Today was the first day on the reconfigured bicycle — oh what a joy (Mormon Tabernacle Choir affirming in the background)! We had a very steep climb somewhere in the middle of today, it was a very hot sun, and there was a quarry down the road kicking up dust that we were all choking on. And I just inched up the hill with a barely elevated heart rate.
If I had it to do all over again I would have had a week somewhere about 6 months ago where I did a training camp under similar climbing conditions. I think I would have learned a lot about the bike, the gearing, the training and some climbing techniques. The good news is I was able to make the changes over the 24 hours I was in Salt Lake City. Sometimes you just have to knuckle down and get the right equipment.
The picture serves three purposes — you can see the Rockies, which we start climbing tomorrow. Second, you can see the reconfigured bike set-up — smaller bag, no pannier rack, new derailleur, new cartridge. And you can see it is HOT!
I did see a terrific dermatologist in Salt Lake City. My current regimen is at least on track — clean the whole butt with an antiseptic soap, put an antibiotic cream on the sore bits after riding, use a band aid to cover the sore bits while riding. The one thing he added was zinc oxide before the ride, which is basically used for diaper rash. My Mom had recommended that, so I thought that was interesting. He also recommended I start taking a supplement that provides some sun protection — the brand name is Heliocare (an oral supplement). I couldn’t find it in stores, so I’ll have to order it online. I’ve done okay with sun except for the top of my legs.
Also, it turns out I was like the only cyclist who didn’t use chamois cream (this is basically a lotion/lubricant you apply to all the areas the sun doesn’t shine to reduce friction between the butt and the bike shorts). So I’ve started using that every morning as well. Who would have thought I needed all of this crap to get across America?
Ride Summary: 66 miles, 1710 feet of climbing. First third was very easy pace on a bike path through the Salt Lake City Airport (literally) and then along a small river. Second two-thirds was pretty tough, with a headwind and some climbing in 90-95 degree heat 33-35 Celsius). I was drinking at least a liter an hour, but it wasn’t enough.
Song of the Day. My sister says I need an Osmond Family Song. Who has a recommendation — I must admit it’s not a group I spent a lot of time listening to. Or is there a better alternative?