Picked up the new bike Friday night. Though it was dark when I got it home, I had to take it out for a quick spin around the neighborhood. Did about 10 miles.
Today I wanted to get it out on the road. A first of many “shake down cruises” I’ll need to ride before The Ride.
The new bike is considerably heavier, but that’s not a surprise. It’s solid. Then again, it’s designed as a pack mule. It’s designed to carry a load. I obliged it. I loaded the panniers and headed off to Der Dutchman in Plain City, about 20 miles away.
The forecast mentioned occasional showers. I went out with the hopes I’d get rained on. You see, the new bike has disc brakes. I’ve never ridden a bike with disc brakes. I wanted to see what they were like on a wet road.
The weather obliged me. Quite a bit of rain on the way out. It saved the best for the way back. With 15 to 20 minutes left, someone in the Rain Control Department decided to let me have all the rain.
The brakes did just fine. As did the rest of the bike.
I was able to ride about as fast as I do on the road bike. The bike handled fine. I spent a lot of time just listening. Listening for anything that was rubbing. Squeaking. Anything that . . . “just didn’t sound right.” The oddest thing was a subtle steady low . . . whine when I’d occasionally stop pedaling. When I started pedaling again, the noise stopped. Why would the drive chain make noise when it wasn’t in use? The only thing I could figure was that it was the sound of water hitting the fenders. The soft sound of the chain going through the gears masked the whine.
In addition to the rain, I purposely aimed towards some hills I would normally avoid. I wanted to find out how the “get me over the Rocky Mountains” gearing would fare.
I was tickled to find out the Granny Gears did exactly what I expected them to do. I tackled every hill without breaking a sweat or even being short of breath. To be fair, though, in the month since I’ve last updated the blog, I’ve done a lot of riding. In getting over hills and even fighting the rather stiff wind today, do I give credit towards the new bike or to my being a stronger rider than just a month ago? I don’t know. I’m going to have to go find some serious hills to ride before I can answer that.
I’ve really been experiencing buyer’s remorse over the new bicycle, I must be honest. Today’s ride did nothing to alleviate the anxiety. Could a less expensive bicycle have been just as good? I suppose I should quit beating myself up about it as there’s not a damned thing I can do at this point. Generally I only make financially expensive mistakes over women. Guess now flawed judgement extends to machines, too.
Foot note that has not one goddamned thing to do with bicycling: 39 years ago today I graduated from high school.