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Are you improving?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Are you improving?

Old 05-29-10, 02:36 PM
  #1  
coasting 
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Are you improving?

It just occurred to me that I have ridden faster and harder every week for the last few weeks. I put it down to squeezing in a few short sharp rides on weekdays. I guess little and frequent is the best way to improve.

What other little tips have you got?
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Old 05-29-10, 02:38 PM
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Improving? I'm just trying not to get killed on my bicycle. That takes all my energy. Between Deadly Early AM High Speed Chain Suck and Nyack Ride Hollywood Stunt Crashes, it's a challenge.
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Old 05-29-10, 02:38 PM
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Well the more you ride you're not going to get worse. Maybe stagnate, but you're not going to get worse. So you're technically always improving.
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Old 05-29-10, 02:45 PM
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Not me. Crashed last weekend and gave my knee a good jolt, took the week off only to aggravate it again at track tourney for a measly three bronze and one gold
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Old 05-29-10, 02:46 PM
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coasting 
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i think i'm getting close to the point where I can't go too much faster without losing weight. I don't like being hungry.
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Old 05-29-10, 02:47 PM
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Maybe it's the new Ti ride that's making you feel stronger. How are you liking that frame btw? The more and more I check it out it becomes more tempting. Although I was told this week at an LBS that any Ti frame under $3k is poo and I really wanted to direct them to your build thread.
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Old 05-29-10, 02:52 PM
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Tips? Intervals ftw.

They do suck, though.
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Old 05-29-10, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
Maybe it's the new Ti ride that's making you feel stronger. How are you liking that frame btw? The more and more I check it out it becomes more tempting. Although I was told this week at an LBS that any Ti frame under $3k is poo and I really wanted to direct them to your build thread.
Whoever told you that is not informed.

I have a custom Habanero Ti frame. Very reasonable price. Not poo.
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Old 05-29-10, 02:55 PM
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ride a bigger gear ratio

I made a huge improvement in strength and speed by swapping out the compact that came on my bike for a standard 53-39, and just recently switched to a 11-23 cassette. You will notice that it's harder at first, but then you get strong enough that you don't even notice...
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Old 05-29-10, 02:56 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
Maybe it's the new Ti ride that's making you feel stronger. How are you liking that frame btw? The more and more I check it out it becomes more tempting. Although I was told this week at an LBS that any Ti frame under $3k is poo and I really wanted to direct them to your build thread.
well i think i have nailed down my opinion now after a fair bit of riding on both that and the carbon bike. That Ti is not as soft as my carbon. the carbn soaks up more bumps. I've tested it on the 2 wheelsets. The carbon, even though heavier, is very very nimble. It flicks around and feels really light even though it is more heavy. The Ti (not because of material but geometry i'm sure) is no slacker but it can be ridden almost like autopilot. It is very reponsive but if you just point and pedal, you don't have to concentrate. For this reason, I've put the stiffer wheels on the carbon and use it for shorter hilly rides where I try to charge around the route and the Ti I use as a weekend long distance ride where I just put the ear buds in and plod along for hours.

i wonder if a more expensive Ti can be softer than carbon in soaking up bumps, but mine is good but not as good as the carbon.

about the auto pilot comment...both bikes can whip round the bends nice and tight, but the carbon needs to be controlled on a straight line if i suddenly accelerate. The Ti just stays in line no matter how much i stamp on the pedals.
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Old 05-29-10, 03:05 PM
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Yes, I feel and am faster than I have ever been.
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Are they talking about spectators feeding the cyclists? You know, like don't feed the bears?
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Old 05-29-10, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by coasting View Post
It just occurred to me that I have ridden faster and harder every week for the last few weeks. I put it down to squeezing in a few short sharp rides on weekdays. I guess little and frequent is the best way to improve.

What other little tips have you got?
maybe it's time for a reduced-load week. i normally schedule one in every 4-5 weeks.

Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
Maybe it's the new Ti ride that's making you feel stronger. How are you liking that frame btw? The more and more I check it out it becomes more tempting. Although I was told this week at an LBS that any Ti frame under $3k is poo and I really wanted to direct them to your build thread.
i'd stop going to that LBS if i were you. lynskey has a fully loaded R340 for $3k. amazing deal
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Old 05-29-10, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by coasting View Post
well i think i have nailed down my opinion now after a fair bit of riding on both that and the carbon bike. That Ti is not as soft as my carbon. the carbn soaks up more bumps. I've tested it on the 2 wheelsets. The carbon, even though heavier, is very very nimble. It flicks around and feels really light even though it is more heavy. The Ti (not because of material but geometry i'm sure) is no slacker but it can be ridden almost like autopilot. It is very reponsive but if you just point and pedal, you don't have to concentrate. For this reason, I've put the stiffer wheels on the carbon and use it for shorter hilly rides where I try to charge around the route and the Ti I use as a weekend long distance ride where I just put the ear buds in and plod along for hours.

i wonder if a more expensive Ti can be softer than carbon in soaking up bumps, but mine is good but not as good as the carbon.

