Sunday, November 16, 2008

Life is Like a False Flat

Is there anything more enjoyable than riding fast in the downhill direction of a false flat? In your mind's eye the terrain is level, yet you're comfortably on top of the 53x12 at 31 mph. Feeling strong and powerful, conjuring up thoughts of Fabian Cancellara soloing away to win Paris-Roubaix. Yeah, that's you, right here, right now! Miles of road left behind for somebody else. To you, it's just a continuous blur beneath your wheels. No time for scenery gazing 'cause you're hyper-alert to what's ahead... best not to hit a rock at this speed!

Such a rush, riding down a false flat, but all too soon the road flattens out. It always does. Click, click, click,... back to the 53x17 ...back to reality.

And sometimes reality means riding the false flat in the uphill direction. Struggling to turn over the pedals, not moving forward as quickly as you hoped. You don't understand why it's so hard. What's the problem, flat tire? Brake rubbing? Gotta keep the pressure on, losing focus now could mean slipping backward. Or failure. So you compromise a little... CLUNK, shift into the small chain-ring. It's easier now, you don't reach as far with each pedal stroke. You're slowing down, settling in for the long haul.

And then you remember, it's riding the uphill direction that makes you stronger.

Shift back into the big ring.

9 comments:

TnA said...

You sound like someone who needs a powermeter ;-)

...or maybe just a bike computer with elevation/%grade readings?

Steve said...

TNA said - You need a power meter.

OH Boy not this discussion again.

Wait I do want this discussion - does anyone have experience with the iSport $199.00 Power meter? For those of us who do not want to or feel the need to Spend $1000.00 and add a pound to our bike ??

Any feedback on this unit ???

Steve Douville

Marco Fanelli said...

Uughh!! It's a metaphor!!! ...or maybe an allegory or simile... I can never remember which is which.

Are you saying there's a power meter for life?!?

TnA said...

No...I'm just trying to say that when you have some sort of actual gauge on your effort, you can get stronger in the downhill direction too... ;-)

I knew what you meant though...I'm just rattling your cage. Hmmm...power meter for life, though?...how about your level of personal satisfaction?

To Steve, the iSport is a good way to get your "feet wet" with a power meter, except as I understand it there's no way to put in your actual drag coefficient or tire rolling resistance since you're limited to just a set of "standard" options. In that sense, you could end up with power readings that are "for entertainment purposes only". BUT, with the newest version of the iBike computers, the hardware is identical for all the versions, so upgrading only means loading in new firmware (and paying more money, of course).

I've had the opportunity to play around with the previous version of the iAero model recently...and it can be a bit "fiddly". I'm supposed to be sent one of the new models soon, and some of the hardware changes are meant to address the "fiddliness"...we shall see soon ;-)

Oh yeah...I can't think of one of the current power meter options that would actually add an entire pound to your bike.

Anonymous said...

just keep running, that should do it.

mq in low cal

Drea said...

Wow, what a wonderful simile and you guys turn it into bike chatter. Boys!

Anyway, I really this write up.

Marco Fanelli said...

Ahhh... So it's a simile! Thanks Drea!! Your kids will love you when they're in 7th-grade English.

jen said...

Concur. Simile, it is.

The "like" part gave it away :-)

Btw, the RBR analysis of this blog thingy of yours is the funniest evAH, not that I read all of it. I really don't have that much time on my hands...

Marco Fanelli said...

Oh yeah, the ol' "like a" and "is a" rules!!! I must have blotted all that English stuff out of my memory. 'tis too bad in a way... now my kids think I'm even more useless, since I can't even help with the homework (except Math of course).

RBR... Yeah, ol' Brucie is a crack-up, whether he means to be or not. He clearly knows his HTML and web-site stuff though. I checked out his Pro Women's Cycling site and it was loaded with stuff. One of these days I'll update this stupid blog's template, and get better links. Gotta dump Cody for Marian on the locals. Also add bicicorsa to make it easy for all us vain Sunday-worlds riders to check our style and such.