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.