Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Crush the Commonwealth 2012 Preliminaries

[Aside: wow, I thought I was going to keep up with this blog thing. Shows what I know...]

So, CtC Eve-Eve is upon us, and frenzied last-minute preparations are in full swing. Shockingly, I'm relatively well prepared: my TODO for the next 24 hours is a mere dozen items or so. That said, the process of watching the weather forecast gradually degrade from "60s and partly cloudy" to "30s and you'd better be wearing wool" is causing a bit of packlist consternation. Ah well, just adds to the joy of this event. :-)

I still need to do some final bike maintenance; unlike prior years, however, this means "lube the chain" as opposed to "rebuild the drivetrain." Packing is mostly sorted, thanks to a dry run on last weekend's abortive 300K.

The game plan this year is a bit different; given that the weather looks like it's gonna be craptastic in spots, I'm not focusing on setting a course or personal record. Instead, I'm planning to ride with others (at least fellow recumbent pilot Tom Hovan) audax-style, so as to maximize enjoyment and minimize the chances of despairing hypothermic death in the boonies outside Somerset. I'm still planning for a Saturday finish, but likely late evening as opposed to late afternoon. That said, if we're feeling perky, I'm not at all appalled at the idea of gulping some caffeine in Bedford and trying to push through the night. Minimizing time spent riding in miserable weather sounds like a fine thing.

Equipment-wise, I'm riding the MetaBike instead of the P-38; I'm happy enough with its performance over the past couple of months that it seems like the better choice for this course. Fendered 35mm Marathon Racers in 700c seem like a good choice, given the amount of poor pavement and wet limestone to be traversed.

Like last year, I'll make some feeble attempt to post on-road updates every few hours: watch the other blog for  blurred thumb pictures and pity^H^H^H^Hpithy text.


TPeck said...

Good Luck with the CTC;

I am curious as to how your new Metaphysic climbs compared to your old P38.

Thanks (and stay warm)


TPeck said...

Good luck on the CTC. I have enjoyed reading of your exploits on this in the past.

How does your new Metaphysic climb as compared to your old P38? I too have been looking at picking up a MP. Thanks


Reddan said...


Thus far, I've not taken the Meta on any grades over ~15%. My seat-of-the-pants guesstimate is that the Meta climbs better at shallow stuff less than 5%, roughly equivalent at stuff in the 8-10% range, and slightly poorer in the steeper stuff.

The Meta, although quite stiff, is not as stiff as the P-38 when mashing (as I am wont to do...); I've noticed a bit of rear-end wibble-wobble when really pounding on the pedals. The Meta is much happier when I spin then when I mash.

To put all this in perspective, I find that the Meta is noticeably faster, in the .5 - .8 mph range, over familiar hilly rides in the Pittsburgh region. (That means lots of shallow ridge climbs, a few long grinders, and lots of short steep stuff interspersed with some fairly flat riverside roads.)