Monday, June 13, 2011

Bike Ride Report!

Yesterday morning I went out on a bike ride on my new birthday bike. It was my first ride by myself on it for any long distance- 27 miles. The day before, I went on a ride with my daughters and a friend and his son, planning on going to a local battlefield, but my part was cut short as one daughter became overwhelmed with fear of passing traffic so we turned around and went home. Still, that effort was 20 miles, so I applauded the childrens' efforts.

So yesterday's trip would be a good time to see if the new bike, 38 years younger than the yellow one, would be any different or better. After one trip, it is certainly more comfortable, quieter, easier to shift, and smoother rolling over the road. I averaged a speed of 17.3 miles per hour, which is among the faster average speeds for the general route I took, but not the fastest. As I ride more, I'll get more data to help determine if newer=faster or if newer just equals more comfortable and convenient.

My proudest moment of the ride was at my halfway point, as I was finishing up my first water bottle and fruit snacks, another cyclist came into the parking lot to turn around. This guy was in a full cycling costume, too, and was riding a fancy-expensive Bianchi road bike. He said hi and I smiled back. I started my return trip as he apparently was negotiating the turnaround in the parking lot.

After about a minute he passed by at a fair clip faster than me. I laughed the laugh of a defeated man. As he got about 100 feet ahead, I decided I would not give up and see if I could stay with him, as he clearly was more of a cyclist than me, with his expensive bike and matching bike costume.

He stood up and pedaled hard up the first (and only little) hill on our way, and I increased my effort to stay with him. As he crowned the hill, I could hear him shifting his gears, and was shocked (SHOCKED!) that his fancy expensive bike was skipping and not swiftly and precisely snapping into his chosen gear. On my first big ride on my $400 "internet special," even I was able to shift my entry-level gears easily without any clacking or grinding.

As we continued on in our cat-and-mouse chase, I could see him looking back to see if I was still there. I was, and was closing in. He did not drop me, and I did not get too tired.

After about two and half miles, our road intersected with another at a stop sign. He indicated to turn left, and I knew I was going straight. He slowed, and was starting to turn left as I caught up, and we crossed the road together, he turning left and I going straight ahead. I huffed and puffed a little harder than I needed to, so he could feel happy about at least tiring me out if he couldn't drop me, and I rang my bike bell and waved goodbye to him. He waved and I enjoyed the rest of my ride.

So it's not the cost of your bike, it's the engine that makes more of the difference. I think I am developing into a good engine.

It was quite fun to roll over the roads, down the hills, and have extra easy gears so I could get up hills with more ease. And I brought th ebike to work today so I can "exercise" on it this afternoon!

1 comment:

  1. So there is a competitor lurking in you! I knew it.