Sunday, August 03, 2008

On Track

This morning I had not intended to ride as we had our club Team Time Trial training session scheduled up at Calga/Peats Ridge (which I am supervising/coaching). That went well. When I got home, well it was such a glorious winter's day, clear blue skies, light wind and about 17-18 C, so I decided to throw the bike in the car and head on down to the park for a roll. Back to that later.

On Friday, the planets aligned for me and so I had the opportunity to dust off the track bike (poor thing, it's been badly neglected), get down to DGV and get myself on the boards for the first time since my accident. So I circulated no problems. Saddle height needed an adjustment (I had installed slightly shorter cranks so the saddle needed to come up a bit). About 30-minutes of rolling around just reacquainting myself with the boards.

Then it was time to see if I could do the sort of stuff I'll need to do when riding on a track - namely accelerate, hard!

I rode up the banking to do an acceleration down the banking, which I did without incident.

So then I rolled slowly along the front straight and then popped out of the saddle and tried an acceleration. OK, so I wasn't going to set the world on fire but I was able to do it and that was the main thing. One more half lap effort, this time a bit harder and out of the saddle for the whole turn and down the back straight. There sure is a bit of re-wiring needed and the sensations are difficult to explain. Some stuff is the same, some I need to re-learn. Practice Alex, practice.

While I was there, Sean Eadie (2002 World Sprint Champ) was there coaching a Chinese rider. So I got Sean to time a standing 250 metre lap. 24.9 seconds. But the nice thing was simply being able to go out of the saddle for more than half a lap.

So back to today. My legs were a little sore but after a couple of laps they came good and I ended up doing a solid hour and a bit. That then gave me a 5-day block of riding and a nice little boost to my training loads. That blue line is on its way up :D

I also tried something new - putting an extra sock over my leg liner before riding, which provides addition compressesion of the leg stump inside the socket. This had the effect of maintaining a more secure fitting, not allowing the leg to sweat as much and so there was not much pooling of perspiration in the lower part of the liner creating that insecure squishy feeling. So that was pretty cool.

I'm going to sleep well tonight me thinks!


Richard said...

Socks. Alex you mentioned about squishy socks. I wondered if you'd tried a polyproplene based sock? It should hold lots less water. I swapped to polyp. undershirts vs. cotton t-shorts awhile back, huge difference.

Not sure about availability in your size (legs vs foot), but perhaps a polyp. t-shirt could be modified by your seamstress?


Alex Simmons said...

Hi Richard

It's not the sock that gets squishy. The socks go on the outside of the liner and hence are between the liner and the socket, so they don't even get moist. The sweat happens inside the liner.

So today I put on an extra sock, which has the effect of making the whole liner press against all of my stump even tighter (since the socket is made of rigid carbon fibre and does not expand).

That is what prevented my skin from sweating as much, the high compression from the liner. There was simply no where the sweat could escape from the skin.

It's a tip I picked up from a buddy of mine from Texas who has the same amputation as me.