STP in 2 Weeks

Well, there are just two weeks to go. Here’s the final training schedule

| Week Ending | Total | Mon | Weds | Sat | Sun |
| June 26 | 150 | 30 | | 80 | 40 |
| July 3 | 120 | 30 | | 60 | 40 |
| July 10 | 236 | 20 | 10 | 206 | Done! |

So, I’m a little off this schedule. Did 100 miles this Saturday, but need to get 40 miles then 30 then 80 then 40 through the coming long weekend.

Also, just went to Gregg’s and learned some depressing things about my bicycle. Basically, I’ve been overusing it. Another lesson that although a chain may be in the wear range. That is not stretched, it will certainly cause the cogset to get worn. Net, net, on the eve of it all, here is what’s happened:

Topolino wheelset. Basically, the rear wheel hub is loose, so the folks at Gregg’s had to clean and rebuild it. There aren’t instructions from this from “Topolino Tech”:http://topolinotech.com, but you essentially, remove the cogset and then there is a set screw that you remove and the whole bearing system comes out. Turns out that the pawls and everything else was rusty and gunky, so put it back together. There is also now a wobble, so I need to true it. The bad news is the guy said that the wheelset had fraying. Topolino will rehab the thing for $50 for new bearings and $50 for retruing and tensioning the wheels. As usual, these are strange wheels, so it is not like they like it. Rather I just use Mavics. _I just spoke with Jason over at Topolino, he says the fraying is not a big deal, but does recommend bringing it back in._

Cogset. Two shops have said the teeth are worn. It makes sense to me now that two have said it. The chain they say is already 75% worn and I just put it on. I had this problem before where a worn cogset then blew a chain. Since I’ve done 250 miles on this chain, it might really happen. He also claimed that my front cranks are worn. Hard to believe that. I have a spare 12-25 cogset from my other bike, so I’ll try that and put another new chain on it. Hope that helps. Also says I had an 11-tooth cogset holder and I needed a 12-tooth. I remember this vaguely, so need to put that on. I’m guessing what has happened is that using an 11-tooth holder has made the cassette wiggle and increased wear on it.

Ergolevers. Says that the Ergolevers are worn. Could be. They are just 2,000 miles old though, so hard to believe. I do have another Ergolever, so I can swap that as well.

Cadence sensor. It is on the drive side and he says it should be on the other side to preven interference with the cables. Easy to do so will get to tonight.

Pulley bolt. I have a Polor Power Output pulley bolt. I don’t know where my Record pulley bolt is. Hard to believe that is an issue but should do for hygiene.

Bent derailleur hanger. The most depressing thing, the derailleur hanger is bent. He tried to straighten but it didn’t hold. Said that metal fatigue on the drop meant that the frame had to go back to the factory to be replace. How sad. I can probably hang on till after the STP for that (I hope). Not clear how it got bent though as I didn’t crash and it has been straight.

STP Information

!Group Health Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic: Ride Information and Description. It’s getting close, here is last minute information on the STP.

There is a rough training schedule on the stp site not bad to take a look the real issue is two fold that looks like this for the coming weeks one day “training”:http://www.cascade.org/EandR/stp/stp_mileage.cfm#one

| Week Ending | Weekly | Wed |Fri | Sat | Sun |
| June 5 | 190 | 50 | | 110 | 30 |
| June 12 | 200 | 30 | 10 | 140 | 20 |
| June 19 | 210 | 40 | 20 | 100 | 50 |
| June 26 | 150 | 30 | | 80 | 40 |
| July 3 | 120 | 30 | | 80 | 40 |
| July 10 | 236 | 20 | 10 | 206 | Done! |

Getting to speed. That’s means doing the flying wheels century june 18th at a average of 15mph including stops. 15mph let’s you finish in 14 hours or so.

And there is the really important issue of training your behind to sit on that saddle. This is a really long endurance ride so nows the time to experiment with nutrition. Many folks end up switching to new drinks, food etc and end up feeling sick during the ride. So here are some tips from the pros. First, don’t change what you are a eating in the last week. During the race in particular there are zillions of free goodies (really) so be careful not to chow down and then yuke it up later. Fwiw I’m settled down to cliff bars, hammergel and haven’t foudn the right electrolyte replacement yet but will experiment in the next week.

h3. The course

A couple of folks asked davema and I about this. We’ll actually try to ride the first 70 miles in the final long run before. Gives everyone confidence at least at the start. I’ll figure out the time but probably right after flying wheels and before the last week taper down.

To summarize the scoop. The first 100 miles are the flattest you’ll ever see there is one hill before you get to the half way point. (Erik, I don’t know nyc well enough to know what’s analogous, but its like the nj turnpike from nyc to philly literally in terms of hills).

The trick is not to go too fast that first 100. Many people fly thru at 85% max rate and then bonk the second half. It also has the most accidents as there is a tricky railroad crossing and also lots of people who have never run a paceline. It is also all about finding other groups to hookup with to create ever longer pacelines. Takes a while to find a group to tuck into.

There is a big stop at centralia where folks rest and there is food. As a gadget geek it *the* opportunity to see the lastest in biking technology lying on the ground in the hundreds. More carbon fiber and titanium than the space shuttle has.

The second half features rollers and most importantly the wind really picks up. This is where you get to see guys on $8k bikes who haven’t trained give up and are passed by folks on $600 schwinns. So if we grind it out at low heart rate and find a good larger group to paceline in it will be fine.

