Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Catchup

Well, lots of stuff has taken place since the last post. For one thing I've been on vacation enjoying NOT riding every day. I've found that a week is almost perfect for me, because on the first day or two I am just so excited to be doing nothing, but by the 5th and 6th day I'm just like "shit let me get home so I can ride my bike again!" Similarly the same holds true for eating. My wife told me towards the end of the week "I'm ready to start eating clean again!" Me too. I think of vacation sort of like a pendulum that swings with equal force to how little of that kind of stuff you do normally. When I'm on vacation I treat it like what it is... not real life... and don't sweat things like having a beer with dinner (or two) or ordering fried fish instead of grilled. I soak all that junk in... basically binge and purge. That way when I'm driving home I'm ready to get back to "real life."

it's good to have this view every now and then

That said, I got an amazing bit of swimming in while on vacation. It astounds me that I still feel just like I had never stopped swimming... for the first few minutes... of course then all the muscular fatigue sets in and I feel like I'm dying. Ahh well, at least if I ever decide to start again I won't be coming from absolutely nothing.

Relaxing painting of DEATH waves

I won't bore you too much with vacationing tales... as most of them started and ended with "went to the beach" (unfortunately my poor wife did manage to get sunburned towards the end of the trip and we had to skip the last day or so.) and because a lot has happened in the tri / cycling world over the last two weeks.

The big talking point over the last little while has of course been the independent bike test put on by the Aerocamp fella's (Heath Dotson and Brian Stover) and the very controversial Kileyay (PV) the results of which we are still waiting for. Also, following on the tail end of that, Thomas Gerlach drove down and tested some tire combinations at A2, another gofundme project. It seems like all the rage these days, and perhaps this might be a next step in getting "real" data out to the public.

I admit I donated to PV's project despite not personally liking the way he went about things (Sorry TG, I was on my way to Florida when you announced and my wife probably wouldn't have been happy with me allocating our vacation money to more testing, especially after my own recent trip) because I like the idea of what is happening and what it might mean in the future. That said, my guess is that all of this is a lot of thunder without much actual storm. For one thing, the number of people who actually truly care which bike is fastest, whether disc brakes are slow or whether the "data" given to us from manufacturers is fudged is VERY low.  Most bike buying decisions even by the most serious of athletes really boils down to finding some kind of justification for the one you really want deep down (it's more comfortable, it's faster, it's stiffer, it stops better, etc etc) so in all honesty, we don't really WANT the fastest bike (as shown by the quick demise of the P4) we want the bike that we WANT to be the fastest, and we'll accept pretty much anything that lends us some justification.

There is also the unfortunate fact that while I'm of the opinion that when testing things like this you pick the "best compromise" between all the bikes and just accept that you can't have a 100% level playing field... there are going to be many that ruthlessly attack the protocol  no matter how cleverly Heath and Brian (and Geoff) set it up.  While most of that is noise and not substance, it will do a job of keeping the truly useful stuff hidden in a quagmire of trolling forum posts, somewhat ironic given PV's history.

I've got a little testing of my own upcoming. I'm interested in knowing which of the "aero shoes" out there is the fastest. (well... of the one's I could afford... I didn't set up a gofundme, probably foolishly)  I suspect there won't be much difference (none of them are the Bont Chrono, which Aerocoach tested 4w better than the Bont Riot... and the Chrono is a very aggressive shape) but I am quite interested to see if there is any repeatable difference. The lineup
-Bont Zero+
-Specialized Sub6
-Fizik R3 road shoes (control)

Showdown in progress

My guess is that the DMT P1 will be best. It's smooth and the laces are covered with a zipper. I had thought beforehand that maybe it would be the Bont's, but after having them in my hands they are just BIG shoes. Very wide, with a clunky flap (when compared to the DMT's) however, they do feel amazing, and I haven't heat molded them yet. I'm not sure about the Sub6's... on the one hand, the laces are probably worse without a cover (because of silly rules, the sleeve, which isn't a part of the shoe isn't allowed, but the zip up dmt's or flap on the Bont's is fine... silly UCI) but the shoe itself is very narrow, strikingly so against the almost clown shoe size of the Bont's. The R3's with their ratchets and straps hanging off just have to be the worst, but I'll test them anyways, always good to have a control if nothing else.
aside - I don't understand Bont's thinking on the updated Zero+... adding the toe bumper (the original zero was lacking it) seems like a big mistake except for longevity w/ toe overlap. The cover flap fitting over top of the boa dials also seems way worse than how it would fit over laces... but we'll see.  /aside

And of course it's back to hitting it hard on the bike now that I've had my week of being lazy. States is not far off and I have high hopes to at least have a better day than I did last year. So, back to the grind.

Thanks so much for reading, it's good to be back to writing (if you can call it that) a bit.

- Christopher Morelock

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