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Posts from the ‘Cycling’ Category

A Done Deal (Mostly)

2010 Scott Plasma 20
Originally uploaded by Iron Mike Schubert

After a year and a half of shopping for a triathlon / time trial bike, I have decided on the Scott Plasma 2 frameset with a full Shimano Dura Ace gruppo. Looking at the specs, you’ll say “Oh, he’s getting the Scott Plasma 10” – but my paint job will actually say “Scott Plasma 20”. Do I care? No. But I have talked about the bike both ways, so now you know.

What went into this decision?

First, I had to meet all of my personal objectives. Frankly, I’m knocking them out of the park and these were pretty tough measures that I set for myself. Second, I had to research what type of bike best fit me as a rider. You see, I have a 34″ inseam and I am 5′ 10″ standing on pedals (6′ 0″ in real life). This means that I need a bunch of seat post, but a shorter top tube. Bikes like the Cervelo P3 (my first choice), Felt B2, etc. are all made for people who are longer in the torso than I am. Those bikes are polar opposites to what I needed. So this pushed me over into the line of Scott Plasmas and Blue Triads. This is discussed further up on Slow Twitch, but essentially (Emphasis mine):

Who might best use a bike geometrically built like this? Two cases immediately come to mind. One involves a relatively fit, trim, experienced triathlete, who’s probably going to ride with his or her seat angle at least moderately steep. If this person is short-waisted—that is, short in the torso, long-legged—that person is going to need a bike like this: short in length, taller in height. The height is required because that short torso means that rider’s height is in his legs. Those taller legs prop the saddle higher, and that means the head tube has to be higher as well, to keep pace with that tall saddle height.

For whatever reason, I simply wasn’t a fan of the Blue Triad. Not sure why. Add to the equation that I have had great success and enjoyment on my Scott road bike and things started coming together. I knew I wanted the Plasma 2 frameset which comes on the Plasma 10 and 20, and I wanted all Dura Ace which was pushing me to the 10. But the production run on the Plasma 10 was done and there were no remaining frames in stock. The sweet thing was that I could get a Plasma 2 frame with the 20 paint scheme, throw a Shimano Dura Ace gruppo on it and the only noticeable difference would be the color scheme. And I just happen to be a fan of the color green. So there you have it. It’s like it was meant to be.

So why do I say it’s “Mostly” a done deal?

I’ve plopped down a huge down payment, the bike is being built, and I am awaiting my fit appointment. I doubt any new information will come up during the fitting but you never know. And yes, having to cut the seat post is scaring the crap out of me. I’m not the one doing it mind you, but it’s just one of those things that you can’t undo. If the seat is too low you lose power. Ok – I’m done stressing for now.

So August 3rd is the day that I’ll pick up my new ride and have the final fitting done. I will have almost 2 full months to train on it prior to the 70.3 in Augusta. I may even take it to ride on the IM Louisville course, but I’m still leaning toward using my road bike for that adventure. I’ll post pics and maybe video from the fitting, as well as the full details of my new ride once it is in my possession.

Get back to work. Happy Monday.

2007 is in the Books

Wow. Very few posts the last couple of months and here are 3 today. 2007 officially ends in my neck of the woods in 12 hours, but training for the year ended when I got out of the pool this morning. Here are my stats for the year:

  January 1, 2007 – December 31, 2007
Swim 217387.42 yards  / 123.52 miles
Bike 2354.04 miles
Run 864.82 miles


That’s a total of 3,342.38 miles of swimming, biking and running. I’ve included an image to help put that in perspective. It’s a total of 3,352 miles to drive from Seattle, Washington to Miami, Florida. So essentially, I swam, biked, and ran from Seattle to within 10 miles of the Miami city limits. Must’ve gotten attacked on the outskirts of town, I guess.
My run mileage was lower than I would’ve liked, thanks in part to an injury in February following the Austin Marathon. I set a new PR there, but it was over a month before I could run again (just in time for the ING Georgia Marathon). Couple that with more focus in the pool and on the bike and you have a recipe for <1000 miles of running this year.
The bike mileage is a combination of road and trainer miles. I didn't start cycling in earnest until late May in preparation for the Macon Half-Ironman. That has changed as I have a new bike and several pieces of cold-weather and rainy-weather gear. I expect to be closer to 3000 miles on the bike this time next year.
I couldn't be happier with my swimming. Moving over to the YMCA gave me access to a cooler pool and slightly easier access to getting a lane. It looks like that last statement may be changing a little as the master's swim program is moving days… SO I may be looking for a new pool in 2008. Either way, it will work out fine.
My 2007 race schedule was quite packed. You never would've known I had a bad knee injury in mid-February!! Here's a recap of my races this year –
January – Resolution Run 10k
February – Austin Marathon
March – ING Georgia Marathon
May – My Next Tri (1st in division)
June – Macon Rock & Roll Half Ironman
June – Possum Trot 10k
July – Peachtree Road Race 10k
August – Hiawassee Summer Sizzler International Distance Triathlon
September – South Carolina Half Ironman
October – South Carolina Marathon
November – Atlanta Marathon
December – Jingle Jog 5k
2008 promises to be even better. Here's to a prosperous, safe, and injury free 2008! Thanks for reading!

