Sunday, August 10, 2008

First Ride

I picked Cleo up from Penny's yesterday. I took Lola along with me and Mike switched over the pedals and the drinks cage. He also fixed the handlebar tape on Lola and even wrote me a Trademe ad. What a star! I have been thoroughly impressed with the service I have received from these guys.

We fine-tuned Cleo's fit, lifting the seat, then lowering it, then lifting it. The last adjustment was only 2mm. We left the handlebars pretty much were they were. Finally we put both bikes on the scales. Lola is a full two kilos heavier than Cleo! Side by side the difference in fit was clear to see. Lola's seat was almost an inch higher and her handlebars far further forward. Poor dear, she really didn't fit me at all.

Unfortunately yesterday the weather was cold, wet and very blowy. Not a good day to get out on a new bike, especially one so much lighter than what I was used to. So I spent a lot of the rest of the day watching the Olympics. When I went to bed it was still raining and there was a fiercesome Southerly. By the time Hamish got home from the Black Tuesday afterparty at 4am however it was absolutely calm. The weather forecast had been for winds continuing today but dropping off this afternoon and I'd been hoping for a ride later today.

Fortune smiled. I woke early in the morning to a cold but beautifully calm and clear day. The snow on the Orongarongas was shining in the sun. I stayed in bed until the bike stores opened then dashed in to see Veronica at the Bike Barn for 20% off a pair of leg warmers and some full-finger gloves. By the time I got to Oriental Bay it was mad. There were people and cars everywhere and I had to drive right to the far end to find a park.

Nervously I unloaded Cleo from the car, clipped in, and I was off. I expected the ride to feel really strange. We rolled away from the curb and, apart from a few frantic seconds searching for the thumb shifter then having to remind myself how to use the new system, I was flying. The best part? Cleo felt right, right from the start. She rides completely differently, but in a way that feels natural. I am officially in love.

Today's motto was "heels down". Mike and the others had shown me quite clearly using the Penny's video system the way that my heels tend to creep upwards. Heels down was a bit of a foreign concept on Lola, but it's amazing what a difference a seat that's at the proper height can make! The physio had warned me I would be likely to feel my quads and glutes more for the first few rides, and I definitely did, but I was riding in the large cog comfortably for most of the ride. That's something that would never have happened on Lola! Large cog? What large cog?

The new, lighter wheels slid along the ground more than they rolled. All that carbon made it feel like Cleo had suspension. The bumps that used to rattle my bones on Lola barely even registered. This time I felt like I got a response from the bike that was in accordance with the effort I was putting in. I was flying along and it was all so easy. Bliss!

I stuck to an easy ride today, a simple spin around the Bays. This was a 'getting to know you' ride. I called out to a guy who was stopped at the top of the Pass of Branda to check he was ok, then he caught me a little further along the road and we talked all the way to Lyall Bay. He was riding a very nice Pinerello. At Lyall Bay I stuck to the plan and rode back through to Kilbirnie. I was regretting my decision though! Oriental Bay was even crazier with cars and people going everywhere, so I threw Cleo back in the car again and got the heck out of there.

I am sooooo glad I got a new bike now rather than try to train for Taupo on Lola. I am really looking forward to riding with Gearshifters now and seeing what I am really capable of. Let's hope this weather holds for a bit longer and I can get some more rides in before then.


SUB6 said...

Glad you LOVE the new bike. Let's hope the weather stays like this for a while now so we can all get some decent rides in :)

Pip said...

I've told myself I have to offset part of the cost by commuting at least a few times a week on her, so yes, I'm really hoping the weather holds out!

Sass said...

Ooh she's pretty!