Thursday, May 03, 2007

So tired, but felt really fast!

I didn't get to bed until after 1:00 last night. When I woke up at 5:30, I could barely stand up, much less walk. I was worried it was going to be one of those days where I spin the granny gear and get to the bus in 20 minutes instead of 11 or 12.

I went ahead and pushed myself pretty hard after spinning up the first big climb. I hammered the second big climb in a lowish gear but didn't let my cadence drop. Lungs and legs on fire, I kept the effort high as I crested the viaduct. I saw the bus zip through the intersection of 127th and Mur-Len as I headed for the drops and cut over to the highest chainring. I barely had stopped when the light let me take the left turn onto the final stretch of pavement. The bus was stopping 1/4 mile ahead of me to pick up a passenger that had flagged it down. I was back in the third ring on the flat part of Mur-Len, when my bike gladly accepted my request to breeze upwards of 30 MPH -- a feat that until now required me to wring every last drop of hammer-juice from my legs unless I was going downhill. I signalled left, overtook the stationary ark full of business people, and pressed onward. I heard it lurch forward not long after I'd passed. A half-mile later, I was leaning hard and turning into the park-and-ride lot, the bus still my runner-up by about a block.

Now, I wasn't racing the bus. I didn't drop anyone, but the capabilities this bike has is impressive. I have to watch the potholes now, and there will be no more curb hopping. It's a definite change in functionality, but I'm still amazed at how quickly and smoothly this bike responds when you give it input. Up the effort, and speed increases as if it was waiting and ready for you to pick up the pace. Tap the levers, and the chain glides into gear with precision and minimal sound. Lean and steer, the bike will carve whatever course you pilot as if it's on rails.

At any rate, my quick pace was a pleasant surprise given the fact that I felt like crap when I woke up.

Now... why was I up past 1:00? I was busy cleaning all of yesterday's grime off the bike and drivetrain. I'll admit that once the bike was almost totally clean, I gave it a thorough wipe-down with Meguiar's Quik Detail spray to make it shine like new again. It's not raining this morning, but the road is still covered with a film of gritty, wet sludge. My bike is going to need the same treatment again tonight. I'll start earlier this time. I also practiced changing a flat tire. I have a spare 25mm tube for it already, but wanted to at least familiarize myself with flat-changing using my roadside tools so that when (NOT IF!!!) I need to do it, it's not my first time. For what it's worth, it's actually easier than changing a flat on my hybrid. Getting the tires up around 100 PSI with my Blackburn Mountain Air portable pump was a challenge, but it does adapt easily to presta with a simple flip-flop two parts in the nozzle.

New bike for the win.


MRMacrum said...

While the bike may be impressive, I think you need to compliment the engine also. Seems you have come a long way. Ain't riding fast fun?

I learned in college to stay away from buses when on my bike. I had the nasty habit of hitting them or being curbed by them. No, have to say Buses and Mike were not a good combo.

A Midnight Rider said...

Your and animal Noah. What's next, spandex? 8>)

If you start having problems with your rear spokes, get in touch with me.

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