Saturday, December 15, 2012

Anatomy of the Pain Cave- Part 1

The lack of sunlight hours coupled with having a job simultaneously with dropping temperatures can only mean 1 thing- it's long past time to get on the trainer. In my old house, that meant walking downstairs to the basement. The lower level of my old home was networked, had cable hookup, and had running water. It had the works. As a further bonus, the Wife had very little desire to spend any time down there. In a nutshell, it was mine.

Well, that all changed when we moved. The biggest obstacle in setting up shop in my new basement is, well, I don't really have a basement. It's more of a crawl space/ spider hangout. The furnace and hot water seem rather happy down there. It should be noted that they are under 4 feet tall. I did some measuring once and learned that if I get on the bike, while on the rollers, I have about 2 inches of clearance if I stay in aero position. I agree that this would be pretty good training in the form of perseverance in while aero, I am a little intimidated by the nails protruding through the floor boards and threatening my skull. Another solution would have to present itself.

That solution is found in the back of my garage. For some reason, the original owners of the house built a double-long, 4-bay garage. The front 2 are for vehicles (okay, only 1 actually has a vehicle and the other bay has the lawnmower-that counts as a vehicle, right?). Up until recently, the back bays were for storage. See, our old house was significantly larger than the new one. It's amazing how much crap you accumulate if you have the space.

I spent a weekend moving stuff around and came up with this:

There's my bike attached to the fork stand. The rollers wrapped up near the back wheels. In the background, you can catch glimpses of my junk (real junk, not the euphemistic). The walls and ceiling are uninsulated. This pic was taken near high noon and it's still pretty dark in there. The space is lit by a single bulb.

At the right is the view from the cockpit (click to enlarge). The TV stand is vintage 1987 as it sports a nice flat screen. The dvd player was a $32 Walmart special. In the cabinet are seasons 1-6 of the Simpsons, all 6 Star Wars episodes, and the Princess Bride (that's my entire library). The garbage can doubles as a helmet rack, towel rack, and remote control stand. As you can see, the flooring is solid concrete.

I was able to squeeze into the back side of the mess. The point of this picture was to show everyone an appropriate use of a treadmill. That machine has logged roughly 12 miles on my legs. I'll not likely be adding any more to it this season. It was installed in the garage as per the Wife's request. I did not plug it in. I do have my wetsuit hanging off the front bar, still drying from my last race, which was in late September. I haven't checked it recently but I'm pretty sure it's almost dry.
I remember a conversation with Jim, my Local Bike Shop guy at the beginning of last season. I was making an appointment for a tune-up and I trust the guys at the LBS with my bike completely. I recall Jim's words as if they were spoken yesterday. "If I remember  correctly, your bike tends to have lots of sweat induced corrosion. It make take extra time to do all of the stuff you want done." Jim doesn't beat around the bush and tells it like it is. I know that they sell products, such as the Bike Thong, designed specifically to solve this problem. Well, I'm poor. So I found a cheaper solution called Saran Wrap. And to be clear, Saran Wrap is too expensive. I use the generic plastic wrap sold by my local food store.

One truth about Part 1 of the Pain Cave is that it's not so warm. Here we are in mid December, and though the temps are a little warmer than average for Western NY, it's not so toasty in the Cave. I go out to ride and work up a good sweat while my feet go numb with the chill. Walking back into the house is awkward at best.

I have plans on upgrading the Cave to something a little more insulated. Maybe add a small heater. Maybe add a light and a mirror. Maybe remove the treadmill and replace it with something useful, such as a rock or a tree stump. I'll keep you updated.

1 comment:

  1. Hang up your finisher medals as decoration and inspiration.