minutes from here. He knows tons of loops around the resort but he’s got a special gift for finding those quiet countryside roads. Unfortunately, we spent more time in the car than I thought we would and by the time we got to our starting destination, my back was hurting really bad. At that point, I decided not to focus on the pain and told myself that getting up and spinning the legs would feel much better than sitting in the car (to be honest, Pat told me so!)

(Pat is my human Garmin!!)

(Cold and very windy, a little bit like home!)

 Well, guess what: he was right! We did an hour long loop around Luray (which is well-known for its caverns). An ideal ride for a girl trying to adjust to a new position: flats, roller terrain, short steep hills, false flats. Awkward in the beginning, not used to being that low on my saddle, I felt like I couldn’t extend my legs at all. Did not feel right. In reality, it just did not feel like before, which was actually gonna be a good thing since before was linked to pain! Pat, as patient as ever (he’s a coach after all!), told me to give it a try.

At first, I was laughing at my position, goofing around, until I really gave it a chance. Focusing on one thing: getting my heels down, my way of finding my smooth pedaling stroke, my lethal weapon I would say! When I saw that steep hill coming up, my instincts took over;  I slightly slid forward on my saddle, kept my head and chest up so I could easily breathe, moved my hands on my handlebars, kept my elbows close to me (easier for the heart, my energy saving mode) and got those heels down.

Suddenly, it was all so easy, effortless, as only my quads were working, giving my back and gluteus a well-deserved break. In within a few seconds, I was able to reach Pat. Le petit lapin was back! So happy to have found my sensations again and that graceful power that I’ve been craving for.   

 So, even though it was cold (low 40), the setting was perfect. I don’t know why but somehow, the grass looks greener around here! Surrounded by those huge mountains, following the river, waving to dozens of horses, I felt fantastic! The old Mari-jo may be making a comeback. That short but intense ride gave me confidence and faith, two major concepts that I had forgotten about over the last few years.

 April 19th: Day 4

  1. Ice on sacrum for 10 minutes, lying flat on my back.
  2. Heated lower back brace for 1 hour.
  3. Walk as little as possible.
  4. Repeat.

That homemade treatment seems to be doing the trick this week!

When I got on my bike yesterday, it felt just right. I was me again. Even though the headwind was tough, I was able to find my efficient pedaling stroke, hiding behind Pat’s wheel (of course!) sitting a bit further back as usual on my saddle. What seemed to be awkward the day before was now more than comfy. Flying downhill like if I was driving a powerful race car. In and out of the saddle going uphill. Hands in the drops going down, which I can’t dare to do when my bone spurs in my neck are acting up.

3 words to describe my ride: fun, fun, fun! 

(We even got a taste of Provence with that old house!)

(Very hard for me to say no to a double fudge chocolate cookie! I think Pat is trying to slow me down any way he can!)

(Here he is, flying awayyyy)

Now, after 4 years of aches and pains with my Felt, I finally find the perfect fitting. Pretty amusing since I’m getting a new bike in 1 week! So you’re thinking, what about that new Italian bike you’ve been talking about? Well, my friends, we found out yesterday that my Wilier (or Izzy, if you prefer) has arrived in Montreal. Christian, from Le Yéti, will bring her to me here at Massanutten resort, next Saturday. Phew!

Hopefully, I won’t go through the same journey to gain that ideal fit. I think I’ve done my share of suffering on a bike, don’t you think?

Have a great day everyone,

Mjo

( Quick’s new friends at the house: Benji and that cute Eskimo…that keeps crying all night long!)

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03
Avr
10

Sirop d’érable and bikes!

What a week it has been. First, that snow on Monday morning really put everyone in a terrible mood; an awful déjà vu for all of us, living in Quebec. In addition, my legs started hurting like crazy, for no apparent reason. No being able to stand up kind of hurting. Or maybe it was just my excuse to spend some time in our brand new sectional…

Anyway, went for a short ride on Tuesday; under-dressed with 3 layers. That cold wind blasting sand all over my Felt. To non-cyclists, layers are irrelevant. But to cyclists, they are essential. The more you have in your closet, the more kick ass you are. The less you have to wear during your ride, the happier you are… Aaaah the satisfaction of getting closer and closer to summertime riding!

