Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Now What?

I finally got the cross bike last week. To my dismay, the bike was not ready to ride off the showroom floor. After several hours of re-cabling, various adjustments and the purchase of a new non-setback seatpost, the bike was finally deemed “road worthy” and then it sank in…the thought…”now what?” I have a cross bike, now, what do I do with it? I believe the response in my head was: “RIDE IT!”

I set out on a maiden voyage, which actually included a spin around my super flat, traffic clogged, stop sign infested neighborhood. If someone were to ask me if anything feels different, the best thing I can tell them is YES, EVERYTHING is different. All spacers have been removed from the stem creating a center of gravity much lower than my road or mountain bike. I am back to using SPD pedals which take a wee bit more torque to remove the ankles securely and swiftly. The brakes have loads of clearance for all the sand and mud I will encounter but this also means on the road that I roll to a stop unlike more traditional disc or v-brakes. The saddle is a wee bit more padded than I am used to but none of these things are deal breakers. It is a new bike and each bike requires that you get used to it.

I am obsessed with comfort on the bike. I do not like hip, elbow, or toe pain of any kind. My first few rides are normally obsessive as I work to feel the slightest hint of pain and prepare to remedy it. Having a boyfriend that knows how to fit people comes in quite handy. Yet, this bike has not required tons of adjustments and wrenching. My first park rides were comfortable and fast. The lowered stem really helped on corners and descents. I have spent part of this summer bummed that I can climb with great efficiency…but I descend like a bird feather. This is NOT helpful or cool.

The next challenge…lifting this bike over barriers. Like most women, my upper body strength is like that of a moth or gangly bird. My height is already working against me but now I have to heave a bike over a barrier and get back in the saddle with a great amount of efficiency. Hmmmm. I have no desires to turn my upper body into a ripped machine…I just have to be able to get the bike safely over the barriers…or risk slinging the frame into a group of racers. I will not win any friends there.

My first race is a little under a month away. I feel somewhat prepared but disgustingly anxious at the same time. Preparing for a foot race is EASY; All I have to do is run. This is different…VERY different. I hate to disappoint others, embarrass myself, or God forbid, wreck someone.

As if that were not enough….track season is getting closer…and closer…and closer….

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