The final 50 miles is actually the most deceiving part. You go over the longview bridges into oregon and think you are dne. In actually this is usually the hardest part. These last miles are down the columbia river (hey guys it is windsurfing capital of the US there) and it is typicaly late afternoon when winds are the strongest. So hopefully we have been saving energy till then.

h3. Support

Btw the ride is incredibly well supported. The gold wings motorcycle club runs the route with pumps and tubes. And every 20 miles or so there are stops and bike support. Also lots of small town folks with brownie sales etc. Folks are remarkably supportive of the event although there are always a few bad apples.

h3. Food and drink etc.

That being said I personally try to bring everything that I need. This includes food bars, gu, etc. Two tubes etc. Clothingwise hopefully it will be a good day. Most folks carry a light jacket. The temps should be mild in the 70s but we’ll see when we get there. The perfect weather btw is overcast, 60s and not no wind ironically.

Last Minute Bike Shopping

So here is what I finally got to get ready for the STP. Lots of miscellaneous last minute things:

* Campagnolo Record C10 Ultra Chain. “Biketiresdirect”:http://www.biketiresdirect.com/productdetail.asp?p=CARCH has them for $48 plus a flat $6 shipping per order. A good price. Slightly lower than $50 from “Colorado Cyclist”:http://www.coloradocyclist.com/common/products/productdisplay2_v2.cfm?PRRFNBR=30826&CGRFNBR=479&CRPCGNBR=479&CI=1,225,479&TextMode=0 if you hit the $150 minimum for free shipping, then go to Colorado. Otherwise Biketiresdirect. These are 20 grams lighter than the older Record Chain.
* Campagnolo Record Crank CT. Finally decided to just get the stock Record instead of the FSA mainly because I already have a Record bottom bracket and it will all fit. “Colorado Cylist”:http://www.coloradocyclist.com/common/products/productdisplay2_v2.cfm?PRRFNBR=34950&CGRFNBR=587&CRPCGNBR=587&CI=1,225,481,587&TextMode=0 has a $440 price for that. The alternative is the FSA SL-K Compact for $319 from “Wise Cycle Buys”:http://gallery.bcentral.com/GID4946883P4287005-Components-Individual/FSA/FSA-SL-K-MegaExo-Compact-Crankset-w-BB.aspx or if you don’t need to save the half an ounce, the Chorus CT is just $410 from “Colorado Cyclist”:http://www.coloradocyclist.com/common/products/productdisplay2_v2.cfm?PRRFNBR=34946&CGRFNBR=587&CRPCGNBR=587&CI=1,225,481,587&TextMode=0
* Campagnolo Chorus CT Front Derailleur. “Colorado Cyclist”:http://www.coloradocyclist.com/common/products/productdisplay2_v2.cfm?PRRFNBR=34958&CGRFNBR=483&CRPCGNBR=483&CI=1,225,483&TextMode=0 has them for $80. These are shaped differently and according to Bicycling, they will shift better with these. Although others report just lowering the front derailleur 10mm does the trick as well.
* “Campagnolo Record Bottom Bracket. This is $94 at “Wise Cycle”:http://gallery.bcentral.com/GID4946883P3251190-Components-Individual/Campagnolo/Campagnolo-Record/Campagnolo-Record-Bottom-Bracket.aspx with free shipping over $200. It is $103 at Colorado Cyclist. Alternatively, you can get the Phil Wood bottom bracket which is practically indestructible for $200 or so. It weighs just 140 grams vs. 190 grams for Record Bottom Bracket or 220 grams for Chorus.
* Veloflex Open Pave. Got these for $39 from “La Bicicletta”:http://www.labicicletta.com/edatcat/us/tlsstore.cgi?user_action=detail&catalogno=US-VElOCLINCHPAVE22 even with the $6 charge still cheaper than $45 from Colorado Cyclist.
* Castelli Ypro3 Bib Shorts. $150 from “Getfitsports”:http://www.getfitsports.com/castelli.htm. The best shorts out there for the money. Been using for years.
* “Hammergel”:http://www.roadbikereview.com/training/nutrition/Hammer/PRD_20548_1643crx.aspx. Mine was way too old. Still top rated for gels. You need the gels after the bars just won’t go down. Montlake Bike Shop has them or get them online from “E-caps”:http://www.e-caps.com/za/ECP?PAGE=HAMMEREXPRESS. “Endurance Zone”:http://www.endurancezone.com/ by the way also charges $7 for shipping but it will give you the first order with free shipping and “Trails Edge”:http://www.trails-edge.com/retail/hammergel/hammergel.htm throws in shipping if you order more than $25 worth.
* “Macalu Bar Tape”:http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?page=8&description=Cork+Tape&vendorCode=MACALU&major=1&minor=32. I go through so much of this bar tape, I wonder if the $7 stuff from Excel Sports works as well as the $10 Cinelli I normally use from biketiresdirect.

STP 2003 or Bust!

Cascade Bicycle Club: Group Health Group Health Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic. “Hoops”:http://scbhooper.com has done it a million times. I wanted to do it last year, but had a bike accident that put me out of commission, but I’m healthy this year and here we go. It’s 200 miles long and there were 7,170 riders in 2002 with 1,356 doing it in one day. Our goal this year.

Here’s the vital information:

* “Suggested Weekly Mileage”:http://cascade.org/EandR/stp_mileage.cfm. There is no time like the present! This week of April 28 for instance, the one day rider should be doing 120 miles total with an 80 mile Friday or Saturday ride and then two days of 20 mile rides. I’m at about 80 miles last week, so better hustle. Main problem is all my miles are for 20 mile rides, so I have to pump out a long one on Friday’s. BTW, 80 miles is roughly 5 hours for me on the bike!
* It’s tempting to sign up for personal training. Lots of people provide this from “trainright.com”:http://trainright.com for $80 per month to Chris Carmichael (Lance’s trainer).