Sunday, December 27, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Basically there are two options: convert Ruby to a tri-friendly position by adding aerobars and a different seat post, or invest in a tri-specific frame. Either way, I need to be happy and comfortable for 6-7 hours. Fast is good too :)
So I set to work understanding the advantages and limitations of my options (with the ultimate limiting factor being cost!). Depending on who you talk to, the jury is definitely out on this one. Conventional wisdom will tell you that it is the engine, and not the bike....a well-trained athlete on a road bike will beat out a lesser-trained one on a $25,000 tri bike with disc wheels and aero helmet. So recognizing that I am not looking for a band-aid solution or and excuse not to train.....the question remains: which bike is best suited to get me through the bike course at IMC in the best possible position to withstand running 26.2 miles??
Each has their pros and cons - just as there are limitations on the standard road geometry in a triathlon setting, tri bikes also have limitations for strictly road riding. For city riding, hands down my Ruby is more nimble and safer. You rarely get a chance in the city to get down into aero position and it is simply not a wise idea to get into the peloton in your aerobars. Drafting = smashy the wonder bike. Tri-frames are also not optimal for high speed cornering or on technical, hilly terrain....on these types of courses a road bike is best (i.e., the 4-loop bike course of Stanley Park at the Vancouver olympic tri).
However, a tri bike IS specifically designed to be ridden comfortably and efficiently over long distances on flat to rolling terrain and in a more aerodynamic position than a conventional road bike set-up allows. The tri position, while strictly speaking less powerful than the road position, also shifts the work off your quads and more evenly onto the rest of the muscles in your legs...as such tri-geometry bikes facilitate the transition from cycling to running better than road geometry bikes.
So why not just convert the road bike? It can be salvageable, but it is NOT the same thing. Road bikes have longer top tubes than tri-specific frames, so the increased distance from saddle to aerobars on a road bike can make you too stretched out for stable handling. This not only impacts comfort, but also is thought to restrict breathing. Road bikes are also more limited as to how low the front end can be, which impacts aerodynamic performance of the bike.
So my research (and constant badgering of everyone I know who has an opinion on these matters) got me to the following conclusions:
- If the main use of the bike is to participate in a long-course triathlon with the intention of doing solo training rides....the tri-bike is probably best.
- If the main use of the bike is to participate in group rides, shorter distance triathlons or crit-style courses....then a road bike is your ride.
- If you want all of the above....get one of each. Spending money on crossover use for a road bike is better used on getting a more appropriate tri bike.
So having hammed and hawed over my options for the last few months I have finally made a decision....Ruby is no tri-bike. And she's not going to be.
(Drum roll please......)
So with no further ado, I am pleased to introduce the newest addition to my growing IMC toy trunk and Ruby's brand new little sister...Ora. Isn't she pretty? :)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Play as a team, build relationships, bring your best every day....yeah yeah. This seems obvious. It's not as though many of us (if any) set out to do our worst every day, is it? Aren't these goals ubitiquous and universal in business, and even more so, in life??
The diamond in the rough: Be inspired. I kind of made that one up, but I like it the best. If we are all passionate and inspired by at least one thing every day....wouldn't that enthusiasm become contagious? Wouldn’t we collectively be better because of it?
So I started daydreaming part way through the business planning session (shhhh....don't tell) about what inspires me and how can I share my passion and let it shine through. I can be a bit of a dry-wit, not easily impressed and critical....so letting passion shine through is not exactly natural. It's not my fault. I'm German, after all.
However, those who know me well know that I am relentless once I have attached to something - a cause, a goal, a dream. There is no way I could do what I do for a living without being more than a little dogged....and there is no way I could run marathons for FUN without being relentless. So I am going to be relentless about making sure that no day will pass without being inspired. Maybe twice, for good measure.
So I wanted to share my inspiration for today. Alas it is only 13:44 so maybe by the end of the day there will be a second. Bogey doesn't count.
Mid-September, I signed up for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. In order to participate in the ride (from Vancouver to Seattle), each participant is charged with raising a minimum of $2,500 for the BC Cancer Foundation. The inaugural ride in 2009 raised nearly $6.9 million for the cause....this is not an insignificant fundraiser!
Friends cautioned me that the Ride to Conquer Cancer is not a *training* ride and that *riding in the peloton* could impede my Ironman training. That doesn't concern me....I won't be training in the peloton. It’s the lead up to the event that is really key....when you are training for a distance event you need to learn to love to train, and train to train. So if I am going to be training for Ironman through the nasty, cold, wet Vancouver winter anyway, I may as well be doing it at least partially for a fantastic cause. And I won't be training in the peloton :)
So here comes the inspiration bit! Those of you who fundraise will know how difficult it is to approach your friends, family and colleagues begging for support - regardless of the passion you have for your cause! There are so many causes and charities with their hands out and in these economic times it is difficult to be as philanthropic as we would all ideally be. Worse yet, there is a critical disconnect between getting your donation receipt and knowing that it goes to make a DIFFERENCE.
So when I read the news today, I was really motivated. A team of scientists based with the BC Cancer Agency announced that they have made a world's first breakthrough in the understanding of the breast-cancer genome. This achievement not only opens up the possibility of better understanding the disease…but offers hope and possibility in the future treatment and diagnosis of breast cancer. This story really enforced my efforts to date and my enthusiasm for this cause.
Ironman may be about me and challenging my will.....but in training for it, I will make a difference.