Ride and Equipment Check

Late last week I did a quick 35-mile ride to test my equipment and further get into riding mode. I had planned a longer 60-mile day but unfortunately was not able to accomplish that. I am hoping this weekend I can do a long overnight trip or a 60-70 mile day. Anyway, I learned a few things on this last ride, some of it is basic biking and some is particular to my equipment.

  • My mirror sucks. I need a mirror that attaches to my helmet because there isn’t room on my handlebar to properly mount one.
  • My odometer/speedometer rocks. It is properly calibrated and has a very effective display.
  • I am moving way faster than I need to. My average speed is about 13-14 mph in the city. I want to average 10-12 mph on the trip and most of the trip will be outside of cities where I can move much faster. I need to sloooowwww down, smell the roses, enjoy the ride, and all the other cliches that come with it.
  • For the first time I have metal pedals instead of plastic, this means my shins get beat to hell when I play with the pedals while waiting for stop lights. I need to break this habit or buy shin pads.
  • When you kind of lose control going downhill it is best not to brake, if you brake you will fall.
  • My bell and lights work great but my rear light is going to need new placement when I start riding with a full load on my back. Not sure how to fix this yet without buying new equipment…
  • It looks like I will need to tune the gears and fill the tires every 150-200 miles, so every 3-4 days
  • My hand pump is crap, I need a better one
  • Also, my sunglasses broke and that annoys me.

I finally feel like the bike is an extension of my body. There were several times when I was riding downhill over rough and rocky terrain that my instincts, muscle memory, training, and practice took over and I rode it out nicely. I also think I found a way to rig everything on the bike without new equipment or saddlebags. I am going to try that all out this next weekend and see how it feels.


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