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

Sunday, October 05, 2008

All Dressed Up With No Place To Go

With five weeks to go before my Alyn Bike Ride, I am experiencing my annual September-October swoon.

I usually peak around Labor Day. Work tends to be slowest during August, the weather is usually ideal, and vasikin is early enough so that I can ride really early in the morning and get a good workout.

In mid-September everything changes. The weather, vasikin and work.

This year, because of the financial crisis and mid-week yom tovim, it's worse than ever.

I am getting to work by 8 every morning and finding it almost impossible to get to the gym for a spin class. When I get home, often later than usual, I am too tired to ride on my own spin bike. (I am also not, and never have been, fond of exercising at night).

So, I was looking forward to a 45 mile ride on the North Shore this morning which would include a number of tough hill-repeats.

I did my usual hachanos last night, getting my kit ready, checking my bike, getting my various energy fuels prepared, filling my tires to 120 psi. Then, I set my alarm for 5:15 a.m. so as to be able to catch the earliest minyan and get on the road by 7:30.

Sadly, when the alarm went off I heard the unmistakable sound of rain. Pouring rain. (That's one of those mixed-feeling moments: the realization that I had an excuse to go back to sleep coupled with regret that I wasn't going to get my ride in).

So, I reset my alarm and went back to sleep. But, I did not sleep long and ended up going to another very early minyan, hoping the weather would clear up. Which it did not.

By 8 a.m. I was on my spin bike and worked hard for 65 minutes. But it's just not the same.

At this rate, I should be in top shape for the regular road course by next month. Unfortunately, I am signed up for the challenge ride and will probably, once again, be sucking wind for five days at the back of the pack.



  • At 12:52 PM, Blogger my chariot wheels said…

    Yuntiff blues?
    Im not sure what the challenge ride will be like this year. Only about 37 riders. and they are about to change the route, at least for the first two days.

  • At 1:39 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    They just did for the first three. They reduced the mileage but added a climb up maale akrabim which we did two years ago. It's the only time I had to get off my bike in 4 years of alyn. I'm hosed.

  • At 8:08 PM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    Maale akravim! Best climb ever on Alyn. Not quite as steep as Har Bental but much longer.

    Better find the steepest hill on LI (is there one?)and do repeats on it TWO GEARS HARDER than you are comfortable with. I have faith in you!

  • At 4:16 AM, Blogger my chariot wheels said…

    Steve -
    Am I not better off working more on high cadence on easier hills rather than on resistance on the harder ones?
    In general I think I mash a bit much anyway
    I got up Bental last year with a tripple granny gear. This year I switched to compact and 11-25 cassette
    ANd MOC This time at least you know what to train for, I don't
    And with your physique I think I will be trailing you the whole way up M.A.

  • At 8:21 AM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    Steve -
    "Am I not better off working more on high cadence on easier hills rather than on resistance on the harder ones?"

    In general, YES. However for a long steep switchback climb like MA you'll need some brute strength. You won't be doing much "spinning" in a 34/25 so "mash away"!(I use a compact with a 12/27).

  • At 8:53 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    Steve is right. You won't be doing any spinning on Maale Akrabim. The middle section is insanely steep and technically difficult with all the turns.

    Doing it in 34/25 will be very difficult. My lowest gear is, like Steve, a 34/27.

    I will be doing at least one "puke" workout a week on my spin bike until the ride where I try to simulate Maale Akrabim. It will be the hardest climb of the trip.


Post a Comment

<< Home