Thursday, April 2, 2009

Me and Slick: Finally! Our First Ride

Here's me and Slick after our first ride together!

And again because I'm so excited! I haven't installed any of my commuting gear yet. I felt like trying the bike out for the first time nearly bear.
I only rode 8.6 miles. I could have done A LOT more, but at 4 miles I started to hear chain squeeks and realized, "Oh sh*#! I forgot to lube the chain!" So I turned immediately back home hoping the whole time that a few miles on an unlubed chain wouldn't wreck it.

Here's the pretty new computer and bar tape. Much better than the hideous red, yellow and green tape that was on it before! I like the sleek, elegant black. It's consistent with the frame, and goes with everything.

Funny story about the computer... I bought the computer on my mountain bike for about $10 at Meijer a couple years ago. I decided that I didn't need anything fancier than that for my road bike, so back to Meijer I went. As I stood in front of the bike equipment rack reading what the different functions were on the $10 versus the $20 model, I noticed that the price sticker on the $20 package did not match the tag on the rack. The sticker said $10.99! The only features that the more expensive model had over the other was a back light and temperature reading. I don't expect that either of those things would significantly enrich my riding experience, so I would have been perfectly content with the $10 model. But, I figured I'd take the $20 model with the incorrect sticker to the register and see what happened.
It rang up as $19.99, but I pointed out the sticker for $10.99, and the cashier sent me to the customer service desk to get a refund for the difference in price. "Great!" I thought. Then at the service desk, the very nice assistant refunded me the difference of my entire bill instead of just the one item. So I ended up getting a $20 bike computer for $5. How can you beat that?
And here's my pretty new shoes to go with my pretty new clipless pedals. So, how was my first experience with clipless pedals? I haven't fallen over yet! I'm kinda proud. I actually had very little trouble clipping out. It was clipping in that was difficult. I found getting my left foot in nearly impossible for some reason. Much practice is needed!

As for the ride... It was fast! It was different. It was fun. It was glorious!
All I have to say is, "More!"

The first thing I noticed while riding was the pressure on my hands. I left them on the hoods most of the time, so I was leaning on them. It wasn't too bad if I changed position once in a while, but I can imagine this getting rather uncomfortable over long distances.

After a while my upper back started to get tense from lifting my head up. I'm not sure if I need to just relax more, shorten my stem more or if this is something I will get used to after I ride a road bike for a while. Anyone have a similar experience that can lend some advice to this noob?

Overall, I am in love with the road bike experience! I cannot wait to ride more! This will certainly make getting back into the swing of century training more fun. I can only imagine how much faster I'll finish the long rides now.

Welcome, Slick!


  1. Looks great!! Sorry, I have no road bike advice to give, but you make me want to try riding one now. I get scared of road bikes, drop bars, clipless pedals and all those things - maybe a mental barrier I need to get over. Going fast sounds fun :) I hope you work out all the physical issues, it probably will get better once you do it more.

  2. Congrats on the new ride!

    The first time I was on a road bike, I was sure I was going to flip over the handle bars.

  3. Congrats on the road bike.

    Buy some padded cycling gloves. They are a must have. These will help with the pressure on your hands. Find a pair with some soft gel in the spots that you can feel it the most.