Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving…better late than never!

I am a bit behind on this so here we go.

Thanksgiving is a bit of a non holiday around these parts. My wife and I have no family in the US and the grand tradition of travelling cross country to see relatives is a bit lost on us due to that. PK (pre kids) we would just disappear; trips included driving from Portland to LA, driving around New Mexico (including Four Corners), skiing in Mammoth and the like. Now our kids, both born in the US have a deeper heritage as it were and so with our eldest asking about Thanksgiving we decided to outsource the whole thing and we went to a local hotel for lunch, no cooking, no cleaning, no muss no fuss! We had planned for a walk in the afternoon but it was so cold we ditched that and all went home for a nap!

Friday I headed to Huntington Library with the kids (wife was working) and we spent a great afternoon playing in the jungle and renaming all the cacti.

cactus 1

Spiky Cucumber

cactus 2

Killer Beachballs

cactus 3

Fuzzy worms


The Zen Garden, one of my favorite places

Saturday I returned back to Franco Bikes to complete my fitting, a month had passed and races on weekends had gotten in the way so it just had to wait. I rode the 6 miles to the shop and we set the bike up on the platform. It was a lot quicker this time around as most of the work was done the first visit. I had fitted the new seatpost and seat, and even used a level and everything! I discussed that when I was putting the power down (this is relative I assure you) I was sliding to the back of the seat, Julian moved the seat back and up a little and boy did it all feel weird, it is best described as sitting in a chair with my legs out in front of me while pedaling. He explained that he was trying to create series of right angles between my arms and torso and torso and thighs, this would allow for the maximum power per stroke, think of it like doing a leg press, when you have a 90 degree bend you are balanced and have the max power to push through.

You can see in the photo Lance Armstrong in the photo above captured using the Retul system, clearly his bike has a more aggressive geometry and he is not fighting his belly like I am but the angles are very similar. It is also important from a power perspective to have a zero or negative heel to ankle measurement (the red line) the helps with the power in the stoke, again Lance’s is well into a negative angle, mine was –2degreees.


So now I am fitted it’s simply a case of getting on and doing the riding so with the fact that wife has been out of town since Tuesday and is not back till next Wednesday…well let’s just say when the cat’s away!



Tuesday Night Sufferfest Revolver


Thursday night Glee and Office ride (per photo)

And that kinda wraps up my week. I am waiting for the winner of the 13.1 draw to contact me, but if I have heard nothing by end of Saturday I will draw another name out of the hat.

Have a great weekend!


  1. I love the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens... My favorite part is walking through the rose garden and smelling all the different types of roses. Usually I don't like the smell of roses (they usually smell like poo), but some of the varieties there actually smell good.

  2. sometime in 2011, I will put my pedals back on and put the bike on the trainer. and then again, maybe not :-)

  3. Hey Stuart, I had been meaning to ask you about your comment regarding zero-to-negative heal-to-ankle angle. I think I'm well into the positives, actually. It seems my body prefers to have my toe lower than my heal when applying downward pressure on the pedals, all the while my knees never coming close to locking out as if my seat were too high.

    Would you mind educating me on the benefit of heal-to-ankle angles of zero or below, or at least help point me in the right direction to educate myself? Thanks so much!


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