Talking to Non-Cyclists

Fat Cyclist had a humorous article on talking to non-cyclists. I laughed my ass off. Some of my favorites include

To appease non-cyclists, when asked about what matters to you, you must from time to time mention friends, family, the environment, or some other such nonsense.


To explain why you pay $200 to participate in a race you have very little chance in winning: “Ever play the lotto? It’s like that, except much, much more so.”

Ain’t that the truth. People see the entry fee to Ironman Lake Placid and think I’m nuts. “You’re going to do all that to your body, and you paid HOW MUCH TO DO IT?” There’s some other good advice in that article that I’m having to employ now. You may recall my new bike, – which cost me $499.99 <wink> <wink> <nudge> <nudge>.
Check out the Fat Cyclist’s article on Bike Radar –> How To Talk to Non-Cyclists

My New Bike

Me and my new bike

Originally uploaded by Mike.

I knew it was coming, but I didn’t know when I would

a) Narrow down the bike I wanted
b) Find it at a price I liked
c) Be able to bring it home

However, after riding the 2007 Scott CR1 Team issue bike, I realized this was the one. From the moment I stepped on the pedal it was an adventure of speed and handling. The following are truly my first impressions. I’ve put maybe 20 miles on the bike. I’ll post an update in a couple weeks once I’ve got a few hundred miles on it.

The bike is extremely light – just under 16 lbs with pedals. I was expecting it to fly out from under me when sweeping corners at 25+ mph but it dives right in and hangs on, allowing me to accelerate out. It’s performance and handling on the downhills and in the flats are fantastic for a bike that is otherwise a climber’s paradise.

The Dura-Ace derailleurs and shifters make gear changes like a red hot knife slices butter. It willing flies through the gears allowing me to concentrate on putting out the wattage rather than figure out whether it clicked in or not. And it’s QUIET.

The carbon fiber frame is fantastic at dampening the crappy roads I live near, but at the same time gives me a great feel for the road. This is not what I would call a plush ride. But it’s nowhere near as harsh as my aluminum Allez was. I am truly surprised at how much feedback I still get – and I love it.

So, those are my first impressions. For those of you curious as to the setup, here it is from memory. I need to double check the stem cause in the 3 hours I spent setting up, fitting and riding, we screwed around with a bunch of different setups to arrive at my road ride. In February/March of 08 we’re going to revisit the setup a little and come up with an alternate setup for the 4 or 5 triathlons I’ll do next year (including that little one in Lake Placid).

Frame: Scott CR1 Team Issue CR1 HMF technology, Integrated Headtube.
Fork: CR1 Team Issue Carbon Steerer.
Headset: Integrated Cartridge.
Rear Derailleur: Dura-Ace 7800.
Front Derailleur: Dura-Ace 7800.
Shifters: Dura-Ace 7800.
Brakes: Dura-Ace 7800.
Crankset: Ultegra 6600 (39 x 53T).
Pedals: Ultegra 6620 SPD-SL.
Bottom Bracket:Dura-Ace 7800.
Handlebar: Ritchey Pro 31.8.
Stem: Ritchey Pro 31.8. 110mm
Seatpost: Ritchey Pro Carbon 31.6mm.
Saddle: Selle Italia C2
Wheelset: Mavic Ksyrium Elite.
Chain: Dura-Ace 7800.
Cassette: Dura-Ace 7800, 11-23T.
Tires: Conti Grand Prix 4000 700x23C.
Size: Large
And the most important upgrade -> White bar tape. This bike looks SEXY with WHITE bar tape!!!

Silver Comet Ride to Alabama Recap

Sunrise on What Will be a Gorgeous Day

Originally uploaded by Mike.

8:00 am – We meet up at the Florence Rd trailhead. It’s a beautiful day for a ride. The temperature is a little cool, but will quickly warm up as the sun has its way. There is already activity on the trail with a few runners and cyclists, but nothing like what this place sees on the weekend. After filling the water bottles, stashing some food in our pockets, and a quick restroom stop – we are on our way.
It’s smooth sailing all the way to Coot’s Lake. My cyclometer gets a little chilled and cuts out for about 8 miles, but we have a computer on another bike to help keep track.

10:02 am – Restroom Break in Rockmart

Originally uploaded by Mike.

