Saturday, July 25, 2015

Aerobars: A new hope

Smart idea, or did I give up too soon?
Today was my first 60-mile ride of the cycle. Last week, I had tried to adjust my aerobars much farther apart, thinking it would help with my center of gravity and make me more comfortable riding. Well, that didn't work out so well -- I never got the bars, clamps and shims to line up in that perfect order and the aerobars rocked front to back.

(Yes, there is still drywall dust everywhere. Since we already had to pull everything away from the walls, we [OK, my husband] is throwing a "quick" coat of white paint on the walls. But I actually cooked dinner last night and breakfast this morning! And I will not put anything back into my closet that I don't actually wear.)

My big Friday plans included a run, cooking dinner and fixing my aerobars. I know, I know -- it's a rock star life. My trusty hex key and I settled in. I must have unscrewed and re-screwed everything 10 times and it just. wasn't. working. I was getting more and more frustrated.

I turned to the internet, which suggested cutting a strip off a can. Don't bike geeks know that we have a 10-cent can deposit in Michigan? But! That got me thinking. I have some extra bar tape -- just squishy enough that it could hold the clamp in place. I measured it out, gave it a try, and...

It worked! Well enough, anyway. If I pull super hard the bar still moves up and down, but it holds tight enough that I can use them as intended. The REAL moment of truth was today. I've never felt comfortable in aero, but on a false flat with no one else around, I settled in, and held it!!!

I was so excited! I feel like a real triathlete now. I never rode in aero for more than a mile or so at a time, but it's a MUCH bigger improvement from the "OK, I'll hold for five seconds... aaaaahhhhh! I'm going to fall!" conversation I've had with myself every other time. And it was nice to give my wrists a break from leaning on the crossbar.

Best of all, I am learning and practicing with a few weeks yet to go before Michigan Titanium. If I get a few more rounds of practice in between now and then, maybe that will help shave some time off my bike split.

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