Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Set Up

The Set Up.

Sounds like a great little caper film.

Probably set in London, with detours to Paris, Geneva and finishing with a rousing chase scene through the back streets and alleys of Rome...

But nope, it's about getting my fat ass onto a bicycle seat the size of a postage stamp and at least looking like I know what I am doing...

Michael and his buddy Dave at Simon's Bikes recommended I see Larry Zimich. Larry is apparently a cycling God. With impeccable credentials. Credentials hopefully good enough to transform yours truly from a cycling Pig's Ear into an Armstrong knock-off Silk Purse...

I contacted Larry and plan to get my bike set up later this week.

Michael and I are going for a 90 minute bike this afternoon so it will be interesting to have a little before and after analysis. Michael has twenty years of cycling experience - at least the last ten of those seriously - and he IS an Engineer. He takes what he does in life seriously and most of us who know Michael know that if he has gear, that gear is usually as good as it gets. He does heaps of research on anything he does, or the gear that he uses.

We are close to the same height, Mr. Loehr and I - Michael is an inch taller, but my legs are an inch longer. Figure that out... And Michael spent at least thirty minutes with a tape ruler, string, yardstick and a level fitting me to the bike when he helped me get set up last weekend. But even the good German engineer defers to the arcane magical knowledge of one Mr. Zimich...

I am supposed to be racing an 8K in Shaughnessey tomorrow but can't figure out where my lungs are at. I've had a hacking cough, but it's dry and we are at the height of allergy season. I started taking an anti-histamine (made me sleepy) and my nose dried up, but I'm not sure I actually FEEL any better.

My legs feel pretty good, but I have to confess I haven't done any speed work. Did an easy 20K last Sunday and some basic maintainance mileage since. Nothing too strenuous about that...

I am looking forward to using my bike for some serious cross-training and more importantly to get in some all important recovery work outs that will spare my old bones...

So I fired off a note to Mr. Zimich and he promptly answered.

I would like to make an appointment for a Bike Fit.

I have almost no experience cycling, but after having done over twenty marathons and ultramarathons in the past five years, I would like to do an Ironman.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Here is my reply from Larry -

Hi Vince and thanks for the email.

Congrats on your decision for doing an Ironman.

With the accomplishments you have done in the past, this should be very attainable.

Starting off with a properly fit bicycle is the first step. Parameters such as wattage output, aerodynamics and biomechanical efficiency all need to be taken into account and the work that I did last summer out at the UBC wind tunnel with Len Brownlie, who is the man responsible for the road and TT set up of Lance Armstrong among others, confirmed we have the numbers correct with these.

Having no cycling experience is a good position for you to be in, as we don't have to worry too much about old muscle memory that has to be changed.

We need about 2-2.5 hours to complete and I do them here at my place in North Van. Cost is $100 including cleat set up. Good time if you have not changed the cleats on your shoes within the past 6 months to do so at this time.

Any other questions let me know.


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