about the auto pilot comment...both bikes can whip round the bends nice and tight, but the carbon needs to be controlled on a straight line if i suddenly accelerate. The Ti just stays in line no matter how much i stamp on the pedals.
Thanks for your thoughts so far. It's crazy that your thoughts on it are the pretty much the same as the bikeradar review. They all said that the bike just wants to go fast and sacrifices some comfort because of it but if you can take it out for long rides and not worry about it, it looks like the frame is meant for people that want to race on Sat and go for a nice relaxing ride on Sun. I really want to buy the frame and build it up little by little so I don't upset the girlfriend.
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Old 05-29-10, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
Maybe it's the new Ti ride that's making you feel stronger. How are you liking that frame btw? The more and more I check it out it becomes more tempting. Although I was told this week at an LBS that any Ti frame under $3k is poo and I really wanted to direct them to your build thread.
If a bike shop told me I couldn't get a decent Ti frame for less than 3 grand, I'd ask them to prove it or I'd find another shop. They MAY be right, but I don't think so.
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Old 05-29-10, 05:16 PM
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I have been working so much, and my riding has REALLY suffered this year. I had to take drastic measures, so I quit driving my car. I am back to 7 days a week, and feeling great.

So yes, I have been improving!
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Old 05-29-10, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
If a bike shop told me I couldn't get a decent Ti frame for less than 3 grand, I'd ask them to prove it or I'd find another shop. They MAY be right, but I don't think so.
Well the shop sold Moots, DeSalvo, and Alchemy which are all expensive frames for Ti. Although I did get to hold a Waterford R14 frame in my hand and was extremely surprised how light it was. I think it was around 1400g. The more I am checking out these Ti and lightweight steel frames the more I want to stay away from carbon. Plus I like that you can customize the frames in any color you want although most of you Ti guys would find a painted Ti frame blasphemous.
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Old 05-29-10, 06:48 PM
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i'm coming off a nagging hamstring injury. So yes I'm improving from last year. But from two years ago, I'm way down in performance.
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Old 05-29-10, 06:57 PM
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From where I was I can only improve. 107 day hiatus (sinus surgery and Thyroid issues) I can't believe how low I got. It's a tough fight to get back in shape and to loose the weight I gained (12lbs). If I ride I get hungry, Go figure.
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Old 05-30-10, 01:45 AM
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Last September, I could hardly ride 10 km in one ride. I can now do 200 km in one ride and feel pretty good about it. I even did a 300 km ride last month although it was a bit of a challenge.

So ... since last September, I figure I've improved quite a bit.
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Old 05-30-10, 03:11 AM
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The easiest way to improve is to buy better equipment. New frame, components, gear, energy drinks and food, etc. Shaving helps you go faster as well.

Unlike some sports, like basketball, cycling lets you buy your way to better performance. I can attest. After $30,000 this year alone, I'm faster than ever. Worth every penny.
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Old 05-30-10, 06:37 AM
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Yes I'm faster this year, and stronger. I'm basing this on the rides I do with my two ATF clubs. In one instance, I moved to a group that rides at a 19-20 avg speed from an 18 group. In the other instance, the entire lead group is riding faster this year, moving from a 16-17 group to an 18 avg speed group (hilly ride). With both groups I've substantially increased pull time, roughly double what I did last year.
Since this time last year, I made three changes:
Lost 35lbs
Changed wheels from Xero Lights to Ksyrium Elite
Rode weekly through the winter.
I'm sure the improvement is due to the Ksyrium Elites.
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Old 05-30-10, 06:54 AM
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I might contribute some thoughts I've gained over the past 5 years with biking and other athletics: be patient; diligent and courageous. in the absence of a focused plan, just keep at it. over time one can pick up new strengths if even only by accident. if you completely surrender yourself to the sport the sport will provide guidance. fear not the dark down weak painful days because they will pass and you will emerge with surprising strength and speed. I live for those surprising days. I used to plan for them, but now I take them as they come and enjoy the surprise and take advantage of them by going full bore holding nothing back. last night was not one of those nights but I persevered knowing another magical ride is on a nearby horizon. my stats for the night ride that eneded at midnight are piss poor but, like I said, a better ride is just around the next bend in the road ...

42 miles
28.7 max
13 avrg
3 hrs 14 min saddle time

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Old 05-30-10, 08:40 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by colombo357 View Post
The easiest way to improve is to buy better equipment. New frame, components, gear, energy drinks and food, etc. Shaving helps you go faster as well.

Unlike some sports, like basketball, cycling lets you buy your way to better performance. I can attest. After $30,000 this year alone, I'm faster than ever. Worth every penny.
I'd like an accounting of that.
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Old 05-30-10, 11:23 AM
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Today was proof I am better than I used to be. After 50 miles of relentlessly battling against wind, I was pooped. Then a fast rider came past and he was going at some speed. Clearly a road nazi out training. He looked the part too, very skinny. As he passed, we said a couple of word of pleasantries and I was coasting alone eating and drinking. I put the water bottle back in the cage and the chase was on. It wasn't a race and when I started the chase he was already about 300 yards ahead and only just within sight in the winding lanes. I just wanted to see if I can keep up with his regular training pace. He was going faster than I would have been going on my own but I wasn't pushing hard or feeling uncomfortable. I realed him in over a good long chase and somehow by the end when he turned off, he knew what i was doing. He waved and left. I think I'm a lot better than I used to be.
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Old 05-30-10, 02:09 PM
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guess what? right after writing that above, on my 2 mile run, I had the most amazing surprise culminating in a blazing fast final 1/2 lap. haha - surprised but almost not!
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