Distance: 16.60 mi
Weather: 63F, cool, slightly rainy. Chipmunk index of 0.
Terrain: Road: Flat
Bike: Specialized Allez Comp
Club: Road 2010 TerraTrike Car-Free Challenge
I rode down to my LBS to check out some mountain bikes in preparation for the Winding Trails Triathlon series. My sandblaster is still toast, and I feel it’s time to move on to something that fits me better.
I looked at the Specialized full-suspension XC (a.k.a. Expert). It’s a very nice bike. The first thing I noticed was the cushiness of riding with full suspension. You don’t feel a thing from the road! My fears about too much power being lost to the suspension was quickly allayed by a demonstration of the shock adjustments that could be made. Either shock could be locked in place with a quick turn of a lever – this can even be done while riding. My sales rep, Dave, also showed me how the amount of travel and speed of return could be altered on the rear shock.
Plus, as you can see, it’s red, just like the Sandblaster.
I’m thinking on it and will make a move tomorrow, most likely. I need the bike on Tuesday, so I don’t have too much time to dilly-dally.
Oh yeah … I was supposed to be reporting on the ride itself. Well, in the last 30 days, I’ve gone on 41 bike rides. So to say that riding is as much a part of my day as walking or driving is an understatement. This challenge has really adjusted my thinking about riding. I used to see it as purely recreational. Even last year when I would ride about half of the week and drive half of the week, the riding just seemed like an extra thing I did to stay in shape and have a peaceful activity. Now, driving feels like an abomination unless the car is absolutely required. I’ve gotten thinking that taking a half hour to an hour to go 10 or 20 miles is no big deal, nor is strapping a bunch of stuff I need to carry to the bike.
The features available in bikes has come so far since I was young. 18 gears is now the minimum (fixies excluded). Disc brakes are standard for mountain bikes over $1000. The smoothness with which the dérailleurs operate is fantastic. So what if you have to kick it into the easiest gear and chug up a hill? You’re benefiting everything – your health, the environment, your mind.
And, you’ll see some mind-blowing beauty along the way. Today’s visual score was either a crane or a blue heron or something similar (the one to the right is not him … just put him there for a visual). I almost missed him. He was standing majestically in some low water on the other side of the fence along the Greenway. He looked perfectly still and had probably been there for awhile scoping out some food. I wonder if anyone else saw him. He belnded with the background very well, and I almost missed him. No car passenger would have seen him – that’s for sure.
We bikers sure are lucky.