10:00 am – We pull into Rockmart and are in need of restrooms. The little gas station I know of doesn’t have public restrooms. And they add on 30 cents to your charge bill if you charge under $5. That reminds me – I need to call Mastercard and see if this merchant is allowed to do that. Sounds fishy to me.
So we head next door to Suntrust Bank. Laura has an account there, so it should be no problem to use their restroom. She heads in and asks about a restroom and they hand her a set of keys. I think it was the keys to the entire place since she opened up a closet and a staircase before finding the restroom. Unfortunately, we leave without any extra cash, but it’s good to have an empty bladder.

11am – Lost

Originally uploaded by Mike.

11:00 am – We’re lost. There is a 2.5 mile gap in the trail between Rockmart and Cedartown. I downloaded a detour map from that was supposed to get us around it. At one point, it says “Right on Campbell”. There was no street sign that said “Campbell Rd” at an intersection that we came to. So I THOUGHT we were essentially staying on whatever road it was we were on. I was WRONG. As a note to those of you thinking about doing this ride – we later discovered little spray painted emblems in the road that looked like little rocket ships. The white ones seemed to mark the route that we wanted to take. BUT DON’T BLAME ME IF THEY AREN’T THERE when you ride. Make sure you know where you’re going.
I see a gas station about a block down and decide to pull in for directions. They were outta business (does anyone see the irony here?). But their gas was $2.75 a gallon, so although the place looked abandoned for years, it hadn’t been that long! I guess the town of Antioch wasn’t ready for the veggie dinner offering listed on the sign. Oh well. So I see “Antioch Rd” on the little map I had and charted out a route to get us back on course.

Brian & Laura Catching up after Dog Sprint #4

Originally uploaded by Mike.

11:20 am – We’re back on the prescribed course. But this is after 4 – count ’em FOUR dog sprints. The first pack was rank amateurs. They came prancing after us like a glee club going to a Bette Midler concert. The next one was not so pleasant. A MEAN 3-legged dog came after us. I was going to snap a picture, but I had to wear his ass out so he’d leave the rest of the party alone. So then I’m cruising up a hill when I hear the leaves rustling behind me – and then I hear snickering. I look back to see what gives and there is this little Chihuahua running up the hill after me. I hit the next gear and dust him. And then comes the lassie dog that was probably just going to say “hi” but I could do without (he’s standing in the middle of the street in the background of this picture).

Brian & Laura Crossing in Cedartown

Originally uploaded by Mike.

11:52 am – we finally hit the depot in Cedartown. I must say that I’m not impressed. The countryside you passed through was really nice between Rockmart and Cedartown, but once we hit the depot we saw a somewhat rundown town and graffiti on lots of signs and the trail itself. We pressed on to our final goal knowing it was only 10 or so more miles away.

The Georgia / Alabama Border on the Silver Comet Trail

Originally uploaded by Mike.

12:31 pm – Are we there yet? YES. Ignore the dog poop – the arch reads “Chief Ladiga” which is the name of the trail on the Alabama side. This thing goes on all the way to Anniston, Alabama. There is a nice park there with picnic benches and bike racks. No water or restrooms, though. I took several pictures and we relaxed for a few minutes basking in the glory of having ridden to Alabama.

Let’s Go Home

Originally uploaded by Mike.

12:44 pm – Now we just gotta get some lunch and get home. We started back out down this long and lonely stretch. We saw one other old guy out here on a Bianchi (must’ve had a good retirement pension) but other than that it was us, dog poop, and chickens.

Restroom Break at the Courthouse

Originally uploaded by Mike.

1:30 pm – We roll up to the depot in town and the sign says “Open” but the little thing in the door says “Back at 2”. So we’re off to find restrooms elsewhere. And where better than the courthouse?? Of course, the restrooms are on the OTHER side of the metal detector – and one member of our party has an extreme amount of metal in her leg. It went off but they let her on through. Some guy was hanging out there, shooting the breeze with the sherrif. Upon further inspection, Brian found he was in leg shackles. What a town!
We pressed on back to Rockmart and went through 4 more dog sprints on the detour (and we actually took the prescribed route the whole way). The last one involved a dog that was able to do about 20mph. Fortunately I had an extra gear left in me. Mind you this is happening after mile 70. But I wore him out good and he didn’t seem to care about Brian and Laura at all.

We Didn’t Have the Wings

Originally uploaded by Mike’s Adventures.

3:15 pm – We arrive back at Rockmart and have lunch at “Hometown Pizza”. You should stop by if you’re in town. Have the turkey sub – it’s a favorite.
From here it’s only 28 miles or so back to the trucks. The sky looked like the weather was going to turn, but it didn’t bother us at all.

The Three Amigos 114 Miles Later

Originally uploaded by Mike’s Adventures.

5:30 pm – We’re back at our vehicles. Pictured is the three of us at the end. What does mile 100 look like?? Why didn’t we take a picture there also?? Because there was a diamondback rattler crossing, that’s why. There are more pictures up over at in my Silver Comet 2007 Set at flickr. They are also geotagged, so you can get a feel on the map of where we were.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our escapades as much as I enjoyed experiencing them. And I just love my new camera!!