So, on Friday, something magical happened: no long thermal bibs. No Neoprene shoe covers. Nope. The sun not only showed up;  it was waaaaarm. Over 20°C!  World record this time of year. Bibs, jersey, vest and white sleeves only. Couldn’t believe it, had to take off those sleeves after a few minutes. Funny, for some reason, I feel more secure when I’ve got sleeves on. You know, just in case… Anyhow, in the back pocket they went!

Ok now, since it’s Saturday, enough of that writing; let’s see pics!

Yep, still snow on top of Tremblant! But at least, the ice finally melted on Lac Maskinongé.

That’s where real Maple syrup comes from (cabane à sucre). Or Sirop d’érable like we say here. Mmmmm.

Quick is thinking about ordering 4 of those Pearl Izumi paw covers for next winter…

(Yep, saving my white Italian shoes for my new Izoard!)

Ciao guys!

Mjo

20
Mar
10

No such thing as perfect weather!

Friday March 19

When I got up, my neck was stiff. Having given 4 massages the night before, I was expecting that stiffness. Given that all I wanted to do that morning was to go for my second ride of the season, I was a tiny bit disappointed. But I didn’t panic. Nooooo, I did that in the past and usually, it doesn’t help! So I iced it, did some light cleaning around the house, took a walk with Quick and as the morning went by, my neck got better. Youpi, let’s get on with business!

11:00 Still cold outside, but definitely my favourite time to ride.

Decision time:

  • Option 1: have a snack, put on 4 warm layers and go.
  • Option 2: wait 2 hours until it warms up, have a light lunch, put laundry out on the terrace for it to dry (don’t you just love that smell?) and then, head out.

(Major slip-up#1: forgetting to check Accuweather.)

I decided to go with option 2, which is what I never go for. I prefer getting my workout done before lunch. After eating, I usually like to chill. Hate getting in my bibs when I’m all stuffed. In addition, since I eat meat, those proteins take a longer time to digest…

1:30 pm Sun is out, time to go.

(Major slip-up #2: trusting the sun and wearing 3 layers instead of 4.)

Yeah, all good, riding my bike on a nice early spring Friday afternoon! I took the 327 towards Brébeuf because I know it’s always one of the first roads they clean after winter. I decided to make a left on chemin Paquette, since it got brand new pavement last September. What use to feel like misery for my back is now a smooth ride. When you’re a cyclist, you remember those new slick and silky roads! Also, I wanted to see if I could make the loop around the lake (Lac Maskinongé), or if it was still covered with sand.

 You can’t really see it in the picture but this house looks deserted. It’s just not straight anymore. In French we say “maison hantée” (haunted house). But I suspect that someone actually lives there. I’ve seen a car parked in front. An old gray car. Hmm, I should investigate…

Anyhow, as soon as I took the pic, the wind started blowing like crazy, and to my surprise, rain. Cold rain. Brrr. Got my phone in the back pocket, put on the gloves, jumped onto my San Marco and headed back on the 327. Suddenly, I was in a hurry to make it back home. Oh my, as I passed the lake covered with ice, did I miss my rain jacket! Pedal, pedal, pedal.

Gray sky, angry sky. Wind, bitter wind. Rain, arctic rain.

All I could think about was my laundry that I carefully spreaded outside, thanks to that peaceful sun earlier. Talk about a change of weather! In within a 1 minute, it just wasn’t the same day.

Got home, unlocked the door, left the muddy Felt on the balcony, got in, took off my shoe covers, shoes (not a good idea to sprint with cleats on slippery floor), and ran through the living room to the back terrace to save my clothes. Or I should say my wet clothes. Grabbed it all and as I pushed the “on” button of the dryer, I noticed a glow. Went back outside. Could not believe my eyes: there he was, Mr. Sunshine was back!

