Today I went out with every intention of slaughtering some hills.
In the end, I wound up managing only 3% of the total for the Rapha Rising challenge because my road bike started Making A Noise. A Horrible Noise, in fact (most certainly and emphatically not, by contrast, a Joyful Noise): a grinding screech like the death of a thousand steroidally-enhanced cicadas with each turn of the crank under force.
Obviously, this rendered me a bit hesitant to really apply much force to the cranks. In turn, that hesitancy pretty much constrained me to glass-pedaling up fairly-shallow grades, which I promptly did. It also meant I had to re-plan my intended route while riding. Indian Hills, for example? Not so much. Lime Kiln Lane? No. Stevenson? Ha! Not a chance.
I did do both sides of Cherokee Park and the climb up to Seneca Park. Riding to and from also involved some climbing, including my favorite set of bang-them-out-at-20-MPH+ rollers. I could ride back and forth on those all day (except I would get killed making a u-turn at either end of the stretch). Because there were no other cyclists around to be mortified, and because I can’t help myself, I did get up out of the saddle and hammer those a bit.
But just a bit.
Anyway, much to my surprise, the Fearsome Fuji did not actually catch fire or explode before we got home (and since the garage is still standing, I can only assume it hasn’t done so in the time that has elapsed since then). I uploaded my data to Strava and discovered, shockingly, that the average temperature (heat index, I assume, but who knows?) on my return ride was 106F.
In other words, hot.
Since it didn’t kill me, I can only assume that I am, in fact, much better adapted than I used to be to heat. In short, I used to whine when it was hotter than 75F. You might say I was a heat weenie.
The upside of all this is that I probably lost like two pounds in sweat alone. The downside is … well, for me there really wasn’t one. When I was riding, I knew it was hot, and I was so sweaty I looked like I’d just stepped out of the shower, but I didn’t feel like it was blisteringly, searingly, ridiculously hot.
So this whole adaptation thing seems to be possible after all. I will say that I’m not much for just standing around in the heat, but once I work up a sweat, I seem to do all right.
Anyway, I’m expecting more hotness for tomorrow’s ride, though — it being Monday — I will be doing that ride in the morning, not in the early afternoon. I haven’t decided yet whether to suck it up and take the Tricross (which will pretty much mean opting for a solo ride instead of the Fat Forty) or try to figure out how to fix what’s ailing the Fuji without actually being able to drop a new crankset in there just yet.
At this point, it’s seeming more like it’s probably time to suck it up and just order a new crankset anyway. Not riding the road bike is not an option. I love it too much.
More climbing tomorrow, then … and the next day … and the day after that. Maybe a rest day on Thursday again. We will see.
Keep the rubber side down!