Stem to Stern

by klassman

A photo is supposed to tell a story.  This pair of photos is from July — in fact, exactly one year before Ironman Lake Placid 2012.  They were shot at the Rockett’s Landing Olympic Triathlon in Richmond.  It was 90+ degrees and the only relief from the heat was wind generated on the bike.  Lord knows, I don’t run fast enough.

When I bought the bike in December ’09 and was fitted in February ’10, I was a little more than 20 pounds heavier than in these photos.  Before doing all the measurements, the bike fitter asked if I wanted a relaxed, moderate or aggressive fit.  I picked the middle of the road and vowed to work on flexibility.  Better get started on that stretching.

Looking at these photos now, I wonder how I finished the 24.85 miles punching such a big hole through the air.  I did get done in 1:07 which is about 22.24 average miles per hour.  It was a flat course and less than a quarter of the distance of IMLP.  Yet, without really studying the matter or talking to past LP finishers, I already have a tentative goal of a 20 mph average.  Why?  I guess because it is a round number.  Not really the best way to plan a race strategy.

Also, now I wonder if the increased comfort and handling that have come with scores of hours on the bike means I should get re-fit with a more aggressive set up.  Or, are the aggressive lines not called for when going long course over Adirondack mountains?

There are two spacers currently in my stem.  I am tempted to take one out before this weekend even though I know better than to mess with a bike set up before a race.  I have all winter to play around with the angles, raise the saddle and generally, get into a more aerodynamic position.  Still, it is hard to ignore the big, arched, high shoulders and back.

Elbows at about 95 degrees, shoulders high, looks as if aero bars could be moved forward or my ass back.

Elbow at 100-110 degrees, lower back okay, shoulders high and leg nearly in correct extended position.