Lessons learned:

  1. Never wait for perfect weather.
  2. Always check out Accuweather, just in case…
  3. Early spring, bring that rain jacket.

Someone was very happy to see me back so soon!

03
Fév
10

Mamma Mia!

From Felt to Wilier. American-German to Italian.

Kind of like switching families. As much as I enjoyed my ride with my Felt, I’m ready to try something new. Makes me nervous though. Big time nerve wracking!  Like the beginning of any new relationship, I’m questioning my move:

 Will I be fond of it? I mean fall head over hills in love with it? Will it fit my kind of riding? How aggressive will it be? Comfortable? Will I be good enough for it? Do I deserve it? How long will our passion last? Can I afford it? And finally, will my back hurt as much while riding?

Even if I know it’s for the best, I still feel insecurities taking over the excitement.

I’ve always been that way. For me, it’s actually a positive state of mind! I like to process information in a very structural way:

  • 1- I’m always sceptical at first (Didn’t say pessimist). Unless you win my heart, I’m a no!
  • 2- Give me the facts, I need to gather the information and analyse the pros and cons. And don’t rush me…
  • 3- After, I let my feelings come into play. By then, I know what’s right for me.
  • 4- At last, decision time: once I made up my mind and there is no way back. No doubt. No regrets.

So now, I still have one day to analyse the Izoard (not the Mortirolo anymore). The order will take place on Thursday. Until then, I’ll be juggling through the 4 steps.

Good news, I’m already done with the first three so it’s all up to my guts…

Good vibes, Izzy belongs to me! Yep, already got a nickname!

PS1: If you want to check it out: http://www.wilier.it/main.htm 

PS2: Thanks to @coachpatwells for making this huge upgrade possible and giving me all the info I need, merci!

Ciao!

Mjo

26
Nov
09

So long dear friend!

(Note: version française disponible à la page suivante) 

For some, it’s just an ordinary bicycle or an old bike to get from point A to point B. A frame, 2 wheels, a fork, left on the side of the house, at the corner store or at the coffee shop, without supervision. Oh boy, really not the case with my bike!

My Felt, made of Scandium (  http://www.salsacycles.com/materials.html ) always sleeps inside the house. Brand new, he (definitely not a it) even spent a few nights in the bedroom with us. Beauty sleep for my little guy!

He now shares the hallway with his brother, Coachpat’s impressive replica of Team Garmin Slipstream’s Felt.

 

You can also guess that you will never see my bike on a rack, on top of my car. High speed, on the highway, no way! Paint, scratches, flies all over, forget it. Not a good combo.

Over the years, we really got to spend quality time together, like good friends. I have to admit that I got a crush on him when I first saw it (still talking about the bike!).

All black, there’s really nothing flashy about him, a low profile look that I love. But, with my pink San Marco saddle and pink handlebar tape, he’s got my subtle feminine touch…

So, last summer, sitting at a terrace, Pat told me the unthinkable:

“Your bike is way too big for you, that’s why your lower back hurts so much. Don’t worry, we’ll find you another one.”

Really did not expect that one! Didn’t see it coming either. A fool. At first, I thought he was kidding. Like he always does. But he kept on going.

Tears were coming out. Scared at the idea of having to let go of my precious bike.

Poor waitress, I can only imagine what she was thinking, watching me cry, while Pat was telling me that I’ll get over it, with time!

In my head, I kept saying “No, I’ll always keep him, even if we don’t fit. Don’t wanna see anybody else with him. Love him too much.”

“Aaaah, jealousy will get you nowhere”, Pat’s famous quote.

Inevitably, in order for my back to get better and to continue riding, I have to sell my Felt.

I feel sad but yet happy that someone else (still looking btw!) is going to enjoy such a sweet ride!

So long my Felt, thanks for the ride!

 

MjoXX

Link to my bike: http://www.sportfishermen.com/board/f484/bicycle-sale-felt-very-rare-team-colavita-scandium-52cm-386553.html




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