Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Karen writes: Tri-bar story continues

The bike went into the bike shop yesterday to be re-setup for tri-bars.  Yes, I succumbed and decided to give them another go, my bike was at last going to lose her near unique status as one of a handful of triathlon steeds not bearing the torture implements.  I turned up at the workshop in my work tights and a tunic, and was asked where my bike clothes were.  Um, these?  I did bring my bike shoes though, and with them clear evidence that I sometimes walked in them...cant deny dried mud on the carpet.

Complicated video cameras were set up, red lasery looking lines bisected the walls and the poor old Scott was installed in a windtrainer.  I was instructed to get on and ride, yep, my favourite thing, riding no-where indoors, at least there was a nice landscape covering the whole wall, hang on, there was also ME on a big TV screen, oh bleep, do I really look like that on my bike?

Anyway, after coming to terms with that bit of trauma, I watched with interest all measuring of angles, shifting this and that, and replacing and re-replacing of bits.  I just tried to look like it meant something to me, nodded when it seemed a response was needed and tried not to make 'kerchiing' noises when something new and expensive looking was suggested. Apparently, the seat was too far back (seat post replaced from angled to straight), the handlebars were too far forward, too high, and at the wrong angle so the handlebar stem was replaced.  Shifting the handlebars meant the brake cables were kinked, the brakes themselves were on the wrong angle...the list went on.  My cycling shoes were inspected, my sore feet apparently aren't just because I'm wimpy, the lack of arch support meant that my feet were fighting the stiff soles...kerchiing...inserts recommended.  There was comment made about me hanging onto the handlebars for grim life...relax I was told, let your core do the work.   Core...not sure I've got one, it is not as though you can flex something and point to it saying "look at the core".  More than one person has mentioned how important a core is, I'm doing specially recommended 'core work', but me and my core are yet to be properly introduced.

I came out of the shop, purse lighter and assured by the smiling mechanic that the more efficient set-up would make my cycling faster and hopefully provide less in the way of sore backs and grumpy shoulders. The squeaky seat had been fixed as a happy side effect...YES!  I also came out with no tri-bars.  NO tri-bars, I was delighted, more than happy to agree that it was sensible to try out the new setup before adding anything else new into the mix.

Anyway, just been for a lovely ride, instead of perching on top of my bike straining forwards I felt like I was installed in a little cockpit and the bike was much more part of me.  My leg muscles grizzled from working in an unaccustomed position, that should go away with more time in the saddle. It was too windy to decide if I was much faster, but I remain ever optimistic.  The Tri-bars, well...maybe next time.