It was a long week, I had driven out to Pittsburgh and back earlier in the day, and I was tired. Spent several hours in the man cave taking care of details on the X bike. Cable ends, fender lines, bar tape – all the stuff that makes a good bike feel good.
Got a good night’s sleep, passed on the family clothes shopping trip, and took to the road. I was originally thinking the LHT, but I got to thinking more… and thought to swap the Grip Kings over and give the bike a break in ride.
My goal was Williams Grove, but it was too nice a day. A little cooler than expected, but nothing some lightweight wool couldn’t handle.
Here’s a few shots at the 10 mile mark when I stopped for a short break:
At first I was troubled by how squirrely the steering was, but after a few miles I realized it was just me and not the bike. I got used to it, and by mid ride I was mobing along no hands.
I also was a little confused by the speed. I had recalibrated the computer the night before by splitting the difference between two tire sizes, but this just seemed too fast. But then, visually I sensed things were moving faster, and eventually the mileage matched up with what I had logged on the other bike. Bottom line; I was going around 2 mph faster than the LHT. I also found myself coming out of the saddle on the hills, rather than dropping down and spinning.
Williams Grove came and went, and I took a break in Boiling Springs. It was “fish for free day” so there were dads and kids everywhere. This guy seemed a little out of sorts by all of the commotion:
Off to Mount Holly. I found the detour on Park Drive where the bridge is being replaced. It takes you about 3/4 miles on some little back roads, and passed The Chimneys, which is a violin maker of some repute who operates a school as well. I passed this cool house, which must have been a mill at one time. The creek runs right under it.
Then into Carlisle. I was expecting to see the new bike lanes and the “traffic calming” changes, but not yet. Just signs and annoyed drivers.
Around mile 40 I started slowing down. My hands were a little numb, but I think more from the cold than the position. I put on a pair of regular bike gloves under the cotton ones I was wearing, and it helped. My butt started getting sore on the Titanico saddle and I wished I had lubed up first, but 40 miles was pretty good.
I also noticed my neck starting to ache from riding in the drops most of the way.
Turned onto Rt. 74 and headed home into a slight head wind. I had to stop and eat a Power Bar, which I think helped. There were a few more times where I came out of the saddle, and my legs were telling me they were not used to it.
Kept slogging it home, but still kept noticing how the bike would accelerate faster than the LHT. Finally, just a few miles from home I took my last short stop at this “camp” for stray cats. There is an older lady who stops and feeds them – a trunk literally full of cat food, a yellow flasher on her roof…she’s really into it. Normally, there are cats everywhere at this spot.
So…this ride was really different for me. I enjoyed the speed, but wasn’t able to really enjoy the ride/sites. I’m going to make a point of using this bike for fitness rides to just mix it up a bit, and maybe there will be a few upgrades. Grip Kings are a must. Possibly another Protege computer but the Vetta is a sentimental favorite. And I might put on the Alex DC19 wheels if I can get the rear one respaced. Ted from Pedal Pushers warned me to be careful with these hubs because they have a history of cracking.
I bit off more than I should have today, but the result was a good fitness ride and a chance to break in a “new” old bike. I liked the zippyness of it, but when I got home I took the LHT for a quick spin; and you just cannot get more comfortable than that bike.
Distance: 55.1 miles 2011: 209.8