Dave's Not Here

My First Road Cycle

by on Sep.05, 2011, under Dave's Rants, Workout Logs

I have been riding to work a few times a week now, using my old
Trek 820 Mountain bike, with road tires. Last week, I logged 38
miles ridden. While my “hybrid” blows away my mountain bike, it
does have some issues. So, I decided I wanted something different.

First, I was tired of wearing a backpack. It would get really sweaty,
and, I thought panniers would be better.

Second, my hands get tingly / fall asleep after about 5-6 miles of
riding, so, I didn’t want mountain bike handlebars anymore.

Lastly, while I love the granny gear of my mountain bike for climbing
hills, I hate how my speed tops out at 24-26 Mph. So, I wanted
something faster, while still maintaining the granny gears.

I googled quite a bit, and decided that a touring bike was what I
needed. The only downside to the touring bike was the handle bars,
which are normally mountain-bike styled.

So, I went to Salt Cycles, and told them what I wanted, and explained
the above criterion. But, they came up with a different conclusion than
Google did. They found a road bike, with pannier mounts, that had three
gears up front. So, I ordered a Schwinn Le Tour Sport. It would take about a
week for delivery.

Getting Supplies

Now that I had the bike on order, I needed some supplies. I googled
road cycles a bit, and learned that my compressor wouldn’t quite get the
tires up to 120psi. (Well, it might . . but . . ) So, I grabbed a
pump, some lights, and a mirror from Cottonwood Cyclery

I took my laptop into an REI trying to find panniers that would fit
it, and happened to find two on sale for $86 for the pair. While that
might seem expensive, panniers usually run around $100-$140 each!

Taking Possession

I tried not to call Salt Cycles too much. Finally I found out it would
be ready on Friday. I dropped by Friday afternoon to get a sneak peak.
I figured that I could bring by some clipless pedals, and buy the rack
for my panniers. But, when I got there, I found out that it was already
ready. But, instead of the Schwinn Le Tour Sport, it was
the Schwinn Le Tour Elite. Turns out, they couldn’t get the sport, and had to
upgrade me to the Elite, for free! I liked the color a lot better, and,
it came with clipless pedals!

So, I had them install the rack, made sure my panniers fit, and headed

First Ride

I took a quick first ride on the bike, after googling how to shift gears
on a road bike. The first thing I noticed was the ride. Without shocks
or suspension, and with hard timres, I could feel every rock or pebble
in the road. To date, this has been the only down side to the bike.
The rest of the feel was really good.

First Long Ride

Labor Day morning, I decided to take a long ride. I wanted to make sure
that I’d be able to handle the 11 mile ride to work (or longer,
depending on my route).

I finally started getting used to my brakes, the gears, and the two
different hand positions. Though, I still feel like I brake weaker when
I’m in the high position.

While I don’t go that much faster than my mountain/road bike, it is
definitely faster. The thing I noticed the most, was the power I had.
I can now really take off quickly. When I get out of the saddle and
push, the bike really moves. Also, I found that I don’t get gassed
nearly as easily on climbs. I just push a little, and I fly up hills.
I managed to accelerate to 26Mph a climb, just to see what I could do.
Very nice.

Finally near the end of the ride, I passed a cycler. While this wasn’t
the first time I’ve passed someone, it was the second 🙂 This one was
in full cycle gear, on a very nice bike. So, it’s the first real notch
on my belt.

Now I can’t wait to try to ride to work tomorrow. My only decision now
is how to wear bike shorts, and go to the gym. Maybe I’ll just drive
home, before I ride to work 🙂

And, finally, here is the Garmin Connect map of my ride. My highest
heart rate was from passing the other cycler.

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