The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Man, I'm Rockin'

I am riding like a monster, if I do say so myself. I picked up some tips on pedaling technique and they have helped my road biking immensely. And, I've been an animal on the spin bike. My gaiva is telling me to do the challenge ride again. Har Tavor and Tzfat really look enticing. But I know better. As strong as I am now, I'm still a piker. And, come late October, after the chagim and two of my busiest months at work, I will not be as strong as I am today. I will get dropped like a hot potato by the strong riders and will kill myself to keep from being picked up by the bus.

But Har Tavor?



  • At 9:09 PM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    "I will get dropped like a hot potato by the strong riders and will kill myself to keep from being picked up by the bus."

    Good! That's the only way you will really get better. This year I decided not to ride alone or with my "comfortable" cycling buddies. I've been consistently riding with people better than me. In fact I joined a racing team, raced ten times this season, and except for one race where I broke into the top 20, have never even managed to finish with the pack. My Sunday ride consists of riding with people who race on Saturday and are doing a Sunday "recovery ride". At first they were constantly waiting for me, now I can hold my own (barely).

    What I'm trying to say is that I've been humbled all this season but have become a stronger, more fit rider. Better the tail of a lion than...

    IMHO swallow your pride. Better to do the challenge ride and push yourself to your limits - even if it means occassionally walking or being picked up by the bus. This of course is from a pure cycling point of view. If you have "social" reasons to do the regular ride, that's a different story.

    Also, this year is a completely different ride. Last year there were long flat stretches with awful head and crosswinds. You were a goner if you couldn't hang in a paceline and had to battle the wind alone. That put the advantage to larger stronger riders with more muscle mass. So the riders from Chicago, Toronto, Florida and other "vertically challenged" areas put in a good showing. But of the 60 of us, only around twenty were able to complete the brutal Ma'ale Akravim climb without stopping.

    This year it's all about climbing, and drafting/pacelines will be less of an issue (it will still be an issue though, because saving energy on the flats gives you more to use on the climbs). I think that the 23,000+ ft of climbing this year is going to take a lot of people by surprise, and that many of the 86 challenge riders have bitten off more than they can chew.

  • At 10:28 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    I'm very tempted. The climbs really rock this year.

  • At 11:05 PM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    Think about it. But remember it's a relatively "shmooze-free" ride (hard to talk with a heart rate always above 160 - except at the rest stops). Also, do your best and be happy with the results (sameach b'chelko). Whatever you accomplish still puts you ahead of 99.99% of the rest of the world in fitness.

    We do spend 3 nights in the same location as the regular ride (nights 1,3,5), so there should be plenty of after dinner socializing (commiserating?). After doing the miserable climb up the Carmel on day 4 I actually plan on doing the remainder of that day with the regular ride - hanging with my wife and daughter.

    PS If you do decide to do it I'd be honored to be your roomie again!

  • At 3:47 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    It may depend on whether one of my friends from work ends up doing the ride. If he does, I will stick with the regular ride; if not I may reconsider.

  • At 6:28 AM, Blogger my chariot wheels said…

    Hey I drove up Har Tavor 2 weeks ago, and it stressed my car.
    Its a hell of a climb
    I can't wait


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